Over the last few months, I’ve been generally encouraged about trends in the near-term legal employment market. In December, we saw some momentum gather for U.S. legal employment in the form of a confluence of encouraging news, instead of a couple of positive data points bucked by a couple of negatives or (as we’d seen over the last year or two) a drumbeat of negative news.
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Law Firm Partner Reacts with Additional Insights to “More Thoughts on Law School Rankings: Does it Ever Make Sense to go to a Lower-Ranked Law School?”
Advise-In’s last two posts, parts one and two of “More Thoughts on Law School Rankings: Does it Ever Make Sense to go to a Lower-Ranked Law School?”, had their origin in a few e-mails back and forth with a retired partner of an elite international law firm (I’ll call him Arthur), who suggested the topic ...
More Thoughts on Law School Rankings: Does it Ever Make Sense to go to a Lower-Ranked Law School? Part Two, If You Have Choices between Law Schools Ranked Significantly Differently
In part one of this blog pair, I talked about factors that law school applicants with limited options should consider in deciding whether and when to go to law school. Most of those considerations—especially the desire to be a lawyer and a good knowledge of how lawyers actually spend their days—apply to prospective law school students with a greater range of options, too.
More Thoughts on Law School Rankings: Does it Make Sense to go to a Lower-Ranked Law School? Part One, What if That’s Your Only Choice?
Last week, I published How Can You Avoid a Costly Law School Mistake? What the New York Times Says (and Doesn’t Say). A former partner at an elite law firm wrote to say that he thought I might do a post about whether any potential law student should consider going to a third- or fourth-tier law school (the Times article focused on a hapless graduate of the fourth-tier Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego). He also mentioned a few circumstances in which he thought that it did make sense (some of which I’m going to appropriate without specific attribution).
Study Tells Us Law School Reputation Matters for Job Prospects: We Already Knew That, so Some Decide to Make It a Moral Issue
Robert Morse of U.S. News recently decried the “absolutely incorrect” use of U.S. News’ law school rankings. The comment was met with derision in the blogosphere, which generally characterized it as self-serving. Although Morse’s full comment was not only inoffensive but in substance correct—he recommended that rankings be used by prospective law students in conjunction with other, more detailed research—it’s true that he begged the question in the true sense of begging; what, exactly should prospective students use the rankings for and how much weight should they give them?
Most months, I do a short blog post on last month’s Bureau of Labor Statistics legal jobs report. I also usually say that these are not terribly important numbers for prospective and current law school students, since they reflect the recent past and not the future, are subject to upward or downward revision the next month (which sometimes reverses the original report) and are subject to odd monthly fluctuations. Nevertheless, they’re information that those on the path to as legal career should note regularly, so I do.
Sunday’s New York Times published a very long article on the troubled prospects for today’s law school graduates and asked in its headline whether law school is a “losing game.” There's little new in the article. We and others have noted at length and often pretty much every element of the Times article—the significant average debt load of law school students, the ridiculously vague and deceptive employment data that law schools report, the flat tuition structure (virtually the same tuition at a bottom-tier law school as at a top 5 law school), the fact that most prospective law students Read More >>
Just before Christmas, we noted a report of a jump in global merger and acquisition activity in 2010 and took that as a good sign for the U.S. legal employment market, notwithstanding that much of the reported increase came from non-U.S. activity. Still, it was a sign (albeit an indirect one, since it was not explicitly tied to U.S. law firm activity).
Last week, I analyzed some recent economic and legal market data. The data did not have deep roots in terms of time, and my conclusion was tentative. It was also hopeful, since these data, collectively, were the first data group in the last several years that were all positive, and that’s a good sign.
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