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NJL 250 Law Firm Hiring Data

March 9th, 2013 / By

I crunched the numbers on the NLJ 250 law firm hires for 2012. The total number of new graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms is 4,457. This constitutes about 10% of the entire graduating law school class of 2012. (more…)

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February 28th, 2013 / By

UTX was my moment of epiphany, the “oh my” moment when cogent thought on the legal profession came in a flash. Admittedly, prior to learning of UTX (not that long ago), I didn’t really know much about the economics of the legal profession other than the obvious fact that the financial crisis of 2008-2009 must have inflicted significant pain on the industry, thus my prior assumption of only a cyclical downturn. I write this blog post for the benefit of those colleagues in the academy who may have a sense that the legal profession is having difficulties but can’t quite see the larger picture beyond anecdotes of layoffs and a very difficult hiring market. I hope to provide a concrete example of the economic stress on the legal profession, which obviously has trickle down effects on the economics of law schools and the value of the law degree. (more…)

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About Students and the Opportunity Cost of Curriculum

February 12th, 2013 / By

The law school admissions process is odd. Among the major professional schools, law school has the lowest barrier to entry in terms of personal commitment to the profession. A student does not choose medical school as a “default” option.  A student cannot get into a credible business school unless she has significant work experience. Law schools require only a GPA and an LSAT score. Many law schools may not even ask the most important question, “Why do you want to be a lawyer?” The typical law student is probably 22-23 years old. She may never have worked a regular job, worked on a project where others depended on her, filed a tax return, or bought a car or house. This profile has important implications for curriculum.

Let me digress a bit here. Two weeks ago, I was in California for a symposium on legal education, and this gave me a chance to see some old friends from business school. One of my friends has a spouse who is in her spring 3L at a Top Ten law school (she does not have a job yet and the worst case plan is to work a year for free on the hopes of a job opening in her desired career). He is very involved in her world of law school, and sometimes even attends her classes and socializes with her law school friends. So we naturally got around to talking about law schools and one avenue of conversation was whether law students were smarter than our Wharton classmates. (more…)

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