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March 23, 2019


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Of course, this result is not unique for legal employment. Across the board hiring has been weak despite headlines about low unemployment. Hidden behind those headlines is a lot of informal and temporary work that is low paid.

This has been the problem with the attack on legal education since the battle first began - the tendentious effort of law school critics to attempt to separate legal employment from the macroeconomy.


Thanks Bernie. I enjoyed reading through the series and appreciate all the time and effort involved.

So Ben was wrong in late 2014 when he warned us here about "The Coming Lawyer Shortage" (I think that is the correct title).

At Anon - sure, you need to compare to the overall economy.

But outside of veterinary school, I don't know of any other sector where there's still quite so much of a mismatch between numbers of new graduates vs. jobs for them.


cc, there's one graduate program far worse than veterinary school. Music conservatories. Think of them as having the admission standards of Stanford and the job outcomes of Golden Gate.



US MBA Programs see drop in applicants
Business Insider 10/2018

Nothing special: MBAs are no longer prized by employers
Economist 6/2016

MBA employment rate in 2018 was 79% (another 11% unemployed and 10% allegedly "self-employed") while NALP's data for JDs was 88.6% overall and 72% for bar required jobs.


Hi PaulB, thanks for the information re music conservatories; I was unaware. Did some digging and, well, ouch.

Hi Anon - Would be great if you could please provide link (although I recognize this forum has real problems with links, so maybe that's not do-able).

But in any event, claiming NALP's 88.6% overall employment for JD's is really only relevant for the recognition that 11+ percent of JD's are not even employed. Those 11% couldn't even get jobs at Starbucks or slinging Panini at Panera bread? Is that what this datum says?

Also, NALP's supposed 72% bar required number, even if true, is at variance with the ABA disclosure numbers.

And even if it weren't - who in their right mind would claim that 72% was a good outcome?

I don't actually get what you're trying to do here.


"I don't actually get what you're trying to do here."

Burk writes (ad nauseum) about the alleged jobs crisis for law school graduates. I point out that he does so without any comparative analysis to what is happening in the overall economy. This has been the achilles heel of the law school critics from the beginning of this debate.

You then chime in with the baseless claim that there is a bigger mismatch in legal education and jobs than anywhere else.

In five minutes of "research" I found data that shows that law grads really aren't doing any worse than MBA grads.

In other words, as many of us have tried to make clear (to people who clearly don't care) that legal education and legal employment is subject to the wider swings of the economy. There is no "peculiar" problem with legal education. Which is not, of course, to say that legal education should not reform or innovate. And, in fact, it has in many areas.

This will be disappointing to the critics who have staked their reputations and, in some cases, business models on a fiction about a law school crisis. But there it is.


As pointed out above: "So Ben was wrong in late 2014 when he warned us here about "The Coming Lawyer Shortage" (I think that is the correct title)."

Anon, you might want to review the claims made by "ben" as well as others, including forward looking statements made by law school officials. Do you not consider it to be even worth of a whiff from your sophisticated nose? Or, were all criticisms of such assertions wrong, per se, because asserted by your nemesis: "law school critics"? Did you defend such assertions back in 2014?

Second, are you seriously asserting that other professional schools have experienced similar shrinkage and enrollment, and job opportunities have disappeared to the same rate in other professions? Your five minute google search notwithstanding? (Not that we all don't admire your obviously superior powers of investigation and discernment.)

Finally, why did you come here to comment? To prove what? Are you arguing that the law school establishment is doing so remarkably well, that is such a finely tuned academic enterprise serving its constituents and the greater society in such beneficial ways that it should be immune to criticism? Examination? Even a question or two?

YOu seem to be a calm, stable, unemotional and objective judge of all things: Lubet apparently thinks so highly of you that he needs to make sure no one confuses you for someone else.

Enlighten us.


Anon - I think I found the report on MBAs you were referring to.

Interesting that among US students, the ratio is 96% employed and 4% unemployed. The international students don't seem to get quite as much benefit from a US MBA program once they return home, though.

As for "allegedly self-employed" MBAa, it hardly seems fair for us to sniff at these while new law grads soloing are counted as full-time, long-term JD required jobs.

But who is it that you suppose has a "business model" based on the law school crisis?


"Burk writes (ad nauseum) "

That was hardly fair. He writes what he writes. You don't have to read it, you know.


Yes, you're right, hardly fair - after all, snarkiness has no place on this blog!

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