Above the Law

Recent Headlines from Above the Law

 

I previously wrote about the depressing prospects for graduates of all but the top ten or twenty law schools (“Two Law Grad Markets”). And yes, these were statistical generalizations, and the experience of specific individuals with particular skills and backgrounds will always be different, pro and con. But as an industry, if you care about our supply chain for talent, many law schools are burning platforms.

There are actually some closely connected problems driving this dynamic:

  • More JDs are being turned out each year than there are (a) full-time, (b) long-term jobs, (c) requiring bar passage, (d) at current salary levels;
  • perhaps the primary reason for the mismatch between supply of JDs and current demand for them (about two supplied for every one today’s market is demanding) is that clients increasingly resist paying for junior associates, which makes it uneconomic for firms to invest in traditional training;
  • but/and at the same time, every sentient observer is painfully aware that vast segments of the U.S. population — consumers and businesses alike — remain underserved by lawyers.

This would prompt any economist to ask, almost instinctively, “Why isn’t there a market-clearing price where supply and demand can meet?” Which is another way of asking, “What if there were a way to address both these problems at a single stroke?”

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “From Across the Desk: An Apprenticeship to Practice — That Works”

This has become one of my favorite posts to write every year. The U.S. News 2015 Law School Rankings are out. Some schools did well, some schools dropped like stones, and some deans from some schools send out emails encouraging students that there is NOTHING TO SEE HERE and the U.S. News rankings should be ignored.

Unless they do well. Deans from schools bathing in the warm light of U.S. News send out messages like this one from Florida State’s dean:

Dear Alum:

I am delighted to report that U.S. News & World Report has ranked Florida State University College of Law as Florida’s #1 law school, at 45th best nationally. Our closest Florida competitor was the University of Florida Levin College of Law, which it ranked at 49th best nationally. Thanks. Don

Donald J. Weidner
Dean and Alumni Centennial Professor
Florida State University College of Law

Undefeated football team, top-ranked law school in Florida, Chief Osceola seems to be leading the University of Florida on a trail of tears.

Congrats to FSU. Now, let’s get to the sad-faced deans….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “The Annual Parade Of Law Deans Butthurt Over U.S. News”

Ed note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts from the ATL Career Center’s team of expert contributors. Today, Ann K. Levine, a law school admission consultant and owner of LawSchoolExpert.com, offers helpful tips for law school applicants.

Law schools have been increasing their scholarship opportunities in order to lure applicants. Why? Because law school applicants are in demand. Applications are down yet again, and law schools are scrambling to fill their seats. (See TaxProf Blog for exact numbers and trends, year over year.)

As law schools compete for qualified applicants with better scholarships, it may be easier to consider criteria like debt alongside rank and prestige when choosing a law school. As part of this new trend, law schools are adding on scholarship programs to make attending law school more affordable. Villanova Law recently announced an initiative to add 50 full-tuition scholarships for three years, and in-state students at Penn State are being offered $20,000 per year as part of a new scholarship program.

Continue reading at the ATL Career Center…

This is the first in a new series of ATL infographics — visual representations of our own proprietary data, relevant third-party data, “anecdata,” or just plain jokes.

In honor of Shark Week, we take a marine life-themed look at which law schools’ graduates are the big fish of Biglaw…
 
 

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Which Law Schools’ Grads Run Biglaw? An ATL Infographic”

* The surviving bomber is still on the loose. [Boston Herald]

* The bombers’ uncle put his disdain for their actions bluntly: they’re “losers.” [Gawker]

* The attacks may not qualify under the the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, meaning insurance companies may not be required to pay out. [RT]

* On a related note, some have taken to the Internet to raise money for victims of the attack. The attached is a fund for the recovery of an injured Boston College law student. [Give Forward]

* Props to Goodwin Procter for its efforts to help Boston. [The One Fund]

* CNN is still doing a bang up job reporting on these attacks. The Onion points this out as only they can. [The Onion]

Law schools, properly understood, ought to be viewed as regional vocational schools. You will have to pass the bar exam for the state in which you want to practice, and a law school in that state, in theory at least, is more likely to prepare you for the specific content on the state bar. Typically, the majority of alumni don’t stray too far, so the strongest network will be local, for local jobs. It’s to your advantage to go to school where you want to practice, sometimes even more so than going to a higher-ranked school.

With this in mind, last week we looked at our ATL Insider Survey results pertaining to New York City-area law schools. We examined how current law students rate their schools in terms of academics, career counseling, financial aid advising, practical/clinical training, and social life.

Today we turn to Boston. The results of our survey might surprise you….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Which Is the Most Wicked Awesome Law School in Boston?”

Say what you will about the Cooley Law School Rankings, but at least they are internally consistent and objectively applied.

We’ve written before about the ridiculous National Jurist Best Law School Rankings. Many law bloggers have written about this list that looks like it was put together by getting the Sorting Hat drunk on goblets of fire water and forcing it to name law schools until it passed out.

We’ve all tried to reason with the National Jurist, but it turns out that effort was not unlike trying to convince an infant not to poop while you’re eating. We’d have been better off just ignoring it and cleaning it up later.

The publication came out with an “edit” yesterday, and while its revisions did a good job of highlighting how stupid these rankings were in the first place, I’m compelled to write about them just so nobody is fooled into thinking their “updates” have actually fixed anything….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “National Jurist Needs To Delete Their Law School Rankings And Apologize To Us All For Wasting Our Time”

Law school is a good idea if you are incapable of doing basic math.

I feel like we could probably do a weekly feature entitled “It’s A Trap” that just focuses on which poor argument for going to law school somebody hopes 22-year-olds will fall for.

This week, we need to do a mash-up because all the stories about the dearth of law school applications have caused some deans to go out and say just the most ridiculous things online.

Just to make sure that a “counter-argument” comes up when uninformed prospective law students do Google searches for these schools, let’s take a whack at the latest, most absurd things to come out of a law school dean’s mouth, this time focusing on some smaller schools that not a lot of people have heard of….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Really Weak Arguments For Going To Law School: The Small Law School Edition”

Yesterday, in addition to being Inauguration Day, was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We suggested that people use the holiday to engage in public service.

Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo. At one leading law school, someone used the three-day weekend to vandalize the office of an LGBT student group.

We’ll show you a photo of the hateful graffiti. Warning: it’s pretty extreme and explicit….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Office Of Law School LGBT Group Vandalized With Hateful Graffiti Over MLK Day Weekend”

* Thomas Jefferson School of Law dean Rudy Hasl responded to those serious allegations of employment stat falsification by calling them a “crock of crap.” OK then! [ABA Journal]

* All the Republicans claiming their flagrantly sexist, diabolically anachronistic comments were simply “misinterpreted” need to stop misinterpreting the word “misinterpret.” [The Fix / Washington Post]

* BC Law appointed a professor specifically to help students deal with the “real world.” Not sure whether this is exciting or unbearably depressing. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A judge who gets caught sending shirtless photos of himself to other government employees is serious business. Not taking said business seriously is even more serious business. [Detroit Free Press]

* This new fashion blog is so offensive and it violates your privacy and it’s bad for America and I’m totally going to start reading it. [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* This man’s lawsuit claims Justin Bieber stole his credit card and used it to buy a penis enlargement, among several other weird purchases. No, ATLCommentBot, I am not the plaintiff in this case. Sorry to disappoint. [Consumerist]

* A Seton Hall University Law School student saved an elderly woman’s life in dramatic fashion. Well done, sir. [Jersey Journal]