Matt Leichter

Despite calls for change from the highest of authorities, law school tuition is still too damn high. In fact, for most recent law school graduates (myself included), it’s financially crippling.

Sure, class sizes have gotten smaller — whether due to law schools’ attempts to rightsize or due to lack of interest from prospective students — but tuition hasn’t. Some schools have managed to keep it flat (albeit at too high of a level), but others have had the nerve to dramatically increase tuition in these trying times for legal education.

Given how resistant the old and gray occupants of the ivory tower are to change, perhaps some frightening predictions about the future of law school tuition will help them open their eyes. If you think you’re hurting for students to fill the seats now, just wait until it costs $78,000 a year to attend…

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This map, courtesy of Matt Leichter at the Law School Tuition Bubble, is a representation of the lawyer glut in America through the year 2011. Things may have changed slightly since then, but this is still a fairly accurate portrayal of the problem the legal profession is facing. If your state is in the red, then your chances of finding a job as a lawyer will be just as slim as your bank account balance.

Wait a second, almost the entire country is in the red. Congratulations, graduates, because it looks like you just walked straight into the Hunger Games of job searches. May the odds be ever in your favor.

So which states are the worst for law school graduates who are desperately in search of work?

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Your J.D. isn't actually like this, but it costs WAY more.

As we mentioned in Morning Docket, there was a brilliant piece in Am Law Daily the other day about the “versatility” of a J.D. — or lack thereof. Matt Leichter argues that if you believe your J.D. is a utilitarian degree, you are living in an illogical dreamworld.

Of course, nobody ever accused prospective law students of being logical. Many people justify time and treasure expended on going to law school on the supposed versatility of the J.D., and like most things involving the decision to go to law school, the students have done little research to back up the claim.

That thought about the degree is so ingrained that you regularly see vast numbers of students heading off to law school who say they don’t want to be lawyers. Think about that. You don’t hear med students say, “I don’t want to be a doctor, I just thought it would be good to know how to save a life.” Heck, you don’t hear plumbers say, “I didn’t really want to be a plumber, but you never know when being able to make raw sewage flow freely will come in handy.”

Make no mistake, going to law school in order to do non-law stuff is stupid….

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