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wonderpup

Peak Lawyers?

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Not sure what to make of this;

I knew that the legal market was in bad shape last summer when I came across the story that top law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges announced its first mass layoffs in 82 years, but I had no idea it was this bad.

As most of you will be aware, U.S. News & World Report publishes a widely anticipated ranking of undergraduate as well as graduate schools. I recall how closely my peers scrutinized these rankings back when I was a high school senior and, apparently, a similar obsession continues to this day.

In fact, law schools are so consumed with performing well in these rankings that they are going to outrageous lengths to make it look like their students are performing better financially after graduation than they actually are. One of the most ridiculous ways they achieve this is by paying the salaries of their graduates upon graduation. This way, students can take on employment at non-profits and government agencies, positions they would never otherwise consider in light of their mountains of student debt. In return, their alma maters can pretend their graduates got real jobs.

This isn’t just a minor trend of one-offs being exaggerated by the media either. For example, George Washington University paid the starting salaries of 22% of its graduates in 2012, while the University of Virginia paid for 15%.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-17/law-schools-now-paying-their-graduates-salaries-improve-rankings

I suppose the idea is to rig the stats so that your graduate employment numbers look better than they actually are.

One downside to running a law school is that your graduates are well placed to sue you for exactly this kind of misrepresentation- so they must be really desperate to be doing it.

And this is before big data AI systems start to eat their lunch at the graduate level.

The US seems to be drifting into a total moral and ethical breakdown. I used to think that people in america were crazy to own guns- now I think you'd be crazy not to own one if you lived there- surely some kind of social collapse is baked in now.

Edited by wonderpup

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In fact, law schools are so consumed with performing well in these rankings that they are going to outrageous lengths to make it look like their students are performing better financially after graduation than they actually are. One of the most ridiculous ways they achieve this is by paying the salaries of their graduates upon graduation. This way, students can take on employment at non-profits and government agencies, positions they would never otherwise consider in light of their mountains of student debt. In return, their alma maters can pretend their graduates got real jobs.

Not sure I fully understand that, unless it's a top-up on salary they are paying after graduates take a lessor role. Nevertheless, graduates unlikely to refuse the money, even if it's the law school doing some accounting tricks, to encourage new applicants for the University.

Lot of restructuring to come, I imagine, throughout the sector US/UK, including education providers.

A smaller UK facility a while back (can't find the article), providing the 1 year LPC, went into administration half-way through the year, not to be reopened. Many students frustrated at losing the upfront LPC fee they had paid... which is something like £8K-£10K these days, although a couple of them relieved that they'd paid in a way where they could recover costs from credit - or were paying in instalments. And also many annoyed that they had wasted a year, as new LPC somewhere else would still require waiting 6 months more + new fees.

Number of students on LPC plummets

9 December 2013

The number of students enrolled on full-time legal practice courses (LPCs) has shrunk by 8.4% this year, reflecting awareness of the dearth of training contracts on offer, the Gazette can reveal.

In all, 5,198 students enrolled with the 27 LPC providers for 2013/2014, according to data from the Central Applications Board, the admissions service for full-time LPC and graduate diploma in law (GDL) applicants. This was 475 fewer than last year, and means that more than 6,500 course places theoretically approved by regulators are unfilled.

On average, courses are only 44% full, the figures show. Since 2008/09 the total number of students applying for LPCs has plummeted by 37.5%, from 10,933.

In full + comments: http://www.lawgazett...5039127.article

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A girl I know graduated in Law from Durham (top 3).

Only about 10% of her year went on to get a training contract and qualify.

Of those, about half have been laid off.

There has been a massive structural change to law in the last 10 years.

There's no one cause, rather a mix of: massive number of graduatess, rise of para legals, cuts in legal age, less business activity, probably use of software etc etc.

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Sooner or later our young people are going to realise that going to Uni,is,for most of them,an utter waste of time.

o/t I can't beleive how much student hosuing is being erected at the moment.

Edited by Sancho Panza

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Sooner or later our young people are going to realise that going to Uni,is,for most of them,an utter waste of time.

o/t I can't beleive how much student hosuing is being erected at the moment.

Yeah, but that's for Chinese students.

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A girl I know graduated in Law from Durham (top 3).

Only about 10% of her year went on to get a training contract and qualify.

Of those, about half have been laid off.

There has been a massive structural change to law in the last 10 years.

There's no one cause, rather a mix of: massive number of graduatess, rise of para legals, cuts in legal age, less business activity, probably use of software etc etc.

Aid, not age. somewhat dangerous mistake to make..

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tucker-max/law-school_b_2713943.html

Tucker max nails it

'Debt is the elephant in the room that law schools never tell you about, but ends up dominating your life.

So you're going to spend a decade toiling 12 hours a day for what? To pay off the debt you incurred to get that job!? HOW CRAZY IS THAT!?!'

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IMO being a lawyer is the ultimate zero value added human activity, its just data mining and rule application and the sooner we can replace the lot of them with suitable software the better. Who knows I might even get to write some of it.

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IMO being a lawyer is the ultimate zero value added human activity, its just data mining and rule application and the sooner we can replace the lot of them with suitable software the better. Who knows I might even get to write some of it.

Computer says guilty.

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IMO being a lawyer is the ultimate zero value added human activity, its just data mining and rule application and the sooner we can replace the lot of them with suitable software the better. Who knows I might even get to write some of it.

Ah, the homo economicus fallacy, as brought to us by neoliberals: you can program for human activity and so long as you input definite data you get a definite result.

Milton Friedman and the boys assume economic activity is carried out by rational actors, but Friedman admitted that he left out irrational behaviour simply because it isn't predictive. Therefore most of the data are omitted.

That's how we get trickle down economics etc. Now we're getting the equivalent in justice.

My prediction: in 7 years time you won't be able to engage a lawyer who's not employed by a multi-national.

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Ah, the homo economicus fallacy, as brought to us by neoliberals: you can program for human activity and so long as you input definite data you get a definite result.

Milton Friedman and the boys assume economic activity is carried out by rational actors, but Friedman admitted that he left out irrational behaviour simply because it isn't predictive. Therefore most of the data are omitted.

That's how we get trickle down economics etc. Now we're getting the equivalent in justice.

My prediction: in 7 years time you won't be able to engage a lawyer who's not employed by a multi-national.

But the sense of entitlement among these people is quite authentic- I recently posted a comment from one who seriously argued that the free market should not apply to providers of legal services.

And while I don't think that computers will be replacing higher level legal brains any time soon, it's a sector that is ripe for a lot more automation then is used at present and that will simply increase the downward pressure on legal earnings.

On the bright side if you are screwed over by your law school's over optimistic claims regarding future employment prospects you can at least demonstrate the quality of their training by suing them- which begs the question would that law school be better off it won the case- saving them money- or lost it, making a fantastic advert for their services? :lol:

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Yeah, but that's for Chinese students.

Absolutely nothing like the "student accommodation" I remember! It was all a "bit crap" really! Possibly the Chinese students are a "bubble"? :blink:

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Surely if you're prepared to pay for it you will.

There are lawyers to hire right now on peopleperhour.

I just checked that out - thanks.

One click and I found a "lawyer" who has no right to conduct litigation or right of audience in court. Basically charging more than lawyers for simple paperwork.

It is the future, but independent, non-corporate types will be swamped on the internet - consumers will be fearful of the risk and won't go past the first search page.

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