Paul L. Caron

Saturday, August 17, 2013

More on The New Normal in the Job Market for New Lawyers

New NormalFollowing up on Wednesday's post, Bernard Burk (North Carolina): The New Normal in the Job Market for New Lawyers:

Bernard Burk (North Carolina), On Being Misinterpreted (Or, Elie Mystal Thinks I’m An Idiot On Account Of Things I Didn’t Say; Now What?):

Three journalists (well, two journalists and a full-time blogger) took a look at my new article, What’s New About the New Normal: The Evolving Market for New Lawyers in the 21st Century, described in my last post.  Karen Sloan of the National Law Journal provided a fair and balanced summary of the paper’s content, but concentrated on the aspects of the analysis predicting that the number of entry-level Law Jobs will remain depressed for the foreseeable future. Jacob Gershman of the Wall Street Journal provided an equally fair and balanced summary, but focused on the paper’s additional and somewhat counterintuitive conclusion that, because poor job prospects are driving down the number of new law students, there will eventually be fewer law graduates seeking more or less the same number of jobs, which should make life somewhat easier for the fewer graduates on the job market some years from now.  Elie Mystal of Above the Law treated us to one of his breathless, spittle-on-the-corners-of-his-mouth rants, and pronounced me a Don’t-Worry-Be-Happy academic apologist vying with purportedly like minds for the “neatest bit of sophistry in defense of going to law school.” ...

You need to figure out if you’re one of the many potential law-school applicants who ought to stay away for your own good.  Nothing in my paper (or anything else I've ever written) should be read as suggesting that no matter who you are, things are going to be great for you if you start law school in the next few years. Things will improve only if more people avoid law school unless they are good bets to succeed.  So unless you have a coherent and plausible plan for the use you’re going to make of your law degree that is rationally justified by your LSAT and undergraduate grades, don’t go to law school.  If the only law schools you get into are ones with an acceptance rate north of 50%, don’t go.  If that makes me an idiot, I can live with it.  When all is said and done, though, I do have one thing to thank Elie for.  As Oscar Wilde memorably remarked, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.  I thank Above the Law for subjecting me to the lesser of the two evils.

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