Law Schools Falsely Promise Career Success

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

At Stake

Hey writers! Have you heard this crazy law-student idea that a graduate degree should guarantee you gainful employment? A couple months ago, a New York law-firm brought suits against one law school in New York and one in Michigan, claiming they were deceitful in representing post-gradudate employment rates. The gravamen of the complaints is that the schools included any type of employment in their statistics, even part-time jobs that had nothing to do with the legal industry, painting a false picture of their graduates' success.  

Whatever the merits of the complaints, I sympathize with students that have large debts and few employment prospects. And apparently so does President Obama, who recently announced the "Pay As You Earn" initiative, which is designed to help consolidate, reduce the interest rate, and even forgive portions of qualifying student loans. The New York Times penned a helpful guide. Call your school financial aid office to see if you qualify.   

What about those writers thinking about that old copout/day-job-getting-maybe-standby of going to law school? There are still good reasons to go to law school. It will make your mother happy. It is more fun than the paper-pushing job you have now and might or might not get afterward. And my sense is that if you go to a top law school or one well-respected regionally, your employment prospects are still pretty good. But in the name of Louis Auchincloss, talk to some lawyers and ask them what they do on a daily basis and decide if that sounds good, or at least tolerable. And try to avoid those crushing loans.