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Lawyer-in-Chief Warns Against Law School

Potential lawyers take note: President Obama wants you to reconsider your career choice. We’ve seen lawyers and law professors warn off potential colleagues, and we’ve seen students start to take note of the dismal job market and back away from the profession. But Tuesday may be the biggest blow to the law school bubble we’ve seen yet, as Obama spoke candidly about the field’s prospects in a Tuesday chat with the founder of tumblr. WaPo reports:

“We have enough lawyers, although it’s a fine profession,” he told the crowd. “I can say that because I’m a lawyer.”

When the President of the United States is telling 20 somethings not to enter his own profession, you know it’s in for a radical downsizing. Luckily, it seems law schools themselves are adjusting to this new reality. Some are cutting their class sizes, others are exploring reducing or eliminating the third year of law school. But these are only small starts, and only a small number of schools are considering them. Law schools need to do more to get in front of the market collapse and make radical changes before the changes are forced on them in a more painful way. If the President himself coming down against more lawyers doesn’t motivate them, we don’t know what will.

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  • truthsojourner

    How about they start doing a better job of training their students in Constitutional Law. The Lawyer-in-Chief seems to have slept through those classes.

  • AndrewL

    If you love studying/practicing law, go to law school. If you’re only interested in making money, it’s much better to go to Wall Street. On Wall Street, heads you win, tails taxpayers lose.

    • Arkeygeezer

      If President Obama advises against attending law school, thats a sure sign that this may be the way to go!

      • Unemployed_Northeastern

        There’s only one state in the country where fewer people pass the bar exam than there are entry-level lawyer jobs for them at ANY salary*: Wisconsin. And that’s because of the “Wisconsin privilege” – graduates from UW-Madison and Marquette do not have to take the bar exam to practice in Wisconsin. Every other state, including law school-free Alaska, has a law school graduate surfeit. Nationally, there are about 45,000 law school grads every year for what the BLS estimates to be about 19,000 to 21,000 lawyer jobs. In Massachusetts, where I reside, about four people pass the bar exam for every lawyer job at any salary. In NY, it has been as bad as ten to one over the course of the recession.

        *Note that the average law school debt is now about $130,000 or so – a figure that does not include undergrad debt, mounting interest on unsubsidized student loans, or private student loan debt.

        • Arkeygeezer

          Did you ever think about hanging out your own shingle? You are a professional attorney. Do you need to be hired by somebody for big bucks to shuffle papers? How about taking some pro bono jobs where you can go to court and get up in front of a judge with an Attorney on the other side, and see what you can do.

          Thats called practicing law!

          • Unemployed_Northeastern

            If law school or the bar exam instilled the first thing about finding clients, talking to clients, managing a small business, filing motions, appearing in court, which motions to send to which courts, how to handle clients’ money, etc et al, and I came from a wealthy enough family to subsidize me while I attempted to launch a not-inexpensive-to-run law firm, then maybe. But that’s pretty deep into fantasy-kingdom land, and in the real world, there is little tolerance for unmentored young attorneys flying by the seats of their pants. Malpractice suits and disciplinary cases are up all over the country from the antics of the tens of thousands of un/underemployed law school graduates trying to hang their shingles without proper experience, mentorship, capital, or general knowhow. I’ll pass.

            There is literally a line – a long line – in metro Boston to be able to volunteer one’s services at legal agencies and charities and the like. It’s funny how plumbers and electricians never get asked to fix people’s houses pro bono.

          • Arkeygeezer

            You have a lot of excuses. You sound like you would be a good candidate for the Liar-in-Chief’s staff.

  • RaptureForums

    I can’t stand the imposter-in-chief that occupies the WH. I don’t listen to a word he says.

    http://www.raptureforums.com

    • GodisanAmerican

      imposter-in-cheif.. he he he he that is so funny …git-r-done
      I get it now. O is an imposter, a play on the word impostor…and not only that
      obama pretending to american when we all know he is a secretly muslim Kenyan..
      I ain’t stupid. I watch FauX News and I a Glenn Beck U. graduate (diploma as soon as the check clears says the dean/security guard/janitor/professor.

  • Earl of Taint

    I’d advise young people to listen to what Obama says and then do the exact opposite. It’s worked pretty well for him.

  • Earl of Taint

    I think we’re going to need more prosecutors…

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