Sunday, May 4, 2014

The "Struggles" of Law Grads in Boston

In the last few years, we've gotten quite a bit of publicity in large newspapers about the oh-my-stars awful job market for newbie lawyers.


Just listen to these god-awful and hideous employment outcomes:  BU 3L and new associate at WilmerHale and BU 3L with a two-year paid fellowship at a legal aid.

Golly gee willickers, the law school graduate environment must totally suck.

Eye-roll to the max.

In any event, I want to point out that America's top law schools are being pro-active in addressing the purported concerns and phony data (remember: you can't trust anything a law school says, even the "bad" data).  Check out what Suffolk Law School is doing:
Suffolk University Law School, for example, now offers a course on “project management,” or how to research, analyze, and estimate the time and money a legal case might take. Law firms increasingly want attorneys with such skills, said Andrew Perlman, a Suffolk law professor and director of the school’s Institute on Law Practice Technology and Innovation. 
“The opportunities within the legal community are different today from what they were in the past,” said Perlman. “There’s a real structural shift underway within the industry, with lawyers expected to do more with less.”
Bingo!  Now - even in the event that Suffolk's graduates cannot find jobs in the legal marketplace - they can easily go solo and better evaluate the steady stream of cases that walk through the door.  As I understand it, there is a lot of legal business out there that is desperate for lawyers who can provide more precise cost estimates, particularly in the under-served communities.

Thanks to Professor Perlman and the Institute of Law Practice Technology and Innovation, Suffolk graduates will now be able to compete with Harvard, BU, and BC students for associate positions where the partners want the junior associate to estimate the cost of prosecuting or defending the case that just came in.  There are so many employers hankering for this skill-set in a newbie attorney, the author would be hard-pressed to name just one if asked.

But of course, if non-Harvard law graduates are still landing in paid multiyear fellowships and getting gigs with some of Boston's most prestigious firms, I'm not sure giving graduates these bonus skills is necessary, as there's obviously a place for prestigious Suffolk graduates in the Boston marketplace.

3 comments:

  1. There are just too many law schools in the Boston area:
    Harvard, BU, BC, Northeastern, New England law school, Western New England law school,U. Mass law school, Suffolk University law, the Massachusetts school of law producing 1500 JD a year. How can the legal market absorb that many? so depressing.

    By the way, never heard of Massachusetts school of law before. I check their website and did not find their standard 509 report. Is it a real law school?

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