Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Unfortunate Side of the Decline in Applications

This thoughtful editorial in the Connecticut Law Tribune asks where law schools' former applicants have gone and whether that is a good or bad thing for the world.  Here are some choice cuts:
But the decline is also unfortunate. Unfortunate for the young people who choose not to go to law school, because they are missing what can be incredibly rewarding career.
It is also unfortunate for the clients. How ironic that so many new lawyers have trouble finding jobs and yet the great majority of Americans cannot afford a lawyer?
These observations would suggest that the decline in applications will reverse itself at some point. Big firms may find trouble finding new associates of the quality they need, and students may see more examples of successful new lawyers who have found satisfaction from practices that serve what has too often been an unmet need for services. 
If so, word may circulate that good law jobs are going unfilled, and talented people will start applying to law schools again.
Like the hearers of Christ's words, the hearts of the meek (law school sympathizers) should be encouraged by the hope of a prosperous future foretold in these dark times.

You know how Paul Campos quotes or paraphrases Herbert Stein about how if something is not able to go on, it will stop?  Well, kids, if large law firms can't fill their six-figure jobs, the decline or plateauing of applications WILL stop.


  1. My penis has an unmet need for super models.

    The legal unmet need myth is patently absurd. When there was an unmet need for medical care, rather than flood the market with more doctors and reduce wages, the government turned around and forced us all to pay for health insurance. If there is truly an unmet need for legal services, let the government create a legal services insurance system and pluck it out of people's paychecks for people that are broke, and have people that aren't broke be forced to purchase that insurance. And make sure to stick a high deductible on it too.

    1. Regarding your unmet need:

      The supply of supermodels has increased to meet the demand. The current generation of young women is the most delusional yet, and millions of them think they're actual supermodels. Apparently if one young man has ever responded to one of your selfies, you're a supermodel. Not to discriminate, similar rules are in place for same-sex sexting, male supermodels, and so forth.

    2. Actually, flooding the market with doctors is precisely what is happening now. That bubble will pop too sooner or later.

  2. Dropping the minimum LSAT scores required for admission will surely help fulfill Big Law's unmet needs. By drastically reducing their admission standards, law schools are already doing all they can to help out big law AND the underprivileged!

    Just point out to all the 2.0 GPA English lit majors that Big Law can't find quality lawyers to fill $700k per year jobs, and Cooley will have to re-open all their branch campuses because they will be flooded with applicants. This will happen any day now.

  3. I was unable to access the article; the 'sign up for an account' page was also the 'login with your current account' page, and didn't work.

  4. I would love to see a story on the scam that is law school briefs and outlines being sold on the internet through sites like bsmsphd.

  5. "Something structural is blocking new lawyers from practice arrangements that meet the needs of middle and lower-middle class clients. If some of these lawyers can figure out how to bridge that gap, they will find plenty of clients." -- Conn. editorial

    I personally have figured out "how to bridge the gap" and meet the needs of clients who do not wish to pay you. The answer: Do not charge for your services, and you will get all the clients you want. You will be a highly successful lawyer who cannot afford to feed, clothe, or house yourself. Highly successful because of your many, many clients.