Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Law School Investment so Solid it's Dense

If you are reading this piece, you are probably a loser.  You are probably either distracting yourself at a dead-end job, recovering from a long day at a dead-end job, or looking for a dead-end job.  Were you a winner, you would be billing hours, spending your lavish salary, or frolicking in bed with a model or two.

Professor Stephen Davidoff Solomon, UC-Berkley, has relatively little sympathy for this tale of two shitties.
The criticisms ignore the fact that even lower-ranked law schools offer more good outcomes than bad. ... [discussion of the only peer-reviewed literature on the subject] ...

The fact that lawyers do reasonably well over time and better than they would have done had they not gone to law school is reflected in the low default rates on law school loans. ["it's not a default if it's an alternative payment plan!" -ed]

The simple fact is that the lower- and mid-ranked law schools are for those who want to remain in a local place. ... [discussion of Marco Rubio, an example you can follow] ...
...
But let’s not lump everything together. And let’s recognize that for most, the data still shows that over the long term, law school can be a fruitful choice.
God bless you, New York Times.

Sure, I could write an epic series of haiku that provide hard statistical data showing that attending Whitter Law School for three years increases the strength and fertility of the common California vole (they look quite adorable in a Men's Wearhouse suit).  Sure, I could send my research to the mods of OTLSS and claim it's "peer-reviewed."  I might even get it published in a top-notch law review.

But I'm no law prof.  There's limits to my shilling capacity.  For example, I would have a hard time claiming that Simkovic's research makes any sort of prospective conclusions about graduates entering school in 2016.  My body would lock up and refuse to type before I would state that a low default rate means anything for long-term lawyer earnings.  Moreover, I would have an incredibly hard time lauding Marco Rubio as the choice example of long-term lawyer success from a lower-ranked school.

To my trained but unsophisticated eyes, Solomon's factual evidence would not come close to supporting any sort of a conclusion that law school is still a solid investment for the majority, or even those who want to "remain in a local place" like Nebraska.

But law professors are gifted with keen insight, a sort of legal wizardry that allows them to conjure facts from the Cauldron of Greater Truth that wholly support seemingly unsupported conclusions.  Their words, they dance like animated twigs; discerning peers approve in cordial tone; elixirs are consumed with herb crackers and artisan cheese.  We muggles with our courthouse rigamarole have nothing on their Ivory Tower voodoo.

'Tis best if we let them do their thing.  If we demur and they tell us we're actually doing quite well, we should trust them, and retreat from their greatness, lest they pull out their wands and turn their awesome sorcery on the commoners.

And if you have a child, you should send him to law school.  He could be a wizard too, you know, but even if he isn't, he's not just making a solid career investment, he's making a dense one.

1 comment:

  1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJune 23, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    Look at the evidence on the ground. Ask any lawyer, particularly a Solo or micro firm type and you will be astonished at the low income levels. My buddies and I out over 25 years firmly believe that an income of 50K in today's environment would be terrific. A PD job offer is the gold standard. My unemployed buddy from a T-1 is desperate and is considering applying for jobs at 38-42K. My dad did better working his blue collar job during the 80s for one year than I will earn as a lawyer today for two years.

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