Yes, the Situation Really Can Be That Bad

This site is as much about giving prospective students a clear picture of the legal market landscape as much as it is about anything else.  And, when it comes to law school (or any other graduate level education), knowing what your end game is going to be is critical.  That’s because law school is nothing like your undergraduate years.  It’s three years of high-intensity, high-cost study — and if you don’t know what you’re going to do after that, it can be the road to ruin.

Especially now.

Even with the recession bottoming out, going to law school is more akin to playing the lottery than it is to educating yourself into prosperity.  Of course, if you lose the lottery, you don’t wind up in triple-figure debt.  If you lose out in law school, different story.

Although the economic collapse hit in late 2008, the legal market remains in the doldrums.  June’s employment numbers were again in the negative, after May added as few as 300 jobs for the pool of unemployed attorneys and law graduates from 2008-2010 to fight over.

The point in all this is simple: the legal market really doesn’t know what it is at the moment.  It doesn’t make job finding impossible — but it does mean that, more than ever before, luck is playing just as significant a role as skill, hard-work, and networking.

If you are considering law school, realize that the moment you sign up you are making a bet.  You are gambling that in three years time the employment market for legal jobs will have reached some sense of balance, and that that balance will be in your favor to get a job.

And while there are plenty of voices out there still lauding the value of a legal education, you need to recognize that if you are coming to law school, you are still taking a gamble.  And there is still the chance that you will roll snake eyes.

[UPDATED: Things are looking better for 2016]

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