Thinking of attending law school? Probably a bad idea.

From InstaPundit:

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD ON THE LEGAL EDUCATION BUBBLE:  First, let’s indenture all the lawyers.

In other words, for many young Americans, going to law school will mean literally signing away their financial independence for the rest of their adult lives. They will spend the next twenty-five years of their lives (if they never earn more than their Income-Based Repayment amount) — ten years if they work in public service — servicing debt they incurred for a skill that didn’t pay off. They might spend even longer before they are ever in the clear if they took those federal loans out before 2009 (when IBR kicked in), or if they have high interest private loans.

This isn’t just a problem for the people involved. The result is a situation no one wants: young people who aren’t in a financial position to make major steps in life — marriage, purchasing a home, having children, or saving for retirement — because they spend the majority of their life financing a decision they made at 22.

[Law Professor Glenn Reynolds]: “Read the whole thing — especially if you’re considering law school.  I wouldn’t advise people not to go to law school, necessarily, but I would advise almost anyone to avoid taking on significant debt to do so.”


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13 responses to “Thinking of attending law school? Probably a bad idea.

  1. Georgie

    You were way ahead on this one CF….glad others are catching up. I certainly wouldn’t guide anyone nowadays to the profession based on financial payback.

  2. AJ

    Forget about graduate studies, getting an undergraduate degree these days is costly enough to bankrupt the average person who has to work for a living, but this was not the case back when I went to school (I paid my tuition by working summers, but was given living expenses and entered the workforce debt free). The unfortunate thing about it is that a degree is not a luxury because unless you’re in the arts or sales, there is no way you’re getting a decent job without one — it’s rare to see a job offering that doesn’t require a degree.

    It seems law students will have much to argue about, however, as we return to the what’s obscene, or even offensive, one more time. This could be the beginning of the end for blogs like yours, or maybe not: “Arizona Passes Sweeping Internet Censorship Bill/Legislation to make it illegal to use “offensive” language online” source:

    A law degee is not a bad idea if you’re entering politics. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there are probably few politicians without one, and you almost need one to argue at the level of political discussions in congress.

    • Well we did have that guy (Republican, maybe even Speaker?) who was an exterminator – I always thought that was a perfect qualification for a politician.
      I wouldn’t waste money on a college education for my kids today – not at any conventionally-priced one, anyway.

  3. Anonymous

    This portends game-changer.

    Online university courses: $799/semester or $199/month, for as many courses you can take and pass.

    Best quote: “This is not buying a house,” says Mr. Wade, co-founder and chief executive of UniversityNow. “This is like, do I want to get cable?”

  4. Libertarian Advocate

    exterminator…. I always thought that was a perfect qualification for a politician.

    I would think its more along the lines of a penny stock hawker who moonlights as a used-car salesman on weekends.

  5. anon2

    I’d go to law school now if for no other reason than to learn how to punish the hell out of the assholes at the new black panther organization. They have a poster with Zimmerman’s face in a gun’s scope. Of course, when Sarah Palin talked about/did that re Giffords, the world was up in arms. The Black Panthers do it and Spike Lee donates thousands to them.

    • You know, Anon2, that’s more or less what I put in my application to Yale Law School in 1978 – I had LSATs that I foolishly thought would get me in there despite my politics. I was wait listed. Doubt the result would be different today.

  6. AJ

    BTW, Joe the Plumber, I used to love the way Sarah Palin pronounced his name, is running for the house.

  7. George W. CRossman

    Lawyers in Greenwich charging $400/hour and up. I think there is plenty of room for new blood who would love to get a paltry $200 per hour. All the lawyers who are discouraging kids from going to law school don’t want the competition.

    • Well George, I’m a non-practicing lawyer so I don’t worry about the competition and I still think going into debt to the tune of $150,000 when you have a 50/50 chance of findig employment that will probably pay ypu $50,000 a year, before taxes, is a loser of an investment.

  8. AJ

    George W., people in Greenwich don’t want new lawyers, they want old, covered in moss and ivy, well connected ones, that hopefully have some (lots of) influence. Winning is everything as even Charlie Sheen could point out.

  9. AJ

    The burden of paying for college is wreaking havoc on the finances of an unexpected demographic: senior citizens.

    New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that Americans 60 and older still owe about $36 billion in student loans, providing a rare window into the dynamics of student debt. More than 10 percent of those loans are delinquent. As a result, consumer advocates say, it is not uncommon for Social Security checks to be garnished or for debt collectors to harass borrowers in their 80s over student loans that are decades old.