Law School Reality

Northwestern to Help Foreign Students Take NY Bar Exam so NY Can Have More Unemployed Lawyers

The United States economy is down.  Law schools are producing more law school graduates than available new legal jobs.  Lawyers like most other segments of the American business world are being laid off and experiencing declining revenue.  One backward thinking school has a novel solution to the “we have too many lawyers” problem – produce more lawyers!  Northwestern University School of Law is teaming with the College of Law in England to create a program for the College of Law students to get a masters degree from Northwestern University, which would then make the graduates eligible to take the New York bar exam.  After 22 weeks of study, the College of Law grads will get a J.D. from Northwestern, something that takes traditional Northwestern students three academic years to obtain.  This is more proof that higher education is always about the money at the expense of the students.

Judith W. Wegner, the Burton Craige Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina School wrote an article called “More Complicated than We Think: A Response to Rethinking Legal Education in Hard Times: The Recession, Practical Legal Education and the New Job Market.”  The article contains these statements:

“For example, the National Law Journal’s most recent survey of the “NLJ 250” large firms concluded that 13.3 percent of large firm attorneys working in New York City lost their jobs this year [2009]”

“The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that, when seasonally adjusted, the number of jobs in legal services fell from 1,157,700 in November 2008 to a projected 1,115,900 for November 2009 (a decline of 9.6 percent over the prior year”

“The American Bar Association reports that for students graduating in 2008, the average debt load for those attending private schools was $91,506, while those attending public law schools on average accumulated $59,324 in debt.”

See “The Year in Law Firm Layoffs – 2009,” which said “2009 will go down as the worst year ever for law-firm layoffs. More people were laid off by more firms than had been reported for all previous years combined.”  See also Above the Law’s “The College of Law — London, Makes Move in U.S. Market.”

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  1. I normally don’t comment on blogs, but i felt compelled to do so this time around. This is mainly to for the gut wrenching invalidity of your post.

    Firstly, as an international student, obtaining an LLM (ie Masters of Law ) from a US school doesn’t automatically quality you to take the Bar Exam.. You needed to first have a 3yr LLB or a equivalent from a Common Law nation school. So yes, the person has already gone to Law School

    Secondly, LLM Programs have been offered for years, by different US Schools in conjunction with UK institutions , it isn’t something new, it serves as a conversion course for foreign students, and people foreign legal background/ credentials.

    To sum things up, we all understand the economy is bad its is bad everywhere, and you are probably having a difficult time, but try to channels you anger/ frustrations towards something a bit more productive, i.e ( taking a break from the internet, taking jogging, yoga class, volunteering in after school programs for kids, or if you are up for the long lasting recognition, find a cure for cancer).

    All the best!

    1. Our law business is up, not down and I’m not mad. Our goal is to alert prospective law school students that they may be making a mistake that will haunt them for life if they go to law school, incur debt of $100,000 or more only to find they cannot get a job as a lawyer or if they do get a lawyer job, the pay may be less than what they could have earned in another job that does not require a law degree.

      Just today, I linked to an article called “Law School Grads Urged to Consider Alternative Paths,” which makes my point. Here’s the new math: too many law school graduates + not enough lawyer jobs = a lot of law grads who will waste time and a lot of money to be worse off than if they had never gone to law school.

      You and other young people can put heads in the sand and ignore reality at your peril.

      P.S. I don’t think it is realistic to think we can find a cure for cancer.

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