Here is an appalling post from someone who should damn well know better.
I used to read Above the Law when I was a paralegal at a big firm. It was a good place for law firm gossip, but I stopped reading it after I was no longer in the biglaw scene. I still check it out from time to time, however, and occasionally they come out with something interesting about the decline of the legal market.
Then comes a post by David Lat, whose writing I generally enjoy, making the case for law school. I respectfully but vehemently disagree with all five of his points. My responses to his points:
1) The lottery argument: Yes, when it comes to the lottery you “have to be in it to win it” but that hardly makes it a smart investment. Yes, you have to have a law degree to be a biglaw associate and make $160K per year starting salary, but the point is that so few people will achieve that, especially from the ever expanding pool of TTTs that it is arrogant (and naïve) to assume that you will be one of those people.
2) The “Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer” argument: This might hold water if the people applying to law school had any clue what being a lawyer entails. But I think the vast majority of 0Ls have no real concept of what law practice entails, or how bad the job market is. So a 0L's desire to be a lawyer is not worth much because it is quite often without foundation.
3) The “What else are you going to do?” argument: As my fellow scamblogger at First Tier Toilet points out in his response, this one is far and away the worst argument. Honestly, law is the only degree that people say this about. Not having a game plan for your career when you are a recent college graduate in your early twenties is NOT a good reason to take out a ton of debt just to narrow your career options further. I cannot say anything more about this particular argument or I will get too angry.
4) The “Not everyone has a ton of debt” argument: So what? Even if what he says is true and a full fifth of law school grads have little or no debt, that’s still 80% that do. Hardly a reason to go.
5)You can put “Esq.” next to your name: At $50K per letter, I could forgo the dubious honor.
The sad part is that ATL has a wider readership than the scambloggers, and this might be just the validation the 0Ls need, right as deposit deadlines are creeping up. Sigh.