Friday, November 27, 2009

LSAT Test Takers Jump Nearly 20%; The Poor Job Market for Attorneys Continues

ABA Journal reports that the number of people taking the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) rose 20% from the previous year and is at an all time high.

Will that lead to increased numbers of students going to law school? The same article reports that the number of applicants to the University of Iowa College of Law School are up 53% over the previous year. The article points out though that applications at the Drake University Law School are the same as last year.

It only makes sense that if the number of people taking the number of LSAT rises, the number of law school applicants will rise. That will then lead to an increase in the number of students going to law school and eventually passing the bar. It is a chain reaction.

Regular readers of my blog will know that I often complain about how law schools dupe people into going to law school, suggesting the post-graduate education will afford them more employment opportunities and big salaries. Those students then get out of law school, after incurring huge student loans, sometimes as high as six figures, only to find out their education actually decreased their employment opportunities. If they are fortunate enough to land a legal job, they could well find that the pay is in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, without benefits.

The legal profession has for at least two decades suffered from having a lot more attorneys than there are legal jobs available for them. While partners of law firms, especially those in large firms, are still making big bucks, associate salaries have been depressed for years. Partners simply do not have to pay associates large salaries. If an associate does not want to work for $35,000 a year , there are 50 other fine attorneys willing to take his or her place.

This is a situation that one would hope the bar associations would take up. That is unlikely to happen though. Bar associations are run by the elites in the profession, those who profit off of the cheap labor that makes the already wealthy partners of the big law firms wealthier.

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