Talk about loving the law!
Law school graduates across the country have filed 18 class-action lawsuits against their alma maters – five of them in California alone, alleging that the universities duped them into believing they would have a legal job post-graduation.
Some of the schools included in the lawsuit are Golden Gate University, the University of San Francisco and San Diego’s Thomas Jefferson and California Western Schools of Law. One school being sued, Southwestern Law School, advertised to prospective students that 97 percent of graduates would have full-time jobs within nine months of graduation, granted they pass the bar exam.
A recent study by the Wall Street Journal found that more than 50 percent of law school graduates are not employed in their chosen field. Unfortunately, these graduates can’t become gainfully employed because there are more of them than there are open positions at law firms and clerkships.
In the 2009 – 2010 school year, admissions hit an all-time high, with 171,514 people taking the LSAT, according to The Guardian UK. Just three years later, however, that number dropped 34 percent to 112,515. Law school applications are down 20 percent since this time last year, according to the Law School Admissions Council.
Many graduates, as a result, have taken to working at Home Depot or McDonald’s until they receive an offer from a law firm. Those jobs may pay minimum-wage, but no one should expect an over-the-top financial boost if a law firm is hiring. Median salaries for lawyers at their first job ran about $60,000 in 2012, down from $72,000 in 2009.
“I don’t think any of them rival the situation we are seeing today,” Joseph Dunn, chief executive of the State Bar of California, told Breitbart. “The legal community in all 50 states is being dramatically impacted.”
It is also believed that companies using internet websites instead of law libraries for research and internet legal help websites instead of hiring attorneys may account for the unemployment, as well.
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Irvine School of Law, said the playing field of post-law graduates is not even, and that attending a more prestigious school heightens the chances of securing a job after graduation.
“It is not the same across all law schools when you look at employment prospects,” he told Breitbart.
At least they’re getting good practice until they become gainfully-employed attorneys!