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Law School Applications Are Collapsing

February 3, 2013

Law School Applications Are Collapsing

The legal job market does suck but what exactly is a humanities student who just graduated from college going to do in this economy? Go into academia? Become an artist? Journalism? They can’t go to med school or get a job as an engineer or programmer. There just aren’t many good alternatives – the other fields appealing and available to a humanities student are likely to be even more competitive. Despite the real decline in the legal job market, its still an area where you work primarily by thinking, arguing, negotiating and researching or some combination thereof, where you don’t have deal with math or technical computer work and a substantial number of people still come out with comfortable middle class lifestyles. Median income for lawyers has declined and unemployment has increased, but its still a good deal better than the humanities graduate median income and unemployment rate. So, yes, if you have the skill, interest, and personality to become a nurse, a programmer or IT professional and enjoy it, or you already have 10 years experience doing something you love while supporting yourself successfully, then it probably doesn’t make sense to go to law school. If your set of talents more closely matches those required in law and your alternative is working at McDonalds or Starbucks, then law school remains a credible least-worst option – especially for anyone who can get into a top school (which still place people who make an effort), you can get a scholarship, or you have a lifestyle where you don’t mind availing yourself of Income Based Repayment (Under the current improved IBR new loan recipients won’t have to repay more than 10% of their discretionary income and it is forgiven after 20 years, or 10 years if you work in a non-profit or government capacity).

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