Went to a name-brand school to get a hot degree so you could land a cushy job at a trendy firm?
The recent evidence shows quite clearly that in today's economy starting at the bottom is a recipe for being underpaid for a long time to come. Graduates' first jobs have an inordinate impact on their career path and their "future income stream," as economists refer to a person's earnings over a lifetime...The setback in earnings for college students who graduate in a recession stays with them for the next 10 years.
And last time I looked, approximately 50% of Law grads never work in any kind of legal job* - not necessarily because they can't land one, but because the kinds of skills you need to pass Law are the kinds of skills that are transferable to a wide variety of jobs
But... yes, teaching philosophy is less of a vocation than practising law, by most available measures. We don't need nearly as many people doing it. And we're not prepared to pay nearly as much for them.
(The reason is probably that there's lots of money to be made in giving crappy law students a crappy education, which isn't much of a reason)
Why don't lawyers professionalize like doctors do? Close down lousy law schools and keep out crappy law students until the supply for lawyers falls below demand. Then you can guarantee jobs for everyone who comes out, which makes it worthwhile for the top students to invest in an M.D. It's just too much money to risk otherwise. Keeping out the unemployable people before they invest is a good thing.
A law degree is, in my mind, pretty much equivalent to power.
Of course beginning of 3L year I also found one of my friends, who came to law school to do international relief work, sobbing in a corner because she had passed up fall recruitment her 2L year for a big law job (which with her grades/journal she probably would have gotten) because that wasn't why she came to law school. Now of course, despite her amazing credentials there are no international relief jobs to be had, she has crushing debt, and she passed up her only opportunity to pay it back because she came to law school to make a difference and now doing that was impossible as was paying her rent after law school.
Virginia's court-appointed lawyers, used when criminal and juvenile court parties can't afford an attorney, are among the lowest-paid in the country, many studies have shown. For representing an abused child or a criminal misdemeanor defendant, a lawyer is paid a maximum of $120, with the possibility of another $120 under extenuating circumstances. For criminal felonies, the maximum is $650. When the court appoints a lawyer to serve as a guardian ad litem to a child or a parent, often in cases determining who will get custody of the child, attorneys are paid $55 an hour out of court and $75 an hour in court, with no cap, subject to review and approval by the judge in the case.
If they investigate further, they'll find very interesting patterns in who the clerks choose to pay and who mysteriously never gets paid. Matt Greene and Anne Norloff, for example, are stellar attorneys who regularly challenge the Courts on biased or unfair rulings. It's not surprising that the Clerks "accidentally" forget to process their invoices. Other attorneys who play the game get their invoices sent right through.
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