Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Does Mississippi have too many lawyers?

The Law School Tuition Bubble blog reported Mississippi has the worst ratio of law school graduates to available jobs in the country. The blog estimated there are over 10 law grads for every available job. The closest state was Michigan.... at 6.48:1. Check out the rankings here.

Please keep in mind these rankings are based on estimates. However, the Atlantic stated

"The number of grads per state come from the American Bar Association. That's straightforward enough. However, he draws his an annual estimate of legal job openings -- which include entirely new jobs as well as positions that open up thanks to retirements and departures-- from 10-year projects by state agencies and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means these these figures are, in the end, just estimates. In some respects, they probably veer on side of optimism, since these projections have previously tended to overestimate future job openings."

Then there is Representative Adrienne Wooten. She said on Precious Martin's radio show a few weeks ago Jackson State University should open up its own law school. Hell, what's a 10:1 ratio, lets make it 20:1. Its just numbers and lawyers and politicians like here are too smart to worry about numbers.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

yes they does

Anonymous said...

Unless they have accounted for the fact that roughly 50% of MC Law grads are from out of state and most often return to their home state, the numbers are not accurate.

Anonymous said...

Adrienne is the Babs Blackmon of her generation. Get out a bag of marbles.

Anonymous said...

KF - Might want to fix your headline - there's a subject/verb issue there. - a gratefully employed MS lawyer

Anonymous said...

Cat get into law school anywhere else? No problem. Apply to MC. Any young professional knows this has been the case for a number of years. It's not a great time to go to law school.

Anonymous said...

Even if these numbers are way off, the undisputed fact is that a large majority of law grads cannot find full-time work practicing law in Mississippi. For example, firms that used to hire classes of 6-8 new lawyers per year are now lucky if they hire 1-2. And that's the top end of the distribution.

The reason is simple: For twenty years, we minted new lawyers to meet pre-tort-reform demand, and raised tuition to reflect pre-tort-reform income. Demand is now a fraction of what it was, and those who have jobs are increasingly on the bottom end of a polarized income distribution (e.g., contract attorneys). But law schools have no incentive to scale back, and regrettably, prospective students don't appear to be very savvy consumers.

The fact is, there is no need for MC law school. Ole Miss should never have spent $50M on a new building. It should have scaled its class size back about 25%. In hindsight, a lot of non-lawyers-with-law-school-debt wish that it had.

As for JSU ... I mean, it's JSU. When have they ever cared about anything but getting their cut of the action?

Anonymous said...

MC charges twice what Ole Miss charges and they fill every slot. They must be doing something right. The arrogance of Ole Miss alumni aside, MC Law is a very good law school.

That being said, the real sea change has occurred not in the number of lawyers for every law job, but in the nature of the law degree itself. Even as late as fifteen years ago, a law degree was a special level of professionalism and recipients were precluded to be going into the practice of law in a traditional firm or solo practice. Today, a law degree has become just another graduate degree (albiet one that takes a little more effort to obtain) and those who get it may or may not actually practice law. The law degree puts the recipient at the top of the list for "non-law" jobs -- not just as a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

"Lawyering" is big business in MS. Yet we have no system in place to get you to the right lawyer you are looking for.

Other states have a 800 number to call. God help you if you need something besides personal injury, bankruptcy or divorce.

Speaking of, our divorce laws need to be brought into the current century, but that will never happen, too much money to be made as it is.

Anonymous said...

7:49 and 8:21 need to go back to remedial grammar class--

Anonymous said...

Since my statistical skills are non-existent, I will ask clever readers to look at the update to my post on the subject & see whether I may have pegged an error (or else set my butt straight).

Anonymous said...

The reason MC can charge twice as much as Ole Miss is because they will fill every slot through their admission policies. I'm not trying to back up Ole Miss, but even while in college I knew the difference between MC Law's admissions vs. Ole Miss, everyone did.

Very good attorneys come out of MC, just like Ole Miss, but be clear, they are running a business selling the dream to certain applicants that may not have otherwise had the chance to go to law school.

I agree that law schools should scale back and also focus on a more apprentice type atmosphere. They should also look at the bar passage rate in MS compared to other states.

Anonymous said...

12:01 illustrates the earlier comment of the arrogance of Ole Miss lawyers. The reason MC charges more is that they don't receive the state subsidy that Ole Miss does. MC Law does not cater to "certain applicants that may not have otherwise the chance to go to law school". Your statement smugly assumes that if the MC Law student could, he/she would go to Ole Miss Law... the very illustration of arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Ole Miss Law School

2010-2011 Tuition: $10,275 (in-state); $22,470 (out-of-state).
2009 Bar Passage Rate: 92.2% (MS)
% Employed 9 months after graduation: 89.5% (94.4% response rate)
2009 Median Starting Salary: $82,000 (private practice); $42,000 (government)
2009 Median GPA: 3.49
2009 Median LSAT: 154

MC Law School
LSAT Median: 150
GPA Median: 3.3
Application Deadline: June 1
Application fee: $50
Entering class size: 193 (FT), 1 (PT)
2009-2010 Tuition: $26,300
Bar passage rate in Mississippi: 89.8%
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 96.7%
Median private sector salary: $75,000 (Class of 2008, 72% reporting)

Looks fairly similar according to the bottom line...

Anonymous said...

12:28: Well said. Many Ole Miss law alums yearn for the days when MC Law was Jackson School of Law. . . and when Ole Miss Law grads didn't have to take a bar exam. All of which which ended in like 1975-80 or something. Times have changed, and those folks would be surprised to open their eyes and realize that was a very long time ago.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lawyer and do not know one other lawyer that was offered admission to Ole Miss and turned it down to go to MC. Right or wrong, that's where the arrogance comes from...most folks that went to MC were turned down by Ole Miss (or their home state's schools).

Anonymous said...

1:22, you know one now. I was accepted at both Ole Miss and Florida State law schools and chose MC over both. I received as good or better an education at MC than I would have at either of the others. As painful as it is for OM grads to accept, MC is every bit the law school Ole Miss is.

Anonymous said...

The old Law is 4 Losers and BigDebtSmallLaw blogs seem to have vanished, but here's an article about the law school grad who documented the appalling jobs he was offered, and the credentials of thos who took them (think: "sweat shops" and "doc review")

Anonymous said...

"The law degree puts the recipient at the top of the list for "non-law" jobs -- not just as a lawyer."

This is incorrect. A law degree is essentially a vocational degree. Most non-legal employers view a J.D. negatively because of a stereotype that lawyers are overly critical, overly independent, argumentative and authoritative.

It's true that you see people with J.D.s in all walks of life, but in most every case they didn't get the job *because* they had a J.D. They got the job due to other skills or as a lateral from the legal field to something else.

Anonymous said...

"Ole Miss Law School
...
% Employed 9 months after graduation: 89.5% (94.4% response rate)
...

MC Law School
...
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 96.7%
..."

These employment stats are *completely* BS, but at the same time completely accurate. Want to know why? Because those employment figures include people who are employed in *any* job. These people could be employed at McDonald's and they'd still be included in the "employed" category.

Anonymous said...

http://esqnever.blogspot.com/2009/12/law-is-for-losers.html

Anonymous said...

There is only one attorney in the Metro who has a full size portrait of himself in his home foyer.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:08 - KF changed the headline after I pointed out the error to him.... It read "Does Mississippi has to many lawyers" prior to my comment...

Anonymous said...

Those stats are interesting. "UM vs. MC" debate aside, I think we all have to assume that the data re: % of alumni employed after graduation and starting salaries are significantly lower for all law schools now as opposed to 2008 . . . in light of the "great recession," the "Occupy" movement, and the general ways that the legal profession has changed.

Anonymous said...

3:56
thanks for clearing up!

Anonymous said...

Guys, guys. There's no need to bicker over whether Ole Miss or MC is a better law school.

They're both crappy third-or-fourth tier schools. The point is, we only need one crappy third-or-fourth tier school to train enough lawyers to meet demand, if that.

Oh, BTW ... $82K median starting salary for OM came from 2009, right? A little inside info: that was before law schools started getting sued for massaging those numbers. In 2011, the median was $67K.

Overall, OM was the 102nd awesomest law school in America, per US News.

Anonymous said...

3:18, who is it?

Anonymous said...

8:52 -- I'm not 3:18, but it has to be Pepper Crutcher.

That, or there are actually two such portraits.

Anonymous said...

The employment numbers that law schools submit does not necessarily mean that the barred atty has an atty job. If someone is working at Lowes that will count as employment. Also, attorneys can't get non legal jobs just like the other poster said, there's a stereotype or the atty is overqualified. The attorney just wants to feed his family, so what if he's overqualified. My husband has been laid off since march 2012. A month after I gave birth to our second child. He had a couple of interviews for "regular" jobs. However, when he got to the interview they said they would never hire him. They just wanted to see what he looked like. My husband had to move almost 1000 miles away to a contract job that he should be making more money and he doesn't have benefits. He hasn't seen his son grow Bc he's been gone for 4 months and we have seen him once in that time for 2 days. My 7 yr old says she doesn't have a daddy anymore. How heartbreaking. We are doing the best we can just to have the basics such as food and shelter. My husband was barred before the tort reforms came about.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the "occupy movement" was mentioned as a cause for lawyer unemployment. Also worthy of note is the outdated divorce laws in this state as a plus for lawyers. Social health and economic expansion would be determined by stable domestic relations. The areas of blue collar nor white collar criminal practice have not been mentioned. The truth is that lawyers bottom feed on society. Our people and the general government is already bankrupt. In our system the people are sovereign, but that is not the focus of our current legal or social education.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will about lawyers, but a good one is worth his weight in gold.

Anonymous said...

The "Occupy movement" has plenty of flakes, but it also has a lot of recent law school grads with $120k in debt and no jobs available, at all. That is a legitimate gripe, and different from the "12th century poetry" undergrad major with a pile of debt and no jobs. Historically a law degree meant a very good chance at getting a job that could very from pretty good to great. Now, not so much.

If you think lawyers "bottom feed," then do all us lawyers a favor and fuck off the next time you think you need one. Figure your legal problem out yourself, jackass.

Anonymous said...

I have little sympathy for anyone who runs up $120k in student loan debt without a thought as to what the job market might be like when they graduate. They are just experiencing the consequences of their own life decisions, which unfortunately is a new concept for many. But not to worry, the government will step in just like mommy and daddy used to do and transfer all of that student loan debt to the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

3:04, I bet you work for the state.

A lot of attorneys are bottom feeders. A lot of doctors, accountants and Indian chiefs are also bottom feeders. I, on occasion, also bottom feed. But, don't cast aspersions on the entire profession!

Everyone plays the blame game game nowadays.

Hell, I know kids that have degrees in engineering who can't find a job.

Anonymous said...

3:04
Please see a doctor at once. I think you are suffering from rectal optosis:

Definition: a common malady caused by a criss-crossing of the rectal nerves with the optical nerves.

Result: patient has a shitty outlook on life

Anonymous said...

@3:31, 3:04 here. You bet wrong. I'm in private practice. I also worked to pay my way thru college and law school. In fact I delayed going to law school for several years after college in order to save money to afford it. I didn't go to law school assuming I would land a high paying job at graduation, and I worked hard to make sure I wasn't in a position to NEED a high paying job to pay my debts (and believe me, I didnt get one). But apparently that kind of personal responsibility and foresight is lacking these days. I'm sorry, but having a degree doesn't entitle you to a job. Everyone is subject to the market forces of supply and demand.

That being said, if I had to borrow big money to go to law school today, I wouldn't go. The cost/benefit doesn't justify it in today's market.

Anonymous said...

Could someone explain to me why the GOP or the Chamber has not done something about this? The more out of work lawyers, the more desperate lawyers, the more frivolous lawsuits. Why not pass a statute that require the bar admission exam be in the top five in the nation? Why did this conservative supreme court reduce the bar exam from three days to two days? The law schools won't do anything, neither will the bar, because they have a financial incentive to keep the machine going. The other lawyers are obviously too stupid to understand supply and demand, so we small business owners suffer, when young lawyer sues us, because he is looking for a check.

Anonymous said...

In the early 80's, I graduated with a degree in geology. Unfortunately, in my senior year, the oilfield crashed. As a result, the unemployment rate rose to 50% for geologists. I paid my way through college by working as a roughneck offshore.

The oil industry did not recover until the early 90's.

So, I quickly had to choose an alternate path. Wallowing in self pity was not an option (my creditors were not too understanding). Luckily for me, computers became the rage. I subsequently dove headfirst into the IT world and never looked back.

bill said...

I have used attorneys many times and have been happy to do it, but if dueling would make a comeback I'd never need an attorney again.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:37 AM: I hope the utter ignorance of law practice economics reflected in your - early morning up all night drunk and watching porn - remarks don't reflect your actual business acumen. If so, however, you won't need to worry about imaginary frivolous lawsuits wrecking your small business. You'll do just fine wrecking your small business all by yourself.

Anonymous said...

I didn't go to law school assuming I would land a high paying job at graduation, and I worked hard to make sure I wasn't in a position to NEED a high paying job to pay my debts (and believe me, I didnt get one). But apparently that kind of personal responsibility and foresight is lacking these days. I'm sorry, but having a degree doesn't entitle you to a job. Everyone is subject to the market forces of supply and demand.

Dear 5:05 - Has law school tuition increased since you graduated? The better question would be HOW MUCH has it increased since you went? It's frankly not possible to attend grad school these days without student loans, absent family wealth to pay it. Also, as you know, noone entering law school (or any other grad school) has a crystal ball that will tell that person what the job market will be like 3 years down the road. The idea that having to use student loans to acquire a professional degree is evidence of "lacking personal responsibility and foresight" is pretty stupid. If you said "lacking the psychic ability to accurately predict the economy and job market over 3 years into the future, well then, OK.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:38 am. I was actually up doing my books for my business. I understand your legal intellect would not understand having to work. Better to sue me? i will end by saying this.....I had the economic foresight not to enter into a flooded market. I also understand that the Mississippi lawyers were too stupid to regulate themselves during the Mass tort craze and the Legislature had to do it for them. So please teach me about "law practice economics", because you guys have completely destroyed yourselves.

Brent Hazzard said...

@ 11:38, I have dome pretty fair with my "law practice economics" and I basically agree with @ 3:37 on his first post.

Anonymous said...

I was accepted to both MCSOL and Ole Miss. I chose MC due to a scholarship offer and a need to be near elderly grandparents. So write it down. 1:22, I was accepted by both and chose MC. Class of 1994.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Archives

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.