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Do Law School Applicants Know What They Are Doing?

$100k+ in student loans, piled on top of undergraduate loans, may not be such a good idea.  A recent New York Times blog post that examines whether there are too many law schools and too many new lawyers every year, and a The Wall Street Journal blog post analyzes further…

Are Law-School Applicants Like ‘Gatsby’s Revelers?’
By Nathan Koppel

gatsbySlater laments the fact that, even in the throes of one of the worst industry downturns in history, matriculation rates continue to rise unchecked at law schools, with close to 50,000 enrollees at the 200 ABA-approved law schools.

Worse, to lure students, some law schools offer a deceptive view of the likelihood that their graduated will land top-paying jobs. Slater points a finger at employment statistics posted on the Web sites of three low-ranked law schools in New York City. All three advertise that 45 to 60 percent of their 2008 graduates who reported salary information are making a median salary of $150,000 to $160,000, a statistic that Slater finds somewhat dubious.

Ultimately, however, Slater serves up the sternest language for students themselves:

“But will next year’s round of applicants heed the signals?” he writes, with that characteristic Slater panache. And then this, which deserves its own set-off block-quote:

Or, like Gatsby’s revelers, will they simply push on at an ever greater clip, boats against the current, toward that green light in the ivory tower and the promising future that, quite literally, recedes before them? After all, there will always be the possibility, however faint, of Big Law money and white-shoe prestige — those powerful tonics for every new batch of wandering liberal arts graduates.


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