A Tale of Two Economies: Law Edition
The National Law Journal is reporting that things are still very tough for law school grads. The class of 2013 was the biggest class yet and the lesson seems to be that there is a tale of two law schools.
1. People who attended the top law schools, top ten or twenty depending on who you ask can easily find employment. The top ten law schools with 2013 graduates in full-time, long-term, bar-passage required jobs are: Columbia (NY), Chicago, NYU, Penn, Duke, Penn, Stanford, Harvard, Cornell, Michigan, and Virginia. I am surprised that Yale is not on this list but I wonder if that is because so many Yale grads go to clerkship positions that last for a year or two or public-service fellowships that are equally short-term.
2. Everyone else who seems to be in a super-strained market.
There is a lot of chatter on the Internet about how every law school that is not in the top ten, twenty, or fifty needs to close and needs to close now. I doubt this will happen for a variety of reasons. Every state is going to want one or two public law schools. Alums will be angry and want to keep the law schools open and there is a human tendency to try and ride out a storm as well as possible instead of folding. There is also a certain level of snobriety in saying Havard or bust that I reject.
I still find it deeply worrying that we seem to have two economies developing and wonder if this happens in non-legal markets as well. We have elite schools that work as keys for all the good entry-level jobs and then we have everything else where the gamble is much higher. Maybe some of the small-liberal arts colleges like Amherst and Vassar and Oberlin are in a weird inbetween state.