Are you really sure you want to go to law school?
That's the message of incoming dean Patricia White of the UM School of Law, in this interesting DBR article on the future of the profession:
Issues affecting the legal industry are serious enough that White wrote incoming first-year law students encouraging them to defer admission for a year, partly because a larger than expected number of deposits arrived from students who plan to attend this fall because of the recession.Wow -- more students enrolling due to the recession, and the law school is telling them to rethink whether or not they really want to go?
White said the letters also were a way to get students to carefully consider why they want to attend law school and if the opportunities when they graduate line up with their career expectations.
“Students graduate with a large amount of debt and sometimes unrealistic expectations of what the job market is going to be,” she said. “They think that everyone is going to earn a lot of money. When you look at the statistics, a relatively small percentage of people make the large salaries.”
I did like this part of her speech:
The legal industry is still going to need new lawyers, but White said the strongest needs likely will be concentrated in areas like the public sector where the pay isn’t high.Wouldn't that be something if difficult economic times forced more lawyers to help those who need it the most?
“We do need more lawyers that help the underserved,” she said. “If you want to come to law school to help the underserved and you don’t care about making a lot of money, that’s great. Make that decision with your eyes open, and decide how much you can afford to borrow to do that.”
Related -- does it still count as a mitzvah if you are helping people out of necessity?