Sunday, February 7, 2016

January 2016

Win some, lose some. Despite a substantial downward revision of December's figure, January employment still dropped as Legal Industry workers relocated to Home Depot to sell snow removal supplies. As the year progresses, thousands of migrant JDs will sojourn in the fertile fields of Jackson Hewitt and then move on to their summer gig, with a newly-minted crop of graduates following. Just an ebb and flow with the seasons, never changing much.

A number of bloggers have noted updated BLS projections for lawyer employment 2014-2024. Charitably, they suck. There will be approximately 4,400 jobs openings annually due to growth and another 11,400 due to "retirement." So, mid-30-thousandish graduates competing for fewer than half that in available jobs. TLS posters can put that in their pipe and smoke it.

I increasingly question some of the BLS numbers, particularly the median annual wage. When I took economics I was introduced to the concept of perfect competition. The professor used owner-operator truckers as an example. I would update the example to be lawyers.

  • There is free entry and exit for different firms operating in this market. The only hindrances to entry are firm’s related constraints like costs and lack of raw materials.
    Comment: the gummint will lend you all the money you need, at which point you only need to pass the bar. Toilet law schools are working hard to remove that obstacle.
  • The goods sold in this market are homogenous. Homogenous means that the products are almost identical and the consumer does not prefer one product to the other.
    Comment: sad to break this to you, special snowflakes.
  • The perfect competition market has also a very large number of buyers and sellers. This way there is no individual firm in the market that can influence the prices of goods and services.
    Comment: any questions? Really?
  • The individual firms are price takers and have to accept the prices set by the laws of demand and supply.
    Comment: supply for decades roughly twice as many lawyers as the market needs, add outsourcing and automation, and tell me how wages won't fall through the floor?
  • In a perfectly competition market there is no information asymmetry and Perfect information is available to the buyers and sellers.
    Comment: I won't argue that perfect information is available, but the internet has gotten us much closer than when I was in school.

To reiterate, if you're going to shovel excess lawyers into the market unceasingly then their wages will drop. I haven't seen that with the BLS numbers; either they're wrong or the oversupply isn't as bad as they say.

Not seasonally adjustedJanuary20151,107,500
Seasonally adjustedJanuary20151,115,200
Change from Dec-15 to

Sunday, January 10, 2016

December 2015

8,000. That's a pretty good number … for a North Korean nuclear test. Speaking of an entity that publishes a hagiography to each new leader, depends on an outside government's support to sustain its moribund economy, and focuses solely on self-preservation and keeping the peasants in line while espousing otherworldly, yet high-minded ideals, read about the AALS meeting here. Next step is to set up re-education camps and charge $50K tuition.

Not seasonally adjustedDecember20141,124,200
Seasonally adjustedDecember20141,120,000
Change from Nov-15 to

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

November 2015

Wishing everyone a happy New Year.

Not seasonally adjustedNovember20141,121,200
Seasonally adjustedNovember20141,119,200
Change from Oct-15 to

Monday, November 30, 2015

Valvoline Dean becomes RuTTTgers Athletic Director

Rutgers just shitcanned both its athletic director and its head football coach. Read all about it here.

The AD position vacant and the university's program in shambles, only one man could step in to save the day. That man: Patrick Hobbs, Dean Emeritus of Seton Haul Law Skool. Though Dean Hobbs needs no introduction, I've reproduced Scott Bullock's.

For those new to Big Debt, an explanation: Hobbs was long ago nicknamed the "Valvoline Dean" by none other than yours truly. Of course, all law school deans are shysters and born liars (see Rothenberg, Karen), but Hobbs has elevated pseudo-sincere "slicksterism" to a form of high art, an oleaginous tour de force of toilet law puffery. His persona is a cross between a used-car salesman and a Tammany Hall politician, with a touch of creepy Catholic-priest piety thrown in for good measure.

If Hobbs does for Rutgers what he did for Seton Haul, his legacy will live on forever.

Monday, November 16, 2015

NY bar resulTTTs

Cornell was so happy with the 2015 results that it reproduced the New York Law Journal's chart, below.

Congratulations to both Crooklyn and Carbozo for falling below your new peer, CUNY. Truly the sound of one hand clapping. May Fordham join you in a few years.

Finally, honorable mention to TTTTouro for plumbing the depths of bar passage rates and continuing to dig.

Friday, November 6, 2015

OcTTTober 2015

Followers of the legal "profession" will be delighted to learn that hiring grew in October, as hundreds of newly-barred Florida Coastal graduates launched their career in sports and entertainment law. The United States's "rule of law" threatened by lawyer underproduction, law schools rushed into the fray and saved the day! Again! Hooray!

I cribbed the first sentence from my October 2011 post when I looked back at prior years. The legal industry has grown about 10K jobs since then; I guarantee real wages have decreased.

Not seasonally adjustedOctober20141,118,800
Seasonally adjustedOctober20141,117,300
Change from Sep-15 to

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Your JD may pay off after all

We recently received the attached from ADP. Click on the image to read it (requires a PDF viewer). Short story is the Labor Department has proposed increasing the minimum salary level for exempt employees to $50,440 in 2016. Sad to think this will encompass some lawyers. Some; most would likely be fired straight away and blackballed if they claimed OT.

Still no cure for this. Suite dreams.