Sunday, December 14, 2014

November 2014

Notwithstanding some patently ridiculous articles of late, particularly this, now is as piss poor a time to go to law school as ever. If we stroll back to November 2010, when there were 1,116,100 souls employed in the legal industry, we can see how far we've come: about 18,000 jobs over four years. Of late, things seem to be contracting, with 2,000 jobs shed over the last year.

If your favorite school offers to sell you a turd at one-third off, do everyone — lawyers, taxpayers, and particularly, yourself — a favor and decline.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm

Not seasonally adjustedNovember20131,137,700
September20141,127,300
October20141,134,700
November20141,135,100-2,600
Seasonally adjustedNovember20131,135,600
September20141,133,800
October20141,133,700
November20141,133,700-1,900
Change from Oct-14 to
Nov-14
0

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The lamentation of the associaTTTes

Vault just posited, "Will Law Firms Increase Salaries in 2015?" Quoting heavily from both NALP and Vault's own survey, it describes a dystopia the likes of which even Scott Bullock couldn't fathom.

Briefly, BigLaw starting salaries have not budged in almost a decade and are actually dropping outside large cities.

Tell me the following isn't bleaker than a box of starving kittens in downtown Mogadishu:

"There are no financial incentives to work harder here. Partners make ridiculous profits and associates do not share in any of the bounty."

"Hard to say that I'm being cheated at $300K/year, but no doubt this will be another record-breaking year for the profits per partner, and we haven't seen associate salaries or bonuses increase since 2007."

"Our bonuses are s**t compared to what they were. Our salary is low compared to what it was in 2007. Firms need to update."

"It is time for a raise. Law school tuition has skyrocketed since the move to 160,000 and I'm pushing 300,000K [sic] in debt paying for both undergrad and law school. The days of the big bonuses helping you pay off your student loans are over, and billing over 200 hours per month has me feeling like even the coveted 160k is not commensurate with my work or sufficient to justify the cost of a legal education."

Bah! In my day we went into law strictly for presTTTige. Granted, we were always balls-deep in models & bottles, but there was none of this whining about deserving a bigger piece of the pie. We got what we got, and we liked it.

This complicated chart describes what is happening. You coders in the basement can ignore it; you'll always get at least minimum wage. The rest of you should be happy inflation is low.

"This is an outrage!" you say. Well, pull close, Grasshopper, and I'll explain why firms are cutting real compensation.

Because they can.

Friday, November 7, 2014

OcTTTober 2014

Hey, boys and girls, did you know that if you can fog a mirror then you're a shoo-in at one of many fine insTTTiTTTuTTTions that can get you started in this thriving industry?

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm

Not seasonally adjustedOctober20131,138,000
August20141,140,500
September20141,128,000
October20141,136,000-2,000
Seasonally adjustedOctober20131,137,100
August20141,138,400
September20141,134,400
October20141,134,700-2,400
Change from Sep-14 to
Oct-14
300

Friday, October 3, 2014

SepTTTember 2014

The legal industry just had a nasty month and, at best, a flat year (BLS routinely revises its initial figures). My guess is law school faculty and staff layoffs are beginning to reflect in these figures; I encourage castoffs to network.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t17.htm

Not seasonally adjustedSeptember20131,130,300
July20141,145,500
August20141,140,700
September20141,127,400-2,900
Seasonally adjustedSeptember20131,136,800
July20141,134,900
August20141,138,400
September20141,133,800-3,000
Change from Aug-14 to
Sep-14
-4,600

Saturday, September 27, 2014

No, wait, they're serious

I've been a Vault.com member many years. Back in the day they had a couple of lively, if not particularly useful law forums. At this stage in my career I peruse it for entertainment value.

Vault's bloggers and editors produce clickbait seminal works such as A Day in the Life of a Wachtell Partner whose publication is announced via regular e-mails. Statistically, how useful do you think this is to a typical law student?

Anyhow, this week's e-mail featured Can You Do Anything with a Law Degree? DC Lawyers Say Yes.

Idi Amin reacting to Vault.com

To give credit where it's due, that piece originated from the Washington Post, which vacillates between Watergate break-ins and vapid articles about yuppies. The problem is Vault should know better, though they included a gratuitous disclaimer at the end of the article.

Here's a more fulsome disclaimer:

  • You ain't getting a biglaw job in D.C., probably the most competitive market in the country. If you are then you don't need advice from either Vault or me. The Vault author apparently did obtain one of these jobs and is either oblivious or realizes that writing about shitlaw doesn't pay the bills. Hence, tripe like this
  • There's that J.D. Disadvantage that will haunt you like a ghost. I'm speaking from experience
  • Heartwarming career-change stories are evergreens in NYC and elsewhere. The common theme is you need money (and health insurance) to make money. Don't have enough capital to offset potentially years of negative cash flow? Sucks to be you
  • Legal training may or may not be of any use to you in future endeavors; it's an expensive sunk cost. One woman in the Post article freely admitted she needed a lawyer to negotiate a lease. People who are smart enough to get jobs like that in the first place are smart enough to realize when they're in over their head
  • Bonus tip: I guarantee none of these lawyers-turned-bakers went to cooking school, another huge scam. Avoid

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Peter Cammarano epilogue

Noted Seton Hall Law graduate Peter Cammarano was disbarred by the New Jersey Supreme Court today. He's notable mainly because other than former Valvoline Dean Patrick Hobbs, no person associated with the school ever raised Scott Bullock's ire more. He'd be just another ex-con — we have many — if not for his repeated appearance in Scott's posts and comments.

From Tom the Temp:

Hey Tom, the mayor of Hoboken, Peter "Scam-arrano," who was arrested today and charged with 5 counts of accepting bribes is a 2002 Seton Hall grad.

Hilarious! He learned fraud and corruption at the knee of master scammer Pat Hobbs, known as Seton Hall's infamous "Valvoline Dean" for his oleaginous, used car salesman persona and shameless molestation of salary/employment data. Scammarao (the Hoboken mayor) even had a Traffic Court Clerkship under his belt!

Scott frequently reproduced or alluded to one of my all-time favorite quotes, such as here.

Cammarano once even removed his wristwatch and told a crowd of summer associates: "You see this watch? This watch cost more than a year's tuition at at Seton Hall. That's who I am, and you're nothing."

See nj.com for more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miss America headed for law school

Kira Kazantsev, the winner of Miss America 2015 Pageant, plans to use $50,000 prize money to pay for her law school at the the University of Notre Dame.

Kazantsev plans to attend law school and pursue career in women's issues and international diplomacy. She recently revealed her ordeal as a victim of domestic violence in college. Her former boyfriend used to stalk and send hateful text messages to her.

http://www.universityherald.com/articles/11378/20140915/miss-america-2015-kira-kazantsev-prize-money-law.htm

She's not just hot, she also plays a mean plastic cup.

According to the NY Daily News, "She triple-majored in Political Science, Global Studies and Geography as an undergrad at Hofstra University in Long Island."

Truly an inspiration to airheads everywhere.