Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I want to wish my readers both a personally and professionally successful New Year.

Monday, December 10, 2012

November 2012

Pick a number. Any number. Every time I look at last year's entry, I notice the BLS revised its original figures by a few thousand. Basically, the modest growth over 2011 is potentially a statistical artifact that could disappear the next time employment figures come out. Sucks to be one of the 45,000 newly minted ABA grads.

I wish actual sociologists would take up this discussion, picking up where scambloggers leave off. What drives lemmings? PresTTTige? Lucre? Parental pressure? Terminal credulity? I'm serious. Someone needs to investigate and identify what goes through these individuals' heads. My theory is education in general, and law school in particular, have become one giant moral hazard. Perhaps once the researchers publish their findings, the necessary public policy changes can be made. One can only dream.

Not seasonally adjustedNovember20111,117,900
Seasonally adjustedNovember20111,116,700
Change from Oct-12 to

Saturday, November 17, 2012

OcTTTober 2012

I was rocked like by a hurricane, thus the post's tardiness.

There was a modest increase over September 2012, but given the gummint's penchant for revising initial numbers by thousands, it might was well be random. Year-over-year netted 6,600 positions but consider this: the legal profession industry boasted 1,115,900 jobs in October 2010, giving an anemic two-year growth of 5,700 jobs.

If you want to bet $200K on strong, sustained growth in the legal market, be my guest.

Not seasonally adjustedOctober20111,115,800
Seasonally adjustedOctober20111,115,000
Change from Sep-12 to

Friday, October 5, 2012

SepTTTember 2012

This is a glass-half-full report. Total legal jobs increased by 6K year-over-year; however, there are only 5K more jobs than September 2010. Further, I normally work with seasonally adjusted numbers and September looks a little out-of-whack compared to the previous year (see the prior year post). Whatever. It's not like there's a campaign going on or something.

In other news, if you read my blog roll you'll see commentary on what is hopefully not the start of a noxious trend. UC Hastings reduced its class size 20% while simultaneously increasing tuition 15% to make up the lost revenue. So, the school will end up with fewer, more deeply indebted graduates. Let's be serious: prices are sticky downward and I suspect the temptation to increase the class size in future years while keeping tuition the same will be irresistible. "Hey, on an inflation-adjusted basis we reduced tuition!"

Not seasonally adjustedSeptember20111,110,900
Seasonally adjustedSeptember20111,114,500
Change from Aug-12 to

Monday, September 24, 2012

Internet Voter Registration Day

Notwithstanding my comments in a previous post, I encourage everyone eligible to vote this November to register. You truly marginalize yourself if you don't. Further, please keep an eye on SOPA, PIPA, and their bastard cousins. The mass internet protest was one instance where Congress did listen. I operate several web sites and participated in the online protests, which is the main reason I was amenable to spreading the message below.

The US elections are coming up. Are you ready?

This year, we saw just how dangerous the deep corruption in American politics could be to the open Internet.

On behalf of big media companies, elected leaders almost passed SOPA & PIPA, bills that would have censored the web and destroyed some of the best sites online. Meanwhile, the Justice Department used massive amounts of public money to destroy Megaupload, a free service many of us used every day.

Why did so many politicians side with media companies instead of voters? It's simple: they thought they could get away with it. Only 41% of Americans voted in the 2010 elections [1]. And turnout for Americans under 30--who overwhelmingly knew about SOPA and opposed it--was just 20.4% [2].

But this year we can change that, forever. Why? Because the Internet gives us a perfect platform to register and mobilize new voters, and we're building the tools to make it happen. The first step is a voter registration widget you can embed in your website.

If you're not registered, click here to try it out --

If you have a website, we're planning our first day of action this Tuesday, September 25th. Tuesday is "National Voter Registration Day", and the plan is to get hundreds or thousands of sites--large and small-- to join in and register their users starting that day.

Got a website? Sign up here to participate and get the code --

And if you use Facebook or Twitter, help us spread the word about "Internet Voter Registration Day" on Tuesday:

Thanks for being a part of this!


Holmes Wilson and the whole Fight for the Future team.



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dog days of AugusTTT 2012

There was a small drop in legal employment in August but there also remain small gains over August 2011 and 2010. The short story is that legal employment has not budged in two years.

Stay home in November

I was going to make this a separate post but am bad about letting things slide, so here goes. Please stay home this November. In the past, particularly with an incumbent running, I've supported the least worst candidate, usually while holding my nose. This year, I don't care who wins.

People need to learn to vote their own interest. That means paying attention — granted, it's not as exciting as following Prince Harry, but a lot more important — and participating. Having been involved in NJ politics, I'm keenly aware of ignorance and apathy and reflexively voting down "your" party's column.

If you're not looking out for Number One then you're just another useful idiot. Trust me: politicians don't respect you. Members of noisy enthusiastic fringe groups, they'll use your energy and patronize you while keeping you at arm's length and then forgetting about you until the next campaign. They look at taxpayers as a wallet and taxpayers' children and grandchildren as co-signers.

A word about Barack Obama. I like the guy and still have his 2008 campaign signs. His handling of the rest of the planet is perfectly acceptable. His handling of the domestic economy is appalling, consisting mainly of blaming Bush, which he will do until January 2017 if given the chance. Obama came into office with tremendous political capital and squandered it pushing through a costly healthcare program, fiddling while the economy burned. His legacy will be a massive increase in both the national debt, which is $16 trillion as I type this, and entitlement spending. And unemployed lawyers, courtesy of propping up a venal education industry with federal loans. And, "[I]f you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own." If anyone thinks Obama has a clue what he's doing, kindly post a link in the comments for all to see. This election could have been the Republicans for the taking, but they're even worse.

Now, a word about Mitt Romney. Please reread above how I advise people to look out for Number One. Romney looks out for Number One, which is how he got where he is. Don't vote for Mitt. This is coming from a Chris Christie supporter who voted Republican until George W. Bush's second term. I don't care if Romney travels with his dog on the car roof, but I do care about his refusing to release tax returns and his "only little people pay taxes" mentality. The 2012 Republican platform is all about Mitt, with some red meat for a white base. One more time: Mitt looks out for himself and so should you. His and your goals don't mesh.

I don't normally recommend JDU, but would like to share this post. It seems hyperbolic until you consider we live in a country where educational institutions are free to lie about their graduates' outcomes yet the graduates can't have their education debt discharged in bankruptcy.

Better enjoy your last Labor day off while you can, if the latest two horsemen of the 21st century American apocalypse, Romney and his bastard son Ryan are elected. No more paid holidays off next year. Going to the beach with your kids, have fun, because next year they will be working right next to you at one of Laimbrain Capital's subsidiaries when they do away with the child labor laws. Think you are leaving at 5:00, uh uh, no more forty hour weeks, just like Romney's Chinese masters. Hurt yourself at work, see ya wouldn't want to be ya. When you get out the hospital, we will put your shit on the street and deduct the cost from your last check. And don't think they checks are gonna keep coming because we just did away with workers compensation laws, hurting yourself is a cost of doing business and you should have bought a disability policy from the same thugs who sell you Full Sail University. Wife want to keep her job, she better go out and buy herself some knee pads, at her expense of course, because there is no longer any such thing as sexual harassment.

Forty hour weeks, workers compensation, child labor laws, work place safety laws, OHSA, company paid health and disability insurance, paid national holidays, paid vacations - all of this was not just passed out by the like of Prescott Bush and George Romney because they and their companies were benevolent. No, men and women too, as brave as the people we honor on Memorial day and the Fourth of July fought for these benefits, sticking their lives and the lives of their families lives out on the line. And yet the fools want to vote for people who will do away with workers rights, fought for over a hundred years, because their precious little snow flake didn't get into Harvard and some black kid from the projects, with a .5 lower GPA'S did.

And Ryan, whose mother benefited from the social security system when her husband died, is the first to give it all back, just like his hero Raygun, who stabbed the air traffic controllers in the back after they were the first to support him. And Uncle Clarence Thomas, who on his way up, played the affirmative action card from the bottom of the deck, and is now too stupid to ask a question, doesnt think twice about screwing over people who are in the situation he once was.

All of you sensible people out there, enjoy this holiday and remember, good friends don't let their friends vote Republican.

If you're not in a swing state, you can vote for whomever you like; the electoral college ensures your vote is meaningless, your congressperson (and Senator, if running) is virtually guaranteed re-election, and the people who only vote in presidential elections are going back to FaceBook as soon as they leave the polling place. If you're in a swing state, let the local Democratic campaign know why you're sitting this one out. Maybe they'll get finally get religion and stop taking their supporters for granted. Nah.

Not seasonally adjustedAugust20111,120,500
Seasonally adjustedAugust20111,115,700
Change from Jul-12 to

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy belated third anniversary, TTR!

I intended to post this a week ago, but then I intend to do all kinds of things before life intervenes.

Third Tier Reality turned three on August 20. As a fan since inception, I'd like to congratulate Nando. Here's the post that started it all.

What a different world it was back in 2009! The jerks who run TLS crammed all bad news into one allowed thread and waited for an economic recovery that still hasn't come, oblivious to structural changes in the industry. David Segal's landmark Is Law School a Losing Game? was still well over a year away. Inside the Law School Scam, initially published anonymously, was still two years away. Meanwhile, contemporary scambloggers were considered bitter losers who should have studied harder and networked more.

No need to state the obvious: in incorporating attention-grabbing visual and stylistic elements, his blog stands out. That, combined with inconvenient truths (hard to argue with a 990 return, isn't it?), an endless supply of material from a scummy legal academy, and sheer persistence, has kept it going. Truthfully, my favorite thing about TTR is how much its mere existence pisses people off. There's a new blog, published by an anonymous, inarticulate simpleton, whose sole content is ad hominem attacks against Nando, that … whoops, it's gone already!

As of August 2012, the word about law school is out. Applications are down and the strongest candidates are either bargaining hard with the T14 or forgoing law school altogether. Possibly everyone who can be reached, has been reached.


Mission accomplished!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

July 2012

Writing this is like something out of Groundhog Day. There was a gain of 1,400 jobs over June 2012 and 4,500 since July 2011. For illustration, revisit the July 2011 post. Using the revised July 2011 figures, there was a gain in the neighborhood of 4,500 in both years, or 9,300 since July 2010.

I don't know how to determine how many lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries left the "profession," but it's an important figure, because that's the only way someone new can enter it.

Not seasonally adjustedJuly20111,127,400
Seasonally adjustedJuly20111,116,000
Change from Jun-12 to

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MOAR Money!

There's so much stupid sh*t going on in this presTTTigious "profession" that I gave up trying to follow it, let alone post about it. Talking about not even trying any more, today's subject is Boston University's BosTTTon UniversiTTTy's new online Tax LLM. Even dry tax blogger Paul Caron noted, "Interestingly, tuition and fees for the online program will be higher than for the residential program: $44,712 v. $44,212."


First, a word about BU. The law school hired 22 percent of its own graduates last year. With this record of suck-cess, why hide BU's light under a barrel when it can roll its brand out into new markets? And charge more to sit at your desk than its own?

Another word about BU: When it issues your LLM, is the diploma going to say either New York University or University of Florida? No? Then why the f*ck would you ever spend your own money on it? Those are the only schools that count, and NYU can even sometimes erase the stench of a prole JD.

What we have here is an unabashed money grab, presumably aimed at foreigners and the credulous. Looks like the law school scam is moving upmarket as disclosure requirements and bad publicity reduce the cash that can be extracted from aimless liberal arts grads.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Law School DeaTTTh LisTTT

A couple of scambloggers are speculating on the next school to follow Texas Wesleyan into the abyss. The criteria are the school either has to fold outright or be acquired by another educational institution. I'd like to add my own criterion that no one will miss it when it's gone.

If you guess right, you win a Kindle.

BIDER has a number of good guesses. Rutgers-Camden is in a death spiral — hopefully, it will take Rutgers-Newark with it — and Hamline is in a small, crowded market where even the University of Minnesota founders. My own guess is TJSL, based on it being a relatively new, independent law school with an expensive campus. Add bad PR and an abysmal bar passage rate and you have a winner.

Friday, July 6, 2012

June 2012

The legal industry added 200 jobs last month. The problem remains that the number of heavily-indebted JDs far exceeds job openings. As I noted in June, growth over the last two years has been negligible. Meanwhile, 45,000 JDs pour into the market each year to compete with both their own cohort and their predecessors.

The overall economy sucks, adding just 80,000 jobs. My employer's industry is sensitive to the jobless rate and my seat-of-the-pants impression in our markets is things are not getting better.

Not seasonally adjustedJune20111,123,700
Seasonally adjustedJune20111,111,200
Change from May-12 to

Saturday, June 23, 2012

May 2012

Drat! Just woke up from a month-long map. To think I planned another blog even while I can barely keep this one updated.

Legal employment grew slightly in May, and by about 4,800 year-over-year. Before you get your seat deposit in at Dayton — hurry, dammit! — consider this. I looked back at my May 2011 post and note that May 2010 employment was 1,113,100. So, over two years we're talking about adding 7,000 jobs. I further note that the BLS regularly corrects prior statistics, and that if had used 1,115,100 instead of 1,110,400 when I posted May 2011, it would have shown modest growth over 2010 instead of a contraction. In short, we spent the last two years treading water; this is no recovery.

I have one other correction brewing. Last year I wrote, "Yale or fail." Turns out 2011 was a slaughter. How bad? From the NLJ article:

Several of the country's most prestigious law schools, including the University of Chicago Law School, New York University School of Law, the University of Virginia School of Law and Yale Law School, hired 10 percent or more of their class of 2011.
I suspect 2012 will be no better. Yale AND fail? To be continued …

Not seasonally adjustedMay20111,111,500
Seasonally adjustedMay20111,115,100
Change from Apr-12 to

Monday, May 28, 2012

Plug for a new forum

I'm encouraging readers to visit and participate in JD Junkyard. JDU has jumped the shark, IMHO. While I'm not an old-timer, I joined JDU when it was still a vibrant hangout for disaffected lawyers and law graduates. Lately, it's been overrun by trolls and drooling nitwits. There is still quality content, but like TLS, it's not worth wading through the crap to get to it.

Please note that I have no association with JD Junkyard and was not asked to publicize it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

April 2012

Good news, and even better news. The good news is there were 3,900 legal jobs added in April. Granted, about 45,000 people are about to graduate from ABA schools, but that means 3,900 fewer JD baristas, JD stock clerks, and JD unemployed.

The even better news is the ABA is set to give provisional accreditation to UMass Law, f/k/a Southern New England School of Law. Harvard, look out! It's comforting knowing that even though the planet is going to hell, that the sun continues to rise every morning and the ABA continues to [A]lways [B]e [A]ccrediting.

Not seasonally adjustedApril20111,108,500
Seasonally adjustedApril20111,114,000
Change from Mar-12 to

Friday, April 6, 2012

March 2012

Legal employment shrunk a bit last month. Nevertheless, law schools continue to sprout like weeds, ensuring a rosy outlook for legal faculty and administrators. At least for now.

Not seasonally adjustedMarch20111,109,600
Seasonally adjustedMarch20111,114,300
Change from Feb-12 to

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Be on Tee Vee II

If you missed your chance to appear on CBS Evening News, here's another opportunity to hit the big time. A Japanese public TV network is doing a story on tentacle porn unemployed NYC lawyers. I realize that few people, myself included, are willing to lay waste to their "career" to speak to the media, but this is as obscure as you can get while still reaching a large audience.

From a Shit Law Jobs post:

Japanese TV show looking to interview unemployed NYC lawyer


I'm a producer/director of a NY segment of a nightly TV newsmagazine program on NHK. NHK is Japan's public TV network. I'd like to produce an episode about student loan problems with a particular emphasis on the situation with law school graduates. Are you based in NYC? I'm looking for someone or an organization that is dedicated to help those graduates with student loans. I also would like to portray someone who holds a law degree but is not currently working as a lawyer. Please contact me at: miwamccormick [at]

Miwa McCormick
NHK Cosmomedia America, Inc.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PresTTTige you can believe in

The title is the first thing that popped into my head; it may be a dig at Obama, or maybe just frustration.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has updated its industry projections through 2020. Let's cut to the chase and say that the outlook for lawyers sucks.

The table below is from a search I ran. The "Total Employment" is all lawyers and the "Legal Services" is, I believe, law firms. If I find differently then I'll update the post.

There will be an increase of 73,600 lawyer jobs between 2010 and 2020, during which time probably 450,000 people will graduate from law school and perhaps 200,000 will leave the "profession." The report doesn't touch on the quality of the jobs, treating a Cravath partnership-track position the same as doc review in a boiler room; however, I'm ASSuming the BLS took automation into account and its deleterious effect on low-end legal work.

You can see the data for yourself at Then, get your seat deposit in at Rutgers-Camden Rowan.

Industry2010Projected 2020Employment change
TitleCode Employment%Employment%Total%
Total employmentTE1000728,200100801,80010073,60010.1
Legal services541100368,20050.6389,80048.621,6005.9

Sunday, March 11, 2012

February 2012

This is one of those glass half full reports. The industry gained about 5,000 jobs year-over-year, a decent showing after a long period of contraction and slow growth. Of course, during this time nearly 50,000 people graduated and another 50,000 are due shortly. Things are so bad that even Columbia Law School is fudging its numbers. From the NY Post:

Some students reported having jobs paying $160,000 lined up. But legal-staffing firms reported placing recent grads of both NYU and Columbia in paralegal and support staff positions for as little as $35,000.

"I’ve never seen more attorneys applying for non-attorney jobs," said Tony Filson, president of Filcro Personnel, a staffing firm in New York.

"They’re all from top schools," said Maritza Murphy, a legal account manager at DeltaForce legal staffing. "Columbia, NYU, Fordham. A lot of small law firms are hiring them in paralegal jobs because they can get them at a lower cost."

TLS posters should read the last paragraph until it sinks in. C'mon, read it again. And, again. Got it? A CLS degree may not get you even a shitlaw associate position in the largest, possibly healthiest, legal market these days. That's pretty much everything anyone reading this blog needs to know. If Columbia and NYU have a cold, the NY-area toilets must have pneumonia.

Not seasonally adjustedFebruary20111,107,600
Seasonally adjustedFebruary20111,114,700
Change from January 12-February 12800

Saturday, February 4, 2012

TTThings are looking up

Will you look at that! Legal jobs increased by 1,000 in January 2012. Thanks to this performance, the industry employed 100 more individuals than January 2011. NALP is quite certain this is not a rounding error.

So, next time a bitter JDU loser tells you that law is dying and we're all doomed, insult their race/religion/school/manhood and then inform them: Nope, it's GROWING.

Not seasonally adjustedJanuary20111,108,500
Seasonally adjustedJanuary20111,116,500
Change from December 11-January 121,000

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I've posted very little, lately, but this article shook me out of my torpor. Surprisingly, it does not deal with law.

The article, How Much You Study In College Determines What You'll Get Paid For The Rest Of Your Life, cites a 2008 study alleging a strong correlation between studying time and future earnings. It ends with the advice, "It's proof that hard work, not IQ, is what really makes people successful." When you stop laughing, read on.

Speaking as someone who spent every spring break in the library, so as to knock off papers and free time for exams, I call BS. I also learned first-hand about group dynamics: In an eight-member group, three people will do all the work.

After graduating magna cum laude, including good grades in my major, business administration, I then scrambled for permanent, full-time work, finally finding some in July. Following a couple of shit jobs — if you ever work for a small company and see fifteen different initials in the files, it's a shit job — I departed for law school. My college GPA helped smooth the way. College so soured me on the payback for hard work that I didn't focus on my law school grades. Guess how that turned out?

Back in the mid-1990s, I briefly had a small web site for which I wrote an essay called Don't Work for Clowns. It's printed out somewhere and I'll post it when I find it. In the interim, here's some advice that is worth every penny you've paid for it.

  1. Don't work for clowns
  2. Work smart, not hard. Learned this from my high school gym teacher, who was otherwise an asshole, and, in retrospect, it's the best advice I've ever gotten. A memorable ad (WSJ?) expressed it more eloquently: "If you keep your nose to the grindstone, all you'll get is a flat nose"
  3. Who you know is more important than what you know. A corollary for you corporate types is that who you drink with, matters
  4. Network. This doesn't mean cold-calling alumni, though you can try that. It means getting involved and making contacts. In short, you should be constantly, unintentionally networking. It's essential to business and influence but doesn't come naturally to most people
  5. Have wealthy, well-connected parents. You don't? Me, neither. Sucks to be us
  6. Your reward for doing good work is more work
  7. Again, for you corporate types, I was once given the advice to be nice to everyone because you never know who your next boss will be. This came to pass one day, fortunately, with me becoming the boss

I'm writing this from work on a Sunday. FML.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Judge Cabranes tells schools to take their head out of their ass

Calling the presTTTigious law school cartel out has now evolved from scamblogging into a 2nd Circuit judge speaking at a legal educators convention.

There's an interesting National Law Journal article, one of several I've read, on the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting. The conference focused on the sorry state of legal education. Given that the participants were mostly the ones responsible for the sorry state of legal education, albeit with lots of help from Uncle Sugar, the hand-wringing was about as contrived as the grieving at a North Korean dictator's funeral. At the end of the day, they said much and will accomplish about as little as OWS.

Enter Judge Cabranes. Cabranes is the stuff of TLS wet dreams, though they'd probably ban his ass posthaste if he ever showed up there. The judge has three issues with legal education: Cost, student debt, and irrelevant scholarship by the faculty. His proposed solution involves a two-year curriculum of core courses — Space Law is OUT — followed by a third year either apprenticing with practicing attorneys or working, for compensation, in a school clinic. Schools would lose out on the third year of tuition. Sounds promising, but if it stood a snowball's chance in hell of being taken seriously, the judge would find a horse's head in his bed. I have my own thoughts on legal reform that differ markedly from the judge's; however, he has to deal with the schools' output on a daily basis and is in a better position to speak than I am.

The main import from all this isn't that legal education sucks or that people are philosophizing about solutions. Instead, it's the level at which the discussion is occurring. Not too long ago, someone making these comments would have had to post them anonymously and accept being scorned as a bitter loser who didn't network hard enough, and he or she would mostly be preaching to the choir. Now, the comments are coming from the top of the "profession" and being delivered straight to the academy.

C'mon, Congress, it's time for the hammer.

Friday, January 6, 2012

TTThat was the year TTThat was

Happy New Year, all!

The legal industry shed 2,700 jobs during 2011 and spread holiday cheer to about 1,800 people in December. Commenting on the statistics, ABA President and Chief Deck Chair Arranger, William Robinson, told debt-saddled lawyers and their legislators to, "Go f*ck yourself."

Not seasonally adjustedDecember20101,118,300
Seasonally adjustedDecember20101,113,700
Change from November 11-December 11-1,800