Saturday, January 11, 2014

TTThat was the year TTThat was (2013 edition)

The legal industry grew shrank 1,000 positions in 2013, accompanied by the sound of one hand clapping. Three-year growth was about 13,000.

It's been a tough slog, but even the densest individuals acknowledge reality and now aim for JD-Advantage™ slots instead of attorney positions. Let me explain something: I deal with legal experts all day long, both at work and elsewhere, and only one has a JD, the company lawyer. Our HR person is well acquainted with employment law and overtime and knows enough Obamacare to keep the company out of trouble. My condo management agent is also a licensed real estate agent and is familiar with liens, insurance, mortgages, foreclosure, and, of course, association law. Our bookkeepers know state and local eviction procedures and requirements and sometimes testify in court. Our techs have EPA cards. Basically, everyone picks up applicable law on the job through both formal and informal training. Some study to become licensed or certified in their discipline. If they don't know something, they know how to reach out, and that wouldn't necessarily be to a lawyer.

I don't believe a JD would benefit any of them, especially after taking financial and opportunity cost into account. It's a needless distraction from a career. In short, there is no JD Advantage, and that's with a GOOD outcome. A bad outcome, which is what I had, involves leaving the presTTTigious JD off your résumé and plugging the gap. There may be less stigma to a JD these day than when I graduated, but the palpable foolishness of making a lifelong sacrifice for a gilded, unnecessary degree speaks volumes about the deteriorating applicant pool seeking it.

Not seasonally adjustedDecember20121,131,900
Seasonally adjustedDecember20121,128,000
Change from Nov-13 to