If you’re considering law school, maybe you should read this take from the folks over at Big Debt, Small Law along with all those glossy law school brochures.
Consider the typical, hapless TTT[*] law school grad: First she invested 100 K in a worthless undergrad degree like English Lit or Poli-Sci, then compounded this initial mistake by piling on 120 K or more in non-dischargeable law school loans, bought hook, line and sinker the materially fraudulent salary stats of her law school, endured the BarBri blather-thons, walked the hot coal hazing ritual of the bar’zam, and now finds herself coping with $1500 a month loan payments and a total lack of job opportunities.
I commented on the bimodal nature of lawyer salaries back in the good old days (2007), and I can guarantee you that the top salary hump has gotten a lot smaller in the intervening years.
Don’t get me wrong. I still believe that the law is (or can be) an honorable profession and that the rule of law is an absolutely necessary condition for a free and prosperous society. I’m just reminding everyone that there is no such thing as a free lunch, no matter what the admissions office says. I cannot comprehend how a fourth tier school like Pace University can justify $39K a year in tuition. How would you ever pay it back when good students from top tier schools are out of work?
However, my favorite quote from the diatribe is a side note about pro bono.
Thanks to a generation of propogandist “college for everyone” drivel, there’s an acute shortage of HVAC repair techs, plumbers, electricians, and other skilled tradesman. Don’t believe us? Call a plumber and a lawyer and see who can get there first. By the way, ask the plumber if he’s willing to install your faucets “pro bono” because you have no money. After all, running water is surely as important as your legal problems (and plumbers are VERY expensive), so just tell him he should do it for free in the public interest. Try the same thing with your auto mechanic, roofer, HVAC guy, and electrician. You’ll quickly find that only the “law” is so fixated on the merits of giving expensive professional services away to deadbeats for free. Here at Big Debt we’ve long argued against any and all pro bono work. Why? Because by so doing, one reinforces in the public’s mind that the service provided is worthless. This is especially true when rendering an “intangible” product like law, one that looks to a layperson like nothing more than a stack of very boring paperwork.
Justice should be free, right?
For context, a good CNC technician can make six figures without the bar dues and malpractice insurance, and no one ever asks them to give their work away for free.
(*Note: TTT stands for third tier toilet.)