But You Can’t Eat Passion

Or can you?

Catherine Groux, “Law School Students Use Passion and Flexibility in Struggling Job Market,” U.S. News University Directory.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that [the reason the NALP says the employment rate for 2012 law school graduates hit its lowest point since 1994] is largely due to the fact that accounting firms and paralegals now handle many of the tasks once reserved for lawyers.

No, that is not what the BLS said. Its reference to paralegals and accounting firms was a future projection:

[G]rowth in demand for lawyers will be constrained as businesses increasingly use large accounting firms and paralegals to do some of the same tasks that lawyers do.

The BLS said that some amount of the current law graduate underemployment is due to there being too many law schools:

Competition should continue to be strong because more students are graduating from law school each year than there are jobs available.

The important words being “should continue” because it’s been going on before. The other reason the 2012 grads couldn’t find jobs is that the currency isn’t circulating, i.e. the economy is in a depression.

Yes, rich people are loaning the government money at a loss.

But that’s just par for the course. The substance of the article is much more entertaining:

According to a new survey by Kaplan Test Prep, half of pre-law students say they plan to use their JD in a non-traditional legal field, largely because of the current job market for lawyers. Approximately 43% of these individuals said they hope to use their legal degree to work in the business sector.

Oh God, half of pre-law students are sold on the juris doctor’s versatility?

Although the legal industry is struggling, many students say they want to earn a JD because they are passionate about law. About 71% of pre-law students said the main reason they are applying to law school is to “go into a career [they] are passionate about,” while only 5% said their primary motivator was the potential for a high salary.

Passion won’t make those bondholders sell their inflation-protected Treasuries and invest in real goods and services.

According to the Kaplan survey, 43% of pre-law students said they would be likely to postpone or alter their law school plans if they did not receive enough financial aid.

Except we all know they will receive enough financial aid—as much as they can spend really.

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In other news…

Tom Brennan, “The Looming Threat for South Korean Law Grads? Unemployment,” The Asian Lawyer.

The large expansion in the number of law graduates stems from the introduction of U.S.–style postgraduate law schools in 2009. Before then, the law was only open to 1,000 students a year who passed a notoriously hard bar exam and then trained at the government’s Judicial Research and Training Institute. Unemployment was practically unheard of in this elite group. But the 25 new law schools pumped out about 1,900 graduates from their first classes last year.

I wrote a while ago on how Japan did the same thing: Adopt the defective U.S. legal education model right as it alienates just about everyone outside the law schools.

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And finally, you should watch this:

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4 Responses

  1. Those who are supposedly passionate about the law are typically those who do not know what this crummy job entails. People can be passionate about music, sports, art, sex, i.e. things that stir people up. How does an archaic, staid, boring system of rules and procedures – established by the elite and their minions in the managerial classes, in order to justify inequality – evoke similar feelings?

    • I’m reminded of a complaint from Yale’s admissions department about how all the applicants wrote essays about how much they “loved the law.”

  2. “rich people are loaning the government money at a loss”

    Hmm…I like your site but…you seem to define anybody who saves ($1 on up) as “rich”.

    The earning power of *everyone’s* savings has been gutted (really for the last ten years) through politically motivated dollar printing.

    The Fed is sterilizing the interest-rate consequences of DC’s habitual deficit spending (100% debt to GDP and rising) by magically printing dollars (ultimately supported by no greater amount of *real* assets) and costlessly lending them to DC.

    I’m sure China will be happy to take our green-tinted toilet paper for footwear/apparel/auto parts/jet engines/medical devices and everything else in 2020.

    At which point the primary US real exports will be soybeans and snuff porn.

    The traditional Keynesian stimulus techniques don’t work in an internationally open market (see Japan 1990 to…date)

    Please don’t edge over into Krugman territory screaming “More cowbell! More cowbell!”

    • cas127, aside from the Georgist stuff, I’ve always been in Krugman territory. Although, I admit to enjoying reading Michael Hudson and seeing his interviews. He is to neoliberalism what Chalmers Johnson was to the military-industrial-Congressional complex. I’m always scrounging for new economists, so please send me your reading list.

      Anyway, I doubt poor savers are parking their dollars in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities at a negative yield. Better to just jam it under your mattress but for deposit insurance.

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