Greedy Associates

Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog


When did the legal industry's decline begin, in 2009 or so? Though that was a long five years ago, the shockwave from the industry took a while to hit law schools -- we saw some decline in demand after the bloated Class of 2010 entered school, but the numbers didn't hit true historic lows until recently.

That's why now, when we're almost indisputably on a new path, it's especially interesting to see where students are looking, education-wise. Though LSATs are down, and applications are down, and class sizes are down, not every school is cutting back, nor does every school need to.

What are the trends in law school demand, as measured by applications? Who are the thrivers and survivors?

I remember it clearly: during a 1L career center presentation, our presenter told us that "black or navy suits" were the appropriate choice for job interviews. Being the broke student that I was, I raised my hand to inquire about charcoal, as the only suit in my close was a recent Goodwill acquisition: a charcoal, two button, single-breasted ensemble.

"Charcoal is a bit edgy," I remember him saying, "But it'll do in a pinch."

A year later, after I gained the freshman/1L fifteen, I bought a black suit. Oddly enough, that was right around the same time my job prospects started to dwindle. Some might say economic collapse, I say "black suit." In fact, the history of my law school, including the recent precipitous drop in the rankings due, in large part, to job numbers, could be traced back to that one, single piece of advice: "black or navy suit."

Because apparently, black suits are for funerals, parties, and Johnny Cash. Who knew?

Hate the LSAT? If this American Bar Association proposal goes through, you maybe able to sneak into law school without taking the ubiquitous exam.

But don't get too excited: the waiver only applies to a very narrow group of students -- those with high scores on other standardized entrance exams, who are at the top of their class, and/or those who are aiming to go to their undergraduate institution's law school -- in other words, a tiny sliver of prospective students.

Somewhere in New Jersey, Rutgers-Camden officials are shaking their heads in frustration, however. One wonders how much their six-year pilot program and censure have to do with the current proposal.

There are so many hilarious things about this, that I don't even know where to begin.

Curtis Fox, a magna cum laude graduate of Winston-Salem State University with a BA degree in Political Science, a concentration in Public Administration and a Business Administration minor, has a dream of going to law school. (Strike one. Kidding.) His Kickstarter says that he is starting law school in the fall (though it doesn't say where).

Fox he wants your help. His crowdfunding campaign seeks money for a documentary about the costs of law school, plus some of the money will be used for matriculation.

#DearFindLaw - Advice for New Lawyers and Law Students from @FindLawLP

Welcome to our second edition of what is now my favorite advice column ever -- #DearFindLaw. A colleague of mine has a sister that is now a summer associate at BigLaw, and she passed on a sibling's question.

The summer associate knew that she wanted to clerk after law school, so she didn't know how to deal with an offer from her law firm, in the event that she got one. She thought she might want to return to the firm after the clerkship, but wasn't sure. What should she do? How should she decline an offer?

Christine Lagarde has been head of the International Monetary Fund for three years now, and The Washington Post sat down to interview her about her work thus far. As we were reading, and watching, her interview, one thing became tremendously clear: we have a girl crush on Christine Lagarde. As my editor aptly noted, and I agree: "anyone who runs the IMF and carries a Kelly bag is a-ok with me."

Before she was Managing Director of the IMF, Lagarde was an attorney at Baker & McKenzie, where she later "became the Chairman of the Global Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie in 1999, and subsequently Chairman of the Global Strategic Committee in 2004."

As law associates, we can learn a lot from her experiences rising through the ranks of BigLaw. Let's take a look at where she stands on issues ranging from leadership, and women.

The bar exam was the most stressful time of my entire life. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, except ... I went through the suck, most lawyers go through the suck, and YOU TOO SHOULD GO THROUGH THE SUCK! It's a rite of passage, a filter to remove the barely literate and the incomprehensibly lazy, especially in states with ridiculously high passage rates, like Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

Proponents of the move argue that it will help grads avoid four months of stress (boo hoo) and accrued student loan interest, but here's a better idea, one that Iowa is also considering, but nobody is talking about: adopt the Uniform Bar Exam, especially since, as Iowans may already know, they are basically using it anyway.

Was there ever a more idiotic idea than "The Decision"? Four years ago, LeBron James went on an ego-inflating tour de free agency, letting teams across the country woo him with cap space, exciting teammates, and chances for championships. In the end, he made a completely defensible basketball decision, to join up with two other superstars on the Miami Heat, which led to four finals trips and two trophies, in four years.

But "The Decision," a one-hour television special on ESPN where he announced that he'd leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, was one of the biggest PR disasters in history. Fans burned his jerseys in the street, the team's owner wrote an open letter criticizing LeBron, and it seemed the relationship between the man and his people was irreparably destroyed.

And then last week, he returned to Cleveland, with the city and team welcoming him with open arms. How? And how does this relate to your own career moves?

Apparently, here is what all the wanna-be 1L's are thinking right now: "Summer, summer, summertime." Fewer are taking tests, and more are hitting the beach, or the snooze button. New reports show that the number of students who sat for the June 2014 LSAT was at a 14-year low. Seems like students don't think a law degree is sufficient to practice law, let alone do anything else.

Let's take a look at what's behind the numbers, and any potential ramifications.

You'd think that a safe haven from discrimination and harassment would be a law school of all places -- but we've seen throughout history that's simply not the case. The latest in law school hall of shame stories comes out of Case Western Reserve Law and its flirtatious (and to some creepy) former Dean Lawrence Mitchell.

Mitchell's alleged actions led to a situation in which the school, and another professor tried to do the right thing, and ended up in litigation. This week, the parties announced that they had come to a settlement agreement, reports The ABA Journal. Now, everyone can get back to teaching law.