Is Law School Worth the Fight?
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Millions of students attend law school every year to only leave with thousands of dollars in debt. Michael Wallerstein is one of those students, but he is about $250,000 dollars in debt. Creditors are hounding his door wanting their money, but how can he pay all of that money back? Dozens of creditors want a piece of his “money,” but there is no guarantee that any of them will see it.

“And I don’t open the e-mail alerts with my credit score,” he adds. “I can’t look at my credit score any more.”-says Michael.


Finances are overshadowing more than just Michael, but also millions of other graduated students. Not many people can say that Michael’s law school was that great of an investment. Over 15,000 legal jobs have vanished as a result of the economy as well. Law students, graduates and firms are all feeling the heat from the biggest economic downfall of history.

Temporary employees are picking up more entry level work than ever before. These jobs are also going overseas to countries like India and leaving the U.S. permanently.

“But improbably enough, law schools have concluded that life for newly minted grads is getting sweeter, at least by one crucial measure. In 1997, when U.S. News first published a statistic called “graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation,” law schools reported an average employment rate of 84 percent. In the most recent U.S. News rankings, 93 percent of grads were working — nearly a 10-point jump.”

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Some reports are showing that law graduates are actually finding job positions. However, graduates are telling a different story. Those graduates like Michael, who have to sit back and wallow in debt.

How do law schools hide the truth?

“A law grad, for instance, counts as “employed after nine months” even if he or she has a job that doesn’t require a law degree. Waiting tables at Applebee’s? You’re employed. Stocking aisles at Home Depot? You’re working, too.”

Unfortunately, these graduates are not all working in law, but instead are working anywhere they can. The average school of law for one year costs around $43,000 dollars. This is an incredible number for those who cannot find jobs after graduation.

Although the economy is not seeing more jobs for those with a law degree, enrollment is not dropping either.

“I think the student loans that kids leave law school with are more scandalous than payday loans,” says Andrew Morriss, a law professor at the University of Alabama. “And because it’s so easy to get a student loan, law school tuition has grossly outpaced the rate of inflation for the last 20 years. It’s now astonishingly high.”

The big question here is “Is law school worth it?” No one can decide that for you. However, it is best to outweigh the high price of law school for the low amount of jobs available to those who need it.


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