Recent Courier-Journal story highlights what most lawyers knew or should have known for years, and that is law school is not the financially rewarding career it once was. But, if you are in it solely for the money, then maybe the practice of law is not right for you.
And the numbers are:
Lawyers in Kentucky: 13,292
In Jefferson County: 4,582.
Kentucky law school applications
U of L
The story – “Law School applications plummet – at U of L too“, Oct. 20, 2014, by Andrew Wolfson.
Mirroring a national trend, applications to Brandeis plummeted 59 percent over the past three years, to 618 from 1,495, while enrollment of first-year students dipped nearly 30 percent, to 94 from 132.
Nationally, enrollment in law schools has declined 24 percent since 2010 as college graduates realize that law is no longer an automatic ticket to the good life.
“The message out there is that it is not a good investment,” said Susan Duncan, interim dean of U of L’s law school. She disputes that assertion, noting that Brandeis, founded in 1846, has been consistently named a “best value” by National Jurist and other magazines and that law opens doors to many professions.
Louisville grads did slightly better: Eighty-six percent had a job within nine months of graduating while 65 percent had jobs that required a law degree.
Ironically, U of L’s former dean, Jim Chen, may have been the first scholar to scientifically compute the value of a law degree in research and suggest it is at best a marginally worthwhile investment.
In a 2012 law journal article that reverberated through the profession, he wrote that borrowing money to go to law school makes sense only if you can count on earning three times annual tuition. He also said that even paying in-state tuition at a “bargain” school like U of L, graduates who borrow money to attend will find it “precarious” to afford a $100,000 home.