Parents of college students, I have some advice for you: If you still care about your child's future by the time they are in their early twenties, on their own, and in the position of making their own legitimate decisions about their future endeavors, try and impress this caveat upon them, "Law school is not for the meek or parsimonious."
Naturally, for most families - or I shall say, for most children willing to put their parents in the position of preparing for the likelihood of this prospect - law school is more than a mere formality for the financially privileged. Moreover, this impression is ingrained in prospective students minds from an early age of adolescence.
That's why the following statistics have to be somewhat troubling for advocates of the law profession: The employment rate for law school graduates has fallen for five years in a row to 84.7 percent for the class of 2012. While more 2012 graduates found jobs, a larger class size hurt the overall rate. Only 64.4 percent of graduates obtained a job that requires bar passage - the lowest percentage the National Association for Law Placement has ever measured.
The report had some bright sides (depending on your perspective). The median starting salary for attorneys increased slightly to $61,245 from $60,000 the year before - still far below the $72,000 reported for the class of 2009.
Says James Leipold, executive director of the NALP: "I think it's fair to say it's still a tough job market. So I think for potential law students they just have to do a better job than they've done in the past about cost-benefit analysis."
(Interesting, "cost-benefit analysis.") Leipold might want to be more practical in the future by forewarning students about the potentialities of accruing unremitting debt tantamount to frighteningly declining legal salaries.
This is why I, Kris McKusick, have reconsidered the option of investing in law school. Of course, when you're my age (38) law school is sort of past the stage of being considered an investment. It's more like the exact opposite of that designation of venture.
Kind of like the Twins seriousness of building another championship contender.