I'm a little late posting my thoughts since I only listened to the interview ten minutes ago. You can visit Fluster Cucked and Attorney to Temp to read what other scam bloggers thought about the NPR segment.
Reader "Minneapolis 3L" made the following comment about the interview in our open thread last night. I think his opinions sum up a lot of the sentiment I've been hearing around the web from scam bloggers and our readers. We all know that T14 and TTT grads can't find jobs. The question the mainstream media should be asking is why is the law school scam and outrageous tuition rates allowed to continue?
As the mainstream media slowly picks up on the story of law school being financial suicide for the vast majority of graduates, I noticed NPR did a story on Friday about underemployed law students. It was a strange format, a five-member panel of Georgetown law students. While the lead-in made it sound like NPR would tell everyone how much of a scam law school is, the piece turned out to be fluff, with all of the students saying something like "oh well, I won't make 160k right out of school, but I will have a decent life in government work." EVEN the 3Ls whose plan was to "move to California and shack up with my solo practitioner pal."
These 3Ls were a bunch of ninnies who were obviously hedging and not placing a toe out of line. They probably were lined up for the panel by GULC's career services office. Despite two or three of the panel members really having NOTHING solid and lined up, they made it sound like they were just happy to "settle" for a job that paid under 160k. No one came flat out and said "we are unemployed and grasping at straws, fuck you GULC for charging us 150k," even though that was clearly the situation for two, and maybe three, of them. Only two of them had real jobs, one with the federal mine safety agency, and one with some legal aid org on the West coast...sounded like volunteer work actually.
Anyway, I had high hopes for this story, but NPR dropped the ball and basically turned it into a fluff piece about how law school can still give you a great job in government or public interest, just not in biglaw anymore. LOL. I'm sure any 0L or their parents listening naively breathed a big sigh of relief and cut a check for their seat deposit in the class of 2013. "Well, I won't be making 160k at biglaw, but at least I will have a decent federal job and it's probably less stressful than biglaw anyway. Law school is a great choice."
I sympathize with these students because they aren't any better off than the rest of us and are in for a rocky year. Just give those 3Ls a few more years unemployed or underemployed in a job that doesn't pay enough to payoff their loans and they'll be a lot more frustrated with their situation than they are now. NPR can find plenty of T14 grads from several years ago who never found a job or were laid off and have been unemployed ever since. Graduates a few years in the real world are likelier to complain about their law school experience and troubles paying off their six-figure debt. But that is assuming the mainstream media wants to question the law school scam at all. As Frank at Fluster Cucked said:
Mr. LEWIS: I think that a lot of the real problem that's happened at legal profession is that now we're suffering because the economics of the large law firm just doesn't work. You know, I think that's why you see not many of the firms have gone under, but one of the things that I hope that does come out of this is a restructuring of it.
And maybe law students are going to have to realize that coming out of law school after a three-year education and expecting $160,000 a year is just not a realistic business model.
Ms. BOGO: I do think that our generation be it our year or the year behind us and maybe the year in front of us or something like that, I think we did kind of get the rough end of a stick just because we didn't know that the economy was going to take a downturn when we signed up for X number of loans every year.
And if the economy does turn around, which I'm optimistic maybe because I have to be, but if the economy does turn around and law firms start hiring again, they're not going to hire us. They're going to hire the class that's behind us, who are coming straight out of law school, who they can train up in the way that they always have.
SIEGEL: Because this is a career in which you get on the escalator at a...
Ms. BOGO: Yeah.
SIEGEL: ...particular time, in a summer when you're at law school. They look you over and you look them over. And then you...
Ms. BOGO: Yes. Law firms generally don't hire you out of government or out of, you know, being a private practitioner. They generally hire you straight out of law school or from another comparable firm.
I don't know what NPR is like in other cities, but in my area NPR airs "support for NPR" ads from law schools, including one from Boston University (which airs nationally, I assume). Perhaps NPR doesn't want to risk angering its supporters. I suppose that that is a sensible policy, but it calls into question the network's journalistic independence.Much of the mainstream media is corporately owned or depend on the support of universities and large donors who are on the board of a university. I'm not holding my breath for the mainstream media to rock the boat if it means angering very rich and powerful people, whether they be in politics, business, or the education scam.
Please post your thoughts on the interview in the comments section below.