Sunday, March 27, 2011

Things Suck in Iowa Too--Nando Could Have Told You So.

There is one thing I hate to hear when I tell non-lawyers how much the legal industry sucks in New York Shitty.... "Why don't you move to the midwest or some other state where there are fewer lawyers?"

Never mind the bar and admissions.  Usually, where there are less lawyers, there are less jobs for lawyers.  There are likely less jobs for everyone because there's less people.

What about Iowa?  Nando from Third TTTTier Toilet Drake (or is it fourth?  or is it second with the bullshit that the USNWR is pulling?) can give us all an earful on the state of the legal market in Iowa.  I also ran into an article about the horrid state of the job market in Iowa.  Thought it was worth mentioning here.

It starts off with an awesome quote:
The sad thing about lawyers is not that so many of them are stupid, but that so many of them are intelligent. The craft is a great devourer of good men; it sucks in and wastes almost as many as the monastic life consumed in the Middle Ages. -- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956).

A few weeks ago, I was representing a friend in a crazy civil case (she lent some money to another friend that didn't return it).  We were waiting for opposing counsel to come and she asked me how she looked.  I said, she's 40ish and has grey hair.  So, my friend proceeded to examine all of the lawyers who came in with grey hair.  After we finally located opposing counsel, my friend said, "Angel, you need to stop being a lawyer. All of the lawyers, men and women, look like death walking and I'm afraid for your future.  Please promise me you'll teach or something. ANYTHING, just get out of this profession."

I'd like to think that lawyers look old and used up, much like meth heads or prostitutes--not so much like monks.  But, you get the idea.  It's no wonder too. With the job stats that are out there... Back to the article:
...according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in all legal occupations from now to 2018 will be only 0.86 percent of all jobs nationwide, totaling less than 1.5 million. For lawyers the expected growth is only 12.9 percent, representing 240,000 new jobs. The largest growth area will be paralegals and legal assistants, at 28 percent. This estimate does not reflect the significant downturn in hiring over the recession of the last two years....
Yet law school tuition keeps climbing. According to the American Bar Association, average in-state public-school tuition and fees are increasing at 9 percent per year, resulting in a 2009 average of $16,836. Out-of-state tuition is growing at 7 percent to over $28,280. Average private-school tuition was $33,985, increasing at 6 percent per year.
That's inflation if I ever did hear it.  But a state like Iowa will surely weather the storm better than most, right?  With only 2 law schools, what do they have to fear?
UI, with a top-tier rating by U.S. News and World Report (26th), has been prominently mentioned as having significant tuition increases, implementing a 20 percent in-state increase and 13 percent out-of-state increase in 2009, double the norm. 
Wow.  That's some kind of an increase for a state university!  But, the Dean has an excuse for this:
Dean Carolyn Jones characterized the tuition increase as an "unusual situation" and necessary to "maintain our progress, reputation and the strength of our degrees." 
One would think the strength of your degrees would be maintained by NOT shackling the hands of your students so much so that they cannot find gainful employment in the state of Iowa.  Your graduates would probably love to work for pennies, but can't because of the monstrous student debts on their backs.  Have you ever heard of fathers that are obligated to pay so much child support that it's not worth it for them to work?  This is the same situation.  You should strengthen your degrees by dropping tuition drastically and going bare bones budget wise a la Chris Christie.  Trim, trim, trim.... I'm a little delirious right now, and this may not make sense to most people.  But a school is run like a small state, and the best way to run a small state is not off the backs of your "citizens" (i.e. graduates) but by cutting back on expenses.

Whatever.  I'm done with that.

Thought Nando would appreciate this this article mentions Drake as well.  But nothing we don't already know.  It's a bit cheaper than IU, but at the end of the day, graduates of either school are screwed:
Drake University law school graduates are carrying a median debt of $91,576; Iowa graduates $87,891, of government loans only. Even before the proposed tuition increases, Iowa graduates have more than $21,000 more in debt than the average student, not including undergraduate or private loans, or credit card debts. Including those amounts would result in real debt to our Iowa young people of $125,000 to $150,000, plus interest. A great devourer of good men and women, indeed.

For those of you who are in Iowa, how accurate is this chart?  Just wondering.


  1. Off topic, but we, in the US, have a revenue problem now a spending problem.

    Corporations like GE need to pay taxes into the system instead of getting a 3.5 billion refund from the system.

    If you tax the wealthy and big corporations appropriately, then our government spending is much more in reason.

    This is not to say that frivolous spending like the jobs program, i.e. defense, does not need to be cut.

  2. Well, did you see the 60 Minutes episode tonight? I felt the same way, but then I learned that the tax rates for corps in america is more than double that of countries like Ireland and Switzerland. That's why they use foreign subsidiaries to stash the cash. I'm not really sure how to fix the problem. :P That 60 minutes segment is worth looking at.

  3. Close the loophole. That's what the debt commission found.

    Also, don't forget the wealthy who got their tax cuts extended.

  4. What a bunch of crap. Why does everyone focus only on tax rates? It's like it's the only thing that matters to the business environment. We just assume that anyone at all should have access to the most profitable consumer market in human history. Don't we just assume that corporations are entitled to that? It really is true. When you factor in labor conditions, we actually have the most business-friendly market in the Western world. So don't give me a bunch of shit about tax rates. If you want to sell me something (either you or your competitor will after all), you have to be a contributing part of the American economy and society. You've got no right to do business here, with me. And if you don't, well, then that's your choice. Close the loophole. Make corporations pay taxes. Hurry up, and don't be scared into believing we have to spread our legs or else we'll never get any love. I mean, come on. Americans are hugely pathetic. Love to talk about how tough we are, how resolute we are, how we never give up, and "Don't tread on me", and all that. But, just like everything else, there's nothing more to it. Never strike you as funny that the same people who play Yankee Doodle the loudest and who wave the flag like an epileptic are the same ones agitating about corporate tax rates being too high? It is patriotic to pay taxes. It's constructive, in the most literal meaning of that word. Our self-respect is wasted on us, and, wow, is that nothing but just naked arrogance run over with delusion.

  5. Thanks for the plug, Angel! Here is my old post on lawyer overproduction in Iowa.

    “In the last analysis, there are too many lawyers in the state of Iowa. How the hell can a population that has grown by 2.8% in over 9 years support a 32% increase in the number of attorneys, over largely the same nine year period?!?! The population increase in attorneys is essentially 11.5 times greater than the increase in the state’s general population.”

    Keep in mind that this growth occured with only two law schools in the state. And both the University of Iowa and Third Tier Drake have relatively small class sizes – in comparison to other ABA diploma mills.

  6. 4 off-topic idiots + Nando = 0 comments

    Neither will my post count... just sayin'....

  7. The USA does not have the collective will to take on coroprate welfare. It is just going to be a steady decline.

  8. There are certain fields and jobs that are stepping stone jobs. You start working as a computer programmer then move to programmer/ analyst. Then, there are jobs that just want people for a short time or just young kids, i.e. account executive/stock broker.

    Walk into any office and count the number of older people. How many kids. For better or worse, the legal field is becoming a transition field. Five years then out. Such as waiters; it used to be an occupation, now it is a job. If you are a kid straight out of lawschool and manage to find a job, then expect working 12 hour a day 6 days weeks.

    But seriously, how long do you think your body can take this. You can't last forever. One night you are commuting home and you think the bus driver, garbageman, and postman is making more than me. They are at home. They have futures. Then you move on.

    Angle your friend may have a point when she mentions the old beat down lawyers. five years and out. Get on with your life!

  9. @ Anon. 2:23 AM

    Had I known that my comment would automatically rob you of your ability to make a valuable contribution to Western social-political thought, I certainly would have thought twice.

  10. @ idiot

    Your contribution was as valuable as those who try to inject "Lord Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and God's Only Son" into every conversation. Same sh!t, off-topic, and completely idiotic.

  11. Good post, BIDER, you've been quiet lately. 1. Too many lawyers everywhere, not just big cities - all lawyers know this, but good to keep letting public know this; 2. lawyers are not aging well - I want to hear more about this - I'm not sure it's true - I've been practicing about 20 years - everyone thinks I'm 10 -15 years younger than I am - I have A LOT of sitting around doing nothing time, but I still make decent money when I work - I've learned to enjoy sitting around doing nothing in between working. 3. comment about law work being a transition is interesting - not sure its true - I want to hear more about this.
    4. Not mentioned anywhere, but is true - every once in a while, one of my colleagues hits the jackpot - jackpot justice - I have a friend who is a solo - going on 15 years - he has struggled to buy groceries and gas - really struggled to keep from being homeless. He just settled a case and his take after expenses is $400,000. He is now pretty much set for life. First, he's putting almost all the money in the bank as a nice cushion, and second, he is now getting A LOT more cases to settle/try/whatever based on his big success. This needs to be covered. He is very happy being a lawyer, even though he suffered for 10 - 15 years.

  12. Our definition of a "business friendly" environment is completely and hopelessly fucked up and outdated.


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  14. What I don't get is how all these people saying to move to the midwest, or take up a rural practice don't understand that lawyers are human beings.

    Uprooting your whole life just to work in your chosen profession (though not likely your chosen practice area) is a big fucking deal.

    For most people where they live is just as important as what they do. Law isn't worth giving up your social network and moving to a town of 1000 where you don't know anyone and both the single people in your age bracket are high school drop out meth addicts.

    They might as well suggest you become a truck driver (they deal with corporate compliance issues all the time!) or some other shit. Basically, give up your life because the market is bad.

  15. re March 29, 2011 9:46 AM :

    10-15 years of misery, finally the guy stumbles into 400 grand, and he's now set for life? I'm not sure about that.

    That is, that the destination was worth the trip.

  16. I have been reading this blog for quite sometime, and frankly, I think it is full of lies. Here is my story:
    I scored low on the LSAT(142,) and only had a 2.4 from the University of Kansas. Cooley was the only school to accept me, and thus offered me a spot in their AAMPLE program. If I pass, I am admitted into their school!! Although the AAMPLE program is costly, I believe it is well worth it. Cooley sees through the numbers, and realizes that the LSAT is racially biased. They know that LSAT and GPA are in no way good predictors of law school success.

    I have learned a lot about Cooley through their website, which is the only source of information one should use when choosing a law school due to the fact that the law school knows itself better then anyone else.

    If Cooley is so horrible, why would the ABA accredit them? Furthermore, if it is so bad, why are they ranked 2nd in another objective but more obscure set of rankings?

    My goal is to be a lawyer, and Cooley will give me the skills I need to be successful. At the end of the day, law school is law school, and a degree is a degree. No one cares where you went. As long as you pass the bar, you will be in demand. This blog is full of lies. I am going to be a lawyer; naisayers be damned! Cooley has a superb reputation in the state of Michigan, and once I graduate, it should be quite easy to find a job

    1. Troll? I just can't tell. It's almost too confrontational to be real, but too surreal to be real.

      "At the end of the day, law school is law school, and a degree is a degree."

      Please tell that to employers.

    2. "Cooley sees through the numbers, and realizes that the LSAT is racially biased."

      The LSAT is only biased against dumb people and Cooley only sees dollar signs

  17. Too Angel specifically; Can you say corporate media? Is your opinion fueled on steroids by the "Liberal Media"? C.B.S. is leading far right because one reporter (Dan Rather) got his t*t in a ringer. I, do not trust anything from corporate media, always want a follow up question.



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