Posted Apr 21, 2010 11:25 pm CDT
Despite the economic debacle of the past year or two, most pre-law students are confident about their own career prospects, a survey found.
However, they express doubt about others’ ability to find the legal job of their dreams, according to a Business Wire press release.
The survey by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions of 330 pre-law students determined that 52 percent are “very confident” of finding a legal job after graduating from law school and passing the bar exam. However, only 16 percent are “very confident” that most of their classmates will achieve the same success.
The results are in accord with other research finding that adults under 30 are more confident about the future than prior generations.
Many of those a bit further along in the legal education pipeline, however, are not so sanguine. Among them is Francis Sohn, who notes in the Cornell Daily Sun that Cornell Law School had a 50 percent increase in applications this year.
At a cost of $70,000 a year, not to mention the lost opportunity cost of time that might been better spent doing something else, a legal education today routes graduates into a profession in which traditional high-paid jobs are increasingly being replaced with “sweatshop-style document review” and legal outsourcing positions, writes Sohn in an opinion column apparently prompted by the Kaplan survey results.
“One would expect students to be aware of this, and wait to see if legal hiring will recover before committing three years and $200,000 to get a degree not worth the paper its printed on,” he says. “Instead, we see evidence pointing in exactly the opposite direction.”
“Pre-law students’ confidence in their own job prospects are likely an indication not just of self-assurance, but of their optimism in an economic turnaround,” says Jeff Thomas, Kaplan’s director of pre-law programs, in the release. “What’s interesting is the drop-off in confidence in their peers, which perhaps may just be an indication of the general competitive atmosphere that exists between pre-law students.“
Earlier related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: “Unable to Find Legal Job, Blogger Posts Bah Humbug Tale on YouTube”
ABAJournal.com: “Was It Worth It? With Debt of Up to $250K, Some Law Grads Are Dubious”
ABAJournal.com: “Is Law School a Good Investment? No, Law Prof Says, for Many ‘Typical’ Students”
ABAJournal.com: “Growing ‘Scamblogger’ Coalition Warns Away Wannabe Lawyers”