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    Law Grad Hunger Strike

    Law Grad Hunger Strike

    Ethan Haines is a law school graduate who blogs at, a website devoted to the plight of law students who graduate with loads of student loan debt and few job prospects.

    Glenn Reynolds has written of the higher education bubble in general, and law student employment problems in particular.

    Ethan has issued a press release (and kindly e-mailed me) announcing that he is starting a hunger strike directed at 10 law schools:

    On August 5, 2010, Ethan Haines, self-designated J.D. Class Representative, emailed an Official Notice of Hunger Strike to administrators of ten randomly selected law schools ranked in the Top 100 of the 2010 U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings. These schools were selected because they stand to gain the most from keeping the current rankings structure in place.

    Ethan intends to bring awareness to the concerns of law students and recent law graduates by having them addressed by law school administrators. Their primary concerns are inaccurate employment statistics, ineffective career counseling, and rising tuition costs.

    The strike was motivated by a recent American Bar Association (ABA) investigate Report, which concluded that educational leaders are unable to timely combat the adverse affects of U.S. News’ rankings on legal education.

    The Notice sets forth two conditions that administrators can satisfy to end Ethan’s hunger strike. One condition is to provide written confirmation of their intent to cooperate with the Law School Transparency (LST) organization’s information request regarding employment statistics. Ethan is not affiliated with LST, but is an avid supporter of the cause and intends to forward the compliance statements to the organization.

    Ethan has more on his motivations and goals at his website.

    Look, I am completely sympathetic to the plight of law school students and graduates like Ethan.

    But I’m not sure Ethan will get much sympathy apart from people in his situation — and perhaps some enlightened law professors with big mouths blogs.

    But, if it calls attention to the issue, maybe Ethan will achieve his real goal.

    Update 8-8-2010: Glenn Reynolds’ new column, Further thoughts on the higher education bubble.

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    Should Law Professors Really Be Running The Government?

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    Milcus | August 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    JorgXMcKie, a decent law school is one of the top 100 law schools. However, while I dont think that only 10% of students at some of those schools should be guaranteed the big firm jobs (in a normal economy), most people know that is the case when they come to law school. Most people know that if they are not ranked high in the class, graduate with honors, and with law review or journal experience, they will not be guaranteed to get a great job.

    That is just the facts of life in a normal economy. The problem, of course, is that the normal way things work was destroyed. OCI recruiting was cut in half, very few firms offered 100% offers to their summers, etc.. That filtered into more applicants for clerkships, which resulted in way too many qualified lawyers graduating without jobs. And those people will effect everyone else because they are going to get priority treatment for mid-sized firms, etc.. when bar results come out in November.

    As for TTT's (assuming we are not using the abovethelaw definition, where everything past Virginia is a TTT), people went there by choice. They will all pay off their bills, it will just take them longer because of a much lower starting salary.

    Finally, as to students with jobs lined up. The jobs are probably not at elite Vault top 100 firms, because its really hard to get into those firms without the grades.

    So, the problem is not the regular model (aside from the fact that there are too many law schools, and law school is a year too long), the problem is that the economy has destroyed the model for the people in my year, 2009, and 2011. And, as a result, there are way too many lawyers who need to pass the bar in November to get a job who have very good credentials, and who in most other years would have graduated with offers to join Vault 100 firms.

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