Two years ago in August, I rode the B26 bus down Fulton Street through Fort Greene to my law school matriculation ceremony. I wore shoes from a thrift store and a $99 suit from Men's Wearhouse. I was riding the bus because I couldn't get too sweaty in my suit. I texted my mom, "I don't feel ready." She texted me back that I could leave school if I didn't like it. I hadn't done much research. I didn't want to go to law school, but it seemed like it was time.
Law school enrollment has been plunging over the past two years, and with good reason. As law school deans desperately seek to assure future customers that everything is okay, one real live indebted recent law school graduate is standing up to remind his potential successors: theirs is a path towards doom.
Lawrence Mitchell is the dean of Case Western Reserve University's law school, ranked #67 by US News, not that a doctor of jurisprudence like Lawrence Mitchell would concern himself with pedestrian matters such as his law school's low, low ranking. No—Lawrence Mitchell is concerned with more elevated matters, such as the wanton meanness of mean people who say mean things about law school. Have persons no respect?
Since the recession and the cruel pulling-out of the rug from under the notional feet of thousands of fresh-faced law school graduates who'd imagined office-bound lives of leisure in their futures, it's become quite clear to everyone that law school is for suckers. Nobody knows this better than people who run law schools. So what to do? Put themselves out of a job? Haha! No, but seriously, they can offer you a great deal on law school right now.
Since the recession hit, law school degrees have become so toxic and worthless that they are actually worth less than nothing, because not only do they take all of your money and leave in crushing debt but you can't even get a job with them any more and if you could the job would be horrible. So—how to make a law degree even worse? That took the mindpower that only Yale can offer.
We joke around a lot in a good-natured fashion about how recent graduates of law school are fucked up, down, and sideways. "You guys are just straight fucked," we often say (joshingly). Well—imagine our surprise when we found out that, in fact, recent graduates of law school really are fucked. Yikes! Touchy subject.