July 18, 2013
Some adult coverage and commentary on "The Economic Value of a Law Degree"Here.
Simkovic v. Tamanaha on the economic value of a law degree
UPDATE: This is also helpful.
July 17, 2013
"The Economic Value of a Law Degree"
This article ought to fundamentally change the conversation about the economic value of legal education; it's considerably more sophisticated methodologically than anything I've seen, and it sensibly compares the value of the JD to the alternatives, such as only having a BA. (A peculiarity of the cyber-ranting about "don't go to law school" is that it never explains, or even seems to care, what happens or would happen to those who forego the JD.) There's also a powerpoint version which contains most (not all) of the key data and analysis.
UPDATE: Predictably, serious research and analysis is met with derision and and insults from the know-nothing crowd. Professor Simkovic sent the following measured reply to Mr. Mystal's nonsense, which makes clear that Mystal didn't even read the article before ranting about it:
UPDATE: Professsor Simkovic will be blogging about his research here.
Your coverage of our research, "The Economic Value of a Law Degree" contains several inaccuracies that you may wish to correct.
1) The study does not only look at averages, as you state in your post. It also considers the median, 25th percentile and 75th percentile outcomes. Even at the 25th percentile, the value of a law degree exceeds the cost.
2) The study includes earnings data from 1996 to 2011--the coverage does not stop in 2008 as you state. The most recent law school and college graduates in sample for the earnings portion of the study are from the class of 2008, but earnings are reported through 2011.
3) The study notes the typical tax rate on the earnings premium and reports both pre-tax and after tax-values. It does not only report the value of a law degree before taxes, as you state.
4) The study includes a range of possible tuition values in our internal return calculations and explains clearly how to compare the cost of the degree to the value of the degree. It does not simply provide "theoretical never-never-land [estimates] where things like TUITION don’t matter", as you state.
5) The study presents student loan default rates for many low-ranked law schools. The default rates are lower than average default rates for former college and graduate school students.
July 16, 2013
NYU's Misleading Presentation of its Academic Job Placement
Tsk, tsk--technically accurate, but also misleading, since it omits the fact that NYU also had the third highest number of candidates on the market (and by a wide margin). In fact, NYU's percentage placement of its academic job seekers is quite respectable (and better than Harvard's, as it happens!), but the fact is most NYU teaching candidates did not get academic jobs.
May 27, 2013
Rookie hiring summary courtesy of UCI's Sarah Lawsky...
...here. As a percentage of candidates on the market, here's how the schools fared in terms of tenure-track placement of their alumni (Lawsky's numbers are a bit different, at least in part due to a failure to count tenure-stream jobs in non-US law schools; I list only schools that had at least five candidates on the market):
1. University of Chicago (58%)
2. University of Virginia (57%)
3. Yale University (49%)
4. Duke University (39%)
4. New York University (39%)
6. University of Michigan (31%)
7. Harvard University (30%)
8. University of California, Los Angeles (25%)
9. Cornell University (21%)
9. Northwestern University (21%)
11. University of Texas, Austin (18%)
12. Georgetown University (17%)
13. Stanford University (15%)
13. University of California, Berkeley (15%)
15. Columbia University (11%)
The Stanford and Columbia performances seem anomalously low--maybe due to underreporting, and maybe due to a fluke this year.
Professor Lawsky's numbers, even allowing for the limits of self-reporting, also clearly show the steep drop-off in hiring this year, on the order of almost one-third fewer hires than in recent years.
UPDATE: Professor Lawsky's percentage chart, but just for US tenure-track hires.
May 07, 2013
Is law school tuition going up or down?
No one really knows, but given the data from private universities and colleges, the answer is very likely "down."
MEANWHILE an uptick in employment for new lawyers.