'Is Law School a Losing Game?' New York Times Asks

By Minara El-Rahman on January 19, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Law school grads have watched job opportunities dry up while their law school debt piles up. One such law school graduate is Michael Wallerstein. Michael Wallerstein has a staggering $250,000 in law school debt and can't afford to pay it down, according to the New York Times. He now dodges calls from creditors in order to keep his sanity intact.

While there are plenty of law school graduates warning future law students about this dismal job market, it seems that few are heeding the warning. "Avoid this overpriced sewer pit as if your life depended on it. Unless of course, you think that you will be better off with $110-190k in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a degree that qualifies you to wait tables at Battery Park Bar and Lounge," warns the blog Third Tier Reality. However, student enrollment in law schools remains at an all-time high.

What these future JDs should know is that law school graduates have debts that they can't get rid of. While you can have most debts discharged in a bankruptcy, it is nearly impossible to have student-loan debt discharged under current law, according to FindLaw.

Is anyone to blame for these recent graduates being saddled with massive law school debt and no jobs to repay them?

It seems that there are a lot of graduates who are blaming law schools for releasing "misleading job-placement data," the WSJ Blog writes. There is a lot of job uncertainty out there, yet law schools seem to be painting a rosy picture of employment; even if that employment has been the local Starbucks versus a law firm job.

One thing that does seem to be certain is that it seems that individuals that who go to regional law schools may be at a disadvantage. These students have mortgaged their careers by taking on massive amounts of student debt in order to obtain a job that may or may not exist for them. "Segal's whole point is that lower-tier law schools are churning out graduates who would have been better off not getting a graduate degree at all, partly because they could put their skills to better use in the world of employment rather than racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans," according to Reuters.

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