Dec 9, 2009

Law Student Dissatisfaction, Volume 78

The ABA Journal reports today that
A new survey by LexisNexis found that, based on the changing legal marketplace, 21 percent of law students regret attending law school. Thirty-five percent said they don’t feel adequately prepared to succeed in the new marketplace, and 65 percent said law schools don’t teach the practical business skills needed in today’s economy, according to the survey . . . .
Read the post here, ATL's take and the usual snarky comments, and the .PDF summary of the survey posted by Legal Blog Watch, and a panel discussion on the future of the profession hosted by LexisNexis, but reported by LBW.

A few observations:
  • Only 100 law students were surveyed. This seems an awfully small sample.
  • The level of dissatisfaction does not seem that surprising, given the discontented nature of most lawyers and law students. In fact, if anything, 21% seems low, given the economic outlook and legal job market. Let's face it, it's a bad time to be looking for any kind of job.
  • Law school doesn't teach practical business skills, nor should it, beyond some elementary introductions like finance for lawyers, made available to those English majors who (wisely) spent their college years writing poetry, dabbling in philosophy, and arguing about the place of Piers Plowman in the canon.
Update: WSJ Law Blog posts on the panel discussion regarding the future of the profession. Interesting stuff for law schools and law students to consider. Of course, I look forward to the comments as well.


  1. I agree, 21% seems low (as does the sample size). Law school isn't generally considered fun, even in the best of times.

    I remember being asked as a law student, "Do you like law school?" I would say, "No, nobody likes law school, but I know I'm in the right place."

    And, of course, you don't learn practical business skills in law school. That's what your first 10 years in practice are for!

    Peace and blessings!

  2. Steve, they ought to just take your Econ and Finance class! Thanks for chiming in!