Analysis : Lawyers and Law Graduates In The United States. The Misconceptions People Have.

Analysis : Lawyers and Law Graduates In The United States. The Misconceptions People Have.

Lots of People Spread Misleading Information, Never trust Rumors.
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College not only provides us with a community that strives for prosperity, it will give us a key to new flourishing possibilities, and one of that is law school. Graduating high school, I had a fantasy that this journey will be simplistic, obstruction free and with extraordinary compensation in the end. However, that isn't the situation at all, in fact, they are more obstacles and facts that people need to know about the law field before dedicating to this route.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the time span of 10 years 2014-2024, there will be an estimated 157,00 total job openings for lawyers. This sounds great alone, it becomes troubling to discover that in 2016, there was a total of 37,124 law graduates. If this trend maintains, there would be approximately 350,000 law graduates in 10 years, but according to BLS, only 157,000 jobs for lawyer positions will be available. This means that there is a good percentage of law graduates that don't become lawyers. The American Bar Association has data for 2016 law graduates and the numbers don't lie.

Around 35 percent of law graduates don't become lawyers and the tuition keeps increasing. 85 law schools in the United States have an 80 percent or lower bar exam passing rate. Pace University with 70% bar passing rate charges $47,210 tuition and Thomas Jefferson School of Law with a 45% bar passing rate charges $49,500 tuition. Additionally, with the case there aren't enough lawyer openings for the graduates, this doesn't seem prosperous some might imagine law school to be.

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, if you are nevertheless planning to go to law school, use the employment summaries from the American Bar Association to search up a law school before applying. 64 out of 210 graduates from Thomas Jefferson School of Law are unemployed, that is 30% who have no job, and not even a teacher.


Some graduating from a school like that has to deal with an average of $120,000 in debt. Private law schools charge ridiculous rates without a promise of a job. There are even misleading debt averages reported from colleges on famous websites like U.S. news. For Law Schools to attract more students, they try their best to lower there reported debt averages to gain more collected tuition money, those averages aren't accurate.

"Law School Transparency reports that a Harvard Law grad with no scholarships will have a student loan bill between $297,548 and $322,348, with a total repayment of between $400,000 on a 10-year plan and $550,000 on a 20-year plan" and "In other words, over 50% of HLS students are paying full price to attend"

"In other words, over 50% of HLS students are paying full price to attend."

"So this means that the average debt of $149,754 reported by HLS and US News may be misleading. I suspect that most of their graduates have much higher loan balances."

This is just one case, plenty of law schools can be around this scale, maybe a little less. At least Harvard gets you a job, unlike Thomas Jefferson. This for-profit law school disproves the myth that the more expensive a college, the better it is for to find a job. A lawyer graduating from Cornell Law School might be making $150,000 a year (probably less), compared to a lawyer graduating CUNY Law making $90,000, can you guess who got more than $200,000 debt to pay up. No shame to Cornell. The journey is troublesome and can be a dangerous investment if you're not careful. Lawyers have a 15% unemployment rate. With what we discussed, it's not a good mix with the outrageous debt and the 65% bar passing rate.

When you hear the rumors that there is high demand for lawyers, they probably mean not the state you live in, but in the entire country. To further illustrate, According to NYTimes Theresa Amato, a lawyer and public advocate at Washington DC, "In Nebraska, 20 out of 93 counties have fewer than four lawyers. Eleven counties have no lawyers at all. The Montana Legal Services Association, a nonprofit group that is partly federally funded, reports having only 13 case-handling lawyers for the entire state". There is unbalance of lawyers for different states, so while there is notably few demand for new lawyers in New York, states like Nebraska and Montana have a scarcity of lawyers. Some states have enough lawyers while others are looking. The author further explains that law school debt makes graduates unwilling to take lower paying legal jobs, they weren't fantasizing that while in school.

You may be willing to go through this because you have a passion to protect, serve the people and bring justice. Families are hurt, political tensions are rising, deportation, and everyone deserves the right to a lawyer. Ask yourself this first.

Am I helping people when in the end, the person I'm helping is paying unaffordable legal fees, just so I can make a great living?

That's for another time to debate.

Cover Image Credit: google

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Why Working With Special Populations Doesn't Make Me A Good Person

What you're missing from the bigger picture.
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"What do you do?” might be one of my least favorite questions. Let me tell you why. I am currently a Registered Behavior Technician at a wonderful program (MAP) nestled in the heart of North Carolina. Usually when I tell someone what I do, their response is either an uncertain nod or a plain look of confusion. At that time, I break it down by saying, “Basically, I work with children who have autism.” Now, more times than not, the response I receive is along the lines of, “Wow, that’s so amazing of you” or my personal favorite, “Good for you. I could NEVER do that.”

I understand that working with special populations isn’t for everyone, just like being a neurosurgeon isn’t for everyone. But, working with special needs children doesn’t make me a good person, a saint, or a hero. Every time someone tells you he/she is a teacher, do you gasp and express how much you could NOT be a teacher? What about when you meet a pediatrician? These people work with children just like I do. I’m certain if you spent one day in my shoes you would see just how much you COULD do my job.

Maybe not all of the technical work, but after a day with these children you would be humbled by how much you could learn from them. After all, these children are just children. They want to be accepted just like every other child. They want to be understood and to be part of a community just like the rest of us. My job has given me the opportunity to get to know a handful of the more than 3.5 million Americans on the spectrum. I’ve gotten to know each of their personalities, their quirks, and what makes them unique. I can’t help but imagine a world where everyone gets to know these individuals as I have. A world where we accept all of those who might appear or act different from us and educate ourselves on these populations. A world where that education helps us see that they aren’t so different from us after all.

Working with individuals with special needs doesn’t make me a good person, because I do it for selfish reasons. I work with them because I don’t know what my life would be like without them. They have taught me so much and changed my life in so many ways. I get to play a small hand in these children’s lives. I get to help them learn fundamental life skills you and I take for granted.

But, I also get to leave work everyday having learned a lesson. These children have taught me to be a better version of myself and to appreciate even the smallest of things life has to offer. Each day they challenge me to laugh more, have more fun, and not take myself so seriously. They show me more love than I ever knew possible. Maybe it isn’t with their words. Maybe it’s with the smiles and giggles when we’re singing their favorite song, or the way they look at me when they finally get something they have been working so hard to learn.

The hugs, the kisses, and the moments where our two worlds collide and we finally connect; these are the moments that remind me how much these children have to offer the rest of us. If only we would take the time to let them teach us, we would be more selfless, less judgmental, and have a greater appreciation for life.

April is National Autism Awareness Month. My hope is that this month we work to spread awareness for Autism, as well as other special needs. We take this time to learn something new, to help educate others, and to stop looking at these individuals as though they need special people in their lives to help teach them and focus more on opening our minds to the things they can teach us.

Cover Image Credit: Katharine Smith

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Starbucks Just Opened Its First-Ever Sign Language Location And We Are SO Here For It

Complete with the cutest mugs we've ever seen.

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On October 23rd, Starbucks opened their doors to the first ever U.S. signing store in Washington, D.C. In addition to the 20 to 25 people who are all fluent in American Sign Language, this location features lower tables, lower ordering counters, brighter lights, no background music, and larger text sizes, to accommodate for easier communication between baristas and customers.

Along with these features, the Washington, D.C. store, located in an existing Starbucks, includes tablets for customers to write their orders and screens to alert customers when drinks and food items are ready.

Aesthetically speaking, the new location will feature brighter lighting and many displays of ASL artwork. These original touches include "Starbucks" written in sign on aprons and in the window, a mural meant to encapsulate and celebrate deaf culture, and mugs designed by a deaf artist.

An article from Starbucks Newsroom says that there will be "a variety of enhancements to support the Deaf and hard of hearing partner and customer experience. Deaf baristas will have ASL aprons embroidered by a Deaf supplier, and hearing partners who sign will have an "I Sign" pin."

These are all initiatives put in place and sponsored by the Deaf Leadership of the Starbucks Access Alliance.

Store Manager Matthew Gilsbach, who is deaf himself, told Washingtonian in an interview, "We often talk about being the third place. We are your third place, you have your home, you have your work, and then you come here for a break between those two things to enjoy your day and your coffee," says Gilsbach. "So too does the deaf and hard of hearing community. And now they have direct access to other options for their third place. They don't have to feel isolated. Deaf and hard of hearing people have a place to come to call their own."

Starbucks has a history in both the positive and negative lights for getting involved in the news, and this store, creating opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing customers, is yet another step in the right direction.

To find out how to sign your Starbucks order, Manager Matthew Gilsbach offers some tips here:

To all the pumpkin spice latte fans out there...

Starbucks Manager Matthew Gilsbach signing "pumpkin spice." Washingtonian

For all my friends who just like coffee...

Starbucks Manager Matthew Gilsbach signing "coffee." Washingtonian

And if you're trying to be polite...

Starbucks Manager Matthew Gilsbach signing "please and thank you." Washingtonian

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