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Donors of annual gifts of $2,500 or more ($1,200 for graduates of the last decade) are recognized each year at the Cavaedium Society level.
A law school student who claims he was duped into believing that getting a law degree would lead to “a fulfilling and remunerative career” recently wrote an open letter to the dean of the school asking for a full refund.   The student is already in his third year at the prestigious Boston College Law School, so this means he could be asking the school to give him upwards of $100,000. While it’s troubling to think that a person who was smart enough to get into an elite law school isn’t smart enough to know that getting a degree from any college is not necessarily an instant lottery ticket to the career of one’s dreams, his letter may offer a kernel of hope for the rest of us. Why?  Well, the dean of the Boston College Law School likely isn’t the first dean to receive a letter from a law student who regretted his situation and who wanted a refund. So, is the job market for newly minted lawyers so bleak that MOST of them can’t find jobs?  And if so, does this foreshadow a change in our lawsuit-happy culture? Only time will tell if the job market is only softening for law school grads looking for specific, high-paying jobs at the top law firms, or if it means that the United States has too many lawyers in general.  However, a report earlier this year by the National Association of Law Placement indicated that even though the majority of law school graduates can still find jobs, a far higher percentage of those grads are now taking jobs that are temporary. It’s entirely possible that the best and brightest students in undergraduate colleges around America who were considering law school will now decide that they would rather go to medical school, get an MBA or go into another productive field. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged contingency fee lawyers, lawsuit-happy culture by bobdorigojones.
One thing law school did for me and likely does for many others is provide an exposure to many things and offers a safety net if their true passion doesn’t work out.
MBAs are actually in a worse situation than law students, where the schools are pumping out far more than demand, so that’s not an option. The kids complaining here are not currently working as lawyers, so fixing this will have ZERO effect on the number of law suits being filed.
Most of the egregious lawsuits you hear about in the news come from high-money plaintiff’s firms that are going to exist whether or not law graduates are being financially ruined by law schools. Getting into law school is a competitive process and it is not easy to obtain a degree, but the results are worth the effort. Lawyers have to meet high standards of practice; the process of becoming a lawyer involves more than going to law school. Determining if law school is right for you and tips on navigating your way through the complicated admissions process. Everything has its beginning:  the Cosmic Bang, the French Revolution and depression in the legal profession. Attorney Andrew Sparkler, a friend of then fellow Fordham law student David Nee who suffered from depression (unbeknownst to his friends) and committed suicide in his third year of law school, observed, “To admit that you are depressed [in law school], to yourself or to others . Plug in these stats and an estimated 200,000 of this country’s 1 million lawyers are hurting. However, there has been pushback against the theory that law school even causes much psychic damage. In an article by University at Michigan Law Professor James Justesen White, Maiming the Cubs, he takes issue with Professor Krieger theory and argues that the law school experience does not “. I think we must look at what makes people more vulnerable to depression before they enter law school – those 10% who already have depression or are at risk for developing it before they register for their first 1L class. Pessimistic thinking and persistent stress , both powerful dynamics in law school, are known triggers for depression.  When these influences are mixed in with other pre-law school risk factors, law school creates a “perfect storm” for depression to happen.
We have a sense that such a lifestyle can be problematic to our happiness, but we’re willing to keep marching to that beat in the hope of later rewards (e.g. Besides the psychological-physiological links to depression, we live in a culture that breeds melancholy.  How could this not eek its way into the law school experience? Maybe it’s the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of our times; the torpor of the imagination which fails to inspire our young people to live an engaged and spirited life in the law, or the cynicism to think that such a life is even possible that worries me.
Instead, students are served up programs, usually offered up by well-meaning Dean or Vice-Deans of Student Affairs and therapists from a University’s Counseling Center. Over 130 million people suffer from depression worldwide on a planet where it is the leading cause of disability.
Finally, I want to urge all of you reading this blog to write in and express your views about your law school experience, whether you’re in school now or it’s been thirty years.  There’s much to be gained by such sharing.
I am skeptical that law schools will be that effective in addressing depression, because they are more concerned with being successful than they are molding decent and emotionally healthy lawyers. It’s too bad that that there are so many Professor Whites and too few John Woodens teaching at law schools. Dan, what I respect about your blog is that you address depression in emotional, ethical, cultural terms, as well as biological terms. I think that law students as well as lawyers face an enormous challenge in admitting feelings of depression to themselves or to others: the fact that as a student or a lawyer your job is to be alert, competent and capable of handling huge amounts of work and stress at the same time. I think law schools have an obligation to inform students about depression and that it is negligent for any school not to include some kind of depression presentation as part of its orientation and this should be enforced by the ABA.
I’m a 1L suffering from what the WebMD tests are saying is a major depressive episode. I’m a second year Juris Doctor student at an Australian law school and have been battling depression since the start of the degree and in the past few weeks suffered very severe depression, with inclinations towards suicide. I also offer coaching services to law students and lawyers who need to connect with someone who really understands what they’re going through and can provide them with regular, ongoing support and affirmation. ResourcesIn addition to the recommended links above, I have set up a Resources page for additional help. Dan is a 1988 graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law in Buffalo, New York and a managing partner at the law firm of Bernhardi Lukasik PLLC in Buffalo where he litigates cases in state and federal courts across New York State. If you want your law degree from the best of the best, follow these feeds from some of the top-ranked law schools in the country to find the university culture that fits you.


UChicago School of Law: This feed connects you with school paper articles and some cool features like interviews with professors. UVA Law School: Read up on UVA faculty and student body in the news, plus takes on Virginia politics that you may not otherwise come across.
Cornell Law School: Tweets with news and views, with handy tidbits like letting you know when new trial rules come out and linking you to them. These feeds are operated by the schools ranking in the top 20 for percentage of students who pass the bar and find a job, while keeping their law school debt low. GSU College of Law: In addition to school news, Georgia State tweets regularly about health law and charity events. Nebraska Law: It has a tiny following, but Nebraska is a great value school and this feed does a good job keeping students informed about campus news.
Wisconsin Law School: Wisconsin uses its Twitter account for supporting worthy causes like toy drives and food drives, and the legal news is there, too. Arkansas Law School: Never miss a seminar or debate happening on the Arkansas Law campus by watching this feed.
You can't become a practicing attorney with an online law degree, but if you want an underrated but rewarding job with a lot going for it, follow these schools that offer online law degrees.
Kaplan University: Find tips for applying to college, event notifications and success stories of Kaplan graduates.
University of Liverpool: Liverpool has a large crowd following its tweets about studying abroad and playful banter with students. The best way to ensure acceptance into your law school of choice is to score high on the LSAT. KaplanLSATPrep: The feed by this well-known test prep company is pretty much required reading for LSAT takers. Next Step Test Prep: The company is a paid tutoring service, but the feed also has free articles with tips on acing the LSAT. Cambridge LSAT: Cambridge is another for-pay prep service, but in following the tweets you may decide the materials are well worth the money. Blueprint LSAT Blog: Here are more tips and info on the LSAT, with a smattering of legal news and fun stuff. SimuGator LSAT Prep: Check out helpful articles on topics like law school personal statement ideas and survival tips for freshmen law students.
OnLawSchool: Have your test and admissions questions answered by LSAT pros through this Twitter feed.
Law School Podcaster: These tweets will help you knock out the LSAT and arm you with strategies for getting admitted somewhere. LSAC (the LSAT): The Law School Admissions Council is the group behind the LSAT, and this is their Twitter feed. National Jurist: Find scholarly articles, news, and entertainment for pre-law and law students. LST: Law School Transparency is focused on getting law school info to the people that need it. Get a look inside the life of an attorney (or a soon-to-be one), straight from the horse's mouth. Bitter Lawyer: This is for lawyers and students who prefer their legal news with a healthy dose of snark. David Barrett: The lawyer with the (self-claimed) largest LinkedIn network tweets about law and social media. Brett Trout: Brett is a patent lawyer who tweets about cyber law and even wrote a book on the subject. When you give to the Law School Fund, the impact of your gift reverberates throughout the School. The primary reason that new attorneys cannot find jobs is because the ABA has continually accredited law schools and is flooding the market with new attorneys.
Law school provides students with the knowledge and skills required for a rewarding career in many areas of law. One study of law students found they suffered from depression at the same rate as the general population before entering law school.
Unhappiness and discontent are relatively transitory; other emotions aren’t pushed to the margins or extinguished. Or, by the time young people get to law school, they’re so jaded by our consumer driven culture they just want the diploma to start making the big bucks.
They need to listen to someone in the trenches of a profession they’ll soon be entering.  Without such depression experiences, a speaker is like someone trying to enlighten someone about the dangers of smoking and cancer, but has never smoked. In our country, it’s also the leading cause of disability and some 20 million people are afflicted.  It’s been characterized as an “epidemic.”  If that’s true, what does that say about the higher rates of law student and lawyer depression?  Just what adjective could one use to describe the scope of the problem?
Have someone come in to speak to the students that are in the legal profession who has suffered from depression to reach these students.  Give it more than 15 minutes of your time and have programs for second and third year student on this critical topic.
Schlitz, On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, 52 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW 871 (1999) and Depression and Anxiety in Law Students: Are We Part of the Problem and Can We Be Part of the Solution?, 8 JOURNAL OF LEGAL WRITING INSTITUTE 229 (2002). Depression is seen as creating a dent in that ideal and perhaps as a person who is incapable of handling the job.
Zero mental health services, and in fact there never was any mention of mental health services at orientation. I’m also a 1L, and I think one of the most isolating features of the experience is that regardless of whether people are actually stressed, they are very good at faking it and putting on a front so that they are not perceived as weak.


Overcoming the stresses of law school, like early depression, only to find a bleak job market and an insurmountable amount of loans is very depressing. I had an episode late last year just after the end of semester exams but was able to seek treatment. The Walden Twitter page offers uplifting quotes and stats to get you through a tough day of studying.
Law School Fund gifts help provide scholarships for our students, support for our faculty, and support for curricular initiatives including our acclaimed Legal Practice Program, Clinical Law Program, and international law initiatives. That does not translate to a drop in litigation, just more attorneys fighting for the same job. Education in law can also serve as a stepping stone to opportunities outside of the legal profession.
Just two months into the school year, however, their negative symptom levels had increased dramatically.  By the spring of their first year, 32% of the same law students were depressed. Yet, I can’t help but think that we’re dimly aware, if at all, of the risk we put ourselves in for major depression. All of this contributes to depression, to a lonely society that undermines what it means to live a decent, healthy and happy life. I think that the school needs to encourage support groups for people who are struggling in the same ways, whether it’s disenchantment or depression.
I have found that despite my efforts and mental notes to myself to keep meeting my psychiatrist,the constant pressure of enormous workloads always take priority over one that is likely to save my life.
I’ve sought help at the campus mental health center, but they are too busy to do anything for me.
Lucky for you there are all kinds of resources out there to help you get admitted to law school and succeed while you're there. Amid a changing landscape for the legal profession, a robust Law School Fund gives Michigan Law the flexibility to allocate resources when and where they're most needed.
By the spring of their third year, the number had risen to 40%.  Two years after graduation, 17% of the students – about twice the rate of depression experienced by the general population – were still depressed. The school trotted out a variety of people in fifteen minute increments to talk about stress, drinking, drugging and, eventually, depression.
Effectively nowhere to go for help, and no one to talk to about it because everyone’s busy swapping war stories about moot court or the summer position they landed.
I don’t forsee this happening obviously though, because what institution is going to want to acknowledge that a significant segment of its population against itself? If it pleases the court, here are 60 of the best Twitter feeds for aspiring law school students.
If you come out and admit your depression you look weak and incapable of handling your workload, and in this economy there is another person who can handle the workload (or can fake it better) there to snap up your job. I have a good job waiting on me if I can graduate and pass the bar, so I even have that much less pressure on me.
The truth is that people don’t want a lawyer suffering from mental illness, people want a helpful, brilliant, personable and highly competent lawyer happy to do the work.
Most of the other students come from a very different background and I’ve had a hard time finding ways to relate. I did well enough 1L to make myself a prime candidate for those jobs, but now I find myself absolutely crippled by depression. So statistics and reality aside, we all fake it and pretend we’re doing just fine at the risk of losing a professional edge.
My law school offers no services, no support, and no advice on how to handle a situation like mine.
I must say that this article has helped, seeing the statistics even if they not be of your own country makes me feel less isolated. I hope that the bar association will force schools to address this issue before it takes more minds and lives.
However, now that I am there, and even though I am succeeding, I feel like I am falling apart and just want to reclaim my old life. Strangely enough, recent surveys have shown there hasn’t been a significant drop-off in the number of people who want to go to law school! I will be seeing a university psychologist tomorrow, but for the moment, I can must articulate a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to the author and those who contributed.
I’ve always been considered a pretty confident, outgoing, amicable, and friendly person, but over the past year, the environment at law school has bred real insecurities and even mild agoraphobia, and at times I have even struggled with something akin to delusional disorder, persecutory type.
I really don’t want to be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life just because of a career choice, when I never struggled with these things before and had a vitality that has since been totally drained. I used to be very outgoing and confident and now I find myself developing a bit of social anxiety. I was a really happy-go-lucky live-and-let-live sort of person, and I just don’t know if I am suited for the high stakes and high pressure world of BigLaw. Thank you for this post, and if you still check this website, any advice or suggestions are very welcome.
Then I worry that my social skills will continue to suffer and that will bleed into my personal and professional life after school is over.



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