Debt isn’t the only downside to getting a law degree; many lawyers ending up turning to booze because of loneliness and stress. Eric Tindal, an alcoholic and an attorney, warned University of Iowa law students about yet another risk in pursuing a JD.
In a speech to law students about substance abuse, he warned that alcoholism is common among lawyers. Nearly 18% of lawyers are alcoholics, compared to 10% of the general population. No surprise, it starts in law school:
The competition with other students ends up as stress. And that develops isolation because the other students are enemies — it creates a breeding ground for addiction.
Many attorneys are high functioning alcoholics, they can show up and get through the day. I knew someone who was able to work 12 hours a day and hide his “secret” from his employer, but went home and drank a gallon of booze a week. You would never have known except that he had a very difficult time remembering events from even a day ago.
While an alcoholic attorney can function, the danger is that an attorney’s work can determine the outcome of a client’s life; their divorce, criminal case, even a will. It all keeps coming back to how badly the law school experience is both financially and as an academic environment. If schools were limited to admitting only enough students to fill jobs, it wouldn’t be so competitive and hostile. Of course, some law schools would have to close, so really, it’s a win-win solution.
Finally, some sense in this world. There were plans for THREE new law schools in New York and all have been put on hold. There are already 15 law schools in NY. The schools made the decision not to open because of:
an ailing economy, state government budget woes and doubts about whether there are enough legal jobs to support the new schools in addition to the 15 existing ones.
The three toilets New York was spared are: State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island, St. John Fisher College in Rochester and SUNY Binghamton, which is only on hold until 2017-18.
St. John Fisher spent $25,000 on a study that claimed there was a demand for a new law school. Hell, I could have told them that there’s no need for another law school for $10,000. Or they could have figured it out for free, by reading the scamblogs, or asking the thousands of unemployed JDs roaming the streets of New York.
Deans at other New York law schools sprang to action at the thought of new toilets entering the market and possibly poaching from their pools of available suckers.The hypocrites wondered if, New York’s job market could absorb as many as 1,500 more law school graduates the three new schools could produce each year.
No it can’t absorb them, and we don’t need the 3,750 new graduates NY turns out now:
The state Labor Department has estimated there will be openings for just over 2,000 lawyers a year through 2016 in New York. And law firms have been shedding jobs in the last few years. There now are about 150,000 lawyers in New York, the most of any state in the country.
You just can’t make this stuff up. After graduating from law school 20 years ago, this tool took and failed the bar 7 times before finally passing. Wasn’t Einstein’s definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
Well, it took two decades but he finally passed. But he’s still not going to be able to practice. New Hampshire won’t admit him because of both his outstanding debt and a few criminal indiscretions. They also weren’t impressed that he had been unemployed for the past 20 years. He must have been studying for the bar.
I’m going to have to side with New Hampshire on this one, this guy sounds like a total tool. He certainly doesn’t know how to win friends and influence people. Here is what he told the committee:
He didn’t enjoy a brief gig as a bartender, G.W. told the committee, and felt the job “was beneath me.”And, as far as paying off his student loans was concerned, “if I owed a measly $30,000, that’s an amount of money that certainly could be paid off with a, you know, $10-an-hour job or something of that nature,” he said. “But because there’s $120,000 worth of interest on that $30,000 principal, realistically, I need a good job in order to pay that off.”And I was trained to practice law; I wasn’t trained to do anything else. And I have no desire to do anything else at this point.”
I get a lot of mail from law graduates that say the most distressing thing about their combination of law school debt and low paying jobs is that they have to delay starting a family.
Having to put your life on hold after law school sucks, however, it could be possible that something even worse exists. Watch and decide.
I saw this video on the TaxProf Blog.
Two Thomas Cooley law professors kissed pigs to raise money for charity. I hope the pigs were provided with vaccines and veterinary care. Doesn’t appear to have been any tongue, so perhaps the pigs weren’t traumatized and scarred for life.
If you could have your law school debt erased for a kiss, would you rather swap spit with a pig or a professor? I’ll take the pig.