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September 11, 2012 10:00 AM Double Trouble

By Daniel Luzer

Dear America,

Stop going to law school. This is not a good financial decision.

Despite extensive evidence that most law schools are a gigantic waste of money, apparently people still kept applying, and studying, and graduating, and taking the bar examination.

That wasn’t such a good idea. According to a piece recently posted at Inside the Law School Scam (admittedly a somewhat biased blog):

The BLS estimates that between 2010 and 2020, the United States economy will provide 218,800 job openings for lawyers and judicial law clerks. That’s 21,880 openings per year.

At the same time, however,

In 2010, law schools awarded 44,004 JDs; in 2011, the number rose to 44,258; and in 2012, it was 44,495. Three years into the decade, schools have graduated 132,757 JDs—enough to fill 61% of the lawyer jobs available for the full decade.

Law schools are now producing about double the number of attorneys the country needs. We’ve got 44,000 new attorneys for 22,000 legal jobs.

Those 22,000 people unlikely to get jobs still have to pay back that debt they assumed to go to law school, however. The average law school graduate has about $100,000 worth of debt.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer