Open Letter to Interim Dean Brown

George Brown

George D. Brown
Interim Dean
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459

Dear Dean Brown,

I hope this letter finds you well. I want to start by thanking you for serving as the interim Dean. I know that it is always difficult to step into a situation at the last minute, but we are all thankful for your leadership.

Unfortunately, the occasion for me writing to you is not a happy one. As a 3L, my peers and I find ourselves in the midst of one of the worst job markets in the history of our profession. A few of us have been able to find employment, but the overwhelming majority of us are desperately looking, and unable to find anything. We are discouraged, scared, and in many cases, feeling rather hopeless about our chances of ever getting to practice law.

To compound our difficulties, many of us are in an enormous amount of debt from our legal studies. Soon after our graduation, we will be asked to make very large monthly payments towards this debt, regardless of whether we’ve been able to find employment or not. It is a debt which, despite being the size of a mortgage, gives us no tangible asset which we could try to sell or turn in to the bank. We are not even able to seek the protection of bankruptcy from this debt.

I write to you from a more desperate place than most: my wife is pregnant with our first child. She is due in April. With fatherhood impending, I go to bed every night terrified of the thought of trying to provide for my child AND paying off my J.D, and resentful at the thought that I was convinced to go to law school by empty promises of a fulfilling and remunerative career. And although my situation puts the enormity of the problem into sharp focus, there are a lot of us facing similar financial disasters. In all of this, we have had very little help from career services, who all seem to be as confounded as we are by this job market. Kate Devlin Joyce has been an amazing and helpful ally; everyone else in that office has shrugged their shoulders at us and asked if we have tried using Linkedin.

I’d like to propose a solution to this problem: I am willing to leave law school, without a degree, at the end of this semester. In return, I would like a full refund of the tuition I’ve paid over the last two and a half years.

This will benefit both of us: on the one hand, I will be free to return to the teaching career I left to come here. I’ll be able to provide for my family without the crushing weight of my law school loans. On the other hand, this will help BC Law go up in the rankings, since you will not have to report my unemployment at graduation to US News. This will present no loss to me, only gain: in today’s job market, a J.D. seems to be more of a liability than an asset. I will explain the gap in my resume by simply saying that I attended law school, but was unable to finish for financial reasons. In the short run, refunding my tuition might present a financial challenge to the law school, but in the long run, better US News rankings will help you far more than having yet another disgruntled and unemployed alumnus.

I would love to discuss this proposal with you further. I would also love to hear any other thoughts or solutions you may have. Thanks very much for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you.

Best regards,

[Name redacted]
Class of 2011

The views expressed above are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Eagleionline or any of its members.

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233 Responses to “Open Letter to Interim Dean Brown”

  1. As a 1L, I feel as if we are repeatedly being told the market will turn around and that career services is dedicated to each student. The stats regarding employment also seem to paint a different picture. This letter seems to say the opposite which is admittedly, extremely disturbing.

    • @shippy152:

      I want to share with you a few comments from other 3Ls from when I posted this on facebook…

      ” not a conversation with other law students goes by without mention of the fantasyland in which the career services office, sarah palin, and christine o’donnell exist. someone tonight suggested firing the staff and refunding the BCLS student body–mention that to brown when he meets with you.”

      “the fact is this: the situation in which most of our classmates find themselves was totally predictable 25 months ago. career services was and might still be living in the fantasyland where we all find firm jobs, make boatloads of cash, and become lifelong BCLS donors. ain’t happening. even for many of our really talented and hardworking classmates.”

      “When I ask people what they’re doing after graduation, the answers are, in the following order:
      1.) Hang self/blow brains out
      2.) Some elaborate scheme about how to dodge their student loans…
      I’d also toss into the grievance pile the massive personal investment and opportunity loss that one assumes when signing up for law school. Many of us were pursuing paying careers before this commitment, and then dumped three stress-filled, zero-income years into the degree.”

      These comments just scratch the surface of the feedback I’ve been getting. The truth is that the market isn’t coming back, and the administration seems to either not get it or not care so long as they can keep collecting tuition dollars. The legal job market has changed in a fundamental way:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/business/global/05legal.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2

      If I were a 1L right now, I’d be figuring out another grad school/career option.

  2. Career services is the same at every law school…useless unless you are in the top 15%..law review etc..

    I feel for this guy. I am a lawyer in Boston and the market here is saturated beyong belief.

    As for his comment that BC law will not have to report his unemployment…they will not do that anyway. Law schools publish fradulent and inaccurate employment and salary stats all the time. If you are working at Starbucks they count you as employed. Self reported stats are bunk.

  3. I am class of 06…but not BC. Even those of us that have jobs have not had raises in 2 years. In fact we make less as our health insurance goes up every year!

    What happens if you miss the Biglaw train? Small law.
    Before law school I made $60k and had no student loans. Fast forward 7 years and I make about $5k more and have student loans of about $110k….paid down about 40k in 4 years. Was it worth it? NO! I am financially far worse off. If I had stayed at my former job I would be making about $80-90k with no loans.

    The job is contentious (lit) and stressful. The pay sucks….and the hours are almost as bad as Biglaw….but without the salary, benefits, matching 401k, free dinner if you work late, car home if you work late….

    and there is no escaping the loans. You cannot escape them unless you move to Costa Rica.

  4. We all want our money back. A year of unemployment after graduation. Three months of slavery to a small firm in Vegas, where I lost money to gain the experience of working for a firm. A federal salary that doesn’t meet the cost of rent and expenses in DC. My personal life destroyed.

    I want my money and time back too.

  5. Devil's Advocate Reply Oct 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

    WOW. I feel sorry for your wife, as come April she will have two crying babies in her house.

    I agree with you that that current market is not ideal for law school graduates (but same is true in almost any other field) and even that the Career Services tend to be useless most of the time, but you did not pay 120K+ for a headhunter, you paid for an education (but maybe you did not receive it – based on your arguments here)

    Man up. You say that you are a 3L with no job prospects and your first baby due in April. Unless you are a sixteen year old hornball with no idea how contraception works, you elected to bring a child into this world knowing that you will have shitloads of loans, and no job prospects – piss poor planning on your part. You do not go out and buy a big house, or enlarge your family, when you have no means to pay for it, so now your only purported plan is to black mail the school into refunding you all of your tuition money because you failed to learn anything while here.
    If you are going to waste the dean’s time, at least come up with some plausible alternatives, like maybe a hardship deferral for your non-federal loans while you are still unemployed, or being able to retake some of the basic classes (contracts would seem like a good start) for free

    But at least I give you points for bringing forward your inadequacies into the public forum, and maybe starting a meaningful discussion on what the school could realistically do to help its student body in the current market.

  6. You’ll need to take additional action, if you’re serious about this at all.

    In a perfect world, I am sure that you’ll receive some renumeration, even if symbolic, and it would be confidential.

    But here, absent some more powerful recourse, including legal (sigh) remedies, you’re stuck.

    If you truly feel this way, drop out now and show us how serious you are. At least this way, you’ll inspire the rest of us and perhaps a boycott will get someone’s attention.

    Boycott.

  7. Personally, I think BC should just forgive any institutional loans it granted to students who haven’t found jobs by graduation. It’s basically just a gesture, but we’ll all take what we can get at this point.

    • RE: OB
      Nice job Mr. [Name redacted],

      way to present additional supporting arguments and hit the message home. I’m sold on it.

      I’m sure BC will love to refund more than half of its students their money back as an all-inclusive gesture of goodwill.

  8. No one twisted this student’s arm to go to law school. The job market for any profession is uncertain – and these days, about 1 in every 10 people is unemployed. So while the letter-writer is certainly sympathetic, his arguments are ultimately unconvincing. Perhaps next time he should think long and hard before ditching a perfectly good teaching job for the promise of a more “remunerative” career.

  9. Devil's Advocate Reply Oct 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    So basically what you guys are proposing is that BC reward failure: those that can not find a job should be given a refund – because it would be a nice gesture.
    While at it, lets cancel the scholarships for those that perform well and instead only give it to those that fail, because the reasoning will be that being nice (and stupid) is what the market needs now.

    • My take on this is that the author is not asking us to “reward failure,” but instead asking Boston College Law School to account for the alleged failure of its Office of Career Services and allegedly misleading employment statistics.

      • Devil's Advocate Oct 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

        OK, but if that was the case, then a more reasonable request would have been made.
        I do not dispute that the Career Services has not been very useful, but that is not what 100% (or even a large part of) our tuition goes to, so the ridiculousness of his request undermines the entire argument.

        BTW, at least he managed to the this post on ATL (where someone soon will drop his real name down, so the anonymity will be gone)

  10. Hang up your shingle and proceed to start a class action against law schools, including the one in which you just graduated.

  11. This story is heart wrenching, like many other similar ones that I have seen. I’m a former lawyer who made a nice transition into, ultimately, senior investment banking partner non legal wall street career (with help of MBA). I have talked to Dean of my former law school about this issue of jobs and of creating expectations in incoming students . . because it is the same issue . . .over and over and over at law schools, and it is not new. It was there 5 years ago, it was there 10 years ago (even if to a lesser extent) it was even there 18 years ago when I came out. And people were complaining then.

    The only thing that will have an impact . . is a class action law suit . . .or even an individual law suit. And all the letters and complaining (justified, but it is not action) will just result in the same thing that it did 5 years ago, 10 years ago 18 years ago. Some one of you . .needs to take the step . . .to begin searching for an attorney . .that wants to take on a precedent setting case.

    I will note though, that in counseling dozens of students considering Law School and MBA’s – and then after when seeking jobs – I have pointed many of them to the Above The Law website to at least know what they are getting into. That said, many still go with full warning.

    I will note, that I don’t think it is Career Services that is the primary party at fault, they are truly frustrated themselves. It is the ones that sell you a bill of goods at the front end . . .that can’t possibly be met. I know career services people who are resentful of the front end “selling of the dream” that they, as career services professionals, then need to bear the brunt of the anger relating to when it does not work.

  12. Hey dude. I’m in the same boat. Empty promises? More like no promises. The payment for law school did not include or promise a job in any way. Your mother may have told you lawyers always make a good living, but that does not amount to a “promise” by the law school.

    • Why do the laws schools publish employment and salary information if not to induce prospective insurance to come to their law school instead of another? These self-reported stats are bunk and are clearly fraud in the inducement……a class action is definitely coming…it may take 5 years it may take 10 years….but it will happen.

      Of course no law school can guarantee you a job or a nice salary…but they can stop with their reporting of fraudulent stats. Is that to much to ask a law school? Especially when they constantly lecture you are about morals and ethics for three years! Law schools have a legal and MORAL obligation to stop doing this.

      • Did you or any other student ask them to back up their figures before you dished out $120K?

        Ever heard of puffery?

        Ever heard that past performance is not a guarantee of future results?

        Ever pay attention in Contracts class? Doesn’t sound like it.

  13. Devil's Advocate Reply Oct 18, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    @S – many students have tried to sue their law schools, and last I checked majority lost.
    (one line of cases where students did get refunds is in CA from Law Schools that failed to disclose that they are not ABA accredited)
    It comes down to basics: you pay for a course of legal instructions and that is what you get. If you in fact received some other “promise” then you may have a case there, but your own misguided hope does not make is so.

    • Epic fail. Puffery? That would be “we promise you an exceptional legal education” or “we’re the best law school for international law” etc….

      Stating false STATISTICS for employment and salaries is not puffery you fool.”Puffery as a legal term refers to promotional statements and claims that express subjective rather than objective views, such that no reasonable person would take them literally.”

      Let me help you further….”the Honda civic is the best car money can buy” is PUFFERY…..”A honda civic does 100 mpg” is a false statement of something that can be objectively measured. Therefore it is not PUFFERY….it’s almost like the difference between fact and opinion.

      False employment and salary stats are not puffery.

      • The puffery comment was a reference to the general ideas that BC (and most other top tier law schools) give to students regarding the likelihood that they have a VERY good chance of getting a job by coming to BC because of X, Y, Z.

        My other points clearly reference your failed attempt to show off you pathetic lack of contract law knowledge.

        To date, I’ve not seen where you or anyone has shown that BCLS has falsified data. Accusing them of falsifying data doesn’t make it true. Back it up with something to show that they misrepresented themselves to students and that such misrepresentation was material to their decision to dish out $120K. I find it impossible to believe if you walked into admissions and demanded to see the figures to back this up, they wouldn’t have something to do it. It isn’t like they aren’t familiar with the concepts like misrepresentation or fraud.

        I guess the next lawsuit should be against US News for it’s misleading methodology on law school rankings that induced all of us to attend BC Law.

        The $120K spent was for the education received. I haven’t seen anyone claiming they were denied that. Simply because that education is no longer worth what you expected it to be in the market does not mean BC Law failed to provide what you bargained for.

  14. I agree that most law school “Career Services” offices provide no actual services beyond scheduling interview slots during OCI. Providing no actual services to 90% of the student body has somehow become an acceptable status quo in the law school industrial complex, even for top-ranked schools, and it’s an abysmal shame. That the schools are permitted to blatantly and repeatedly lie about their placement statistics ought to be an actionable offense.

    As for choosing to pursue an advanced degree during a weak economy based on unsubstantiated promises of the economy ‘turning around’ before graduation, at some point you have to realize that it’s nothing more than a 5 or 6 figure bet (sold as an “investment’). When I left law school in 2003 career counselors were advising students to take on an additional year (and $45k in debt) to obtain a LLM while “riding out” the economy. I am thankful that I had enough sense to figure out that if I could not land a job with my 3-year, $110k investment in a JD, I need not dig my hole any deeper.

  15. F@#$ him. If he wants to argue BC should take responsibility for what he sees as leading him toward a financially troubled future he should have avoid this to begin with. One, he could have left law school after first year – 2008-09 that was when the economy tanked. No, he could not have predicted that would happen, but he knew it did and could have avoided two years of expenses. Two, he could have exercised responsibly by not having a kid until he was sure he could pay for such. Three he choose BC, having gotten into that school its likely he got good scholarship offers at lower schools and choose differently.

  16. I would just like once to be able to see why law school costs so much more money now than it did ten, twenty, thirty years ago. The classes are about the same size, the resources provided to students are essentially the same, paper and pens surely don’t cost more. Furthermore, how can my school in good conscience increase tuition over 30%, while the value of the degree was decreasing. Especially when on considers that a law student under ABA standards must graduate in three years (excluding night school) and that they may not transfer in their second year except for special circumstances. Devil’s Advocate do you know of any other good that’s price can be raised after an agreement for purchase has been made.

    • The tuition increases at BC year over year that I’ve been here have not been anywhere near 30%. Also you don’t agree to pay X price for three years. You agree to pay X price for one year of law school. BC makes no guarantee to you that your tuition will stay the same all three years. And tuition cost has no relation to value of a degree. It has to do with demand. And while a law degree is worth about as much as a roll of Charmin, as long as there are several thousand morons every year willing to pay X price for a roll of toilet paper, BC is going to keep selling it to them. Demand for law school has not decreased.

      It’s not BC’s fault that the market is full of idiots. I would say it is their fault (along w/ every single law school in the country) that they are not honest about career prospects.

      Personally I have almost no sympathy for anyone who is a 2L or 1L. You all came to law school in a down economy and while firms were retreating from hiring. The class of 2011 started about a month before the realization hit that the economy was going down in flames. Many, like the author of this letter, probably had no idea that it would be a struggle. While some might argue that he knew before dropping his second and now third year of tuition down the toilet, that doesn’t change the fact that many threw their hats in this game unaware of how bad it would be.

      That said, no one guaranteed any of us success when we came to BC Law. I can’t see how BC Law owes anyone anything. We all had the option to leave after OCI came and went and the desperation started to sink in. It sucks, but you wanted the toilet paper…now you’re stuck with it.

    • Devil's Advocate Reply Oct 20, 2010 at 8:38 am

      Yes, I know of plenty. Anything that you buy for a duration, and did not pay extra to lock the price in, can change over time. Your argument may hold water if, and only if, when you enrolled you prepaid for all three years upfront, or signed some sort of contract that binds the school to freezing the tuition for you at the current rate for all three years, but since neither is true (check the last few years of your cable bills), its just a bunch of more crying at its best. But at least you can put that TP to good use and wipe those tears away.

  17. Your points are valid if state run universities are businesses and there goal is simply to maximize profits. If so are nation is in a sad state indeed. Education is a good that benefits the society as a whole and as such a state institution of learning should not be charging 5 times the actual costs of an education. Furthermore, these schools would be guilty under antitrust laws if they were a business because as you surely know the aba restricts the number of schools. This thus has the affect of creating a monopoly in which a select few can control the supply of education, despite no meaningful distinction between an aba and non aba product. Also, if law school were a normal good as it’s price increased or value decreased the deman would drop, this not occurring is indicative of market failure and further suggests government intervention.

    • BC is not a state run university. Logic fail.

      • Epic fail. Puffery? That would be “we promise you an exceptional legal education” or “we’re the best law school for international law” etc….

        Stating false STATISTICS for employment and salaries is not puffery you fool.”Puffery as a legal term refers to promotional statements and claims that express subjective rather than objective views, such that no reasonable person would take them literally.”

        Let me help you further….”the Honda civic is the best car money can buy” is PUFFERY…..”A honda civic does 100 mpg” is a false statement of something that can be objectively measured. Therefore it is not PUFFERY….it’s almost like the difference between fact and opinion.

        False employment and salary stats are not puffery.
        Seems like you were asleep in contracts class…but then I’m an attorney. You aren’t. I also have a job.

  18. Law Schools have been beaten in court. All the grad schools at the University of Maryland, including the law school, were sued in a class action for unfair denial of in state tuition. They are settling and have offered refunds to a large number of grads. For the law school we are talking about paying $32k a year instead of $18k. I got a refund. It can be done.

  19. So either law schools are businesses that are in violation of anti-trusts or they serve their actual intended purpose as educating as much of the populace as possible at reasonable prices i.e where marginal cost equal marginal benefit which is surely not where the price of law school education is today. Care to continue on an economics lesson

  20. I’m a bit slow…why are you complaining again?

  21. Here’s an idea: start taking criminal law classes. After graduation, become a bank robber. When you get arrested, your JD will be worth something.

  22. Let’s consider, for a minute, BC Law’s claim on its website that 98% of its graduates are employed. See http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/admission/profile.html.

    At least arguably, the misleading thing about this statistics is that the term “employment” is no defined. Under BC Law’s definition of employment, would a graduate who works as a janitor be considered employed?

    If BC Law is considering non-legal, menial jobs within its definition of “employed” (i.e., jobs for which a legal degree is neither required nor useful), I would say that BC Law’s statement is arguably misleading.

    There are plenty of causes of action out there that prohibit this sort of behavior. For example, Mass G. Law, Ch. 266 § 91 actually makes it a *crime* to make an “untrue, deceptive or misleading” representation.

    Massachusetts’ Consumer Protection Act, Ch. 93A, § 1 et seq. provides another statutory mechanism by which to sue. The CPA Act provides certain remedies for “unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful.”

    Of course, the common law action for fraud is at play here, as well.

    I should also note that BC Law’s definition of “employment” is one that has likely been adopted by other schools as well. On one hand, this decreases the likelihood of success in a lawsuit (since BC will be able to prove the common and accepted definition of “employment” includes *all* employment, not a small subset of legal employment). See also the Department of Labor’s definition of employment, which is capacious.

    On the other hand, though, just because all or most law school use this broad definition of “employment” does not make it right. It just make indicate that all or most law school habitually deceive law students.

    • I’ve seen business training school sites that list seperate figures for employed graduates and graduates employed in their chosen field of study. Of course, those types of schools don’t pretend that students enroll in their programs merely for the fun of it.

      My law school alma mater routinely hires recent graduates as “fellows” at $15/hour in order to bolster their employment numbers.

  23. Victims, nothing but victims are all I see. No one forced you to go to law school–I assume you are reasonably smart and you did your homework before signing on the dotted line. A guy graduates with a degree in petroleum engineering and the bottom falls out of the oil market and he can’t find a job in his chosen profession–he doesn’t sue, he doesn’t whine, he just does his best and gets on with it. Today’s society is the “something for nothing” society–you’ll all make great liberals. Move out of your parent’s house and get on with it!

  24. Seriously? Are we supposed to feel sorry for you scumbag wannabee lawyers? Get real! I now feel the need to charge you $500 just for commenting on this idiot letter. Get a life, you rolled the dice to be a lawyer and lost. Micky D’s is hiring all the time, get me my fries pronto.

    It sucks that you can’t get a job as some arrogant a@@hole associate who treats non-lawyers like a vulture would treat a dead body.

    What’s sad is that you expect a job to be given to you at the end of the day, like there is some line you need to get in to get your $120k per year once you pass the bar. You also expect a refund yet you can still finish what you set out to do, become a lawyer, so it was really just about the job, money and power. Now you want to walk away from your obligations like so many schmucks underwater with their home loans. So please stop with the letters, go start a company or something or better yet email me, I need my house painted and I will pay you $10 an hour.

  25. This is a Catch-22. Proposing to worm his way out of paying for his education proves that he thinks like a lawyer and therefore he got his money’s worth.

  26. a BC Law 2010er Reply Oct 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Dear Letter Writer,

    You’re an embarrassing crybaby. Sack-up and get creative. Nobody owes you anything.

  27. I think this jobless 3L is taking a lot of undeserved flak here. First, his letter makes no mention whatsoever of any kind of legal redress against BCLS. Therefore, the people here who are insinuating that this guy failed to master Contracts, for example, are way out of line.

    From what I see, the guy is expressing a lot of justifiable frustration and fear over his dubious employment prospects. Moreover, although it’s a bit unclear how seriously he takes his “refund” proposal, writing the letter to the dean strikes me as a reasonably constructive (or at least harmless) response to the situation.

    Some people here seem curiously irate with this fellow for complaining about a situation he obviously played a role in creating (i.e., by deciding to invest in a high-priced legal education despite the inherent vagaries of the job market). Frankly, I sympathize with him. I do things all the time that I wind up regretting. I still reserve the right to complain when the bad thing that I should have seen coming . . . comes. Does the fact that I choose to travel on Thanksgiving weekend mean I can’t grouse about the traffic? Of course not.

    One way or the other, this 3L is going to have to deal with the consequences of his career choice. Why begrudge him the right to stew about it a little?

  28. I went to my Career Services office last week…I kid you not, the only advice I got was to open a Linkedin account.

  29. I have no sympathy. When I graduated law school in 2007 (when this guy was applying to law school) there were 100s of articles online, in the news and in all of the major law publications (like ABA Journal) discussing how 2007 grads were unemployed, how there was a lack of jobs for recent law school grads… and many law firms were laying off and crumbling… and it only got worse.

    Do your research beforehand, buddy. (It’s what a good lawyer would do, after all).

    Don’t go to a school costing $200,000 in a bad economy when the current graduates are already saying they can’t find work… and then cry for a refund.

    and perhaps, procreate responsibly.

  30. My advice is finish your degree (I mean you’ve basically paid for it all at this point), go back to teaching or some other profession to make sure you’re well insured and can provide the necessities for your family. Then pray the market turns around and you can use the JD you earned in a way that makes you happy. You might not have a job when you graduate that you want, but assuming it’ll never happen in the future isn’t productive.

    Besides, the government can’t make you pay back loans if you don’t make the money to do it. It sucks to carry around the debt, but you know what, screw them.

  31. Edububble points out that many schools do offer both implicit and explicit guarantees. Many of the programs that prepare teachers and offer post-bacheloriate med school preparation cite their statistics which are often close to 100%. The schools have the right incentive to let in only the right amount of students and then work hard to get them to the next level because otherwise their stats fall. Maybe one day law schools will start trying to distinguish themselves by taking better care of their students.

    http://edububble.com/dpp/?p=590

  32. As someone who went to college in 1971, business school in 1976 and law school in 2004, I find all of these comments interesting but mostly off the mark. I don’t recall anyone ever promising me or even strongly suggesting that IF I went to college (Northwestern) or business school (Kellogg) I would (a) find a job, (b) make lots of money or even (c) enjoy my experience. I went because I wanted an education, I thought the education would make me more valuable in the economy and, well, that’s what my generation did. But I did make a lot of money, in part thanks to my education, but mostly because I took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to me by life.

    I went to law school in 2004, when I was 51, because I always wanted to be an attorney. I never thought career services would help me find a job and I certainly never thought the employment statistics “x months after graduation” was either an express or implied warranty. I kept consulting during law school and made twice what the average big law associate makes their first year.

    I worked for a small firm for three years at one third what I earned during law school, learned my craft, developed a reputation for exceptional work and client management, then started my own firm with another attorney. We’re billing our clients 180-200 hours a month each at reasonable rates, enjoy being our own bosses and don’t think where we went to law school matters all that much.

    Buck up, future lawyers. Life is tough all over. Find a niche, exploit it and get on a manageable loan repayment program. As to whether he should have waited to become a father until he could afford it? Don’t kid yourself. If you wait until you can afford kids you’ll never have them. I have four adult children and they cost me and my wife a freaking fortune – and they are worth every penny we spent raising them. Don’t knock the guy for fathering a child, encourage him to be a great father and a good husband…and maybe even an attorney.

  33. Give me a break. Did your mother write this letter for you kid? There are no guarantees in this life, you roll the bones and you take your chances. No one “owes” you anything. You made the decision to go to law school, no one was holding a gun to your head.

    As the CEO of a $200 million financial services firm and a proud BC grad I am increasingly appalled by the entitlement attitude of the young people I encounter on a daily basis. This “Baby Onboard” generation has had their hands held through every activity and decision in life. This letter is the result.

    You entered into a contract with BC Law. They have provided you with opportunity and resources to learn the law. You have paid tuition in exchange. There is no guarantee of riches and success involved.

    It’s time to pull on your “big boy” pants, finish your studies and find a way to make it work.

    I’ve survived three major recessions, a mid career trip of two years on the unemployment rolls. My success came without help from anyone but myself.

    I worked and paid my own way through BC and when I graduated unemployment was pushing 12%. My first job was collecting past due loans and repossessing cars. You do what you need to survive.

    Suck it up kid. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and blaming everyone else for your predicament. Be a man that your unborn child will be proud of, not some whiney, nanny statist twit.

    • and how much did your tuition cost back then?

      • $3200 tuition only, I lived in my car, in closets, dorm room floors all 4 years, and my first job paid $6,000/year. Btw I could have gone to UMass for <$2000/year but chose BC. I made the right choice.

        I also received no parental, college financial or student loan aid. I worked 12 months a year and graduated debt free. No one held a gun to my head to go to BC, BC gave me no help at all.

    • I’m assuming when you graduated 35 years ago, you weren’t facing $180K in debt with no job prospects.

      For BC and other law schools to continue taking 275 students/year and charging them all $41K/year plus living expenses and then finding 10% of them jobs is a travesty.

      Sadly, until there is some way to communicate exactly how worthless a law degree from BC is in this market, people will still make the idiotic decision to come here.

      • Prices are relative and when I graduated unemployment was 12%, not 10%.

        Your generation has to come to grips with the concept of personal responsibility.

        An idea with which you are obviously not accustomed.

    • GetWithTheTimes(AndOffYourHighHorse) Reply Oct 20, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      BCAlum75, you sound like the villain from Big Lebowski, but you’re likely too dated to understand such a slight.

      I doubt that someone who (35 years ago) paid $3200/yr in tuition has much substantive perspective on this matter. Tuition costs have spiraled beyond belief (over tenfold), and certainly beyond the comprehension of someone as self-absorbed as you appear to be.

      Question: did BC also inflate their stats 35 years ago, giving prospective students utterly false materials which influenced decisions? Without the US News ranking pressure to cook the numbers, my sense is that you were given a much more realistic picture of the investment you were making.

      In your self-congratulatory post about your $200 million business (dubious), you never once offered this kid any practical advise on how to improve the unnerving position he finds himself in. Get a heart, or just get back to your (alleged) business venture.

      No one is looking for a handout here. The demand is simple: accurate career services numbers to rely on when making a major life decision/investment.

      • GetWithTheTimes(AndOffYourHighHorse) Oct 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm

        Also, BCAlum75, the unemployment rate in 1975 was 8.5%, not the 12% you claim. This is according to the US Dept. of Labor statistics website:

        http://www.bls.gov/cps/prev_yrs.htm

        In light of this exposed error, lets rework your previous diatribe, and direct it at a more appropriate target for criticism: “BCAlum75, your generation has to come to grips with the concept of numbers. An idea with which you are obviously not accustomed.”

        Hopefully your deficiency with stats doesn’t hurt the 1/5 billion dollar business you purport to run so well.

    • Sure blowhard. You did it all yourself..no doubt you walked to BC back and forth barefoot in the snow as well.

  34. Devil's Advocate Reply Oct 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Just a status question, with all the media coverage of this now, what is going on with our favorite cry baby?

  35. Devil's Advocate Reply Oct 20, 2010 at 10:37 am

    So it has been brought to my attention that it may have been insensitive of me to pick on our crybaby for choosing to bring a child into his life, with no job prospects, overwhelming debt, and only plan being asking for a handout/forgiveness of all school debt, because contraception is not always 100% effective.
    Well, that may be the case, but even still, if he is so “terrified of the thought of trying to provide for my child AND paying off my J.D.” if he can not get rid of the latter problem its not too late to get rid of the former.

  36. Since Mr. Name Redacted will have plenty of time to go to the library after he graduates, his wife leaves him, and he moves in with his parents, I would suggest he check out the following books:

    A Bridge To Far and The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan.

    An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson.

    Those boys were younger than you but I doubt they complained as much as you do. [Redacted].

  37. Clearly a lot of commentators on here -like “BC Alum 07″ and “LawDog07″ – are too busy riding in on their high horses to spew life lessons & brag about their personal success stories to realize the author did not intend for his letter to be taken seriously.

    My read is that the author is frustrated with his situation and used the letter as a way to vent and inject a little humor into what he feels is a hopeless situation. He has a baby on the way, and anyone who can’t sympathize with him is heartless.

  38. Another perfect example of how law school has become the dumping ground for career students who can’t think of anything better to do with their lives and people (like our anonymous author) lured by the profession only by the smell of money.

    Will you also be suing your undergrad institution for your useless liberal arts degree?

  39. Whaaaaaa Whaaaaa

  40. OK, I didn’t go to law school, I went to culinary school. I went to a pretty darned good one, and the first thing they drilled into each aspiring culinarian was this: When you leave here, you will have been given the best tools to be a professional chef. All of you will need years of practice before you should think about being an executive chef. None of you should plan on leaving here and becoming a famous chef.

    Same for your career, BC Law is giving you some damned fine tools, now go take your tools, hone your skills and suck it up. If you are waiting for the $250K/yr starting salary good luck. Go file documents for minimum wage and work your way up to partnership. Maybe one or two of you will make it big, maybe one or two of you will be saying “do you want fries with that” but it’s your choice.

    Gosh, what whining babies you are. Nothing in life is guaranteed except death and taxes (and student loans…agreed). Try being less litigious and more responsible for your actions.

    • RE: ChefMan

      Butt out and toss some salads, this is not your fight and based on your comments you have no idea what this industry is like.

      • Really? You think you’re alone in this? Look around you pompus prig. Everyone is hurting. No wonder “the lawyers will be the first ones against the wall when the revolution comes.”

        Every school (law, culinary, mortuary) wants you to come to their instituiton, and inflates promises/data to make them seem best. It is your job as a perspective student to determine which line of bullshit is least smelly, which school fits you best, and then apply/enroll. Since neither you NOR the school has a crystal ball about the future, it’s a crap shoot. You want a guarentee? Join the armed services. And remember some of us may be cooking the food you eat every day, so be careful about how you talk to us….ever hear of the 5 second rule?

  41. It took hard work to get to BCLS; it’ll take hard word to go from here. Your situation is your own fault, not anyone elses.

    I am a member of BCLS class of 1996, and nobody promised us anything. It was tough as I also did not have your job at graduation. I got a job, then I got laid off (fired) so I put my shingle out. If your not in the top 15% of your class, no one will hand you anything.

  42. Good lord some of your people are serious and up tight.

    There are myriad things wrong with law school in this country right now. 1. Too expensive and that cost keeps going up. 2. Telling students they shouldn’t work, especially first year, which only ads to the debt load. 3. Too many school pumping out too many graduates means too many new lawyers. 4. You really don’t learn how to practice law in law school, no matter what the admissions folks market to you. The system needs to be overhauled to be more like the apprenticeship it was in the olden days. Law schools are run as the minor league system for large corporate firms, but in reality the lions share of students have no interest in that type of career or enter that type of practice.

    As an 06 grad who didn’t see the market coming, nor could I reasonably have been expected to, I must say, what kind of idiot goes to law school in 2008 who has to pay full retail price (no scholarships) given the legal market? It’s not been a secret for the better part of 5 years, so its hard to buy the shock and surprise of 2011 grads to be honest with you.

  43. Oh, and I had a lot of loans (and I still do) No one forced me to sign for them; I just wanted my check.

    Did I read the loan disclosure statements? No, not until after my exit interview.

  44. He should have asked for them to remove the gun pointed at his head when he decided to go to college, get a law degree, buy a house, and inseminate his wife. Poor baby.

  45. This article serves as example #426,789 of why people hate BC. YOU applied to Law School. YOU made the decision to attend. YOU knew the costs. YOU (and your wife) decided to have a kid. And now YOU want your money back because you screwed up your life? Give me a break.

    Anyway, just make friends with the athletes. There’s plenty of work to be had defending them after they drive into trolleys or shave points.

  46. You’re all a bunch of goddam fools.

    Boston College does not give a damn one way or another if you get a job.

    The only thing the faculty cares about is keeping the tution money flowing so they can hang on to their no heavy lifting jobs as professors.

    Education in this country just another big scam.

  47. Let's keep it 100! Reply Oct 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    All of you all suck! Devil’s Advocate, you should kick rocks.

  48. SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE! Reply Oct 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    2010 graduate here. I would sell my diploma back to my school in a heartbeat. There are too many lawyers and too many law students but the sad fact is that law schools are cash cows for universities. Low overhead and no labs or cadavers to buy, they are pure profit.

    The sad fact in all of this is that, upon completion of law school, most students enroll in a bar review course. So this profession, which professes to epitomize ethical conduct, knowingly recruits student body sizes which dilute the profession and the employment market, then they fail even to deliver on educating them such that BARBRI ends up with a sizable cut of the post-undergraduate pie. Once a student’s been through that mess they stare down the barrel of loans and meager job prospects.

    Law schools need to change. It’s no longer the 19th Century. Equip us with what we need to know and limit the profession to those capable. After all, that’s what a profession is at its essence: The right to exclude others. The legal profession is shameful from cradle to grave.

    SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE!

  49. This sounds like $100,000 on which you’ll have to pay income tax.

  50. I am also terrified of something. I am terrified of someday retaining an attorney who resorts to whining with such ease.

    Skippy will be a parent in 6 months or so????? With no “prospects”??? Skippy should have kept it in his knickers.

    He had best remain anonymous…