Law Schools Are Selling Hope, And Students Are Eager To Buy It

by Arin Greenwood on October 11, 2010

ALM’s Careerist blogger, Vivia Chen, looks at law school puppy mills:

Since The Careerist started in May, I’ve been ranting about the proliferation of new, unaccredited law schools–and how they attract applicants, despite bleak job prospects.

But the established law schools are also in the game. Beside peddling that tired J.D., they’re also selling LL.M.s…

[T]he point is that law schools are selling hope, and students are eager to buy it. “Advanced law degrees from prestigious schools have been viewed by graduates of lower-ranked law schools as a way to boost their resumes,” reports the NLJ.

But the reality is that most LL.M.s don’t really help. “With the exception of tax LL.M.s–which have been around longer than other advanced law degrees and are particularly relevant because of the highly specialized nature of tax law–the degrees don’t necessarily set job candidates apart,” reports the NLJ. “For our offices in the U.S., the only LL.M. degree that has much of an impact on our hiring decisions is a tax LL.M.,” Jones Day hiring partner Gregory Shumaker tells the NLJ.

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