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Bruce MacEwen

As a lawyer and entrepreneur (having founded two companies, Adam Smith, Esq., and JD Match), my experience has been that practicing lawyers are all but constitutionally incapable of being "entrepreneurs" in the truest sense. To paraphrase Andy Grove (he was talking about the government), "startups move at three times the speed of normal business and law firms move at one-third the speed; this is a 9X difference."

And when I say "my experience," it has been absolutely without exception.

If there are to be solutions to this supply/demand mismatch, I respectfully suggest that making lawyers better risk-takers is not one of them.


I don't think that a sense of entitlement is the right way of looking at it. When law schools publish that the vast majority of their students are employed within 6 months and that the their median salaries are in the six figures usually around $140,000, it could be considered an informed decision to attend law school.

That being said, I don't know that the market is there to support an army of entrepreneurial law school graduates any more than non-entrepreneurial ones. I think law schools need to be more honest (as you are here) about job market realities and the ABA needs to step up their scrutiny of published employment statistics and accreditation requirements.

Adult observer

Professor Jewel, I question the wisdom and propriety of linking to the "Thied Tier Reality" blog, whose proprietor appears to be mentally ill or simply a sociopath.


I second Adult observer's remarks about linking to Third Tier Reality. Last week the author of TTR posted my contact information on his Facebook account, and had someone hand deliver a rather creepy letter to my home.

As for the substance of your remarks, I have to say that I've seen no evidence of a young lawyer saying that they are entitled to a job. I've seen plenty of people say that they don't have jobs, that they feel misled by their schools, and that their financial situation stinks, but that's far from saying they are entitled to a job or that someone owes them one. You will however find many young lawyers who feel lucky to have any job at all (even one that pays poorly and isn't in their preferred practice area); that's essentially the opposite of a sense of entitlement.

Steven Ellis

Professor Jewel,

I am not sure I would call it an entitlement mentality either. I will agree the gentleman at the blog you referenced can be pretty caustic ( he could perhaps, be articulating what I have felt the last 4 years though.) I hung my own shingle out after looking for a job for a year after I passed the bar in 07.. I had 5 clients in 2010 and was forced to close my firm and am in a bigger mess than I would have been had I not opened my own firm at all. I have applied for and interviewed for many jobs outside of law to no avail. I don't have the right legal pedigree to get hired in the legal sector ( including applying for jobs at JMLS and never even being called for an interview) and my law degree is held against me when I apply for non-legal jobs. I am seriously contemplating taking any reference to my legal education off my resume and hope that might get me a job in a decent paying non-legal position.


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About the Blog

  • Rising tuition. Misleading employment statistics. Inadequate skills training. Law schools have faced plenty of criticism for their role in the struggles of young lawyers today. The National Law Journal has assembled a panel of legal educators and law graduates to discuss whether law schools are facing a crisis, and how they should respond to their mounting problems.

Law School Review Contributors

  • Brian Tamanaha
    A professor at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law who writes about law schools on the blog Balkinization
  • Erwin Chemerinsky
    Founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • John F. O’Brien
    Dean of the New England Law, Boston and chairman of the Council of the American Bar Association’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
  • Kyle McEntee
    A 2011 graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and the executive director of Law School Transparency, a nonprofit group advocating for legal education reform
  • Lucille Jewel
    Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School who has written about the problems faced by recent law school graduates
  • Michael A. Olivas
    A professor at the University of Houston Law Center and the current president of the Association of American Law Schools
  • William Henderson
    Professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law—Bloomington who studies the legal profession

Law School Review: Further Reading