Bathroom-Based Mass LSAT Preparation: A Sign of the Legal Market

I do a bit of traveling to university and college campuses across the country.  On a recent trip, I talked with a law student who mentioned in passing that a prominent LSAT prep company had posted an ad recruiting as instructors/tutors law students in need of a job—on law school bathroom doors.

This is why asbsurdism is a bad artistic stance (and why there are a lot of terrible old French movies).  Reality always beats absurdists to the punch.  Bathroom advertising?  Now, there’s “quality control” that can help LSAT takers obtain their best score.  If a mass-LSAT prep instructor told you (they won’t) that he or she got the job teaching you (including in expensive per-hour tutorials) by pulling a tab off a bathroom ad, with no experience other than being unable to find another job, having taken the LSAT and gone to law school, that would be quite a confidence-builder for a test that’s the single most important determinant of your law school admissions and financial aid prospects.

The well-known foibles of mass-LSAT prep aren’t what make the ad poignant.  This company thinks it will be able to recruit instructors from law school graduates.  Why?  Because there are enough of them without full-time jobs after graduation.

Restroom recruiting is a new emblem for these issues.  I think it’s safe to say that no one—no one—who entered that law school 3 years ago thought that they’d be a target of such an ad.  But they are (and some may soon be teaching some law school hopefuls).

There are lots of stories about the legal employment market, and I devote a lot of space on this blog—and time with prospective law students—talking about the risks and rewards of law school.  (On the blog, the “Beyond Law School” category contains most of these posts.)  I talk about the need for prospective law students and your trusted advisors (whether it’s me or someone else) to develop realistic scenarios for your individual prospects after law school, including the schools you’re thinking about attending, your likely class rank, specific—and recent—information about the employment of graduates at those law schools, likely debt and income profiles, the likely state of the legal employment market, and so on.

Your scenarios should include at least reasonable-best and reasonable-worst case scenarios for all of those issues.  If you’re ever tempted not to do a worst-case analysis, just picture yourself, three or four years from now, having to pull a tag off an ad hanging in a bathroom.

~ by Kyle Pasewark at Advise-in Solutions on November 12, 2010.

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