Timing Law School (Presentation Slides)

99 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2015 Last revised: 3 Aug 2015

See all articles by Michael Simkovic

Michael Simkovic

University of Southern California Gould School of Law; University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Frank McIntyre


Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 21, 2015


This is a powerpoint presentation of Timing Law School. A draft version of the article is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2574587.

We investigate whether economic conditions at labor market entry have persistent effects on law graduate earnings. We find that unemployment levels at graduation continue to affect law earnings premiums within 4 years after graduation. For law graduates entering the labor market in strong economies, early outcomes are particularly good. However, the effect quickly fades as law graduates gain experience and the impact on lifetime earnings is relatively small. Outcomes data available prior to matriculation do not predict unemployment or starting salaries at graduation. Earnings premiums are not predicted by either cohort size or projected job openings. Even an effective “timing” strategy would likely be outweighed by the opportunity cost of a two-year delay in law school completion.

Keywords: cohort effects, labor economics, earnings premium, law school, unemployment, timing, lawyers, legal profession, education, prediction, forecasting, starting salary, NALP, BLS Projections, Job Opening Projections, class size, economic value of a law degree, recession, graduation

JEL Classification: I21, I22, J17, J2, J21, J22, J23, J24, J31, J44, J62, J63, L84, C12, C13, C14, C15, C32, C33, C53

Suggested Citation

Simkovic, Michael and McIntyre, Frank, Timing Law School (Presentation Slides) (July 21, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2612634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2612634

Michael Simkovic (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Frank McIntyre

Amazon.com ( email )

Seattle, WA 98144
United States

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