Fuck law school, and feel sorry for the lawyers. You don't know how bad those kids have it, these days.
Nationwide, salaries for starting law school grads have been dropping steadily since 2008. The job market for JDs is utter shit, and will probably stay that way for a while. Much of the classes of 2008-09 are still looking for their first "real" jobs (i.e., requiring a laws degree, not a Starbucks' apron). Check out the numbers:
That's right: $45K/year for a job that requires 3 extra years of school after your B.A., and costs you $150,00 in tuition. (And that's IF you land a job.) And while salaries do increase with experience, 95% won't break the $100K/year mark until they've been practicing for 8 or 10 years.
I have a couple of dozen friends who started law school (circa 2001-2009) instead of getting real jobs right away, most due to a combination of:
1) they saw it as an easy ticket to big money and professional distinction, unlike their recently-earned liberal arts B.A. degrees
2) they hadn't been thinking in specific terms about their post-graduation career plans, and so they basically had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives
3) basically any bank would approve full student loans for anybody who got into an accredited law school, at the time.
The people I knew were just a small selection of the wave of under-motivated, unskilled, and barely employable Gen-Y folk who flooded into US law schools. And since the law schools have zero accountability for whether their students get jobs after graduating, there's no direct feedback to stop them from churning out J.D.s into an already over-saturated swamp of 20somethings drowning in unsubsidized student debts (at sky-high, pre-crash interest rates, too).
A few of my friends were the lucky winners who landed the really good "big firm" jobs, with super-high starting salaries--this is maybe 5% of all law school grads, nationwide, in any given class. People who got hired at Skadden, Proskauer, MoFo, etc. were making $150K-$200K, right out of law school. These jobs are reserved for the super-high achievers, the kids who've been busting their asses studying every night/weekend since high school, with straight 4.0 GPAs since before junior high. In their first 5 years, they're each required to bill at least 2,000 hours/year to clients, which really means spending 60-80 hours/week at work (not everything is billable). Standards rise as they advance, and if they want to make partner, they'll have to put in around 80 hours/week for the next 10 years or so--and keep that pace up if they want to stay partners in the firm. Salaries do rise, too: A 5th-year associate at Skadden can pull down $500K/year, in exchange for her 80-100 hours/week, and a partner will bring home multiple millions/year.