From a CNBC article (via TheAtlantic.com):
"The American Bar Association has officially issued a warning on its website.
The ABA is now making the case to persuade college students not to go to law school. According to the association, over the past 25 years law school tuition has consistently risen two times faster than inflation. The average private law student borrows about $92,500 for law school, while law students who attend public schools take out loans for $71,400. These numbers do not include any debt law students may still have from their time as undergraduates.
Before the recession, the ABA cites statistics that show an average starting salary for an associate of a large law firm of about $160,000 a year. But by 2009, about 42 percent of graduates began with an annual salary of less than $65,000.
And those are just the newbies."The full paper is here; it is titled "The Value Proposition of Attending Law School". It analyzes the cost of law school, employment trends for lawyers (including salaries), student loan concerns for new lawyers and ends with an admonition to potential lawyers to tread carefully before signing up for law school.* I am unaware of any similar paper being written or hosted by the American Chemical Society.
You can argue this is a matter of older lawyers protecting themselves from younger lawyers. I think it's worth keeping in mind that the writers and current members of ABA benefit (in some small fashion) from raising the barrier to entry to lawyering.
Whether we should discourage the education of future chemists is, in my opinion, an open question. However, I find it at least a little disturbing that a profession that's famous for coldbloodedness seems to have somewhat more regard for its future members than, say, the American Chemical Society.
*It should be noted that this report is from 2009.