Best Buy Law Schools

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darknightbegins
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Best Buy Law Schools

Postby darknightbegins » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:03 pm

What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.

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charlesxavier
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby charlesxavier » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:12 pm

darknightbegins wrote:What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.


They should definitely take the starting salary into consideration. I mean what is a "best buy"? Sure attending one school could lead to half the debt of attending another, but your starting salary could make you take twice as long to pay it back.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:14 pm

Get ready for the big box law school, coming to a street corner near you:

Image

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:25 pm

darknightbegins wrote:What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.


Salary data should never, ever, ever, ever be used in methodologies comparing law schools.

What would be the need for student debt added if the tuition is so low?

Average student debt is really useful when comparing schools of the same cost - at the point of deciding which school to apply to - not once you receive a scholarship offer (at the point, you can calculate your own debt).

Bar passage rate is very important.

I will concede and say that the % employed at graduation is a far better statistic than 9 months out because
1) If you accept a position before you graduate, it was likely one you really wanted and
2) If you have loans, like the vast majority of students do, you will work as a waiter, if need be, within 9 months to pay your loans

FIU, according to the chart, seems to be a better buy primarily because it's cheaper (and still has a bar passage above the state average).

However if the methodology changed to accommodate for % employed at graduation, instead of 9 months out, FIU would likely not be in the top 30.

charlesxavier wrote:They should definitely take the starting salary into consideration. I mean what is a "best buy"? Sure attending one school could lead to half the debt of attending another, but your starting salary could make you take twice as long to pay it back.


Whoa whoa no...

Salary data is a terrible variable:
1. People don't report low salaries
2. The capacity of the job would have to be reported
3. Schools in major markets would have dramatic advantages over schools that aren't

1. People don't report their low salaries - so every school would have data that is skewed to the high end with only ~50% or less on average reporting (it's that way now - but at least now, salary data isn't used in any form of rankings)
2. If someone is a staff attorney instead of an associate attorney, wouldn't you want to know? I mean some staff attorneys make $100,000 starting, but there is no room for upward progression in that position.
3. If I opened "Aberzombie's Law School for Bozo's" in Manhattan (with a part time program of course - for those oh-so-busy professionals that cannot get into any of the higher ranked schools), and got it fully accredited, I could be posting $100,000 starting salaries on the web page within 10 years. I'd present the data in a manner that would cause confusion, similarly to the way law schools do it now. ~50% of the people applying wouldn't know better.

09042014
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby 09042014 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:30 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.


Salary data should never, ever, ever, ever be used in methodologies comparing law schools.

What would be the need for student debt added if the tuition is so low?

Average student debt is really useful when comparing schools of the same cost - at the point of deciding which school to apply to - not once you receive a scholarship offer (at the point, you can calculate your own debt).


Salary data is important because paying anything for a 40K career is stupid. For fucks sake cops with no college degrees get paid considerably more than that.

Most law schools aren't worth it even if you attend 100% free including cost of living.

But the salary data that currently exists is extremely flawed.

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darknightbegins
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby darknightbegins » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:44 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.


Salary data should never, ever, ever, ever be used in methodologies comparing law schools.

What would be the need for student debt added if the tuition is so low?

Average student debt is really useful when comparing schools of the same cost - at the point of deciding which school to apply to - not once you receive a scholarship offer (at the point, you can calculate your own debt).


Salary data is important because paying anything for a 40K career is stupid. For fucks sake cops with no college degrees get paid considerably more than that.

Most law schools aren't worth it even if you attend 100% free including cost of living.

But the salary data that currently exists is extremely flawed.


Depends on the police department. I know alot of departments where cops start out at around 20K, with benefits, with no college degree. Obviously in markets like LA and NYC the starting salary will be more.

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darknightbegins
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby darknightbegins » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:48 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.


Salary data should never, ever, ever, ever be used in methodologies comparing law schools.

What would be the need for student debt added if the tuition is so low?

Average student debt is really useful when comparing schools of the same cost - at the point of deciding which school to apply to - not once you receive a scholarship offer (at the point, you can calculate your own debt).

Bar passage rate is very important.

I will concede and say that the % employed at graduation is a far better statistic than 9 months out because
1) If you accept a position before you graduate, it was likely one you really wanted and
2) If you have loans, like the vast majority of students do, you will work as a waiter, if need be, within 9 months to pay your loans

FIU, according to the chart, seems to be a better buy primarily because it's cheaper (and still has a bar passage above the state average).

However if the methodology changed to accommodate for % employed at graduation, instead of 9 months out, FIU would likely not be in the top 30.

charlesxavier wrote:They should definitely take the starting salary into consideration. I mean what is a "best buy"? Sure attending one school could lead to half the debt of attending another, but your starting salary could make you take twice as long to pay it back.


Whoa whoa no...

Salary data is a terrible variable:
1. People don't report low salaries
2. The capacity of the job would have to be reported
3. Schools in major markets would have dramatic advantages over schools that aren't

1. People don't report their low salaries - so every school would have data that is skewed to the high end with only ~50% or less on average reporting (it's that way now - but at least now, salary data isn't used in any form of rankings)
2. If someone is a staff attorney instead of an associate attorney, wouldn't you want to know? I mean some staff attorneys make $100,000 starting, but there is no room for upward progression in that position.
3. If I opened "Aberzombie's Law School for Bozo's" in Manhattan (with a part time program of course - for those oh-so-busy professionals that cannot get into any of the higher ranked schools), and got it fully accredited, I could be posting $100,000 starting salaries on the web page within 10 years. I'd present the data in a manner that would cause confusion, similarly to the way law schools do it now. ~50% of the people applying wouldn't know better.



Obviously starting salary data is flawed but some schools do a good job in getting their students to report. I know LSU had close to 100 percent of their students reporting salary in the private sector according to USNWR. Others like Miami can be off though. I don't know how you can judge what a "best buy" is without taking into account in some way how much money the graduates make.

As for the employment statistics. I tend to agree with you but I think the arguement goes people wait to take the bar after graduation so 9 month employment stats after graduation better represent the "true" employment of the schools students.

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Fancy Pants
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby Fancy Pants » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:28 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Whoa whoa no...

Salary data is a terrible variable:
1. People don't report low salaries
2. The capacity of the job would have to be reported
3. Schools in major markets would have dramatic advantages over schools that aren't

1. People don't report their low salaries - so every school would have data that is skewed to the high end with only ~50% or less on average reporting (it's that way now - but at least now, salary data isn't used in any form of rankings)
2. If someone is a staff attorney instead of an associate attorney, wouldn't you want to know? I mean some staff attorneys make $100,000 starting, but there is no room for upward progression in that position.
3. If I opened "Aberzombie's Law School for Bozo's" in Manhattan (with a part time program of course - for those oh-so-busy professionals that cannot get into any of the higher ranked schools), and got it fully accredited, I could be posting $100,000 starting salaries on the web page within 10 years. I'd present the data in a manner that would cause confusion, similarly to the way law schools do it now. ~50% of the people applying wouldn't know better.


So your point is that, because current salary data isn't reliable, salary data in itself shouldn't be a component of the "best buy" ranking? How does that make sense? The "best buy" surely should factor in how easy it is to pay off debts incurred to obtain the education, since the whole point of a "best buy" ranking would be to determine how much your education was worth relative to its cost.

If anything, the fact that salary data is unreliable might tell us that the "best buy" ranking isn't something we could feasibly calculate.

twopoodles
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby twopoodles » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:37 pm

I like this list only because the school I'm going to made the top 3. :) I'd like to add, though, that if you were to take salary into consideration, you should also take cost of living. Someone said major markets would be at an advantage but if you were to take cost of living into it, probably not.

You could literally make 1/2 (probably even less) in starting pay in NE than in CA and still have an easier time paying back your loans because everything-your mortgage, your fuel, your groceries-would be a fraction of the cost.


As for the people who think law school, even at no cost, isn't worth it for a middle income wage, this sounds like the voice of someone who has no idea what work is. Sure, it isn't worth it if you have no interest in law, no. But for people who have worked for years in a job that has little meaning and no mental stimulation, an education is something worth doing for ITSELF, regardless of the salary it will lead to.

I have been self employed for a few years and have worked in the same field since I was 18. I am probably making more money now than I will starting out as a lawyer...and my potential, if I were to focus on my business, instead of giving it away to go to law school, is probably as high now as it will be three years from now when I have a JD. Yet, I'm going to go anyway. I'm going because I would rather do that kind of work--its that simple.

awesomepossum
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby awesomepossum » Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:41 pm

The problem with the 'best buy' idea is that it's valuing the time you spend at law school at $0.

Sure a school can cost $5000 in tuition, but that's $5000 plus living expenses plus 3 years of your life. If there isn't a good outcome at the end of the day, that 3 years is a big expense in my opinion.

Law school certainly isn't a 'you get what you pay for' proposition, but looking only to cheap tuition devalues your own time.

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Cleareyes
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby Cleareyes » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:05 pm

One question I have is whether attrition rates are taken into account. When you're picking a law school you should be more concerned with the outcome of the average person who enrolls than that of the average person who graduates. For many schools there's not much difference (No more than a handful drop out of most top schools every year, and for some portion of those dropping out isn't necessarily a bad thing since they may just have found a more attractive opportunity.) For many schools the difference is very significant as they shed up to 1/3 of the 1L class every year. FIU, to name one school on that list, has a reputation for a high level of attrition.

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General Tso
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby General Tso » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:11 pm

For most people, I think the best way to pick a 'good value' school is one that will

(a.) require less than 100k debt
(b.) allow that person to increase their salary by at LEAST 25k per year, if not 30-40k per year.

By that measure, if FIU satisfies both of these criteria, then it is a 'good buy.' Realistically speaking you'd probably need to be earning 20k per year pre-law school to justify it.

Of course it is hard to estimate the amount by which you can increase your salary. Every investment requires some risk. If you don't like risk, don't go to grad school and don't make risky investments. I think too often people fail to think of education in investment terms. They think about it abstractly as an 'investment in my future' but not in terms of hard numbers or costs/benefits.

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Close Diamond
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby Close Diamond » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:36 pm

At least one of the in-state price tags listed is inaccurate or outdated: Arizona Rogers. It's listed by National Jurist at $17,768 according to the ABA's 2009 edition. The ABA 2009 data sheet says $19,584. And the school's website reports $20,895. I'm too lazy to check any others, but they're probably there.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:49 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:
darknightbegins wrote:What do you all think of the National Jurist best buy law schools? http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cypress ... t0909/#/30

Do any of you have a problem with the methodology? Should they have taken in median starting salary into their equation when evaluating "best buy"? Should they have taken average student debt also into their equation? Is the fact that they only have in state tuition, bar passage rate and employment statistics too narrow a way to classify best buy?

Personally I really started to question how valid these results were when I saw FIU was a better buy than FSU and UF.

I don't know if this thread has been discussed already but if it has I apologize and feel free to flame me for reposting it.


Salary data should never, ever, ever, ever be used in methodologies comparing law schools.

What would be the need for student debt added if the tuition is so low?

Average student debt is really useful when comparing schools of the same cost - at the point of deciding which school to apply to - not once you receive a scholarship offer (at the point, you can calculate your own debt).


Salary data is important because paying anything for a 40K career is stupid. For fucks sake cops with no college degrees get paid considerably more than that.

Most law schools aren't worth it even if you attend 100% free including cost of living.

But the salary data that currently exists is extremely flawed.


But for many people, it's not all (or even primarily) about money. Going to law school changed my life in ways I never could have expected. They weren't all positive changes :oops: , but I value this experience tremendously for what it has been. In addition, I would hardly call taking a $40k legal aid job stupid, though most people in this position will qualify for some combination of LRAP/IBR.

What is the intrinsic value of a legal education? If you won the PowerBall, and knew you would never need to work, would you still want to do this? My roommate asked me that question once. I think she thought I was full of it, but she knows me better now.

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iShotFirst
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby iShotFirst » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:52 pm

Close Diamond wrote:At least one of the in-state price tags listed is inaccurate or outdated: Arizona Rogers. It's listed by National Jurist at $17,768 according to the ABA's 2009 edition. The ABA 2009 data sheet says $19,584. And the school's website reports $20,895. I'm too lazy to check any others, but they're probably there.


Georgia too ... 12k something on this list and 14,448 now.

Renzo
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby Renzo » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:59 pm

I think I missed the boat by going to law school. I should have started a rankings magazine.

09042014
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby 09042014 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:00 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
But for many people, it's not all (or even primarily) about money. Going to law school changed my life in ways I never could have expected. They weren't all positive changes :oops: , but I value this experience tremendously for what it has been. In addition, I would hardly call taking a $40k legal aid job stupid, though most people in this position will qualify for some combination of LRAP/IBR.

What is the intrinsic value of a legal education? If you won the PowerBall, and knew you would never need to work, would you still want to do this? My roommate asked me that question once. I think she thought I was full of it, but she knows me better now.


The intrinsic value of a legal education is a personal consideration, and cannot be ranked in a best value scenario. But to me, and I suspect most law students it is nothing. I wouldn't go to law school it didn't allow me to practice law. And I wouldn't practice law if I was living just above poverty.

Even in your scenario your law education is absolutely necessary to get your 40K legal aid job.

But most people aren't headed towards public interest and do value making a living. You aren't typical.

And like you said, you aren't paying 200K for to make 40K because of IBR and LRAP. You will basically pay nothing.

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Close Diamond
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Re: Best Buy Law Schools

Postby Close Diamond » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:51 am


That was a very insightful article if for no other reason than breifly mentioning the fact students' future happiness should be part of the equation. Also, lots of good data and interpretation thereof.




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