T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

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vanwinkle
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 08, 2010 8:00 pm

Regionality wrote:I'm not falling back on cries of elitism except as it relates to vanwinkle. My primary point was that it's ridiculous to say that going to a non T14 school but still tier 1 school is a bad idea...that's where all of this started, and it devolved into personal accusations of elitism.

My overall opinion is a little more nuanced than that, but right now, ITE, I think that's a fair enough summary.

Regionality wrote:I still think that the advice vanwinkle is giving is bad. I do not agree with what I understand his advice to be, that if you can't get into a T14 school, and you don't get significant money at a T50, then it isn't worth it to go to law school (Vanwinkle, if I characterized your advice wrongly, please say so).

I appreciate you inviting me the opportunity to respond. What I don't tell people is not to go to law school. It's their own decision. However, I do push very strongly a realistic look at the cost/benefit calculations, and an acknowledgement from people that once you get down into the lower T1 range, the job market is so bleak right now that you're taking a very large risk with very low chance of reward attending one of those schools at sticker. There are still times when it's worth taking that risk: When a person has literally no other options for employment available to them, when they are certain they want to become a lawyer, so much so that they still want to try despite being fully aware of the low odds of their success.

The bulk of the problem is that it's still possible to succeed if you're at the very top of your class at those schools and you manage to do enough networking to make yourself the opportunities you need when you graduate. However, there is literally no way to know that you'll be at the top of your class or even close to it. This is the common mistake people make; they realize things are bleak, but then tell themselves "that's okay, because I'm going to work harder and do better than anyone else" and it doesn't work that way. Everyone works hard in law school. Close to 100% of the people at any T1 or even T2 is going to be working hard and believing they can rise to the top, especially ITE where everyone is so hyperaware of the consequences of not doing well. Sadly, 90% of them are going to make it.

This is what people need to come to terms with. They need to look at things from the perspective of what opportunities they'll have even if they do poorly in law school, and ITE by "poorly" I mean "less than the top of the class" at a low T1 or T2. This is where you have to calculate your risks from, not from the top, because assuming you're going to be at the top is a massive and stupid mistake. Realistically, right now the calculation for many low T1 or high T2 schools is something like 150-180K in debt for a 50% or less chance of a 50K/yr job on graduation. That's me being optimistic, everything I've heard indicates it's actually much worse than that, but even that ought to be enough to deter a lot of people not truly committed.

People can go to a T2 or worse at sticker if they want to and I can't stop them. I'm not trying to stop them, either. I'm trying to make sure they know what they're getting into. If that stops them, then that's good, but it's not because it's what I want, it's because it's them realizing that it's not the right decision for them after all. Not everyone who wants to go to law school should. Those who are doing it for the money or glory are risking epic disappointment in these tough times. The only person who should be going at this point are:

1) Someone who can get into a T14, because they still have at least decent employment opportunities even if they don't do well in their class.
2) Someone who's getting good money to go to a T1 or high T2, because the costs are less which means the overall risk is less.
3) Someone who fully understands the risks and is willing to take them because being a lawyer is that important to them, and they're okay with assuming the 150K in debt it takes to have that chance even knowing they may never get legal work when they graduate.

Unfortunately a lot of people who want to go to law school right now don't fit into one of these categories.

Also, people with family or other connections shouldn't have to worry about that kind of analysis quite so much since they have employment potential that most people do not. It changes the analysis much more strongly in favor of going to law school, in those rare cases.

Regionality wrote:Whether Vanwinkle is elitist or not, and whether I am or not, is quite irrelevant to the decisions that many students are grasping with right now: to go to law school or not, which law school to go to, and where to draw the line in terms of cost of investment/lost opportunity cost vs legal career prospects and capacity to pay back student loans.

That discussion is a good one to have. Vanwinkle vs me is not.

I agree with all of this. The important discussion is not where things were unfortunately taken with the charges of elitism and whatnot; the important discussion is when it is and isn't appropriate to go to law school.

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DerrickRose
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby DerrickRose » Sat May 08, 2010 8:03 pm

DOS wrote:
Regionality wrote:
Kilpatrick wrote:vanwinkle, keep fighting the good fight. The guy you're arguing with has no clue and doesn't look like he is ever going to admit he's wrong, but it is really helpful reading your comments. Some people are going to read what you wrote and take your advice, even if this guy is going to just keep falling back on his cries of elitism. Thanks.


I'm not falling back on cries of elitism except as it relates to vanwinkle. My primary point was that it's ridiculous to say that going to a non T14 school but still tier 1 school is a bad idea...that's where all of this started, and it devolved into personal accusations of elitism.

I still think that the advice vanwinkle is giving is bad. I do not agree with what I understand his advice to be, that if you can't get into a T14 school, and you don't get significant money at a T50, then it isn't worth it to go to law school (Vanwinkle, if I characterized your advice wrongly, please say so).

Whether Vanwinkle is elitist or not, and whether I am or not, is quite irrelevant to the decisions that many students are grasping with right now: to go to law school or not, which law school to go to, and where to draw the line in terms of cost of investment/lost opportunity cost vs legal career prospects and capacity to pay back student loans.

That discussion is a good one to have. Vanwinkle vs me is not.



It is not worth going to Tulane at sticker. There are several other T1s where you can also make this statement.


It goes a LOT higher than that. See: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=115298

The dualism that was T14 v. Non-T14 used to reflect the financial safety of attending at sticker. That was in 2006 when the tuition was barely above 30k and 70% of the people at Georgetown were getting Biglaw. There has been a paradigm shift folks.

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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat May 08, 2010 8:04 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Regionality wrote:I'm not even in law school yet so how could I compare their law school performance to my own? And as for their undergrad GPA, I do think they were lazy to get sub 3.0 grades and I do think that they got into top law schools because the schools are obsessed with LSAT medians and rankings. It's not elitist to have that opinion...you don't even know what my GPA was. I think law school's obsessions with LSAT medians is unwise and unfair. Believing in an injustice is not elitism.


I do think law schools obsession with LSAT medians is unfair (a 3.65/169 getting rejected and a 3.15/170 getting in all else equal when the median is 170.

However their obsession with the LSAT is not. All of the splitters I hear about kick it into high gear and do extremely well in law school. Their laziness can be cured, their intelligence doesn't go away.


I don't. "Fair" is a subjective term-that which benefits me is fair, virtuous and logically sound, and that which does not is arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable. If I score a 170+ or 172+ on the LSAT, this will get me into a lower Top14.

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Regionality
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby Regionality » Sat May 08, 2010 8:11 pm

vanwinkle wrote: The only person who should be going at this point are:

1) Someone who can get into a T14, because they still have at least decent employment opportunities even if they don't do well in their class.
2) Someone who's getting good money to go to a T1 or high T2, because the costs are less which means the overall risk is less.
3) Someone who fully understands the risks and is willing to take them because being a lawyer is that important to them, and they're okay with assuming the 150K in debt it takes to have that chance even knowing they may never get legal work when they graduate.

Unfortunately a lot of people who want to go to law school right now don't fit into one of these categories.


I don't think we disagree as much as you might think we do. I actually agree with this piece of advice. I think we may have been disagreeing on the extent that your #3 takes place...or rather, the power that this has over people. For many going to law school is not a purely financial decision, and to be honest, I think people who go into law just to make money (and who readily admit that all they want is to make money, that they don't care about issues or the law or policy or whatnot) are, quite frankly, shallow. (please don't misconstrue this for any accusation that you fit into this category)

I say this because people can go to law school at a low tier 1/high tier 2, take out debt, get a mediocre job that allows them to pay off their loans and still live a decent life on top of that. Is it guaranteed right away in this economy? No, it isn't. But there are SO many people out there who want an exciting, intellectually stimulating and influential job that they can't get by just trying to "work their way up" in whatever career they can start in as a coffee-getting PA. So for those that aren't interested in MDs, MBAs, or other grad schools paths (and, on top of that, for those that ARE passionate about the law) taking out a lot of debt and going to a T50 school with those risks in mind is an obvious decision for many.

Plus, things should get better 3 years from now....they really should....please let them get better...

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vanwinkle
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 08, 2010 8:17 pm

Regionality wrote:I say this because people can go to law school at a low tier 1/high tier 2, take out debt, get a mediocre job that allows them to pay off their loans and still live a decent life on top of that. Is it guaranteed right away in this economy? No, it isn't.

This is really where the disagreement comes in. Right now the economy is so bad that even "mediocre" legal jobs aren't available to many T1 and T2 students. It's shockingly bad.

Regionality wrote:But there are SO many people out there who want an exciting, intellectually stimulating and influential job that they can't get by just trying to "work their way up" in whatever career they can start in as a coffee-getting PA. So for those that aren't interested in MDs, MBAs, or other grad schools paths (and, on top of that, for those that ARE passionate about the law) taking out a lot of debt and going to a T50 school with those risks in mind is an obvious decision for many.

This is another thing to point out. Many law jobs are not exciting, intellectually stimulating, or influential at all. This is especially true starting out; in BigLaw you'll be doing document review, in a lot of PI work you'll probably be doing endless research, or drafting up the same complaints for the same disadvantaged tenants that get rejected by the courts over and over again, or things along those lines. A lot of legal opportunities are far less exciting and far more boring or depressing than people realize going in. I can say this personally having interned at a couple places already and seen things that make me doubt what I'm doing, and I'm doing well.

Regionality wrote:Plus, things should get better 3 years from now....they really should....please let them get better...

Yeah, this is a problem too. I definitely want them to get better, but here's the problem: Hiring for 2L summer jobs starts with OCI this August for me and the rest of the Class of 2012. The best way to make connections with anyone is to work for them for the summer, so for all of us the odds of employment on graduation will be greatly influenced by what the economy looks like three months from now.

This means that for the Class of 2013, a lot of their future is going to depend on the economy next August. That's just over a year from now. It's not as far away as people think.

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FuManChusco
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby FuManChusco » Sat May 08, 2010 8:30 pm

worst thread ever. hypothetical acceptances based on a hypothetical score. really? is there anything important I missed in this thread after reading 3 posts and laughing?

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Regionality
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby Regionality » Sat May 08, 2010 8:33 pm

FuManChusco wrote:worst thread ever. hypothetical acceptances based on a hypothetical score. really? is there anything important I missed in this thread after reading 3 posts and laughing?


I think you might have missed the entire thread bc this isnt at all what we've been discussing.

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DerrickRose
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby DerrickRose » Sat May 08, 2010 8:36 pm

Regionality wrote:I say this because people can go to law school at a low tier 1/high tier 2, take out debt, get a mediocre job that allows them to pay off their loans and still live a decent life on top of that.


Not if they pay sticker. If you pay sticker at law school and fail to get Biglaw, you will never comfortably retire. Not if you don't start saving until you're 40.

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vanwinkle
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 08, 2010 8:37 pm

FuManChusco wrote:worst thread ever. hypothetical acceptances based on a hypothetical score. really? is there anything important I missed in this thread after reading 3 posts and laughing?

It evolved into allegations of elitism and arguments over whether and under what circumstances it's even worth it to go to the T30, ignoring the T4 entirely.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby Stringer Bell » Sat May 08, 2010 8:51 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
Regionality wrote:I say this because people can go to law school at a low tier 1/high tier 2, take out debt, get a mediocre job that allows them to pay off their loans and still live a decent life on top of that.


Not if they pay sticker. If you pay sticker at law school and fail to get Biglaw, you will never comfortably retire. Not if you don't start saving until you're 40.


I'm actually on you and vw's side on this, but there is the option of working for the govt and using the 10 year debt forgiveness IBR program. If you pay sticker to go to law school outside of somewhere with cheap in state tuition, biglaw or working for the government are your only semi-reasonable options. Anyone that thinks otherwise hasn't bothered to run the numbers.

Props to OP for generating an 8+ page thread with a hypothetical LSAT score.

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vanwinkle
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 08, 2010 8:52 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:I'm actually on you and vw's side on this, but there is the option of working for the govt and using the 10 year debt forgiveness IBR program.

IBR will help you discharge the debt eventually, but it won't help you find work that pays well enough to save for retirement.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby Stringer Bell » Sat May 08, 2010 8:59 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:I'm actually on you and vw's side on this, but there is the option of working for the govt and using the 10 year debt forgiveness IBR program.

IBR will help you discharge the debt eventually, but it won't help you find work that pays well enough to save for retirement.


I guess it depends on how lean you are willing to live. There are folks I know who have either taught or worked in the military and who have been able to retire with a semi-reasonable lifestyle. Of course, this is dependent on their benefits and returns from the stock market. Both are pretty uncertain propostions right now. I honestly haven't run the numbers on retirement yet because it scares the crap out of me.

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DerrickRose
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby DerrickRose » Sat May 08, 2010 9:36 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:I'm actually on you and vw's side on this, but there is the option of working for the govt and using the 10 year debt forgiveness IBR program.

IBR will help you discharge the debt eventually, but it won't help you find work that pays well enough to save for retirement.


I guess it depends on how lean you are willing to live. There are folks I know who have either taught or worked in the military and who have been able to retire with a semi-reasonable lifestyle. Of course, this is dependent on their benefits and returns from the stock market. Both are pretty uncertain propostions right now. I honestly haven't run the numbers on retirement yet because it scares the crap out of me.


The military pays like crazy and drastically reduces your cost of living, plus the benefits are amazing. They get what they deserve.

As for teachers, the starting salaries are low but they also (usually) get good benefits, job security, and steadily increasing pay. There were teachers at my high school in their 50's making over $200k. Plus you get your summers off. If you divide the salaries by an hourly basis, I bet you most experienced high school teachers make more than first-year Biglaw associates.

And with both of those options the 10% a year you're putting away is going on the positive side of the ledger the whole time. Lets break this down.

Person 1 becomes a high school teacher after college at age 22 and starts at $30k with a 10% raise every year (my buddy is now a high school teacher, this is in the ballpark of what he gets). Person 1 puts 10% of his money into investments gaining 5% a year in interest. By age 35 Person 1 has $98,000 put away. He is now making 103k.

Person 2 goes to law school straight from undergrad, takes out a ridiculous amount of debt, and at age 25 gets a government job making $45k with a 10% raise every year. (which is NOT the worst case scenario by any means). Person 1 obviously can't service his massive debt and so uses the 10-year IBR. So at age 35 Person 2 has $0 in the bank and is making $116k.

Now play this out to age 65:
Person 1: $1.9 million

Person 2: $1.8 million

In a nutshell, IBR means you're poorer than a high school teacher.

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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby djgoldbe » Sat May 08, 2010 10:01 pm

I think there is an awful lot of argumentation going on - on both ends of the argument - considering neither side has any real evidence to back them up. I do not think the NLJ 2009 information is very illuminating of the current job market, and neither are the anecdotal accounts that have emerged. I have yet to see the 'doom and gloom' or the 'things aren't that bad' arguments given anything more than he-said-she-said and a WSJ article.

It is an option to say 'we don't know' and leave it at that, or at the very least take your anecdotal evidence as the limited indicator that it is.

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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby motiontodismiss » Sat May 08, 2010 10:06 pm

For the high school thing: that's nonsense. There's no way in hell a teacher's total compensation will top $100k.

Total compensation for teachers at private high schools max out at maybe $100k+housing. For a public school, I doubt you'll get past $100k. And there's no way in hell one can become a high school teacher at a public school (private schools higher teachers fresh out of Ugrad) without an MA. So you're more at like 24.
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Sat May 08, 2010 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DerrickRose
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby DerrickRose » Sat May 08, 2010 10:08 pm

djgoldbe wrote:I think there is an awful lot of argumentation going on - on both ends of the argument - considering neither side has any real evidence to back them up. I do not think the NLJ 2009 information is very illuminating of the current job market, and neither are the anecdotal accounts that have emerged. I have yet to see the 'doom and gloom' or the 'things aren't that bad' arguments given anything more than he-said-she-said and a WSJ article.

It is an option to say 'we don't know' and leave it at that, or at the very least take your anecdotal evidence as the limited indicator that it is.


There are no numbers yet. And the numbers that we would have, c/o 2010 and 2011 OCI numbers, wouldn't tell us all that much about what the prospective class of 2013 should expect.

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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby djgoldbe » Sat May 08, 2010 10:25 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
djgoldbe wrote:I think there is an awful lot of argumentation going on - on both ends of the argument - considering neither side has any real evidence to back them up. I do not think the NLJ 2009 information is very illuminating of the current job market, and neither are the anecdotal accounts that have emerged. I have yet to see the 'doom and gloom' or the 'things aren't that bad' arguments given anything more than he-said-she-said and a WSJ article.

It is an option to say 'we don't know' and leave it at that, or at the very least take your anecdotal evidence as the limited indicator that it is.


There are no numbers yet. And the numbers that we would have, c/o 2010 and 2011 OCI numbers, wouldn't tell us all that much about what the prospective class of 2013 should expect.


Exactly.

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vanwinkle
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 08, 2010 10:27 pm

djgoldbe wrote:It is an option to say 'we don't know' and leave it at that, or at the very least take your anecdotal evidence as the limited indicator that it is.

There's a difference, though, between the opinion of a 0L and that of a current law student. As a current law student I can say that I've seen things that indicate the state of the job market that a 0L hasn't. My anecdotal evidence is going to be limited, yes, but hopefully people will recognize it as more valuable than the opinion of someone who's not even in law school yet and doesn't see how hiring is currently going. Not only that, but people who really care can go look at the anecdotal evidence coming from other current law students on this forum and put it together into a less limited picture.

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eagles86
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby eagles86 » Sun May 09, 2010 12:00 am

I would like to know what school you went to where teachers made over $200K! No wonder most states are bankrupt lol

DerrickRose wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:I'm actually on you and vw's side on this, but there is the option of working for the govt and using the 10 year debt forgiveness IBR program.

IBR will help you discharge the debt eventually, but it won't help you find work that pays well enough to save for retirement.


I guess it depends on how lean you are willing to live. There are folks I know who have either taught or worked in the military and who have been able to retire with a semi-reasonable lifestyle. Of course, this is dependent on their benefits and returns from the stock market. Both are pretty uncertain propostions right now. I honestly haven't run the numbers on retirement yet because it scares the crap out of me.


The military pays like crazy and drastically reduces your cost of living, plus the benefits are amazing. They get what they deserve.

As for teachers, the starting salaries are low but they also (usually) get good benefits, job security, and steadily increasing pay. There were teachers at my high school in their 50's making over $200k. Plus you get your summers off. If you divide the salaries by an hourly basis, I bet you most experienced high school teachers make more than first-year Biglaw associates.

And with both of those options the 10% a year you're putting away is going on the positive side of the ledger the whole time. Lets break this down.

Person 1 becomes a high school teacher after college at age 22 and starts at $30k with a 10% raise every year (my buddy is now a high school teacher, this is in the ballpark of what he gets). Person 1 puts 10% of his money into investments gaining 5% a year in interest. By age 35 Person 1 has $98,000 put away. He is now making 103k.

Person 2 goes to law school straight from undergrad, takes out a ridiculous amount of debt, and at age 25 gets a government job making $45k with a 10% raise every year. (which is NOT the worst case scenario by any means). Person 1 obviously can't service his massive debt and so uses the 10-year IBR. So at age 35 Person 2 has $0 in the bank and is making $116k.

Now play this out to age 65:
Person 1: $1.9 million

Person 2: $1.8 million

In a nutshell, IBR means you're poorer than a high school teacher.

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DerrickRose
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby DerrickRose » Sun May 09, 2010 12:04 am

eagles86 wrote:I would like to know what school you went to where teachers made over $200K! No wonder most states are bankrupt lol


Chicago suburbs. And not an especially wealthy area or anything. We're talking about teachers with 20+ years of experience with department chairs and coaching stipends and the like, but yeah, the top handful of teachers were at or around $200k.

EDIT: Well, I went to make sure on this, and wouldn't you know it, I'm wrong. Only the principal was over 200k. There were several teachers over $150k though.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun May 09, 2010 12:24 am

new trier? which school?

djgoldbe
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby djgoldbe » Sun May 09, 2010 12:39 am

Stevenson alumni here, and some teachers def make 120K+. New trier probably does also. But that is after like 20 years. IMO we should be paying them more.

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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby djgoldbe » Sun May 09, 2010 12:49 am

vanwinkle wrote:
djgoldbe wrote:It is an option to say 'we don't know' and leave it at that, or at the very least take your anecdotal evidence as the limited indicator that it is.

There's a difference, though, between the opinion of a 0L and that of a current law student. As a current law student I can say that I've seen things that indicate the state of the job market that a 0L hasn't. My anecdotal evidence is going to be limited, yes, but hopefully people will recognize it as more valuable than the opinion of someone who's not even in law school yet and doesn't see how hiring is currently going. Not only that, but people who really care can go look at the anecdotal evidence coming from other current law students on this forum and put it together into a less limited picture.


Agreed to an extent. Many 0Ls have friends / family who have lots of ties to local lawyers / firms and have inquired personally. Current law students do have an advantage in seeing what OCI is like - which is a big deal but there are tons and tons of firms/jobs out there that are not going to be reflected in OCI. And you also tend to only hear the OCI horror stories. When I went to the Vandy ASW the guy I met said he had 6-7 call backs and that things were not that bad. I take that with as much of a grain of salt as I do the 't14 top 25% and can't find a job' story.

09042014
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Re: T30 sticker v. T4 free-ride

Postby 09042014 » Sun May 09, 2010 1:14 am

District 214 in Illinois had teachers over 120K. But that was about tops.

Not bad for 7-4, with 2 weeks off for Christmas, and 3 months for summer.




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