Law School or Not?

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Amiricanmade
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Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:20 pm

Hey everyone. I'm a junior at a CSU majoring in Business Administration with a emphasis on Legal Studies or Accounting (not declared yet). My GPA is 3.3 and after this semester will be 3.4-3.45 ish. My GPA will most likely stay where it's at when it comes to graduation. I've started reading the PowerScore Bibles but have not taken a test yet so i'm not sure what my LSAT score will be. I plan on taking the LSAT next October and wanted to know what you guys think i should do. I've read posts about Tier 3-4 and it seems people think it's a waste of time/money to attend such schools. The major argument is debt, but i will not be paying for law-school, my parents will cover the charge of school and I'll be living at home. The schools that i'm gonna apply will be in SoCal so worst case: Whittier, Southwestern, Chapman, Western State, Thomas Jefferson and etc. You guys think i should attend such schools if my LSAT isn't in the Loyola category or pass them up and check out the job market? Once again i would not be paying for school, if i don't go to school i would most likely go on the CPA route. I know a Tier 3-4 school might not get me a "Big Law" job, but i'm not sure what that even is or if that's even what i want. I'm not interested in Criminal law, Business/Corporate Law & Family Law is what i think i'd be interested in so what do you guys think? Once again, this is a worst case post, i've yet to take the LSAT and i'm not sure what i'll get but just trying to figure out my options.

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gdane
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby gdane » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:27 pm

This is all a moo point unless you have an idea of where you fall LSAT wise.

Even if you yourself arent going to be paying for school, I still wouldnt go the Tier 3 or Tier 4 route. You could put that money to better use. A CPA specifically.

Also, in order to get a good job out of these schools you almost always have to be near the top of your class. This isnt easy. So, dont bank on being number 1.

Youre still a junior so dont worry too much about it, but in general you want to avoid going to Tier 3 or 4 schools just because theres not enough reward for the risk you put in.

Good luck!

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4for44
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby 4for44 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:32 pm

Without an LSAT its up in the air

Get a 170+ on LSAT and apply to USC UCLA if you REALLY want to be in Socal... or any splitter friendly T14s if you dont care...

Get a ~165 or less and it wouldnt be worth your parents money to go anywhere you'd get in. Earning potential will probably be less than CPA andit doesnt sound like its a "dream" profession, just something you are looking at...

HTH

Edit: ^ I could've just +1'ed

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:40 pm

gdane5 wrote:This is all a moo point unless you have an idea of where you fall LSAT wise.

Even if you yourself arent going to be paying for school, I still wouldnt go the Tier 3 or Tier 4 route. You could put that money to better use. A CPA specifically.

Also, in order to get a good job out of these schools you almost always have to be near the top of your class. This isnt easy. So, dont bank on being number 1.

Youre still a junior so dont worry too much about it, but in general you want to avoid going to Tier 3 or 4 schools just because theres not enough reward for the risk you put in.

Good luck!


I'm gonna try my best to get into the best school i can, just looking at my options. This may sound weird, but if you HAVE to be in the top % of your class to get a job from Southwestern, Whittier, Western, Chapman & etc. how come so many people attend? I understand right now it's a bad job market but what do the other 50% of graduates do?

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:41 pm

4for44 wrote:Without an LSAT its up in the air

Get a 170+ on LSAT and apply to USC UCLA if you REALLY want to be in Socal... or any splitter friendly T14s if you dont care...

Get a ~165 or less and it wouldnt be worth your parents money to go anywhere you'd get in. Earning potential will probably be less than CPA andit doesnt sound like its a "dream" profession, just something you are looking at...

HTH

Edit: ^ I could've just +1'ed


170+ is pretty difficult to do i'd assume. I'm gonna try to go for a 180 :o but chances of getting that are minimal. What do graduates of Tier 3/4 usually do assuming they pass the bar?

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gdane
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby gdane » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:48 pm

Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:This is all a moo point unless you have an idea of where you fall LSAT wise.

Even if you yourself arent going to be paying for school, I still wouldnt go the Tier 3 or Tier 4 route. You could put that money to better use. A CPA specifically.

Also, in order to get a good job out of these schools you almost always have to be near the top of your class. This isnt easy. So, dont bank on being number 1.

Youre still a junior so dont worry too much about it, but in general you want to avoid going to Tier 3 or 4 schools just because theres not enough reward for the risk you put in.

Good luck!


I'm gonna try my best to get into the best school i can, just looking at my options. This may sound weird, but if you HAVE to be in the top % of your class to get a job from Southwestern, Whittier, Western, Chapman & etc. how come so many people attend? I understand right now it's a bad job market but what do the other 50% of graduates do?

People attend because they're ignorant to the realities of the legal profession. People still think that going to law school, any law school, is a sure fire way to riches. However, thats not even close to being true. What do the other 50%/those not at the top of their classes do? The short answer is that they end up working menial jobs or get out of the legal profession before they even started. "Shitlaw".

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observationalist
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby observationalist » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:53 pm

Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:This is all a moo point unless you have an idea of where you fall LSAT wise.

Even if you yourself arent going to be paying for school, I still wouldnt go the Tier 3 or Tier 4 route. You could put that money to better use. A CPA specifically.

Also, in order to get a good job out of these schools you almost always have to be near the top of your class. This isnt easy. So, dont bank on being number 1.

Youre still a junior so dont worry too much about it, but in general you want to avoid going to Tier 3 or 4 schools just because theres not enough reward for the risk you put in.

Good luck!


I'm gonna try my best to get into the best school i can, just looking at my options. This may sound weird, but if you HAVE to be in the top % of your class to get a job from Southwestern, Whittier, Western, Chapman & etc. how come so many people attend? I understand right now it's a bad job market but what do the other 50% of graduates do?


Unfortunately, we don't know what they do and the schools aren't required to disclose that information. A section of the American Bar Association is given the authority to determine what information a law school must publish in order to be accredited, so a lot of people have been trying to get the ABA to change the disclosure requirements. The current disclosure standard means that schools only need to report the bar passage rate and the percent of the class employed "in any job," not just legal jobs. Schools then choose what additional information they want to disclose.

I encourage you to look at the employment stats for a few of these schools and see how they portray the job information. Feel free to post what you're finding here and we can tell you where the gaps are in the information and what it might actually mean. You can also check out the Data Clearinghouse tab on LST's website to see how many starting salaries are known to the public (here: --LinkRemoved-- ). As you can see with Whittier, no information is provided for the starting salaries of over half the class. There are a number of reasons why some schools do such a poor job at reporting on what their graduates do, but for the most part it comes down to the fact that they're not required to do so by the ABA. G'luck.

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:21 pm

observationalist wrote:
Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:This is all a moo point unless you have an idea of where you fall LSAT wise.

Even if you yourself arent going to be paying for school, I still wouldnt go the Tier 3 or Tier 4 route. You could put that money to better use. A CPA specifically.

Also, in order to get a good job out of these schools you almost always have to be near the top of your class. This isnt easy. So, dont bank on being number 1.

Youre still a junior so dont worry too much about it, but in general you want to avoid going to Tier 3 or 4 schools just because theres not enough reward for the risk you put in.

Good luck!


I'm gonna try my best to get into the best school i can, just looking at my options. This may sound weird, but if you HAVE to be in the top % of your class to get a job from Southwestern, Whittier, Western, Chapman & etc. how come so many people attend? I understand right now it's a bad job market but what do the other 50% of graduates do?


Unfortunately, we don't know what they do and the schools aren't required to disclose that information. A section of the American Bar Association is given the authority to determine what information a law school must publish in order to be accredited, so a lot of people have been trying to get the ABA to change the disclosure requirements. The current disclosure standard means that schools only need to report the bar passage rate and the percent of the class employed "in any job," not just legal jobs. Schools then choose what additional information they want to disclose.

I encourage you to look at the employment stats for a few of these schools and see how they portray the job information. Feel free to post what you're finding here and we can tell you where the gaps are in the information and what it might actually mean. You can also check out the Data Clearinghouse tab on LST's website to see how many starting salaries are known to the public (here: --LinkRemoved-- ). As you can see with Whittier, no information is provided for the starting salaries of over half the class. There are a number of reasons why some schools do such a poor job at reporting on what their graduates do, but for the most part it comes down to the fact that they're not required to do so by the ABA. G'luck.


Great site and thanks for the info. I'm taking a look at Western State and the site indicates 66 our of the 105 work in the private sector (what do they do, no clue) but that's a decent number seeing as how 66/105 students weren't top 5% yet they still have a job-trying to optimistic?

Also, when it says that 29% of the graduates were not employed after 9 months, could this be because they didn't pass the bar and perhaps they are studying for the bar? Or are these the # of people who graduated and passed the bar?

I also checked out Chapman, would you also include Chapman in the not worth your $/time category?

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gdane
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby gdane » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:26 pm

I dont understand why youre even "preparing for the worst". Thats such a negative thing to do. Aim high and adjust your expectations accordingly. Take care of the LSAT first.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:27 pm

gdane5 wrote:Aim high

--ImageRemoved--

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:38 pm

gdane5 wrote:I dont understand why youre even "preparing for the worst". Thats such a negative thing to do. Aim high and adjust your expectations accordingly. Take care of the LSAT first.



I'm just a pessimist. I just wanna know worst case scenario i'll be ok. The thing is, if i want to go to law school i would be a Business Management W/Emphasis on Legal Studies, if not I'd declare Accounting. Accounting would result in my GPA being a bit lower -since it's hard as puck-(which doesn't matter since i don't have to get into law school) but i don't wanna have even a .1 lower GPA if i wanna go to law school. I dunno i'm just confused and scared. I know of some friends who graduated from Southwestern and now have a corp job, not sure where they graduated in their class and if they used their school for job prospects of connections.

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:38 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
gdane5 wrote:Aim high

--ImageRemoved--


:lol: :lol:

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ResolutePear
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:52 pm

Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:I dont understand why youre even "preparing for the worst". Thats such a negative thing to do. Aim high and adjust your expectations accordingly. Take care of the LSAT first.



I'm just a pessimist. I just wanna know worst case scenario i'll be ok. The thing is, if i want to go to law school i would be a Business Management W/Emphasis on Legal Studies, if not I'd declare Accounting. Accounting would result in my GPA being a bit lower -since it's hard as puck-(which doesn't matter since i don't have to get into law school) but i don't wanna have even a .1 lower GPA if i wanna go to law school. I dunno i'm just confused and scared. I know of some friends who graduated from Southwestern and now have a corp job, not sure where they graduated in their class and if they used their school for job prospects of connections.


puck? Don't you mean 'fuck'?

Anyways, it's beyond me why anybody would do legal studies for UG. It means you're going to be a lawyer who knows a lot about the 'science of law' but not much else... and law schools discourage this anyways - not to mention that your LSAT will SUUUUUUUUUCK which translates to your FUUUUUUUUUCKED. Besides, it also depends on what you like to do and what type of lawyer you want to be. For instance, you need an engineering or hard science degree to sit for the patent bar.

And, as far as worst case scenario: You'll be homeless.

If you want to make money - go be an investment banker or something.

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:39 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:I dont understand why youre even "preparing for the worst". Thats such a negative thing to do. Aim high and adjust your expectations accordingly. Take care of the LSAT first.



I'm just a pessimist. I just wanna know worst case scenario i'll be ok. The thing is, if i want to go to law school i would be a Business Management W/Emphasis on Legal Studies, if not I'd declare Accounting. Accounting would result in my GPA being a bit lower -since it's hard as puck-(which doesn't matter since i don't have to get into law school) but i don't wanna have even a .1 lower GPA if i wanna go to law school. I dunno i'm just confused and scared. I know of some friends who graduated from Southwestern and now have a corp job, not sure where they graduated in their class and if they used their school for job prospects of connections.


puck? Don't you mean 'fuck'?

Anyways, it's beyond me why anybody would do legal studies for UG. It means you're going to be a lawyer who knows a lot about the 'science of law' but not much else... and law schools discourage this anyways - not to mention that your LSAT will SUUUUUUUUUCK which translates to your FUUUUUUUUUCKED. Besides, it also depends on what you like to do and what type of lawyer you want to be. For instance, you need an engineering or hard science degree to sit for the patent bar.

And, as far as worst case scenario: You'll be homeless.

If you want to make money - go be an investment banker or something.


I'd wanna do Business Management with an Emphasis on Legal Studies because Law is interesting to me. What makes you think studying Legal Studies will make my LSAT suck? I don't see the link there. I wanna make money doing something i like, investment banking does not interest me.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:43 pm

Amiricanmade wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:I dont understand why youre even "preparing for the worst". Thats such a negative thing to do. Aim high and adjust your expectations accordingly. Take care of the LSAT first.



I'm just a pessimist. I just wanna know worst case scenario i'll be ok. The thing is, if i want to go to law school i would be a Business Management W/Emphasis on Legal Studies, if not I'd declare Accounting. Accounting would result in my GPA being a bit lower -since it's hard as puck-(which doesn't matter since i don't have to get into law school) but i don't wanna have even a .1 lower GPA if i wanna go to law school. I dunno i'm just confused and scared. I know of some friends who graduated from Southwestern and now have a corp job, not sure where they graduated in their class and if they used their school for job prospects of connections.


puck? Don't you mean 'fuck'?

Anyways, it's beyond me why anybody would do legal studies for UG. It means you're going to be a lawyer who knows a lot about the 'science of law' but not much else... and law schools discourage this anyways - not to mention that your LSAT will SUUUUUUUUUCK which translates to your FUUUUUUUUUCKED. Besides, it also depends on what you like to do and what type of lawyer you want to be. For instance, you need an engineering or hard science degree to sit for the patent bar.

And, as far as worst case scenario: You'll be homeless.

If you want to make money - go be an investment banker or something.


I'd wanna do Business Management with an Emphasis on Legal Studies because Law is interesting to me. What makes you think studying Legal Studies will make my LSAT suck? I don't see the link there. I wanna make money doing something i like, investment banking does not interest me.


http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/Ph ... eid=219324

Hope that helps.

But in case it doesnt: Prelaw scores well below everybody else on average... and before you try to rebuttal: you're not a unique snowflake with original ideas.

2011Law
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby 2011Law » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:54 pm

4for44 wrote:Without an LSAT its up in the air

Get a 170+ on LSAT and apply to USC UCLA if you REALLY want to be in Socal... or any splitter friendly T14s if you dont care...

Get a ~165 or less and it wouldnt be worth your parents money to go anywhere you'd get in. Earning potential will probably be less than CPA andit doesnt sound like its a "dream" profession, just something you are looking at...


I'm going to +1 this, but if you are really serious about becoming a lawyer, will have a good drive/passion to do well in law school, then I'd say there are plenty of schools you can go to with between a 160 and 165 (which I think is doable for most people, but most people just don't put more than even 10 hrs into studying). If you don't have a serious drive for it, you'll end up at the bottom of your class b/c there'll be plenty of people smarter than you and/or willing to put way more effort than you. Don't waste your parents money (even if they're super rich, tell them to give it to the homeless or something) and your time on something your not serious about (and you show your serious first and foremost by studying your ass off for the LSAT and trying to raise your GPA).

2011Law
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby 2011Law » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:55 pm

2011Law wrote:
4for44 wrote:Without an LSAT its up in the air

Get a 170+ on LSAT and apply to USC UCLA if you REALLY want to be in Socal... or any splitter friendly T14s if you dont care...

Get a ~165 or less and it wouldnt be worth your parents money to go anywhere you'd get in. Earning potential will probably be less than CPA andit doesnt sound like its a "dream" profession, just something you are looking at...


I'm going to +1 this, but if you are really serious about becoming a lawyer, will have a good drive/passion to do well in law school, then I'd say there are plenty of schools you can go to with between a 160 and 165 (which I think is doable for most people, but most people just don't put more than even 10 hrs into studying). If you don't have a serious drive for it, you'll end up at the bottom of your class b/c there'll be plenty of people smarter than you and/or willing to put way more effort than you. Don't waste your parents money (even if they're super rich, tell them to give it to the homeless or something) and your time on something your not serious about (and you show you're serious first and foremost by studying your ass off for the LSAT and trying to raise your GPA).

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:57 pm

puck? Don't you mean 'fuck'?

Anyways, it's beyond me why anybody would do legal studies for UG. It means you're going to be a lawyer who knows a lot about the 'science of law' but not much else... and law schools discourage this anyways - not to mention that your LSAT will SUUUUUUUUUCK which translates to your FUUUUUUUUUCKED. Besides, it also depends on what you like to do and what type of lawyer you want to be. For instance, you need an engineering or hard science degree to sit for the patent bar.

And, as far as worst case scenario: You'll be homeless.

If you want to make money - go be an investment banker or something.[/quote]

I'd wanna do Business Management with an Emphasis on Legal Studies because Law is interesting to me. What makes you think studying Legal Studies will make my LSAT suck? I don't see the link there. I wanna make money doing something i like, investment banking does not interest me.[/quote]

http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/AAS/Ph ... eid=219324

Hope that helps.

But in case it doesnt: Prelaw scores well below everybody else on average... and before you try to rebuttal: you're not a unique snowflake with original ideas.[/quote]

Judging from your table, Business Management would rate higher than PreLaw(which i'm not trying to do). Prelaw is not in the topic at hand, it's business management with emphasis on legal studies vs. business management with emphasis in accounting so i don't think that table is applicable as i'm not a straight accounting major. I appreciate your insight, but i doubt my LSAT performance is gonna be based on what emphasis i make. But as you mentioned earlier emphasizing in accounting will give me some more veriety.

Amiricanmade
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby Amiricanmade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:09 pm

2011Law wrote:
4for44 wrote:Without an LSAT its up in the air

Get a 170+ on LSAT and apply to USC UCLA if you REALLY want to be in Socal... or any splitter friendly T14s if you dont care...

Get a ~165 or less and it wouldnt be worth your parents money to go anywhere you'd get in. Earning potential will probably be less than CPA andit doesnt sound like its a "dream" profession, just something you are looking at...


I'm going to +1 this, but if you are really serious about becoming a lawyer, will have a good drive/passion to do well in law school, then I'd say there are plenty of schools you can go to with between a 160 and 165 (which I think is doable for most people, but most people just don't put more than even 10 hrs into studying). If you don't have a serious drive for it, you'll end up at the bottom of your class b/c there'll be plenty of people smarter than you and/or willing to put way more effort than you. Don't waste your parents money (even if they're super rich, tell them to give it to the homeless or something) and your time on something your not serious about (and you show your serious first and foremost by studying your ass off for the LSAT and trying to raise your GPA).


10hrs a week? How long do you think i need to prep? I'm gonna let the LSAT be the deciding factor i guess. I'm hoping to get a 160

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observationalist
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby observationalist » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:10 pm

Amiricanmade wrote:Great site and thanks for the info. I'm taking a look at Western State and the site indicates 66 our of the 105 work in the private sector (what do they do, no clue) but that's a decent number seeing as how 66/105 students weren't top 5% yet they still have a job-trying to optimistic?

Also, when it says that 29% of the graduates were not employed after 9 months, could this be because they didn't pass the bar and perhaps they are studying for the bar? Or are these the # of people who graduated and passed the bar?


This is what I would make of the available information on Western State (sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this):

For the Class of 2008, a full 29% of the class was reported as being unemployed (irrespective of whether they passed the July 2008 bar exam). That number is very high for an ABA-approved law school, considering that any job would have counted a person as employed. Of the 66 graduates who reported being employed, you need to recognize the variety of jobs they could have obtained. This group includes anyone employed full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, in any legal or non-legal position, so long as it is in a for-profit business (it does not include public defender jobs, an area in which the school advertises as a strength within the OC). Among other jobs, this category can include bartending parttime, temp work a few hours a week, returning to a job held prior to law school such as tutoring, working for a parent of family member in a non-law-related field, or serving coffee at Starbucks. Also, in 2008 the job market was significantly better than it is now, and we are unlikely to see a return to 2008 hiring levels for a very long time. It is likely that more graduates in the Class of 2010 will find nonlegal employment than in 2008 given how saturated the legal market is right now.

I understand many applicants are cautious about assuming that graduates end up in nonlegal jobs, and you might be inclined to fill in the gaps with more favorable jobs. But per this article I found here: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1 the same Class of 2008 achieved just a 65% bar passage rate of those taking the CA bar. Given that only 65% passed the bar but 70.8% of the class is counted as employed 9 months out from graduation (after bar results come out), this means we can say with near certainty that at least 5.8% of employed grads were working in a position that does not require bar passage. Some of these may have reported their salaries, particularly those who returned to pre-law school employment and actually had an annual salary to report. So you can't construe the median salaries as consisting only of legal jobs, or only of jobs for which earning a JD increased that person's earning opportunity. Of the 65% who passed the bar, we also don't know how many of them were able to find legal employment that made studying and passing the bar worth their time. Without more information from the school, a risk-averse applicant should try and fill in the gaps with the least favorable information.*

Given that, let's look more closely at the available salary information. Just 48 graduates in the private sector reported salary, out of 66 graduates. Of the 48, the 25% salary percentile was $39,250. However, another 25% (actually 27%) of the 66 private sector graduates reported no salary whatsoever. It is very likely that many (if not all) of them had salaries that fall below the published 25th percentile, and some may have found unpaid work. Filling in the gaps with the worst plausible information means that the published 25th percentile salary could actually represent the average salary of all employed graduates. When you factor in the remaining 1/3 of the class who were unemployed 9 months after graduation, the average salary for all graduates is much lower. If it's true that a third of the class found no job after 9 months of searching and that the rest only found a mix of legal and nonlegal jobs that paid on average less than $40,000, I would say there's a strong argument that the law school is defrauding its applicants by not making that information clear at the outset. The law school is required by law to report basic consumer information. You can see which information it considers to be basic here: http://www.wsulaw.edu/student-consumer- ... rview.aspx

Finally, while filling in the gaps with less favorable information may help you better gauge the starting salaries of the class as a whole, you still know nothing about the quality of the jobs for which salaries were reported, and how many of them you might find desirable as an applicant. And you have no idea how many of the employed graduates who reported salaries found work through family connections or other means that can't be attributed to the law school itself.

* To get more information from the school, I recommend you contact Career Services and ask for a complete list of the employers who have hired Class of 2010 graduates so far. If they tell you that information isn't available, be sure to let them know you can wait until they finish collecting it in February and ask if they can send it to you then. If they tell you the information is private, you can let them know you are concerned that the information published by the school is potentially misleading and that without more information you cannot justify investing $100K of your (or your parents') money. They have the information you need since they report most of it already to NALP, and since they only need to track down a relatively small number of graduates they should be able to compile and send you the information in a relatively short amount of time.

Amiricanmade wrote:I also checked out Chapman, would you also include Chapman in the not worth your $/time category?


I strongly recommend doing a similar analysis of the available information for Chapman, and then contacting the school to ask for more current data on the Class of 2010. Regarding your comment on debt, I don't think we can say the current concerns about legal education apply only to people who must take on personal debt to finance their degree. Although you won't be paying for the legal education, you will still spend three very difficult years in an atmosphere where many of your classmates will compete for a very small number of legal positions. Many of them (perhaps people who end up becoming close friends of yours) will become discouraged, convincing themselves (perhaps correclty) that the law school intentionally lied to them about the realities of the legal hiring market. They will have no recourse to recover their debt and will be pressured to accept any job that will allow them to make monthly payments. Many of them will feel like they let their families down, especially if they have a spouse and/or children to support (see here: http://www.wsulaw.edu/student-consumer- ... rview.aspx). Please note that BC Law is considered to be a top regional law school with national placement ability, and that USNews currently ranks it within the top 25.

And without family or other connections to legal employers, you may find that your own prospects of finding a legal job are nonexistent unless you manage to outperform most of your classmates in law school. Even then, we don't know enough about the jobs available to top performers at Western law school, other than that at least some achieved starting salaries that would permit them to repay their debt. Unfortunately most of what's available from third party sources about job prospects focus exclusively on the top performers from the top 10-50 or so ABA-approved law schools. For the tens of thousands of applicants who will be attending one of the other ones, all they have to go on is the information disclosed by the law schools.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:19 pm

observationalist wrote:
Amiricanmade wrote:Great site and thanks for the info. I'm taking a look at Western State and the site indicates 66 our of the 105 work in the private sector (what do they do, no clue) but that's a decent number seeing as how 66/105 students weren't top 5% yet they still have a job-trying to optimistic?

Also, when it says that 29% of the graduates were not employed after 9 months, could this be because they didn't pass the bar and perhaps they are studying for the bar? Or are these the # of people who graduated and passed the bar?


This is what I would make of the available information on Western State (sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this):

For the Class of 2008, a full 29% of the class was reported as being unemployed (irrespective of whether they passed the July 2008 bar exam). That number is very high for an ABA-approved law school, considering that any job would have counted a person as employed. Of the 66 graduates who reported being employed, you need to recognize the variety of jobs they could have obtained. This group includes anyone employed full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, in any legal or non-legal position, so long as it is in a for-profit business (it does not include public defender jobs, an area in which the school advertises as a strength within the OC). Among other jobs, this category can include bartending parttime, temp work a few hours a week, returning to a job held prior to law school such as tutoring, working for a parent of family member in a non-law-related field, or serving coffee at Starbucks. Also, in 2008 the job market was significantly better than it is now, and we are unlikely to see a return to 2008 hiring levels for a very long time. It is likely that more graduates in the Class of 2010 will find nonlegal employment than in 2008 given how saturated the legal market is right now.

I understand many applicants are cautious about assuming that graduates end up in nonlegal jobs, and you might be inclined to fill in the gaps with more favorable jobs. But per this article I found here: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1 the same Class of 2008 achieved just a 65% bar passage rate of those taking the CA bar. Given that only 65% passed the bar but 70.8% of the class is counted as employed 9 months out from graduation (after bar results come out), this means we can say with near certainty that at least 5.8% of employed grads were working in a position that does not require bar passage. Some of these may have reported their salaries, particularly those who returned to pre-law school employment and actually had an annual salary to report. So you can't construe the median salaries as consisting only of legal jobs, or only of jobs for which earning a JD increased that person's earning opportunity. Of the 65% who passed the bar, we also don't know how many of them were able to find legal employment that made studying and passing the bar worth their time. Without more information from the school, a risk-averse applicant should try and fill in the gaps with the least favorable information.*

Given that, let's look more closely at the available salary information. Just 48 graduates in the private sector reported salary, out of 66 graduates. Of the 48, the 25% salary percentile was $39,250. However, another 25% (actually 27%) of the 66 private sector graduates reported no salary whatsoever. It is very likely that many (if not all) of them had salaries that fall below the published 25th percentile, and some may have found unpaid work. Filling in the gaps with the worst plausible information means that the published 25th percentile salary could actually represent the average salary of all employed graduates. When you factor in the remaining 1/3 of the class who were unemployed 9 months after graduation, the average salary for all graduates is much lower. If it's true that a third of the class found no job after 9 months of searching and that the rest only found a mix of legal and nonlegal jobs that paid on average less than $40,000, I would say there's a strong argument that the law school is defrauding its applicants by not making that information clear at the outset. The law school is required by law to report basic consumer information. You can see which information it considers to be basic here: http://www.wsulaw.edu/student-consumer- ... rview.aspx

Finally, while filling in the gaps with less favorable information may help you better gauge the starting salaries of the class as a whole, you still know nothing about the quality of the jobs for which salaries were reported, and how many of them you might find desirable as an applicant. And you have no idea how many of the employed graduates who reported salaries found work through family connections or other means that can't be attributed to the law school itself.

* To get more information from the school, I recommend you contact Career Services and ask for a complete list of the employers who have hired Class of 2010 graduates so far. If they tell you that information isn't available, be sure to let them know you can wait until they finish collecting it in February and ask if they can send it to you then. If they tell you the information is private, you can let them know you are concerned that the information published by the school is potentially misleading and that without more information you cannot justify investing $100K of your (or your parents') money. They have the information you need since they report most of it already to NALP, and since they only need to track down a relatively small number of graduates they should be able to compile and send you the information in a relatively short amount of time.

Amiricanmade wrote:I also checked out Chapman, would you also include Chapman in the not worth your $/time category?


I strongly recommend doing a similar analysis of the available information for Chapman, and then contacting the school to ask for more current data on the Class of 2010. Regarding your comment on debt, I don't think we can say the current concerns about legal education apply only to people who must take on personal debt to finance their degree. Although you won't be paying for the legal education, you will still spend three very difficult years in an atmosphere where many of your classmates will compete for a very small number of legal positions. Many of them (perhaps people who end up becoming close friends of yours) will become discouraged, convincing themselves (perhaps correclty) that the law school intentionally lied to them about the realities of the legal hiring market. They will have no recourse to recover their debt and will be pressured to accept any job that will allow them to make monthly payments. Many of them will feel like they let their families down, especially if they have a spouse and/or children to support (see here: http://www.wsulaw.edu/student-consumer- ... rview.aspx). Please note that BC Law is considered to be a top regional law school with national placement ability, and that USNews currently ranks it within the top 25.

And without family or other connections to legal employers, you may find that your own prospects of finding a legal job are nonexistent unless you manage to outperform most of your classmates in law school. Even then, we don't know enough about the jobs available to top performers at Western law school, other than that at least some achieved starting salaries that would permit them to repay their debt. Unfortunately most of what's available from third party sources about job prospects focus exclusively on the top performers from the top 10-50 or so ABA-approved law schools. For the tens of thousands of applicants who will be attending one of the other ones, all they have to go on is the information disclosed by the law schools.


Fucking TL;DR, how does it work?

rickynwhyc
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby rickynwhyc » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:36 pm

Read it.. He took the time out to write it.

Conclusion.. contact career services and get more information on how/where the graduates were hired at each school.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:14 pm

rickynwhyc wrote:Read it.. He took the time out to write it.

Conclusion.. contact career services and get more information on how/where the graduates were hired at each school.


Thanks.

rickynwhyc
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Re: Law School or Not?

Postby rickynwhyc » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:35 am

Find it*


You're welcome

nStiver
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:15 am

Re: Law School or Not?

Postby nStiver » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:52 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
Amiricanmade wrote:
gdane5 wrote:I dont understand why youre even "preparing for the worst". Thats such a negative thing to do. Aim high and adjust your expectations accordingly. Take care of the LSAT first.



I'm just a pessimist. I just wanna know worst case scenario i'll be ok. The thing is, if i want to go to law school i would be a Business Management W/Emphasis on Legal Studies, if not I'd declare Accounting. Accounting would result in my GPA being a bit lower -since it's hard as puck-(which doesn't matter since i don't have to get into law school) but i don't wanna have even a .1 lower GPA if i wanna go to law school. I dunno i'm just confused and scared. I know of some friends who graduated from Southwestern and now have a corp job, not sure where they graduated in their class and if they used their school for job prospects of connections.


puck? Don't you mean 'fuck'?

Anyways, it's beyond me why anybody would do legal studies for UG. It means you're going to be a lawyer who knows a lot about the 'science of law' but not much else... and law schools discourage this anyways - not to mention that your LSAT will SUUUUUUUUUCK which translates to your FUUUUUUUUUCKED. Besides, it also depends on what you like to do and what type of lawyer you want to be. For instance, you need an engineering or hard science degree to sit for the patent bar.

And, as far as worst case scenario: You'll be homeless.

If you want to make money - go be an investment banker or something.


I don't think the fact that someone chooses to study "legal studies" or whatever as an undergrad means that their LSAT will suck. Sure, its great to have a math or science degree, but unless you have done a lot of reading in your day, the LSAT is going to be a challenge for you. I was a history major, and I took some undergrad Constitutional Law courses. They were damn interesting and I don't regret it one bit. I actually think that all the reading required by my history degree and the con law classes was a big help for me on the LSAT: I was already a pretty fast reader. Slow reader=fucked on the LSAT.

I think that math and science people are probably better at logic games, but that's it.

I think having a math or science or "hard" degree does make someone more interesting as a prospective law student though, it shows that the applicant has some applicable knowledge about the world outside of the traditional liberal arts curriculum.




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