Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

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ChicagoRambler89
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Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:54 am

It seems that many prospective law students that don't have the numbers to get into NW, Chicago, Notre Dame, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa...etc. but want to practice in Chicago apply to two or more of the other Chicago law schools: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall or Loyola.

There have been threads comparing the reputations of C-K, DePaul, JM and Loyola and employment prospects for graduates of these schools. It seems that these schools -- with the exception of JM -- share with each other similar reputations and graduate placement in the Chicago legal market.

Will any students currently enrolled at one these schools comment on their decision to attend? (Have you been satisfied with your decision? Have your expectations been met?) Are there any applicants in the current cycle that can talk about their upcoming decision? What do you believe is the advantage of attending one over the other?

Is it worth paying sticker for any of these schools? Under what circumstances, if any, would you attend JM over the other schools?

Thanks.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby Sauer Grapes » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:03 am

I don't want to be a downer here, but if you want to get a Chicago firm job in this economy, please, please, please do not pay sticker for any of those schools.

Half the class at NU is striking out, and Chicago was brutal this year.

ChicagoRambler89
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:27 am

Sauer Grapes wrote:I don't want to be a downer here, but if you want to get a Chicago firm job in this economy, please, please, please do not pay sticker for any of those schools.

Half the class at NU is striking out, and Chicago was brutal this year.


Thanks for your advice. We are all wise enough to realize that today's applicants are well over three years away from having JDs, assuming they attend and graduate from LS. We cannot assume, however, that the state of the economy will be the same in four years as it is today. It may be better, the same, or worse. Reasons to attend or not to attend a certain LS that are based on the current conditions of the economy are very weak. I understand that the Chicago legal market is crappy today and has been for two years now. But that really doesn't mean that it won't be better in four years. Or anytime in my lifetime for that matter.

Isn't a JD a long-term investment, anyway? Once you've earned it, it's something that you'll always have.

Or does it really not matter because the economy will continue to worsen and the number of legal jobs continue to dwindle?

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im_blue
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby im_blue » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:32 am

ChicagoRambler89 wrote:We are all wise enough to realize that today's applicants are well over three years away from having JDs, assuming they attend and graduate from LS. We cannot assume, however, that the state of the economy will be the same in four years as it is today. It may be better, the same, or worse. Reasons to attend or not to attend a certain LS that are based on the current conditions of the economy are very weak. I understand that the Chicago legal market is crappy today and has been for two years now. But that really doesn't mean that it won't be better in four years. Or anytime in my lifetime for that matter.

Isn't a JD a long-term investment, anyway? Once you've earned it, it's something that you'll always have.

All this is irrelevant because you'll be interviewing for jobs just one year after starting law school, so you'd better pray that the market recovers in less than 2 years. And if you don't get a decent job then, your career is basically over before it started.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:41 am

im_blue wrote:
ChicagoRambler89 wrote:We are all wise enough to realize that today's applicants are well over three years away from having JDs, assuming they attend and graduate from LS. We cannot assume, however, that the state of the economy will be the same in four years as it is today. It may be better, the same, or worse. Reasons to attend or not to attend a certain LS that are based on the current conditions of the economy are very weak. I understand that the Chicago legal market is crappy today and has been for two years now. But that really doesn't mean that it won't be better in four years. Or anytime in my lifetime for that matter.

Isn't a JD a long-term investment, anyway? Once you've earned it, it's something that you'll always have.


All this is irrelevant because you'll be interviewing for jobs just one year after starting law school, so you'd better pray that the market recovers in less than 2 years. And if you don't get a decent job then, your career is basically over before it started.


That's a good point. But why would one's career be "basically over before it started" if you don't get a decent job right off the bat?

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby cccZillo » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:10 am

Rambler you made a good thread here, but unfortunately some people have derailed it. I know the economy is a very important topic, and one that needs to be discussed, but I didn't see anything about it, or money/price in general, in the original post.

That being said, I've gathered that a lot of people here are in this same boat, especially with DePaul, Kent and Loyola. If rerailed, I think this could hopefully be a very useful thread.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby im_blue » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:10 am

ChicagoRambler89 wrote:
im_blue wrote:
ChicagoRambler89 wrote:We are all wise enough to realize that today's applicants are well over three years away from having JDs, assuming they attend and graduate from LS. We cannot assume, however, that the state of the economy will be the same in four years as it is today. It may be better, the same, or worse. Reasons to attend or not to attend a certain LS that are based on the current conditions of the economy are very weak. I understand that the Chicago legal market is crappy today and has been for two years now. But that really doesn't mean that it won't be better in four years. Or anytime in my lifetime for that matter.

Isn't a JD a long-term investment, anyway? Once you've earned it, it's something that you'll always have.


All this is irrelevant because you'll be interviewing for jobs just one year after starting law school, so you'd better pray that the market recovers in less than 2 years. And if you don't get a decent job then, your career is basically over before it started.


That's a good point. But why would one's career be "basically over before it started" if you don't get a decent job right off the bat?

Because you'll either be doing doc review (which is basically like temping through an agency) or something outside the legal field, both of which are resume killers. When and if the market picks up, there will always be more than enough fresh grads to hire.

ChicagoRambler89
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:31 am

im_blue wrote:
ChicagoRambler89 wrote:
im_blue wrote:
ChicagoRambler89 wrote:We are all wise enough to realize that today's applicants are well over three years away from having JDs, assuming they attend and graduate from LS. We cannot assume, however, that the state of the economy will be the same in four years as it is today. It may be better, the same, or worse. Reasons to attend or not to attend a certain LS that are based on the current conditions of the economy are very weak. I understand that the Chicago legal market is crappy today and has been for two years now. But that really doesn't mean that it won't be better in four years. Or anytime in my lifetime for that matter.

Isn't a JD a long-term investment, anyway? Once you've earned it, it's something that you'll always have.


All this is irrelevant because you'll be interviewing for jobs just one year after starting law school, so you'd better pray that the market recovers in less than 2 years. And if you don't get a decent job then, your career is basically over before it started.


That's a good point. But why would one's career be "basically over before it started" if you don't get a decent job right off the bat?

Because you'll either be doing doc review (which is basically like temping through an agency) or something outside the legal field, both of which are resume killers. When and if the market picks up, there will always be more than enough fresh grads to hire.


I guess I just don't find this too compelling, or relevant. I hope someone can/will comment on my original post...

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby fugitivejammer » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:28 am

Even though a JD is a long-term committment and everything, i wouldn't pay sticker at those schools - but that's just me. full tuition is a very significant amount of $$ and then there may be that chaance i dont graduate w/ any job offers? kinda scary thought, and the long-term outlook is still not compelling enough.

I'd recommend these schools only if u get full ride, AND i'd recommend the only time to go to JM is if you're working at a place currently that'll pay for a graduate program for u (part-time) because it may b relevant to their job. My boss at the Fed when i worked there went to JM part-time for free - it helped him get promoted faster or something to have that additional education and skill, but the point is is that he had a sure gig to go to once he graduated that's legit, and the pedigree of the law school wouldn't matter.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby nsideirish » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:39 pm

Retake. Shoot for ND, UIUC, or WUSTL at the very least but also for UChicago/NW. Iowa/Wisconsin/Indiana do not place as well into Chicago as UIUC/ND/WUSTL.

With the way the market is, Kent, DePaul, JM, and LUC are just not the best options. I wish it weren't the case as I am an undergrad at LUC and would love to continue my studies there but I know the placement just sucks right now.

ChicagoRambler89
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:24 pm

Based on the comments above, it seems that a JD from one of these four schools is essentially worthless. It follows that students at these law schools are getting legal education for no legitimate purpose. So, most students who choose to attend one of these schools are making a costly mistake and will undoubtedly be better off without a JD, without the debt....etc.

Concerns about the legal job market appear to take utmost precedence in people's arguments about whether or not to attend a certain LS. Are there really no other factors or combination of factors when it comes to earning a JD that outweigh concerns about the job market?

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:26 pm

nsideirish wrote:Retake. Shoot for ND, UIUC, or WUSTL at the very least but also for UChicago/NW. Iowa/Wisconsin/Indiana do not place as well into Chicago as UIUC/ND/WUSTL.

With the way the market is, Kent, DePaul, JM, and LUC are just not the best options. I wish it weren't the case as I am an undergrad at LUC and would love to continue my studies there but I know the placement just sucks right now.


Have Kent, DePaul, JM and LUC served legitimate purposes in the Chicago legal market before 2008-9?

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby nsideirish » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:38 pm

ChicagoRambler89 wrote:
nsideirish wrote:Retake. Shoot for ND, UIUC, or WUSTL at the very least but also for UChicago/NW. Iowa/Wisconsin/Indiana do not place as well into Chicago as UIUC/ND/WUSTL.

With the way the market is, Kent, DePaul, JM, and LUC are just not the best options. I wish it weren't the case as I am an undergrad at LUC and would love to continue my studies there but I know the placement just sucks right now.


Have Kent, DePaul, JM and LUC served legitimate purposes in the Chicago legal market before 2008-9?



There were much more jobs available then so Kent, DePaul, and LUC would have been better investments then (better, but still not great). Now, unless you already have a job lined up and/or get a full scholarship, these schools are bad investments for the struggling, over-saturated Chicago law market.

Think of all the schools that feed into the Chicago market...Michigan, UofC, NW (and other T-14s), UIUC, ND, WUSTL, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana...all these schools rank well above LUC/DePaul/Kent/JM. The competition is intense for a limited number of jobs. It sucks because I really like Loyola's downtown law campus and the Jesuit education but that is they way it is. Retake. Get into the best school you can (preferably UofC or NW) and work your ass off.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:35 pm

There is no principled way to distinguish the three schools you mention - it comes down to scholarship numbers.

And no, there really is no other consideration aside from job prospects. Or there shouldn't be. Law school is a trade school - or it should be, whether people admit it or not. Law degrees no longer have the mythical ability to carry people in to other professions - particularly law degrees from not-highly-regarded schools.

People wouldn't go to any other trade school if they were facing down $180k in debt with very dim job prospects. I have no idea why law school is such an exception.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby rayiner » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:42 pm

ChicagoRambler89 wrote:Based on the comments above, it seems that a JD from one of these four schools is essentially worthless. It follows that students at these law schools are getting legal education for no legitimate purpose. So, most students who choose to attend one of these schools are making a costly mistake and will undoubtedly be better off without a JD, without the debt....etc.

Concerns about the legal job market appear to take utmost precedence in people's arguments about whether or not to attend a certain LS. Are there really no other factors or combination of factors when it comes to earning a JD that outweigh concerns about the job market?


What other factors should there be?

If you just want a legal education and aren't worried about job prospects, then try and get a full right somewhere.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby rayiner » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:45 pm

ChicagoRambler89 wrote:
nsideirish wrote:Retake. Shoot for ND, UIUC, or WUSTL at the very least but also for UChicago/NW. Iowa/Wisconsin/Indiana do not place as well into Chicago as UIUC/ND/WUSTL.

With the way the market is, Kent, DePaul, JM, and LUC are just not the best options. I wish it weren't the case as I am an undergrad at LUC and would love to continue my studies there but I know the placement just sucks right now.


Have Kent, DePaul, JM and LUC served legitimate purposes in the Chicago legal market before 2008-9?


There are tons of Kent, DePaul, and Loyola grads in the city. A lot of them have good jobs (judges, practicing attorneys, etc). The difference is:

1) They went to school in a time when tuition was a fraction of what it is now.
2) They went to school at a time when law as a field was far less saturated than it is now.

If you want to work at a small firm in Chicago, then keep your debt low and see where Kent, DePaul, and Loyla get you. That's not, IMHO, an unreasonable goal from those schools if the Chicago economy recovers markedly by the time you graduate.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:34 am

rayiner wrote:
ChicagoRambler89 wrote:
nsideirish wrote:Retake. Shoot for ND, UIUC, or WUSTL at the very least but also for UChicago/NW. Iowa/Wisconsin/Indiana do not place as well into Chicago as UIUC/ND/WUSTL.

With the way the market is, Kent, DePaul, JM, and LUC are just not the best options. I wish it weren't the case as I am an undergrad at LUC and would love to continue my studies there but I know the placement just sucks right now.


Have Kent, DePaul, JM and LUC served legitimate purposes in the Chicago legal market before 2008-9?


There are tons of Kent, DePaul, and Loyola grads in the city. A lot of them have good jobs (judges, practicing attorneys, etc). The difference is:

1) They went to school in a time when tuition was a fraction of what it is now.
2) They went to school at a time when law as a field was far less saturated than it is now.

If you want to work at a small firm in Chicago, then keep your debt low and see where Kent, DePaul, and Loyla get you. That's not, IMHO, an unreasonable goal from those schools if the Chicago economy recovers markedly by the time you graduate.


Thanks for the insight.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:32 pm

Sadly everyone on here saying sticker at schools like that will end you life are correct. The Chicago market based on my experience is horrendous. What are your stats? If you can get 3/4ths or more at John Marshall just go there if you dont wanna retake. Everyone will say retake, you'll say you won't, it'll be a back and forth thing just like TLS always is.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby rayiner » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:55 pm

It's tempting to look at practicing lawyers from DePaul, etc, and think "oh they did fine" but it's really important to realize that they entered the legal market at a very different time.

Take the Class of 1991. This is a good sample because (a) we have data for them, and (b) they are now senior and experienced attorneys in their early-mid 40s, but still went to school in roughly contemporary times. They had the USNWR rankings, the T14 existed, etc.

If you look at page 3 of this data: --LinkRemoved--
These folks paid about $32,000 in tuition over the three years from 1988-1991.

Now, extrapolating that data for people who will start school next year (are applying this year) and you can estimate a total tuition of about $127,000.

Meanwhile, let's look at starting salaries.

Class of '91:
Image

Class of '06 (salaries today aren't much if at all higher because they've flat-lined in the recession):
Image

Don't just look at the stated medians, but look at that big hump near the bottom. That's representative of the starting salary at small firms. It's moved up from about $30k in 1991 to about $45k today.

Now compare the debt loads. The Class of '91 guy will have a monthly student loan payment of about $440. Your monthly payment will be about $1540.

Does your increased salary cover the difference? Of course not. Assuming say 25% taxes, their take-home was about $1875/mo, minus $440 in loan payments, leaving them with $1435/mo. Your take-home will be about $2800/mo, minus $1540 in loan payments, leaving you with $1260/mo.

That doesn't seem like a huge difference until you realize that the former is denominated in '91 dollars. $1435 from '91 has the buying power of about $2250 today. There is a big difference in lifestyle between having $1260/mo to cover your rent, food, etc and having $2250/mo.

Re: life-ending, I wouldn't go that far. If you can get a job at a small firm (though that's a big 'if' in today's economy) you will at some point start making more money. It's just that the previous generation of lawyers graduated and even after servicing their debt they were making livable money. That's just not true anymore.

I would note that the same is really true for big lawyers. That guy from C/O '91 bringing home $85/year was probably taking home a bit more, adjusted for tax brackets and student loan payments, as the guy from C/O '09 making $160k/year.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:30 pm

Rambler:

I am a 4L at Kent. Things are rough out there.

ChicagoRambler89
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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ChicagoRambler89 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:10 am

helfer snooterbagon wrote:Rambler:

I am a 4L at Kent. Things are rough out there.


Would you do it all over again? Have you enjoyed the school? Why did you choose Kent?

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:55 pm

All things considered, yes I would do it over again. For the most part, it has been pretty fun. As far as enjoying the school, I really only come there for classes. As an evening student, with work and a family, I do not have much time for socializing. I chose Kent because of the scholarship that they gave me.

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:29 pm

Helfer - As a (presumptively) entering 0L PT evening student at Kent, can I ask your stats and the amount of scholarship Kent gave you?

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby yabuddy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:19 pm

I'm hoping that there is a kent student out there who can answer this for me.

I just got in and one of the stipulations of my scholarship is that I keep a 3.25 GPA. They say that this is like the top 25-30%.
i was just wondering if grading is harsh because that seems a bit low and i was also you could let me know how difficult it is to maintain this GPA.

Thanks

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Re: Chicago: Kent, DePaul, John Marshall and Loyola

Postby SMA22 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:31 pm

I'm a legal recruiter in Chicago; the majority of recent grads from Chicago T2 are doing doc review right now if they can get hired (right now the going rate for doc review is $28 an hour, and everybody is doing it. I have new grads, the 2008 BigLaw layoffs, solo practitioners whose work has dried up, and all the in-house layoffs as well.) All that competition for a $28 an hour position--it's sometimes very hard to go to work some mornings. New grads aren't just competing against new grads--they're competing against everybody else who lost a job as well. I get people from NU and UChi asking for contract work--even they've been hit hard.

I agree with the rest of the thread--the available positions in Chicago are often swept up by the higher ranked Chicago schools, and other Midwestern schools that feed into the Chicago market b/c their own market has dried up. Now I have seen grads finding work out of Kent, Loyola, and DePaul, but they are definitely few and far between, and the going rate to start has been around 40k a year. If you want to go, fine, but PLEASE, do not pay sticker.




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