General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

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Potential
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General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby Potential » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:33 pm

Hello everyone, and thanks for viewing/helping me out.

Disclaimer: I'm not a troll.

I have been surfing these forums for a while now, and I've been noticing that everyone only compares their admission chances to the T-14 or T-20ish schools. Also, people tend to mention that not going to any of those schools is pretty much useless and a waste of time (at least that's what I get out of it).

So here's my question: Why?

I have a really "bad" record, no doubt. 2.5 gpa, 153 lsat, aiming for upper 150s or lower 160s on the december lsat. My dream schools: Loyola, Pepperdine. My realistic school: California Western in San Diego.

I took a look at the statistics for Cal Western, and they have (to me) surprisingly good statistics...over 80% employment, 60% in law firms, 15% govt., and about 80%ish bar passage rate for first time takers. Their admission is fairly do-able, 157-159 lsat 25/75.

So...If I go to that school...now what? Am I going to be doomed for life, stuck with a loan that's incredibly hard for me to pay off? Am I not going to find a job, being in the 20% that are not employed upon graduation? Is the job I land going to get me only 30-40k a year, and never increase after that?

Also, what if I don't want to undergo the constant pressure of working in a big law firm? I don't need 250k a year..

Please comment, as I'm concerned for the 85-90% of the attorneys in the USA that have not gone to a T-14 school and are probably struggling to pay rent.

And also, please refrain from being an unpleasant human being, and give me logical, clear answers :|

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Cupidity
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby Cupidity » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:44 pm

You may be on the wrong website if you want us to act like humans.

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facetious
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby facetious » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:49 pm

Potential wrote: I took a look at the statistics for Cal Western, and they have (to me) surprisingly good statistics...over 80% employment, 60% in law firms, 15% govt., and about 80%ish bar passage rate for first time takers. Their admission is fairly do-able, 157-159 lsat 25/75. :|


if you're not trolling: --LinkRemoved--

if you are trolling, well, then there is no "then"

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joemoviebuff
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby joemoviebuff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:50 pm

Try forum search - "employment statistics."

Your question is actually pretty ordinary.

2011Law
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby 2011Law » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:53 pm

If that 60% in law firms number is real, then I'd bet they are in the types of law that no one without considerable debt and no other means to repay would even consider (there are some really shitlaw jobs out there). 15% in govt, also would say that they are working some real shit legal jobs, if they are even working as lawyers for the gov't. TLS reports the class of 2008 as having 36% of them reporting a median of $75,000 in the private sector, and that 36% most likely all comes from the top half of the class. Oh yeah, did you notice the economy sink in the mean time? I don't even want to imagine what the real number is these days.

Unless you go for free AND literally have a job waiting afterwards (from family or w/e), its not worth it, period.

BTW, I'm not even someone who knocks going to schools under the t30 and whatnot, there are good schools definitely worth the price in the lower T1 and T2, but going to a TTT at full price? come on, if you can't do well enough in undergrad and the LSAT to get into a decent law school, then maybe you weren't cut out for the law (not to say that your life is fucked, but just look into other stuff).

also, lol at even the mention of 250k a year and the pressure of biglaw. you think the pressure of biglaw is bad? what do you think the pressure of 200K in debt feels like when you can't land a job that pays more than 50k?

Potential
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby Potential » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:56 pm

Thanks for the heads up, but I'm sure that the term is more of a cliche than anything, referring to people not only on this web site...

But in all seriousness, what's life after a non T-14/T-20 law school? What's life after an ABA approved school ranked 100-196? Please be specific...I have no other resources but this website to ask these kinds of questions...

I just saw that link posted, I'm going to check it out now...thanks!



2011Law, so really, it's that bad? Any other takers?

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AreJay711
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:58 pm

Potential wrote:Hello everyone, and thanks for viewing/helping me out.


I took a look at the statistics for Cal Western, and they have (to me) surprisingly good statistics...over 80% employment, 60% in law firms, 15% govt., and about 80%ish bar passage rate for first time takers. Their admission is fairly do-able, 157-159 lsat 25/75.



80% employment is what you can probably expect within 9 months of graduating undergrad. Why spend 100-200K for that? I have a feeling most people applying to law school could find something else that would make them happy as well.

whymeohgodno
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:02 pm

Don't go to law school. With a GPA/LSAT like that chances are overwhelming you will graduate at bottom 1/3rd no matter where you go.

law_noob
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby law_noob » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:03 pm

TTT school aren't worth sticker, but they are usually generous with aid. also, veer away from TTT schools in regional markets that have a lot of other law schools (cali, boston, ny, etc).

But, some TTT do have decent job prospects if they are located in a city and have a good alumni base in that said city. 2 TTT schools I can think of that have good job prospects are UALR and Loyola New Orleans. Both schools have big alumi bases in their respective cities and while in school you have to opportunity to do externships and network. going to a TTT school in a podunk town is a bad idea- WE/externships are the biggest help when going to TTT.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby joemoviebuff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:06 pm

law_noob wrote:TTT school aren't worth sticker, but they are usually generous with aid.


For the first year, maybe. But if you don't meet their usually strict GPA requirements, your scholarship's gone and you're paying sticker 2L and 3L.

law_noob
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby law_noob » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:14 pm

also, one needs to consider any previous debt they have before going to school.

Potential
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby Potential » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:19 pm

Thank you for all the replies, but I must once again reiterate:

Does the future look glim for 80% of law school applicants and 80% of students in all ABA approved law schools?

I know I'm probably just being optimistic, but there have to be a few success stories out there...and the unsuccessful ones shouldn't be AS bad...

After all, wouldn't a JD degree, if anything, be > a non-JD degree?

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northwood
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby northwood » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:22 pm

check out the market before you go. Call a few firms and try to get their opinion.

Also, it depends on where you want to work. The schools you are thinking about are very regional. Like, you will have to work within 100 miles of the school, or it will be nearly impossible ( think 15 seed beating number 2 seed in the opening round of the ncaa tourney).

Do your research

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omninode
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby omninode » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:25 pm

joemoviebuff wrote:
law_noob wrote:TTT school aren't worth sticker, but they are usually generous with aid.


For the first year, maybe. But if you don't meet their usually strict GPA requirements, your scholarship's gone and you're paying sticker 2L and 3L.

To be fair, not all T3s have conditions like these attached to scholarships. A lot of the better T3s (some of which are borderline T100) offer unconditional scholarships. I won't say employment prospects are great at any of them, but it is useful to remember that TTTs are not all created equal. There is a huge difference between the best of them and the worst, but some people (especially on this site) like to think they are all the same.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby joemoviebuff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:28 pm

Potential wrote:Thank you for all the replies, but I must once again reiterate:

Does the future look glim for 80% of law school applicants and 80% of students in all ABA approved law schools?

I know I'm probably just being optimistic, but there have to be a few success stories out there...and the unsuccessful ones shouldn't be AS bad...

After all, wouldn't a JD degree, if anything, be > a non-JD degree?


No.

Sure, there are success stories, but you need to understand that most of these statistics are from the years right before the economy went to hell. There are much fewer success stories right now. Are you willing to take a 200k gamble that you'll be one of them?

Also, I don't think "glim" is a word.

law_noob
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby law_noob » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:29 pm

your question is too broad. i have told you what you need to do. If you are set on going to law school and TTT is the only place where you can get in, start looking at TTT schools that have locations in unsaturated markets and strong alumni bases. There will always be success and horror stories. TTT have the most success in small amrkets. Take Drake (a TTTT) in Iowa, strong alimni base, loyal law firms. Loyola New Orleans- dominates the NOLA market either on par with or moreso then Tulane (I can say this with confidence because I am from there. However, Tulane more often gets in to the larger firms that have multiple locations across the US. Loyola dominates the local scene.) ULAR is huge in Little Rock. Go to a TTT in a city, so you can work an externship while in school. I don't know what more you are asking. Do some research, pick a region, find a decent size city in that region and see if there are any other Law schools hoggin the spot light in that said area. Grades will matter, but WE and the ability to do a good job will also help you land a job. Now, ask a more specific question or gtfo.

Potential
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby Potential » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:46 pm

omninode wrote:
joemoviebuff wrote:
law_noob wrote:TTT school aren't worth sticker, but they are usually generous with aid.


For the first year, maybe. But if you don't meet their usually strict GPA requirements, your scholarship's gone and you're paying sticker 2L and 3L.

To be fair, not all T3s have conditions like these attached to scholarships. A lot of the better T3s (some of which are borderline T100) offer unconditional scholarships. I won't say employment prospects are great at any of them, but it is useful to remember that TTTs are not all created equal. There is a huge difference between the best of them and the worst, but some people (especially on this site) like to think they are all the same.



Thank you. I guess I need to do more research to differentiate between the schools.

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rayiner
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby rayiner » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:51 pm

So two things.

1) The 90% of attorneys you see out there are the ones that were relatively successful and managed to get jobs. The ones that don't get legal jobs don't keep trying 10 years later, etc. Even during the boom, there were about 30,000 legal jobs each year for 45,000 graduates. See: http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/20080 ... uation.jpg. Those 15,000 folks who don't and never will get a legal job? You can bet they're disproportionately composed of people who went to T3/T4 schools like Southwestern in crowded legal markets.

2) Don't look down on that $30-$40k job. The median individual income of all income earners over 25 is under $40k. If you get a $40k job you're starting out earning more than half of all income earners! The reason people on this board are so down on such jobs is because of the associated debt. Those 90% of lawyers you see living normal middle class lives went to school at a time when tuition was a fraction of what it is now. A $40k/salary with $30k of debt is a totally different thing than a $40k salary with $130k of debt.

Think about it another way. You said yourself, it doesn't seem that hard to get into Southwestern. Your GPA is below average and your LSAT is just about average. Cal Western might let you in. So when you see salary stats on Cal Western's page showing the average graduate in private practice making $67k... aren't you skeptical? Does it make sense to you that a place with low admissions standards would have graduates who make in the top 25% of all income earners right off the bat in their mid 20s?

jarofsoup
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby jarofsoup » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:01 pm

The reason why people advocate T-14 on here is people are looking at big law.

If you go to a school like you are considering you could still get a job. Just not in big law. Once you get out of the T100 employmenet stats begin to get shady.

That being said I intern at a plaintiff side litigation firm and a lot of TTT-TTTT grads are there, but they are vicious litigators and have natural talent for it.

floppymex
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby floppymex » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:09 pm

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Last edited by floppymex on Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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observationalist
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby observationalist » Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:34 pm

Not sure how much time you want to put into doing an analysis, but try doing something like this for the schools you're considering: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=135523&p=3586041#p3586041

The short of it is that you actually know very little about how many jobs from a school are legal-related. Even 100% employed at graduation doesn't tell you much because "a job is a job," and most people with student debt need a job within 9 months in order to start making loan payments. Take a look at how few salaries are reported for those private sector jobs... that probably indicates a lot of the other jobs are either unpaid or part-time, even the positions listed as in a law firm. My best advice is to contact the schools directly and just ask to see a complete employer list for the most recent graduating class.

And I second the point about paying attention to how old the data are. Schools should have lists for the Class of 2009, but they're still in the process of collecting the data for the Class of 2010. If you only want to ask a few targeted questions, I suggest the following:

1) How many graduates for the Class of 2009 obtained jobs that required a JD?
2) In looking at the median reported salary for the Class of 2009, how many graduates does this actually represent?

If they say the information isn't available, tell them it's really important. You're the investor; it makes sense that you are asking for this information, and they don't need to put too much work into answering these questions for you. And if you're really bold, you can ask them if they're considering participating in the Law School Transparency project. We sent all the schools a second request yesterday, asking for voluntary commitments for the Class of 2010. Any schools who say yes will end up disclosing sometime after February 2011. G'luck.

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fragged
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Re: General question - but not your ordinary - about law school

Postby fragged » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:50 am

It's hard to answer a question like this. I have a close friend who graduated from Boalt, but has no business acumen. He works at a large firm in San Francisco and does quite well. He has no desire to go out on his own, he's happy as a clam working for a firm for the rest of his career. Then there's the guy I graduated high school with - the only school he got into was Southwestern. But, he could sell ice to an Eskimo. Needless to say, he opened his own personal injury firm and now makes more than the guy from Boalt.

Is this the norm? No. But a lot of it depends on the individual. Some people take their education and get a job with it. Some people take their education and build a business with it.




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