American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

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noctali7
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American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby noctali7 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:41 am

Hey,

I'm french guy and my university seems to have a partnership with American in DC which would allow students to obtain their JD in 2 years instead of 3 for ... free, since I would only have to pay the fees of my university (trust me, 300 bucks a year is a LOT of money XD) !!!

I've noticed that American is a quite disliked law school on this forum, but no matter what, should I consider this opportunity, or rather apply for other schools regarding its bad reputation ?

Thanks for your answers !
Last edited by noctali7 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sophia.olive
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Re: American University for free : worth it ?

Postby sophia.olive » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:58 am

What kind of career are you looking to obtain?

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things fall apart
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Re: American University for free : worth it ?

Postby things fall apart » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:29 am

Do you have options? What do you want to do?

An American(as in the country) law degree is very valuable abroad. For free and in two years would be silly to pass up.

Anything less than 3/4 off at anything lower then a top30 would not really be worth in comparison given your circumstances as it does not seem you have gone through the normal process you would have to for other schools.

Or youre a troll?

noctali7
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Re: American University for free : worth it ?

Postby noctali7 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:40 am

Well, I'm currently studying French, American and English law (as well as asian languages), and therefore planning to get employed in an American law firm or a French one based in the US.

The thing is my university won't send at American University before I end a Master degree here, whereas I was planning to take the LSAT in February or June 2011 in order to apply to higher ranked law schools, in regard to American University's poor reputation as for the chances of being offered biglaw opportunities afterward.

However, I suppose that a free and shorter JD is something you cannot disregard just because the law school which offers such an opportunity does not belong to the Ivy League nor is a T1 university ...

My only question is, regarding those circumstances and especially the fact I won't need to go through all this hard selection process (taking the LSAT, applying to 1OOO universities just hoping to be accepted in one of them ...) and that the annual cost of studies in the US would force me to sell my whole family to pay the tuition fees, do you think that, despite the fact the fact that American seems to be far from being an exceptional law school in DC, it is worth it, or, on the contrary, it would be still better for me to take a JD in an other university ?

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3|ink
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:23 pm

Questions we need answered before we can answer yours:

1.) Could you get into a better school? (What's your GPA / LSAT?)
2.) Are you in a position where taking on debt (from student loans) is impossible?

noctali7
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby noctali7 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:04 pm

This problem is actually linked to another one that I evoked previously in the Admission criteria thread.
I've not taken the LSAT yet and my GPA might not be revealing the same level of study that it would if my grades were given to me in the US, because in France, the gradation is system not the same at all.
So I wish I could answer the first question, but it is currently impossible.
As for the second one, let's say that I would ever be able in some kind of way to be lent the money I need to pay the tuition fees.

So, in the end, assuming that I could be eligible to attend law courses in a better university that American is, the real question is : will the JD I get there help me to find a good job with good money or should I rather invest more money now in a T1 university hoping that I will earn eventually more money than if I stick to the first option ?

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3|ink
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby 3|ink » Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:47 pm

noctali7 wrote:This problem is actually linked to another one that I evoked previously in the Admission criteria thread.
I've not taken the LSAT yet and my GPA might not be revealing the same level of study that it would if my grades were given to me in the US, because in France, the gradation is system not the same at all.
So I wish I could answer the first question, but it is currently impossible.
As for the second one, let's say that I would ever be able in some kind of way to be lent the money I need to pay the tuition fees.


Do you mean never?

If never, you need to find out how the LSAC would treat your grades. Once you know that, you'll have a better idea of the other schools you might qualify for. Perhaps you could get a full ride to a better school.

American is a quality school, but don't go signing your life away to them before fully researching your other options. None of us can do that research for you.

noctali7
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby noctali7 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:17 pm

I meant always, sorry.

Ok, I guess I need to find out the LSAC's way of converting grades.
However, I don't even know how to obtain such an information ...

Any clue ?

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thexfactor
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby thexfactor » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:27 pm

depends... if you can get into anything better than wustl then I would say take the t18. If you can't then american might not be a bad option.
However, if GW grads are struggling in dc, how do you think american grads are doing?
Never assume that since you have the numbers for a full ride that you will be in the top 5% or so. I know a bunch of kids who got full rides that did median or slightly above median. They did well but not well enough to get a job from a T2/lower t1 school.

MrAnon
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby MrAnon » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:19 pm

You have to understand that getting a free law school degree is really not that much of a steal. The rest of us are simply overpaying by $120,000 USD. You are getting it are market value.

Cmart050
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby Cmart050 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:20 am

Does anyone else's sensors go off when "not a troll" is in the post? Its like when someone says trust me, at that very moment I stop trusting them lol.

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Shaggier1
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby Shaggier1 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:53 pm

You have to understand that getting a free law school degree is really not that much of a steal. The rest of us are simply overpaying by $120,000 USD. You are getting it are market value.


What?

Saltqjibo
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby Saltqjibo » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:04 pm

Shaggier1 wrote:
You have to understand that getting a free law school degree is really not that much of a steal. The rest of us are simply overpaying by $120,000 USD. You are getting it are market value.


What?


Exactly. I'm begging to realize just how retarded TLS is. I know a guy who did a similar 2 year exchange with american. Wasn't the very top of his class, and just landed a sweet job starting at 6 figures +. He paid full price and I'm pretty sure he thinks it was worth it.

Coming from an arts undergrad thats 50k more starting salary (plus the option of massive raises) doing an interesting and challenging job (no data entry monkey) for about 100 grand debt. Good investment

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dresden doll
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby dresden doll » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:08 pm

MrAnon wrote:You have to understand that getting a free law school degree is really not that much of a steal. The rest of us are simply overpaying by $120,000 USD. You are getting it are market value.


Completely correct for the vast majority of cases.

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AreJay711
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:14 pm

The tough thing here is that you want to practice in the U.S. If you said you want to work for a French or U.K. firm that does business with U.S. clients then I would say go for it but that is less clear since school name is so important. You will be more competitive outside the U.S. than in it with that degree.

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dresden doll
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby dresden doll » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:19 pm

AreJay711 wrote:The tough thing here is that you want to practice in the U.S. If you said you want to work for a French or U.K. firm that does business with U.S. clients then I would say go for it but that is less clear since school name is so important. You will be more competitive outside the U.S. than in it with that degree.


I have no data to support this, but my hunch is that the school brand matters even more outside the US.

I know a CLS grad who works in house for a London bank. She claims the CLS degree made it possible to obtain that job. I won't assert her example is representative because I simply don't know enough one way or the other, but I kind of do think that's the case.

MrAnon
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby MrAnon » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:20 pm

Saltqjibo wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:
You have to understand that getting a free law school degree is really not that much of a steal. The rest of us are simply overpaying by $120,000 USD. You are getting it are market value.


What?


Exactly. I'm begging to realize just how retarded TLS is. I know a guy who did a similar 2 year exchange with american. Wasn't the very top of his class, and just landed a sweet job starting at 6 figures +. He paid full price and I'm pretty sure he thinks it was worth it.

Coming from an arts undergrad thats 50k more starting salary (plus the option of massive raises) doing an interesting and challenging job (no data entry monkey) for about 100 grand debt. Good investment


There are always exceptional cases. I'm sure your friend did better than the vast majority of his classmates. Unfortunately the six figure salary he has attained after several years of law school will not get drawn down by debt payments for the next X number of years. He is no better off economically than the guy who took the 50k job and at this point has gotten a raise or promotion. The trouble is, if you are smart enough to make it through a school like American and hit six figures upon graduation, then you are also the rare individual who can parlay a 50k job into a 100k job within about 6-7 years, without law degree that is becoming as common as a B.A. these days.

Saltqjibo
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby Saltqjibo » Sat Dec 18, 2010 10:40 pm

MrAnon wrote:
Saltqjibo wrote:
Shaggier1 wrote:
You have to understand that getting a free law school degree is really not that much of a steal. The rest of us are simply overpaying by $120,000 USD. You are getting it are market value.


What?


Exactly. I'm begging to realize just how retarded TLS is. I know a guy who did a similar 2 year exchange with american. Wasn't the very top of his class, and just landed a sweet job starting at 6 figures +. He paid full price and I'm pretty sure he thinks it was worth it.

Coming from an arts undergrad thats 50k more starting salary (plus the option of massive raises) doing an interesting and challenging job (no data entry monkey) for about 100 grand debt. Good investment


There are always exceptional cases. I'm sure your friend did better than the vast majority of his classmates. Unfortunately the six figure salary he has attained after several years of law school will not get drawn down by debt payments for the next X number of years. He is no better off economically than the guy who took the 50k job and at this point has gotten a raise or promotion. The trouble is, if you are smart enough to make it through a school like American and hit six figures upon graduation, then you are also the rare individual who can parlay a 50k job into a 100k job within about 6-7 years, without law degree that is becoming as common as a B.A. these days.


If you think a law degree is becoming as common as a B.A. you're out to lunch. I'm not saying anyone should go to a 3rd or 4th tier school in the states for full price. But American is what? around 40th? I'm sorry its no a ticket to 160k a year, but my friend is far better off than your theoretical example of someone who (yeah right) doubles their salary in raises in 7 years. Sure they have a 3 year start, but the ceiling on law is far, far, higher.

I'm not going to get any more drawn into this argument. But as someone with number for T6 or T3 I would still take American or a school like it at full price if I really wanted to do law. I might shop around for a bit of a bargain, but I don't think the cost benefit analysis is as terrible as people make it out to be.

MrAnon
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby MrAnon » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:49 pm

It is one example. The majority of the class struggles. There are 7 law schools in town and every major college there has one. Most are clumped about 40.

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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:23 pm

MrAnon wrote:There are always exceptional cases. I'm sure your friend did better than the vast majority of his classmates. Unfortunately the six figure salary he has attained after several years of law school will not get drawn down by debt payments for the next X number of years. He is no better off economically than the guy who took the 50k job and at this point has gotten a raise or promotion. The trouble is, if you are smart enough to make it through a school like American and hit six figures upon graduation, then you are also the rare individual who can parlay a 50k job into a 100k job within about 6-7 years, without law degree that is becoming as common as a B.A. these days.


Apples and dragonfruit, my friend.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:25 pm

MrAnon wrote:It is one example. The majority of the class struggles. There are 7 law schools in town and every major college there has one. Most are clumped about 40.


Absolutely no it doesn't. Struggling and not hitting the BigLaw jackpot and vastly different things.

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romothesavior
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:38 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is one example. The majority of the class struggles. There are 7 law schools in town and every major college there has one. Most are clumped about 40.


Absolutely no it doesn't. Struggling and not hitting the BigLaw jackpot and vastly different things.

Straw man is made of straw.

But in other news: OP, you should talk to some lawyers who know about the fields you want to get into. Most of the people on this site are American law students who don't really have the background to answer your questions. You need to make sure 1) there is a viable market for a student with your background and goals and 2) that American will give you a reasonable shot at those kinds of jobs. My gut instinct is to think that getting a law degree in two years for really cheap is not a bad investment, but you don't want to be wasting your time getting this degree if it isn't going to get you where you want to be, so you need to do your homework.

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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby MrAnon » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:33 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is one example. The majority of the class struggles. There are 7 law schools in town and every major college there has one. Most are clumped about 40.


Absolutely no it doesn't. Struggling and not hitting the BigLaw jackpot and vastly different things.



If you do not hit the biglaw jackpot then invariably, if you can find full-time employment, it will be with a firm paying far less than 6 figures. It won't be a 90k job. It won't be an 80k job. It will be more like a 40-50k job. That is if you do not go into the temp/doc review market. A job paying in the 40s in your late 20s with six figure loans in one of the highest cost of living areas in the nation is by definition a struggle.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:57 pm

MrAnon wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is one example. The majority of the class struggles. There are 7 law schools in town and every major college there has one. Most are clumped about 40.


Absolutely no it doesn't. Struggling and not hitting the BigLaw jackpot and vastly different things.



If you do not hit the biglaw jackpot then invariably, if you can find full-time employment, it will be with a firm paying far less than 6 figures. It won't be a 90k job. It won't be an 80k job. It will be more like a 40-50k job. That is if you do not go into the temp/doc review market. A job paying in the 40s in your late 20s with six figure loans in one of the highest cost of living areas in the nation is by definition a struggle.


17% or so go to gov't, 10% clerkships, 14% business and industry (some are McD but some are good jobs), 12% PI (and they have a pretty decent LRAP program, less than 75k get support) and 43% get law firms, 65% at 100+ person law firms. 91% or so employed, class of 2009

If that is a MAJORITY struggling, you are either spoiled or nuts. I would say maybe 20-30% are struggling, which is bad, don't get me wrong, but no MAJORITY

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romothesavior
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Re: American University for free : worth it ? (not a troll ...)

Postby romothesavior » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:09 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is one example. The majority of the class struggles. There are 7 law schools in town and every major college there has one. Most are clumped about 40.


Absolutely no it doesn't. Struggling and not hitting the BigLaw jackpot and vastly different things.



If you do not hit the biglaw jackpot then invariably, if you can find full-time employment, it will be with a firm paying far less than 6 figures. It won't be a 90k job. It won't be an 80k job. It will be more like a 40-50k job. That is if you do not go into the temp/doc review market. A job paying in the 40s in your late 20s with six figure loans in one of the highest cost of living areas in the nation is by definition a struggle.


17% or so go to gov't, 10% clerkships, 14% business and industry (some are McD but some are good jobs), 12% PI (and they have a pretty decent LRAP program, less than 75k get support) and 43% get law firms, 65% at 100+ person law firms. 91% or so employed, class of 2009

If that is a MAJORITY struggling, you are either spoiled or nuts. I would say maybe 20-30% are struggling, which is bad, don't get me wrong, but no MAJORITY

And those statistics come from who again?




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