ABA actually warns against law school

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
User avatar
fragged
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:52 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby fragged » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:49 pm

I didn't get into a t-14 school, but I also think I'll end up with a legal job. I don't think I'll get paid 160k a year, but I've gotten 2/3 tuition scholarships from most schools I've been accepted to--these schools are in the 70-80 range for rankings. I also think that people like myself who actually have experience will fare better than others when seeking jobs. I've done two internships in Washington, DC and have done two internships with the legislature in my state. All of these internships have allowed me to gain valuable experience and I've gotten excellent references from everyone I've worked for. I think it goes a long way when a person is hired for competitive internships and succeeds in them. I understand that these are just internships, but I think the references will go a long way, especially since being an intern in my small state's understaffed legislature is the equivalent of being a legislative aid in most other states.

Perhaps someone would like to disagree with me. I just think that prior experience and good references will definitely give people like me the leg up over the person who hasn't worked for four years and went straight into law school and has nothing to show for it.


One would like to think that employers look at prior experience, and rightly so. A T-14 grad who has never been able to stay at one job for more than 6 months may not be the best person to hire - whereas a grad from a lower-ranked school who has excelled at every job they have ever had and gotten stellar references from all of their employers may be the better candidate.

But I am beginning to lose faith in the process. Listening to people on this board, no one really cares about anything but the school you went to, and your class ranking. Perhaps they don't want people with prior professional experience because we are not as malleable?

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:04 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Just wanna say how much I hate this graph.

...because it illustrates a sad truth about the legal profession, or because it shows old (and thus overly optimistic) data?

All of the above, and also because even pre-ITE it is ridiculously skewed. The 140-160 range has never, ever dominated law like that graph seems to indicate.


It was probably a decent representation of t1 grads in the old economy.

I don't even think that is true. Many (maybe most?) NLJ 250 firms don't pay 140-160. Sure, the majority of HYSCCN students were making 140-160k starting, but there aren't enough HYSCCN biglaw grads to offset the oodles of T30-50 students who weren't making anywhere near that. Even at a T20 like WUSTL, I'd venture to guess that only 15-20%ish were making 140-160k to start pre-ITE. So the graph is just way, way off, especially if you're talking about all graduates.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby dresden doll » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:13 pm

Nightrunner wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I don't even think that is true. Many (maybe most?) NLJ 250 firms don't pay 140-160. Sure, the majority of HYSCCN students were making 140-160k starting, but there aren't enough HYSCCN biglaw grads to offset the oodles of T30-50 students who weren't making anywhere near that. Even at a T20 like WUSTL, I'd venture to guess that only 15-20%ish were making 140-160k to start pre-ITE. So the graph is just way, way off, especially if you're talking about all graduates.

At least 22% of WUSTL graduates were making $152K or more, and at least 44% of WUSTL grads were making $110 or more. (LinkRemoved)

This is pre-ITE money, and in a school that didn't necessarily serve the huge, market-paying firms.


Why must you depress me so?

if only I'd been born earlier.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:31 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:...because it illustrates a sad truth about the legal profession, or because it shows old (and thus overly optimistic) data?

All of the above, and also because even pre-ITE it is ridiculously skewed. The 140-160 range has never, ever dominated law like that graph seems to indicate.


It was probably a decent representation of t1 grads in the old economy.

I don't even think that is true. Many (maybe most?) NLJ 250 firms don't pay 140-160. Sure, the majority of HYSCCN students were making 140-160k starting, but there aren't enough HYSCCN biglaw grads to offset the oodles of T30-50 students who weren't making anywhere near that. Even at a T20 like WUSTL, I'd venture to guess that only 15-20%ish were making 140-160k to start pre-ITE. So the graph is just way, way off, especially if you're talking about all graduates.


While most Nlj firms don't a lot of the big ones did which translates to a lot of SA spots. In Chicago damn near all NLJ pays 145-160. WUSTL's big market has got to be Chicago right?

The graph shows only about 30% making 140 or more. Seeing as 70-80% of T14 grads were getting it and more than insignificant t1 grads were, I'd say it's fairly accurate for T1. It's at least in the ball park.
Last edited by 09042014 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:32 pm

Remember that graph only shows the income of a single class within a year of graduation. It may indicate a lot of people in the $160K range, but most who even got that wouldn't stay at that income level for more than a couple years. Even during the boom times there was no guarantee you'd get and keep a ridiculously high salary; the majority of people making "market" got chewed up, spit out, and replaced by the next year's batch of fresh meat.

User avatar
bostonian
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bostonian » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:56 pm

What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:57 pm

bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?


You need to have interest and it needs to be financially viable.

User avatar
bostonian
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bostonian » Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:59 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?


You need to have interest and it needs to be financially viable.


That's reasonable, but it seems like a lot of people are just saying, "I want to be a lawyer because I can make lots of money" without actually stopping to think about whether they'll actually enjoy it.
And no, I'm no encouraging other people to drop out, just to actually think about what they're doing. It took me awhile before I did that.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bk1 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:01 pm

bostonian wrote:That's reasonable, but it seems like a lot of people are just saying, "I want to be a lawyer because I can make lots of money" without actually stopping to think about whether they'll actually enjoy it.


Most people on this board have actually moved beyond that.

They only say "because I can make lots of money" because it requires a lot of money to pay of 200k worth of loans in a respectable amount of time.

User avatar
Sentry
Posts: 1235
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:38 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby Sentry » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:18 pm

bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

If there's a career that let's you play video games and flag football all the time let me know.

User avatar
D. H2Oman
Posts: 7469
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:47 am

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:15 pm

Sentry wrote:
bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

If there's a career that let's you play video games and flag football all the time let me know.



Being a law student who doesn't give a shit is pretty fun. You got three years of this man!

User avatar
observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby observationalist » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:06 am

fragged wrote:
I didn't get into a t-14 school, but I also think I'll end up with a legal job. I don't think I'll get paid 160k a year, but I've gotten 2/3 tuition scholarships from most schools I've been accepted to--these schools are in the 70-80 range for rankings. I also think that people like myself who actually have experience will fare better than others when seeking jobs. I've done two internships in Washington, DC and have done two internships with the legislature in my state. All of these internships have allowed me to gain valuable experience and I've gotten excellent references from everyone I've worked for. I think it goes a long way when a person is hired for competitive internships and succeeds in them. I understand that these are just internships, but I think the references will go a long way, especially since being an intern in my small state's understaffed legislature is the equivalent of being a legislative aid in most other states.

Perhaps someone would like to disagree with me. I just think that prior experience and good references will definitely give people like me the leg up over the person who hasn't worked for four years and went straight into law school and has nothing to show for it.


One would like to think that employers look at prior experience, and rightly so. A T-14 grad who has never been able to stay at one job for more than 6 months may not be the best person to hire - whereas a grad from a lower-ranked school who has excelled at every job they have ever had and gotten stellar references from all of their employers may be the better candidate.

But I am beginning to lose faith in the process. Listening to people on this board, no one really cares about anything but the school you went to, and your class ranking. Perhaps they don't want people with prior professional experience because we are not as malleable?


Work experience (if it's relevant) can certainly help if you can hop over the other hurdles first, but the reality is that most employers don't have the time or resources to sort through the criteria of every applicant. There are too many of you and there are too few jobs. Given that, it serves them better to start off by relying on the same heuristics they've used for decades, in which you start with an interview pool of, say, 3.6 gpas from maybe 10 or 15 law schools and from there cull the list down to the people you like the most. You can also look at only 3.9 gpas from 50 law schools, but the idea is the same; cut down the gigantic list of applicants to a manageable number and from there decide who you want to bring on board.

This second step is where things like work experience, personality, family background, physical appearance, etc can separate people out (for better or worse.) Even in this round, it's entirely possible that your hard-earned qualifications may lose out to someone with whom they might simply prefer spending 80 hours together every week. The hiring criteria can be different for public interest jobs or government positions, but it's still the legal profession and when it comes down to it, prestige and law school performance still tend to carry more weight in determining whether or not you're worth interviewing.

This is why it's important to contact the schools you're looking at and ask to see complete employer lists of where everyone went for the Class of 2010. It's not enough to rely on the brand of the school or lists showing where the top graduates went to work. You need to know what the average graduate goes, because otherwise you're at risk of mistakenly assuming something like work experience will give you an edge and put you at the top side of the interview pool.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby r6_philly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:53 am

Sentry wrote:
bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

If there's a career that let's you play video games and flag football all the time let me know.


Software/game tester and/or developer.

I interviewed at Comcast for a lead position, they have a huge sky lounge for the interactive department equipped with video games, ping pong table, board games and other fun things. The way software engineering process is set up, if you can get your allotted tasks done for the day, they don't really push you to do more work. So if you are more efficient, you can spend half the day playing.

I haven't been to a game studio, but knowing the culture, it is probably even more so.

User avatar
emhellmer
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:53 am

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby emhellmer » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:31 pm

fragged wrote:
I didn't get into a t-14 school, but I also think I'll end up with a legal job. I don't think I'll get paid 160k a year, but I've gotten 2/3 tuition scholarships from most schools I've been accepted to--these schools are in the 70-80 range for rankings. I also think that people like myself who actually have experience will fare better than others when seeking jobs. I've done two internships in Washington, DC and have done two internships with the legislature in my state. All of these internships have allowed me to gain valuable experience and I've gotten excellent references from everyone I've worked for. I think it goes a long way when a person is hired for competitive internships and succeeds in them. I understand that these are just internships, but I think the references will go a long way, especially since being an intern in my small state's understaffed legislature is the equivalent of being a legislative aid in most other states.

Perhaps someone would like to disagree with me. I just think that prior experience and good references will definitely give people like me the leg up over the person who hasn't worked for four years and went straight into law school and has nothing to show for it.


One would like to think that employers look at prior experience, and rightly so. A T-14 grad who has never been able to stay at one job for more than 6 months may not be the best person to hire - whereas a grad from a lower-ranked school who has excelled at every job they have ever had and gotten stellar references from all of their employers may be the better candidate.

But I am beginning to lose faith in the process. Listening to people on this board, no one really cares about anything but the school you went to, and your class ranking. Perhaps they don't want people with prior professional experience because we are not as malleable?


There is a discussion on the topic of previous work experience and employment prospects here viewtopic.php?f=1&t=143047. In short, a few 2Ls and 3Ls suggest that their previous work experience (and age) may have HURT them in OCI because big firms do indeed want young and malleable junior associates. It seems that they wondered if these older grads would be comfortable taking orders from an younger but more senior associate. Others feel that their previous work experience helped them, but only after they learned how to sell it well during interviews. Most of the discussion relates to big law.

IMO, if firms only want 25 year olds who've never held down a real job and have no professional experience, they may be up to no good, but whatever. I do find it very difficult to believe that previous work experience will not help you land a job in a smaller firm or with a nonprofit, but I haven't heard much discussion on that issue.

User avatar
emhellmer
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:53 am

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby emhellmer » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:36 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Sentry wrote:
bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

If there's a career that let's you play video games and flag football all the time let me know.


Software/game tester and/or developer.

I interviewed at Comcast for a lead position, they have a huge sky lounge for the interactive department equipped with video games, ping pong table, board games and other fun things. The way software engineering process is set up, if you can get your allotted tasks done for the day, they don't really push you to do more work. So if you are more efficient, you can spend half the day playing.

I haven't been to a game studio, but knowing the culture, it is probably even more so.


+1 I had a friend in college who graduated in 5 years with a solid C- average. He played video games constantly! After graduation he moved back home with no job, and eventually found work as a beta tester for a video game company. Last I heard he was the happiest human on the planet, showed up for work early and left late everyday, in line for promotions and raises, etc.

User avatar
emhellmer
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:53 am

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby emhellmer » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:44 pm

Sentry wrote:
bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

If there's a career that let's you play video games and flag football all the time let me know.


Since we established that their are careers that let you play video games all day long, I'll also point out that there are many careers where you can play sports all day long. Have you thought about maybe being a coach at your area rec center or YMCA? I have a friend who coaches a rock climbing team; my gawd does he love his job. You play around all day and actually get to work with kids as a mentor (most people find that pretty rewarding, as well as fun). Maybe coach part time and beta-test video games part-time?

You know, when I graduated from college I was interested in getting a liberal arts Ph.D. The overwhelming advice I heard was "That's great, and I would love to do anything I can to help! BTW, don't even consider a school that doesn't offer you a full 5 year fellowship and make sure that you love your field of study enough to spend the rest of your life studying it." Perhaps students considering law school should take a similar approach.

User avatar
bostonian
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:08 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bostonian » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:47 pm

bk1 wrote:
bostonian wrote:That's reasonable, but it seems like a lot of people are just saying, "I want to be a lawyer because I can make lots of money" without actually stopping to think about whether they'll actually enjoy it.


Most people on this board have actually moved beyond that.



That's debatable.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby r6_philly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:57 pm

emhellmer wrote:
Sentry wrote:
bostonian wrote:What happened to going into a career because it actually interests you and not only considering how much you'll make in the first five years?

If there's a career that let's you play video games and flag football all the time let me know.


Since we established that their are careers that let you play video games all day long, I'll also point out that there are many careers where you can play sports all day long. Have you thought about maybe being a coach at your area rec center or YMCA? I have a friend who coaches a rock climbing team; my gawd does he love his job. You play around all day and actually get to work with kids as a mentor (most people find that pretty rewarding, as well as fun). Maybe coach part time and beta-test video games part-time?

You know, when I graduated from college I was interested in getting a liberal arts Ph.D. The overwhelming advice I heard was "That's great, and I would love to do anything I can to help! BTW, don't even consider a school that doesn't offer you a full 5 year fellowship and make sure that you love your field of study enough to spend the rest of your life studying it." Perhaps students considering law school should take a similar approach.


So what now, full scholly or bust?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:02 pm

My friends that are video game programmers have pretty laid back work schedules. They get to work from home a lot, often don't start work until the afternoon, or whenever they want to, and work late into the night (by choice because they prefer that than doing 9-5). The office culture is also really laid back. It's definitely tougher and more job-like at the major developers/publishers (at least this is the vibe I get my from my friend at Epic), though most of the people I know are at indie studios.

On the other hand, aren't in-house testers paid like shit with little opportunity for advancement?

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby r6_philly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:21 pm

bk1 wrote:
On the other hand, aren't in-house testers paid like shit with little opportunity for advancement?


Yes. But the original question did not mention high-paying as part of the criteria.

Software testers, security/QA review get paid a lot more, but it's more boring.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:25 pm

r6_philly wrote:
bk1 wrote:
On the other hand, aren't in-house testers paid like shit with little opportunity for advancement?


Yes. But the original question did not mention high-paying as part of the criteria.

Software testers, security/QA review get paid a lot more, but it's more boring.


My comment was in reference to:

emhellmer wrote:work as a beta tester for a video game company... in line for promotions and raises, etc.


The promotions/raises thing seemed odd to me.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby r6_philly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:27 pm

bk1 wrote:
The promotions/raises thing seemed odd to me.


From junior tester to senior/lead? I don't know if you get promoted out of department, but there is some advancement within the position. I guess up to QA management is possible too.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:33 pm

r6_philly wrote:From junior tester to senior/lead? I don't know if you get promoted out of department, but there is some advancement within the position. I guess up to QA management is possible too.


That's a good point. I felt like it would take a longer amount of time to get promoted within the department (though I have no idea the kind of churn a company has with testers).

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby r6_philly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:42 pm

bk1 wrote:
r6_philly wrote:From junior tester to senior/lead? I don't know if you get promoted out of department, but there is some advancement within the position. I guess up to QA management is possible too.


That's a good point. I felt like it would take a longer amount of time to get promoted within the department (though I have no idea the kind of churn a company has with testers).


Also since games are project based, it's possible companies are moving toward consultant/temp staff and are promoting the perm. staff to lead if they like you. I have seen that a lot for small/mid size software development companies.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: ABA actually warns against law school

Postby r6_philly » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:44 pm

While I am here, I just found out a friend of a friend is a biglaw associate here in Philly that came out of Villanova. He works long hours but makes good money, even after counting taxes and loan payments. I don't know what his class rank was, but there are some success stories around.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests