Knock wrote: learntolift wrote: HugerThanSoup wrote:
learntolift wrote:Can someone just explain this please...it is about Fordham.
Class of 2009, 98% of that graduating class reported back for this. they say about 70.5% of the graduates went to private practice law firms. of that 70%, the median salary for them is 160k (scrolling down further you see the larger firms pay more, obviously, but also the vast majority of those kids went to large firms anyway). So i just wonder why you are saying there is only like a 25% chance of earning over 100k
This is how numbers are misleading. Median only tells you "THE middle number." For example, consider the following salaries: $160k $160k $160k $50k $25k. The median would be $160k because, in the spread, it is the middle number. There are two numbers below, two numbers above. Median tells you very little about the rest of the spread (its composition or its range). So long as half of the numbers are at or above 160k, schools can report that as their median. That's why lower ranked schools can report "law firm median salaries" as above 100k.
exactly, so if a low ranked law school has a median of 100k let's say, that means half the people are 100k or more.
No. It means half the people who REPORTED their salary to the law school are making 100k or more. There's definitely voluntary bias in the surveys, the people who are making good salaries are much, much more likely to return the survey than those who are unable to find employment, or are making much smaller salaries.
And it's even worse than that because most lower-ranked schools don't report "median graduation salary." They report "median law firm salary" or "median salary for graduates working at law firms with 100 or more attorneys." By defining the class in a way the eliminates lower income earners, schools can make it appear as though their graduates are earning more than they really are.
Take the SCU link that I posted above, for example. One of their categories is "Law Firms (101-501+ lawyers)" with a reported average income of ~$156k. By definition, most firms with over 100 attorneys pay $160k. This statistic is like saying "Average starting salary of graduates working at the NY Office of Skadden Arps." Of course the starting salary is high. And because the number of respondents is so low, it makes it look as though "most graduates" are earning that much when really it's just "most respondents."
Moreover, some statistics just don't even make sense. Take this page: http://law.scu.edu/careers/salaries-by-employer-type.cfm
. For "Medium Firm (30-100 lawyers)" they report a range of $75k-$90k; but they report an average salary of $98k. This is impossible given the range. They have obviously included higher salaries in this category (by design or by accident). But it just goes to show the errors inherent in reporting.