why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

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bk1
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:50 pm

Knock wrote: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.


Good point, I forgot to factor in that not all people who report being employed in private practice report their salaries (though that data wasn't provided for the Fordham example).

Reasonable_Man also pointed out that his school (a TTT) hounded him to report his salary/employment info whereas it barely made any effort to get the data from his unemployed/underemployed friend from school.

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androstan
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby androstan » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:54 pm

Here is the breakdown of law grad salaries for the most recent NALP data/stats:

155-165: 11.18%
90-150: 16.76%
65-90: 13.41%
35-65: 58.67%

BeautifulSW
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:55 pm

The advice to ignore the school's employment stats is correct. REALLY correct.

Where I differ from the vast majority of posters here is that I still maintain that any Californian contemplating attending any California law school other than Stanford and intending to remain in the Golden State until removed in a box (which would be MY attitude) should consider a CBE (non ABA) school. Even the UC system is just too expensive. A J.D. from anything other than T14 just ISN'T WORTH STICKER.

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learntolift
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:56 pm

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.
oh of course, sorry i omitted that. i meant to also say that with a like..95%+ response from graduates, then that is pretty much what the numbers mean

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bk1
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:57 pm

learntolift wrote:oh of course, sorry i omitted that. i meant to also say that with a like..95%+ response from graduates, then that is pretty much what the numbers mean


True if you mean responding to salary data. Even if 95% report whether they are employed or not, it is far less who actually report salary info.

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dresden doll
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby dresden doll » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:59 pm

BeautifulSW wrote: A J.D. from anything other than T14 just ISN'T WORTH STICKER.


What's more, a JD from within the T14 is frequently not worth sticker.

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HugerThanSoup
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby HugerThanSoup » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:59 pm

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.
Last edited by HugerThanSoup on Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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learntolift
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:00 pm

bk1 wrote:
learntolift wrote:oh of course, sorry i omitted that. i meant to also say that with a like..95%+ response from graduates, then that is pretty much what the numbers mean


True if you mean responding to salary data. Even if 95% report whether they are employed or not, it is far less who actually report salary info.

ahh god i wish law schools could just sack up and give it to you straight...

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arhmcpo
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby arhmcpo » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:17 pm

learntolift wrote:
bk1 wrote:
learntolift wrote:oh of course, sorry i omitted that. i meant to also say that with a like..95%+ response from graduates, then that is pretty much what the numbers mean


True if you mean responding to salary data. Even if 95% report whether they are employed or not, it is far less who actually report salary info.

ahh god i wish law schools could just sack up and give it to you straight...


Because if they gave it to you straight a lot of people would decide not to go to law school. The law schools are first and foremost businesses and profit centers, especially for the larger university systems they are usually a part of. Law students and lawyers tend to be jaded but with facts like these who can blame us. Run away learntolift before you end up like us!!!!! :lol:

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Knock
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby Knock » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:18 pm

HugerThanSoup wrote:
Knock wrote:
learntolift wrote:
HugerThanSoup wrote:
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.


Credited. This is an excellent thread and I think I will link to it whenever someone starts a new thread on this topic.

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learntolift
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Re: why is Santa Clara ranked so low?...

Postby learntolift » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:31 pm

arhmcpo wrote:
learntolift wrote:
bk1 wrote:
learntolift wrote:oh of course, sorry i omitted that. i meant to also say that with a like..95%+ response from graduates, then that is pretty much what the numbers mean


True if you mean responding to salary data. Even if 95% report whether they are employed or not, it is far less who actually report salary info.

ahh god i wish law schools could just sack up and give it to you straight...


Because if they gave it to you straight a lot of people would decide not to go to law school. The law schools are first and foremost businesses and profit centers, especially for the larger university systems they are usually a part of. Law students and lawyers tend to be jaded but with facts like these who can blame us. Run away learntolift before you end up like us!!!!! :lol:

lol. not gonna be that easy sir




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