Is the sky falling?

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flexityflex86
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Is the sky falling?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed May 04, 2011 2:45 pm

There are so many different pieces of advice I get from people, and I'm probably not alone.

On one end all of the successful people in the world who went to prestige grad schools (whether or not they are lawyers) say, "Go to the best law school you get into."

On another end all of the people who went to lesser law schools say, "Just get a full scholarship to a tier 2, 3 or 4, and make law review", which is obviously no sure thing, but they did it and I guess believe it's low risk as there's no $ invested. My parents say they are just jealous of people who get into higher ranked schools, but then again my parents are paranoid, and I think these lawyers probably just feel it paid off for them and therefore is the most logical bet.

Finally, others (sometimes out of work lawyers) say there are no jobs so don't go to any school, but if you must, "just get a full ride somewhere."

Yesterday, a family friend told me to do whatever it takes to go to a top 10: pay sticker, sit out a year if I need to, whatever it takes, because that puts the ball in my court to just not slack off, and wind up at a good job as while I can't predict class performance, I can predict people skills and networking skills.

Another family friend, a lawyer from a well respected top 30 who worked in a large firm but left after she had a kid and now that the kid is older is trying and failing to get back a similar job said there are no jobs so it would be suicide to go to a top 10 sticker - she claims there are no jobs for anybody.

So I don't know what to do. I do want to be a lawyer, and I want to be able to help others but still live a high quality of life, and be able to take care of my family.

Is there that much credit behind going to a top 10? What class rank would I need to attain to get a 100k salary if I am good with people?

On the other end, is taking a 1/2 or so scholly to a non t-14 but t-20 in a preferred region more credited?

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hipstermafia
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby hipstermafia » Wed May 04, 2011 2:48 pm

I can't believe no one has posted a sassy response yet!

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dpk711
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby dpk711 » Wed May 04, 2011 2:50 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:What class rank would I need to attain to get a 100k salary if I am good with people?

I loled.

lakerfanimal
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby lakerfanimal » Wed May 04, 2011 2:53 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:There are so many different pieces of advice I get from people, and I'm probably not alone.

On one end all of the successful people in the world who went to prestige grad schools (whether or not they are lawyers) say, "Go to the best law school you get into."

On another end all of the people who went to lesser law schools say, "Just get a full scholarship to a tier 2, 3 or 4, and make law review", which is obviously no sure thing, but they did it and I guess believe it's low risk as there's no $ invested. My parents say they are just jealous of people who get into higher ranked schools, but then again my parents are paranoid, and I think these lawyers probably just feel it paid off for them and therefore is the most logical bet.

Finally, others (sometimes out of work lawyers) say there are no jobs so don't go to any school, but if you must, "just get a full ride somewhere."

Yesterday, a family friend told me to do whatever it takes to go to a top 10: pay sticker, sit out a year if I need to, whatever it takes, because that puts the ball in my court to just not slack off, and wind up at a good job as while I can't predict class performance, I can predict people skills and networking skills.

Another family friend, a lawyer from a well respected top 30 who worked in a large firm but left after she had a kid and now that the kid is older is trying and failing to get back a similar job said there are no jobs so it would be suicide to go to a top 10 sticker - she claims there are no jobs for anybody.

So I don't know what to do. I do want to be a lawyer, and I want to be able to help others but still live a high quality of life, and be able to take care of my family.

Is there that much credit behind going to a top 10? What class rank would I need to attain to get a 100k salary if I am good with people?

On the other end, is taking a 1/2 or so scholly to a non t-14 but t-20 in a preferred region more credited?


All lawyers help others, but if you mean helping unfortunate individuals or working for the public good, then there are very few jobs if any you can get coming out of law school that will pay you 100k to do that. I think if you work for the government, then after some years you may make around that much. However, if you're strictly focused on that, then I feel like you should try to get into the top 3 schools because that's where you have the best chances for getting a good government job coming straight out of law school. This is just based on what I've heard or read, so it may not be true.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 04, 2011 2:56 pm

Yours is the same dilemma as our whole class I suppose. My take: life is hard and you can have regrets no matter what you did, and there are times when you want to take it all back because it looks bleak or it is hard, but... it will be worth it in the long run, there are jobs and there is opportunity. T10 at sticker is certainly not irrational. Just know what you are getting yourself into. (Some around here may remark that it is not clear from your post that you really do know what you are getting into)

flexityflex86
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:07 pm

Law Sauce wrote:Yours is the same dilemma as our whole class I suppose. My take: life is hard and you can have regrets no matter what you did, and there are times when you want to take it all back because it looks bleak or it is hard, but... it will be worth it in the long run, there are jobs and there is opportunity. T10 at sticker is certainly not irrational. Just know what you are getting yourself into.

I know that no path is definitively right. I just want the one that is least wrong.

I'm not after a government job - any big law job in any state is good. I have levels of what I want, and the baseline is being able to raise my children without them having to worry about how they'll go to camp or what clothes they'll wear to school like my family does. After that, I like LA. If that isn't possible, I like at the very least having warm weather and palm trees.

Down the road, I would like to be able to transition into working less hours (maybe when I'm 50 or so), and be able to spend free time helping people across whatever community I'm living in pro-bono.

crit_racer
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby crit_racer » Wed May 04, 2011 3:10 pm

Normally, i would say that top 1/2 of the class at a T10 would get you a 6figure job. BUT, since you're good w/ people, you can probably get a 6figure job no matter what your rank is at any T10. Or T30 for that matter!

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Law Sauce
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 04, 2011 3:17 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:
Law Sauce wrote:Yours is the same dilemma as our whole class I suppose. My take: life is hard and you can have regrets no matter what you did, and there are times when you want to take it all back because it looks bleak or it is hard, but... it will be worth it in the long run, there are jobs and there is opportunity. T10 at sticker is certainly not irrational. Just know what you are getting yourself into.

I know that no path is definitively right. I just want the one that is least wrong.

I'm not after a government job - any big law job in any state is good. I have levels of what I want, and the baseline is being able to raise my children without them having to worry about how they'll go to camp or what clothes they'll wear to school like my family does. After that, I like LA. If that isn't possible, I like at the very least having warm weather and palm trees.

Down the road, I would like to be able to transition into working less hours (maybe when I'm 50 or so), and be able to spend free time helping people across whatever community I'm living in pro-bono.


Those goals are not unreasonable at all I'd say. If you can get biglaw and you are willing to work hard, there is no reason that you shouldn't reach them from either t10 or t20. The tricky thing is figuring out which one gives you a better shot at biglaw or something comparative. Don't let the negative energy and bad job market convince you that law school is necessarily always a loosing matter. Obviously it isn't, the point of all the negativity is to counteract the incorrect assumption that it always is a winning move. There is risk. of course. with lraps at t10s and with a lot of other options that dont pay like biglaw but still get you by, it is possible to hustle for something and get through fine. But is scarier than it once was. The odds are not the golden ones that they were ten years ago, but they are not so desperate that people who want to be lawyers should feel like they just need to give up this dream and do something else.

Edited also to say that Biglaw is very competitive.
Last edited by Law Sauce on Wed May 04, 2011 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby BeautifulSW » Wed May 04, 2011 3:18 pm

Given your baseline desire of financial security for yourself and for your children, I'd strongly advise you not to go to law school at all. Surf a few discussions here and elsewhere to find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with and understand that chances are, you will end up going deeply into debt for law school and there is no guarantee of a decent job when you graduate. Or, these days in L.A., I guess, any job. And if the BigLaw job doesn't pan out for you, you are looking at decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt. Don't be fooled; the risk of disaster is very great.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 04, 2011 3:25 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Given your baseline desire of financial security for yourself and for your children, I'd strongly advise you not to go to law school at all. Surf a few discussions here and elsewhere to find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with and understand that chances are, you will end up going deeply into debt for law school and there is no guarantee of a decent job when you graduate. Or, these days in L.A., I guess, any job. And if the BigLaw job doesn't pan out for you, you are looking at decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt. Don't be fooled; the risk of disaster is very great.


This is not credited. At least not totally.

IBR - learn what this is. It means "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt" is just false and won't happen. If you are working you can get by and will be free in 25 years at worst. This would not be a great position to be in, but not "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt." Basically IBR allows the risk to be either 1)you do well financially or 2) you dont do great but you get by (maybe law school is this instance would have been a worse choice financially then some other paths, but not devastating and leading to the poor house)

no guarantee of a decent job - this is true, especially if you are very limited in what you mean by a decent job. op seems to be flexible and willing to hustle if so, i do not think that he/she need to irrationally fear the future. esp since he/she really wants to a lawyer

find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with - I'm sorry if you had a bad experience, but most people know about this and this isnt an issue since we are talking about t20 schools who dont do this, and also since we are talking about sticker price at great schools anyway

There is lots of this negativity and it is grounded in some truth. But it doesnt mean we all should give up being lawyers. This advice to someone who seems like they are struggling with fear already is unhelpful and not necessary.

Ok back to the question of whether a t20 at half off or t10 at sticker is better. I think that it comes down to goals and personal preference. If you really want biglaw and all that comes with it (big hours, big money etc.), then a t10 at sticker makes better sense. If you are more flexible and know where you want to work a t20 makes a lot of sense too. For you, why not UCLA. This is all theoretic, the real choices are one school vs another school and this will come down to personal preference/fit more than people want to say. At least within good/similarish schools.

flexityflex86
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:40 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Given your baseline desire of financial security for yourself and for your children, I'd strongly advise you not to go to law school at all. Surf a few discussions here and elsewhere to find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with and understand that chances are, you will end up going deeply into debt for law school and there is no guarantee of a decent job when you graduate. Or, these days in L.A., I guess, any job. And if the BigLaw job doesn't pan out for you, you are looking at decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt. Don't be fooled; the risk of disaster is very great.

the only scholarship i came with a stipulation was one that said i had to keep a C average, and I withdrew from it. no scholarship i got came with stipulations except to remain in good standing, which just means don't fail out and break rules - i don't think these are the "scam stipulations" the NY Times article spoke about where it is like a job saying "we'll pay you if you are in the top 10% of employees." it's more like a job saying, "we'll pay you if you don't completely humiliate us."

flexityflex86
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:41 pm

Law Sauce wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:Given your baseline desire of financial security for yourself and for your children, I'd strongly advise you not to go to law school at all. Surf a few discussions here and elsewhere to find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with and understand that chances are, you will end up going deeply into debt for law school and there is no guarantee of a decent job when you graduate. Or, these days in L.A., I guess, any job. And if the BigLaw job doesn't pan out for you, you are looking at decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt. Don't be fooled; the risk of disaster is very great.


This is not credited. At least not totally.

IBR - learn what this is. It means "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt" is just false and won't happen. If you are working you can get by and will be free in 25 years at worst. This would not be a great position to be in, but not "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt." Basically IBR allows the risk to be either 1)you do well financially or 2) you dont do great but you get by (maybe law school is this instance would have been a worse choice financially then some other paths, but not devastating and leading to the poor house)

no guarantee of a decent job - this is true, especially if you are very limited in what you mean by a decent job. op seems to be flexible and willing to hustle if so, i do not think that he/she need to irrationally fear the future. esp since he/she really wants to a lawyer

find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with - I'm sorry if you had a bad experience, but most people know about this and this isnt an issue since we are talking about t20 schools who dont do this, and also since we are talking about sticker price at great schools anyway

There is lots of this negativity and it is grounded in some truth. But it doesnt mean we all should give up being lawyers. This advice to someone who seems like they are struggling with fear already is unhelpful and not necessary.

Ok back to the question of whether a t20 at half off or t10 at sticker is better. I think that it comes down to goals and personal preference. If you really want biglaw and all that comes with it (big hours, big money etc.), then a t10 at sticker makes better sense. If you are more flexible and know where you want to work a t20 makes a lot of sense too. For you, why not UCLA. This is all theoretic, the real choices are one school vs another school and this will come down to personal preference/fit more than people want to say. At least within good/similarish schools.

I actually got rejected from UCLA.

I think I misplayed my approach in writing to that law school, and I did not have the GPA. I have USC.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 04, 2011 3:43 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:
Law Sauce wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:Given your baseline desire of financial security for yourself and for your children, I'd strongly advise you not to go to law school at all. Surf a few discussions here and elsewhere to find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with and understand that chances are, you will end up going deeply into debt for law school and there is no guarantee of a decent job when you graduate. Or, these days in L.A., I guess, any job. And if the BigLaw job doesn't pan out for you, you are looking at decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt. Don't be fooled; the risk of disaster is very great.


This is not credited. At least not totally.

IBR - learn what this is. It means "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt" is just false and won't happen. If you are working you can get by and will be free in 25 years at worst. This would not be a great position to be in, but not "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt." Basically IBR allows the risk to be either 1)you do well financially or 2) you dont do great but you get by (maybe law school is this instance would have been a worse choice financially then some other paths, but not devastating and leading to the poor house)

no guarantee of a decent job - this is true, especially if you are very limited in what you mean by a decent job. op seems to be flexible and willing to hustle if so, i do not think that he/she need to irrationally fear the future. esp since he/she really wants to a lawyer

find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with - I'm sorry if you had a bad experience, but most people know about this and this isnt an issue since we are talking about t20 schools who dont do this, and also since we are talking about sticker price at great schools anyway

There is lots of this negativity and it is grounded in some truth. But it doesnt mean we all should give up being lawyers. This advice to someone who seems like they are struggling with fear already is unhelpful and not necessary.

Ok back to the question of whether a t20 at half off or t10 at sticker is better. I think that it comes down to goals and personal preference. If you really want biglaw and all that comes with it (big hours, big money etc.), then a t10 at sticker makes better sense. If you are more flexible and know where you want to work a t20 makes a lot of sense too. For you, why not UCLA. This is all theoretic, the real choices are one school vs another school and this will come down to personal preference/fit more than people want to say. At least within good/similarish schools.

I actually got rejected from UCLA.

I think I misplayed my approach in writing to that law school, and I did not have the GPA. I have USC.


scholarship at USC? and do you have/which t10?

flexityflex86
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:45 pm

Law Sauce wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:
Law Sauce wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:Given your baseline desire of financial security for yourself and for your children, I'd strongly advise you not to go to law school at all. Surf a few discussions here and elsewhere to find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with and understand that chances are, you will end up going deeply into debt for law school and there is no guarantee of a decent job when you graduate. Or, these days in L.A., I guess, any job. And if the BigLaw job doesn't pan out for you, you are looking at decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt. Don't be fooled; the risk of disaster is very great.


This is not credited. At least not totally.

IBR - learn what this is. It means "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt" is just false and won't happen. If you are working you can get by and will be free in 25 years at worst. This would not be a great position to be in, but not "decades, if not a lifetime, of inescapable debt." Basically IBR allows the risk to be either 1)you do well financially or 2) you dont do great but you get by (maybe law school is this instance would have been a worse choice financially then some other paths, but not devastating and leading to the poor house)

no guarantee of a decent job - this is true, especially if you are very limited in what you mean by a decent job. op seems to be flexible and willing to hustle if so, i do not think that he/she need to irrationally fear the future. esp since he/she really wants to a lawyer

find out about the"stips" that many scholarships come with - I'm sorry if you had a bad experience, but most people know about this and this isnt an issue since we are talking about t20 schools who dont do this, and also since we are talking about sticker price at great schools anyway

There is lots of this negativity and it is grounded in some truth. But it doesnt mean we all should give up being lawyers. This advice to someone who seems like they are struggling with fear already is unhelpful and not necessary.

Ok back to the question of whether a t20 at half off or t10 at sticker is better. I think that it comes down to goals and personal preference. If you really want biglaw and all that comes with it (big hours, big money etc.), then a t10 at sticker makes better sense. If you are more flexible and know where you want to work a t20 makes a lot of sense too. For you, why not UCLA. This is all theoretic, the real choices are one school vs another school and this will come down to personal preference/fit more than people want to say. At least within good/similarish schools.

I actually got rejected from UCLA.

I think I misplayed my approach in writing to that law school, and I did not have the GPA. I have USC.


scholarship at USC? and do you have/which t10?

ffffff
Last edited by flexityflex86 on Wed May 04, 2011 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 04, 2011 3:48 pm

Law Sauce wrote:
scholarship at USC? and do you have/which t10?


Well, I dont think t10 schools are bad choices even at sticker, but if you really like usc and/or have a scholarship that choice is also a good one.

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enron123
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby enron123 » Thu May 05, 2011 1:47 pm

flexityflex86 wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:i had to keep a C average, and I withdrew from it. no scholarship i got came with stipulations except to remain in good standing, which just means don't fail out and break rules - i don't think these are the "scam stipulations" the NY Times article spoke about where it is like a job saying "we'll pay you if you are in the top 10% of employees." it's more like a job saying, "we'll pay you if you don't completely humiliate us."


I think the article was a bit harsh on how scholarship stipulations are communicated and they are certainly not scams. I do think they are dangerous though given that you will be competing against a motivated group that are clearly your peers. One of my stipulations said to keep a 3.0 but is a 2.9 in law school humiliating?

I've never taken a law school course or exam how am I supposed to make an informed decision about where I will finish relative to my classmates?

flexityflex86
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Re: Is the sky falling?

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu May 05, 2011 2:43 pm

enron123 wrote:
flexityflex86 wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:i had to keep a C average, and I withdrew from it. no scholarship i got came with stipulations except to remain in good standing, which just means don't fail out and break rules - i don't think these are the "scam stipulations" the NY Times article spoke about where it is like a job saying "we'll pay you if you are in the top 10% of employees." it's more like a job saying, "we'll pay you if you don't completely humiliate us."


I think the article was a bit harsh on how scholarship stipulations are communicated and they are certainly not scams. I do think they are dangerous though given that you will be competing against a motivated group that are clearly your peers. One of my stipulations said to keep a 3.0 but is a 2.9 in law school humiliating?

I've never taken a law school course or exam how am I supposed to make an informed decision about where I will finish relative to my classmates?

The percentile rankings are scammish especially when they have sections of all scholarship students, meaning they guarantee 80% lose their scholarship if it says top 20%.

It is this type of competition that directly kills the collegiate friendly environment that top law schools brag about, and strive for. Basically they are directly trying to make more $ at the expense of creating a civil environment. It is not a scam in that they are not directly lying to you, but they do not mention placing all the scholly students in a section, and feed off applicants who assume that no law school will operate akin to Kaplan University.

It is also a funny coincidence that the "top law schools" do not put these stipulations on their applicants, and schools in the 2nd tier down to Cooley become increasingly strict and shady in the stipulations. In this, it is apparent that many tier 4's have given up on being ranked better to secure better employment opportunities for their graduates who can then come back and serve as alumni donors, and have instead decided to make as much money as possible off of their current student body before any of them are established with the knowledge they conceal that the vast majority of these students will never be established.

If you were making an analogy, these tier 4's are like the reverse of the Robin Hood story - you have rich people outwitting and taking money from poor kids trying to establish themselves.

In my experience with law schools, they have all been professional and honest. However, I admittedly have only communicated with tier 1s. Based on the e-mails I get and what I have read, I think tier 4's are mostly scams. They also greatly influence the public - people talk about how you should not go to law school, and then point to an article about Thomas Jefferson School of Law.




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