GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

GW or WM?

George Washington at 3,000 in scholarship
6
21%
William & Mary at 14,000 in scholarship
23
79%
 
Total votes: 29

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sunynp
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby sunynp » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:52 pm

Wooglin1989 wrote:
Flips88 wrote:
Wily wrote:Bro, I'd give my left nut for a GPA anywhere close to yours. I got into GWU this year with $27k/year, and I still retook in June to try to get higher so I can maybe get into a T14. You should retake and reapply.

Man, application cycle is completely different from last year. I got $0 from GW with a 165/4.0.



I second that statement. This application cycle is generous. I don't want to bank on it continuing to be generous.


I don't think that applications will be less generous next cycle. I think applications are going to keep going down as people really understand the terrible job market isn't significantly improving. But the first admits are going to be pushing for more so there may be less movement off the waitlist.

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sunynp
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby sunynp » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:08 pm

Geez even the Gothamist is in on the act:

Is anyone in 2012 thinking about going to law school? Still nurturing dreams of flying to Geneva to prosecute war crimes after helping Aunt Daisy with her property dispute and shouting at an oil executive while holding a dead whooping crane dripping with crude as the judge shouts "THIS IS HIGHLY UNORTHODOX COUNSELOR"? Well unless you're going to a top 14 law school you might as well adopt a more attainable and lucrative dream, like running a for-profit university. An ABA survey shows that only 55% of 2011 law grads actually had full-time, long-term jobs that required them to use the thing they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on.
The results of the ABA's survey (first reported by the Wall Street Journal) come after the association reluctantly agreed to ask their graduates if their jobs required an actual law degree, as opposed to "Do you have an actual job? Good. See? The system works." Graduates were asked nine months after graduation if they had obtained a job that requires a law degree, or a job that is helpful to have a law degree for, and if they sob those deep, heaving sobs at night or just swallow the pain for an ulcer later..
According to the WSJ "more than 20 schools reported that fewer than 40% of their graduates had secured" a job that required a law degree. Whittier College reported 17%. "We consider this a problem," Whittier's law school dean Penelope Bryan says, describing what happens when you don't hire enough professors or when you drink too much, not when the trade school you represent is empirically proven to be worthless. "We have redesigned completely our career development and we expect to see some improvement, but in the meantime we've had to live with this transition." Read: "Everything we've been doing is wrong but keep giving us $40K a year, we'll figure it out."
Thomas Jefferson School of Law's dean Rudy Hasl is still optimistic about his school's rate of 27% employment in the legal profession. "You can't measure the value of a law degree in terms of what your employment number was nine months after graduation," Hasl says, presumably alluding to the major advances in cryogenics which will allow recent graduates to freeze themselves for a time when people will need a shitload of lawyers. "The law degree is something that allows you to move in so many directions." Move anywhere... except in the direction of a job that requires a law degree.


http://gothamist.com/2012/06/25/law_sch ... _fanni.php

And Gawker too!
It Is Just a Bad, Bad Time to Be a Law School Graduate
Hamilton Nolan
We joke around a lot in a good-natured fashion about how recent graduates of law school are fucked up, down, and sideways. "You guys are just straight fucked," we often say (joshingly). Well—imagine our surprise when we found out that, in fact, recent graduates of law school really are fucked. Yikes! Touchy subject.

The American Bar Association has released the stats about how many law school graduates are actually employed as lawyers, rather than just "employed," as lawyers, panhandlers, can collectors, etc. The WSJ has the heartening results:

The numbers suggest the job market for law grads is worse than previously thought. Nationwide, only 55% of the class of 2011 had full-time, long-term jobs that required a law degree nine months after graduation. The ABA defines "long-term" jobs as those that don't have a term of less than one year.

Haha, by that definition a hefty percentage of law school graduates have a "long term" job as a Monster.com account holder!
But seriously, who is to blame for this outrageous lack of necessary employment for our best and brightest and most indebted? I will tell you who is to blame: people like you, who do not have sufficient respect and admiration for the important work that lawyers do for our society—work like protecting civil rights, freeing Leonard Peltier, and helping corporations navigate the tax system in the most advantageous possible way for shareholders just like you.

This disrespect will be the topic of the next Recent Law School Graduates Club meeting, held at 7 p.m. in the shed in the southeast corner of the park. Snacks will be provided, and a cash bar. Yes, security guards will be in place to enforce the cash bar. No more incidents like last time
.

http://gawker.com/5921079/it-is-just-a- ... l-graduate
Last edited by sunynp on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.

ahnhub
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby ahnhub » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:17 pm

Will W&M give you Virginia residency after the first year? If they were willing to I guess that would make the debt reasonable.

OP I think you're off base in what the legal market looks like. If, and I'm being very generous in interpreting the numbers here, 70-75% of graduates have been getting legal-related jobs (including "JD preferred" whatever that means, non-lawyer jobs which their JDs helped them to get, and part-time work) by 9 months after they graduate for the past 5-6 years, how could the actual unemployment rate for lawyers even be close to 2%? The overwhelming evidence indicates the job search only gets harder the longer you're unemployed--it would be a mistake to assume most people unemployed by 9 months can just stick it out and land on their feet. I think scam bloggers are generally too extreme, but you are being more extreme in the opposite direction.

Paul Campos
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Paul Campos » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:30 pm

ABA-accredited law schools have graduated 1.4 million people over the past 35 years. 35 years is a conservative estimate for the working career of a law school graduate, as the median age of law school graduates tends to be around 27.

This number does not include a couple of hundred thousand grads of non-ABA accredited law schools over that period (mostly but not exclusively in California, which lets people take the bar without an ABA law school degree, and is also the nation's largest state legal market by far).

So per the BLS stats, assuming an extremely high fail rate for non-ABA law grads, about half the people who have gotten ABA law school degrees since the late 1970s are now working as lawyers. This includes a period of time (roughly 1977-1990) when the market for new attorneys was booming. That market has been in slow decline for more than 20 years now.

The BLS also projects the annual demand for new lawyers over the course of the next decade will be 21,000 per year -- 14,000 from outflow from the profession and 7000 from new positions for lawyers.

So ABA schools alone are graduating more than twice as many graduates as there are new jobs for lawyers -- and keep in mind that some of those 21,000 jobs will be taken by unemployed lawyers, not new graduates.
Last edited by Paul Campos on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:30 pm

Wooglin1989 wrote:
You are probably trolling but I'll give it a shot:

1) This study is the unemployment rate for lawyers. Since many of the people who don't get jobs don't become lawyers or leave the profession after a few year, it's missing a huge part of the denominator and thus is only going to measure the folks between jobs. The proper statistic is employment among JDs.

2) The data you are relying on is irrelevant. Those lawyers with 20 years experience didn't graduate into a market with twice as many JDs as total job openings (that includes temp and part-time work). They didn't graduate with 200K of debt like you'll be doing if you go to GW, or even 100+K like you'll be doing at W+M. And your assumption that the market will come back is unwarranted. You are using a single statistic and trying to generalize across a very diverse industry of which the entry-level job market is only a small facet. As to your belief that this is cyclical, at this point, you don't have enough information to tell if the market will jump back. If the best you can do is "uncertain" it is not a good idea to take out that amount of certain debt for the schools you have listed, especially if you are able to get better acceptances/more money.

The more important statistic for you if you want to gauge the overall legal market is this: there are 45,000 JDs graduated annually. There are 25,000 new job openings. Some of those include part-time, temp, and jobs filling by people ahead of you in the queue. Do the math.

3) As pointed out already, you have failed to apply a critical eye to information published by one of the worst actors in the mess that is legal education. While the fact that they are a gigantic diploma mill run blatantly for the profit of their top administrators doesn't dismiss what they say entirely, it calls into question your own rationality about this process.

If you won't listen to the posters ITT and retake, please negotiate for more money. GW is giving insane amounts of money to people off the waitlist. They will probably bump your scholarship and if not do you really want to be the kid who couldn't wrangle more money out of one of the most desperate schools in the country right now?


Well, I'm not trolling, I guess you'll just have to take my word on that though. First let me clear the air here. I copy pasted the wrong link after a quick search on google because someone requested the source of my post, the Cooley one I copied by accident. I was citing the Wall Street and the BLS, which I linked somewhere in my other replies.

Anyway, You are correct that the BLS does not collect data on discouraged workers who have a JD but decided to no longer seek employment as a lawyer. However let's break this down. Your number of 25,000 is a little low, I've read it could be as high or higher than 30,000 but let's meet just about half way and say 28,000 jobs are available for 45,000 students. That means we're looking at 17,000 graduates who are unemployed. For arguments sake, I'll generously assume every student who graduated is immediately seeking employment as a lawyer (no one furthering their education with an LLM, people who wanted to enter a different field or what have you). The market crashed in 2008, this isn't a development that just happened last week, and the market has been pretty flat ever since. So we should be seeing a surplus of 17,000 graduates who can't get a job every year. Take this times the last 4 years and we get 68,000 JD grads who can't get a job.

Currently we have 728,200 lawyers employed in the US. 68,000 divided by 728,200 gives us an unemployment rate of 9.33 percent. The natural rate of unemployment for lawyers should be at least one and a half percent. That means the total unemployment rate, if that many lawyers were not finding jobs should be 10.8%. However, the BLS reports that the number is roughly 2 percent. For your position to be correct, you are saying that 8% of the market is composed of discouraged lawyers who completely gave up looking for a job as an attorney. 8 percent of 728,200 is 58,256.

Therefore you're telling me of the alleged 68,000 recent graduates who could not find employment, all but 10,000 of them completely gave up trying to be lawyers? I know I made some gross assumptions here but I gotta be in the ball park and honestly I think this number is a little low... that means 85.6 percent gave up looking for employment as a lawyer? If it came out to 5 or 10 percent, I'd find it more believable.

But okay I'll bite, even if nearly 9 our of 10 unemployed JD grads stopped seeking employment as a lawyer, I'm going to a decently ranked school. Let's say the jobs were disturbed by school rank and class rank. Theres maybe 12,000 students ahead of me if I was last in my class at William & Mary. If the market has 28,000 jobs available. Looks like I'm making the cut. I know that's a gross assumption as well but it's not like WM is a tier 4 school is my point.

I don't know, I'm typing this on the fly but I'll be here all night feel free to shoot holes in it.


Why is it so hard to believe that so many graduates would give up trying to be lawyers when they have massive student loans coming due 6 months after graduation?

25,000 is a high number because we don't know how many of those jobs are entry-level. Those are just total job openings.

It is irrelevant how many lawyers are employed in the country overall. That measures ancient history. The only thing relevant is what the market looks like for young lawyers, because if you don't get a job within the first couple years out it is unlikely you will ever get a job as a lawyer. The statistics posited by the school do not tell a very good tale. When you add that to all the debt you will be incurring it does not look good.

The legal hiring market is not a single-file line where you line up by grades and school rank. Someone who is top 10% at Catholic is probably going to get a job over median at W+M. Someone at the bottom of the class at Catholic whose parent owns a firm is going to get a job over median at W+M.

Assume you graduate median.

First, not all of those 28,000 (much less than that) jobs will be available to you. Your W+M degree has limited portability.

Second, you will not qualify for many of those jobs if you are median (biglaw, fed gov, PI, probably state gov, and federal clerkships are out).

Third, hiring is not a single-file line. Someone with top 10% grades at Catholic will beat out median at W+M. Someone with bottom 10% grades who's dad owns a firm will beat out median W+M.

Fourth, consider how many schools feed into the area your school has reach and their class sizes. Hint, it's a lot. Many more law students want to work in the states where W+M feeds most of it's graduates and there is an oversupply of law schools, just like in most major metro areas.

You can look at the overall numbers of lawyers in the country, the overall legal unemployment rate, or the total number of entry-level jobs. These are really flawed metrics. The better question is, what are my chances of finding a decent legal job out of W+M, assuming median, in three years, and is it worth 120K in debt? People are telling you no, it's not worth it, based on much deeper knowledge of the legal hiring market than you have, and you are firing back with general numbers and back of the envelope calculations.

Here's some better numbers. --LinkRemoved--

LST is even overly generous. In sum, your most-likely bet out of W+M is a job with a small firm or local government, making between 40-50K. That's the most likely outcome, which is what you should assume. Is that worth 120K in debt to you? How will you make the payments on that much debt?

Maybe you can explain exactly why, in an emotional/psychological sense, you want to go to law school right now. Is there some external influence pressuring you?

Wooglin1989
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Wooglin1989 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:17 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
Wooglin1989 wrote:
You are probably trolling but I'll give it a shot:

1) This study is the unemployment rate for lawyers. Since many of the people who don't get jobs don't become lawyers or leave the profession after a few year, it's missing a huge part of the denominator and thus is only going to measure the folks between jobs. The proper statistic is employment among JDs.

2) The data you are relying on is irrelevant. Those lawyers with 20 years experience didn't graduate into a market with twice as many JDs as total job openings (that includes temp and part-time work). They didn't graduate with 200K of debt like you'll be doing if you go to GW, or even 100+K like you'll be doing at W+M. And your assumption that the market will come back is unwarranted. You are using a single statistic and trying to generalize across a very diverse industry of which the entry-level job market is only a small facet. As to your belief that this is cyclical, at this point, you don't have enough information to tell if the market will jump back. If the best you can do is "uncertain" it is not a good idea to take out that amount of certain debt for the schools you have listed, especially if you are able to get better acceptances/more money.

The more important statistic for you if you want to gauge the overall legal market is this: there are 45,000 JDs graduated annually. There are 25,000 new job openings. Some of those include part-time, temp, and jobs filling by people ahead of you in the queue. Do the math.

3) As pointed out already, you have failed to apply a critical eye to information published by one of the worst actors in the mess that is legal education. While the fact that they are a gigantic diploma mill run blatantly for the profit of their top administrators doesn't dismiss what they say entirely, it calls into question your own rationality about this process.

If you won't listen to the posters ITT and retake, please negotiate for more money. GW is giving insane amounts of money to people off the waitlist. They will probably bump your scholarship and if not do you really want to be the kid who couldn't wrangle more money out of one of the most desperate schools in the country right now?


Well, I'm not trolling, I guess you'll just have to take my word on that though. First let me clear the air here. I copy pasted the wrong link after a quick search on google because someone requested the source of my post, the Cooley one I copied by accident. I was citing the Wall Street and the BLS, which I linked somewhere in my other replies.

Anyway, You are correct that the BLS does not collect data on discouraged workers who have a JD but decided to no longer seek employment as a lawyer. However let's break this down. Your number of 25,000 is a little low, I've read it could be as high or higher than 30,000 but let's meet just about half way and say 28,000 jobs are available for 45,000 students. That means we're looking at 17,000 graduates who are unemployed. For arguments sake, I'll generously assume every student who graduated is immediately seeking employment as a lawyer (no one furthering their education with an LLM, people who wanted to enter a different field or what have you). The market crashed in 2008, this isn't a development that just happened last week, and the market has been pretty flat ever since. So we should be seeing a surplus of 17,000 graduates who can't get a job every year. Take this times the last 4 years and we get 68,000 JD grads who can't get a job.

Currently we have 728,200 lawyers employed in the US. 68,000 divided by 728,200 gives us an unemployment rate of 9.33 percent. The natural rate of unemployment for lawyers should be at least one and a half percent. That means the total unemployment rate, if that many lawyers were not finding jobs should be 10.8%. However, the BLS reports that the number is roughly 2 percent. For your position to be correct, you are saying that 8% of the market is composed of discouraged lawyers who completely gave up looking for a job as an attorney. 8 percent of 728,200 is 58,256.

Therefore you're telling me of the alleged 68,000 recent graduates who could not find employment, all but 10,000 of them completely gave up trying to be lawyers? I know I made some gross assumptions here but I gotta be in the ball park and honestly I think this number is a little low... that means 85.6 percent gave up looking for employment as a lawyer? If it came out to 5 or 10 percent, I'd find it more believable.

But okay I'll bite, even if nearly 9 our of 10 unemployed JD grads stopped seeking employment as a lawyer, I'm going to a decently ranked school. Let's say the jobs were disturbed by school rank and class rank. Theres maybe 12,000 students ahead of me if I was last in my class at William & Mary. If the market has 28,000 jobs available. Looks like I'm making the cut. I know that's a gross assumption as well but it's not like WM is a tier 4 school is my point.

I don't know, I'm typing this on the fly but I'll be here all night feel free to shoot holes in it.


Why is it so hard to believe that so many graduates would give up trying to be lawyers when they have massive student loans coming due 6 months after graduation?

25,000 is a high number because we don't know how many of those jobs are entry-level. Those are just total job openings.

It is irrelevant how many lawyers are employed in the country overall. That measures ancient history. The only thing relevant is what the market looks like for young lawyers, because if you don't get a job within the first couple years out it is unlikely you will ever get a job as a lawyer. The statistics posited by the school do not tell a very good tale. When you add that to all the debt you will be incurring it does not look good.

The legal hiring market is not a single-file line where you line up by grades and school rank. Someone who is top 10% at Catholic is probably going to get a job over median at W+M. Someone at the bottom of the class at Catholic whose parent owns a firm is going to get a job over median at W+M.

Assume you graduate median.

First, not all of those 28,000 (much less than that) jobs will be available to you. Your W+M degree has limited portability.

Second, you will not qualify for many of those jobs if you are median (biglaw, fed gov, PI, probably state gov, and federal clerkships are out).

Third, hiring is not a single-file line. Someone with top 10% grades at Catholic will beat out median at W+M. Someone with bottom 10% grades who's dad owns a firm will beat out median W+M.

Fourth, consider how many schools feed into the area your school has reach and their class sizes. Hint, it's a lot. Many more law students want to work in the states where W+M feeds most of it's graduates and there is an oversupply of law schools, just like in most major metro areas.

You can look at the overall numbers of lawyers in the country, the overall legal unemployment rate, or the total number of entry-level jobs. These are really flawed metrics. The better question is, what are my chances of finding a decent legal job out of W+M, assuming median, in three years, and is it worth 120K in debt? People are telling you no, it's not worth it, based on much deeper knowledge of the legal hiring market than you have, and you are firing back with general numbers and back of the envelope calculations.

Here's some better numbers. --LinkRemoved--

LST is even overly generous. In sum, your most-likely bet out of W+M is a job with a small firm or local government, making between 40-50K. That's the most likely outcome, which is what you should assume. Is that worth 120K in debt to you? How will you make the payments on that much debt?

Maybe you can explain exactly why, in an emotional/psychological sense, you want to go to law school right now. Is there some external influence pressuring you?


I really do appreciate all the feedback. I'll try to tackle everyone's comments starting in reverse order here.

Your statistics are pessimistic and slightly exaggerated. Median overall salary is 60,000 out of WM. 75,000 in the private and 53,000 for public. Looks as if it's fairly evenly split between people who go private and people who go public. Debt will be more like 105,000 I'm living modestly with a roommate.

These are also starting salaries not career or lifelong salaries. I can afford to take a 60,000 a year job, and with 5 or so years of experience at that income I'll be more competitive for higher paying jobs. The median income is 112,000 for lawyers. I don't expect to Start at that salary but in terms of a career, chances are if I land a job as a lawyer and stay in the field my salary will be around that figure; if we are still assuming I can be median.

I've wanted to go to law school since junior high. I got hooked on mock trial and have been a junkie ever since. I love reading court cases and find a lot of pleasure out of talking about the law with friends or colleagues. It's what I want to do, I've waited my whole life to go and I'm simply not waiting another year. I would go into law if it paid 35,000 a year. Making a lot of money would be great but big pay checks aren't what is bringing me to the table. If I had a 100 million dollars and I could retire right now, this is still what I would be doing.

Yeah, I'm human. I obviously want to make the choice that is going to be more financially rewarding, but not going to law school is not an option.

But to the root of your question, is it worth 105,000 to make 60,000 a year to start and how will I pay it back? If I pay back on a 10 year plan my monthly payment on 105,000 will be roughly 1210 a month. After taxes on 60,000 in income, I'll clear maybe 45,000 or aka I'll be making 3,750 a month. Subtract my loan payment and I'll have 2,540 to pay bills and play with each month. And that's assuming my salary is frozen at 60,000 for ten whole years.

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Lawquacious
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:23 pm

I'm still thinking troll, but if not GW really offers 3k/yr schollys?? Can anyone other than OP confirm that?

On another note, I would probably take the WM option here. But from either GW or WM you are most likely to get a job where you have ties (where you have lived for a substantial period or the state you are in law school at). It doesn't seem to work the other way around (i.e. that you just go where the jobs are--they want to see your ties before giving the job), unless you have stellar grades or go to a top a school.

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Lawquacious
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:30 pm

http://www.cooley.edu/news/2011/081111_ ... _high.html

Cooley makes me want to puke. I think the whole point of this thread was so OP could throw this link in though. Good find OP. Cooley is pretty freaking outrageous indeed--this reminds me of how they interpret statistics about law schools to place themselves at 16th nationally when they are legitimately ranked at 159th or something.
Last edited by Lawquacious on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ahnhub
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby ahnhub » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:34 pm

I don't think taking out 90-100K in loans for a W&M degree is awful. It's not good, but it's not awful.

Don't assume a 60K or 50k entry-level job is the worst possible scenario, though. There is a significant chance of being unemployed/working part-time/in an undesirable low-paying job (low-paying enough that it would be almost impossible to pay even $1200 a month for loans). That describes 30%+ of the c/o 2011 after nine months. Beyond that, there is also a smaller chance that you're never able to get out of that rut and end up not practicing law, making the whole thing a waste of effort. Some of those 30% were probably able to find something better; some undoubtedly still have not.

It's probably better than that now, but not that much better. If you think you can put yourself in any better position by retaking, it's the right answer.

Wooglin1989
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Wooglin1989 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:37 pm

Paul Campos wrote:ABA-accredited law schools have graduated 1.4 million people over the past 35 years. 35 years is a conservative estimate for the working career of a law school graduate, as the median age of law school graduates tends to be around 27.

This number does not include a couple of hundred thousand grads of non-ABA accredited law schools over that period (mostly but not exclusively in California, which lets people take the bar without an ABA law school degree, and is also the nation's largest state legal market by far).

So per the BLS stats, assuming an extremely high fail rate for non-ABA law grads, about half the people who have gotten ABA law school degrees since the late 1970s are now working as lawyers. This includes a period of time (roughly 1977-1990) when the market for new attorneys was booming. That market has been in slow decline for more than 20 years now.

The BLS also projects the annual demand for new lawyers over the course of the next decade will be 21,000 per year -- 14,000 from outflow from the profession and 7000 from new positions for lawyers.

So ABA schools alone are graduating more than twice as many graduates as there are new jobs for lawyers -- and keep in mind that some of those 21,000 jobs will be taken by unemployed lawyers, not new graduates.


That's a really good point. I don't know where you pulled the 1.4 million from but I'll take your word for it. Your also not counting people who have died or are working abroad. When eastern Europe converted over to a free market in the early 1990s a decent number of lawyers traveled and stayed abroad as the influx of private businesses created a legal gap. I'm not saying to the tune of 700,000 people but I mean if we have 728,200 employed right now I'd be more comfortable saying the statistic is 60% plus have stayed in the field.

I'd be a lot more interested in hearing how many graduates from law schools who have consistently stayed in the top 50 are still employed in the legal market. I also wonder how many people got into law because they didn't know what else to do and realized after graduating that they absolutely couldn't stand it and switched careers as fast as they could.

The past doesn't necessarily reflect how the future will go. 163 graduates out of 204 at William and Mary either found a job or were going for more school in 2011. That's roughly an 80% employment rate. The market is bad right now but who knows what will happen in 3 years? Only 50 percent of college grads can get jobs right now and 85% had to move back in with their parents. I understand it's an unfair comparison but my point is there aren't a lot of great alternatives anyway; it's a rough time to be starting a career.

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sunynp
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby sunynp » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:39 pm

ahnhub wrote:I don't think taking out 90-100K in loans for a W&M degree is awful. It's not good, but it's not awful.

Don't assume a 60K or 50k entry-level job is the worst possible scenario, though. There is a significant chance of being unemployed/working part-time/in an undesirable low-paying job (low-paying enough that it would be almost impossible to pay even $1200 a month for loans). That describes 30%+ of the c/o 2011 after nine months. Beyond that, there is also a smaller chance that you're never able to get out of that rut and end up not practicing law, making the whole thing a waste of effort. Some of those 30% were probably able to find something better; some undoubtedly still have not.

It's probably better than that now, but not that much better. If you think you can put yourself in any better position by retaking, it's the right answer.


+1

OP, I gave you the best info I can find, if you still think a $60,000 job is your worst outcome, then I wish you well.
I think you should retake and go to a better school or get more money. But, it is your life. At least you really want to be a lawyer.

timbs4339
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:44 pm

Wooglin1989 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
Wooglin1989 wrote:
You are probably trolling but I'll give it a shot:

1) This study is the unemployment rate for lawyers. Since many of the people who don't get jobs don't become lawyers or leave the profession after a few year, it's missing a huge part of the denominator and thus is only going to measure the folks between jobs. The proper statistic is employment among JDs.

2) The data you are relying on is irrelevant. Those lawyers with 20 years experience didn't graduate into a market with twice as many JDs as total job openings (that includes temp and part-time work). They didn't graduate with 200K of debt like you'll be doing if you go to GW, or even 100+K like you'll be doing at W+M. And your assumption that the market will come back is unwarranted. You are using a single statistic and trying to generalize across a very diverse industry of which the entry-level job market is only a small facet. As to your belief that this is cyclical, at this point, you don't have enough information to tell if the market will jump back. If the best you can do is "uncertain" it is not a good idea to take out that amount of certain debt for the schools you have listed, especially if you are able to get better acceptances/more money.

The more important statistic for you if you want to gauge the overall legal market is this: there are 45,000 JDs graduated annually. There are 25,000 new job openings. Some of those include part-time, temp, and jobs filling by people ahead of you in the queue. Do the math.

3) As pointed out already, you have failed to apply a critical eye to information published by one of the worst actors in the mess that is legal education. While the fact that they are a gigantic diploma mill run blatantly for the profit of their top administrators doesn't dismiss what they say entirely, it calls into question your own rationality about this process.

If you won't listen to the posters ITT and retake, please negotiate for more money. GW is giving insane amounts of money to people off the waitlist. They will probably bump your scholarship and if not do you really want to be the kid who couldn't wrangle more money out of one of the most desperate schools in the country right now?


Well, I'm not trolling, I guess you'll just have to take my word on that though. First let me clear the air here. I copy pasted the wrong link after a quick search on google because someone requested the source of my post, the Cooley one I copied by accident. I was citing the Wall Street and the BLS, which I linked somewhere in my other replies.

Anyway, You are correct that the BLS does not collect data on discouraged workers who have a JD but decided to no longer seek employment as a lawyer. However let's break this down. Your number of 25,000 is a little low, I've read it could be as high or higher than 30,000 but let's meet just about half way and say 28,000 jobs are available for 45,000 students. That means we're looking at 17,000 graduates who are unemployed. For arguments sake, I'll generously assume every student who graduated is immediately seeking employment as a lawyer (no one furthering their education with an LLM, people who wanted to enter a different field or what have you). The market crashed in 2008, this isn't a development that just happened last week, and the market has been pretty flat ever since. So we should be seeing a surplus of 17,000 graduates who can't get a job every year. Take this times the last 4 years and we get 68,000 JD grads who can't get a job.

Currently we have 728,200 lawyers employed in the US. 68,000 divided by 728,200 gives us an unemployment rate of 9.33 percent. The natural rate of unemployment for lawyers should be at least one and a half percent. That means the total unemployment rate, if that many lawyers were not finding jobs should be 10.8%. However, the BLS reports that the number is roughly 2 percent. For your position to be correct, you are saying that 8% of the market is composed of discouraged lawyers who completely gave up looking for a job as an attorney. 8 percent of 728,200 is 58,256.

Therefore you're telling me of the alleged 68,000 recent graduates who could not find employment, all but 10,000 of them completely gave up trying to be lawyers? I know I made some gross assumptions here but I gotta be in the ball park and honestly I think this number is a little low... that means 85.6 percent gave up looking for employment as a lawyer? If it came out to 5 or 10 percent, I'd find it more believable.

But okay I'll bite, even if nearly 9 our of 10 unemployed JD grads stopped seeking employment as a lawyer, I'm going to a decently ranked school. Let's say the jobs were disturbed by school rank and class rank. Theres maybe 12,000 students ahead of me if I was last in my class at William & Mary. If the market has 28,000 jobs available. Looks like I'm making the cut. I know that's a gross assumption as well but it's not like WM is a tier 4 school is my point.

I don't know, I'm typing this on the fly but I'll be here all night feel free to shoot holes in it.


Why is it so hard to believe that so many graduates would give up trying to be lawyers when they have massive student loans coming due 6 months after graduation?

25,000 is a high number because we don't know how many of those jobs are entry-level. Those are just total job openings.

It is irrelevant how many lawyers are employed in the country overall. That measures ancient history. The only thing relevant is what the market looks like for young lawyers, because if you don't get a job within the first couple years out it is unlikely you will ever get a job as a lawyer. The statistics posited by the school do not tell a very good tale. When you add that to all the debt you will be incurring it does not look good.

The legal hiring market is not a single-file line where you line up by grades and school rank. Someone who is top 10% at Catholic is probably going to get a job over median at W+M. Someone at the bottom of the class at Catholic whose parent owns a firm is going to get a job over median at W+M.

Assume you graduate median.

First, not all of those 28,000 (much less than that) jobs will be available to you. Your W+M degree has limited portability.

Second, you will not qualify for many of those jobs if you are median (biglaw, fed gov, PI, probably state gov, and federal clerkships are out).

Third, hiring is not a single-file line. Someone with top 10% grades at Catholic will beat out median at W+M. Someone with bottom 10% grades who's dad owns a firm will beat out median W+M.

Fourth, consider how many schools feed into the area your school has reach and their class sizes. Hint, it's a lot. Many more law students want to work in the states where W+M feeds most of it's graduates and there is an oversupply of law schools, just like in most major metro areas.

You can look at the overall numbers of lawyers in the country, the overall legal unemployment rate, or the total number of entry-level jobs. These are really flawed metrics. The better question is, what are my chances of finding a decent legal job out of W+M, assuming median, in three years, and is it worth 120K in debt? People are telling you no, it's not worth it, based on much deeper knowledge of the legal hiring market than you have, and you are firing back with general numbers and back of the envelope calculations.

Here's some better numbers. --LinkRemoved--

LST is even overly generous. In sum, your most-likely bet out of W+M is a job with a small firm or local government, making between 40-50K. That's the most likely outcome, which is what you should assume. Is that worth 120K in debt to you? How will you make the payments on that much debt?

Maybe you can explain exactly why, in an emotional/psychological sense, you want to go to law school right now. Is there some external influence pressuring you?


I really do appreciate all the feedback. I'll try to tackle everyone's comments starting in reverse order here.

Your statistics are pessimistic and slightly exaggerated. Median overall salary is 60,000 out of WM. 75,000 in the private and 53,000 for public. Looks as if it's fairly evenly split between people who go private and people who go public. Debt will be more like 105,000 I'm living modestly with a roommate.

These are also starting salaries not career or lifelong salaries. I can afford to take a 60,000 a year job, and with 5 or so years of experience at that income I'll be more competitive for higher paying jobs. The median income is 112,000 for lawyers. I don't expect to Start at that salary but in terms of a career, chances are if I land a job as a lawyer and stay in the field my salary will be around that figure; if we are still assuming I can be median.

I've wanted to go to law school since junior high. I got hooked on mock trial and have been a junkie ever since. I love reading court cases and find a lot of pleasure out of talking about the law with friends or colleagues. It's what I want to do, I've waited my whole life to go and I'm simply not waiting another year. I would go into law if it paid 35,000 a year. Making a lot of money would be great but big pay checks aren't what is bringing me to the table. If I had a 100 million dollars and I could retire right now, this is still what I would be doing.

Yeah, I'm human. I obviously want to make the choice that is going to be more financially rewarding, but not going to law school is not an option.

But to the root of your question, is it worth 105,000 to make 60,000 a year to start and how will I pay it back? If I pay back on a 10 year plan my monthly payment on 105,000 will be roughly 1210 a month. After taxes on 60,000 in income, I'll clear maybe 45,000 or aka I'll be making 3,750 a month. Subtract my loan payment and I'll have 2,540 to pay bills and play with each month. And that's assuming my salary is frozen at 60,000 for ten whole years.


Those are median REPORTED salaries of graduates with jobs. Unreported salaries, and obviously salaries of unemployed people, are going to be lower than the official reported salaries. 40-50K is right on the ballpark for that school range and area of the country.

I also think you are making a lot of favorable assumptions with that debt load. You're going to save 5K per year on the school's official cost of living estimate by living frugally and with a roommate? You'll also need to increase that figure for 1) the juice running at 6.8% on Staffords and 7.9% on Gradplus loans, starting from Day 1 of law school, 2) likely tuition increases of 2K per year, 3) two summers you might be working an unpaid internship, which are probably factored into the school's official COA estimate. 120k is the correct estimate here. That's 8.5K in interest expense during year one and, if you want to stick with the 10 year repayment schedule, monthly payments of $1380 (on just a 6.8% interest rate, although about half your loans will be at 7.9%). Just for kicks, the loan repayment calculator recommends a salary of over 200K to make that amount of debt manageable.

Look, you seem to be desperately trying to convince yourself that this is a good plan, using some very spurious information and some big assumptions. Nobody is saying W+M is going to be a 100% bad outcome. Nobody is saying you have to give up your dream. Just wait one year and retake, or at the very least call them tomorrow and start negotiating.

Wooglin1989
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Wooglin1989 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:46 pm

Lawquacious wrote:I'm still thinking troll, but if not GW really offers 3k/yr schollys?? Can anyone other than OP confirm that?

On another note, I would probably take the WM option here. But from either GW or WM you are most likely to get a job where you have ties (where you have lived for a substantial period or the state you are in law school at). It doesn't seem to work the other way around (i.e. that you just go where the jobs are--they want to see your ties before giving the job), unless you have stellar grades or go to a top a school.


Alright I'm not trolling here, I'll picture text you a letter of my admission if that's how you want to get your jollies, just pm me a cell or something.

On that note though, I thought 3k a year was rather odd myself, I've never heard of that being an offer. Anyway, I didn't mean to imply that I would just walk into a random city and search for a job. I'm saying if I happen to get connected somehow with someone who works a good distance away from home I'm willing to pack up and go. I'm willing and open to travel if it's my best option was my point.

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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:47 pm

Wooglin1989 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:ABA-accredited law schools have graduated 1.4 million people over the past 35 years. 35 years is a conservative estimate for the working career of a law school graduate, as the median age of law school graduates tends to be around 27.

This number does not include a couple of hundred thousand grads of non-ABA accredited law schools over that period (mostly but not exclusively in California, which lets people take the bar without an ABA law school degree, and is also the nation's largest state legal market by far).

So per the BLS stats, assuming an extremely high fail rate for non-ABA law grads, about half the people who have gotten ABA law school degrees since the late 1970s are now working as lawyers. This includes a period of time (roughly 1977-1990) when the market for new attorneys was booming. That market has been in slow decline for more than 20 years now.

The BLS also projects the annual demand for new lawyers over the course of the next decade will be 21,000 per year -- 14,000 from outflow from the profession and 7000 from new positions for lawyers.

So ABA schools alone are graduating more than twice as many graduates as there are new jobs for lawyers -- and keep in mind that some of those 21,000 jobs will be taken by unemployed lawyers, not new graduates.


That's a really good point. I don't know where you pulled the 1.4 million from but I'll take your word for it. Your also not counting people who have died or are working abroad. When eastern Europe converted over to a free market in the early 1990s a decent number of lawyers traveled and stayed abroad as the influx of private businesses created a legal gap. I'm not saying to the tune of 700,000 people but I mean if we have 728,200 employed right now I'd be more comfortable saying the statistic is 60% plus have stayed in the field.

I'd be a lot more interested in hearing how many graduates from law schools who have consistently stayed in the top 50 are still employed in the legal market. I also wonder how many people got into law because they didn't know what else to do and realized after graduating that they absolutely couldn't stand it and switched careers as fast as they could.

The past doesn't necessarily reflect how the future will go. 163 graduates out of 204 at William and Mary either found a job or were going for more school in 2011. That's roughly an 80% employment rate. The market is bad right now but who knows what will happen in 3 years? Only 50 percent of college grads can get jobs right now and 85% had to move back in with their parents. I understand it's an unfair comparison but my point is there aren't a lot of great alternatives anyway; it's a rough time to be starting a career.


The difference between UG and LS is that by moving back in with your parents after UG you probably don't have SIX FIGURES OF DEBT. Especially when you can always improve your credentials and get more money/better schools.

If you love the law, go work as a paralegal for a year while retaking. You can be around the law and might save yourself tens of thousands of dollars in the meantime as well as gaining good connections in your target market (qualifying for in-state tuition).

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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:53 pm

Wooglin1989 wrote:Your also not counting people who have died or are working abroad. When eastern Europe converted over to a free market in the early 1990s a decent number of lawyers traveled and stayed abroad as the influx of private businesses created a legal gap.


Posted before I saw this. You got me. Good job.

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Lawquacious
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:00 am

Wooglin1989 wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I'm still thinking troll, but if not GW really offers 3k/yr schollys?? Can anyone other than OP confirm that?

On another note, I would probably take the WM option here. But from either GW or WM you are most likely to get a job where you have ties (where you have lived for a substantial period or the state you are in law school at). It doesn't seem to work the other way around (i.e. that you just go where the jobs are--they want to see your ties before giving the job), unless you have stellar grades or go to a top a school.


Alright I'm not trolling here, I'll picture text you a letter of my admission if that's how you want to get your jollies, just pm me a cell or something.

On that note though, I thought 3k a year was rather odd myself, I've never heard of that being an offer. Anyway, I didn't mean to imply that I would just walk into a random city and search for a job. I'm saying if I happen to get connected somehow with someone who works a good distance away from home I'm willing to pack up and go. I'm willing and open to travel if it's my best option was my point.



Nah, I'll take your word for it. Between the odd scholly amount and the Cooley link it had an odor of troll to me, but there are other indicia tending to indicate legitimacy as well.

I don't think William and Mary with 14k is really a bad option, and unless you really didn't prep hard or underperformed on test day there is no guarantee you will improve your prospects with another year off and some more LSAT attempts. Also, perhaps you don't have many good replacement options (i.e. no decent job lined-up now) for the next year, so that could also weigh in favor of not waiting. BUT, I also don't think you fully realize how grim it is out there in reality or how much legal hiring depends on your ties to a particular area.

Wooglin1989
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Wooglin1989 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:03 am

Those are median REPORTED salaries of graduates with jobs. Unreported salaries, and obviously salaries of unemployed people, are going to be lower than the official reported salaries. 40-50K is right on the ballpark for that school range and area of the country.

I also think you are making a lot of favorable assumptions with that debt load. You're going to save 5K per year on the school's official cost of living estimate by living frugally and with a roommate? You'll also need to increase that figure for 1) the juice running at 6.8% on Staffords and 7.9% on Gradplus loans, starting from Day 1 of law school, 2) likely tuition increases of 2K per year, 3) two summers you might be working an unpaid internship, which are probably factored into the school's official COA estimate. 120k is the correct estimate here. That's 8.5K in interest expense during year one and, if you want to stick with the 10 year repayment schedule, monthly payments of $1380 (on just a 6.8% interest rate, although about half your loans will be at 7.9%). Just for kicks, the loan repayment calculator recommends a salary of over 200K to make that amount of debt manageable.

Look, you seem to be desperately trying to convince yourself that this is a good plan, using some very spurious information and some big assumptions. Nobody is saying W+M is going to be a 100% bad outcome. Nobody is saying you have to give up your dream. Just wait one year and retake, or at the very least call them tomorrow and start negotiating.


I factored in the interest rates. A seminar I just recently attended said to expect a monthly payment of 115 for every 10,000 borrowed. Like I said I already signed a lease and went grocery shopping while I was down there, I got a decent idea of what COL will be. You're correct though, an unpaid internship would make things a bit sporty, but I think my family might give me a little help if I get pinned in a situation like that.

I mean what are your thoughts about increasing salary with time? You can argue that it's hard to get jobs, but for those that do end up making a career out of it the median is 112,000. WM sent me employment stats with my admission letter. Of the 163 who got jobs, 134 reported their salaries. I think I can probably break into the top 100 students at WM, but I have nothing to base that on other than my desire to learn law.


Wooglin1989 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:ABA-accredited law schools have graduated 1.4 million people over the past 35 years. 35 years is a conservative estimate for the working career of a law school graduate, as the median age of law school graduates tends to be around 27.

This number does not include a couple of hundred thousand grads of non-ABA accredited law schools over that period (mostly but not exclusively in California, which lets people take the bar without an ABA law school degree, and is also the nation's largest state legal market by far).

So per the BLS stats, assuming an extremely high fail rate for non-ABA law grads, about half the people who have gotten ABA law school degrees since the late 1970s are now working as lawyers. This includes a period of time (roughly 1977-1990) when the market for new attorneys was booming. That market has been in slow decline for more than 20 years now.

The BLS also projects the annual demand for new lawyers over the course of the next decade will be 21,000 per year -- 14,000 from outflow from the profession and 7000 from new positions for lawyers.

So ABA schools alone are graduating more than twice as many graduates as there are new jobs for lawyers -- and keep in mind that some of those 21,000 jobs will be taken by unemployed lawyers, not new graduates.


That's a really good point. I don't know where you pulled the 1.4 million from but I'll take your word for it. Your also not counting people who have died or are working abroad. When eastern Europe converted over to a free market in the early 1990s a decent number of lawyers traveled and stayed abroad as the influx of private businesses created a legal gap. I'm not saying to the tune of 700,000 people but I mean if we have 728,200 employed right now I'd be more comfortable saying the statistic is 60% plus have stayed in the field.

I'd be a lot more interested in hearing how many graduates from law schools who have consistently stayed in the top 50 are still employed in the legal market. I also wonder how many people got into law because they didn't know what else to do and realized after graduating that they absolutely couldn't stand it and switched careers as fast as they could.

The past doesn't necessarily reflect how the future will go. 163 graduates out of 204 at William and Mary either found a job or were going for more school in 2011. That's roughly an 80% employment rate. The market is bad right now but who knows what will happen in 3 years? Only 50 percent of college grads can get jobs right now and 85% had to move back in with their parents. I understand it's an unfair comparison but my point is there aren't a lot of great alternatives anyway; it's a rough time to be starting a career.


Obviously being unemployed is the worst case scenario. But I will relentless keep seeking employment even if it takes years, I'll work whatever job I have to to get there. If it comes to that, I'd probably qualify for income based assistance repayment plan anyways which would make the debt manageable while I kept trying.

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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby Wooglin1989 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:15 am

timbs4339 wrote:
Wooglin1989 wrote:Your also not counting people who have died or are working abroad. When eastern Europe converted over to a free market in the early 1990s a decent number of lawyers traveled and stayed abroad as the influx of private businesses created a legal gap.


Posted before I saw this. You got me. Good job.


I've worked as a legal assistant for the past two years. I do have strong ties in Pittsburgh, even held a small public office while here. I can fall back on my roots if I have to, but I don't want to rely on any of that.

Yeah the Cooley link was bad, as I stated I posted it by accident, I google searched to find the stat I was trying to recall and accidentally copied the URL to Cooley instead of the BLS...

I agree with you, I don't think WM with 14k is god awful. That means I'm only paying 24 a year in tuition. I also agree that Im being optimistic but the plethora of negativity people are spewing is forcing me to play devils advocate here. Some people here are in the mind set that only Harvard grads will be getting jobs, everyone else will be unemployed, that simply doesn't seem to be the case.

ahnhub
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby ahnhub » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:22 am

Wooglin1989 wrote: Obviously being unemployed is the worst case scenario. But I will relentless keep seeking employment even if it takes years, I'll work whatever job I have to to get there. If it comes to that, I'd probably qualify for income based assistance repayment plan anyways which would make the debt manageable while I kept trying.


That's fine, and commendable. Just try to digest the information you're getting so you have an honest appraisal of what your chances at a good result/mixed result/bad result/really bad result are. It seems you are open to advice, but a little optimistic about the numbers. It's not that people think only Harvard grads get jobs--it's that in this environment, they think the odds of getting a good result vs. a bad result from Harvard are good enough that it's worth it to pay big $$ to go there. There is a risk to taking out six-figure loans for any school, including good ones like W&M and super-prestigious ones like Harvard.

Also, if you know you'd be willing to go through those lengths should you end up with a bad result, why not try to do that work up front now so you avoid it? Isn't it so much easier to study for the LSAT now than to try to get straight A's in law school, or hustle like crazy to find a job in a saturated market, with loan payments due? The only excuse for not retaking is if you think you absolutely positively maxed out your potential LSAT score, and there is like zero chance you can do better.

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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby rickgrimes69 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:25 am

Wooglin1989 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
Wooglin1989 wrote:Your also not counting people who have died or are working abroad. When eastern Europe converted over to a free market in the early 1990s a decent number of lawyers traveled and stayed abroad as the influx of private businesses created a legal gap.


Posted before I saw this. You got me. Good job.


I agree with you, I don't think WM with 14k is god awful. That means I'm only paying 24 a year in tuition. I also agree that Im being optimistic but the plethora of negativity people are spewing is forcing me to play devils advocate here. Some people here are in the mind set that only Harvard grads will be getting jobs, everyone else will be unemployed, that simply doesn't seem to be the case.


Nobody is saying you have to go to HYS to get a job, or even that you necessarily need to go T14. The point is that it is all about managing risk. Law school is risky right now and there's no guarantee you'll get any job at all, much less one able to service $100k+ in debt.

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flem
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby flem » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:35 am

lol did the OP really cite a Cooley survey

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reasonable_man
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Re: GW at 3k scholly or WM at 14k

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:42 am

Op: I assume you will be working at biglaw right away upon graduation (as a result of "really working hard during 1L?" Thus, you should just attend the school you like best. It is all Monopoly Money anyway..




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