A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

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AbbeyRoadLaw
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:56 pm

A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

Postby AbbeyRoadLaw » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:18 pm

Hey all, LONG time lurker, relatively recent poster. So, while reading though a great deal of these threads, I find a similar underlying question when deciding on a law school to attend: "Which school is the best VALUE for my dollar?" Note: I define value here as a cost vs. employment prospects ratio.

I am a huge statistics nerd. I am completely obsessed with advanced baseball metrics, sports gambling algorithms etc. and so I wanted to come up with something to measure the relative value of a school in one's given cycle in a (kind of) similar fashion WAR measures a baseball player's relative value compared to the rest of the league.

Here is what I have come up with:

Step 1. Enter the schools you have applied to/been accepted to in Excel and calculate the COA (Tuition + living expenses- scholarships and grants- any $ saved by getting in-state tuition) for each school. Personally, I use Law School Transparency for both tuition and living costs.

Step 2. Go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Aik9aY0xMn8JdHZpRzRGNmpIVnFMMTJ0bXNRS0NBd3c&gid=11 and then look to the top row. There should be T25 on the far left and Graph Source 2 on the far right. Then find and add the employment percentages (LT Employed, 250+Fed, etc.) for each school respectively. Example: If I got into Stanford, Harvard, and Yale and REALLY want biglaw, I would add the 250+Fed and LT Employed percentages for each to get a new total.
NOTE: Choose and weight the employment numbers you personally value the highest. For example, if you have a "Biglaw or Bust" mentality, then you will probably weight 250+Fed higher than just LT Employed. Someone who just wants to be employed after law school, and doesnt care about biglaw, may not pay attention to these biglaw numbers.

Step 3. Divide the number you found in Step 2 by the COA in Step 1 for each school. Then multiply each by a constant of your choice that will make it easier for you to compare. I like dealing with numbers in the 100s, for instance.

This new number is the relative "value" of what you will be spending on law school vs. the expected employment prospects, and the HIGHER the number, the BETTER. I think this will be an easy, efficient way to weight certain scholarships vs. employment opportunities such as the option of a TT or TTT on full ride vs T30 at sticker. This is the first version of this formula, and the employment #s are for the C/0 2010.

Please give me your feedback, and I hope that this helps!

Here is a google doc of some random law schools and a couple of scholarships to give you an example. Enjoy. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuSONhMLcHYBdDN4Mm42TmM0b0Y4d0p3UXI1RWZkSXc#gid=0

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spleenworship
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Re: A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

Postby spleenworship » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:10 pm

Kind of a cool little set of bar graphs there. Nice.

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seancris
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Re: A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

Postby seancris » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:15 pm

Pretty sweet idea, thanks.

To point out the limits of this method, it falls short in that it doesn't account for salary as a point of comparison. This is just cost vs. probably of landing that first job in 9 months.

Evaluating offers on the basis of this metric alone would make a TTTT with full-tuition and CoL stipend look like a much better option than full-tuition at a T30.

Also, most comparably ranked schools will have similar employment percentages. IE most of the lower T1 will have between 54-58% FTJD employment. So we might be splitting hairs, too.

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AbbeyRoadLaw
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Re: A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

Postby AbbeyRoadLaw » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:37 pm

seancris wrote:Pretty sweet idea, thanks.

To point out the limits of this method, it falls short in that it doesn't account for salary as a point of comparison. This is just cost vs. probably of landing that first job in 9 months.

Evaluating offers on the basis of this metric alone would make a TTTT with full-tuition and CoL stipend look like a much better option than full-tuition at a T30.

Also, most comparably ranked schools will have similar employment percentages. IE most of the lower T1 will have between 54-58% FTJD employment. So we might be splitting hairs, too.


There are absolutely limitations, especially when it comes to salary. In no way was this meant as an end-all-be-all decision maker, but merely a kind of "guide" if someone has received scholarships of different amounts to different institutions.

Also, I doubt that many students will having to decide between a T-30 and a TTTT, so maybe that inaccuracy will not come into play as much? Who knows haha

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dproduct
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Re: A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

Postby dproduct » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:30 pm

I love TLS. Thank you for this.

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AbbeyRoadLaw
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:56 pm

Re: A way to find the "value" of a LS in a given cycle

Postby AbbeyRoadLaw » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:54 pm

dproduct wrote:I love TLS. Thank you for this.


Absolutely!




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