the current state of T-14 prestige

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
gaucholaw
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:29 pm

the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby gaucholaw » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:14 pm

I guess I'll start off this thread with a few thoughts:

1. why is everyone freaking out about non HYS t-14 at sticker, this year more than ever... I've been on TLS since '09... well after recession, and seriously the panic has never been this bad here.... despite the fact that the market has improved (marginally)

2. what is the relative difficulty of getting into T-14.... Im torn cuz on the one hand I know there are 300 schools ranked lower, on the otherhand, all I have to do is look at the fact that HLS has 1500 kids, and I think "man, that's a lot of ppl with better odds than me"

3. does anyone think that there will be any bracket-shifts within the T-14 in the next decade (like how Boalt briefly flirted with CCN for a couple years?)

User avatar
rickgrimes69
Posts: 1107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:56 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby rickgrimes69 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:43 pm

I speculate that the reason why most (including myself) believe non HYS T14 is not worth sticker is because tuition and cost of living (commensurate with inflation) have continued to increase, while salaries have remained largely the same. The issue is no longer going to a school good enough to get biglaw, but whether you can stay in biglaw long enough to pay off your loans. Your chances of remaining in biglaw for 5+ years are actually quite a bit lower than your chances of getting into biglaw in the first place, and you will need that long to pay off $270k+ in debt (which is what most T14s cost at sticker nowadays). Thus, if the option is a T6 at sticker or a lower T14 with $$, it seems to make far more sense to go with the lower T14 since the cost will be easier to pay off and your chances of scoring biglaw pretty similar to begin with.

User avatar
Ruxin1
Posts: 1284
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Ruxin1 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:45 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:I speculate that the reason why most (including myself) believe non HYS T14 is not worth sticker is because tuition and cost of living (commensurate with inflation) have continued to increase, while salaries have remained largely the same. The issue is no longer going to a school good enough to get biglaw, but whether you can stay in biglaw long enough to pay off your loans. Your chances of remaining in biglaw for 5+ years are actually quite a bit lower than your chances of getting into biglaw in the first place, and you will need that long to pay off $270k+ in debt (which is what most T14s cost at sticker nowadays). Thus, if the option is a T6 at sticker or a lower T14 with $$, it seems to make far more sense to go with the lower T14 since the cost will be easier to pay off and your chances of scoring biglaw pretty similar to begin with.


& it seemed like after the crash people were like yeah it'll get better though. But the last year or so has shown this is the new normal wrt to how many people firms are hiring, and it isn't many.

User avatar
Rahviveh
Posts: 2271
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:53 pm

I think it has a lot to do with the c/o 2011 stats.

Aroldis105
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:38 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Aroldis105 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:21 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:I speculate that the reason why most (including myself) believe non HYS T14 is not worth sticker is because tuition and cost of living (commensurate with inflation) have continued to increase, while salaries have remained largely the same. The issue is no longer going to a school good enough to get biglaw, but whether you can stay in biglaw long enough to pay off your loans. Your chances of remaining in biglaw for 5+ years are actually quite a bit lower than your chances of getting into biglaw in the first place, and you will need that long to pay off $270k+ in debt (which is what most T14s cost at sticker nowadays). Thus, if the option is a T6 at sticker or a lower T14 with $$, it seems to make far more sense to go with the lower T14 since the cost will be easier to pay off and your chances of scoring biglaw pretty similar to begin with.


+1

Some people tolerate biglaw for the money, a much smaller percentage actually enjoy it. The hours are terrible, it's extremely stressful, and there are always 100 people at any given time who'd cut off their arm to have your spot. People place a lot of emphasis on employment numbers here (as they damn well should) but not nearly enough people pay attention to the average lifespan of a young attorney in big law, 3 years. "But I'll like big law, I'll make it work, I've worked hard my whole life, it's my dream". Don't think for a second that sentiment is all that different from "I'll be in the top 10% of my class, I'll get a job out of a TTT, I've always worked hard and done well, I know law school is a good fit for me". Going to any school for sticker is a huge gamble, 250k+ in debt is a weight on your shoulders you won't forget until every cent is paid off. Have goals and work your ass off to achieve them, but don't mistake goals for destiny.

californiabeauar
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 1:33 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby californiabeauar » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:54 am

TLS is one giant troll. T13 is prestigious

User avatar
alwayssunnyinfl
Posts: 4100
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:34 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:25 am

californiabeauar wrote:TLS is one giant troll. T13 is prestigious

Obviously we're just trying to cut competition for admission and biglaw jobs.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby NYstate » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:12 am

People have better insight into actual employment numbers and when COA is closing on $300,000 it gets a little insane.

wfudeacons2005
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 2:08 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby wfudeacons2005 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:46 am

Admittedly, I wasn't in the position to consider the T-14 and if I was, I undoubtedly would have jumped on it. But, these two write-ups from people really got me thinking:

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... eared.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tucker-ma ... 13943.html

What reading these boards has done is made debt my worst nightmare. I just can't imagine going to a non-HYS at sticker and feeling the pressure of 1.) needing to land big law and 2.) needing to work in it long enough to pay off 250K-300K in debt. With a lot of the top schools landing 60% or so in big law gigs, the second one seems like the harder thing to me from an outside perspective. Talking to my cousin who is in his 5th year of investment banking and works 90-100+ hours per week on the reg and hearing that lawyers at white shoe firms in NYC think his schedule is a "joke" compared to theirs was just really eye opening. But, more importantly, he could leave tomorrow or get canned and he wouldn't be still have 150K-200K hanging over his life. Once again, by going to a state flagship TT, I have my own concerns - namely, the very real threat of finding no legal employment whatsoever. Though for some reason, I have come to believe that my choice, with little to no debt, isn't the worse one.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:50 am

Having gone through law school and now know people who work in biglaw, 60% of them seem to loathe their jobs, 30% are ambivalent (like anyone would be), and 10% absolutely love it. I know people 5 months in planning their exit strategies already. It was fine when 3 years would pay off a significant chunk of debt, but when you're 200K in the hole or more you need 5 years paying down 40K/year to put a reasonable dent in that (essentially working insane hours for demanding people and then seeing 75% of your pre-tax income going to the government each month). Not how many people want to spend their late 20s early 30s.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby rad lulz » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:57 am

NYstate wrote:People have better insight into actual employment numbers and when COA is closing on $300,000 it gets a little insane.

In so few words, this.

If you went to law school in 2010, the best you had to go on was the 2009 NLJ250 stats (OCI 2007) + AIII data from lawclerkaddict from 2006 (maybe your school published it). Everything else was just made up by the skoolz.

exitoptions
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:58 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby exitoptions » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:00 am

This is it. The schools have officially absorbed any premium there ever was to becoming a lawyer. Now you spend 25 years working for them. Maybe NY will go to 190 and then we'll all be living the dream again...

whereskyle
Posts: 713
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:37 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby whereskyle » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:26 am

NYstate wrote:People have better insight into actual employment numbers and when COA is closing on $300,000 it gets a little insane.


I am basically of the opinion that going to any school at sticker is volunteering for a lifetime of debt. Am I right to imagine, as I do, that hys somehow defies this reasoning? Or is it just a better lifetime of debt?

User avatar
Beercules
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:44 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Beercules » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:27 am

exitoptions wrote:This is it. The schools have officially absorbed any premium there ever was to becoming a lawyer. Now you spend 25 years working for them. Maybe NY will go to 190 and then we'll all be living the dream again...


The real question is why haven't they, in this free market of ours.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:07 am

gaucholaw wrote:1. why is everyone freaking out about non HYS t-14 at sticker, this year more than ever... I've been on TLS since '09... well after recession, and seriously the panic has never been this bad here.... despite the fact that the market has improved (marginally)

Perceptions shift slowly. Information builds slowly. Things are slowly improving, but it's still much worse than 2007-08. Real employment data has become available. This looks less like a 1-2 year anomaly and more like a long-term problem to people. Folks remained optimistic, they wanted to keep hoping things would go back to 2007-08 quickly. The more obvious it's gotten that this isn't true, the more negative folks have become. Even improvements today are less than what people want.

gaucholaw wrote:3. does anyone think that there will be any bracket-shifts within the T-14 in the next decade (like how Boalt briefly flirted with CCN for a couple years?)

No. Again, perception moves slowly. Real bracket-shifts only happen if they persist for the long term. For example, UT-Austin tied for 14th one year recently, but nobody means it when they say "T14". It went back down after a year and people consider that an aberration rather than an actual "T14 presence". Flirting, even for a few years, is just that. Inevitably there's a door closed and a souring of mood by the rejected party, but the rest of the world goes on.

pissantvache
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:37 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby pissantvache » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:16 pm

So all this reasoning applies to law schools generally rather than just non HYS schools. You all are talking like going to S at sticker is worth it, but not CCN, but the reasoning behind that proposition (debt!) is just crazy. If you go to S at sticker, you will have to do biglaw for the same number of years as if you go to CCN. Your longer-term options are not materially better. Biglaw sucks. Having S will not generate a higher salary for you that will make sticker there somehow "worth it." And if the only concern is the likelihood of getting biglaw (admittedly somewhat, but not a lot, higher at S), then being sophisticated about this would involve going and understanding theories of option pricing, forecasting payment streams, trying to figure out an actual likelihood of getting biglaw at C versus S, and going from there. If anything, I can't imagine that the option-priced value of S is more than $5k more than the value at C (and that's being generous). So this whole "HYS at sticker = OK, but nowhere else" proposition strikes me as crap, at least as between HYS and CCN. Rather, it's a reflection of law student groupthink regarding the quality of schools in a manner that in no way is reflective of anything approaching reality. CCN at sticker is a much better deal than a lot of you give it credit for.

User avatar
fruitoftheloom
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby fruitoftheloom » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:43 pm

pissantvache wrote:So all this reasoning applies to law schools generally rather than just non HYS schools. You all are talking like going to S at sticker is worth it, but not CCN, but the reasoning behind that proposition (debt!) is just crazy. If you go to S at sticker, you will have to do biglaw for the same number of years as if you go to CCN. Your longer-term options are not materially better. Biglaw sucks. Having S will not generate a higher salary for you that will make sticker there somehow "worth it." And if the only concern is the likelihood of getting biglaw (admittedly somewhat, but not a lot, higher at S), then being sophisticated about this would involve going and understanding theories of option pricing, forecasting payment streams, trying to figure out an actual likelihood of getting biglaw at C versus S, and going from there. If anything, I can't imagine that the option-priced value of S is more than $5k more than the value at C (and that's being generous). So this whole "HYS at sticker = OK, but nowhere else" proposition strikes me as crap, at least as between HYS and CCN. Rather, it's a reflection of law student groupthink regarding the quality of schools in a manner that in no way is reflective of anything approaching reality. CCN at sticker is a much better deal than a lot of you give it credit for.


I think one of the differences is that HYS are the only schools known to actually provide need based aid (as opposed to merit based aid sometimes cloaked as need based aid). If you pay sticker to HYS, you probably have parents who COULD bail you out of the debt if necessary. Whether they will choose to do so or not is a different story. But if you have parents that COULD bail you out of that debt, you've been privileged long enough and probably have the connections to make it in life.

cinnamonchurros
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby cinnamonchurros » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:52 pm

There's also the problem of different concepts of a given law school being "worth it". Some people NEED to be at the pinnacle of the profession (or at least try for it), while others are fine with rolling the dice at a TT-TTTT and taking what comes. While "worth it" means different things for different people, I think the usual TLS advice of T-14, (almost) free, or don't go is credited.

pissantvache
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:37 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby pissantvache » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:03 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
I think one of the differences is that HYS are the only schools known to actually provide need based aid (as opposed to merit based aid sometimes cloaked as need based aid). If you pay sticker to HYS, you probably have parents who COULD bail you out of the debt if necessary. Whether they will choose to do so or not is a different story. But if you have parents that COULD bail you out of that debt, you've been privileged long enough and probably have the connections to make it in life.


I mean, yeah, I guess? I don't really get your point, though: they are saying that sticker at S is OK but sticker at CCN is not. If they are paying sticker at S, then they have the hypothetical parental help in both cases (unless their parents are weirdos who wouldn't bail them out at CCN but would at HYS, which is kinda crazy). Your argument makes sense for those who DON'T need to pay sticker at S, but I don't think that those are the people we're talking about.

cinnamonchurros wrote:There's also the problem of different concepts of a given law school being "worth it". Some people NEED to be at the pinnacle of the profession (or at least try for it), while others are fine with rolling the dice at a TT-TTTT and taking what comes. While "worth it" means different things for different people, I think the usual TLS advice of T-14, (almost) free, or don't go is credited.


Yeah, I agree, but the weird thing is that this whole conversation has focused on debt and biglaw. Is it just the sordid truth that everyone cites debt and biglaw (dumbly, in my opinion), when the only thing they really care about is prestige and dropping the H bomb? Strikes me as weak.

User avatar
Rahviveh
Posts: 2271
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Rahviveh » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:06 pm

pissantvache wrote:So all this reasoning applies to law schools generally rather than just non HYS schools. You all are talking like going to S at sticker is worth it, but not CCN, but the reasoning behind that proposition (debt!) is just crazy. If you go to S at sticker, you will have to do biglaw for the same number of years as if you go to CCN. Your longer-term options are not materially better. Biglaw sucks. Having S will not generate a higher salary for you that will make sticker there somehow "worth it." And if the only concern is the likelihood of getting biglaw (admittedly somewhat, but not a lot, higher at S), then being sophisticated about this would involve going and understanding theories of option pricing, forecasting payment streams, trying to figure out an actual likelihood of getting biglaw at C versus S, and going from there. If anything, I can't imagine that the option-priced value of S is more than $5k more than the value at C (and that's being generous). So this whole "HYS at sticker = OK, but nowhere else" proposition strikes me as crap, at least as between HYS and CCN. Rather, it's a reflection of law student groupthink regarding the quality of schools in a manner that in no way is reflective of anything approaching reality. CCN at sticker is a much better deal than a lot of you give it credit for.


For those of us bad at math how do you come up with that numbers?

And yeah I think TLS consensus is that there's a big boost in biglaw chances with HYS over CCN, which theroretically changes the calculus of whether sticker is a good idea

cinnamonchurros
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:43 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby cinnamonchurros » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:11 pm

pissantvache wrote: Yeah, I agree, but the weird thing is that this whole conversation has focused on debt and biglaw. Is it just the sordid truth that everyone cites debt and biglaw (dumbly, in my opinion), when the only thing they really care about is prestige and dropping the H bomb? Strikes me as weak.


I think some people also want biglaw so that they can work at a really high level in the profession. But, yes, there are a lot of people obsessed with prestige who will complain about debt and the availability of biglaw when a huge portion of what they want is to be able to name-drop their school.

User avatar
star fox
Posts: 13767
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby star fox » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:17 pm

Aroldis105 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:I speculate that the reason why most (including myself) believe non HYS T14 is not worth sticker is because tuition and cost of living (commensurate with inflation) have continued to increase, while salaries have remained largely the same. The issue is no longer going to a school good enough to get biglaw, but whether you can stay in biglaw long enough to pay off your loans. Your chances of remaining in biglaw for 5+ years are actually quite a bit lower than your chances of getting into biglaw in the first place, and you will need that long to pay off $270k+ in debt (which is what most T14s cost at sticker nowadays). Thus, if the option is a T6 at sticker or a lower T14 with $$, it seems to make far more sense to go with the lower T14 since the cost will be easier to pay off and your chances of scoring biglaw pretty similar to begin with.


+1

Some people tolerate biglaw for the money, a much smaller percentage actually enjoy it. The hours are terrible, it's extremely stressful, and there are always 100 people at any given time who'd cut off their arm to have your spot. People place a lot of emphasis on employment numbers here (as they damn well should) but not nearly enough people pay attention to the average lifespan of a young attorney in big law, 3 years. "But I'll like big law, I'll make it work, I've worked hard my whole life, it's my dream". Don't think for a second that sentiment is all that different from "I'll be in the top 10% of my class, I'll get a job out of a TTT, I've always worked hard and done well, I know law school is a good fit for me". Going to any school for sticker is a huge gamble, 250k+ in debt is a weight on your shoulders you won't forget until every cent is paid off. Have goals and work your ass off to achieve them, but don't mistake goals for destiny.


How many people do you think that work big law have 0 exit options for when they leave. Most people leave on their own accord. Sure, some may not be able to find other jobs. But how many people do you think this is? The question of debt is if you are able to make your payments. If you can make the payments for the ten year plan then you can save some money and life won't be so bad. Then once you have it all paid off (late 30's probably) all the money you make from that point is money in the bank. Obviously you can be unemployed at any minute and there's an over saturation of lawyers but starting with big law experience is a good way to start a legal career, and take that where it goes..

User avatar
fruitoftheloom
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:38 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby fruitoftheloom » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:19 pm

pissantvache wrote:
fruitoftheloom wrote:
I think one of the differences is that HYS are the only schools known to actually provide need based aid (as opposed to merit based aid sometimes cloaked as need based aid). If you pay sticker to HYS, you probably have parents who COULD bail you out of the debt if necessary. Whether they will choose to do so or not is a different story. But if you have parents that COULD bail you out of that debt, you've been privileged long enough and probably have the connections to make it in life.


I mean, yeah, I guess? I don't really get your point, though: they are saying that sticker at S is OK but sticker at CCN is not. If they are paying sticker at S, then they have the hypothetical parental help in both cases (unless their parents are weirdos who wouldn't bail them out at CCN but would at HYS, which is kinda crazy). Your argument makes sense for those who DON'T need to pay sticker at S, but I don't think that those are the people we're talking about.


Need based aid at CCN is a myth. They call it a combination of merit/need, but it's based on your LSAT/UGPA, your ability to pay plays a minimal role.

And, by the way, I wouldn't pay sticker at any school. I'm just saying - I think part of the rationale is that you won't be charged sticker at HYS, BUT IF YOU ARE, then you're from a rich-ass family and won't be screwed regardless.

User avatar
somewhatwayward
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:10 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby somewhatwayward » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:30 pm

pissantvache wrote:So all this reasoning applies to law schools generally rather than just non HYS schools. You all are talking like going to S at sticker is worth it, but not CCN, but the reasoning behind that proposition (debt!) is just crazy. If you go to S at sticker, you will have to do biglaw for the same number of years as if you go to CCN. Your longer-term options are not materially better. Biglaw sucks. Having S will not generate a higher salary for you that will make sticker there somehow "worth it." And if the only concern is the likelihood of getting biglaw (admittedly somewhat, but not a lot, higher at S), then being sophisticated about this would involve going and understanding theories of option pricing, forecasting payment streams, trying to figure out an actual likelihood of getting biglaw at C versus S, and going from there. If anything, I can't imagine that the option-priced value of S is more than $5k more than the value at C (and that's being generous). So this whole "HYS at sticker = OK, but nowhere else" proposition strikes me as crap, at least as between HYS and CCN. Rather, it's a reflection of law student groupthink regarding the quality of schools in a manner that in no way is reflective of anything approaching reality. CCN at sticker is a much better deal than a lot of you give it credit for.


I could get on board with the bolded but only if the conclusion drawn is that none of them are worth 200K+. I agree that there isn't some magical line between HYS and CCN if you have to pay more than 200K for them. Yale admittedly gives you an appreciably better chances at clerkship + academic which is an awesome lifestyle (as well as a major part of the reason we are all in this mess to begin with since professor and administrator salaries have skyrocketed over the past few decades and are often 50% of the law school's operating budget). Stanford gives you a 20-25% chance at such an outcome while Harvard's at 16% and CCN are at ~10%.

Overall, the majority of students at HYS and CCN will miss the clerkship academia boat and will need big law or PSLF to pay off their loans. (Yes LRAP and IBR are there, but having to rely on programs like these with 200K hanging over your head accruing interest is stressful to say the least.) Once you are in big law, it doesn't matter whether you went to HYS or CCN. It is still stressful. You are still worried about staying in long enough to pay down a significant amount, and you are still watching 50% of your post-tax income go to lenders. Perhaps your exit options as an HYS grad are somewhat better than as a CCN grad. I don't know.

I believe we are 3L classmates at CCN. I am heading into big law next year at a coveted firm, and, while I am interested in the work and I am excited, I am also pretty nervous....nervous about the hours, nervous about how long I can make it there, nervous about what choices I will have if I don't make it very long, etc. I think my outcome is about the best one could hope for given that I had decent but not top-of-the-class 1L grades. My outcome, to the extent that they can be ranked, is probably equivalent to the median outcome at HYS and about top quarter at CCN. The question is whether this is worth $250,000.

Maybe I am not taking a long enough view. Maybe I will have good options after three years at the firm (I will be actively trying to create those options, not waiting for them to fall into my lap). But the fact that we can entertain a reasonable debate over whether a person with a top ~25% outcome at a T6 school made the right decision to go to law school is suggests that something is seriously amiss with legal education.

Coco_Local
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:11 pm

Re: the current state of T-14 prestige

Postby Coco_Local » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:45 pm

How many people do you think that work big law have 0 exit options for when they leave.


More than you think. I've said this before but

Things are insanely hearchical in biglaw and most firms have an entire class of "partners" who are basically associates since they have no business. This prevents upward mobility/training/mentoring because the service partners want to stay relevant to the partner with the book of business. An associate, if they become too skilled, is basically their competition. So, the associate gets railroaded out before they learn too much to be dangerous to income/salary partners. After seeing so many friends' careers railroaded for stupid things and watching the mess of stealth layoffs (mostly at the hands of service partners who were desperately trying to keep their own jobs) at my old firm (and firms across the country), I left biglaw to clerk and then to work in the government as an AUSA. I also was able to pay off my debt prior to leaving (literally, I made the last payment using my last paycheck).

I've seen so many bright, talented people get pushed out of the industry for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. One thing I wasn't prepared for after graduating law school is that to a great degree, your future as a lawyer is driven by luck as much as talent, ambition, and smarts. I am incredibly humble and grateful for my fortunate circumstances because but for the grace of God...

I don't think it's smart to risk the huge amount of debt on an industry that is set up to chew you up and spit you out -- especially if it's before you can take the time to pay off debt and make an exit plan. I was lucky. Many, many people are not.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 7 guests