So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

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sublime
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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby sublime » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:16 am

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Last edited by sublime on Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mindarmed
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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby mindarmed » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:20 am

Splitters with sub 3 gpas and 175+ LSAT should definitely take a crack at the t14 with numbers down so much

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twinkletoes16
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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby twinkletoes16 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:40 am

Thanks guys. FWIW my minimum wage gig is on the interesting side- tends to have employers flag my resume for interviews, adcoms have inquired or commented on it and said things to the effect of "you won't have any problem getting a job with your resume." Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but I feel like since I am "stuck" so to speak and missed the hiring wave of immediately post-grad, my risk vs. reward is pretty good for LS. Will definitely be giving it more thought though.

NYstate
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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby NYstate » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:54 am

l
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
spleenworship wrote:Here is the people who should go to law school ITE IMO:

People who actually want to be an attorney and who do not have better job prospects (i.e. Engineers, people who can get into medical school, accountants, police officers, etc. should not apply) who also have one of the following situations available to them:

1. HYS
2. T4-13 with a half tuition scholly with no or negligible stips.
3. Strong Regional with half (if in-state) to full tuition scholly with no or negligible stips.


I was starting to realize how bad it was, but last year LST made it wildly clear to me when they came out with the reworked 2011 numbers. I probably shouldn't have gone, even though I really want to be an attorney and it appears I'm likely to get a job post graduation. I took a 1/3 scholly at a strong regional with crappy stips and I left a good, well paying job. If I knew now what I knew then let me just say that while it looks like I won't regret it... so many of my class will.


This seems about right.


I would add that only people who have done research into practicing law so that they know what they are getting into. Few people bother to do this and then they realize that they hate practicing law (and not just biglaw). Being a lawyer is not a great job for most people. At least try to get as much understanding of what the job will be before you invest 6 figures to get it.

I'm willing to predict at least a third of T14 grads are going to regret going, even if they only owe $150,000 instead of $300,000. Just add up the "bad" employment outcomes, it isn't hard to get to that number. Could it be that closer to half this entire forum will regret their choice? The number is high, don't overlook that.

I also would consider law in comparisons to other options, but I would say that people need to work as hard as possible to maximize their other outcomes first and I would include moving to other cities to try to find something else.

Please remember: The reason numbers are down is because people realize it is a terrible idea to go to law school. Transparency is letting people have a better insight into what the employment market it like, even though I think it is still optimistic. At least two people ITT, both people who have jobs, are saying they wouldn't have gone if the numbers were what they see now. Don't read this as a great bonus that means you can get into a better school. Read it as the cautionary tale that it is.


Personally I think relying solely on whatever statistical analysis you want to prove why law school is a good idea is just some seductive thinking. Making a decision to go to law school and practice law is much more complex than just looking at money. But those theoretical dollars earned compared to actual real money (or actual non-chargeable debt) spent seems to convince people to attend no matter how much data they have. Assuming you will work as a lawyer for 40 years is stupid. We can't even figure out what happens to most people after a few years on biglaw. There is no data.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby delusional » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:40 am

I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.

But I do think it's worth pointing out that the last time law student numbers were so high that they were untenable and began to decline was in 2004. Those 2004 matriculants graduated in 2007, the year that everyone looks back to as the halcyon days when everyone with a pulse could find a big law job and big law salaries went from 145k to 160k. While we have to use the data we have and we have nothing concrete that projects more positively, it is reasonable to say that if the economy continues to improve, the prospects for those who got in at the worst time and managed to stay in big law for a couple years will be at least better than they are today.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby Paul Campos » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:45 am

Lots of really good advice in this thread IMO.

Just want to emphasize a couple of things:

(1) An invariably terrible reason to go to law school is because you really want to do something else but you talk yourself into thinking that getting a law degree is a risk-averse way of going about doing so, because it gives you a "fall-back option," i.e., just being a generic lawyer.

Classic examples are people who say they want to get into ____ area (human rights, environmental, immigration, domestic violence, helping poor people etc.), or more generally that they want to be in politics, and that going to law school is how they envision getting into these areas. Getting into these areas is actually easy. Getting paid a decent wage to do this kind of work is much harder. But getting a law degree doesn't change that equation, except it adds $100K or $150K or $200K or $250K of debt to it. If you want to work in X area, go work in X area. Sure you'll probably have to take unpaid internships, and it'll be a hell of a struggle to get a real job, but again, having a law degree won't change that, in all likelihood, except it'll put you in a much more difficult situation. You don't need a law degree to get into politics. You don't need a law degree to help poor people, or the environment, or whatever. If anything, law school is much more likely to end up deflecting you from those goals.

(2) Economic calculations based on multi-decade projections of the added value of a law degree are worthless. Law has been a contracting field for some time now (25 years at least). Read Richard Susskind's The End of Lawyers. Read Bill Henderson's stuff. Don't go to law school unless you have a realistic shot at at least breaking even on the deal within five to seven years at most. As people in the thread are pointing out, opportunity cost is a huge element in that calculation. The guy in that thread with the $100K finance job who was ready to dump it to go to law school was out of his mind, full stop -- I don't care how much "psychic income" he thought he was going to be paying himself by trying to make it in law.

Law schools are only beginning to grapple with all this. Ten years from now there are going to be a lot less of them, and most of those that remain will cost a lot less than they do now. Don't catch a falling knife.

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A → B ⊨ ¬B → ¬A
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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby A → B ⊨ ¬B → ¬A » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:09 am

Paul Campos wrote:Law schools are only beginning to grapple with all this. Ten years from now there are going to be a lot less of them, and most of those that remain will cost a lot less than they do now. Don't catch a falling knife.


I can't even imagine the buyer's remorse from paying down a ton of debt while watching schools cut prices.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:30 am

Paul Campos wrote:Don't go to law school unless you have a realistic shot at at least breaking even on the deal within five to seven years at most.

Any reason you picked this arbitrary cutoff?

I do agree that people need to factor in opportunity cost.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby Paul Campos » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:47 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:Don't go to law school unless you have a realistic shot at at least breaking even on the deal within five to seven years at most.

Any reason you picked this arbitrary cutoff?

I do agree that people need to factor in opportunity cost.



Because five to seven years (at the outside) is about the longest time frame that allows somebody to predict with any degree of accuracy whether their outcome from going to X law school at Y price may make sense. Beyond that we just don't know enough about where people, especially recent grads, are ending up. Add to this the rapidly changing landscape for legal services in general, and any estimate of what a 2016 law degree from X school will be worth in 2031 to those who have one is close to pure guesswork.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby sinfiery » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:43 pm

It's funny, because the only data I've seen from salaries over 10 years out signifies you should absolutely attend. Now, I understand times have a changed but to conclude that the future, because of this uncertainty should inherently be valued at zero versus that of over $1.3 million PV in the admittedly different environment based data is far too ...conservative for my taste. But that's just me.


What I am curious about is your take on future law school tuition rates. Do you believe they will fall or not outpace inflation or what? Will the federal govt stop guaranteeing loans for this to happen? How much can they realistically fall?
Will online schools dominate the market because of cost structures with far less inherent cost? (My personal hope)

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby spleenworship » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:43 pm

I'd like to throw one more thing out there, re: wanting to be a lawyer.

As a 2L I would say that approximately 10% of my class profoundly regrets going to law school to the point of mental health issues and will never practice law or even anything remotely approaching law. Another 20% of my class hates the practice of law and/or law school, but feels committed after a year and a half and will try to get jobs and practice somewhere because they have too much debt to do otherwise. Another 10% likes law school but not the practice of law and will get jobs in the JD advantage area (maybe, see i.e. TE).

The above is objectively stupid. You don't see 40% of a medical school class doing this. You don't see 40% of an MBA class doing this. You don't see 40% of an accounting class doing this. You don't see 40% of an Engineering school class doing this. You don't see 40% of a pharmacy/PA/nursing/etc. school class doing this. Why? Because all of the above have either an experiential component early on as part of undergrad or a shadowing/experience prior to application requirement. Not a single one of these other schools don't have a requirement that you have SOME idea what you are getting into. Which is why all these schools only have about a 10% drop-out rate, MAX.

The fact that law schools don't have this requirement is at least part of why you have soooooo very many people who profoundly regret their decision. (The other major part is the massive debt and dearth of jobs). It's bad enough having an incredibly hard time finding a job in the field you were trained in... but if you hate the field you were trained in it is even harder. (Not to mention the practical training sucks at almost all schools). This is why I say you have to want to be a lawyer. You need to shadow a lawyer, or work in a law office. You need to actually see what it is lawyers do on a day to day basis before you choose this. You need to see the boredom, the dickishness of opposing counsel, the arbitrariness of some judges, the massive amounts of work for little payoff, the injustices of our system of law that is supposed to stand for justice, the petty office politics, the amount of writing, the amount of reading, the amount of prestige whoring, etc. etc. etc. that goes into being a lawyer and then decide whether you want to do it. Because this is a huge, costly, potentially life ruining decision, and you need to be as sure of as much of what you can control and determine in advance before you do it.

(BTW, I'm aware there are upsides to the practice of law, as it is a noble and meaningful calling, an art and a science that often benefits and adds meaning to human existence... but it's important to see the downsides in advance because all the noble BS I just spouted doesn't usually mean crap on a day to day basis in the trenches).

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby JWalker » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:59 pm

I'm sure someone will tell you only go to law school if you get into HYSP.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby NYstate » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:07 pm

delusional wrote:I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.

But I do think it's worth pointing out that the last time law student numbers were so high that they were untenable and began to decline was in 2004. Those 2004 matriculants graduated in 2007, the year that everyone looks back to as the halcyon days when everyone with a pulse could find a big law job and big law salaries went from 145k to 160k. While we have to use the data we have and we have nothing concrete that projects more positively, it is reasonable to say that if the economy continues to improve, the prospects for those who got in at the worst time and managed to stay in big law for a couple years will be at least better than they are today.

Why do you assume this? Because so many people got fired that mid-level people are in demand?

Don't forget that the employment statistics from that time are probably inaccurate. And, many of those 2007 people lost their jobs.

I'm not understanding the point you are making here .

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby spleenworship » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:14 pm

NYstate wrote:
delusional wrote:I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.

But I do think it's worth pointing out that the last time law student numbers were so high that they were untenable and began to decline was in 2004. Those 2004 matriculants graduated in 2007, the year that everyone looks back to as the halcyon days when everyone with a pulse could find a big law job and big law salaries went from 145k to 160k. While we have to use the data we have and we have nothing concrete that projects more positively, it is reasonable to say that if the economy continues to improve, the prospects for those who got in at the worst time and managed to stay in big law for a couple years will be at least better than they are today.

Why do you assume this? Because so many people got fired that mid-level people are in demand?

Don't forget that the employment statistics from that time are probably inaccurate. And, many of those 2007 people lost their jobs.

I'm not understanding the point you are making here .


I think he's saying that the last time the number of grads got too big and started to decline it was super sweet for those who graduated in that 2004-2007 window.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby WahooLaw24 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:14 pm

delusional wrote:I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.


I'm all for being conservative ITE, but there are more than 3 worthwhile schools in the country.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby delusional » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:33 pm

spleenworship wrote:
NYstate wrote:
delusional wrote:I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.

But I do think it's worth pointing out that the last time law student numbers were so high that they were untenable and began to decline was in 2004. Those 2004 matriculants graduated in 2007, the year that everyone looks back to as the halcyon days when everyone with a pulse could find a big law job and big law salaries went from 145k to 160k. While we have to use the data we have and we have nothing concrete that projects more positively, it is reasonable to say that if the economy continues to improve, the prospects for those who got in at the worst time and managed to stay in big law for a couple years will be at least better than they are today.

Why do you assume this? Because so many people got fired that mid-level people are in demand?

Don't forget that the employment statistics from that time are probably inaccurate. And, many of those 2007 people lost their jobs.

I'm not understanding the point you are making here .


I think he's saying that the last time the number of grads got too big and started to decline it was super sweet for those who graduated in that 2004-2007 window.
Pretty much. It might be true that the statistics from those days are wrong, but it's pretty much gospel on TLS (and based on anecdotal evidence from like everywhere) that before the current recession, MVPDC was like CCN today.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby delusional » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:34 pm

WahooLaw24 wrote:
delusional wrote:I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.


I'm all for being conservative ITE, but there are more than 3 worthwhile schools in the country.
Yeah, I used HYS as a rough term for HYS and anything similar in value, like significant money at other schools. I wasn't trying to quibble over which T14 with which scholly is on which side of the line.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby wannabelawstudent » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:35 pm

IMO you should only go if you get into one of the HWYS

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby NYstate » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:47 pm

delusional wrote:
spleenworship wrote:
NYstate wrote:
delusional wrote:I agree with the point above about going only if you really want to be a lawyer, don't have a reasonable alternative, and are going to HYS.

But I do think it's worth pointing out that the last time law student numbers were so high that they were untenable and began to decline was in 2004. Those 2004 matriculants graduated in 2007, the year that everyone looks back to as the halcyon days when everyone with a pulse could find a big law job and big law salaries went from 145k to 160k. While we have to use the data we have and we have nothing concrete that projects more positively, it is reasonable to say that if the economy continues to improve, the prospects for those who got in at the worst time and managed to stay in big law for a couple years will be at least better than they are today.

Why do you assume this? Because so many people got fired that mid-level people are in demand?

Don't forget that the employment statistics from that time are probably inaccurate. And, many of those 2007 people lost their jobs.

I'm not understanding the point you are making here .


I think he's saying that the last time the number of grads got too big and started to decline it was super sweet for those who graduated in that 2004-2007 window.
Pretty much. It might be true that the statistics from those days are wrong, but it's pretty much gospel on TLS (and based on anecdotal evidence from like everywhere) that before the current recession, MVPDC was like CCN today.


So the point was that the lower T14 schools got people into biglaw because the biglaw SA class was larger. And the question is that if the economy recovers biglaw hiring will increase as well? I wonder how many people from the 2004-2007 classes got fired in the recession. Hard to get exact numbers.

( just trying to say those rose colored glasses may need a little reality check. But you are probably right that the people who didnt get fired are pretty secure right now.)
Last edited by NYstate on Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby star fox » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:57 pm

rad lulz wrote:Barely anyone should go to law school and if the stats we have today were available when I decided to go to law school in 2010, I probably would not have gone.


Just curious, what do you think you would be doing right now if you hadn't gone to Law School?

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:05 pm

hot girls should go to law school because you'll have fun

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:08 pm

john7234797 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:Barely anyone should go to law school and if the stats we have today were available when I decided to go to law school in 2010, I probably would not have gone.


Just curious, what do you think you would be doing right now if you hadn't gone to Law School?

Caveat: I think this law school thing is gonna work out for me now. But if the same info was available to me in 2009:

Probably would have taken some time off to work (menial job or otherwise) then retaken for a third time to either try to up my aid at my current school or get into a school with better job placement numbers. Or maybe a MAcc program.

Hard to say though. When the recession hit I was in my junior year and no one knew what the hell was going on.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby WokeUpInACar » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:23 pm

I think it is pretty silly that TLS has become so over the top negative that someone like you is considering not going. The options you'll have are going to be exponentially better than your current situation. Obviously you shouldn't attend if you don't want to be a lawyer, but I think not going to a t10 law school with $ or a t20 with $$$ just because of concerns about employment prospects, which, while not great, certainly aren't THAT bad, is kinda ridiculous when your curent situation sucks. Succeeding at anything is going to require some risks, and Sinfiery has noted the shortsightedness of many around here who overlook the relatively marginal value that your degree needs to add to make attending a good decision in the long run.

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby Cobretti » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:23 pm

WokeUpInACar wrote:I think it is pretty silly that TLS has become so over the top negative that someone like you is considering not going. The options you'll have are going to be exponentially better than your current situation. Obviously you shouldn't attend if you don't want to be a lawyer, but I think not going to a t10 law school with $ or a t20 with $$$ just because of concerns about employment prospects, which, while not great, certainly aren't THAT bad, is kinda ridiculous when your curent situation sucks. Succeeding at anything is going to require some risks, and Sinfiery has noted the shortsightedness of many around here who overlook the relatively marginal value that your degree needs to add to make attending a good decision in the long run.

+1

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Re: So ITE....who SHOULD go to law school?

Postby Ialdabaoth » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:51 pm

Tagging. Thanks, everyone.




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