What percent of law schools should close?

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

What percent of law schools should close?

0%
4
2%
25%
50
21%
50%
131
55%
75%
41
17%
93% (All but T14)
13
5%
 
Total votes: 239

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Dr. Dre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat May 25, 2013 5:59 am

ManOfTheMinute wrote:Close UC *Everything*


The whole UC system is a fucking joke.

20141023
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby 20141023 » Sat May 25, 2013 8:28 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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untar614
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby untar614 » Sat May 25, 2013 9:11 am

justonemoregame wrote:But if we close all teh law schools, what will happen to professor jobs? that's just more jobbs lost

I've long wondered the dissonance of professors teaching at TTT law schools. A lot of them, being law professors, went to top law schools, and would never want their own child to go to the very school they teach. So how can they sit there teaching these students at the TTT knowing them being there is a terrible idea?
jbagelboy wrote:
nickb285 wrote:Eliminate all TTTTs, all non-state flagship TT/TTTs. I'm fine with Kentucky, Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho, but not with American, Catholic, McGeorge, or USF.


+1. I would like to see a system with 50 or so respectable private law schools, and the top flagship state schools at a significant discount to their residents, with a few others treading water if they can keep their employment figures high enough like UCLA.

Yeah, I agree with this. I'd say most flagship state schools should stay even if theyre not "top" in order to serve their state, but should reduce class sized so employment %s are better. Also a fewf lower ranked, low cost schools like CUNY are good for certain PI so long as they keep tuition low and keep class sizes reasonable.
RELIC wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:It isn't the number of law schools, its the number of ABA accredited law schools. Most T3 and T4 should be converted into state-accredited schools akin to the California-accredited schools. Many of these service California's under served local populations (think Chico, Barstow, or San Luis Obispo). Students must pass the baby bar to get to the real bar. This process is difficult, and at the end of the line students are not competing for big firm jobs. Imagine how much better it would be if all of these students were segregated into a basic class-2 legal profession (I mean they already are, but they get to pretend that they are not right now).

So in your view it should be more like the MD vs. DO distinction in medicine?

That's not an appropriate comparison. MD and DO are essentially equivalent. DOs may have a harder time getting into orthopedics and the like, but they work as equals. What he's talking about it closer to MD vs PA.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sat May 25, 2013 9:28 am

Others have mentioned LSAT cutoffs as a possible way to limit applicants. I endorse the notion, but the rationale can be even simpler: Treat the LSAT as you would treat a final exam. If you fail an exam, you don't get credit for the course. Similarly, if you "fail" the LSAT, you are not eligible to apply to law school until you can pass it. I don't know about you guys, but for me a passing grade has always be 60%. On an average LSAT, getting 60% of the questions right means about a 153. So that's where I'll set my cutoff--no one can apply to law school until acheiving at least a 153.

To classify as school as "in trouble", I defined it as a school whose 25th percentile LSAT was at or below 153. I came up with--bingo!--99 schools, which seemed to be about the right number to shut down.

But absent an LSAT cutoff, we can go state-by-state to preserve the number of "regional" lawyers we'll need. However, a school will not be protected from saddling students with a buttload of debt just to preserve its "regionality." Disclaimer: Just what I'd like to see, not what I'm advocating.

Criteria are as follows. A school gets to stay provided that it is in one of the following:

Group 1--USNWR T25: Self-explanatory
Group 2--Tier 1 costing less than $30k/year: Add Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Florida, George Mason, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio State, Utah, William and Mary, and Wisconsin
Group 3--The best school in the state costing less than $20k/year: Add U. Arkansas, CUNY, U. District of Columbia, U. Hawaii, U. Idaho, U. Kansas, U. Kentucky, LSU, U. Mississippi, U. Missouri, U. Montana, U. Nebraska, U. New Mexico, U. North Dakota, U. Oklahoma, U. Puerto Rico, Southern Illinois, South Dakota, Temple, U. Tennessee, Texas Southern, U. West Virginia, and U. Wyoming

Others not methodologically included, but whom I would keep (could argue either way on these): Boston College, BU, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Colorado, UConn, Florida State, FIU, Georgia State, Louisville, U. Maine, UNLV, U. Oregon, Rutgers, U. South Carolina

That's a total of 78 schools. No school where a student doesn't have a decent shot at Biglaw has a COA over $150k. 46 states get schools, with the exception of AK (doesn't have one) and NH, RI, VT (currently all have one ridiculously overpriced TTT).

BTW, I'm only keeping Cooley if they start placing much more emphasis on the size of their library.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sat May 25, 2013 9:52 am

sublime wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Just let the free market sort it out, fellows.

The free market is too slow to react when schools are able to manipulate data like they do.



We have the free market solution right now. Everybody gets paid but the students.


I think most people would be in favor of some sort of fraud protection against the schools (oh hey ABA, haven't seen you in a while...). We've seen lots of schools manipulating their data and a few just outright making it up. The market will reach equilibrium faster if prospective students could see really just how screwed you are paying $200k at a TTT.

But at the same time, there's been a ton of mainstream coverage of how terrible an investment one of these degrees is, and students are still flocking to TTTs in droves. Any attempt to help probably runs afoul of the consulting paradox: Any student who is not smart enough to get into anything better than a TTT is also probably not smart enough to realize what a terrible investment a TTT is.

Basically, we can force schools to admit they're selling snake oil, but we can't force graduates not to buy snake oil, well aware it's snake oil.

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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby timbs4339 » Sun May 26, 2013 12:28 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
sublime wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Just let the free market sort it out, fellows.

The free market is too slow to react when schools are able to manipulate data like they do.



We have the free market solution right now. Everybody gets paid but the students.


I think most people would be in favor of some sort of fraud protection against the schools (oh hey ABA, haven't seen you in a while...). We've seen lots of schools manipulating their data and a few just outright making it up. The market will reach equilibrium faster if prospective students could see really just how screwed you are paying $200k at a TTT.

But at the same time, there's been a ton of mainstream coverage of how terrible an investment one of these degrees is, and students are still flocking to TTTs in droves. Any attempt to help probably runs afoul of the consulting paradox: Any student who is not smart enough to get into anything better than a TTT is also probably not smart enough to realize what a terrible investment a TTT is.

Basically, we can force schools to admit they're selling snake oil, but we can't force graduates not to buy snake oil, well aware it's snake oil.


Well, we could not fund their idiocy to the tune of 200K. While it wouldn't totally eliminate the many ways in which irrational people can find astronomical amounts to borrow for just about anything, there comes a point when "access" can't be the only goal of our higher education funding system.

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PDaddy
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby PDaddy » Sun May 26, 2013 2:20 am

jbagelboy wrote:
...if we have ~100 law schools and lowered class sizes, we could potentially produce slightly less FEWER lawyers...

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rickgrimes69
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun May 26, 2013 8:53 am

timbs4339 wrote:Well, we could not fund their idiocy to the tune of 200K. While it wouldn't totally eliminate the many ways in which irrational people can find astronomical amounts to borrow for just about anything, there comes a point when "access" can't be the only goal of our higher education funding system.


Pretty much this. The reason tuition is obscenely high is because of unlimited availability of fixed-rate student loans. This results in two things:

1) Schools have zero incentive to reduce tuition because everybody can afford law school on the government's dime, and
2) People with a relatively high chance of a positive outcome (say, those attending a T14 with $$$) are stuck subsidizing the idiotic whims of those dropping $250k on Thomas Jefferson. There's no good reason why interest rates on student loans shouldn't be evaluated based on risk, just like nearly every other loan.

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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby 0831kf » Sun May 26, 2013 9:13 am

This is funny but also very important topic.

I would say save all T1s (upto appx 100), with at least one to two state schools in each state. The rest of LS, especially private, should close, when all they are doing is manipulating their students and getting them in huge debt without job after graduation.

Stinson
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Stinson » Sun May 26, 2013 10:33 am

Aren't we forgetting the all the VALUABLE legal scholarship we would be losing without all the professors from those schools?

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun May 26, 2013 11:10 am

rickgrimes69 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Well, we could not fund their idiocy to the tune of 200K. While it wouldn't totally eliminate the many ways in which irrational people can find astronomical amounts to borrow for just about anything, there comes a point when "access" can't be the only goal of our higher education funding system.


Pretty much this. The reason tuition is obscenely high is because of unlimited availability of fixed-rate student loans. This results in two things:

1) Schools have zero incentive to reduce tuition because everybody can afford law school on the government's dime, and
2) People with a relatively high chance of a positive outcome (say, those attending a T14 with $$$) are stuck subsidizing the idiotic whims of those dropping $250k on Thomas Jefferson. There's no good reason why interest rates on student loans shouldn't be evaluated based on risk, just like nearly every other loan.


Stop me when this sounds familiar:

1. The government decides to promote ownership of a particular good that costs most people six figures, and subsidizes their ability to do so, even as many people are saying this will create more of this good than is economically desirable or even feasible.
2. Those in a good position to pay back the debt on this good (the "prime borrowers", if you will) continue as they always have.
3. However, the providers of these goods notice these subsidies have given them a fantastic financial opportunity among those who are in not as good a position to pay back the debt on this good (the "subprime borowers", if you will).
4. Driven by greed, the providers of these goods manipulate numbers, glaze over serious red flags, and sometimes outright lie to sell their good as a worthwhile investment. All the while, the majority of the good's buyers remain willfully ignorant, having been lied to but also failing to have done the thorough analysis that would have revealed the impossibility of paying back the debt.

I just can't seem to remember exactly where I've heard this before, but I'm getting such a weird sense of deja vu. Can anyone tell me how this turns out?

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun May 26, 2013 11:38 am

Stinson wrote:Aren't we forgetting the all the VALUABLE legal scholarship we would be losing without all the professors from those schools?


Indeed, this would be a tragedy. Imagine the horrors the students of tomorrow might have to face if Administrative Law Professor Johnny Yalegrad was forced to have a nasty, brutish and short K Street tenure before waltzing into his six-figure job where he works 20 hours a week. I mean, thinking your professor should maybe have ever filed a complaint for mandamus before tenure-tracking into your classroom at 30? That is sheer plebian nonsense. Besides, having practical experience to contribute to your students saps valuable time from being able to publish groundbreaking, widely applicable scholarly literature like "Deconstructing Reconstructive Poverty Law: Practice-Based Critique of the Storytelling Aspects of the Theoretics of Practice Movement".

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SemperLegal
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby SemperLegal » Sun May 26, 2013 11:59 am

RELIC wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:It isn't the number of law schools, its the number of ABA accredited law schools. Most T3 and T4 should be converted into state-accredited schools akin to the California-accredited schools. Many of these service California's under served local populations (think Chico, Barstow, or San Luis Obispo). Students must pass the baby bar to get to the real bar. This process is difficult, and at the end of the line students are not competing for big firm jobs. Imagine how much better it would be if all of these students were segregated into a basic class-2 legal profession (I mean they already are, but they get to pretend that they are not right now).

So in your view it should be more like the MD vs. DO distinction in medicine?


More like lawyers in the rest of the world, where either paralegals or UG-trained lawyers handle 99% of transactions and a great deal of litigation. Experienced and higher-educated lawyers only get called in when things are novel.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Sun May 26, 2013 1:35 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Well, we could not fund their idiocy to the tune of 200K. While it wouldn't totally eliminate the many ways in which irrational people can find astronomical amounts to borrow for just about anything, there comes a point when "access" can't be the only goal of our higher education funding system.


Pretty much this. The reason tuition is obscenely high is because of unlimited availability of fixed-rate student loans. This results in two things:

1) Schools have zero incentive to reduce tuition because everybody can afford law school on the government's dime, and
2) People with a relatively high chance of a positive outcome (say, those attending a T14 with $$$) are stuck subsidizing the idiotic whims of those dropping $250k on Thomas Jefferson. There's no good reason why interest rates on student loans shouldn't be evaluated based on risk, just like nearly every other loan.


Stop me when this sounds familiar:

1. The government decides to promote ownership of a particular good that costs most people six figures, and subsidizes their ability to do so, even as many people are saying this will create more of this good than is economically desirable or even feasible.
2. Those in a good position to pay back the debt on this good (the "prime borrowers", if you will) continue as they always have.
3. However, the providers of these goods notice these subsidies have given them a fantastic financial opportunity among those who are in not as good a position to pay back the debt on this good (the "subprime borowers", if you will).
4. Driven by greed, the providers of these goods manipulate numbers, glaze over serious red flags, and sometimes outright lie to sell their good as a worthwhile investment. All the while, the majority of the good's buyers remain willfully ignorant, having been lied to but also failing to have done the thorough analysis that would have revealed the impossibility of paying back the debt.

I just can't seem to remember exactly where I've heard this before, but I'm getting such a weird sense of deja vu. Can anyone tell me how this turns out?


I see the point you're trying to make, and while the two scenarios aren't exactly analogous for a variety of reasons, the bigger problem with student loans is that a house will always retains some level of equity, whereas a degree is functionally worthless if you can't get a job.

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sublime
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby sublime » Sun May 26, 2013 1:59 pm

..

071816
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby 071816 » Sun May 26, 2013 2:55 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:Close UC *Everything*

calm your balls

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2014
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby 2014 » Sun May 26, 2013 3:08 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Others have mentioned LSAT cutoffs as a possible way to limit applicants. I endorse the notion, but the rationale can be even simpler: Treat the LSAT as you would treat a final exam. If you fail an exam, you don't get credit for the course. Similarly, if you "fail" the LSAT, you are not eligible to apply to law school until you can pass it. I don't know about you guys, but for me a passing grade has always be 60%. On an average LSAT, getting 60% of the questions right means about a 153. So that's where I'll set my cutoff--no one can apply to law school until acheiving at least a 153.

To classify as school as "in trouble", I defined it as a school whose 25th percentile LSAT was at or below 153. I came up with--bingo!--99 schools, which seemed to be about the right number to shut down.

But absent an LSAT cutoff, we can go state-by-state to preserve the number of "regional" lawyers we'll need. However, a school will not be protected from saddling students with a buttload of debt just to preserve its "regionality." Disclaimer: Just what I'd like to see, not what I'm advocating.

Criteria are as follows. A school gets to stay provided that it is in one of the following:

Group 1--USNWR T25: Self-explanatory
Group 2--Tier 1 costing less than $30k/year: Add Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Florida, George Mason, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio State, Utah, William and Mary, and Wisconsin
Group 3--The best school in the state costing less than $20k/year: Add U. Arkansas, CUNY, U. District of Columbia, U. Hawaii, U. Idaho, U. Kansas, U. Kentucky, LSU, U. Mississippi, U. Missouri, U. Montana, U. Nebraska, U. New Mexico, U. North Dakota, U. Oklahoma, U. Puerto Rico, Southern Illinois, South Dakota, Temple, U. Tennessee, Texas Southern, U. West Virginia, and U. Wyoming

Others not methodologically included, but whom I would keep (could argue either way on these): Boston College, BU, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Colorado, UConn, Florida State, FIU, Georgia State, Louisville, U. Maine, UNLV, U. Oregon, Rutgers, U. South Carolina

That's a total of 78 schools. No school where a student doesn't have a decent shot at Biglaw has a COA over $150k. 46 states get schools, with the exception of AK (doesn't have one) and NH, RI, VT (currently all have one ridiculously overpriced TTT).

BTW, I'm only keeping Cooley if they start placing much more emphasis on the size of their library.


I like this in general. I would eliminate the following:
Georgia State (Emory and UGA are more than sufficient)
Southern Illinois (Illinois, Indiana, and Notre Dame)
FIU (FSU/UF suffice)
U.DC and Mason (GW and GULC are egregiously oversized and the T14 sends plenty to DC)
Probably get rid of one of W&L or W&M, they are really similar and could be consolidated.

I'd probably add another PA school, leaning Temple, maybe Case Western and probably two California schools back in (yeah they are all shit but the state is huge)

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun May 26, 2013 3:58 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Well, we could not fund their idiocy to the tune of 200K. While it wouldn't totally eliminate the many ways in which irrational people can find astronomical amounts to borrow for just about anything, there comes a point when "access" can't be the only goal of our higher education funding system.


Pretty much this. The reason tuition is obscenely high is because of unlimited availability of fixed-rate student loans. This results in two things:

1) Schools have zero incentive to reduce tuition because everybody can afford law school on the government's dime, and
2) People with a relatively high chance of a positive outcome (say, those attending a T14 with $$$) are stuck subsidizing the idiotic whims of those dropping $250k on Thomas Jefferson. There's no good reason why interest rates on student loans shouldn't be evaluated based on risk, just like nearly every other loan.


Stop me when this sounds familiar:

1. The government decides to promote ownership of a particular good that costs most people six figures, and subsidizes their ability to do so, even as many people are saying this will create more of this good than is economically desirable or even feasible.
2. Those in a good position to pay back the debt on this good (the "prime borrowers", if you will) continue as they always have.
3. However, the providers of these goods notice these subsidies have given them a fantastic financial opportunity among those who are in not as good a position to pay back the debt on this good (the "subprime borowers", if you will).
4. Driven by greed, the providers of these goods manipulate numbers, glaze over serious red flags, and sometimes outright lie to sell their good as a worthwhile investment. All the while, the majority of the good's buyers remain willfully ignorant, having been lied to but also failing to have done the thorough analysis that would have revealed the impossibility of paying back the debt.

I just can't seem to remember exactly where I've heard this before, but I'm getting such a weird sense of deja vu. Can anyone tell me how this turns out?


I see the point you're trying to make, and while the two scenarios aren't exactly analogous for a variety of reasons, the bigger problem with student loans is that a house will always retains some level of equity, whereas a degree is functionally worthless if you can't get a job.


True. In that respect, a JD is an even riskier investment than a house, and therefore an even less viable candidate for guaranteed subsidized loans.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the comparison for "JD without Biglaw" versus Bachelor's is still staggering.

Assumptions--Bachelor's:
-Three extra years on the JD, for a total of 13 in this analysis
-Starting take-home pay of $32k (corresponding to a $45k starting salary--would be higher for a STEM background).
-Starting COL of $25k/year.
-For simplicity's sake, take-home pay growth of 4% per year and a COL growth of 2.5% per year.
-Leftover money is invested and earns 4% per year.

Assumptions--JD without Biglaw:
-Total of 10 years
-Starting take-home pay of $40k (corresponding to a $60k starting salary, and that's probably generous)
-Starting COL of $25k/year.
-$100k of debt, with a minimum payment of $1250/month = $15k/year. I know sticker is $250k but with minimum payments of $3k/month, our hero defaults immediately. This is the most it's possible to take on without default, absent assistance programs. 8% interest per year.
-Again, take-home pay growth of 4% per year and a COL growth of 2.5% year.
-All leftover money goes to debt payment.


I've kept it all as equal as I could to make an apples-to-apples comparison. Presumably, each is 35 at the end of this analysis:

-Bachelor's net worth: $195k
-JD without Biglaw net worth: $79k

Far from the upper middle-class lifestyle JD imagined, he's in the hole over $100k compared to if he hadn't gone to law school. And this is only assuming $100k of debt. If JD goes into sticker debt, he defaults immediately, his credit score is destroyed forever, the IRS garnishes his wages and he's basically poverty-level for 20 years.

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BerkeleyBear
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby BerkeleyBear » Sun May 26, 2013 4:26 pm

ManOfTheMinute wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:close UC Irvine


Close UC *Everything*

Side note: I'm impressed by the restraint TLS has shown by having the majority of people voting for 50%, not the T14 one or 75%... yay for us.

You'll fit in well at Stanford.

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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 27, 2013 11:03 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:Pretty much this. The reason tuition is obscenely high is because of unlimited availability of fixed-rate student loans. This results in two things:

1) Schools have zero incentive to reduce tuition because everybody can afford law school on the government's dime, and
2) People with a relatively high chance of a positive outcome (say, those attending a T14 with $$$) are stuck subsidizing the idiotic whims of those dropping $250k on Thomas Jefferson. There's no good reason why interest rates on student loans shouldn't be evaluated based on risk, just like nearly every other loan.


Stop me when this sounds familiar:

1. The government decides to promote ownership of a particular good that costs most people six figures, and subsidizes their ability to do so, even as many people are saying this will create more of this good than is economically desirable or even feasible.
2. Those in a good position to pay back the debt on this good (the "prime borrowers", if you will) continue as they always have.
3. However, the providers of these goods notice these subsidies have given them a fantastic financial opportunity among those who are in not as good a position to pay back the debt on this good (the "subprime borowers", if you will).
4. Driven by greed, the providers of these goods manipulate numbers, glaze over serious red flags, and sometimes outright lie to sell their good as a worthwhile investment. All the while, the majority of the good's buyers remain willfully ignorant, having been lied to but also failing to have done the thorough analysis that would have revealed the impossibility of paying back the debt.

I just can't seem to remember exactly where I've heard this before, but I'm getting such a weird sense of deja vu. Can anyone tell me how this turns out?


I see the point you're trying to make, and while the two scenarios aren't exactly analogous for a variety of reasons, the bigger problem with student loans is that a house will always retains some level of equity, whereas a degree is functionally worthless if you can't get a job.


True. In that respect, a JD is an even riskier investment than a house, and therefore an even less viable candidate for guaranteed subsidized loans.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the comparison for "JD without Biglaw" versus Bachelor's is still staggering.

Assumptions--Bachelor's:
-Three extra years on the JD, for a total of 13 in this analysis
-Starting take-home pay of $32k (corresponding to a $45k starting salary--would be higher for a STEM background).
-Starting COL of $25k/year.
-For simplicity's sake, take-home pay growth of 4% per year and a COL growth of 2.5% per year.
-Leftover money is invested and earns 4% per year.

Assumptions--JD without Biglaw:
-Total of 10 years
-Starting take-home pay of $40k (corresponding to a $60k starting salary, and that's probably generous)
-Starting COL of $25k/year.
-$100k of debt, with a minimum payment of $1250/month = $15k/year. I know sticker is $250k but with minimum payments of $3k/month, our hero defaults immediately. This is the most it's possible to take on without default, absent assistance programs. 8% interest per year.
-Again, take-home pay growth of 4% per year and a COL growth of 2.5% year.
-All leftover money goes to debt payment.


I've kept it all as equal as I could to make an apples-to-apples comparison. Presumably, each is 35 at the end of this analysis:

-Bachelor's net worth: $195k
-JD without Biglaw net worth: $79k

Far from the upper middle-class lifestyle JD imagined, he's in the hole over $100k compared to if he hadn't gone to law school. And this is only assuming $100k of debt. If JD goes into sticker debt, he defaults immediately, his credit score is destroyed forever, the IRS garnishes his wages and he's basically poverty-level for 20 years.


You have posted many conclusions since creating an account two weeks ago; first, your calculations and lists are good efforts and impressive for one person, so thank you. However, this, among other conclusory remarks based on tedious assumptions, has some serious flaws.

1) roughly half of recent BAs are underemployed (part time) and 25% are unemployed, thus making signicantly less that $45K/year.

2) if you miss biglaw on sizeable debt, you dont just default. Many non-biglaw individuals go into PI or clerkships by CHOICE and employ debt relief LRAP programs. if you miss both PI and biglaw, You go on IBR for 10 years. Your scenario omits the reality lived by most JDs. Its far from glorious, but not wage garnishing.

3) lastly, some people actually would prefer practicing law than some other "45k" job. Some of these jobs are horrible, and some (but far from all) non- biglaw work can be rewarding.

Overall, your statements economically are valid and I agree a JD is only worth it under certain circumstances, but be conscious of the serious assumptions you're engaged in

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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon May 27, 2013 11:06 pm

BerkeleyBear wrote:
ManOfTheMinute wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:close UC Irvine


Close UC *Everything*

Side note: I'm impressed by the restraint TLS has shown by having the majority of people voting for 50%, not the T14 one or 75%... yay for us.

You'll fit in well at Stanford.


UCs were good options when their in-state tuition was an available, reasonable cost option for CA residents. At $47,000+, they are absurd. I dont think UCB and UCLA should close, they are good schools, but they need to cap instate tuition at $30K/year or less

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue May 28, 2013 8:25 am

jbagelboy wrote: You have posted many conclusions since creating an account two weeks ago; first, your calculations and lists are good efforts and impressive for one person, so thank you. However, this, among other conclusory remarks based on tedious assumptions, has some serious flaws.

1) roughly half of recent BAs are underemployed (part time) and 25% are unemployed, thus making signicantly less that $45K/year.

2) if you miss biglaw on sizeable debt, you dont just default. Many non-biglaw individuals go into PI or clerkships by CHOICE and employ debt relief LRAP programs. if you miss both PI and biglaw, You go on IBR for 10 years. Your scenario omits the reality lived by most JDs. Its far from glorious, but not wage garnishing.

3) lastly, some people actually would prefer practicing law than some other "45k" job. Some of these jobs are horrible, and some (but far from all) non- biglaw work can be rewarding.

Overall, your statements economically are valid and I agree a JD is only worth it under certain circumstances, but be conscious of the serious assumptions you're engaged in


I understand. These calculations are more intended to be back-of-the-envelope rough guidelines than serious conclusions (a word that means something different statistically than how it is commonly used), and can vary significantly with changes in assumptions. I'm just trying to be clear about where I'm coming from so it doesn't seem like a quantitative approach to something is entirely made up. That's not to suggest my assumptions are the only ones that one could apply, or even that they are valid.

1. Do you have a source for the 25% unemployed figure? That seems very high to me. That's not suggesting you're incorrect, just that I haven't heard that before. I was operating under an assuming of about 6% unemployment (news source here. I know the total unemployment figure for twenty-somethings is not a perfect analogue for the unemployment rate nine months after graduation, for example, but it seems like it shouldn't be significantly higher. Of course, this rate varies significantly by type of grad--STEM grads have a figure probably around two percent, whereas those in the humanities might be around 11 or 12 percent.

Starting salary of $45k comes from here. I see where your underemployment data comes from (April 2012, right?), but this seems to have improved significantly over the past year.

2. I don't know the ins and outs of IBR/PAYE as well as others on this board do, but my understanding was that they allow you to essentially tread water on your debt (at a non-Biglaw position, be it clerking or otherwise, and sticker debt, it would come out to roughly covering the interest) until you are in a better financial position. The natural extension of that question is what the long-term salary prospects of someone who strikes out at Biglaw to start with are. Can someone in that position be expected to eventually regain enough financial standing to render themselves healthy?

3. True. Even though non-financial considerations can't really be quantified and are near-impossible to weigh in an impartial fashion, they nonetheless constitute an important factor in an individual's job search.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue May 28, 2013 9:33 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:1. Do you have a source for the 25% unemployed figure? That seems very high to me. That's not suggesting you're incorrect, just that I haven't heard that before. I was operating under an assuming of about 6% unemployment (news source here. I know the total unemployment figure for twenty-somethings is not a perfect analogue for the unemployment rate nine months after graduation, for example, but it seems like it shouldn't be significantly higher. Of course, this rate varies significantly by type of grad--STEM grads have a figure probably around two percent, whereas those in the humanities might be around 11 or 12 percent.

That data includes people who are as much as seven years into their careers. They're completely irrelevant to the prospects of recent grads.
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:Starting salary of $45k comes from here. I see where your underemployment data comes from (April 2012, right?), but this seems to have improved significantly over the past year.
This data also seems like smoke and mirrors created by the higher education industry. It only counts people working "in their field of study" (what does that even mean for a history or English major?) and says literally nothing about sample size or self-reporting bias.

I agree that overall your impression of the prospects for many recent graduates is too rosy.

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finnandjake2
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby finnandjake2 » Tue May 28, 2013 10:06 am

I think "too rosy" is an understatement.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: What percent of law schools should close?

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue May 28, 2013 10:22 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote: That data includes people who are as much as seven years into their careers. They're completely irrelevant to the prospects of recent grads.


An 8.8% percent unemployment rate for Bachelor's holders 21-24 is a better proxy, right? It's still not perfect, because it includes data from those a couple years into a potential career, but I would suspect it comes close. Those data also suggest a total underemployment rate of 18.3%. Source here

This data also seems like smoke and mirrors created by the higher education industry. It only counts people working "in their field of study" (what does that even mean for a history or English major?) and says literally nothing about sample size or self-reporting bias.

I agree that overall your impression of the prospects for many recent graduates is too rosy.


Well, the NACE data isn't a student response survey (which lends the obvious selection bias that we've seen in so many law school reports), but rather what they claim to be data gathered about 400,000 employers from outside sources. Whether those sources are unbiased is another question, but a bias would be at least be less overt in this method. But point certainly taken about the "field of study" bias. For STEM or finance/accounting grads, this is relatively easy to discern, but for graduates who don't have an easy path into employment (usually humanities), it is certainly harder. And counting the data as such excludes those who are probably the least well off who are nonetheless "employed"--those outside their field of study.

You can take all this into account and rework such a calculation as you like--I'm not married to those assumptions which, as you pointed out, could reasonably be doubted. However, I believe the point still stands (not that it was especially controversial): Most folks paying sticker debt who don't get Biglaw are, at minimum from a financial standpoint, worse off than had they never gone to law school at all. And there is a particular set of schools (aka 75% of them) for whom Biglaw is almost never an option.




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