Going from a good job to law school

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:19 pm

As you might guess, the standards ought to be very stringent. If you are giving up a very high opportunity cost to attend law school, then you need a school producing a very high expected benefit to justify the expense.

Here's a back-of-the-envelope calculation: Assume a Biglaw career is five years (about the longest you can stay on if you really want to before being sort of forced out, though it's worth noting the median Biglaw career is shorter than five years). Current market wage and Cravath scale bonuses get you a total five-year income of just over $1M, and call that $650k after taxes. Then subtract law school expenses--tuition, other fees, any cost you wouldn't incur outside of law school.

Then, plan out an eight-year (for comparative time purposes) chart estimating your after-tax income if you stay in your current position. Someone who makes $100k and gets modest annual pay increases is looking at probably somewhere in the range of $900k over eight years, and call that around $600k after taxes.

That analysis would suggest you only attend law school for cost X where (650 - X) > 600, or essentially only on a full ride or very close. And that doesn't begin to factor in interest on your debt, foregone investment opportunities, and the notion of a riskier path (leaving a job you have for sure, and you know you're decent at) for a reward that isn't really higher. And, most importantly, that analysis assumes you have a 100% chance at Biglaw, which you don't at any school that offers scholarships. That's why I say $100k income is about the point where no one should go to law school under any circumstances unless there is a darn good non-financially-based reason to do so. If you make a little less (75-100k), it might depend on your specific math, but the range that would make it a reasonable decision is still extraordinarily narrow.

To reiterate the upshot of all that: I would advise you not to go to law school on anything besides a CCN full ride.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:19 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:As you might guess, the standards ought to be very stringent. If you are giving up a very high opportunity cost to attend law school, then you need a school producing a very high expected benefit to justify the expense.

Here's a back-of-the-envelope calculation: Assume a Biglaw career is five years (about the longest you can stay on if you really want to before being sort of forced out, though it's worth noting the median Biglaw career is shorter than five years). Current market wage and Cravath scale bonuses get you a total five-year income of just over $1M, and call that $650k after taxes. Then subtract law school expenses--tuition, other fees, any cost you wouldn't incur outside of law school.

Then, plan out an eight-year (for comparative time purposes) chart estimating your after-tax income if you stay in your current position. Someone who makes $100k and gets modest annual pay increases is looking at probably somewhere in the range of $900k over eight years, and call that around $600k after taxes.

That analysis would suggest you only attend law school for cost X where (650 - X) > 600, or essentially only on a full ride or very close. And that doesn't begin to factor in interest on your debt, foregone investment opportunities, and the notion of a riskier path (leaving a job you have for sure, and you know you're decent at) for a reward that isn't really higher. And, most importantly, that analysis assumes you have a 100% chance at Biglaw, which you don't at any school that offers scholarships. That's why I say $100k income is about the point where no one should go to law school under any circumstances unless there is a darn good non-financially-based reason to do so. If you make a little less (75-100k), it might depend on your specific math, but the range that would make it a reasonable decision is still extraordinarily narrow.

To reiterate the upshot of all that: I would advise you not to go to law school on anything besides a CCN full ride.


Spot on. Not to mention that after your (optimistically) five years in biglaw you will almost certainly take a significant paycut at your next job.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:28 pm

Oh, and as was mentioned above, saying you want to leave a job that you find mind-numbing/soul-sucking to go into Biglaw is a bit like saying "I feel very cold, so to warm up I'd like to light myself on fire."

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paglababa
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby paglababa » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:08 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:As you might guess, the standards ought to be very stringent. If you are giving up a very high opportunity cost to attend law school, then you need a school producing a very high expected benefit to justify the expense.

Here's a back-of-the-envelope calculation: Assume a Biglaw career is five years (about the longest you can stay on if you really want to before being sort of forced out, though it's worth noting the median Biglaw career is shorter than five years). Current market wage and Cravath scale bonuses get you a total five-year income of just over $1M, and call that $650k after taxes. Then subtract law school expenses--tuition, other fees, any cost you wouldn't incur outside of law school.

Then, plan out an eight-year (for comparative time purposes) chart estimating your after-tax income if you stay in your current position. Someone who makes $100k and gets modest annual pay increases is looking at probably somewhere in the range of $900k over eight years, and call that around $600k after taxes.

That analysis would suggest you only attend law school for cost X where (650 - X) > 600, or essentially only on a full ride or very close. And that doesn't begin to factor in interest on your debt, foregone investment opportunities, and the notion of a riskier path (leaving a job you have for sure, and you know you're decent at) for a reward that isn't really higher. And, most importantly, that analysis assumes you have a 100% chance at Biglaw, which you don't at any school that offers scholarships. That's why I say $100k income is about the point where no one should go to law school under any circumstances unless there is a darn good non-financially-based reason to do so. If you make a little less (75-100k), it might depend on your specific math, but the range that would make it a reasonable decision is still extraordinarily narrow.

To reiterate the upshot of all that: I would advise you not to go to law school on anything besides a CCN full ride.


This.
OP what is your GPA/LSAT?
Based on your situation and career ambitions you outlined:
1. I would not attend outside of T14 if you already have a job paying 100k no matter how free COA is.
2. I would not attend sticker anywhere, including HYS. (HYS at sticker would only make sense at sticker if you were completly interested in a 180 change in career to prestigious fed/academia/govt/politics. NOT Biglaw/business/Income)
3. CCN for free sounds like a great deal, but are the hardest outcome to get in all of lawschool apps.
4. You'll need to make a tough decision between attending a lower T14 for free and possibly not getting biglaw. I make 3/4ths of what you make, and I, personally, would take North Western $150k scholarship in a heartbeat. But this is because I'd like to practice law and don't think the oppurtunity cost is as devestating.

Ruluo
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby Ruluo » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:36 am

I feel as though you all are being fairly narrow minded--who goes to law school for the money?? (*see posts above regarding the likely actual NPV)

If you're looking for the pure economics of it, go into finance. I'm in finance now and my third year out of undergrad (already have the offer) I'd be making more than a "biglaw" associate, the pay scales much more quickly, and the work is actually very interesting.

Call me completely crazy, but if we're talking top of the line schools here, I think there's a lot of value to the authority and respect (rightly or wrongly) that are conferred on people who have these degrees, and there's definitely value to the optionality they provide as well. Yes, the opportunity cost is frightening, but I can't see myself regretting the decision 15 years down the line (and can easily see myself regretting not going for it).

Note: I'm really talking about a very small subset of schools...

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jingosaur
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby jingosaur » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:37 am

So right now I'm at 3.76/170, but I'm retaking in October.

My target schools are the JD/MBA programs at Penn, Harvard, Northwestern, and Columbia (in no particular order). I'm applying to a few other schools, but I will not apply to any law school outside the T13 and I will not apply to any business school that's not "Top 10" (I put that in quotes because there are about 16 U.S. business schools that consider themselves top 10). My final decision will depend a lot on scholarship money and what I learn about each program as the cycle progresses.

Personally, I don't see myself doing my current job long term since it gives me no chance at my long term career goals which is why I can justify going even though the cost-benfit doesn't necessarily add up. I've read a lot on this subject, I'm well aware of the risks, and I feel like I'll be able to make a well-educated choice.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:39 am

When I left the military I had a civilian job offer of over a 100K. It is unlikely I'll ever completely recover the money I turned down as I don't plan to stay in Biglaw very long, but I'm happy with my decision. Money isn't everything but it did factor heavily in my decision. As I was deciding whether to go to law school or continue working my two main considerations were the amount of cash I would have had to pay and the likelyhood of a job after graduation. With that being said my two stipulations for turning down the job were:

I wanted to go to law school for free.
I wanted to at least go to a top ten school.

Having the GI BIll really helped with my decision process. There was no way I was going to go into 200K in debt when I had a job that would pay me 100k+. With the GI Bill I didn't really have to worry about tuition at many law schools. So I just focused on the LSAT and tried to get into the best school possible. Even if I got into a top ten school I wasn't sure I was going to law school because of all of the stories I'd read about law school grads being unemployed. I was aiming for Berkeley. I figured that if I got in I'd really evaluate whether the school was worth me turning down the job offer. After retaking the LSAT I got a much better score and I was in play for higher ranked schools. After I got into HYS it made the decision easier but I think I still might have taken the other job if it didn't require me to live in overseas, which would mean I would have to pay European taxes and it required occasional deployments to war zones, which wasn't something I wanted to do. It is a hard decision to quit a good job to go to law school but I think under certain circumstances it's the right decision.

froglee
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby froglee » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:46 am

Instead going to law school, you can use that 160K to start a small business and fail 4 times(cost 40K). You can learn more in life this way.

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paglababa
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby paglababa » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:51 am

goldbh7 wrote:So right now I'm at 3.76/170, but I'm retaking in October.

My target schools are the JD/MBA programs at Penn, Harvard, Northwestern, and Columbia (in no particular order). I'm applying to a few other schools, but I will not apply to any law school outside the T13 and I will not apply to any business school that's not "Top 10" (I put that in quotes because there are about 16 U.S. business schools that consider themselves top 10). My final decision will depend a lot on scholarship money and what I learn about each program as the cycle progresses.

Personally, I don't see myself doing my current job long term since it gives me no chance at my long term career goals which is why I can justify going even though the cost-benfit doesn't necessarily add up. I've read a lot on this subject, I'm well aware of the risks, and I feel like I'll be able to make a well-educated choice.


You could ED at NU. They offer $50k/year scholarship for all ED matriculants. I'd keep this in mind, and make the decision after getting my October LSAT score if I were you.

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jingosaur
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby jingosaur » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:02 am

paglababa wrote:You could ED at NU. They offer $50k/year scholarship for all ED matriculants. I'd keep this in mind, and make the decision after getting my October LSAT score if I were you.



Northwestern's JD/MBA program has a different application process. You have to apply with only the B-school app and they don't consider your LSAT score which is my weak point right now. I could really see myself going to NU because the JD/MBA program is very well-integrated, it's a T14/M7 combination, and it has historically had awesome job placement. Scholarships are determined by the law school, but I'm not sure whether they give out full scholarships for the JD/MBA program.

And thanks for the insight uncommon!

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UVAIce
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby UVAIce » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:31 am

Paul Campos wrote:My sarcastic response to JDBB doesn't convey the real point, which is this:

Law school doesn't train people in the basics of how to practice a profession, in the way medical and dental schools do, and it doesn't train people in an academic discipline, in the way that PhD programs do. So why exactly are people being charged $40,000 and $50,000 and $60,000 per year? (CLS is now at $60,000+ per year if you count mandatory health insurance). What are they supposed to be getting in return for those staggering sums of money?

The answer, of course, is they are supposedly gaining some sort of uniquely valuable (and versatile!) intellectual skills, that are apparently impossible to describe straightforwardly, and indeed take on an almost mystical quality when they're described at all. ("You come here with minds full of mush. You leave thinking like lawyers.") That's what you're paying for . . . some mysterious sort of intellectual "rigor" which can be found no place else.

But if that's all basically nonsense (and it is), then what?


I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.

Why don't you go back to warning the United States about BMI?

Edit: My main issue with your work is that you spend a lot of time attacking the job prospects of lawyers and what law school does (or doesn't) teach. Personally, I feel the biggest problem is how we finance education in the United States.
Last edited by UVAIce on Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

RoaringMice
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby RoaringMice » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:33 am

I used to work in recruiting for what I'd call an "elite level", education sensitive MBA employer. We only hired MBAs from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Penn, Dartmouth, Northwestern, and INSEAD in Europe. I say that because even if a school is "top 14", that's not necessarily good enough. For certain employers/industries, it needs to be specific schools. And not the "newer" top schools, but the old-school top schools. Just something to be aware of.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:39 am

RoaringMice wrote:I used to work in recruiting for what I'd call an "elite level", education sensitive MBA employer. We only hired MBAs from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Penn, Dartmouth, Northwestern, and INSEAD in Europe. I say that because even if a school is "top 14", that's not necessarily good enough. For certain employers/industries, it needs to be specific schools. And not the "newer" top schools, but the old-school top schools. Just something to be aware of.


Wow, so your firm wouldn't hire someone from Booth? It must be pretty Elite because every major consulting firm I know of hires from Booth (esp. if their hiring from Tuck)

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jingosaur
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby jingosaur » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:44 am

RoaringMice wrote:I used to work in recruiting for what I'd call an "elite level", education sensitive MBA employer. We only hired MBAs from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Penn, Dartmouth, Northwestern, and INSEAD in Europe. I say that because even if a school is "top 14", that's not necessarily good enough. For certain employers/industries, it needs to be specific schools. And not the "newer" top schools, but the old-school top schools. Just something to be aware of.


Yeah, I know it's common for MBA employers to pick only a small subset MBA programs, but Harvard, Stanford, and Penn are always in the mix. With the 7 schools that you listed, it sounds like you worked for a marketing firm.

FYI, the U.S. b-schools that I consider equivalent to the T14 are Harvard, Stanford, Penn, MIT, NU, Chicago, Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale, Duke, UVA, Cornell, UCLA, Michigan, NYU, and Cal-Berk in no particular order.

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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:48 am

UVAIce wrote:I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.


As you said yourself, law school is a professional school. That DOES make it different from other "academia" -- at least it makes it more comparable to nursing school or dental school or medical school than to PhD programs in History (which of course have plenty of their own problems, but that's not what we're talking about). You may very well be right that most US higher education is no longer worth the cost. Is that a reason to make a bad financial decision? "Well I might as well go into massive debt for low job prospects with law school, since a lot of other degrees also have bad job prospects and high cost." There's nothing "crying wolf" about Mr. Campos -- the job prospects of lawyers are indeed very bad, and the cost is indeed often unjustified. I see it firsthand all the time -- my friends who can't find jobs, the qualified, intelligent people who are flooding us with resumes to do doc review at $25/hr. I can understand why people find this hard to swallow when they were raised with different expectations, and you're right, education should be financed differently, and people shouldn't be taking on this kind of debt to do law or any school. None of that makes Campos wrong.

NYstate
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:49 am

goldbh7 wrote:So right now I'm at 3.76/170, but I'm retaking in October.

My target schools are the JD/MBA programs at Penn, Harvard, Northwestern, and Columbia (in no particular order). I'm applying to a few other schools, but I will not apply to any law school outside the T13 and I will not apply to any business school that's not "Top 10" (I put that in quotes because there are about 16 U.S. business schools that consider themselves top 10). My final decision will depend a lot on scholarship money and what I learn about each program as the cycle progresses.

Personally, I don't see myself doing my current job long term since it gives me no chance at my long term career goals which is why I can justify going even though the cost-benfit doesn't necessarily add up. I've read a lot on this subject, I'm well aware of the risks, and I feel like I'll be able to make a well-educated choice.


This isn't just directed at you. I'm wondering generally how many people who say they are aware of the risks have a solid plan B in mind if law doesn't work out. My sense from spending way too much time on this forum is that people give lip service to understanding the risk, but almost no one makes a plan for the downside. It's a bit like people assuming they will be above median or that they will get biglaw. I feel that people may be saying " I know this outcome can theoretically happen so I accept that it might. " But most of these people are really not accepting that it could happen to them and planning what they will do if law doesn't work put for them.

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UVAIce
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby UVAIce » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:49 am

goldbh7 wrote:
RoaringMice wrote:I used to work in recruiting for what I'd call an "elite level", education sensitive MBA employer. We only hired MBAs from Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Penn, Dartmouth, Northwestern, and INSEAD in Europe. I say that because even if a school is "top 14", that's not necessarily good enough. For certain employers/industries, it needs to be specific schools. And not the "newer" top schools, but the old-school top schools. Just something to be aware of.


Yeah, I know it's common for MBA employers to pick only a small subset MBA programs, but Harvard, Stanford, and Penn are always in the mix. With the 7 schools that you listed, it sounds like you worked for a marketing firm.

FYI, the U.S. b-schools that I consider equivalent to the T14 are Harvard, Stanford, Penn, MIT, NU, Chicago, Columbia, Dartmouth, Yale, Duke, UVA, Cornell, UCLA, Michigan, NYU, and Cal-Berk in no particular order.


I always thought that a lot of consulting firms, and other companies for that matter, would subsidize the cost of an MBA for their employees if they agreed to come back. Is that true?

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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:52 am

blsingindisguise wrote:
UVAIce wrote:I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.


As you said yourself, law school is a professional school. That DOES make it different from other "academia" -- at least it makes it more comparable to nursing school or dental school or medical school than to PhD programs in History (which of course have plenty of their own problems, but that's not what we're talking about). You may very well be right that most US higher education is no longer worth the cost. Is that a reason to make a bad financial decision? "Well I might as well go into massive debt for low job prospects with law school, since a lot of other degrees also have bad job prospects and high cost." There's nothing "crying wolf" about Mr. Campos -- the job prospects of lawyers are indeed very bad, and the cost is indeed often unjustified. I see it firsthand all the time -- my friends who can't find jobs, the qualified, intelligent people who are flooding us with resumes to do doc review at $25/hr. I can understand why people find this hard to swallow when they were raised with different expectations, and you're right, education should be financed differently, and people shouldn't be taking on this kind of debt to do law or any school. None of that makes Campos wrong.


Another key aspect of this is that there is absolutely no reason for law school to be so expensive. It simply is not justified in any way for Columbia to charge over $60,000 for law school.
Not to mention the unforgivable dishonesty of schools enticing students with false hope and rigged data.

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UVAIce
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby UVAIce » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:56 am

blsingindisguise wrote:
UVAIce wrote:I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.


As you said yourself, law school is a professional school. That DOES make it different from other "academia" -- at least it makes it more comparable to nursing school or dental school or medical school than to PhD programs in History (which of course have plenty of their own problems, but that's not what we're talking about). You may very well be right that most US higher education is no longer worth the cost. Is that a reason to make a bad financial decision? "Well I might as well go into massive debt for low job prospects with law school, since a lot of other degrees also have bad job prospects and high cost." There's nothing "crying wolf" about Mr. Campos -- the job prospects of lawyers are indeed very bad, and the cost is indeed often unjustified. I see it firsthand all the time -- my friends who can't find jobs, the qualified, intelligent people who are flooding us with resumes to do doc review at $25/hr. I can understand why people find this hard to swallow when they were raised with different expectations, and you're right, education should be financed differently, and people shouldn't be taking on this kind of debt to do law or any school. None of that makes Campos wrong.


It does make it seem as if he is trying to grab a little celebrity spotlight time. Job prospects are bad for lawyers, but they're pretty much equally bad for students pursuing a degree in the liberal arts.

And let's be honest, the only thing law school and medical school have in common is that at the end of the day the education allows you to be certified to practice your profession in a particular state. Other than that they are obviously two different forms of education! Not to mention, medical school is FAR more expensive than law school and has its own host of issues - I know some physicians who are not happy campers. Arguably, medical school doesn't actually teach you what you need to know to be a doctor. That's what residency is for, and even then... I've heard stories.

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UVAIce
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby UVAIce » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:57 am

NYstate wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:
UVAIce wrote:I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.


As you said yourself, law school is a professional school. That DOES make it different from other "academia" -- at least it makes it more comparable to nursing school or dental school or medical school than to PhD programs in History (which of course have plenty of their own problems, but that's not what we're talking about). You may very well be right that most US higher education is no longer worth the cost. Is that a reason to make a bad financial decision? "Well I might as well go into massive debt for low job prospects with law school, since a lot of other degrees also have bad job prospects and high cost." There's nothing "crying wolf" about Mr. Campos -- the job prospects of lawyers are indeed very bad, and the cost is indeed often unjustified. I see it firsthand all the time -- my friends who can't find jobs, the qualified, intelligent people who are flooding us with resumes to do doc review at $25/hr. I can understand why people find this hard to swallow when they were raised with different expectations, and you're right, education should be financed differently, and people shouldn't be taking on this kind of debt to do law or any school. None of that makes Campos wrong.


Another key aspect of this is that there is absolutely no reason for law school to be so expensive. It simply is not justified in any way for Columbia to charge over $60,000 for law school.
Not to mention the unforgivable dishonesty of schools enticing students with false hope and rigged data.


But it is okay to charge that for a degree in drama? Or really almost ANYTHING.

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jingosaur
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby jingosaur » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:59 am

UVAIce wrote:I always thought that a lot of consulting firms, and other companies for that matter, would subsidize the cost of an MBA for their employees if they agreed to come back. Is that true?


My company won't pay for my MBA for various reasons and I'm doing this for a career change so I don't plan on going back.

I agree with the previous post that a lot of people don't have Plan Bs and that going to Plan B is much more likely to happen than most people think. Addressing the "What if I don't get my desired job" question, my plan would be to try and find a job on the business side. As I said before, the JD/MBA programs that I'm looking at have 100% job placement (and it looks like all legit jobs) and I feel like I have above average qualifications for corporate transactional biglaw because of my work experience. I know there is still a chance that I'll completely strike out (and this almost happened to me for UG internships) and if this happens, I guess I'll move back in with my parents and try to help grow my dad's business.

NYstate
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:00 pm

UVAIce wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:
UVAIce wrote:I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.


As you said yourself, law school is a professional school. That DOES make it different from other "academia" -- at least it makes it more comparable to nursing school or dental school or medical school than to PhD programs in History (which of course have plenty of their own problems, but that's not what we're talking about). You may very well be right that most US higher education is no longer worth the cost. Is that a reason to make a bad financial decision? "Well I might as well go into massive debt for low job prospects with law school, since a lot of other degrees also have bad job prospects and high cost." There's nothing "crying wolf" about Mr. Campos -- the job prospects of lawyers are indeed very bad, and the cost is indeed often unjustified. I see it firsthand all the time -- my friends who can't find jobs, the qualified, intelligent people who are flooding us with resumes to do doc review at $25/hr. I can understand why people find this hard to swallow when they were raised with different expectations, and you're right, education should be financed differently, and people shouldn't be taking on this kind of debt to do law or any school. None of that makes Campos wrong.


It does make it seem as if he is trying to grab a little celebrity spotlight time. Job prospects are bad for lawyers, but they're pretty much equally bad for students pursuing a degree in the liberal arts.

And let's be honest, the only thing law school and medical school have in common is that at the end of the day the education allows you to be certified to practice your profession in a particular state. Other than that they are obviously two different forms of education! Not to mention, medical school is FAR more expensive than law school and has its own host of issues - I know some physicians who are not happy campers. Arguably, medical school doesn't actually teach you what you need to know to be a doctor. That's what residency is for, and even then... I've heard stories.


Are you serious? Medical students spend years in clinical rotations before residency. Law school has no required equivalency that leaves you with practical knowledge. The gap is so huge that state bars in some states require all grads to take continuing education - post grad and post bar- just to teach them the basics of practice.

NYstate
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:03 pm

UVAIce wrote:
NYstate wrote:
blsingindisguise wrote:
UVAIce wrote:I think we can agree that in some part the reason that law school is a professional school is not because of what it teaches you, but that it qualifies you to take a professional exam (bar exam). You keep crying wolf about law school as if it is some kind of unique animal in academia. MOST higher education is not worth the cost of admission if you simply derive all of your metrics from the United States economoy looking like 2009 from here on out. Also, in case you're interested, the cost of attendance at Columbia College is $64,144 a year! I'm sure there is more than one English major out there crippled by undergraduate debt from an insanely priced LAC that can barely get a job as a barista.


As you said yourself, law school is a professional school. That DOES make it different from other "academia" -- at least it makes it more comparable to nursing school or dental school or medical school than to PhD programs in History (which of course have plenty of their own problems, but that's not what we're talking about). You may very well be right that most US higher education is no longer worth the cost. Is that a reason to make a bad financial decision? "Well I might as well go into massive debt for low job prospects with law school, since a lot of other degrees also have bad job prospects and high cost." There's nothing "crying wolf" about Mr. Campos -- the job prospects of lawyers are indeed very bad, and the cost is indeed often unjustified. I see it firsthand all the time -- my friends who can't find jobs, the qualified, intelligent people who are flooding us with resumes to do doc review at $25/hr. I can understand why people find this hard to swallow when they were raised with different expectations, and you're right, education should be financed differently, and people shouldn't be taking on this kind of debt to do law or any school. None of that makes Campos wrong.


Another key aspect of this is that there is absolutely no reason for law school to be so expensive. It simply is not justified in any way for Columbia to charge over $60,000 for law school.
Not to mention the unforgivable dishonesty of schools enticing students with false hope and rigged data.


But it is okay to charge that for a degree in drama? Or really almost ANYTHING.



I don't know about drama. I do know that at least half of all law grads will never practice law. As this is a law school forum, maybe focusing in law is the way to go.
And, Prof. Campos is already famous for his exposure of law school and employment. He has paid a professional price for being forthright.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:16 pm

I think it's absolutely insane to pay $60K/year for a drama degree, much moreso than law. But that contributes nothing to the discussion of whether a law degree is worth the price.

FWIW, no, I don't think the job prospects for liberal arts majors are any where near as bad as for law grads. Having a liberal arts major in college doesn't give you a 50% chance of working in a job that doesn't require a college degree, as far as I know. And at least you haven't tacked on more debt at that point.

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UVAIce
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Re: Going from a good job to law school

Postby UVAIce » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:18 pm

The problem is that people like Mr. Campos focus a lot of time and effort on what law school teaches, etc., but not so much on what the real problem is. First, the economoy is TERRIBLE for people under 30. And yes, most people who go to "law school" are not going to be lawyers, but that has little do with the cost of school or the type of education they receive. They're unemployed because there are too many graduates and essentially anyone who wants to go to law school can get in somewhere if they have a college degree.

And Mr. Campos was made famous jumping on a band wagon started by a number of other people. He just happened to bring a bigger bullhorn to the party because he was, and is, still a law professor. I find a certain irony that he collects a pay check from an institution he would not recommend anyone attend.

Regardless, I've actually learned a lot in law school, but I won't say that any of the education I received was unique to the institution, but then what education that consists of reading books, discussing what you read, and writing on the subject is unique to an institution? What is unique is the human capital at a particular law school. I've had a great experience going to school at UVA, but I can't say that I would have enjoyed Michigan, Columbia, or any other law school as much. And even then, I've only had contact with a minority of the professors at my law school, so who knows what my feelings would be like if I had a different line up of professors. Any who knows what I'll say in 10 years - I might not even be a lawyer, but is that unique to law? Have you seen the statistics on career changes?




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