WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

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WashU or Pitt?

WashU
7
78%
Pitt
2
22%
 
Total votes: 9

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Capitol_Idea » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:54 pm

francescalegge wrote:
Rigo wrote:Law school is a professional school. You wouldn't go to culinary school if you didn't want to be a chef or beauty school if you didn't want to do makeup and hair.

Without goals that require a JD, going to law school is just a waste of time and money.


I would have agreed with you ten years ago. Now I think there are more and more positions, particularly in the field I'm looking at, for which a law degree is highly useful and also considered a distinct advantage.


I normally hate Zombie, but I kinda hate you more right now because I agree with him.

It's not that law school only trains you to be a lawyer and nothing else; it doesn't even do that. A JD is a glorified hoop to jump through (except instead of jumping you toss through loads of money and 3 years of your life). There is interesting material in many law school classes, but rarely enough to make you an 'expert' or even 'practice ready' on any particular area, because they teach theory and high ideas as opposed to the practical day-to-day stuff that you'll be doing if you go into law.

The benefit of the JD comes more from its brand than the content of the courses. Moreover, the brand recognition doesn't factor well outside of the legal hiring market - so you're defeating the point of the ONE good thing about a JD when you shop for a job outside of law firms/BigFed/etc.

In short, JD = huge cost in time and money, with little educational gain and very little value to non-lawyers. The idea that 'you can do anything with a JD' is so goddamn tired and wrong it makes my teeth hurt. The anger comes from the fact that if you'd done the bare modicum of research you'd have found a consensus in agreement on this listing all these reasons and more.

queerqueg
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby queerqueg » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:12 pm

Do you have work experience OP?

science burner
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby science burner » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:19 pm

zacharus85 wrote:The idea that 'you can do anything with a JD' is so goddamn tired and wrong it makes my teeth hurt.


You should have pollywolly88 check that out for you

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Capitol_Idea » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:23 pm

science burner wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:The idea that 'you can do anything with a JD' is so goddamn tired and wrong it makes my teeth hurt.


You should have pollywolly88 check that out for you


You, sir, are all right.

francescalegge
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby francescalegge » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:23 pm

queerqueg wrote:Do you have work experience OP?


I have two years of work experience, one of which is abroad.

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Rigo
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:24 pm

science burner wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:The idea that 'you can do anything with a JD' is so goddamn tired and wrong it makes my teeth hurt.

You should have pollywolly88 check that out for you

I appreciate this post.

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KMart
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby KMart » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:30 pm

Came here to elaborate on why law school should be pursued if you want to practice law, but Zacharus did such a good job. Just going to say, OP, listen to the chorus and don't waste time or money.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby MarkfromWI » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:37 pm

science burner wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:The idea that 'you can do anything with a JD' is so goddamn tired and wrong it makes my teeth hurt.


You should have pollywolly88 check that out for you


180

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paragonloop
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby paragonloop » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:46 pm

francescalegge wrote:I am not looking towards DC or Fed, I am looking towards international organizations or INGOs. Preferably on the EU level.


If this is what you want, have you considered going to grad school in Europe instead? It tends to be cheaper and the programs are usually shorter.

That being said, I'm not sure how realistic your career goals are, but I'd consider that as an alternative if you're dead set on getting another degree.

francescalegge
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby francescalegge » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:49 pm

zacharus85 wrote:
francescalegge wrote:
Rigo wrote:Law school is a professional school. You wouldn't go to culinary school if you didn't want to be a chef or beauty school if you didn't want to do makeup and hair.

Without goals that require a JD, going to law school is just a waste of time and money.


I would have agreed with you ten years ago. Now I think there are more and more positions, particularly in the field I'm looking at, for which a law degree is highly useful and also considered a distinct advantage.


I normally hate Zombie, but I kinda hate you more right now because I agree with him.

It's not that law school only trains you to be a lawyer and nothing else; it doesn't even do that. A JD is a glorified hoop to jump through (except instead of jumping you toss through loads of money and 3 years of your life). There is interesting material in many law school classes, but rarely enough to make you an 'expert' or even 'practice ready' on any particular area, because they teach theory and high ideas as opposed to the practical day-to-day stuff that you'll be doing if you go into law.

The benefit of the JD comes more from its brand than the content of the courses. Moreover, the brand recognition doesn't factor well outside of the legal hiring market - so you're defeating the point of the ONE good thing about a JD when you shop for a job outside of law firms/BigFed/etc.

In short, JD = huge cost in time and money, with little educational gain and very little value to non-lawyers. The idea that 'you can do anything with a JD' is so goddamn tired and wrong it makes my teeth hurt. The anger comes from the fact that if you'd done the bare modicum of research you'd have found a consensus in agreement on this listing all these reasons and more.


Not only have I done research, but I have gone out of my way to speak with professionals in other fields who have a JD. I don't understand why everyone seems to be so angry that I don't want to practice law in the traditional sense. Not only have I spoken with individuals who currently hold non JD required positions but I am currently an executive recruiter. All day long I speak with executives, look at resumes, and do industry research (primarily Aerospace & Defense, some Not For Profit, and some Education).

I understand perfectly the risks, the debt, and the job prospects. And I still wish to pursue a degree in a subject that interests me and that I believe will benefit me. Why do you hate me for that?

You're angry because I feel differently than you and you believe that it must mean that I don't know as much as you. That I'm somehow incompetent because I don't share your viewpoint.

Don't you ever feel like that's a sad way to live?

I really don't understand why people on this forum seem so quick to judge and condemn. :/

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Rigo
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:50 pm

If you've talked to professionals and have it all figured out, then no need to make a thread.
And nobody hates you. Don't be dramatic.

francescalegge
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby francescalegge » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:52 pm

paragonloop wrote:
francescalegge wrote:I am not looking towards DC or Fed, I am looking towards international organizations or INGOs. Preferably on the EU level.


If this is what you want, have you considered going to grad school in Europe instead? It tends to be cheaper and the programs are usually shorter.

That being said, I'm not sure how realistic your career goals are, but I'd consider that as an alternative if you're dead set on getting another degree.


I literally just moved back after being abroad for three years, during which time I both worked and graduated (you're right, the program was shorter - 1 year) from a well-respected European graduate school.

Okay, not literally, it's been nearly nine months. But still, an American law degree is viewed more favorably even in Europe than a European one, as long as you take European law courses. Which is the only reason I'm back.

francescalegge
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby francescalegge » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:53 pm

Rigo wrote:If you've talked to professionals and have it all figured out, then no need to make a thread.
And nobody hates you. Don't be dramatic.


Rigooooo. Shtaap. What I have figured out is that I'm going to law school. What I was asking advice for is WHICH ONE :)

And he literally said "I hate you more"

I guess I don't understand how people communicate here?

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KMart
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby KMart » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:53 pm

You're telling us as if it's fact. If it is, then why make a thread? We have our opinions and you have yours. I wish you the best of luck.

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Rigo
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Rigo » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:55 pm

francescalegge wrote:I guess I don't understand how people communicate here?

Well Zach is a good chap, but his posts are TL;DR for me, so I missed that.

What are your back up plans if your dream career doesn't pan out?

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby zombie mcavoy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:59 pm

francescalegge wrote:Not only have I done research, but I have gone out of my way to speak with professionals in other fields who have a JD. I don't understand why everyone seems to be so angry that I don't want to practice law in the traditional sense. Not only have I spoken with individuals who currently hold non JD required positions but I am currently an executive recruiter. All day long I speak with executives, look at resumes, and do industry research (primarily Aerospace & Defense, some Not For Profit, and some Education).

I understand perfectly the risks, the debt, and the job prospects. And I still wish to pursue a degree in a subject that interests me and that I believe will benefit me. Why do you hate me for that?

You're angry because I feel differently than you and you believe that it must mean that I don't know as much as you. That I'm somehow incompetent because I don't share your viewpoint.

Don't you ever feel like that's a sad way to live?

I really don't understand why people on this forum seem so quick to judge and condemn. :/

Why did you come seeking validation here if you have all the information you need?

Nobody is angry, it's just that your plan is stupid, and we don't want you to do it because you will in all likelihood regret it. Many of us are likely overly forceful in coming down against stupid plans; we have limited time and want to give input in several of these threads, in particular the ones where the basic premises shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. You also appear to be an asshole, though, so I am not concerned whether or not you do this.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Capitol_Idea » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:05 pm

francescalegge wrote:I really don't understand why people on this forum seem so quick to judge and condemn. :/


First, what Rigo said: nobody hates/cares about you. Second, it's not about you, it's about the hapless hordes who follow you who look at your post and say 'BUT TEH JERBZ!' when people point out (legitimately) the limited usefulness of a JD.

You particular research/experience is all well and good, but there are some big caveats to that:

1. Executives and successful/established professionals tend to be older. Which means they came from an era when JD hiring and the economy were in very different places. Shit is tighter all around - just having a degree isn't going to cut it compared to having the right degree. A JD is very rarely the right degree for anything except practicing law.

2. Research/Experience involving executives and successful/established professionals tend to exclude the many, many people who did not become successful executives. So for every one person you talk to who made something interesting of themselves, there's one who's stuck in a crappy job they hate and two who didn't even get that opportunity.

3. You are arguing with people who are in law school, have graduated from it, are otherwise employed in the legal sector, or some combination therein. You ask questions, dislike the answers, and then state your opinion as if it is fact. That is annoying, and again because some of us want future posters to be well-informed, we post back.

4. Your anecdotal research may, *may* apply to you specifically, but we would've had no way of knowing that because we don't know the first thing about you. Like I said above, we go by the numbers here because that is the most reliable way to predict success. That's what you get on TLS. Do you read the newspaper and then complain because it doesn't talk about you specifically every morning?
Last edited by Capitol_Idea on Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nomo
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:14 pm

If you're undergradaute degree and European master's degree won't get you the job you want, then I doubt a degree from Pitt or WashU is going to put you over the hump. A Harvard or Yale J.D. might put you over the hump (or an MPP or MA from a top school). You need to either get into the right program or reexamine your goals.

WashU and UPitt J.D.'s have a hard enough time getting 65k/yr. jobs in insurance defense. What you're trying to do just doesn't make any sense. Maybe it would have made sense in 1985 or 1995, but in 2015 this is just absurd.

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Winston1984
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:36 pm

This thread has delivered.

francescalegge
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby francescalegge » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:40 pm

Rigo wrote:
francescalegge wrote:I guess I don't understand how people communicate here?

Well Zach is a good chap, but his posts are TL;DR for me, so I missed that.

What are your back up plans if your dream career doesn't pan out?


I still have my Master's degree, which is in Human Rights and International Justice. I think I wouldn't continue in my current path, which is executive recruiting, but would work my way into social/legal policy work on a more local level. I would also consider pursuing a PhD and going into academia. Luckily my life plan isn't to make a lot of money (and PhDs at least are often fully funded with stipends, so I wouldn't have to go into debt) and I think I would enjoy either path equally. I could also do research, which I enjoy :)

BigZuck
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby BigZuck » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:24 pm

I'm a little lost as to what a mediocre law degree would buy you in Europe. What exactly is the point of a JD for you career goals? The skills you learn? The stuff you learn? The prestige? Honestly, I read the thread and maybe I just missed it but what good is a random JD going to do for you?

timbs4339
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:30 pm

Sure, the JD "has value" but so does essentially any degree. Journalism will teach you how to research and ask questions. Creative writing will make you a better writer. Hell, courses in Chinese at the local community college probably will have value. Why aren't you pursuing any of those?

The real issue is what path adds the most value, and the one option that would give you the most value is getting a freaking job in the industry that you want to work in and getting some experience. Three years experience as a policy analyst is going to beat a vanilla JD from a middle of the pack school every time, and that's without even talking about money earned vs. debt taken out.

Look, you seem like you have at least some professional interests but you also seem like someone who is afraid of leaving school and working a job. It's fine if you want to take the gov't cheese and spend three more years in school, but this forum probably is not going to be of much use to you if that's the case. What specific kind of jobs are you looking for that you think a JD would get you over three years experience?

arturobelano
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby arturobelano » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:33 pm

A few things:
- I don't think your goals are necessarily compatible. You want to do locally focused social policy work in the EU; those aren't the jobs americans get, particularly American JDs. I'm really unclear as to what work you intend to do, which isn't good in the international aid/policy realm. Being completely honest, it sounds like you heard some buzzwords about international policy in the course of your education that you're now vomiting out to demonstrate your superior knowledge of the field.
- have you considered the visa situation? It's extremely difficult for most workers to even get EU permanent residency, and even moreso for legal workers - the chance that a position you COULD compete for against a polyglot EU citizen (or African citizen, if you're more development/aid side) is pretty minimal. It's much more rigorous than it is for term positions like the one you had.
- The big caveat - and I think the one that bears repeating - is that your perception of the job market is both affected by survivorship bias (that most of the candidates you're researching are already at a high level in the field) and the radical changes in the legal market over time. Long-term outcomes research in any given job market is honestly a little ridiculous because of how job markets work - the most apparent proof of this is that being an auto worker probably isn't the greatest idea these days. The same is true for the universal applicability of the JD (or any humanities BA, which I'm living through for another 5 months in retail until I begin my STEM grad degree.)
- For the love of God, unless you are admitted to a top-tier program in your field, do NOT pursue academia. I'm talking Harvard or top 5 in your field. Academia is more of a festering shithole than the law right now outside of a few STEM fields.

science burner
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby science burner » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:37 pm

francescalegge wrote:
Rigo wrote:Well Zach is a good chap, but his posts are TL;DR for me, so I missed that.

What are your back up plans if your dream career doesn't pan out?


I still have my Master's degree, which is in Human Rights and International Justice. I think I wouldn't continue in my current path, which is executive recruiting, but would work my way into social/legal policy work on a more local level. I would also consider pursuing a PhD and going into academia. Luckily my life plan isn't to make a lot of money (and PhDs at least are often fully funded with stipends, so I wouldn't have to go into debt) and I think I would enjoy either path equally. I could also do research, which I enjoy :)


francescalegge wrote: I would also consider pursuing a PhD and going into academia.


So your plan if you strike out AFTER getting a JD is to go and get a PhD? That sounds like a brilliant idea!

francescalegge wrote: PhDs at least are often fully funded with stipends


Sure, if you're getting a PhD in biochemistry or physics.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: WashU vs Joint Degree at UPitt

Postby zombie mcavoy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:00 pm

francescalegge wrote:Try learning the meanings of words before using them. I'm guessing you prefer your "definition" because either you're not a very good law student and are afraid you won't get a job or you have a JD and don't have a JD-required job but you still like telling people you're a lawyer :)

Thanks for the advice, though ;)

Also: if you choose this path, do not be a dick to people struggling to make it in the profession/struggling to break into the profession. The majority of people going to law school/who recently graduated law school were, at some level, scammed. The average grad is >120K in debt and only 56% of all graduates find paying work as attorneys, and the typical wage of that lucky half of people can't reasonably pay down said debt. Mostly by the kind of research you've done (ie heavy reliance on anecdata), and bad advice from boomers (you've regurgitated several standard lines), good, sincere and hardworking people constantly end up in shit situations. Moreover, effort and intelligence aren't horribly correlative to law school grades, and even a sizable chunk of people who do everything right and get good grades at good schools get shut out. It can happen to any one of us.

It's fine to be an ass to 0Ls in the interest of getting them to not make life ruining decisions. I would be in a much different place today but for having my plan ridiculed by TLS. But once people have bet years of their lives and their financial stability on a career path they hoped they would (eventually) be happy in, and they've lost/are losing the bet, don't kick them when they're down and say shit like this.




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