NALP Reports

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DepressedWorkerBee

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NALP Reports

Postby DepressedWorkerBee » Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:56 pm

I, like everyone else on here, continue to go through TLS Forums looking for insight on different topics (even ones that don't apply to me).

One thing I'm curious about is how so many people seem to post ridiculously "off" facts. For example:

"Don't go to Baylor, they don't place well at all" or "SMU places DECENT in Dallas, and the salaries aren't enough to make up for the tuition"
-----Obviously I'm from Texas------

But when I actually look at the NALP reports for these schools, half the posts on these forums seem to be way way off.

Are the NALP reports anything legitimate to rely on to find information? Or am I putting too much weight on the opinions of random people off the internet?

Thanks for any help here!

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sublime

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Re: NALP Reports

Postby sublime » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:14 pm

Could you be more specific? NALP reports are fine to rely on as long as you don't make improper inferences. For example, what in the Nalp reports rebut that Baylor doesn't place well or that SMU is okay in Dallas but really expensive without a scholarship, keeping in mind that for much of TLS, good placement is a combination of FedGov, Biglaw, Fed Clerks, or higher level PI.

Aside from being a hellish experience, I don't think anybody would tell somebody who was deadset on being a Waco PD from going to Baylor for free/cheap. However, most people come here with different desired outcomes than that

Although I will admit, despite the small class size and reliance on firms of ten attorneys or less, Baylor is doing better than I presumed. Would be interesting to see how many people from the bigger firms are PI and insurance defense shops, and how many are true big law.

DepressedWorkerBee

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Re: NALP Reports

Postby DepressedWorkerBee » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:28 pm

I'm most specifically interested in how many grains of salt I need to take with the salary information in the NALP reports.

http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/ ... 250126.pdf

From looking at this, I would be inclined to believe that if you graduated from Baylor Law in 2014 and were at/above the median in your class, you would most likely be making ~$70,000 or more in salary.

For SMU, it looks like that is closer to ~$80,000 or more (http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... 14/smu.pdf).

Just trying to figure out if this is my best resource to look at the most likely salary situation (ceteris paribus) for these schools.

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: NALP Reports

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:20 pm

DepressedWorkerBee wrote:I'm most specifically interested in how many grains of salt I need to take with the salary information in the NALP reports.

http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/ ... 250126.pdf

From looking at this, I would be inclined to believe that if you graduated from Baylor Law in 2014 and were at/above the median in your class, you would most likely be making ~$70,000 or more in salary.

For SMU, it looks like that is closer to ~$80,000 or more (http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... 14/smu.pdf).

Just trying to figure out if this is my best resource to look at the most likely salary situation (ceteris paribus) for these schools.

For SMU it shows that they obtained 176 salaries out of 254 grads and the median was $85,000. So we know that 88/254 people made at least $85,000. Don't assume that the sample you're given is representative of the salaries they didn't track down.

One thing to keep in mind is that grades aren't especially important once you get outside of the biglaw/fed clerk world. It's not safe to assume that just because you have grades above the median that you'll have a correspondingly high salary.

timbs4339

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Re: NALP Reports

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:55 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
DepressedWorkerBee wrote:I'm most specifically interested in how many grains of salt I need to take with the salary information in the NALP reports.

http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/ ... 250126.pdf

From looking at this, I would be inclined to believe that if you graduated from Baylor Law in 2014 and were at/above the median in your class, you would most likely be making ~$70,000 or more in salary.

For SMU, it looks like that is closer to ~$80,000 or more (http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/do ... 14/smu.pdf).

Just trying to figure out if this is my best resource to look at the most likely salary situation (ceteris paribus) for these schools.

For SMU it shows that they obtained 176 salaries out of 254 grads and the median was $85,000. So we know that 88/254 people made at least $85,000. Don't assume that the sample you're given is representative of the salaries they didn't track down.

One thing to keep in mind is that grades aren't especially important once you get outside of the biglaw/fed clerk world. It's not safe to assume that just because you have grades above the median that you'll have a correspondingly high salary.


This. For example, NALP rules allow a school to include your stats if you voluntarily disclose OR they can determine your salary from other methods. I've never received any sort of employment questionnaire from my law school, not have any of my friends, but they can determine my salary and job all the same since it is all public/quasi-public info.

This tends to overrepresent people working in biglaw or other prestigious jobs like fed gov or clerking since their salaries are all essentially public info, while people working for small firms are likely to have black box compensation that is much lower than median.

favabeansoup

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Re: NALP Reports

Postby favabeansoup » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:08 pm

Like others have said, the reports themselves are fine. It's just objective data. You just need to take them critically and understand it's voluntary data provided by the school. You can bet that the school will get each and every biglaw grad included to up their numbers, but maybe they don't care as much for including the salary of a small 2-10 firm paying $50k and would rather just mark that as "no salary reported".

SMU for example.

Only 20% of graduates are getting jobs with more than $100k in salary (pretty exclusively biglaw). For firm jobs, you are missing ~33 salaries of the other 94 jobs, a pretty significant amount. Seeing as how this mostly comes from small 2-10 firms/solo shops, I would expect the median salary to get pushed down lower if they were included. Similar story with business/industry jobs, you are missing close to half of those salaries. If you don't have prior experience in the business, I really can't imagine many businesses paying entry level attorneys (many not even being attorneys since J.D. advantaged) $80k+ regularly. There might be a few, but for most part I'd think missing salaries would push that median down further.

So don't just see "median salary of graduates is $85k+ and think that's the baseline you're going to get. Also, bear in mind SMU's total cost is north of $280k. Even with a 50% scholarship in tuition and living costs, that is still a pretty hefty bill for roughly a 20% of having the job to pay that off decently. A pretty decent rule of thumb for school debt is only take on as much as you are likely to make in salary your first year. There's leeway obviously, but say the "true" median of SMU is more like $70k. I probably wouldn't take on more than $85-90k+ MAX in debt to go there.

Source: bored Dallas biglaw associate who sees many SMU grades with decent to great salaries but way too high of debt.



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