Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

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flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:16 am

bluejayk wrote:
flcath wrote:I don't feel that taking pride in one's profession and working to increase its overall quality while at the same time ensuring job-security for the most-qualified practitioners is unethical.


The ABA (thankfully) does not make its decisions based only on the interest of lawyers, they also consider the public interest. Your argument about working to increase overall quality is disingenuous, you're concerned with your own career prospects. Seeking to eliminate qualified competitors who can pass the bar and the MPRE just so you can have better access to high paying jobs IS unethical.

"can pass the bar and MPRE" =/= "qualified"

I assume you support the practice of reading law?

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84Sunbird2000
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby 84Sunbird2000 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:20 am

flcath wrote:
I assume you support the practice of reading law?


Not to be off-topic, but I can't help but think of all the biographies of Abraham Lincoln I read as a kid whenever I hear "reading the law" as a method of becoming a lawyer.

the lantern
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby the lantern » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:57 am

I would say I'm just really confused right now. I'm getting into the schools I want to go to, but the thought of taking out 100k in loans is incredibly scary. I would be okay with making 40-60k out of school (though it would be nice to make more), but I am scared that I won't be able to pay back those loans. I feel like a lot (most it feels like) of people have parents paying for them or parents who paid for their undergrad, but my parents have never given me a cent, so I'm already 60k in debt from UG. I am a good interviewer, good looking, people like me, etc., so I'm not just intelligent, but I can't help but feeling like even for someone like me, law would be a risk that is disproportionate to the reward. The problem is, I've spent the last few years of my life training for law school, and I spent time before that dreaming of becoming a lawyer. So if I don't want to do law school now that I've gotten in, I don't really know what I'm going to do. People think I'm crazy when I tell them I'm not sure attending law school is a good investment. Who knows.. maybe I am being overly cautious/pessimistic...

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:24 am

Yea I'm in a similar place as you lantern, as I am also an intelligent, good looking, good interviewer who is apprehensive about taking out a lot of loans ITE... bc I've wanted to be a lawyer for so long, I really hadn't looked into all the options that are out there, and bc the legal profession was doing so well, I never really questioned and evaluated it. Now that I'm questioning it and evaluating law school I don't really like what I see. I think there are other routes that I would like better. All my apps were in by mid november, so we'll see how the next couple months shake out, but I wouldn't be surprised if I end up suspending law school for an indefinite amount of time.

I would also recommend that anyone considering quality of life in a 40-60k job with 150k of loans look at some of the loan calculators out there. I mean your payments would be probably 1800-2000 a month. That's just not a lifestyle I would be happy with.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby The Zeppelin » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:53 am

The decision is far more difficult for those not currently in school. It's not easy to give up your free time, income, and current lifestyle of 3 years. If only I were satisfied with work...

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:45 am

The Zeppelin wrote:If only I were satisfied with work...

This. If I had a tolerable job in a tolerable location I would definetely not be going to law school.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby MC Southstar » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:55 am

ughOSU wrote:
The Zeppelin wrote:If only I were satisfied with work...

This. If I had a tolerable job in a tolerable location I would definetely not be going to law school.


I think this is true for me too, but I figure I'd end up having a mid-life crisis if I didn't do something meaningful with my life, so I'm cool with taking a risk early before it's impossible to do so.

I'm already on track for making 130-250k/year in something that I know I will hate... I just ignored that fact and acted selfishly for my own desires instead of for money for once in my life. In the end, it's more about what gives you happiness, and excess money is not really that important to me.

The only downside is if law ends up leading to an even more unbearable career.

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:05 pm

flcath wrote:"can pass the bar and MPRE" =/= "qualified"

I assume you support the practice of reading law?


Depends, there are a few states that do this, some of them require working alongside licensed lawyers for a certain amount of hours. That sounds like a pretty good system.

Anyway, passing the bar and MPRE may not be sufficient, but that wasn't my point and I imagine you know that. The point is, even below median students at TTTT's like Cooley, Golden Gate, etc., frequently have what it takes to be lawyers, which is not saying much. A huge portion of legal work is repetitive bullshit.

And my other points still stands, you're not really interested in the greater legal profession, you're transparently interested in improving your own job prospects. So am I, but I don't want to create further artificial barriers to entry to the profession, I just want to cut out the unlimited financing we've got now.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby The Zeppelin » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:11 pm

shadowfrost000 wrote:The only downside is if law ends up leading to an even more unbearable career.

That's my fear.

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:18 pm

bluejayk wrote:but I don't want to create further artificial barriers to entry to the profession, I just want to cut out the unlimited financing we've got now.

by cutting financing you (arguably) are creating a barrier to entry to the profession, only it's strictly an economic barrier, which has nothing to do with ability, ethics, intelligence, etc. This seems like the least good barrier to create. The only way this wouldn't be a strictly economic barrier is if you're assuming that tuition will respond to the decrease in availability of capital. I think this is a big assumption to make as there is still a large availability of capital in the form of people who have been working for a few years, rich kids' parents, etc. Now, if you're talking about cutting availability of funds to attend TTT schools rather than better schools, you're essentially saying that those schools are not worth the investment. So, why wouldn't you just get rid of those schools in the first place?

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:32 pm

ughOSU wrote:by cutting financing you (arguably) are creating a barrier to entry to the profession, only it's strictly an economic barrier, which has nothing to do with ability, ethics, intelligence, etc.


Presumably, people with 3.6/165's will not have a problem getting loans to go to W&L, because they're a pretty good risk to eventually pay back their loans. People with 2.9/150's will have a very difficult time getting those loans to go to whatever TTTT, which is sad. However, that is precisely due to their ability/intelligence. So, in a world with scarce resources, that seems okay to me.

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ruleser
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ruleser » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:43 pm

I think the point is for everything else amount you can borrow is measured by a combo of credit worthiness and worth of investment (ie a bank won't just lend anyone whatever a house cost (though they did for bit). So the idea I think is that lending institutions should have to value the investment - say, it makes sense to lend someone 75k a year who is going to yale since that will likely work out, but for someone at a t2, maybe the max per year would be set at 50k, for t4, maybe 30k - the problem obviously is that without bankruptcy as an option and with the amount the govt allows eaqualling whatever the heck schools want to charge, its basically a free for all. What needs to mainly happen is restoring the ability of students to default - then at least the banks would have reason to get more cautious and start reasonably valuing ed investments.

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:57 pm

bluejayk wrote:
ughOSU wrote:by cutting financing you (arguably) are creating a barrier to entry to the profession, only it's strictly an economic barrier, which has nothing to do with ability, ethics, intelligence, etc.


Presumably, people with 3.6/165's will not have a problem getting loans to go to W&L, because they're a pretty good risk to eventually pay back their loans. People with 2.9/150's will have a very difficult time getting those loans to go to whatever TTTT, which is sad. However, that is precisely due to their ability/intelligence. So, in a world with scarce resources, that seems okay to me.

Just wanted to make sure you weren't one of those egalitarian types. I still think real barriers based at least in part upon the quality of the institution is a better way to go about it than taking away financing and letting the rest work itself out. There would be less disincentive to attend a top school for those who could get in, and people wouldn't be going to the Ponzi scheme schools.

kevin261186
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby kevin261186 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:36 pm

The Zeppelin wrote:
shadowfrost000 wrote:The only downside is if law ends up leading to an even more unbearable career.

That's my fear.


Sums up how I feel prefectly. I currently work in a successful defense firm and to be honest I don't want to end up as jaded as some of the attorneys here. Giving serious consideration to not attending LS.

wired
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby wired » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:53 pm

Bill James wrote:
flcath wrote:I wish the ABA would prune back some of these TTTs (I mean the *real* TTTs), or at the very least quit accrediting new ones. Can anyone provide a link to the ABA's defense of why they let these schools exist (I'm sure there is one), unlike the AMA/AAMC, who apparently took supply-and-demand 101?



TITCR

There is no reason why there should be 200 ABA approved law schools. Also, it should be considered fraud that some of these schools intentionally mislead perspective applicants by fudging their employment/salary statistics.


TINTCR.

Why should the ABA be in the business of picking and choosing when they accredit schools. If the schools fit the criteria, accredit them.

The real correct answer is that there should be MUCH more transparency in the information provided to students and more stringent ABA accreditation standards to reflect that. That way, we probably wouldn't have people applying to law schools that won't give them the type of job opportunities they want.

Less babysitting, more reliable information.

bahama
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bahama » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:16 pm

bluejayk wrote:
ughOSU wrote:by cutting financing you (arguably) are creating a barrier to entry to the profession, only it's strictly an economic barrier, which has nothing to do with ability, ethics, intelligence, etc.


Presumably, people with 3.6/165's will not have a problem getting loans to go to W&L, because they're a pretty good risk to eventually pay back their loans. People with 2.9/150's will have a very difficult time getting those loans to go to whatever TTTT, which is sad. However, that is precisely due to their ability/intelligence. So, in a world with scarce resources, that seems okay to me.


Interesting theory, but unworkable in practice.

For this to work you'd have to get the gov't out of the student loan business and completely privatize it. The trend is heavily in the other direction and there is talk of gov't making all direct loans and cutting the banks out of it. Further, this type of change would disadvantage lower income students (thereby reducing the already low numbers of minority students in higher ed by cutting off a major funding source). So politically this isn't going anywhere either.

Second, even if you managed to do this you'd have to find banks willing to make these loans. The recent trend has been towards private lenders leaving the market despite all the gov't rules favoring education lending (can't discharge in bankruptcy etc).

Third, banks would have to come up with a new system for valuing and approving these
loans. Right now, all they really look at is your credit and then they will give you up to cost of attendance. GPA, LSAT, and expected income at graduation do not matter. One problem with considering these is the bank would have to make a lot of assumptions to come up with an expected income for you. It is not like a mortgage or car pmt where you already have income that can be verified and are buying an asset that can be more or less precisely valued. When you get into estimating things like future income for someone who is starting law school, the bank has to make a lot of estimates and assumptions. These are highly subject to manipulation (Enron) or just bad assumptions (subprime mortgage securitizations value). How much is a degree from X worth?

keg411
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby keg411 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:05 pm

flcath wrote:
keg411 wrote:Bill James, your projection system has sucked the past few years as compared to other sabrematricians. Guess baseball analysis doesn't pay what it used to if even you are considering law school ;) :lol:.

Holy God, dude, that may be the most esoteric joke in TLS history. It's by good fortune alone that Bill James' name happens to be in the opening paragraph of the wikipedia article on "sabrematrics", or I wouldn't have even gotten the Bill James double entendre. Further, you're lucky I had the intellectual curiosity to google "sabrematrician" in the first place.

A true thinking man's joke. I like it.


I'm just a baseball fan and I've read "Moneyball" so the name sticks out at me. I figured that was the OP's reason for picking that handle :oops: .

the lantern
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby the lantern » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:03 pm

Every thread on this forum eventually degrades into a bunch of nerds arguing with each other about things that 1) don't matter/are irrelevant to the thread and/or 2) they don't know anything about...

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:07 pm

the lantern wrote:Every thread on this forum eventually degrades into a bunch of nerds arguing with each other about things that 1) don't matter/are irrelevant to the thread and/or 2) they don't know anything about...

Is this not precisely what lawyers do?

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:11 pm

kevin261186 wrote:
The Zeppelin wrote:
shadowfrost000 wrote:The only downside is if law ends up leading to an even more unbearable career.

That's my fear.


Sums up how I feel prefectly. I currently work in a successful defense firm and to be honest I don't want to end up as jaded as some of the attorneys here. Giving serious consideration to not attending LS.



See this is how most attorneys seem to be. They all seem really stressed, nervous, and just burnt out in general.

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:22 pm

the lantern wrote:I would say I'm just really confused right now. I'm getting into the schools I want to go to, but the thought of taking out 100k in loans is incredibly scary. I would be okay with making 40-60k out of school (though it would be nice to make more), but I am scared that I won't be able to pay back those loans. I feel like a lot (most it feels like) of people have parents paying for them or parents who paid for their undergrad, but my parents have never given me a cent, so I'm already 60k in debt from UG. I am a good interviewer, good looking, people like me, etc., so I'm not just intelligent, but I can't help but feeling like even for someone like me, law would be a risk that is disproportionate to the reward. The problem is, I've spent the last few years of my life training for law school, and I spent time before that dreaming of becoming a lawyer. So if I don't want to do law school now that I've gotten in, I don't really know what I'm going to do. People think I'm crazy when I tell them I'm not sure attending law school is a good investment. Who knows.. maybe I am being overly cautious/pessimistic...



This is exactly where I'm at, and I think many other applicants are in the same spot. They've built the last four years of their lives around going to law school, and they have no idea where else to turn. So it has pretty much turned into 'I really don't feel comfortable doing this, but I don't know what else to do.' This, in my opinion, is setting myself up for making a big mistake. The problem is that everyone who doesn't know anything about the profession thinks that law school is an excellent decision no matter what. These people have no idea what it's like for lawyers - They think all lawyers are doing fascinating work, starting out at 250k, will undoubtedly make partner, and work less than 60 hrs. per week.

I'm guilty of this way of thinking too. While I wasn't as naive as many law school hopefuls are, I definitely had an overly optimistic outlook. I quickly woke up after spending a few hours on TLS and JDU.

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:37 pm

All I know is that I already spent 4 years getting a completely unmarketable degree, and I'm not going to spend 3 more years getting another. Fortunately, I took a ton of technical classes in UG though, so I do have options other than law; i.e., going to a technical graduate program (which at this point is kinda what I think I'm going to end up doing). If other people can swing this, you should really look into biotech and green energy. Those fields actually are hiring, not just trying to make it look like they're hiring. We'll see if I get any unexpected T10 acceptances in the next couple months.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:40 pm

bluejayk wrote:
flcath wrote:"can pass the bar and MPRE" =/= "qualified"

I assume you support the practice of reading law?


Depends, there are a few states that do this, some of them require working alongside licensed lawyers for a certain amount of hours. That sounds like a pretty good system.

Anyway, passing the bar and MPRE may not be sufficient, but that wasn't my point and I imagine you know that. The point is, even below median students at TTTT's like Cooley, Golden Gate, etc., frequently have what it takes to be lawyers, which is not saying much. A huge portion of legal work is repetitive bullshit.

And my other points still stands, you're not really interested in the greater legal profession, you're transparently interested in improving your own job prospects. So am I, but I don't want to create further artificial barriers to entry to the profession, I just want to cut out the unlimited financing we've got now.

First of all, though you're correct in asserting that *my* argument about the integrity of the legal profession is disingenuous, it isn't disingenuous for many lawyers, and it might (and hopefully will) not be disingenuous for me, one day... you can't really have that much "pride" in a profession you aren't actually a part of yet, right? Anyway, it's an argument that should be addressed b/c it's still valid, despite my ulterior motives in presenting it. To make another analogy to medicine (don't know why I've been favoring these so much ITT), this "quality of the overall profession" argument is my (physician) parents' sole objection to universal healthcare--they won't ever be affected by the diminished income potential themselves (too old, too established), but they don't like the impact it will have on the quality of new docs.

Though your position is consistent (though your idea about cutting gov't guarantorship is politically unfeasible... as my idea might be), we obviously *do* license this profession, and when we have schools that practice forced attrition policies not seen anywhere else in academia, only to pump unnecessary (I'm not saying incompetent or even surplus) lawyers into the system, it seems like an ideal opportunity to take advantage of to simply say: "Okay, bar passage and all other standards remain the same as they were, but now you have to maintain them while dismissing <10% of your class."

Some of the TTTs would survive, some would have to cut back class/faculty sizes but then would survive, and some would undoubtedly fail. I just don't think that adding a simple stipulation about 1L attrition is that crazy; when you think about it it's just closing the loophole that has allowed these T4s to stay accredited to this point anyway.

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Chicklets
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Chicklets » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:18 am

ughOSU wrote:
the lantern wrote:Every thread on this forum eventually degrades into a bunch of nerds arguing with each other about things that 1) don't matter/are irrelevant to the thread and/or 2) they don't know anything about...

Is this not precisely what lawyers do?


Yes! lol

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bluejayk
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:50 pm

flcath wrote:Some of the TTTs would survive, some would have to cut back class/faculty sizes but then would survive, and some would undoubtedly fail. I just don't think that adding a simple stipulation about 1L attrition is that crazy; when you think about it it's just closing the loophole that has allowed these T4s to stay accredited to this point anyway.


Okay, I'll admit your idea would probably be good for the country overall, even though it will never happen if you'll admit my idea would be good even though it will never happen either.




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