Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

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traehekat
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby traehekat » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:47 pm

A'nold wrote:Fine, let's say that only the top 60% of University of Nebraska law students ever get a legal job. The other 40% should drop out after 1st year and just go on about their lives, if they are so risk averse. They could hit up the whole local networking approach even if below median, but many people aren't willing to put themselves out there. Anyway, some people basically have no other choice. I am lucky in that I absolutely love the challenge of law school and have a ton of interest in this profession. Those that are at risk of not passing the bar and those that are just in it for the money (both of these situations make up a large bunch of the 1/3 of law students that end up not getting a post-grad job) should never go to law school. Thus, someone with a 140, 2.2, should not take Cooley up on their "give it a try" offer nor should someone entirely interested in biglaw or bust attend even UVA or NYU, for example.


The other 40% SHOULD drop out, but we all know they don't (if we can take attrition numbers as accurate). For the other 60%, like Mallard said, maybe they find work but if they are graduating with so much debt and not making much it is like a ball and chain following them around for a long, long time. Everything they do - buying a new car, home, starting a family, etc. is going to hindered by the debt. However, like I said earlier if being a lawyer is worth the debt load and employment risk, then that is an individual's personal decision and I can't find fault in that.

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mallard
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby mallard » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:49 pm

A'nold, I like you a lot and I like your stance in a lot of ways, but what you're saying just doesn't make sense to me. What do you mean, "the local networking approach?" Are you saying that there are legal jobs that aren't getting filled? There are no such jobs. Every time an applicant from one school finds a job, an applicant from another school is out a job. When you look at it from a systemic perspective, it's very, very to stand by your position.

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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby Minnesota3L » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:52 pm

PKSebben wrote:
It shows all signs at the moment of never rebounding to the "good old days."


Really? Like, what kind of signs? Never is a long time.


Firms wanting to entirely revamp their compensation, recruitment, and promotion structure. Firms canning thousands of lawyers. Firms deferring years' worth of first years into 2012. 43,000 JDs being minted every year in a market that cannot, now more than ever, employ them. The ABA approving the outsourcing of document review work (previously the mainstay of an entry-level associate's time card) to India, for pennies.
Last edited by Minnesota3L on Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keg411
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby keg411 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:59 pm

mallard wrote:
keg411 wrote:Hence why a lot of lawyers say, "I don't like this, I want to do something else". See my first paragraph.


But for most people, I do think this indicates that it was a poor decision.


What if said person meets his/her SO in law school? Or in the city/town where said law school was? They work for a while and then quit to raise a family and then get a job in a different field down the line (know multiple people who this exact scenario has happened to).

BTW, as a caveat to everything I say here -- I'm probably the biggest anti-debt person. I'm also even more extreme and don't think anyone should go to school outside where they want to practice (only those that go to national schools should and even with those, they should still consider the region their school feeds). And if they don't know where they want to practice they should go to their state school. I'm not arguing at all that it's a good decision for many people to go to school. I'm just playing devil's advocate on some of the things that people are saying ITT which are flawed.

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PKSebben
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby PKSebben » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:00 am

.

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rdcws000
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby rdcws000 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:01 am

2. People who are basically saying, "the entire economy sucks, for everyone, so why NOT go to law school?" I don't get this argument at all. The legal industry is not going to rebound by the time you graduate. It shows all signs at the moment of never rebounding to the "good old days." Even before the recession there were not nearly enough jobs being created or opened up to absorb the ~43,000 law grads every year.


This looks like an attempt to reference my argument, but it doesn't do that.

I didn't say the economy sucks, so WHY NOT go to law school. I suggested that the economy sucking should not be a detractor for someone who is firm in their decision that being a lawyer is what they want to do, just as the difficulties of getting a job teaching 7th grade should not prompt a future teacher to drop out of undergrad because they are going to have to work at Denn'y for a few years before they can get a teaching job.

If we should pursue only those educational pursuits that lead to sizzling job prospects then we are all idiots for not getting into engineering, and math and science fields that Indians consistently kick our butts in.

The idea that if all law schools were close except HYS might solve the problem, but I've got a better solution... If everyone going to law school just to get rich, or because it's a family tradition, or because they don't know what else to do, suddenly decided to drop out, I am confident there would be enough great jobs for the rest of us.
Last edited by rdcws000 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mallard
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby mallard » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:02 am

keg411 wrote:
mallard wrote:
keg411 wrote:Hence why a lot of lawyers say, "I don't like this, I want to do something else". See my first paragraph.


But for most people, I do think this indicates that it was a poor decision.


What if said person meets his/her SO in law school? Or in the city/town where said law school was? They work for a while and then quit to raise a family and then get a job in a different field down the line (know multiple people who this exact scenario has happened to).

BTW, as a caveat to everything I say here -- I'm probably the biggest anti-debt person. I'm also even more extreme and don't think anyone should go to school outside where they want to practice (only those that go to national schools should and even with those, they should still consider the region their school feeds). And if they don't know where they want to practice they should go to their state school. I'm not arguing at all that it's a good decision for many people to go to school. I'm just playing devil's advocate on some of the things that people are saying ITT which are flawed.


Sure, your scenario can happen. Just as likely (maybe more likely) that they're missing the chance to meet somebody else some other way. Seems like a hard thing to calculate, anyway, unless you really, really have the hots for lawyers and law students.

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A'nold
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby A'nold » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:21 am

mallard wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
A'nold wrote:
I'm no math guy, but if a student wants to work in, say, NE and they get in-state and a little scholly at the University of Nebraska, they could graduate for like 70k. Within 5 years they make, say, 90k on the low end. Within 10 years they make, say, 120k. I'd say that is worth the investment.


At first I thought you meant go to Nebraska for New England... :shock:

Mallard does have a point though... most of the unsuccessful lawyers are out of the profession before middle age.

Honestly, I can't really speak to the rest of the 0Ls on here about what is wise and what is not. But for me, law school (particularly the one I am going to) is a good decision for a host of reasons. I also have two relatively viable back-up plans if grades aren't stellar, and I feel like I have a solid plan in place to end up in a good legal job.


This is excellent, but I don't think it's really normal.

That said, I agree that TLSers are not especially starry-eyed about the economy. They might be compared to JDU or xoxo or ATL, but the truly starry-eyed probably don't spend much time doing research on sites like this.

Honestly, though, A'nold isn't really right either. Debt is overpowering for some students. Many people already have debt from undergrad. If you leave law school with six-figure debt and start making $60k a year, of course you'll pay it off eventually, but when? When will you be able to have a family? When will you be able to choose where you live? Will you enjoy your job, or will you be taking what you can get? These are incredibly important considerations. They are important for any applicant, particularly because of the bimodal distribution of legal salaries. (The distribution is becoming less bimodal, but this isn't a good sign: it's because some firms are lowering salaries!) So A'nold's "nobody is making $60k out of undergrad" is kind of a non sequitur not just because it's false, but because it obscures the truth that very few other people are literally losing $60k a year, too.

At my school, from what I hear (including from friends who didn't get biglaw, or only got a couple summer offers, or got no-offered at the end of last summer) is that the focus has changed in student events about law. People are no longer asking how to pick a practice area, how to choose between firms, what to do if they don't like their firm, etc., etc. It's no longer about student choice. Now the main question is how to get an offer and hold on to it. This is important for a couple reasons: not everyone is getting an offer, and you might have to jump through some stupid-ass hoops to get one. You're going to have to say the right things, act the right way with the right people, be strategic. You're going to have to go to the firm social events. Blah blah. Anyway, this long-winded paragraph is just meant to indicate that things really might not be as rosy as you think, and that goes for basically every area of the legal industry and basically every school.


You're a genius, but this post shows that you are out of touch with the reality facing the majority of college grads in the country. Most students don't come from an Ivy school, prestigeous state school, etc. They graduate from a school like mine, say, for example (I didn't graduate from here) Eastern Washington University. Most college grads come from regional UG's where some Poly Sci degree gets them a $12 temp job, if they are lucky. You can debate the salary of UG's until you are blue in the face, but I am 100% certain that I am right in this regard. Most of the UG grads I know work part time mail room or at Rite Aid, etc.

Also, irt your last paragraph: Waaah. I feel so bad that people actually have to work to get jobs and they don't get to choose what biglaw firm they want. My heart bleeds for them. :roll:

People seem to forget that the job market is horrific for everyone. My aunt has been looking for a job for two years and has interviews every week and has yet to land anything. You guys that complain about this profession are completely out of touch with reality, especially the reality of the average American.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:26 am

TLS is the roses and sunshine internet forum???
:shock:

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mallard
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby mallard » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:30 am

You don't have to tell me about a bad job market. I started law school after a year of unemployment. I'm not at all out of touch with what that can be like. It can be a very good route for somebody who doesn't feel they have other options, or who hates their other options (the yelling boss, the $12/hour temp gig, unemployment). But few people should go in without having done a full and honest assessment of those other options or without having given real thought to how they'll like law school, how they'll like law, where they'll end up afterwards, etc.

As I said above, I can completely get behind your populist tone in this thread. But from a systemic perspective, the situation you describe in law school seems to suggest that there's a glut of students. I mean, there's always going to be more law students than lawyers, because law school is in some way a sorting or signaling mechanism for who will end up actually being good. But there are very good reasons - many of them not at all elitist - not to jump into doing something that too many people are already doing. When I think about how I haven't fully enjoyed law school, how I'm ambivalent in many ways about my future in law, I think about who I could have given my seat up for, and who they would have given their seat up for, and on and on down the line of law schools, everyone thrilled with the jump in prestige, till you get to the happiest person of them all: the one who doesn't have to go to Cooley because a space opened up somewhere else. And I consider that I'm not sure whether that seat would be filled with another hopeful law student. But I have to think it's better, all in all, if it isn't.

That's just my perspective, and a lot of it, as you can see, is completely emotional and irrational.


pocket herc
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby pocket herc » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:33 am

Preach on A'nold...not entirely convinced mind you, don't think the hysteria of the doomsayers is entirely justified. Still it's awfully bad in our chosen field, and, well, the centre may not hold after all...but its terrible everywhere, and resourceful (and not merely intelligent) people may (even should) weather the storm

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traehekat
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby traehekat » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:40 am

The whole argument that it is bad in a lot of different fields and thus it no worse of a decision to pursue a law degree than another profession kind of ignores the enormous price tag that comes with a legal education, for most students.

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A'nold
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby A'nold » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:58 am

mallard wrote:You don't have to tell me about a bad job market. I started law school after a year of unemployment. I'm not at all out of touch with what that can be like. It can be a very good route for somebody who doesn't feel they have other options, or who hates their other options (the yelling boss, the $12/hour temp gig, unemployment). But few people should go in without having done a full and honest assessment of those other options or without having given real thought to how they'll like law school, how they'll like law, where they'll end up afterwards, etc.

As I said above, I can completely get behind your populist tone in this thread. But from a systemic perspective, the situation you describe in law school seems to suggest that there's a glut of students. I mean, there's always going to be more law students than lawyers, because law school is in some way a sorting or signaling mechanism for who will end up actually being good. But there are very good reasons - many of them not at all elitist - not to jump into doing something that too many people are already doing. When I think about how I haven't fully enjoyed law school, how I'm ambivalent in many ways about my future in law, I think about who I could have given my seat up for, and who they would have given their seat up for, and on and on down the line of law schools, everyone thrilled with the jump in prestige, till you get to the happiest person of them all: the one who doesn't have to go to Cooley because a space opened up somewhere else. And I consider that I'm not sure whether that seat would be filled with another hopeful law student. But I have to think it's better, all in all, if it isn't.

That's just my perspective, and a lot of it, as you can see, is completely emotional and irrational.


Oh, I'm with you completely that there are MANY students that should not be in law school, haha. I just have a hard time when peeps from JDU or xoxo come on here, open a new account, and then talk about how we should all be plumbers or HVAC technicians instead of going to law school.

And to traekhat(?): I also agree that the cost can be big and out of proportion to opportunity, at least initially. BUT, I think this mainly applies to those that actually cannot find legal work, i.e., my example above of t2 and lower students below median "sticking it out" and taking on more debt or people that make the mistake of going to Cooley or Florida Coastal and taking out over 100k of loans. Those peeps are in true danger of never landing a legal job. With perserverance, many students at schools in less saturated markets can do o.k. at median, then we come to the whole "was taking out < 100k in loans for a 50-60k to start job a good decision" question. I say that the math will usually point to YES and without a prestigeous (relatively) UG degree or a UG degree in high demand, it is a very good investment and will give you a life that is far greater than the majority of Americans will ever know.

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jeremydc
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby jeremydc » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:04 am

I haven't read any of the posts but for me, Law school is not an investment but a dream. I will gladly be in debt for something I love then do something I hate without debt.


I come from a place where Law school is not ever mentioned because it's considered impossible. I live in a place where people settle for meritocracy. 99% of people I know believe that I am going to fail and end up where they are today.


You should not base going on Law school on whether its a good investment or not but rather if being a lawyer is a dream of yours. I am sure there are lawyers who are not passionate about thier "investment" and make $$$$ but are not happy. On the other hand, I am sure there are MANY lawyers in debt that are perfectly happy because they accomplished a dream in the face of negativity.

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A'nold
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby A'nold » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:06 am

jeremydc wrote:I haven't read any of the posts but for me, Law school is not an investment but a dream. I will gladly be in debt for something I love then do something I hate without debt.


I come from a place where Law school is not ever mentioned because it's considered impossible. I live in a place where people settle for meritocracy. 99% of people I know believe that I am going to fail and end up where they are today.


You should not base going on Law school on whether its a good investment or not but rather if being a lawyer is a dream of yours. I am sure there are lawyers who are not passionate about thier "investment" and make $$$$ but are not happy. On the other hand, I am sure there are MANY lawyers in debt that are perfectly happy because they accomplished a dream in the face of negativity.


Yet another reason I was going to post about why law school isn't always a bad decision for peeps.

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jeremydc
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby jeremydc » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:15 am

Thanks?

keg411
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:04 am

mallard wrote:That's just my perspective, and a lot of it, as you can see, is completely emotional and irrational.


But isn't the point of this thread to be rational about choices? You didn't think things through and aren't happy even though you are in the YHS-tier. You are starting to question whether or not it's a waste and therefore, don't see the perspective of someone who might not. A'nold, OTOH, is happy with his decision and feels that he is making a better life for his family. So of course he is going to support it because he's not questioning his decision.

But doing a cost-benefit analysis prior to going to school wouldn't have helped you know that you wouldn't necessarily like it or would love it. In fact, I'd say an analysis of going to a top school is pretty much going to point straight to "Go!" no matter what the outcome is and the analysis of going to a low ranked school would be "Don't!" and yet two people in this thread illustrate that the outcomes in terms of how they feel after 1L are the exact opposite of what you'd expect.

BarCliff
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby BarCliff » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:13 am

Can someone please ban the OP?

--LinkRemoved--

miamiman
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby miamiman » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:24 am

BarCliff wrote:Can someone please ban the OP?

--LinkRemoved--


I mean kudos for the google search but it was presumptive

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youpiiz
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby youpiiz » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:27 am

jeremydc wrote: I will gladly be in debt for something I love then do something I hate without debt.


:twisted:

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dhg5004
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:09 am

VA LawDog wrote:
Locke N. Lawded wrote:Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.


Why must 0L's prove anything to you?

Locke N. Lawded wrote:I really am interested in finding out what is going through your mind ...


That's none of your damn business; and, quite frankly, rather presumptuous of you to ask.


this person seems very bitter.

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dhg5004
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:15 am

A'nold wrote:Ugh. All of my fellow 1L's who I very much respect should not be giving this guy and kudos. I can't believe the nonsense that is spewed on this board, xoxo, and JDUnderground. Law school is a great investment for many people and is MUCH more than just a cost benefit analysis, which is almost universally a great investment long-term. The classist crap on this site absolutely amazes me. I will be making like $4k a month this summer and I am BLOWN AWAY by this amount of money. Many of you think of law school as a failure if you aren't making close to that a week. Just realize that when you spew your privileged bs you are influencing people that would really, REALLY benefit from a legal career. Have any of you ever worked the kind of entry-level shit temp job you would be LUCKY to get w/ a UG degree? Ever had a middle manager yell at you for your staple job? Ever want to kill yourself every minute of the day while watching the clock and making $12 an hour? For the people that say you can make $60k out of UG, you are absolutely full of shit. Most UG's won't make the equivalent of that (adjusted for inflation) w/in 5-7 years out of UG. The ceiling for attorneys, even in the dreaded "shitlaw" is well over 100k in most situations. You are in the tippy top of the US and are actually wealthy by most accounts. It makes me actually shake I get so pissed when I see people complaining about this kind of crap. Why don't you step out of your little life for one second to see what a privilege this kind of salary really is? Even if you net $4,500 a month and your loan payments are $1,500, you are living off of $3k a month. Maybe not glamorous but much better than what most people make and that is more of an entry-level salary and that $1,500 a month loan payment will look more like chump change later in life.

Every single middle-aged attorney I've ever met is well-off. Get over yourselves and let people improve their lives. This was not addressed to my fellow law school peeps in this thread, instead, it was addressed to the constant JDU trolls and know-it-all 0L's that think they have any idea what they are talking about.


lol dude. you're just wrong. simple. i make 60k coming out of UG. (closer to 65 now)

5-7 years? ???? wtf. where are you getting these numbers? or are you just making them up?

popular misconception among law students...that they will be 'well off' when they are middle aged. Those lawyers who are 'middle aged' entered the market when it was much muchh more lucrative. when lawyers were still making bank coming out of law school. those days are over.

i'm not trying to be overly pessimistic. but i think people need to step into reality and realize there is more than one point of view in respect to law school. it isn't a free ticket to being 'well-off'. I plan on going to law school...but I am able to respect and hear about all sides of the law school spectrum....whether it be negative or positive.

the tunnel vision attitude on this site is overwhelming to me.

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romothesavior
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:18 am

Desert Fox wrote:http://volokh.com/2010/02/04/the-break-even-starting-lawyer-salary/


Interesting, but I think this number (potentially) ignores some things:

1) COL in a given market. 65k in Chicago is roughly equal to 50k in my hometown.

2) Opportunity for advancement and pay increases. Many fields (law included) can cause a new practitioner to struggle early on before they start to make real money.

3) People who took out little debt.

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romothesavior
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Re: Hey 0Ls! Prove to me that law school is a wise investment.

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:20 am

dhg5004 wrote:
A'nold wrote:Ugh. All of my fellow 1L's who I very much respect should not be giving this guy and kudos. I can't believe the nonsense that is spewed on this board, xoxo, and JDUnderground. Law school is a great investment for many people and is MUCH more than just a cost benefit analysis, which is almost universally a great investment long-term. The classist crap on this site absolutely amazes me. I will be making like $4k a month this summer and I am BLOWN AWAY by this amount of money. Many of you think of law school as a failure if you aren't making close to that a week. Just realize that when you spew your privileged bs you are influencing people that would really, REALLY benefit from a legal career. Have any of you ever worked the kind of entry-level shit temp job you would be LUCKY to get w/ a UG degree? Ever had a middle manager yell at you for your staple job? Ever want to kill yourself every minute of the day while watching the clock and making $12 an hour? For the people that say you can make $60k out of UG, you are absolutely full of shit. Most UG's won't make the equivalent of that (adjusted for inflation) w/in 5-7 years out of UG. The ceiling for attorneys, even in the dreaded "shitlaw" is well over 100k in most situations. You are in the tippy top of the US and are actually wealthy by most accounts. It makes me actually shake I get so pissed when I see people complaining about this kind of crap. Why don't you step out of your little life for one second to see what a privilege this kind of salary really is? Even if you net $4,500 a month and your loan payments are $1,500, you are living off of $3k a month. Maybe not glamorous but much better than what most people make and that is more of an entry-level salary and that $1,500 a month loan payment will look more like chump change later in life.

Every single middle-aged attorney I've ever met is well-off. Get over yourselves and let people improve their lives. This was not addressed to my fellow law school peeps in this thread, instead, it was addressed to the constant JDU trolls and know-it-all 0L's that think they have any idea what they are talking about.


lol dude. you're just wrong. simple. i make 60k coming out of UG. (closer to 65 now)


You make 65k? Wow! STOP THE PRESSES! Comebody get the WSJ on the line! All those articles about college grads having trouble finding jobs? They're a myth, because dhg5004 found a starting salary of 60k coming out of undergrad! The economy is booming again!




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