Alternatives to Law School

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Aggiegrad2011
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby Aggiegrad2011 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:17 pm

How about a Paralegal Cert from an ABA-accredited program?

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The Gentleman
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby The Gentleman » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:43 pm

byunbee wrote:PhD

As tough as it is finding a legal job, it's nothing compared to finding a teaching job these days.


+1 to this. Imagine spending 6-8 years of your life as a poor grad student only to end up working as an adjunct professor. (If your not familiar with the work/pay/benefits of adjuncts, then look it up) The supply of humanities and social science PhDs greatly outstrips the limited demand. This could be why your pizza delivery guy is also your world history professor.

deadhipsters
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby deadhipsters » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:52 pm

The Gentleman wrote:
byunbee wrote:PhD

As tough as it is finding a legal job, it's nothing compared to finding a teaching job these days.


+1 to this. Imagine spending 6-8 years of your life as a poor grad student only to end up working as an adjunct professor. (If your not familiar with the work/pay/benefits of adjuncts, then look it up) The supply of humanities and social science PhDs greatly outstrips the limited demand. This could be why your pizza delivery guy is also your world history professor.


This is so true. Phd's especially outside of the sciences are probably not great investments of time or money. There have been a lot of articles published on the decline of tenure track teaching positions. Also, paralegal certificate? Why bother. I worked with a girl who got one from nyu and I didn't have any at all. Just a BA. I'd skip it. Plus you don't want to be a paralegal for very long. I'm curious as to how credible these certificates are viewed as?

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paratactical
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby paratactical » Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:57 pm

.
Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drdolittle
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby drdolittle » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:00 pm

The Gentleman wrote:
byunbee wrote:PhD

As tough as it is finding a legal job, it's nothing compared to finding a teaching job these days.


+1 to this. Imagine spending 6-8 years of your life as a poor grad student only to end up working as an adjunct professor. (If your not familiar with the work/pay/benefits of adjuncts, then look it up) The supply of humanities and social science PhDs greatly outstrips the limited demand. This could be why your pizza delivery guy is also your world history professor.


But going for a master's or phd is not a horrible idea if you're interested in the field, can get into a decent program, and you don't have any other "real world" interests. Most grad programs offer TAing opportunities to offset costs, so the debt burden is (or should be) nowhere near that of professional schools. Of course as mentioned jobs prospects are not good, but I still think it's better than getting a random mindless job or going to law school just for the hell of it.

byunbee
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby byunbee » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:04 pm

drdolittle wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
byunbee wrote:PhD

As tough as it is finding a legal job, it's nothing compared to finding a teaching job these days.


+1 to this. Imagine spending 6-8 years of your life as a poor grad student only to end up working as an adjunct professor. (If your not familiar with the work/pay/benefits of adjuncts, then look it up) The supply of humanities and social science PhDs greatly outstrips the limited demand. This could be why your pizza delivery guy is also your world history professor.


But going for a master's or phd is not a horrible idea if you're interested in the field, can get into a decent program, and you don't have any other "real world" interests. Most grad programs offer TAing opportunities to offset costs, so the debt burden is (or should be) nowhere near that of professional schools. Of course as mentioned jobs prospects are not good, but I still think it's better than getting a random mindless job or going to law school just for the hell of it.


In theory, it's not a bad idea. But do you know how tough it is to get into one of these decent programs?

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General Tso
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby General Tso » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:05 pm

byunbee wrote:In theory, it's not a bad idea. But do you know how tough it is to get into one of these decent programs?

UC Santa Cruz got 600 applications for 8 funded PhD seats (economics)

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drdolittle
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby drdolittle » Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:16 pm

General Tso wrote:
byunbee wrote:In theory, it's not a bad idea. But do you know how tough it is to get into one of these decent programs?

UC Santa Cruz got 600 applications for 8 funded PhD seats (economics)


Good point, though master's programs are much easier to get into and can effectively offer access to PhD programs. The vast majority of applicants to PhD programs across the board are not competitive without a master's or significant work/research experience.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby The Gentleman » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:22 am

paratactical wrote:But going for a master's or phd is not a horrible idea if you're interested in the field, can get into a decent program, and you don't have any other "real world" interests. Most grad programs offer TAing opportunities to offset costs, so the debt burden is (or should be) nowhere near that of professional schools. Of course as mentioned jobs prospects are not good, but I still think it's better than getting a random mindless job or going to law school just for the hell of it.


True, being admitted into a well regarded department (Top 25 or so) with fully guaranteed funding does mitigate a large amount of the risk involved in obtaining a humanities/soc sci PhD. But on the other hand, I would contend that accepting an unfunded offer from a non T-25 program involves significantly more personal and financial risk than enrolling at a TTTT law school for sticker price. For one, the opportunity cost is much more steep for those in PhD programs. Three years of lost income in law school is nothing compared to the 6-8 years of lost income in a PhD program. Next, the overall market value of a lawyer's skillset far surpasses that of any humanities/soc sci PhD's. Regardless of whether an attorney went to Yale or Cooley, they will always possess a set of skills that is demanded by society while a humanities PhD will not. Although I admit that a Cooley grad has a very poor chance of putting this skill to use, the premise still holds weight. To illustrate this point, imagine that there was a vast oversupply plumbers relative to the demand for their work. If this were true and I was given the choice of becoming a underemployed plumber or a underemployed PhD, I would pick the plumber every time. Why? When all else is equal (I'm assuming it is here) it makes the most sense to choose the profession with the more valuable set of skills. It's also worth mentioning that the cost of tuition and COL for 6-8 years in an unfunded PhD program is at least as expensive as three years of law school tuition plus COL. Of course, there's no way of measuring the intrinsic value of an unfunded PhD vs TTTT law school. There will always be those who will seek PhDs at any cost and those who seek law degrees at any cost.

To summarize, the decision between an obtaining an unfunded PhD or attending Cooley is analogous to the decision between castration and losing a limb. In each case I happily choose the latter.

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Hannibal
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby Hannibal » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:24 am

My alternative to law school is Cooley.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby The Gentleman » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:29 am

Hannibal wrote:My alternative to law school is Cooley.


lolz

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby whuts4lunch » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:34 am

sales, banking, loan origination

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FlanAl
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby FlanAl » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:44 am

hey tso could you pm me those anecdotes too?

Think_lax86
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby Think_lax86 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:28 pm

+2 for the anecdotes, id like to hear bout it

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MTal
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby MTal » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:45 pm

Alternatives to throwing away 150k?

1. Get a shitty job. Do good work no matter how demeaning it might seem at first. Line up a good recommendation from your manager. Move up in your company, or move up in another company if they make you an offer. Do good work until you're making 50-60k a year. Do that job for a few years until you've stashed away enough capital to start your own business. Build your business from the ground up and enjoy life.

2. Join one of the armed services as an officer. Retire in 20 years with kick ass benefits and enjoy life.

3. Learn a trade such as auto mechanic, plumbing, or welding. (you know...providing services people actually NEED) Once you've acquired enough experience, start your own business and enjoy life.

If you want to whine about how all of the above takes too long and you want to make 6 figures straight out of school, all I can say is, become a doctor. If that doesn't appeal to you then the above are pretty much your only alternatives.

Pip
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby Pip » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:31 am

Please people, be realistic. If you have an English major and don't get into the law school of your choice or the law school not of your choice. Don't do something stupid and go back for a masters in the major that you know is worthless for finding a job. Either suck it up and find a job or go get a degree in business.

I'll never understand why anyone goes for a degree in something like English nor understand why colleges offer the completely worthless degree. I remember in my undergrad there were something like 50 people that got degrees in English... and lets be honest there wasn't ANY chance that any of them could get a good job unless they went to law school... seems to me that people that want to go to law school should get a degree that gives them an option for a good job if they don't get into law school instead of getting a degree in a major that is only useful in fulfilling the degree requirement for getting a JD.

But if you find you can't get into law school...and you don't want to get an MBA... well you are going to be fighting for a job in a market that if full of people with degrees that mean something to the employer. You may very well be serving coffee in a Starbucks.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:12 am

Pip wrote:Please people, be realistic. If you have an English major and don't get into the law school of your choice or the law school not of your choice. Don't do something stupid and go back for a masters in the major that you know is worthless for finding a job. Either suck it up and find a job or go get a degree in business.

I'll never understand why anyone goes for a degree in something like English nor understand why colleges offer the completely worthless degree. I remember in my undergrad there were something like 50 people that got degrees in English... and lets be honest there wasn't ANY chance that any of them could get a good job unless they went to law school... seems to me that people that want to go to law school should get a degree that gives them an option for a good job if they don't get into law school instead of getting a degree in a major that is only useful in fulfilling the degree requirement for getting a JD.

But if you find you can't get into law school...and you don't want to get an MBA... well you are going to be fighting for a job in a market that if full of people with degrees that mean something to the employer. You may very well be serving coffee in a Starbucks.


If you can't get into a decent law school - then I'd probably consider a good business school out of the question, too. Your softs would have to be exceedingly good - a solid work experience with a Fortune company would do wonders for business school.

And I agree - English? Poli. Sci.? Economics? Not sure you about you guys.. but at my school they're between 30-35 credit programs. Double major in something that gives you a break for double majoring. i.e. In my school, the BS in Information Technology is 60 credits... but if you're doing a 2nd major, it becomes a BA in I.T. and the credits required drops to ~28.

What's the difference between a BA and a BS in I.T. in the real world? Close to none - and by the time you decide to lateral to another field, you'll fall under 'equivalent experience'.

Hell, Economics is pretty sexy. I hear it's one of the biggest growth fields this year.

There's shit tons of double majors. For purposes of law school, poli. sci. should be the major for padding your GPA against a technical field. Even then, some of you guys manage to pull off a 2.5 with just the Poli. Sci... sigh.

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mpasi
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby mpasi » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:37 am

Grad degree. I don't *need* a law degree to work on Capitol Hill, but I'd prefer to have one.

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lisjjen
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby lisjjen » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:14 am

First of all, everyone keeps talking about working at Starbucks. I think that's a little out there. Obviously, getting a job at Starbucks is going to be difficult with all the law students who can't get work.

But seriously, I keep wondering when this "crash" in law school applications is going to happen. Forbes actually wrote a great article on it. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that law school is a risky investment right now and you still have thousands of kids a year dumping six figures of debt into law school... to go to tier 3 and 4 schools!

Not that I can speak, I'm still going to apply ED to a school where if I was admitted, aid is pretty much out of the picture.

Grad degree. I don't *need* a law degree to work on Capitol Hill, but I'd prefer to have one.


+1. Policy work is fun.

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drdolittle
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby drdolittle » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:37 am

The Gentleman wrote:
paratactical wrote:But going for a master's or phd is not a horrible idea if you're interested in the field, can get into a decent program, and you don't have any other "real world" interests. Most grad programs offer TAing opportunities to offset costs, so the debt burden is (or should be) nowhere near that of professional schools. Of course as mentioned jobs prospects are not good, but I still think it's better than getting a random mindless job or going to law school just for the hell of it.


True, being admitted into a well regarded department (Top 25 or so) with fully guaranteed funding does mitigate a large amount of the risk involved in obtaining a humanities/soc sci PhD. But on the other hand, I would contend that accepting an unfunded offer from a non T-25 program involves significantly more personal and financial risk than enrolling at a TTTT law school for sticker price. For one, the opportunity cost is much more steep for those in PhD programs. Three years of lost income in law school is nothing compared to the 6-8 years of lost income in a PhD program. Next, the overall market value of a lawyer's skillset far surpasses that of any humanities/soc sci PhD's. Regardless of whether an attorney went to Yale or Cooley, they will always possess a set of skills that is demanded by society while a humanities PhD will not. Although I admit that a Cooley grad has a very poor chance of putting this skill to use, the premise still holds weight. To illustrate this point, imagine that there was a vast oversupply plumbers relative to the demand for their work. If this were true and I was given the choice of becoming a underemployed plumber or a underemployed PhD, I would pick the plumber every time. Why? When all else is equal (I'm assuming it is here) it makes the most sense to choose the profession with the more valuable set of skills. It's also worth mentioning that the cost of tuition and COL for 6-8 years in an unfunded PhD program is at least as expensive as three years of law school tuition plus COL. Of course, there's no way of measuring the intrinsic value of an unfunded PhD vs TTTT law school. There will always be those who will seek PhDs at any cost and those who seek law degrees at any cost.

To summarize, the decision between an obtaining an unfunded PhD or attending Cooley is analogous to the decision between castration and losing a limb. In each case I happily choose the latter.


Actually, that was my post you misquoted so I'll respond by saying I agree that doing an unfunded PhD is a mistake pretty much no matter what. But my assumption was that PhD programs are usually funded somehow and there are opportunities to make money throughout like by TAing, and of course most would enter a master's program first to try things out before flushing the years needed for a PhD down the toilet. Also, OP does not seem to have a real interest in practicing law so an academic grad degree in an area of true interest would seem more useful than a random job, at least to me.

Pip
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby Pip » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:30 am

drdolittle wrote:
The Gentleman wrote:
paratactical wrote:But going for a master's or phd is not a horrible idea if you're interested in the field, can get into a decent program, and you don't have any other "real world" interests. Most grad programs offer TAing opportunities to offset costs, so the debt burden is (or should be) nowhere near that of professional schools. Of course as mentioned jobs prospects are not good, but I still think it's better than getting a random mindless job or going to law school just for the hell of it.


True, being admitted into a well regarded department (Top 25 or so) with fully guaranteed funding does mitigate a large amount of the risk involved in obtaining a humanities/soc sci PhD. But on the other hand, I would contend that accepting an unfunded offer from a non T-25 program involves significantly more personal and financial risk than enrolling at a TTTT law school for sticker price. For one, the opportunity cost is much more steep for those in PhD programs. Three years of lost income in law school is nothing compared to the 6-8 years of lost income in a PhD program. Next, the overall market value of a lawyer's skillset far surpasses that of any humanities/soc sci PhD's. Regardless of whether an attorney went to Yale or Cooley, they will always possess a set of skills that is demanded by society while a humanities PhD will not. Although I admit that a Cooley grad has a very poor chance of putting this skill to use, the premise still holds weight. To illustrate this point, imagine that there was a vast oversupply plumbers relative to the demand for their work. If this were true and I was given the choice of becoming a underemployed plumber or a underemployed PhD, I would pick the plumber every time. Why? When all else is equal (I'm assuming it is here) it makes the most sense to choose the profession with the more valuable set of skills. It's also worth mentioning that the cost of tuition and COL for 6-8 years in an unfunded PhD program is at least as expensive as three years of law school tuition plus COL. Of course, there's no way of measuring the intrinsic value of an unfunded PhD vs TTTT law school. There will always be those who will seek PhDs at any cost and those who seek law degrees at any cost.

To summarize, the decision between an obtaining an unfunded PhD or attending Cooley is analogous to the decision between castration and losing a limb. In each case I happily choose the latter.


Actually, that was my post you misquoted so I'll respond by saying I agree that doing an unfunded PhD is a mistake pretty much no matter what. But my assumption was that PhD programs are usually funded somehow and there are opportunities to make money throughout like by TAing, and of course most would enter a master's program first to try things out before flushing the years needed for a PhD down the toilet. Also, OP does not seem to have a real interest in practicing law so an academic grad degree in an area of true interest would seem more useful than a random job, at least to me.


I'm not sure what kind of lifestyle the poster wants.... but being a TA while getting a PhD isn't going to get you anywhere beyond the same lifestyle you had as an undergad. And lets be real here, after the 3 years getting your PhD what are your job prospects? Pretty slim... Any given College with a PhD program has multiple graduate with any given degree and here is the nasty part.. their will be hundreds of PhD graduates looking for a few jobs... so you will find that the majority will be looking for a job outside of their field because there are no opening in their field. If you were that English major you are now a grossly over qualified Starbucks employee.... but hey I'm guessing my coffee will taste better if its made by a PhD right?

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paratactical
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby paratactical » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:52 am

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:58 am

paratactical wrote:
Pip wrote:Please people, be realistic. If you have an English major and don't get into the law school of your choice or the law school not of your choice. Don't do something stupid and go back for a masters in the major that you know is worthless for finding a job. Either suck it up and find a job or go get a degree in business.

I'll never understand why anyone goes for a degree in something like English nor understand why colleges offer the completely worthless degree. I remember in my undergrad there were something like 50 people that got degrees in English... and lets be honest there wasn't ANY chance that any of them could get a good job unless they went to law school... seems to me that people that want to go to law school should get a degree that gives them an option for a good job if they don't get into law school instead of getting a degree in a major that is only useful in fulfilling the degree requirement for getting a JD.

But if you find you can't get into law school...and you don't want to get an MBA... well you are going to be fighting for a job in a market that if full of people with degrees that mean something to the employer. You may very well be serving coffee in a Starbucks.


LOL.

Yeah, my English degree has been so failtastic.


Should of have done a Swahili major instead. I hear that's the new gravy train.

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paratactical
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby paratactical » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:02 am

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Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jayn3
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Re: Alternatives to Law School

Postby jayn3 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:12 am

itt: we realize that humanities majors are useless.


(but damn, my phd latte tastes good)




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