Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
sanetruth
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:26 pm

Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby sanetruth » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:22 am

I've noticed statistics saying that around 84% of students in the T30 take out loans to pay for law school. That leaves thousands of students who don't, and graduate without debt. So is it still a bad decision?

In other words, is law school a 'waste of money'? Or is it just dangerous to those who graduate with a significant amount of debt? I don't see a lot of caveats about people who are able to graduate debt free, meaning with money from family or even full rides from T14 (hey, it happens).

I'd be interested to hear opinions regarding this distinction.

User avatar
Sentry
Posts: 1235
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:38 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby Sentry » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:27 am

I would say the consensus is that getting a Hamilton or a Darrow makes law school a good investment.

User avatar
doyleoil
Posts: 631
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby doyleoil » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:32 am

Sentry wrote:I would say the consensus is that getting a Hamilton or a Darrow makes law school a good investment.


You forgot a Rubinstein. Or an RTK. Or a Dillard. Not a Levy, though, cuz you still have to pay some tuition. And I'm still not 100% on that "Go work for a year and we'll give you 135k" thing that those non-T10'ers throw around.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby 270910 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:39 am

Law school is a maelstrom of bad decisions:

1) The debt

2) The dim high paying job prospects

3) The dim any paying job prospects

4) The fact that it's a poorly thought out fallback option for many

5) The contentious and stressful nature of the school and work, which is bad for the psyche of many people

If you can eliminate most of those problems (just by being somebody who they wouldn't effect, going to the right school, being independently wealthy, being particularly introspective, etc.) then law school is great.

But most law students across the country suffer from 1-4 and don't have personalities that mesh well with 5.

User avatar
sanetruth
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:26 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby sanetruth » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:50 am

sanetruth wrote: I don't see a lot of caveats about people who are able to graduate debt free, meaning with money from family or even full rides from T14.


disco_barred wrote:Law school is a maelstrom of bad decisions:

1) The debt



Very enlightening, thank you.

User avatar
Sentry
Posts: 1235
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:38 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby Sentry » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:00 pm

The thing to keep in mind is every year there are 45,000 new JDs awarded. Every year there are 7 new legal jobs created. So mathematically speaking your odds of getting a job are 1.55x10^-4%. So even a free JD is basically worthless.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby 270910 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:01 pm

Sentry wrote:The thing to keep in mind is every year there are 45,000 new JDs awarded. Every year there are 7 new legal jobs created. So mathematically speaking your odds of getting a job are 1.55x10^-4%. So even a free JD is basically worthless.


I certify this post as close enough to mathematically correct to be accurate.

User avatar
dbrddr
Posts: 287
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:24 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby dbrddr » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:38 pm

Sentry wrote:The thing to keep in mind is every year there are 45,000 new JDs awarded. Every year there are 7 new legal jobs created. So mathematically speaking your odds of getting a job are 1.55x10^-4%. So even a free JD is basically worthless.


right--there are no retirements.

User avatar
dresden doll
Posts: 6802
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:11 am

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby dresden doll » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:43 pm

LS is a disastrous decision every time you realize you wasted 3 years of your life on a degree that doesn't get you what you want.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby MrAnon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:09 pm

It is just a plain out waste of money, debt or not. You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:11 pm

MrAnon wrote:You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.


Not sure if serious.

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12331
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby gdane » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:13 pm

MrAnon wrote:It is just a plain out waste of money, debt or not. You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.


Yea this isnt quite as simplistic as you make it seem. I reckon that very few recently graduated 22/23 year old's are going to be able to secure a $180000 loan. Im pretty sure no bank is going to lend that amount of money to the "typical" prelaw student. Maybe $1,800. :mrgreen:

User avatar
Sentry
Posts: 1235
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:38 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby Sentry » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:15 pm

gdane5 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is just a plain out waste of money, debt or not. You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.


Yea this isnt quite as simplistic as you make it seem. I reckon that very few recently graduated 22/23 year old's are going to be able to secure a $180000 loan. Im pretty sure no bank is going to lend that amount of money to the "typical" prelaw student. Maybe $1,800. :mrgreen:

Yeah but think of the sweet bike you could get for $1800.

Skyhook
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:30 am

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby Skyhook » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:17 pm

Not only no retirements, but no people who quit or die. Unless the 7 jobs were in fact the net figure...

180k loan and start your own business?
This assumes you can actually run a successful business and can persuade a bank to loan you the money in the first place.

(guess I was slow typing this...)

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby MrAnon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:20 pm

gdane5 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is just a plain out waste of money, debt or not. You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.


Yea this isnt quite as simplistic as you make it seem. I reckon that very few recently graduated 22/23 year old's are going to be able to secure a $180000 loan. Im pretty sure no bank is going to lend that amount of money to the "typical" prelaw student. Maybe $1,800. :mrgreen:


Okay, get it through parents then. The other point is that you could be out working in an entry level job really moving towards a goal in management or whatever rather than stuck for 3 years of your life in the rat race of law school, which virtually everyone is losing at this point. 3 years of law school is 3 years of lost earnings, even if you exclude debt.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby MrAnon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:21 pm

Skyhook wrote:Not only no retirements, but no people who quit or die. Unless the 7 jobs were in fact the net figure...

180k loan and start your own business?
This assumes you can actually run a successful business and can persuade a bank to loan you the money in the first place.

(guess I was slow typing this...)


Are you saying this would be more or less of a success than law school?

User avatar
gdane
Posts: 12331
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:41 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby gdane » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:25 pm

MrAnon wrote:
gdane5 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is just a plain out waste of money, debt or not. You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.


Yea this isnt quite as simplistic as you make it seem. I reckon that very few recently graduated 22/23 year old's are going to be able to secure a $180000 loan. Im pretty sure no bank is going to lend that amount of money to the "typical" prelaw student. Maybe $1,800. :mrgreen:


Okay, get it through parents then. The other point is that you could be out working in an entry level job really moving towards a goal in management or whatever rather than stuck for 3 years of your life in the rat race of law school, which virtually everyone is losing at this point. 3 years of law school is 3 years of lost earnings, even if you exclude debt.


What are 5 years old? Man up. Be your own person. At the age of 22 (or any age after 20 for that matter), you should no longer have to depend on your parents for anything. No ifs ands or buts. Grow up.

Also, there is as much uncertainty, if not more, in opening a business than there is in going to law school. Its been proven that most new business dont earn significant profits and actually tend to lose money during their first 5 years of operation. So in this scenario opening a business is more risky than going to law school for 3 years is.

deadhipsters
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:29 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby deadhipsters » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:29 pm

MrAnon wrote:
gdane5 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It is just a plain out waste of money, debt or not. You could take out $180K and start a business and probably get a better returns and definitely have a legacy to pass on.


Yea this isnt quite as simplistic as you make it seem. I reckon that very few recently graduated 22/23 year old's are going to be able to secure a $180000 loan. Im pretty sure no bank is going to lend that amount of money to the "typical" prelaw student. Maybe $1,800. :mrgreen:


Okay, get it through parents then. The other point is that you could be out working in an entry level job really moving towards a goal in management or whatever rather than stuck for 3 years of your life in the rat race of law school, which virtually everyone is losing at this point. 3 years of law school is 3 years of lost earnings, even if you exclude debt.


Assuming you can even get an entry level job. Many L.A students are having difficulty procuring any type of employment outside of Starbucks and Barnes and Noble. The reason many people are drawn to the profession is because it is the closest thing to a vocational school for humanities majors.

ScaredWorkedBored
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:33 pm

Obviously the debt makes a big difference. $1000-$2000 a month from your after tax income is going to be pretty significant for most people. Just try out some budgets...

And most new businesses don't make it at all, nevermind survive five years and become profitable. There are entire canons of contract law and reams of lending standards built around the fact that any given new business is almost certain to fail. Of the small % that don't, the survivors are highly biased towards established people in an industry starting something new, or wealthy businessmen (i.e. can raise equity and fund losses if necessary; also tend to know how to handle business) stepping into a new industry. Overlooking for a moment there's a reason the government will give Mr. No Assets $180,000 for school but the bank won't give Mr. No Assets $180,000 for something else.
Last edited by ScaredWorkedBored on Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:35 pm

MrAnon wrote:Okay, get it through parents then. The other point is that you could be out working in an entry level job really moving towards a goal in management or whatever rather than stuck for 3 years of your life in the rat race of law school, which virtually everyone is losing at this point. 3 years of law school is 3 years of lost earnings, even if you exclude debt.


No matter how bad the legal economy is, I still think there is a larger likelihood of success through going to law school than trying to start one's own business with $180k. People are unbelievably stupid and it is far easier to secure a job through law school, even one with bad prospects, than to start a business that actually manages to stay afloat.

MrAnon
Posts: 1615
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:08 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby MrAnon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:36 pm

There are reams of statistics that show law school students from biggest toilet schools around have terrific career prospects...

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:38 pm

MrAnon wrote:There are reams of statistics that show law school students from biggest toilet schools around have terrific career prospects...


What are you even saying?

JeanMarie
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:42 am

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby JeanMarie » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:52 pm

sanetruth wrote:I've noticed statistics saying that around 84% of students in the T30 take out loans to pay for law school. That leaves thousands of students who don't, and graduate without debt. So is it still a bad decision?

In other words, is law school a 'waste of money'? Or is it just dangerous to those who graduate with a significant amount of debt? I don't see a lot of caveats about people who are able to graduate debt free, meaning with money from family or even full rides from T14 (hey, it happens).

I'd be interested to hear opinions regarding this distinction.


With debt, it is a financial disaster.

Without debt, it is a career disaster.

Again, this applies to the majority, but not to all students. There are always exceptions.

Please take my opinion seriously. I just graduated from T14 and can't find a job. I have been insulted, trashed, and threatened with a ban here.

User avatar
paratactical
Posts: 5961
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:06 pm

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby paratactical » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:55 pm

--ImageRemoved--

--ImageRemoved--

JeanMarie
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:42 am

Re: Is law school a DISASTROUS decision only w/ debt?

Postby JeanMarie » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:56 pm

paratactical wrote:--ImageRemoved--

--ImageRemoved--


And that proves me wrong how...?




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sspeckk, TheSpanishMain and 9 guests