Why is law school so expensive?

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ComatoseClown
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Why is law school so expensive?

Postby ComatoseClown » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:52 pm

Speaking as an undergraduate who is only still thinking about law school in the future, the price of law school sounds usurious to me.

Really, I don't understand why the price to attend law school for just one year has to be a ginormous $40,000. In your own estimate, what would you appraise a year of law school to be worth? Are law schools doing anything to make sure they can lower the costs or keep them from not perpetually rising, as reports indicate they have been (esp. over the last five years), especially given the job market for lawyers these days -- even if we are "no longer in an economic recession"??
Last edited by ComatoseClown on Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby whymeohgodno » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:54 pm

They want to rip idiots off.

And they succeed.

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St.Remy
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby St.Remy » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:58 pm

ComatoseClown wrote:Speaking as an undergraduate who is only still thinking about law school in the future, the price of law school sounds usurious to me.

Really, I don't understand why the price to attend law school for just one year has to be a ginormous $40,000. In your own estimate, what would you appraise a year of law school to be worth? Are law schools doing anything to make sure they can lower the costs or keep them from not perpetually rising, as reports indicate they have been (esp. over the last five years), especially given the job market for lawyers these days -- even if we are "no longer in an economic recession."


Law schools are so expensive because there are always people dumb enough to pay the price, even for schools like Ave Maria ITE. Law schools aren't doing anything to control costs for this very reason. As to what a year of law school is actually worth, that depends on the school. Personally I'd say the T6 are probably worth sticker, but below that it should be cheaper, with schools quickly becoming worth no money at all.

BU2013
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby BU2013 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:04 pm

one of the statistics weighed most heavily by the USNWR is the ammount of $ spent per student. In order to maintain their ranks, schools are encouraged to charge students higher tuition and dump that money into anything and everything, whether it has realistic benefit or not.

r6_philly
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:13 pm

I fail to see how $40k is "so expensive" if most top public (out of state) and private UG's charge just about that much per year.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:14 pm

BU2013 wrote:one of the statistics weighed most heavily by the USNWR is the ammount of $ spent per student. In order to maintain their ranks, schools are encouraged to charge students higher tuition and dump that money into anything and everything, whether it has realistic benefit or not.

Wow. That's pretty ridiculous. I understand the initial sentiment, but the effect - as you point out - is potentially quite unfortunate.

I think that USNWR rankings should be based on post-grad employment stats. Yes yes, it could hardly be a science, but it'd be better than what we've got now.

ComatoseClown
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby ComatoseClown » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:44 pm

@ rg_philly: Not sure your post was in reference to my original post or the second one below it, but yeah -- I think public AND private with their prices are both quite high.

P.S. Thanks for being so informing on this board; I learn a lot specifically from the posts you write in threads.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:48 pm

Two reasons.

1) You're getting a professional degree to get a job that will presumably allow you to repay your loans, at least in theory.

2) Because people will pay it, or at least, take out enough in loans to pay it. Until that stops they can keep charging this much.

Also:

ComatoseClown wrote:usurious

Seriously? Seriously??

ComatoseClown
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby ComatoseClown » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:51 pm

ComatoseClown wrote:
usurious

Seriously? Seriously??


Is there a problem?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/usurious

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vanwinkle
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:53 pm

ComatoseClown wrote:Is there a problem?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/usurious

Yes, yes, you know big words, how wonderful for you to show that off in bold.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby WestOfTheRest » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:59 pm

If it makes you guys feel better, he did use:
ComatoseClown wrote:ginormous

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Kohinoor
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:01 pm

Nightrunner wrote:That's positively grandiloquent.
Quite so, but his loquaciousness leaves much to be desired.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:03 pm

Image

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kalvano
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby kalvano » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:09 pm

ComatoseClown wrote:
ComatoseClown wrote:
usurious

Seriously? Seriously??


Is there a problem?

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/usurious



Yes. "Usury", which the word "usurious" is derived from, is about the practice of charging exceptionally high or illegal interest rates on loans.

It has nothing to do with charging a lot for a particular product.

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2014
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby 2014 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:12 pm

They have to protect the exclusiveness of the degree somehow. While its almost laughable to most how many law degrees there are out there, just think of how many there would be if the degree was 15k a year... By having some sort of barrier, in this case cost, they inherantly limit the numbers of JDs given. The issue I see is that they let any school get accredited but that is another issue.

Med school for example is probably a little cheaper (I'm guessing), but they limit their admissions way more than their law counterparts. Law schools use cost instead of exclusivity but it's all the same, the goal is to make it so that not everyone can get a JD, MD, MBA, whatever.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:12 pm

ComatoseClown wrote:usurious



I don't know, are u surious?

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kalvano
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby kalvano » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:13 pm

2014 wrote:Med school for example is probably a little cheaper (I'm guessing)



Guess again.

MrAnon
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby MrAnon » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:18 pm

All these answers are a bit off the mark. The answer is the open and free availability of student loans. You simply need to have a heartbeat and decent but not great credit to borrow $60,000 per year for school. Any private lender will gladly give it to you because it is none dischargeable so that no matter what happens you or your family is on the hook. Doesn't matter whether you get a job or not or go to Yale or Ave Maria. The government also guarantees much of this money should the student default, to the extent he is permitted. If the government decided tomorrow not to guarantee loans and if loans became dischargeable in bankruptcy court then you'd see some changes in the entire educational system. Crap schools would start to fold because there would be no demand for them.

rundoxierun
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby rundoxierun » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:20 pm

2014 wrote:Med school for example is probably a little cheaper (I'm guessing), but they limit their admissions way more than their law counterparts. Law schools use cost instead of exclusivity but it's all the same, the goal is to make it so that not everyone can get a JD, MD, MBA, whatever.


ehh its about the same per year.. but then way more expensive if you consider that the formal program is 4 years instead of 3.

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2014
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby 2014 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:30 pm

Okay the med school reference was misguided, but I assumed it might. Substitute any other professional degree. Med schools probably do have a fundamentally 100% placement, which would justify the extra year at the same cost.

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re-applicant
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby re-applicant » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:38 pm

US News.

Consider two simple pricing schemes:

A) Charge $20,000 to every student.

B) Charge $40,000 to 1/2 of the students and $0 to the rest.

Plan B allows schools to offer merit aid to draw students with higher numbers. The actual pricing schemes are variations of B, with some students getting full rides, most getting some aid, and some paying full price.

This + what MrAnon said about the ease with which students loans are acquired is TCR, I think.

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Doritos
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby Doritos » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:44 pm

People will pay. I estimate tuition to increase steadily until the end of the world.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby reasonable_man » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:56 pm

Supply and Demand. As long as there are hords of lemmings that will attend (if admitted), then there is no reason to lower the price. The market is determined largely by supply. The supply of idiots that want a JD is very hight, which causes the price of obtaining a JD to stay high.

bigben
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby bigben » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:00 am

As others have noted, they charge as much as people will pay.

But moreover, they charge as much as people CAN pay. Thanks to unlimited government credit, there is no limit to what people can "pay." This is a big factor in driving up the cost of education. And the way things are trending, taxpayers are going to be collectively funding more and more of the idiotic decisions that we allow individuals to make.

bigben
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Re: Why is law school so expensive?

Postby bigben » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:06 am

BU2013 wrote:one of the statistics weighed most heavily by the USNWR is the ammount of $ spent per student. In order to maintain their ranks, schools are encouraged to charge students higher tuition and dump that money into anything and everything, whether it has realistic benefit or not.

All institutions want more money whenever they can get it. Whether it is for finer facilities or higher salaries for the faculty or money to attract new top faculty or scholarships to attract top candidates, the desire for more money would always exist. USNWR has no effect.




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