CG614 wrote:Capitol A wrote:I believe that this is important information, and that there are probably a lot of people that still think a law degree (ANY law degree) is a ticket to fame and fortune. Those people would definitely benefit from a wake up call before taking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt pursuing a path in which the odds are stacked against them ever securing gainful employment.
All this being said, I don't think I have a similar reaction to this type of info that most TLSers seem to. You see a lot of TLS posts that say things like: "If you attend school X you only have a 1 in 10 chance at BigLaw" as if there is some type of raffle at the school to determine who gets the 'good' jobs. It doesn't work like that. This same logic would have given the same advice to me and to George Clooney regarding pursuing careers in acting: "don't do it. You have a 1 in a million chance of actually making money." When the truth is that he is talented and good looking. I, on the other hand am just good looking-no talent. So we don't each have an equal shot as in the case of some type of lottery system.
My point is, if you are going to Cooley or to Phoenix SOL, you are making a terrible investment; but if you are going to Ohio State, or Alabama, or some other mid-range T50 where they are realistically putting 40% or so of their grads into full time legal employment, then it is at least in part up to you, and your talent and your work ethic to determine whether you are in the group that makes the school proud or you are in the group that they report as being employed even though you are walking behind the elephants at the local circus. No one is going to hand you anything on a silver platter or write you check just because you have a JD, but if you are willing to bust your butt to ensure you are a standout perfomer in class and in your internships/externships etc. Some people are getting good jobs, and you can be one of those people.
And the problem with your analysis is that it assumes that "busting your butt" can give you an advantage. Don't you think everyone is "busting their butt?" Since you can't reasonably predict grades/employment (outside of some other factors like work experience), it is reasonable to use the 1 in 10 (numbers depending on school) model for success.
Of course everyone is busting their butt, but not everyone is equally talented, and everyone will not shine equally well in their internships, OCI,and networking opportunities. Just like every college football player is busting their butt at the combine, but everyone will not be a first round draft pick. That doesn't mean that everyone other than Cam Newton is wasting his time.
Of course these aren't perfect analogies, but chances of success from a given school are not as simple as a raffle where every single incoming 1L has the exact chances of getting job they wanton 3yrs from now. I know a guy who went to Hamline University and is now (5 years after graduating) a lead in-house for a big international corporation. He had work experience and he made himself standout in many ways.