NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

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scammedhard
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NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby scammedhard » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:37 pm

"Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!" by DAVID SEGAL.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/busin ... f=business


For the TLS newbies, David Segal is also the author of:

"Is Law School a Losing Game?"
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/busin ... wanted=all

"Law Students Lose the Grant Game as Schools Win"
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/busin ... .html?_r=1

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drdolittle
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby drdolittle » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:52 pm

There're some very nice and much deserved shots taken at the law school biz in the Ka-Ching! article. One of better ones regarding self reporting of employment stats: "It’s kind of like makers of breakfast cereal reporting the nutrition levels of their products, without worrying that anyone will actually count the calories."

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sunynp
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby sunynp » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:03 pm

The problem with focusing on NYLS is that it is easy to marginalize this report. Like all his other stories about law, he ends up with a focus that is simple to discredit - in this case, because the school is so lowly ranked. Still, it makes a good impact when he mentions that this school charges more than Harvard.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:04 pm

sunynp wrote:The problem with focusing on NYLS is that it is easy to marginalize this report. Like all his other stories about law, he ends up with a focus that is simple to discredit - in this case, because the school is so lowly ranked. Still, it makes a good impact when he mentions that this school charges more than Harvard.


Agreed. And this is what most of the doomsday articles focus on as well. Nevertheless, it's undeniable that law school tuition is a bit ridiculous.

scammedhard
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby scammedhard » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:19 pm

sunynp wrote:The problem with focusing on NYLS is that it is easy to marginalize this report. Like all his other stories about law, he ends up with a focus that is simple to discredit - in this case, because the school is so lowly ranked. Still, it makes a good impact when he mentions that this school charges more than Harvard.

If David Segal restores sanity to law school (and the legal profession in general) by shaming law schools on a school-to-school basis, so be it. It's far better than what there was before: NOTHING.

I think that in large part because of his articles, there is a growing outcry towards the useless ABA, to the point that now two US Senators have asked it to start doing what it is suppose to be doing.

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soj
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby soj » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:24 pm

I love David Segal's articles, but I wish he'd shit on Tier 1 schools too, not just the TTTs. You don't need to go to a TTT to shoot yourself in the foot ITE. I think last time he featured an unemployed TTT graduate who studied at CLS for a semester, CLS peeps got all mad and he had to issue a correction.

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drdolittle
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby drdolittle » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:36 pm

scammedhard wrote:
sunynp wrote:The problem with focusing on NYLS is that it is easy to marginalize this report. Like all his other stories about law, he ends up with a focus that is simple to discredit - in this case, because the school is so lowly ranked. Still, it makes a good impact when he mentions that this school charges more than Harvard.

If David Segal restores sanity to law school (and the legal profession in general) by shaming law schools on a school-to-school basis, so be it. It's far better than what there was before: NOTHING.

I think that in large part because of his articles, there is a growing outcry towards the useless ABA, to the point that now two US Senators have asked it to start doing what is suppose to be doing.

There's nothing wrong here with focusing on the most egregious abusers of the system to clearly demonstrate overall issues with the system. These schools individually discussed are not true outliers either and they're all allowed to flourish. At least the entire bottom two tiers of law schools, and arguably the bottom three or even more, engage in very similar shady behavior with little to no repercussions. It's useful for the public at large to see what's happening through individual cases.

Aqualibrium
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Aqualibrium » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:40 pm

soj wrote:I love David Segal's articles, but I wish he'd shit on Tier 1 schools too, not just the TTTs. You don't need to go to a TTT to shoot yourself in the foot ITE. I think last time he featured an unemployed TTT graduate who studied at CLS for a semester, CLS peeps got all mad and he had to issue a correction.



Well I don't think it's a very logical jump to go from railing on the NYLS' of the world to railing on CLS and the like. Fact of the matter is, at CLS 40, 50, even 60% of the class are still getting good jobs; those numbers may be disappointing in light of past figures, and the sweat that goes into getting a job may have increased, but it still just doesn't inspire much sympathy or vitriol in common people.

What has to happen is a systematic chipping away at the establishment. The articles start with schools that most certainly weren't good bets to begin with, but hopefully we'll soon see an attack on the insanely expensive private t1 and t2 institutions out there. Before you see an attack on the t25ish schools, there will most certainly have to be a bubbling rage about the Tulanes, Hofstras, and Syracuses of the world who charge t10 tuition without delivering t10 results.

areyouinsane
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby areyouinsane » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:15 pm

I really do wonder what it is that attracts you guys to this embarrassing sewer of an industry? Almost everything about the law is miserable: the work, the hours, the pay (for all but the Biglaw lotto winners), the clients, the bale upon bale of paper to be churned, not to mention the extremely low regard the general public has for the industry. The schools are clearly nothing more than con artists, the industry is saturated beyond your worst nightmare, and the debt is soul-crushing and merciless, to the point where my fiancee and I are leaving the country soon to escape the debt.

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Grizz
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Grizz » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:17 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
soj wrote:I love David Segal's articles, but I wish he'd shit on Tier 1 schools too, not just the TTTs. You don't need to go to a TTT to shoot yourself in the foot ITE. I think last time he featured an unemployed TTT graduate who studied at CLS for a semester, CLS peeps got all mad and he had to issue a correction.



Well I don't think it's a very logical jump to go from railing on the NYLS' of the world to railing on CLS and the like. Fact of the matter is, at CLS 40, 50, even 60% of the class are still getting good jobs; those numbers may be disappointing in light of past figures, and the sweat that goes into getting a job may have increased, but it still just doesn't inspire much sympathy or vitriol in common people.

What has to happen is a systematic chipping away at the establishment. The articles start with schools that most certainly weren't good bets to begin with, but hopefully we'll soon see an attack on the insanely expensive private t1 and t2 institutions out there. Before you see an attack on the t25ish schools, there will most certainly have to be a bubbling rage about the Tulanes, Hofstras, and Syracuses of the world who charge t10 tuition without delivering t10 results.


Agree 100%

Master Tofu
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Master Tofu » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:09 pm

Fascinating article, great find.

Master Tofu
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Master Tofu » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:23 pm

This better make ATL's quote of the day on Monday -


“My salary,” Mr. Campos said, “is paid by the current structure, which is in many ways deceptive and unjust to a point that verges on fraud. But as a law professor, I understand that what is good for me is that the structure stay the way it is.”

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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:40 pm

Master Tofu wrote:This better make ATL's quote of the day on Monday -


“My salary,” Mr. Campos said, “is paid by the current structure, which is in many ways deceptive and unjust to a point that verges on fraud. But as a law professor, I understand that what is good for me is that the structure stay the way it is.”

Image

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sunynp
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby sunynp » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:04 pm

Master Tofu wrote:This better make ATL's quote of the day on Monday -


“My salary,” Mr. Campos said, “is paid by the current structure, which is in many ways deceptive and unjust to a point that verges on fraud. But as a law professor, I understand that what is good for me is that the structure stay the way it is.”


"My salary is paid by those who will be in debt forever because of lies we told them. But, hey, I'm cool with that. "

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:12 pm

areyouinsane wrote:I really do wonder what it is that attracts you guys to this embarrassing sewer of an industry? Almost everything about the law is miserable: the work, the hours, the pay (for all but the Biglaw lotto winners), the clients, the bale upon bale of paper to be churned, not to mention the extremely low regard the general public has for the industry. The schools are clearly nothing more than con artists, the industry is saturated beyond your worst nightmare, and the debt is soul-crushing and merciless, to the point where my fiancee and I are leaving the country soon to escape the debt.

You are now one of my favorite posters.

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ahduth
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby ahduth » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:20 pm

areyouinsane wrote:I really do wonder what it is that attracts you guys to this embarrassing sewer of an industry? Almost everything about the law is miserable: the work, the hours, the pay (for all but the Biglaw lotto winners), the clients, the bale upon bale of paper to be churned, not to mention the extremely low regard the general public has for the industry. The schools are clearly nothing more than con artists, the industry is saturated beyond your worst nightmare, and the debt is soul-crushing and merciless, to the point where my fiancee and I are leaving the country soon to escape the debt.


Normally I post this in threads that involve people debating between two tier 4 schools:

http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/arti ... digm_shift

Here, however, it's actually one of the reasons I'm going to law school. The industry is changing, and some people at the top, with half an ounce of business sense, are going to make a ton of money in the process.

Master Tofu
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Master Tofu » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:06 am

sunynp wrote:
Master Tofu wrote:This better make ATL's quote of the day on Monday -


“My salary,” Mr. Campos said, “is paid by the current structure, which is in many ways deceptive and unjust to a point that verges on fraud. But as a law professor, I understand that what is good for me is that the structure stay the way it is.”


"My salary is paid by those who will be in debt forever because of lies we told them. But, hey, I'm cool with that. "



Well played...

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:40 am

Did I miss it, or did the article not mention Matasar's position (LinkRemoved) as chair of the board of Access Group, which describes itself (LinkRemoved) as "a premier originator and servicer of private education loans" that profits based on people taking out large, government backed, non-discharged loans? The bond stuff was pretty interesting, but without talking about his role in Access Group, I don't think it fully covers the depth of Matasar's conflict of interest. Other than that, not a bad article.

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sunynp
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby sunynp » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:52 am

JusticeHarlan wrote:Did I miss it, or did the article not mention Matasar's position (LinkRemoved) as chair of the board of Access Group, which describes itself (LinkRemoved) as "a premier originator and servicer of private education loans" that profits based on people taking out large, government backed, non-discharged loans? The bond stuff was pretty interesting, but without talking about his role in Access Group, I don't think it fully covers the depth of Matasar's conflict of interest. Other than that, not a bad article.


The article did NOT mention the Access Group, but several comments on the NYtimes website criticize the article for omitting that information.
Another thing about the comments, it seems that a lot of people hate lawyers. After spending so much time on this website, I was surprised at the degree of anger and low regard for our profession.

namename
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby namename » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:41 am

From the article (modified): "N.Y.L.S. ... asserts in figures provided to the publisher (USNWR) that nine months after graduation the median (em. mine) private-sector salary of alums who graduated in 2009 — which is the class featured in the most recent US News annual law school issue — was $160,000. That is exactly the same figure cited by Yale and Harvard, the top law schools in the country.

Mr. Matasar stood by that number, but acknowledged that it did not give a complete picture of the prospects for N.Y.L.S. grads. He noted that the school takes the over-and-above step of posting more granular salary data on its Web site.

“In these materials and in our conversations with students and applicants,” he wrote, “we explicitly tell them that most graduates find work in small to medium firms at salaries between $35,000 and $75,000.”"

Median is a statistical measure that reports the outcome for the N/2 data point, i.e., the data point at the 50th percentile. Most is a word that, when used to describe definite proportions, means a majority, i.e., greater than 50 percent.

To be explicit: those are incompatible statements.

My question is: If NYLS can get away with this, how can we have faith in Yale and Harvard (or CLS or Chicago or, etc.)? How likely do you think it is that Harvard systematically misses data points for those making greater than $160,000? How about for those making less than $160,000?

Law schools are asking you to fork over $150,000 in tuition and fees. Assuming $150,000 means something to you, the fact that you can't get access to their dataset should be troubling. Would you invest $150,000 in an equity stake without reading through the financials? (Actually, I should probably say, "Would you borrow $150,000 to then invest in an equity stake, etc.)

As a side note, to be fair, it should be noted that strategic convergence on a target number (in this case the median salary reported by the T3) will tend to compress scores to the disadvantage of those at the top. Then again, if that T3 number is invalid, this is less of a concern, but only because the whole metric is biased.

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AreJay711
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:45 am

sunynp wrote:
The article did NOT mention the Access Group, but several comments on the NYtimes website criticize the article for omitting that information.
Another thing about the comments, it seems that a lot of people hate lawyers. After spending so much time on this website, I was surprised at the degree of anger and low regard for our profession.


Are we on the same TLS?

scammedhard
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby scammedhard » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:52 am

AreJay711 wrote:
sunynp wrote:
The article did NOT mention the Access Group, but several comments on the NYtimes website criticize the article for omitting that information.
Another thing about the comments, it seems that a lot of people hate lawyers. After spending so much time on this website, I was surprised at the degree of anger and low regard for our profession.


Are we on the same TLS?

I think "this website"="comments on the NYtimes website"

albanach
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby albanach » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:54 am

namename wrote:
Median is a statistical measure that reports the outcome for the N/2 data point, i.e., the data point at the 50th percentile. Most is a word that, when used to describe definite proportions, means a majority, i.e., greater than 50 percent.

To be explicit: those are incompatible statements.



Offering the school the benefit of the doubt. USWN requires schools provide the stats for reported salaries. The article acknowledges a large proportion of the school's students have reported employment but not salary details. The school could simply be inferring that the majority of them are not earning biglaw salaries and therefore displaying some honesty with incoming students by acknowledging the flaw in USWN methodology.

Personally that flaw doesn't trouble me as much as the near 10% of ranking being based on expenditure per student. Simply spending more with no other change in outcome can improve a school's ranking.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:16 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
soj wrote:I love David Segal's articles, but I wish he'd shit on Tier 1 schools too, not just the TTTs. You don't need to go to a TTT to shoot yourself in the foot ITE. I think last time he featured an unemployed TTT graduate who studied at CLS for a semester, CLS peeps got all mad and he had to issue a correction.



Well I don't think it's a very logical jump to go from railing on the NYLS' of the world to railing on CLS and the like. Fact of the matter is, at CLS 40, 50, even 60% of the class are still getting good jobs; those numbers may be disappointing in light of past figures, and the sweat that goes into getting a job may have increased, but it still just doesn't inspire much sympathy or vitriol in common people.

What has to happen is a systematic chipping away at the establishment. The articles start with schools that most certainly weren't good bets to begin with, but hopefully we'll soon see an attack on the insanely expensive private t1 and t2 institutions out there. Before you see an attack on the t25ish schools, there will most certainly have to be a bubbling rage about the Tulanes, Hofstras, and Syracuses of the world who charge t10 tuition without delivering t10 results.


Eh I think it's a little unfair to single out Tulane and/or to group Tulane with Hofstra or Syracuse. Tulane is the best school in its state and is known for only placing a minority of its students instate (between 25-40%, with the latter being a result of the economy). Not only that, but Tulane is known for offering many "good" scholarships ($20K+).

I believe that more attention should be paid to schools that charge a lot but aren't the best schools in their states, like all schools that 1) aren't T14s and 2) aren't the best school instate if there is not a T14 instate or aren't the next best school in state if there is a T14 instate. I'm saying that in each state/district that has a T14, the next lower ranked school is normally worth it if you have a scholarship, and schools that are the best schools in their states that aren't T14s are normally good bets too with a scholarship.

For example, Georgetown is T14. GW is not a T14, but it offers good enough prospects to make attending worthwhile if you have a scholarship. American, on the other hand, likely does not offer much in terms of prospects. I'm not familiar with the lower ranked DC schools.

For example, U of Colorado is not a T14, but it is the best school instate. With a scholarship, it would definitely be worth it as it likely has good prospects throughout Colorado.

The article sheds light on the business of law school, but at the end of the day, some of the blame lands on students. No one tells anyone that they have to take on $100K+ of debt for a law degree, and there are always cheaper law school options. Are these cheaper options what most students want? No, but it means that students have a choice. The issue is many of them make the wrong one by participating in high-states gambling.

namename
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Re: NYTimes: "Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!"

Postby namename » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:54 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:The article sheds light on the business of law school, but at the end of the day, some of the blame lands on students. No one tells anyone that they have to take on $100K+ of debt for a law degree, and there are always cheaper law school options. Are these cheaper options what most students want? No, but it means that students have a choice. The issue is many of them make the wrong one by participating in high-states gambling.


But are they gambling on the basis of information that is systematically biased, implicitly backed by the ABA?

Sure, the students are responsible for their choices. But a student can be responsible AND a school can be unethical AND a system can be deeply misleading at the same time.




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