15 more law schools to be sued

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CanadianWolf
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:33 pm

The good news is that these lawsuits create more legal work. :D

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Kirk
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Kirk » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:47 pm

minnbills wrote:Where did this friend go to school?

I believe my friend’s friend went to law school in Kansas or Missouri. I do not believe neither state has a highly ranked Tier-1 school. His job with the insurance company is in Kansas City. $30K (draw).

I did find it disconcerting that a person went in debt for a $30K gig.

lawbanshee
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby lawbanshee » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:50 pm

Hmm. So you went to a T-2 school in a city inflated with law schools (and better ones at that, i.e. NYU), decided paying sticker? close to sticker? enough to rack up 100k in debt? and are now complaining because you can't afford to live in said city where renting a broom closet is $1,000 a month? Cry me a river. Grow up.

@the comment about getting 200k in debt: why the fuck are you getting 200k in debt? I would never even CONSIDER a school that would require getting 200k in debt. I hear merit aid is hard to come by? Friend of mine last cycle got 20k/yr knocked off from a T-20 with a 167 and a 3.15 in a city where cost of living is dirt cheap.

It's GOOD these schools are getting called out for the shitholes they are. But there's a big difference between T-30 and Cooley. Oh, and just because you went to a T-30 doesn't automatically grant you a fat job either. So of course the bottom 5% are gonna have issues. Work hard. Make connections. Go to a good school. Get in the top %. Don't complain. Profit.


See you on doc review in 2014, kid.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:56 pm

Here's the current list of schools that are being sued/targeted to be sued:

1. Albany,
2. Baltimore,
3. Brooklyn,
4. California Western,
5. Chicago-Kent,
6. DePaul,
7. Florida Coastal,
8. Hofstra,
9. John Marshall,
10. New York Law School,
11. Pace,
12. San Francisco,
13. Southwestern,
14. St. John's,
15. Thomas Jefferson School of Law,
16. Thomas M. Cooley Law School,
17. Villanova, and
18. Widener.
Source:
http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2011/10/15-more-law-schools-being-sued-by-class-action-lawyers.html

It's alarming that 18 institutions are being sued. Although I don't think the suits will get far (I mean, who's deciding the cases(?)), I hope that the BODs and the ABA take a serious look at how much students are paying to attend school.

From a public policy standpoint, news about the suits may be dissuading people from applying to law school. I understand that applications are down dramatically this year. However, I do not have evidence to substantiate that claim.

I don't think most professors are worth even close to their salaries. Seriously, how many hours do most professors work annually? I'm guessing it's well under 1500 hours. Additionally, what is their academic work worth? I had a professor that never even took a damn bar exam.

However, it's rough for so many folks right now. The last job one of my friends was paid to perform at a factory was to take apart the machine he operated for over 10 years. He loaded the parts onto a rail car headed to Mexico.

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Kendi
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Kendi » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:14 pm

If a law school grad is unhappy with her/his job prospects, she/he can sue their school, is that it? If their law school did in fact embellish its employment stats, I suppose the case would rest on the degree of the embellishment. I would think that if 92% dropped to 90%, so what. But if 92% fell to 62%, that would be meaty.

I noticed in the Villanova case that Villanova did embellish its admissions data, but IMHO their exaggeration was minimal. However, the ABA called it "reprehensible."

camwon
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby camwon » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:45 am

joncrooshal wrote:It depends on what your definition of "is" is.

This is my favorite quote of all time. This could be because of my obsession with postmodernism and/or my love for Willie. But, i still keep it in mind in everything that i do, including applying to really only hastings and usf with a 162/3.52....

msuz
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby msuz » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:35 am

I.P. Daly wrote:From a public policy standpoint, news about the suits may be dissuading people from applying to law school. I understand that applications are down dramatically this year. However, I do not have evidence to substantiate that claim.


I dont have the facts to back this up, but the occupy wall street protests are planned and orchestrated by the Obama administration to distract from their failed policies.

071816
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby 071816 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:53 am

msuz wrote:
I.P. Daly wrote:From a public policy standpoint, news about the suits may be dissuading people from applying to law school. I understand that applications are down dramatically this year. However, I do not have evidence to substantiate that claim.


I dont have the facts to back this up, but the occupy wall street protests are planned and orchestrated by the Obama administration to distract from their failed policies.


and Bush knocked down the towers...

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DoubleChecks
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:57 pm

msuz wrote:
I.P. Daly wrote:From a public policy standpoint, news about the suits may be dissuading people from applying to law school. I understand that applications are down dramatically this year. However, I do not have evidence to substantiate that claim.


I dont have the facts to back this up, but the occupy wall street protests are planned and orchestrated by the Obama administration to distract from their failed policies.


haha +1 daily show

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Opie
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Opie » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:59 pm

I just got an email from Tulsa (not that I would go there) that is showing what seem to be real employment stats in a very LST style. No salary, but this is a step in the right direction! Maybe schools are taking notice.

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observationalist
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby observationalist » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:43 am

Opie, could you post the text of the email/docs in a separate thread so people can review the information? Alternatively you could Fwd it to us at lawschooltransparency@gmail.com so we can take a look. The best change we've seen any school do so far this year is up at UNH (formerly Franklin Pierce). You can see what they responded with here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=126084&start=75#p4215515

Also, new Op-Ed re the class action lawsuits appears in today's NY Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/op ... aYQVyPcQJI

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Opie
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Opie » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:04 am

observationalist wrote:Opie, could you post the text of the email/docs in a separate thread so people can review the information? Alternatively you could Fwd it to us at lawschooltransparency@gmail.com so we can take a look. The best change we've seen any school do so far this year is up at UNH (formerly Franklin Pierce). You can see what they responded with here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=126084&start=75#p4215515

Also, new Op-Ed re the class action lawsuits appears in today's NY Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/op ... aYQVyPcQJI


Posted and Sent.

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observationalist
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby observationalist » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:11 pm

Opie wrote:
observationalist wrote:Opie, could you post the text of the email/docs in a separate thread so people can review the information? Alternatively you could Fwd it to us at lawschooltransparency@gmail.com so we can take a look. The best change we've seen any school do so far this year is up at UNH (formerly Franklin Pierce). You can see what they responded with here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=126084&start=75#p4215515

Also, new Op-Ed re the class action lawsuits appears in today's NY Post: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/op ... aYQVyPcQJI


Posted and Sent.


Thanks, looking it over now and will respond.

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Pato_09
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby Pato_09 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:16 pm

Does this mean the end of Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools?

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minnbills
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby minnbills » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:17 pm

Pato_09 wrote:Does this mean the end of Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools?


We can only hope.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:46 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The good news is that these lawsuits create more legal work. :D


+1 :)

blsingindisguise
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:16 pm

I AM A 0L PLANNING TO GET INTO A TOP 30 INSTITUTION

I DON'T ASK FOR HANDOUTS OR BLAME ANYONE ELSE FOR MY PROBLEMS

I WILL WORK HARD AND MAKE SURE I GET INTO THE TOP 53%

I AM THE 53%

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I.P. Daly
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby I.P. Daly » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:14 am

blsingindisguise wrote:I AM A 0L PLANNING TO GET INTO A TOP 30 INSTITUTION

I DON'T ASK FOR HANDOUTS OR BLAME ANYONE ELSE FOR MY PROBLEMS

I WILL WORK HARD AND MAKE SURE I GET INTO THE TOP 53%

I AM THE 53%


The fifty-three percenters are awesome. Without you, the USA would not have a space program. Without the space program, my space law class would be canceled.

Space is less cool now that the shuttle has been retired, but nonetheless, you guys rock.

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JCougar
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:55 pm

YourCaptain wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:Not the point. Fact of the matter is I wouldn't put too much credence in these suits. It's a bunch of butthurt graduates who should have known better, willfully chose to ignore all the evidence to the contrary, were too lazy to work harder on the LSAT to get into a school worth attending, etc.

Although these are TTT schools, they still have the resources which include some truly brilliant legal minds. Hopefully the class' attorneys are doing this pro bono or on a contingent fee basis. Otherwise, a bunch of people in serious debt will only be in further debt.

Yes, the schools may be deceptive in their practices and may be guilty of false advertising. But they don't force you to attend these schools. Not that I am on the side of these TTToilets, but the writing has been on the wall for years. The law school scam is well known by now. Peruse this sight and you will find countless "3.1/153 What are my chances at Florida Coastal and am NOT retaking" threads. They all share the same arrogant thick-headed demeanor. Do I think it's morally/ethically wrong for these schools to deceive these students? Yes. But don't be mad because you disregarded all of the evidence that the schools were misleading applicants.


Kirk wrote:Schools are being sued because their grads are crying big crocodile tears because they didn’t land a big gig? Really? And this is the school’s fault, is that it?

Did the school send someone to your home and pitch you hard, the way college coaches pitch kids to play for their team (with dreams of playing on Sunday). Everyone that didn’t end up in the pros must have one gigantic lawsuit in the works. C’mon!

There is an opening for $160K, you apply and do not get it. But someone else does. This is your law school’s fault? One hell of a lawsuit you have there.


why are you so dumb?

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JCougar
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:21 pm

Cartman wrote:But there's a big difference between T-30 and Cooley. Oh, and just because you went to a T-30 doesn't automatically grant you a fat job either. So of course the bottom 5% are gonna have issues. Work hard. Make connections. Go to a good school. Get in the top %. Don't complain. Profit.


LOL.

If you think only the bottom 5% at a T-30 are going to have issues, than you're too stupid to go to law school.

Try bottom 67%. Or bottom 50% for T20 schools. Or bottom 33% for T14s outside of HYSCC.

The legal industry is going through a dramatic change, and the schools that propped their insane tuitions up on the prospects of their students getting Biglaw salaries (many of which prospects being lied about and exaggerated through their websites) now have no legitimate job openings to place their students.

Biglaw is a bubble, just like the mortgage bubble. The Biglaw bubble has been burst. Back when the economy was rolling along, clients didn't care that large corporate law firms were padding their bills with hoardes of first year associates doing makework for the sole purpose of racking up billables and creating profit for the firm. Biglaw doesn't see associates as an asset: they see them as a profit center. Bill their hours out at $300/hr, pay the associate $70/hour, and the rest goes into profit to pay and retain the partners. The firms that milked the most superfluous billiables from the most associates were able to drive their PPP way up and pay for the top partners. It just made top-notch legal work insanely expensive.

Now that everyone's pinching pennies, clients have been demanding that first year associates not work on their projects, which has finally incentivized the hiring of a few associates who actually want to stick around and become experts, rather than filling the firm with warm bodies and having them do busywork just to rack up billables. This isn't going to change. The biglaw bubble is done, and the hiring numbers are never, as a whole, going back to where they were. Yet law school tuition has yet to adapt to this new reality. It never will, because schools will ride out the illusion that things will someday return to the good ol' days when their tuition at least kind of justified the job prospects for some.

Law tuition should not be over $20K/year for any school. When it returns to those levels, people will actually be able to afford to go to law school and survive on a $55K starting salary afterward -- the salary that 90% of lawyers make starting out, give or take a few K either way. And missing out on biglaw won't be the end of the world.

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observationalist
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby observationalist » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:24 pm

JCougar wrote:
Cartman wrote:But there's a big difference between T-30 and Cooley. Oh, and just because you went to a T-30 doesn't automatically grant you a fat job either. So of course the bottom 5% are gonna have issues. Work hard. Make connections. Go to a good school. Get in the top %. Don't complain. Profit.


LOL.

If you think only the bottom 5% at a T-30 are going to have issues, than you're too stupid to go to law school.

Try bottom 67%. Or bottom 50% for T20 schools. Or bottom 33% for T14s outside of HYSCC.

The legal industry is going through a dramatic change, and the schools that propped their insane tuitions up on the prospects of their students getting Biglaw salaries (many of which prospects being lied about and exaggerated through their websites) now have no legitimate job openings to place their students.

Biglaw is a bubble, just like the mortgage bubble. The Biglaw bubble has been burst. Back when the economy was rolling along, clients didn't care that large corporate law firms were padding their bills with hoardes of first year associates doing makework for the sole purpose of racking up billables and creating profit for the firm. Biglaw doesn't see associates as an asset: they see them as a profit center. Bill their hours out at $300/hr, pay the associate $70/hour, and the rest goes into profit to pay and retain the partners. The firms that milked the most superfluous billiables from the most associates were able to drive their PPP way up and pay for the top partners. It just made top-notch legal work insanely expensive.

Now that everyone's pinching pennies, clients have been demanding that first year associates not work on their projects, which has finally incentivized the hiring of a few associates who actually want to stick around and become experts, rather than filling the firm with warm bodies and having them do busywork just to rack up billables. This isn't going to change. The biglaw bubble is done, and the hiring numbers are never, as a whole, going back to where they were. Yet law school tuition has yet to adapt to this new reality. It never will, because schools will ride out the illusion that things will someday return to the good ol' days when their tuition at least kind of justified the job prospects for some.

Law tuition should not be over $20K/year for any school. When it returns to those levels, people will actually be able to afford to go to law school and survive on a $55K starting salary afterward -- the salary that 90% of lawyers make starting out, give or take a few K either way. And missing out on biglaw won't be the end of the world.


I'm curious if anyone wants to wager what a fair price should be for a U.S. law degree in today's market. $20/K per year still puts people at least $60K in the whole and potentially double that for schools with high COL. Median starting salaries for grads is certainly lower than 60K and probably closer to 40-45K when you factor in the 50% or so of all law grads who are not finding jobs in the legal sector. At that salary and with few expectations of significant salary increases following the first year, people probably can't service their loans unless total debt is below 40K. You could adjust that upwards if schools slashed class sizes to ensure more graduates can land legal work... which makes sense anyway, given that's the main reason people actually choose to go to law school.

What would an average fair market value be right now? Certainly the prices should be staggered across schools based on the differing career opportunities, though the dropoff in price won't necessarily track with U.S. News except at the very top. We're trying to get a handle on this for future policy discussions so if anyone has ideas I'd be interested in hearing them, along with what you're using to ground the figures.

tlshark
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby tlshark » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:09 pm

I think something that is being missed here is the supply and demand curve.

As for the market value...well that is easy. Market value is whatever the market will bare.

Let's use Yale as an example. Each year over 3,000 people apply for the honor of paying $46,000/yr in tuition. Yale admits about 250 and matriculates 200. Going back to my economics roots, that indicates that the tuition for Yale is actually too low.

Heck, even Cooley got almost 6000 applicants who were willing to pay $28,000/yr.

Now this is not an endorsement for fudging statistics. Or any of the other issues mentioned.

I know not everyone who applies actually plans on attending, and of course people apply to multiple schools. But still...

Anyway, look back at the supply and demand curves. When the price is lowered more people will buy. So if you are looking to create even more competition for yourself. Lower the cost to get into the marketplace.

Closing schools decreases supply. When supply decreases, prices go up. If you want to get rid of the lower tiered schools because you feel that they are the problem, then the cost of entry into the marketplace will go up. Of course if this happens, then people will graduate with even more debt than they have now.

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JCougar
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:45 pm

tlshark wrote:I think something that is being missed here is the supply and demand curve.

As for the market value...well that is easy. Market value is whatever the market will bare.

Let's use Yale as an example. Each year over 3,000 people apply for the honor of paying $46,000/yr in tuition. Yale admits about 250 and matriculates 200. Going back to my economics roots, that indicates that the tuition for Yale is actually too low.

Heck, even Cooley got almost 6000 applicants who were willing to pay $28,000/yr.

Now this is not an endorsement for fudging statistics. Or any of the other issues mentioned.

I know not everyone who applies actually plans on attending, and of course people apply to multiple schools. But still...

Anyway, look back at the supply and demand curves. When the price is lowered more people will buy. So if you are looking to create even more competition for yourself. Lower the cost to get into the marketplace.

Closing schools decreases supply. When supply decreases, prices go up. If you want to get rid of the lower tiered schools because you feel that they are the problem, then the cost of entry into the marketplace will go up. Of course if this happens, then people will graduate with even more debt than they have now.


Your version of economics incorrectly assumes that the "market" of consumers is rational, smart, and informed when allocating capital. The population of law school applicants is often none of the above.

Worth isn't always correctly determined by a supply-demand equilibrium. And often times, it is WAY off the mark.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby thelawschoolproject » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:48 pm

Kirk wrote:
minnbills wrote:Where did this friend go to school?

I believe my friend’s friend went to law school in Kansas or Missouri. I do not believe neither state has a highly ranked Tier-1 school. His job with the insurance company is in Kansas City. $30K (draw).

I did find it disconcerting that a person went in debt for a $30K gig.



Either state. And, WUSTL?

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JCougar
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Re: 15 more law schools to be sued

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:04 pm

observationalist wrote:
I'm curious if anyone wants to wager what a fair price should be for a U.S. law degree in today's market. $20/K per year still puts people at least $60K in the whole and potentially double that for schools with high COL. Median starting salaries for grads is certainly lower than 60K and probably closer to 40-45K when you factor in the 50% or so of all law grads who are not finding jobs in the legal sector. At that salary and with few expectations of significant salary increases following the first year, people probably can't service their loans unless total debt is below 40K. You could adjust that upwards if schools slashed class sizes to ensure more graduates can land legal work... which makes sense anyway, given that's the main reason people actually choose to go to law school.

What would an average fair market value be right now? Certainly the prices should be staggered across schools based on the differing career opportunities, though the dropoff in price won't necessarily track with U.S. News except at the very top. We're trying to get a handle on this for future policy discussions so if anyone has ideas I'd be interested in hearing them, along with what you're using to ground the figures.


I think it's wrong to justify the cost of law school with your future earning potential. That's not the right way to value something like a degree. The actual justifiable cost, in my opinion, should be based on how much it costs the law school to educate you as a student, and room should be given for a reasonable but not excessive profit. I'll guarantee that even at $20K/year, the school is turning a massive profit when all it has to do is cram 250 of those people in one of three lecture halls and have one professor grade one assignment for the entire class. There's no labs, not many TAs doing research, etc.

If there was actually a competitive market for legal education (in the traditional free market sense), competition would be driving costs down. But since the more you charge in tuition, the more money you have to build your "prestige," it's the schools that charge the most that end up getting the competitive advantage, especially with a consumer population that is mostly divorced from the actual value of the money they are spending.

The problem with the legal education/hiring/biglaw market is that it's so wrapped up with and distorted by the empty value of "prestige" that the prices people are willing to pay have no basis in reality. The curriculum at the very top schools is no different than the bottom schools. Nobody's learning anything extra at the top schools that you can't learn from Cooley. In that sense, it's breathtaking the disparity in employment outcomes. It's true that Harvard students as a group, are going to be more competent and thorough than your average Cooley student, but that has almost nothing to do with anything Harvard law gave them. It's mostly because Harvard attracted the smartest, most hardworking students to begin with.

Neither school focuses most of its time training you to actually do the stuff that lawyers will be doing when they practice, unless you join a clinic or something...but even then, that's usually only for one semester. Editing a law journal teaches you almost zero practical skills. The only thing you really get out of a Harvard degree that you can't get elsewhere is the aura of prestige that comes from a Harvard degree, and a bunch of guaranteed interviews at OCI with employers who can in turn sell that prestige. But these employers aren't really paying for the skills you learned at Harvard. They're paying for what was yours to being with: good work ethic and highly competent logical reasoning skills. "Harvard" is simply a brand name that assures them of what they are getting.

Law school really isn't so much of an education as it is a hazing ritual as part of a rite of passage that stands between you and passing the bar exam. And there's a bunch of Universities standing in the middle looking to empty your future pockets along the way.

I hope that doesn't sound too dreary of an assessment, because there's a lot in law school that can be a ton of fun, but the fact is that the entire system is highly irrational and makes little sense from any perspective.
Last edited by JCougar on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.




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