Warning to all 0L's

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:46 pm

cattleprod wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
cattleprod wrote:Most of those criminal law schools are just Ponzi schemes living off of new investors (aka students) to payoff those at the top of the scam (law school profs and deans).
I don't think you know what a Ponzi scheme is.


I don't care. 80% to 90% of the law schools are producing fraudulent data on employment and salary for their graduates.
It is a scam and that is the bottom line.

Students are the new investors that are getting $100,000 to $200,000 stolen from them.
The money eventually goes to the criminals at the top (law profs and deans) who are perpetuating the scam.

They perpetuate the scheme with the fake employment and salary stats which omit key data points.
Here is a classic example from last week. Aaron Nathaniel Taylor, “Law Professor” at St. Louis University wrote this article making the unbelievable statement that lawyer unemployment is 1.5%.
http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/w ... l-worth-it
Give me a phucking break. These people need to be sent to jail for the financial fraud they are committing.

Fraudulent statements like that (1.5% unemployment) and fake 9 months employment stats and false median salaries, perpetuate this scam to bring in more unwitting investors (aka students).
That is equivalent to sending fake monthly financial statements to your investors (aka students). Or it is the same as producing a fraudulent prospectus for your investors. They produce the fake data claiming 90% to 100% employment within 9 months to falsely lure freah meat into the student loan debt trap.

Any other business would be sued by a state AG or the DoJ for this type of activity.

Apparently you don't know what reading is either. The 1.5% unemployment rate is a number produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not any sort of law school. That number is probably relatively accurate, though it excludes people who are not looking now, but may be looking later, etc. Also, I don't know the BLS's methodology, but I'm betting that the "lawyer unemployment rate" is a measure of people of people who were previously employed as lawyers, not people with a JD. Thus, it excludes people graduating from TTTT schools who never get a "lawyer job" in the first place. Professor Taylor's point is that the legal profession is very stable and that if you get into it, you are shielded from much of the current recession.

IN THE VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH, he acknowledges the relative difficulty of breaking into the legal field, citing statistics produced by NALP, not any law school. Those stats show that 87.6% of 2010 grads were employed within nine months. When you consider that TTTT students and students not passing the bar are dragging that down, students at T1/T2 schools have employment prospects that are on par with the rest of the economy, if not better. Moving up to the T25 and T14, you're looking at employment rates that are likely over 95%, if not close to 99%.

Law schools (just like everyone else) use the rosiest lenses to show their students the legal market. That's just shrewd marketing. It's not fraud. It's not a Ponzi scheme. Just like with all important decisions in life, one should get information from a variety of sources. You don't go out and buy a Hyundai just because their commercials said it was rated higher than an Audi.

While I don't expect any of this will change the absurd content or Chicken Little tone of your view, I hope this will help the people lurking this thread to get a more accurate perspective.

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JoeMo
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby JoeMo » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:18 pm

Samara wrote:
cattleprod wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
cattleprod wrote:Most of those criminal law schools are just Ponzi schemes living off of new investors (aka students) to payoff those at the top of the scam (law school profs and deans).
I don't think you know what a Ponzi scheme is.


I don't care. 80% to 90% of the law schools are producing fraudulent data on employment and salary for their graduates.
It is a scam and that is the bottom line.

Students are the new investors that are getting $100,000 to $200,000 stolen from them.
The money eventually goes to the criminals at the top (law profs and deans) who are perpetuating the scam.

They perpetuate the scheme with the fake employment and salary stats which omit key data points.
Here is a classic example from last week. Aaron Nathaniel Taylor, “Law Professor” at St. Louis University wrote this article making the unbelievable statement that lawyer unemployment is 1.5%.
http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/w ... l-worth-it
Give me a phucking break. These people need to be sent to jail for the financial fraud they are committing.

Fraudulent statements like that (1.5% unemployment) and fake 9 months employment stats and false median salaries, perpetuate this scam to bring in more unwitting investors (aka students).
That is equivalent to sending fake monthly financial statements to your investors (aka students). Or it is the same as producing a fraudulent prospectus for your investors. They produce the fake data claiming 90% to 100% employment within 9 months to falsely lure freah meat into the student loan debt trap.

Any other business would be sued by a state AG or the DoJ for this type of activity.

Apparently you don't know what reading is either. The 1.5% unemployment rate is a number produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not any sort of law school. That number is probably relatively accurate, though it excludes people who are not looking now, but may be looking later, etc. Also, I don't know the BLS's methodology, but I'm betting that the "lawyer unemployment rate" is a measure of people of people who were previously employed as lawyers, not people with a JD. Thus, it excludes people graduating from TTTT schools who never get a "lawyer job" in the first place. Professor Taylor's point is that the legal profession is very stable and that if you get into it, you are shielded from much of the current recession.

IN THE VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH, he acknowledges the relative difficulty of breaking into the legal field, citing statistics produced by NALP, not any law school. Those stats show that 87.6% of 2010 grads were employed within nine months. When you consider that TTTT students and students not passing the bar are dragging that down, students at T1/T2 schools have employment prospects that are on par with the rest of the economy, if not better. Moving up to the T25 and T14, you're looking at employment rates that are likely over 95%, if not close to 99%.

Law schools (just like everyone else) use the rosiest lenses to show their students the legal market. That's just shrewd marketing. It's not fraud. It's not a Ponzi scheme. Just like with all important decisions in life, one should get information from a variety of sources. You don't go out and buy a Hyundai just because their commercials said it was rated higher than an Audi.

While I don't expect any of this will change the absurd content or Chicken Little tone of your view, I hope this will help the people lurking this thread to get a more accurate perspective.



Chicken Little! I died.

But seriously, plus 1,000,000 this post.

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romothesavior
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:22 pm

Samara wrote:IN THE VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH, he acknowledges the relative difficulty of breaking into the legal field, citing statistics produced by NALP, not any law school. Those stats show that 87.6% of 2010 grads were employed within nine months. When you consider that TTTT students and students not passing the bar are dragging that down, students at T1/T2 schools have employment prospects that are on par with the rest of the economy, if not better. Moving up to the T25 and T14, you're looking at employment rates that are likely over 95%, if not close to 99%.

The "employed at 9 months" doesn't tell the whole picture. The best estimates show that ~60% of grads were able to find full-time, J.D.-required, permanent employment at 9 months. In other words, only 60% found real lawyer jobs, the kind we all hope to have when we enter law school. And of those 60%, many (most?) are having trouble making ends meet on their meager salaries and huge law school debt.

So yes, I'd say that the SLU professor isn't tell the whole story. Just because the numbers come from BLS or NALP or whoever doesn't mean they tell the whole story.

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romothesavior
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:28 pm

JoeMo wrote:
Samara wrote:While I don't expect any of this will change the absurd content or Chicken Little tone of your view, I hope this will help the people lurking this thread to get a more accurate perspective.

Chicken Little! I died.

But seriously, plus 1,000,000 this post.

While I am certainly not endorsing the OP (see my other posts ITT), Samara's post does not give a "more accurate perspective." Endorsing law school based on the data he just cited is highly misleading. I really hope that the "people lurking this thread" aren't encouraged by these numbers, because the reality behind them is much, much bleaker.

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NYC Law
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby NYC Law » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:37 pm

Romo speaks the truth. Things are shit, but law school is still the right decision for a good amount of people. When you have 50%+ of the class even at MVPB striking out it's safe to say law school is almost always a risky investment, but when you keep a level head about it it can be a good idea. The key is retaining some level of rationality about it and remembering it is a professional decision that shouldn't be influenced by the burning passion ('wanting to be a lawyer no matter what'), or a level of dispassion ('nothing else to do, guess I'll go into law'). If you want to be a lawyer, know what being a lawyer entails, and have acceptance to a school that either gives you a non-trivial shot at the kind of legal employment that can service your debt (or can go for very cheap) then yeah, law school could be a great decision. If some of those factors are missing then take some time to reconsider, explore other options, get some experience in the working world, and revisit the idea later. If it's what you truly want to do then you'll still be in a fine position to go back to law later on.

MrAnon
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby MrAnon » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:37 pm

Its more than shrewd marketing. We're not talking about selling a Shamwow. These schools want 6 figures of government money for a degree that simply isn't worth the paper its printed on half the time. When a school directs a dozen unemployed students into a fellowship program that pays a salary with the very same government loan tuition dollars that were paid to attend the school then that is pure and simple a scam. Its a scam to pump up employment figures and keep the scam going for another year with another set of incomings who read the figures and think this looks better than being jobless and not in grad school at all. The schools are simply shifting around government money, taxpayer money, and student money to keep the scam going. The administrators rewards themselves with fatcat salaries, the professors also receive fatcat salaries, and if they don't know exactly what is going on then they have their heads in the sand.

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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:42 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Samara wrote:IN THE VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH, he acknowledges the relative difficulty of breaking into the legal field, citing statistics produced by NALP, not any law school. Those stats show that 87.6% of 2010 grads were employed within nine months. When you consider that TTTT students and students not passing the bar are dragging that down, students at T1/T2 schools have employment prospects that are on par with the rest of the economy, if not better. Moving up to the T25 and T14, you're looking at employment rates that are likely over 95%, if not close to 99%.

The "employed at 9 months" doesn't tell the whole picture. The best estimates show that ~60% of grads were able to find full-time, J.D.-required, permanent employment at 9 months. In other words, only 60% found real lawyer jobs, the kind we all hope to have when we enter law school. And of those 60%, many (most?) are having trouble making ends meet on their meager salaries and huge law school debt.

So yes, I'd say that the SLU professor isn't tell the whole story. Just because the numbers come from BLS or NALP or whoever doesn't mean they tell the whole story.

I never claimed that 87.6% of graduates were getting JD-required jobs, just that they were getting jobs. (Not all people try to get lawyer jobs with their JD, especially as you move down the rankings.) All I'm trying to counter are the claims that most people will graduate law school with no job, suffocating under their debt. That's simply not true. Law school is an excellent option for thousands of people every year. Sure, thousands more go to law school when they shouldn't. But to claim Armageddon is ridiculous.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:52 pm

cattleprod wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
cattleprod wrote:Most of those criminal law schools are just Ponzi schemes living off of new investors (aka students) to payoff those at the top of the scam (law school profs and deans).
I don't think you know what a Ponzi scheme is.


I don't care. 80% to 90% of the law schools are producing fraudulent data on employment and salary for their graduates.
It is a scam and that is the bottom line.

Students are the new investors that are getting $100,000 to $200,000 stolen from them.
The money eventually goes to the criminals at the top (law profs and deans) who are perpetuating the scam.

They perpetuate the scheme with the fake employment and salary stats which omit key data points.
Here is a classic example from last week. Aaron Nathaniel Taylor, “Law Professor” at St. Louis University wrote this article making the unbelievable statement that lawyer unemployment is 1.5%.
http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/w ... l-worth-it
Give me a phucking break. These people need to be sent to jail for the financial fraud they are committing.

Fraudulent statements like that (1.5% unemployment) and fake 9 months employment stats and false median salaries, perpetuate this scam to bring in more unwitting investors (aka students).
That is equivalent to sending fake monthly financial statements to your investors (aka students). Or it is the same as producing a fraudulent prospectus for your investors. They produce the fake data claiming 90% to 100% employment within 9 months to falsely lure freah meat into the student loan debt trap.

Any other business would be sued by a state AG or the DoJ for this type of activity.

Don't go scamblogging anytime within at least the next five years. Even with $200,000 debt or a JD from Cooley. I am speaking on behalf of the law school internet community as a whole. There are too many scambloggers and we don't need anymore at the moment. There are nearly twice as many scambloggers in this country as there are people who care. You are not needed, you are not special, you are not necessary. Want to help the poor? Go do it. Want to help change the world? Go do it. Want to make money? Go attempt to do it. A scamblog is not necessary for any of these.

Quite frankly, about 90% of those scamblogging shouldn't be there to begin with. If you are unsure what you want to do with your life, scamblogging is not the answer. It is not a second chance at finding yourself. It is not college 2.0. It is a hobby not needing any more people in it at the moment.

To those of you planning on getting your own website. DON'T. It is not a good investment and scamblogs are killing the future employability of those who put them up. You can't get rid of them from a Google cache, you're forever branded. You can't get them off your internet footprint.

This warning is especially being directed at those coming straight from lawschool. Don't waste first few years out of law school and in the legal field. For those of you reading who think this is good advice for the thousands of JDs who don't totally know what they are doing, but since you got a $170k+ in debt and are 32 you are the exception, this still applies to you. Even if you did everything right, we still don't need you. Won't for a while. Go do something else.

Sincerely,
Ghost of Christmas Present

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rabbitrun
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby rabbitrun » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:59 pm

pacers3177 wrote: I don't know if you just wrote that as a rant in response to the OP or not, but some things did stand out. Don't use law school as a way to dodge the recession. And only go to law school if you ARE SURE you want to be a lawyer.


i think if you are going for substantially less than ticket (ie almost free) law school is probably a solid choice regardless of the terrible job market. yes it was a rant. I don't know if you caught that my tone was not all that serious. no i dont actually want to go to law school just to avoid the terrible economy. I would never go to lawschool without first going out into the terrible economy and getting some experience working in a firm to make sure that it is what i want to do. my stop peeing in people's cheerios comment is because clearly, everyone knows that its a terrible time to go to law school. Everyone knows that there are too many lawyers many bad lawyers and that has always been the case. the whole rhetoric of the law school reality guy is just to enflame and not provide anything more than that. if everyone followed the same logic as him, everyone would be at home collecting welfare cheques.

cattleprod
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby cattleprod » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:19 pm

Samara wrote:(Not all people try to get lawyer jobs with their JD, especially as you move down the rankings.)


Give me a break. People don't go to law school for 3 years and take on that level of debt for a non-JD job.
The JD does not make you more competitive for non-JD jobs. In fact a JD dramatically reduces your ability to a non-JD job.
Many failed JDs end up taking it off of their resume so they have a shot at getting hired in a new field.
Hopefully you will have a plausible explanation to explain that 3-4 year gap in your resume of law school and spending time trying to break into the law field.

Samara wrote:All I'm trying to counter are the claims that most people will graduate law school with no job, suffocating under their debt. That's simply not true. Law school is an excellent option for thousands of people every year. Sure, thousands more go to law school when they shouldn't. But to claim Armageddon is ridiculous.


Lawyers held about 759,200 jobs in 2008 with zero to low growth expected going forward.
With 45,000 annual graduates that means we fully replace the job pool in under 17 years.
Do you really think all those lawyers in their early 40s are stepping aside for the fresh meat?

The estimates of 40% to 50% of law grads failing to find JD employment are likely accurate.

tlshark
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby tlshark » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:56 pm

I realize I haven't posted much (one other time), and I know how much everyone here loves lurkers. And that still doesn't change my question, so here goes.

I am trying to understand just when law school is a bad idea.

Is it directly related to the amount of debt? Is it the ranking of the school? Both? What about if you want to do something other than BigLaw?

For instance, if you get a full-ride to Texas (using that as an example, since it is the lowest T14) do you go?

How about a full-ride to Michigan State?

$25K, $50K, $75K, $100K in debt?

What if someone's whole reason for getting the JD is to hang out a shingle?

Is it only a bad idea for those who want BigLaw?

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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:09 pm

cattleprod wrote:
Samara wrote:(Not all people try to get lawyer jobs with their JD, especially as you move down the rankings.)


Give me a break. People don't go to law school for 3 years and take on that level of debt for a non-JD job.
The JD does not make you more competitive for non-JD jobs. In fact a JD dramatically reduces your ability to a non-JD job.
Many failed JDs end up taking it off of their resume so they have a shot at getting hired in a new field.
Hopefully you will have a plausible explanation to explain that 3-4 year gap in your resume of law school and spending time trying to break into the law field.

Samara wrote:All I'm trying to counter are the claims that most people will graduate law school with no job, suffocating under their debt. That's simply not true. Law school is an excellent option for thousands of people every year. Sure, thousands more go to law school when they shouldn't. But to claim Armageddon is ridiculous.


Lawyers held about 759,200 jobs in 2008 with zero to low growth expected going forward.
With 45,000 annual graduates that means we fully replace the job pool in under 17 years.
Do you really think all those lawyers in their early 40s are stepping aside for the fresh meat?

The estimates of 40% to 50% of law grads failing to find JD employment are likely accurate.

Nicely done on not responding to anything I wrote responding to your post and then misrepresenting what I said. Most, probably even the vast majority of people, go to law school because they want a JD-required job. However, a small percentage want something else (hence, dual degree programs) and a rather substantial portion (especially at lower-ranked schools) are aiming for jobs that don't require a law degree, but for which a law degree can be helpful. If you work for a lobbying firm (state level at least, not sure about federal) you can get a great, well-paying job without a law degree. Get a JD and you can have the same job, only for better clients and more pay. That's a whole class of jobs that people are getting who are not in the 50-60% (do you have a source for that number by the way?) but who are doing quite well. There's are lots of other types of good jobs, especially in the non-profit/public sector, where a JD is not required but can be valuable. I'm sure there's another class of jobs like that in the private sector, but I am unfamiliar with them.

It's probably not a good idea to pay sticker at a TTTT for almost any reason. It's probably not a good idea to pay sticker at a T1/T2 if you don't want a non-JD-required job unless you have good connections. Then again, it's not a good idea to do anything of this magnitude without a good game plan. Making blanket claims like you are is ridiculous and unhelpful.

As for your second part, do you have a source for that? BLS actually projects (published this past June) that legal jobs will grow 13% from 2008-2018, equal to the average projections for other fields. --LinkRemoved-- I agree that too many people are going to law school, but you are greatly overstating the scope of the problem.

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thelawyler
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby thelawyler » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:14 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
cattleprod wrote:
JusticeHarlan wrote:
cattleprod wrote:Most of those criminal law schools are just Ponzi schemes living off of new investors (aka students) to payoff those at the top of the scam (law school profs and deans).
I don't think you know what a Ponzi scheme is.


I don't care. 80% to 90% of the law schools are producing fraudulent data on employment and salary for their graduates.

cattleprod wrote:90%-95% of new lawyers are not making $100,000+ and never will.


where the hell do you get these numbers? your ass?


In my experience, that place is the most reliable source for internet numberz.

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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:18 pm

tlshark wrote:I realize I haven't posted much (one other time), and I know how much everyone here loves lurkers. And that still doesn't change my question, so here goes.

I am trying to understand just when law school is a bad idea.

Is it directly related to the amount of debt? Is it the ranking of the school? Both? What about if you want to do something other than BigLaw?

For instance, if you get a full-ride to Texas (using that as an example, since it is the lowest T14) do you go?

How about a full-ride to Michigan State?

$25K, $50K, $75K, $100K in debt?

What if someone's whole reason for getting the JD is to hang out a shingle?

Is it only a bad idea for those who want BigLaw?

It's a combination of debt, ranking, expectations and personal factors. It's complicated and personal, but generally speaking, the more debt and the lower the ranking, the worse of an idea it is. A full-ride at UT is a fine idea for pretty much anyone. A full-ride at Michigan State is probably a fine idea if you're okay with practicing in Michigan. Going to Cooley is pretty much never a good idea.

It gets dicier when you start taking away scholarships. Sticker is probably still fine at UT, but it depends on factors like WE, fallback options, etc. Gunning for biglaw can mitigate the debt, but outside of the T14 it's far from a sure thing. Sticker at Michigan State is probably not a good idea unless you have a job lined up going in or some other mitigating factor. (Although, those are never sure bets.) It's a very personal question though, so everyone should consider all the factors carefully. Start a thread if you want feedback on your situation.

It's also important to note that starting your own practice straight out of law school is a terrible idea. I don't know about this much myself, but plenty of people on here will tell you how bad of an idea that is. Malpractice insurance, no paying clients, start-up costs, etc. Search for threads on this if you want details.

pacers3177
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby pacers3177 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:19 pm

tlshark wrote:I am trying to understand just when law school is a bad idea.


Law school is a bad idea when:

1) You are taking out six-figure debt for a non T14 school (~ we could stretch that to T17/18 really).

2) You don't have a plan or a backup plan for how to use your J.D.

3) You haven't thoroughly researched the legal field, have no experience, go to a lower ranked school with no connections

4) Overpay to go to a lower ranked school in an over-saturated market (Touro, Syracuse, and Pace for NY for example)

5) Go to a diploma mill (Cooley, Barry, TJ)

6) Go to law school in Wisconsin or Minnesota (way too many lawyers for their markets. Governor of Wisconsin even issued a statement saying Wisconsin doesn't need any more lawyers. Wouldn't actually be surprised if he is LAWSCHOOLREALITY)

7) Applying to a regional law school when you're not from the region and have no ties to it (this applies to the much smaller markets who have schools in the T100. Some people rely on rankings way too much and will apply to say New Mexico, Mizzou, or Utah because their numbers meet their medians. Law schools like these are much more hesitant to admit students not from the area because they know they will most likely try to leave once they graduate. Even if you try to stay, if you aren't from the area employers will be hesitant to hire you. This is very applicable to South Carolina.)

8) Relying on a scholarship at a school known for section-stacking

9) Relying mainly on law school rankings. After the T20 or so, it really is regional so just go to the best school in the region you want to work in/gives you the best deal

10) Going to an unaccredited school

11) YOU DON"T WANT TO BE A LAWYER/THINK IT WILL GET YOU A NON-JD JOB (if you want to go into business, go to business school or get some experience)

cattleprod
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby cattleprod » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:22 pm

Samara,
I am actually probably quite modest in my estimates of how bad it sucks to have a JD right now.
I actually have a job, so I am one of the lucky ones after law school.
But as many lawyers will tell you, even when you win, you lose.
There are few exit options or alternatives to this job. After a few years you realize that it is all just pointless BS pushing paper around.
Most civil lawsuits go nowhere. Even when you win, most judgements are uncollectable. It is amazing how much of this is a complete waste of time.

Warning to all 0Ls, do yourself a favor and find something else.
The debt is not financially sustainable based on the likely job that you might obtain.
The jobs for most lawyers are not enjoyable or anything like you imagine on TV.
Ask a few lawyers. I'll bet most of them would tell their children to avoid law school.

I would say that any 1L who is below median should likely bail out and cut their losses.
Just my opinion, you are welcome to it.
Last edited by cattleprod on Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:24 pm

cattleprod wrote:Samara,
I am actually probably quite modest in my estimates of how bad it sucks to have a JD right now.
I actually have a job, so I am one of the lucky ones after law school.
But as many lawyers will tell you, even when you win, you lose.
There are few exit options or alternatives to this job. After a few years you realize that it is all just pointless BS pushing paper around.
Most civil lawsuits go nowhere. Even when you win, most judgements are uncollectable. It is amazing how much of this is a complete waste of time.

Warning to all 0Ls, does yourself a favor and find something else.
The debt is not financially sustainable based on the likely job that you might obtain.
The jobs for most lawyers are not enjoyable or anything like you imagine on TV.
Ask a few lawyers. I'll bet most of them would tell their children to avoid law school.

I would say that any 1L who is below median should likely bail out and cut their losses.
Just my opinion, you are welcome to it.

ITT: A new lawyer discovers that they don't like being a lawyer and takes it out on 0Ls.

cattleprod
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby cattleprod » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:27 pm

Samara wrote:ITT: A new lawyer discovers that they don't like being a lawyer and takes it out on 0Ls.


Child, you have no idea. I look forward to seeing you on the scam blogs in a few years.

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romothesavior
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:31 pm

tlshark wrote:I realize I haven't posted much (one other time), and I know how much everyone here loves lurkers. And that still doesn't change my question, so here goes.

I am trying to understand just when law school is a bad idea.

Is it directly related to the amount of debt? Is it the ranking of the school? Both? What about if you want to do something other than BigLaw?

For instance, if you get a full-ride to Texas (using that as an example, since it is the lowest T14) do you go?

How about a full-ride to Michigan State?

$25K, $50K, $75K, $100K in debt?

What if someone's whole reason for getting the JD is to hang out a shingle?

Is it only a bad idea for those who want BigLaw?

This question is almost impossible, as it is obviously going to depend so much on the individual person, the school involved, the person's savings and fallback options, the type of job the student wants, etc. etc. Really hard to speculate as to individual schools and debt levels. That said, here is a general overview of what I think the TLS consensus would be for your questions.

The problem with law school is two-fold: lack of jobs (particularly high-paying jobs), and the incredible expense in obtaining the degree. These two issues work in tandem to create the current environment: lots of students with a lot of debt, and no job or a very low-paying job. So what is the best way to mitigate this risk? Either go somewhere that creates a high-probability of getting a high-paying job, or go somewhere for very cheap.

Where do you start drawing lines as to which schools are worth it at certain prices, and which aren't? I have no idea. Some will say don't pay sticker outside of the T14, others will say don't pay sticker outside of HYS. Some will say to take a full ride at a T2 or T3, some will say don't even bother with those schools. Personally, I think low debt is more often than not the better option over greater prestige, or some combination of the two (I took a big scholly at WUSTL over sticker at a T14, and I don't know if I made the right decision). Once you throw in things like geographic preference and job preference, the picture becomes even more muddled.

What I do know for certain is this: If you are taking out more than $100k for law school at all but the very top schools (HYS, T6, T14, whatever you want to call it), you're taking a HUGE financial risk. I'd also say there are some schools (TTTs and TTTTs in saturated markets) that I absolutely would not go to even with a full ride, because your odds of getting any legal job are so bad.

TL;DR: It depends. If you can't get into an elite school, go for cheap, unless we're talking about an absolute shithole school.

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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:35 pm

cattleprod wrote:
Samara wrote:ITT: A new lawyer discovers that they don't like being a lawyer and takes it out on 0Ls.


Child, you have no idea. I look forward to seeing you on the scam blogs in a few years.

I'm informed about my options, so I'm not going to bitch and moan if it doesn't work out for me. Also, If I strike out at OCI or discover that I hate being a lawyer, I have multiple fall back options. I like to think that I'm going about this the right way, but who knows, I could be all wrong. I guess we'll see.

tlshark
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby tlshark » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:37 pm

Samara wrote:It's a combination of debt, ranking, expectations and personal factors. It's complicated and personal, but generally speaking, the more debt and the lower the ranking, the worse of an idea it is. A full-ride at UT is a fine idea for pretty much anyone. A full-ride at Michigan State is probably a fine idea if you're okay with practicing in Michigan. Going to Cooley is pretty much never a good idea.

It gets dicier when you start taking away scholarships. Sticker is probably still fine at UT, but it depends on factors like WE, fallback options, etc. Gunning for biglaw can mitigate the debt, but outside of the T14 it's far from a sure thing. Sticker at Michigan State is probably not a good idea unless you have a job lined up going in or some other mitigating factor. (Although, those are never sure bets.) It's a very personal question though, so everyone should consider all the factors carefully. Start a thread if you want feedback on your situation.

It's also important to note that starting your own practice straight out of law school is a terrible idea. I don't know about this much myself, but plenty of people on here will tell you how bad of an idea that is. Malpractice insurance, no paying clients, start-up costs, etc. Search for threads on this if you want details.


Thank you for the information. I don't really have a situation yet as I am just a "lowly 0L". I am planning on heading to law school Fall of 13. That is of course if there are any schools left after this armageddon.

The thing that I think you hit on best is, it is a personal decision based on each person's own circumstance.

Really all anyone can do is make the best decision they can with the information they have.

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Samara
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Samara » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:38 pm

tlshark wrote:Really all anyone can do is make the best decision they can with the information they have.

Well said.

I encourage you to keep lurking and consider starting a thread when you have a real LSAT score, etc.

msuz
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby msuz » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:43 pm

pacers3177 wrote:6) Go to law school in Wisconsin or Minnesota (way too many lawyers for their markets. Governor of Wisconsin even issued a statement saying Wisconsin doesn't need any more lawyers. Wouldn't actually be surprised if he is LAWSCHOOLREALITY)

lol'd

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romothesavior
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:44 pm

cattleprod wrote:Samara,
I am actually probably quite modest in my estimates of how bad it sucks to have a JD right now.
I actually have a job, so I am one of the lucky ones after law school.
But as many lawyers will tell you, even when you win, you lose.
There are few exit options or alternatives to this job. After a few years you realize that it is all just pointless BS pushing paper around.
Most civil lawsuits go nowhere. Even when you win, most judgements are uncollectable. It is amazing how much of this is a complete waste of time.

Warning to all 0Ls, do yourself a favor and find something else.
The debt is not financially sustainable based on the likely job that you might obtain.
The jobs for most lawyers are not enjoyable or anything like you imagine on TV.
Ask a few lawyers. I'll bet most of them would tell their children to avoid law school.

I would say that any 1L who is below median should likely bail out and cut their losses.
Just my opinion, you are welcome to it.

You are entitled to your opinion, and I respect it. I wish we had more graduates on TLS sharing their experiences. But you are really projecting your experiences onto the rest of us and to the legal community as a whole, and I don't think that is fair at all.

For every one of you, there is at least one (probably many more) lawyers who like their work, and are making decent money at it. The majority of lawyers I have talked to like it (and I mean really talked to... I am fully capable of picking up bullshit). One guy I met with told me he goes home at night and can't wait to go back to work because he finds his job so interesting. Another guy I know started out at a shitlaw firm (or what most people on TLS would call shitlaw) and enjoys it, and is about to leave to go with a partner to start their own firm and will be making a shitload of money. I could probably rattle off 4-5 attorneys other that I have established a relationship with who all seem to genuinely enjoy their work, make a damn good living, and never stepped foot in a biglaw firm. Some people may hate practicing law, but plenty of others enjoy it. The same could be said of a lot of other industries.

I don't doubt that there are a lot of miserable legal jobs out there, and it sounds like you have one. I don't have any wild fantasies about how super fun it is going to be at my firm when I start full-time. But a job is a job, and everybody needs one. If I can go to work, reasonably enjoy what I'm doing, and make a nice paycheck while I'm at it, I will be ahead of most people in this world.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Warning to all 0L's

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:47 pm

NYC Law wrote:Romo speaks the truth. Things are shit, but law school is still the right decision for a good amount of people. When you have 50%+ of the class even at MVPB striking out it's safe to say law school is almost always a risky investment, but when you keep a level head about it it can be a good idea. The key is retaining some level of rationality about it and remembering it is a professional decision that shouldn't be influenced by the burning passion ('wanting to be a lawyer no matter what'), or a level of dispassion ('nothing else to do, guess I'll go into law'). If you want to be a lawyer, know what being a lawyer entails, and have acceptance to a school that either gives you a non-trivial shot at the kind of legal employment that can service your debt (or can go for very cheap) then yeah, law school could be a great decision. If some of those factors are missing then take some time to reconsider, explore other options, get some experience in the working world, and revisit the idea later. If it's what you truly want to do then you'll still be in a fine position to go back to law later on.


Too rationale for TLS; plz moderate.




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