When does law school become worth it?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

When is it worth it?

HYS only!
16
8%
T6 with a scholarship.
9
4%
T6 without a scholarship.
16
8%
Upper/Mid T14 with a scholarship.
13
6%
Upper/Mid T14 without a scholarship.
13
6%
Lower T14 with a scholarship.
28
14%
Lower T14 without a scholarship.
35
17%
Tier 1 with a scholarship.
56
27%
Tier 1 without a scholarship.
21
10%
 
Total votes: 207

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bk1
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby bk1 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:30 am

romothesavior wrote:How do you guys feel about American? On one hand, it is technically a T1 and it is in a really big, strong legal market. But it also seems to be on the decline in the USNWR rankings.


3rd best school in the 2nd biggest market in the country, what more could you want?

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180asBreath
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby 180asBreath » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:37 am

For me, and this is just my personal interests/needs, I will only go to law school under one of the two conditions:

1. T6
2. Full-ride (without stipulations) to any local accredited school

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Grizz
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby Grizz » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:34 pm

bk1 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:How do you guys feel about American? On one hand, it is technically a T1 and it is in a really big, strong legal market. But it also seems to be on the decline in the USNWR rankings.


3rd best school in the 2nd biggest market in the country, what more could you want?

Credited. Pretty good biglaw placement fo sho. I'd pay sticker; I think their USNWR ranking will stay steady.

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Grizz
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby Grizz » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:34 pm

180asBreath wrote:For me, and this is just my personal interests/needs, I will only go to law school under one of the two conditions:

1. T6
2. Full-ride (without stipulations) to any local accredited school

QFblatantelitism

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romothesavior
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:39 pm

Grizz wrote:
bk1 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:How do you guys feel about American? On one hand, it is technically a T1 and it is in a really big, strong legal market. But it also seems to be on the decline in the USNWR rankings.


3rd best school in the 2nd biggest market in the country, what more could you want?

Credited. Pretty good biglaw placement fo sho. I'd pay sticker; I think their USNWR ranking will stay steady.

I don't want biglaw though. I would hate to work as a pawn for some big corporation and continue to hold the 99% down. I'm really interested in American University for their focus on international law. My goal is to spend a few years in Africa doing human rights work with refugees, and then maybe come back to the U.S. and settle down in D.C. and practice constitutional law.

071816
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby 071816 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:51 pm

I wouldn't pay sticker at American because it's ranked below schools like Cooley. American just doesn't have a big enough library for me.

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20121109
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby 20121109 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:00 pm

Guys....I <3 U, I really do...

But please keep the trolling to the off-topic forums. Some of you seem a little too serious...

EdgarWinter
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby EdgarWinter » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:01 pm

.
Last edited by EdgarWinter on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

de5igual
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby de5igual » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:06 pm

EdgarWinter wrote:American University is a massacre. --LinkRemoved--

Don't kid yourself into thinking that you are going to find sustainable employment as an "international lawyer." The UN only needs so many people. I'm sure most "international lawyers" are just people who work for American corporations AND European/Asian/etc. corporations.


You clearly don't know what you're talking about. Don't cite to random statistics. I know of a couple of people who went to a TT in DC and is now making good money doing international law. Obviously, things aren't as bad as what you pessimists are trying to make it out to be. Go back to jdu!!

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ahduth
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby ahduth » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:31 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:T13 with a scholarship, although T5 with a scholarship to really be safe.


WTF are the T13 and the T5?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby Bildungsroman » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:35 pm

ahduth wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:T13 with a scholarship, although T5 with a scholarship to really be safe.


WTF are the T13 and the T5?

The most logical place to put the cutoff of good law schools is between Cornell and Georgetown. The cutoff for elite law schools makes sense between Chicago and NYU. But this is just going off of employment opportunities and quality of education. I'm sure there are other criteria that lend themselves to the traditional T6 and T14 language.

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ahduth
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby ahduth » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:47 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
ahduth wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:T13 with a scholarship, although T5 with a scholarship to really be safe.


WTF are the T13 and the T5?

The most logical place to put the cutoff of good law schools is between Cornell and Georgetown. The cutoff for elite law schools makes sense between Chicago and NYU. But this is just going off of employment opportunities and quality of education. I'm sure there are other criteria that lend themselves to the traditional T6 and T14 language.


Come on, you really shouldn't post this kind of asinine stuff in this forum, a 0L might read it.

niceopposum
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby niceopposum » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:02 pm

romothesavior wrote:1) Sticker at the T6ish or so, maybe T14 if you have really good pre-law school WE (like investment banking or something that employers will dig at OCI)


so is sticker at u michigan with no relevant WE a terrible idea

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ahduth
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby ahduth » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:34 pm

niceopposum wrote:
romothesavior wrote:1) Sticker at the T6ish or so, maybe T14 if you have really good pre-law school WE (like investment banking or something that employers will dig at OCI)


so is sticker at u michigan with no relevant WE a terrible idea


No. Capitalization is a fantastic idea, however.

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180asBreath
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby 180asBreath » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:40 pm

Grizz wrote:
180asBreath wrote:For me, and this is just my personal interests/needs, I will only go to law school under one of the two conditions:

1. T6
2. Full-ride (without stipulations) to any local accredited school

QFblatantelitism


I said any accredited school. Everyone has different reasons for attending law school; my reply is largely based on my reasons.

niceopposum
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby niceopposum » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:10 pm

ahduth wrote:
niceopposum wrote:
romothesavior wrote:1) Sticker at the T6ish or so, maybe T14 if you have really good pre-law school WE (like investment banking or something that employers will dig at OCI)


so is sticker at u michigan with no relevant WE a terrible idea


No. Capitalization is a fantastic idea, however.


irony

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tttlllsss
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby tttlllsss » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:50 pm

Grizz wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Grizz wrote:Nope. All you people are such elitists. Everyone at Emory and Wake is fine. Eminently worth the $200k. Nothing wrong with $80k midlaw. Lots of those jobs. I don't need to work for some NLJ250 BIGLAW firm.

Emory is definitely worth it considering the speed with which ATL is rebounding. Wake Forest I'd have to say is much more of a risk since everyone thought Charlotte BIGLAW was going to start paying $190k market but instead they lowered their starting salaries. The fact that that the $190k starting pay hasn't materialized tells me that you should stay the hell away from Wake Forest and NC in general.

Plus Emory has quite of geographic reach. Lots of people can get NYC and DC.


THIS SCHTICK HAS NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE - PURE COMEDIC GENIUS

minnesotamike
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby minnesotamike » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:02 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Grizz wrote:
bk1 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:How do you guys feel about American? On one hand, it is technically a T1 and it is in a really big, strong legal market. But it also seems to be on the decline in the USNWR rankings.


3rd best school in the 2nd biggest market in the country, what more could you want?

Credited. Pretty good biglaw placement fo sho. I'd pay sticker; I think their USNWR ranking will stay steady.

I don't want biglaw though. I would hate to work as a pawn for some big corporation and continue to hold the 99% down. I'm really interested in American University for their focus on international law. My goal is to spend a few years in Africa doing human rights work with refugees, and then maybe come back to the U.S. and settle down in D.C. and practice constitutional law.


Sorry to bring this into the conversation but this was made for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMvARy0lBLE

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ColtsFan88
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby ColtsFan88 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:04 pm

TLS is good for many things, but elitism does seem to run rampant.

I personally think that if you actually want to be a lawyer, and not make it rain with models and bottles, you could do a lot worse than going to a T1 at sticker.

To each his own, I guess.

EDIT: I guess it depends on the definition of "worth". From a purely economical, EV perspective, sure, people might be losing some expected income by going to law school. But people take less pay to work in the field they like all the time. Not everything can be measured in pure dollars and cents.

scammedhard
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby scammedhard » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:59 pm

ColtsFan88 wrote:TLS is good for many things, but elitism does seem to run rampant.

I personally think that if you actually want to be a lawyer, and not make it rain with models and bottles, you could do a lot worse than going to a T1 at sticker.

To each his own, I guess.

EDIT: I guess it depends on the definition of "worth". From a purely economical, EV perspective, sure, people might be losing some expected income by going to law school. But people take less pay to work in the field they like all the time. Not everything can be measured in pure dollars and cents.

I think you are terribly misinformed. It's not about elitism or "models and bottles," but whether one is able to make a living practicing law.
These are the NALP figures for total JD graduates and those whose status was known to be "Employed Full Time at a Bar Passage-Required Job" for the last four years:

------Total JDs----Employed Full Time at a Bar Passage-Required Job
2010--44K--------26K
2009--44K--------27K
2008--44K--------29K
2007--43K--------30K

http://www.nalp.org/recentgraduates

With those grim figures, one better go to a good school, get good grades while in it, and minimize one's debt by receiving generous scholarships. Is that T1, T2, T3, or T4? You make the call.

Kolya
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby Kolya » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:41 am

I've thought I would be a lawyer since high-school, but I'm currently looking for other jobs. I'm hoping to get the chance to choose between law school with at least a half-tuition scholly and a decent job. Not sure which I'd pick; depends on the circumstances. Dunno what I'll do if I can't get either. Definitely not paying full-tuition outside of HYS, and even then I'd probably be dumb to attend.

Here's why:

Most people forget that the odds of getting BigLaw at even T-14 schools are around 50% these days, plus or minus depending on school. If you get in, you will have to service any educational debts you carry while paying to live in an expensive city and suffering through a 70 hour work week. You will also most likely be out of biglaw within 5 years, whereupon you will take a massive pay cut even if you are fortunate enough to land on your feet (fyi going "in-house" isnt easy).

Your expected return from law school is roughly your probability of getting biglaw times your earnings over time, plus your probability of non-biglaw times non-biglaw earnings over time. Say an average biglaw term is 4 years, (that is generous). So biglaw return (factoring in crap bonus) is: (.5)[(170k)+(185k)+(210k)+(230k)] plus your return if you don't get biglaw (i'll be really generous, assume 50k annually for average non-biglaw) which is (.5)*4*50k.

Grand total: $497,500 of expected income over the first 7 years, (3 yrs law school plus the 4 year term we evaluated). Say you pay sticker. Lets take out 150K for tuition and another 40k for amortized debt payments that you will definitely find yourself servicing. That's 190k of after-tax income, which represents 250k of pre-tax income. Subtract it from your earnings and we're down to $247,500; divide that by 7 and you have your T-14 annual return for the first seven years (drumroll):

$35,300.

Gonna get lots of models and bottles...lets not forget how hard you have to work for these penurious earnings.

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IAFG
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 04, 2011 1:59 am

Kolya wrote:I've thought I would be a lawyer since high-school, but I'm currently looking for other jobs. I'm hoping to get the chance to choose between law school with at least a half-tuition scholly and a decent job. Not sure which I'd pick; depends on the circumstances. Dunno what I'll do if I can't get either. Definitely not paying full-tuition outside of HYS, and even then I'd probably be dumb to attend.

Here's why:

Most people forget that the odds of getting BigLaw at even T-14 schools are around 50% these days, plus or minus depending on school. If you get in, you will have to service any educational debts you carry while paying to live in an expensive city and suffering through a 70 hour work week. You will also most likely be out of biglaw within 5 years, whereupon you will take a massive pay cut even if you are fortunate enough to land on your feet (fyi going "in-house" isnt easy).

Your expected return from law school is roughly your probability of getting biglaw times your earnings over time, plus your probability of non-biglaw times non-biglaw earnings over time. Say an average biglaw term is 4 years, (that is generous). So biglaw return (factoring in crap bonus) is: (.5)[(170k)+(185k)+(210k)+(230k)] plus your return if you don't get biglaw (i'll be really generous, assume 50k annually for average non-biglaw) which is (.5)*4*50k.

Grand total: $497,500 of expected income over the first 7 years, (3 yrs law school plus the 4 year term we evaluated). Say you pay sticker. Lets take out 150K for tuition and another 40k for amortized debt payments that you will definitely find yourself servicing. That's 190k of after-tax income, which represents 250k of pre-tax income. Subtract it from your earnings and we're down to $247,500; divide that by 7 and you have your T-14 annual return for the first seven years (drumroll):

$35,300.

Gonna get lots of models and bottles...lets not forget how hard you have to work for these penurious earnings.

I know this is how they tell you to calculate expected outcomes in UG, but it's either going to be one thing or the other, not an average of the two. Also, why, when people do this, do they never include SA or stub year salary... ever?!

Kolya
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby Kolya » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:08 am

Oh wows, so enlightening - it must be one or the other? Really? I'm sure your Fields Medal has already shipped.

But you are correct, lets not forget SA, which you have a 50% chance of getting, 30k*.5 = 15k over 7 years; guess the magic number is $37,450 now.

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IAFG
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:12 am

Kolya wrote:Oh wows, so enlightening - it must be one or the other? Really? I'm sure your Fields Medal has already shipped.

But you are correct, lets not forget SA, which you have a 50% chance of getting, 30k*.5 = 15k over 7 years; guess the magic number is $37,450 now.


But... it doesn't make any sense to say that's what your "annual return" is. It's what your expected value is from the point of view of the decision to attend or not. Anyone who won the OCI lottery is going to get a much better return than that, and anyone who lost is either going to get a far worse return, or have won that other law school lottery and enjoy having their loans paid back for them.

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happyshapy
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Re: When does law school become worth it?

Postby happyshapy » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:13 am

Kolya wrote:I've thought I would be a lawyer since high-school, but I'm currently looking for other jobs. I'm hoping to get the chance to choose between law school with at least a half-tuition scholly and a decent job. Not sure which I'd pick; depends on the circumstances. Dunno what I'll do if I can't get either. Definitely not paying full-tuition outside of HYS, and even then I'd probably be dumb to attend.

Here's why:

Most people forget that the odds of getting BigLaw at even T-14 schools are around 50% these days, plus or minus depending on school. If you get in, you will have to service any educational debts you carry while paying to live in an expensive city and suffering through a 70 hour work week. You will also most likely be out of biglaw within 5 years, whereupon you will take a massive pay cut even if you are fortunate enough to land on your feet (fyi going "in-house" isnt easy).

Your expected return from law school is roughly your probability of getting biglaw times your earnings over time, plus your probability of non-biglaw times non-biglaw earnings over time. Say an average biglaw term is 4 years, (that is generous). So biglaw return (factoring in crap bonus) is: (.5)[(170k)+(185k)+(210k)+(230k)] plus your return if you don't get biglaw (i'll be really generous, assume 50k annually for average non-biglaw) which is (.5)*4*50k.

Grand total: $497,500 of expected income over the first 7 years, (3 yrs law school plus the 4 year term we evaluated). Say you pay sticker. Lets take out 150K for tuition and another 40k for amortized debt payments that you will definitely find yourself servicing. That's 190k of after-tax income, which represents 250k of pre-tax income. Subtract it from your earnings and we're down to $247,500; divide that by 7 and you have your T-14 annual return for the first seven years (drumroll):

$35,300.

Gonna get lots of models and bottles...lets not forget how hard you have to work for these penurious earnings.


This is stupid. So what if you only net 35,300 for the first 7 years? If you plan to practice law as your career for the rest of your working life, then those first 7 or 10 or even 15 years of making a net income of 35,300 isn't that big of deal when all of your loans are paid off and you're making 200k a year when you're in your 40s. And if you're doing something you love like public interest law that pays shit then these numbers mean even less.




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