The Law School Scam

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kwais
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby kwais » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:55 pm

On TLS:

0L/1L asking about market/OCI: :"don't put cart before horse. focus on applications, exams"
2L asking about market/OCI: "it's amazing how many people go to law school without understanding what they are facing"

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traehekat
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby traehekat » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:17 pm

Didn't read every page of this thread, not going to. All I will say is that I am normally a pretty cheery, optimistic guy, but I can honest to God tell you that unless you have been admitted to YHS or you will be attending for free, I would not recommend you go to law school. There is an extremely real chance it is the worst decision you will ever make in your entire life. The saddest part is that people do more research on what kind of laptop they should buy for law school than they do on the decision to go to law school in the first place.

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monkey85
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby monkey85 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:29 pm

kwais wrote:On TLS:

0L/1L asking about market/OCI: :"don't put cart before horse. focus on applications, exams"
2L asking about market/OCI: "it's amazing how many people go to law school without understanding what they are facing"


+1 What a great summation.

c3pO4
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:43 pm

monkey85 wrote:
kwais wrote:On TLS:

0L/1L asking about market/OCI: :"don't put cart before horse. focus on applications, exams"
2L asking about market/OCI: "it's amazing how many people go to law school without understanding what they are facing"


+1 What a great summation.


+1

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westinghouse60
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby westinghouse60 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:26 pm

How does going to HYS, for example, and the availability of biglaw there compare to other top careers/school's starting salaries/demand for those jobs?

E.g. HYS vs. if you graduate with an MBA from whatever the top few schools are, vs. engineering, vs. med school, etc?

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NYC Law
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby NYC Law » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:28 pm

westinghouse60 wrote:How does going to HYS, for example, and the availability of biglaw there compare to other top careers/school's starting salaries/demand for those jobs?

E.g. HYS vs. if you graduate with an MBA from whatever the top few schools are, vs. engineering, vs. med school, etc?


Med School Prospects >>>>>>>>> Law School Prospects >> MBA Prospects

Can't really speak to engineering schools

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vanwinkle
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:31 pm

NYC Law wrote:
westinghouse60 wrote:How does going to HYS, for example, and the availability of biglaw there compare to other top careers/school's starting salaries/demand for those jobs?

E.g. HYS vs. if you graduate with an MBA from whatever the top few schools are, vs. engineering, vs. med school, etc?


Med School Prospects >>>>>>>>> Law School Prospects >> MBA Prospects

Can't really speak to engineering schools

Engineers >>>>>>> Everything above

This country is hurting for engineers. We crank out tens of thousands of lawyers a year but nobody wants to learn math. (Realistically it depends on what kind of engineer, but there are quite a few that are very highly in demand right now.)

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MTal
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby MTal » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:10 pm

HeavenWood wrote:MTal, you seem to be doing well for yourself. What are you currently doing and how did you get there? (in case worst comes to worst, I wanna have some alternative career paths in mind). I'm a fairly decent writer, but I feel like getting another, even more useless, advanced degree is probably not the way to go. The problem is, I majored in poli sci. Should I go back to school and get another bachelor's in business or something?


PM me dude.

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MTal
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby MTal » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:11 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:How the fuck does this topic get to 9 pages jesus


It's cause I'm good at what I do.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:13 pm

MTal wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:How the fuck does this topic get to 9 pages jesus


It's cause I'm good at what I do.

Were you good at law school?

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MTal
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby MTal » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:15 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
MTal wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:How the fuck does this topic get to 9 pages jesus


It's cause I'm good at what I do.

Were you good at law school?


For the first semester, then I bombed.

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johansantana21
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby johansantana21 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:16 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
MTal wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:How the fuck does this topic get to 9 pages jesus


It's cause I'm good at what I do.

Were you good at law school?

lol'd

MrAnon
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby MrAnon » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:16 pm

kwais wrote:On TLS:

0L/1L asking about market/OCI: :"don't put cart before horse. focus on applications, exams"
2L asking about market/OCI: "it's amazing how many people go to law school without understanding what they are facing"


This is pretty accurate.

I am amazed by the number of highly successful, highly motivated 3Ls at my school (T25) who have found no job in any area of law. The thing is that these people are not interested in BIGLAW, or at least they say that now, and they are looking for government work in multiple states but no dice. Its too bad they'll be making teacher salaries for doc review work after pouring 6 figures into loans.

On the other hand, the Dean of my school is paid more than most NYC law firm partners so there is at least one success story.

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glitter178
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby glitter178 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:35 pm

MrAnon wrote:
kwais wrote:On TLS:

0L/1L asking about market/OCI: :"don't put cart before horse. focus on applications, exams"
2L asking about market/OCI: "it's amazing how many people go to law school without understanding what they are facing"


This is pretty accurate.

I am amazed by the number of highly successful, highly motivated 3Ls at my school (T25) who have found no job in any area of law. The thing is that these people are not interested in BIGLAW, or at least they say that now, and they are looking for government work in multiple states but no dice. Its too bad they'll be making teacher salaries for doc review work after pouring 6 figures into loans.

On the other hand, the Dean of my school is paid more than most NYC law firm partners so there is at least one success story.



i so, so, wholeheartedly agree with all of this. i get that it's no sure thing. i get that some people are about to get their worlds turned upside down. i just hate that these threads make it seem as if EVERY PERSON WHO ATTENDS LAW SCHOOL will end up unemployed and with SOUL CRUSHING DEBT. there are plenty of people who picked a good school but not HYS, with a good scholarship, did fairly well, and got the job they were hoping for. It's hard, it's never guaranteed, many people have unrealistic expectations, but it's not as if we're all searching for a unicorn or hedging all of our bets on the mega millions. The odds are better than that.

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MTal
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby MTal » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:48 pm

glitter178 wrote: i just hate that these threads make it seem as if EVERY PERSON WHO ATTENDS LAW SCHOOL will end up unemployed and with SOUL CRUSHING DEBT. there are plenty of people who picked a good school but not HYS, with a good scholarship, did fairly well, and got the job they were hoping for.


For every 1 who did there are 3 who didn't. That's the nature of the scam...some will succeed; most will fail. Just consider TTT/TTTT's, they alone will have a loser/success ratio of I'm guessing 9/1.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:53 pm

MTal wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:
MTal wrote:
FeelTheHeat wrote:How the fuck does this topic get to 9 pages jesus


It's cause I'm good at what I do.

Were you good at law school?


For the first semester, then I bombed.

So that's a no.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:04 am

glitter178 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
kwais wrote:On TLS:

0L/1L asking about market/OCI: :"don't put cart before horse. focus on applications, exams"
2L asking about market/OCI: "it's amazing how many people go to law school without understanding what they are facing"


This is pretty accurate.

I am amazed by the number of highly successful, highly motivated 3Ls at my school (T25) who have found no job in any area of law. The thing is that these people are not interested in BIGLAW, or at least they say that now, and they are looking for government work in multiple states but no dice. Its too bad they'll be making teacher salaries for doc review work after pouring 6 figures into loans.

On the other hand, the Dean of my school is paid more than most NYC law firm partners so there is at least one success story.



i so, so, wholeheartedly agree with all of this. i get that it's no sure thing. i get that some people are about to get their worlds turned upside down. i just hate that these threads make it seem as if EVERY PERSON WHO ATTENDS LAW SCHOOL will end up unemployed and with SOUL CRUSHING DEBT. there are plenty of people who picked a good school but not HYS, with a good scholarship, did fairly well, and got the job they were hoping for. It's hard, it's never guaranteed, many people have unrealistic expectations, but it's not as if we're all searching for a unicorn or hedging all of our bets on the mega millions. The odds are better than that.


I agree with this. I thought I was making the right decision in going to law school at UT (best school in state + large scholarship) when I chose to come here, and I don't regret my decision whatsoever. (Though I'm one of the sick people that actually enjoy law school.) Now, would I recommend a person attend UT at the out-of-state rate? Things get more sketchy then. I think if a person is smart about limiting debt and expectations, there's a good amount of schools where it can make sense to attend.

Now, do I think attending a school like Brooklyn at sticker is a good idea? No--I think it's a pretty horrible idea. There are also plenty of schools where it makes no sense whatsoever to attend under plenty of different circumstances. But usually these circumstances involve incurring a lot of debt + attending a school with a very small shot of biglaw.

What a good chunk of the scambloggers get wrong is having such an extreme stand on things. Mtal seems to have toned down his shtick a little, but it's still extreme. Of course, there are too many people who are way too naive about job prospects, but I think scambloggers hurt the message by being so laughable at times.

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JCougar
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby JCougar » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:04 am

This was linked to earlier in the thread:

http://volokh.com/2011/10/17/challengin ... r-lawyers/

A relevant part from the comments:

BL1Y says:
Ilya,

I graduated from NYU Law with decent grades (not at the top, but certainly above the bottom quartile). I worked in the corporate department of an AmLaw 200 firm for 14 months before being laid off. I have been admitted to practice law in New York and Alabama, and am in good standing with both states.

Come the end of this month, I will have been unemployed for 2 years. I am unable to find any professional work, and this winter will likely be “using my law degree” at the mall or Target making minimum wage when they have their seasonal hiring bump.
About twice a week, I wake up in the middle of the night afraid about my future. I would like to know what you find good about my long term prospects.


T14 is obviously a safer bet, but it's not even that safe. A 50/50 shot at biglaw is still a risky proposition, especially if you're paying sticker.

But the problem students often overlook is that simply getting biglaw isn't the end of the story. In the past, 78% of associates who got biglaw jobs were gone by year 5. 78%. How easy do you think it is to pay off $240K in loans in 5 years, especially if you're living in NYC where rent will cost you $30K/year?

Bottom line is that you can go to any T10 and do fantastic and get 10 offers. But if you start in Biglaw and get bounced after 2 years or so, you might not have that great of exit options. And you'll still have mountainous debt. Some of those 78% of Biglaw associates leave because they have other good jobs lined up, but I'm not sure how many simply get thrown into the unemployment line or end up doing doc review.

The sad part is that there's simply no justification for a legal education being so expensive. What possible reasons are there for tuition going up 500% in the last 20 years? It's sheer greed coupled with the cost of competition in the US News rankings. And the ABA has done nothing to regulate it. There are no leaders in the legal industry. Only chicken-hawks that puff up their resumes with phony leadership positions they get through an incestuous meritocracy.

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glitter178
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby glitter178 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:15 am

JCougar wrote:This was linked to earlier in the thread:

http://volokh.com/2011/10/17/challengin ... r-lawyers/

A relevant part from the comments:

BL1Y says:
Ilya,

I graduated from NYU Law with decent grades (not at the top, but certainly above the bottom quartile). I worked in the corporate department of an AmLaw 200 firm for 14 months before being laid off. I have been admitted to practice law in New York and Alabama, and am in good standing with both states.

Come the end of this month, I will have been unemployed for 2 years. I am unable to find any professional work, and this winter will likely be “using my law degree” at the mall or Target making minimum wage when they have their seasonal hiring bump.
About twice a week, I wake up in the middle of the night afraid about my future. I would like to know what you find good about my long term prospects.


T14 is obviously a safer bet, but it's not even that safe. A 50/50 shot at biglaw is still a risky proposition, especially if you're paying sticker.

But the problem students often overlook is that simply getting biglaw isn't the end of the story. In the past, 78% of associates who got biglaw jobs were gone by year 5. 78%. How easy do you think it is to pay off $240K in loans in 5 years, especially if you're living in NYC where rent will cost you $30K/year?

Bottom line is that you can go to any T10 and do fantastic and get 10 offers. But if you start in Biglaw and get bounced after 2 years or so, you might not have that great of exit options. And you'll still have mountainous debt. Some of those 78% of Biglaw associates leave because they have other good jobs lined up, but I'm not sure how many simply get thrown into the unemployment line or end up doing doc review.

The sad part is that there's simply no justification for a legal education being so expensive. What possible reasons are there for tuition going up 500% in the last 20 years? It's sheer greed coupled with the cost of competition in the US News rankings. And the ABA has done nothing to regulate it. There are no leaders in the legal industry. Only chicken-hawks that puff up their resumes with phony leadership positions they get through an incestuous meritocracy.



the issue is again that this person's situation represents one of many possible outcomes. but there has to be an acknowledgement of the difference between making a calculated risk, intelligently, and being completely clueless and getting burned. As to the latter, both the current institutional law school scheme as well as the "typical" applicant are partially at fault. The law schools and the ABA are responsible for misrepresenting data and for overcharging (and being ABLE to overcharge) as a result of being able to misrepresent data. (I'm not speaking to whether they are liable criminally or civilly for misrepresentation -- i am saying, as a consumer, that if i believed everything i had read in law school brochures, i would be in a much different place than i am now -- they aren't being truthful.) Applicants are somewhat responsible for bad decisions as well, because they rely on these statements as justification for making HUGE financial and time commitments without further investigation. However, to say that NO ONE should go to law school because of the current market, because of the potential of getting scammed, etc, is also irresponsible. Law school should be a well thought-out, very calculated move. The decision should be given the same weight that buying a home should be given. If you purchase a house that is outside of your means and you foreclose on it, does that stand as a warning that i'm likely to foreclose on a home when i decide to buy one? No -- b/c maybe I made different choices, took less risks. It's impossible and silly to analogize every horror story to that of the fate of the entire law school student population.

in2win
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby in2win » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:18 am

as a 0L applying right now, reading these types of threads make me seriously seriously question the path I'm on. i really would just like honest, unbiased opinions from people who have experience and knowledge on the legal field. based on my numbers, i think i have a shot at a solid t30 or t40 at least with a decent scholarship and Im from midwest and would prefer to work in chicago However, I am assuming I will have around 6 figures of debt considering how expensive law school will be. From what I have read, going to a t30 leaves me a slim chance at getting a job that would even allow me to pay back my debt in a reasonable amount of time. and even if i do get that job, theres a high chance I won't even stay at job for more than a few years.

I have some serious doubts. just based on the numbers, it seems like most people would have to be out of their mind to make that decision. money aside, I am not absolutely positive that I would love being a lawyer for the work either. Right now, I would take a 35K/ year job easily over going to law school and taking on huge debt. Unfortunately, with my lib arts degree in psychology, finding that job has been extremely difficult. I am a year and a half out of undergrad and have up to this point had absolutely no luck at finding a job.

So that leaves me with a tough decision to make because taking a gamble with law school seems like a way better choice than doing nothing. lets say i get into my top choice of law schools in the t30 with a decent scholarship. I am going to think long and hard about if I really want to do this. Would I be smarter to just put my full effort into finding some entry level work in the 30-35k range and hope to get lucky. i have no debt from undergrad and taking on six figure debt in order to receive less than great job opportunities really just seems like a step backwards to me.

c3pO4
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 am

in2win wrote:as a 0L applying right now, reading these types of threads make me seriously seriously question the path I'm on. i really would just like honest, unbiased opinions from people who have experience and knowledge on the legal field. based on my numbers, i think i have a shot at a solid t30 or t40 at least with a decent scholarship and Im from midwest and would prefer to work in chicago However, I am assuming I will have around 6 figures of debt considering how expensive law school will be. From what I have read, going to a t30 leaves me a slim chance at getting a job that would even allow me to pay back my debt in a reasonable amount of time. and even if i do get that job, theres a high chance I won't even stay at job for more than a few years.

I have some serious doubts. just based on the numbers, it seems like most people would have to be out of their mind to make that decision. money aside, I am not absolutely positive that I would love being a lawyer for the work either. Right now, I would take a 35K/ year job easily over going to law school and taking on huge debt. Unfortunately, with my lib arts degree in psychology, finding that job has been extremely difficult. I am a year and a half out of undergrad and have up to this point had absolutely no luck at finding a job.

So that leaves me with a tough decision to make because taking a gamble with law school seems like a way better choice than doing nothing. lets say i get into my top choice of law schools in the t30 with a decent scholarship. I am going to think long and hard about if I really want to do this. Would I be smarter to just put my full effort into finding some entry level work in the 30-35k range and hope to get lucky. i have no debt from undergrad and taking on six figure debt in order to receive less than great job opportunities really just seems like a step backwards to me.


Just look harder for a job. Expand what you are willing to do. Apply to 10 jobs a day. Look for jobs at startups -- they'll hire psych majors for PR/Marketing/Sales positions. I knew a friend who started at 26k as an assistant and now makes 75+ 5 years later. Or, you could go to a bad law school, accumulate 100k+ in debt, and have an even lower likelihood of finding a job than you do now.

Sounds like a tough decision.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby FryBreadPower » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:34 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
MTal wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:
MTal wrote:
It's cause I'm good at what I do.

Were you good at law school?


For the first semester, then I bombed.

So that's a no.


lulz.

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bjsesq
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby bjsesq » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:40 am

How the fuck people keep biting. FUCK.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:44 am

in2win wrote:as a 0L applying right now, reading these types of threads make me seriously seriously question the path I'm on. i really would just like honest, unbiased opinions from people who have experience and knowledge on the legal field. based on my numbers, i think i have a shot at a solid t30 or t40 at least with a decent scholarship and Im from midwest and would prefer to work in chicago However, I am assuming I will have around 6 figures of debt considering how expensive law school will be. From what I have read, going to a t30 leaves me a slim chance at getting a job that would even allow me to pay back my debt in a reasonable amount of time. and even if i do get that job, theres a high chance I won't even stay at job for more than a few years.

I have some serious doubts. just based on the numbers, it seems like most people would have to be out of their mind to make that decision. money aside, I am not absolutely positive that I would love being a lawyer for the work either. Right now, I would take a 35K/ year job easily over going to law school and taking on huge debt. Unfortunately, with my lib arts degree in psychology, finding that job has been extremely difficult. I am a year and a half out of undergrad and have up to this point had absolutely no luck at finding a job.

So that leaves me with a tough decision to make because taking a gamble with law school seems like a way better choice than doing nothing. lets say i get into my top choice of law schools in the t30 with a decent scholarship. I am going to think long and hard about if I really want to do this. Would I be smarter to just put my full effort into finding some entry level work in the 30-35k range and hope to get lucky. i have no debt from undergrad and taking on six figure debt in order to receive less than great job opportunities really just seems like a step backwards to me.


1) First, if you want to go to law school, consider retaking. This is why the whole "retake" mantra is said over and over again. Right now you have a 165. With that LSAT score, you would probably be paying sticker (or close to it) at most schools in the T30 range. But with a few points higher, you could be getting substantial $$ from different places. Going to most schools in that range is not worth it at sticker (or near it) IMO. But going on a substantial scholarship (say half or more) may make the choice much more palatable.

The downside of this advice is the timing. It's probably too late to take in December, and taking in Feb or June probably would not help too much for this current cycle (though an increase in either the Feb or June LSAT could help you try to leverage more money out of schools you've been accepted to and could help with schools where you've been waitlisted). Waiting another year could be a potential option, and that may give you more time to way the decision to go to law school. (Time to talk to lawyers IRL, and try to determine if this is really the career path for you.)

2) Would you be getting any help with the costs at all? Or would it be all covered by loans? If the latter, and it ends up being in the six digits like you predict, I have a had time recommending the schools where you're currently competitive. Especially because your target city is Chicago, which is an absolute bloodbath right now. Hopefully things will pick up there, but you need that to happen in less than two years since OCI will happen at the beginning of your 2L year.

More reading for you on probably a lot of the schools you are looking at and how OCI went (it's not pretty reading at times): viewtopic.php?f=23&t=161839&start=425

AriGoldButNicer
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Re: The Law School Scam

Postby AriGoldButNicer » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:56 am

I don't know if it's as bad as you all say it is, but it amazes me that people are told it's soo bad but settle for tier-4's. I have many friends who hate their current 35k jobs, and apply with a 145 because they "can't" wait another year, and others who don't want to retake because it's so much work. It seems crazy to me to think I can't put in 3 hrs 3x a week for 6 months, but I'm going to be top 1 percent of my class and transfer. It just defies logic.




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