Thoughts from a law professor

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Paul Campos
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Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:16 am

I've been reading this forum with interest and have some thoughts I'd like to share. They're rather long, so if you're interested you can read them here: SPAM REDACTED BY MODS

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:33 am

Seems helpful, but really, right in the middle of finals? At least spare us the hopelessness until winter break.

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bigeast03
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby bigeast03 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:40 am

Seems like it could be helpful to newer posters here, but overall just seems to echo a lot of what has already been said. Regarding the employment data - I think that a large number of posters on here are well aware of the nonsense that is reported and thus put a lot more weight on sites like LawSchoolTransparency.

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albusdumbledore
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby albusdumbledore » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:41 am

So not only did you manage to say nothing novel, but you spammed us with your blog. Nice.

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MachineLemon
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby MachineLemon » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:47 am

Only one issue. OP suggests that the pool of unemployed lawyers will continue to expand, further increasing competition for a limited number of spots. However, it seems that many prestigious entry-level positions are more-or-less off limits to people who've been unemployed a while or worked in shit law. Even in the wider legal market, I've heard that the shelf-life of an unused JD is pretty limited. Any thoughts on this?
Last edited by MachineLemon on Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:08 am

OP: Curious as to why you note that the first semester costs the average law student $30,000 when most don't receive their grades until after second semester tuition is paid & unrefundable.

Curious1
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:19 am

Your extremism is undermining your message. Yes, we get it. Don't go to Michigan State Law under any circumstances ever. Average salaries reported by law schools are misleading...etc. etc. etc. But that doesn't add up to "NEVER GO TO LAW SCHOOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER!!!!!!" Which is the message you seem to be pounding everyday.

Should I still not go to law school if I get a full ride at Columbia? What if I get into HYS and qualify for their need-based aid or loan repayment programs (if I don't get into biglaw)? What if I don't need to borrow money for tuition?

If you learn to moderate your message, more people would listen to you. Right now, you're coming across as a psycho. This is unfortunate because your general message is good. Just make sure to distinguish between the bad schools (like the one where you teach) and good schools that have decent employment prospects according to impartial sources like lawschooltransparency.

Personally, I'm of the "HYS or CC with LOTS of money or bust" mentality. I hope that reasonable position is acceptable to you.

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:23 am

Just make sure to distinguish between the bad schools (like the one where you teach) and good schools that have decent employment prospects

msuz
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby msuz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:26 am

So in OPs (or others) opinion, what % at a school would qualify it as being "worth it," as far as bar-required full-time employment is concerned?

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FantasticMrFox
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby FantasticMrFox » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:27 am

Mce252 wrote:
Curious1 wrote:Just make sure to distinguish between the bad schools (like the one where you teach) and good schools that have decent employment prospects


:lol:

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:28 am

I think some lower ranked schools are fine, as long as you're not going into debt to go there. For me, I wouldn't go to a school outside of T-14 and take on more than $10,000 in debt.

Curious1
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:30 am

Mce252 wrote:I think some lower ranked schools are fine, as long as you're not going into debt to go there. For me, I wouldn't go to a school outside of T-14 and take on more than $10,000 in debt.


This is a bit too lenient I think. For however crazy OP is, he's not WRONG. Employment prospects are terrifying. Why waste 3 years of your life (and potentially $10,000, according to your limit) on law school when you could be doing some other meaningful/interesting work?

msuz
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby msuz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:31 am

.
Last edited by msuz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:32 am

Curious1 wrote:
Mce252 wrote:I think some lower ranked schools are fine, as long as you're not going into debt to go there. For me, I wouldn't go to a school outside of T-14 and take on more than $10,000 in debt.


This is a bit too lenient I think. For however crazy OP is, he's not WRONG. Employment prospects are terrifying. Why waste 3 years of your life (and potentially $10,000, according to your limit) on law school when you could be doing some other meaningful/interesting work?



I don't disagree. But I do think it depends on how sure you are about practicing law. I've never questioned the pursuit. I think many that go have never been sure that law is what they want to do, much less what they're fit for.
Last edited by Mce252 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Curious1
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:33 am

msuz wrote:
Curious1 wrote:Your extremism is undermining your message. Yes, we get it. Don't go to Michigan State Law under any circumstances ever. Average salaries reported by law schools are misleading...etc. etc. etc. But that doesn't add up to "NEVER GO TO LAW SCHOOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER!!!!!!" Which is the message you seem to be pounding everyday.

Should I still not go to law school if I get a full ride at Columbia? What if I get into HYS and qualify for their need-based aid or loan repayment programs (if I don't get into biglaw)? What if I don't need to borrow money for tuition?

If you learn to moderate your message, more people would listen to you. Right now, you're coming across as a psycho. This is unfortunate because your general message is good. Just make sure to distinguish between the bad schools (like the one where you teach) and good schools that have decent employment prospects according to impartial sources like lawschooltransparency.

Personally, I'm of the "HYS or CC with LOTS of money or bust" mentality. I hope that reasonable position is acceptable to you.
For someone accusing OP of extremism, isn't your own post a little extremist?


Are you talking about what I referred to in the last paragraph of that? I don't think any other part of the post was extremist. If you were--it's certainly less extremist than the OP's position. I think there are 5 law schools worth going to while OP says there are none.

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:37 am

I think that's unreasonable. #5 on your list at full cost versus #20 at full ride can't have that different of employment statistics to justify saying its insane to choose #20. There can't be a formula that precise.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:38 am

The quickest solution would be to reform bankruptcy laws to pre-2005 standards which permitted discharging student loan debt. Tuitions would fall (at both law schools & colleges/universities) and many law schools would fold.

Paul Campos
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:40 am

(1) The point about law schools not reporting first semester grades until after second semester tuition is no longer refundable is a good one (my law school actually requires first semester grades be turned in by the first day of the second semester, which is obviously a much better policy).

(2) As to competition from currently unemployed lawyers for entry level jobs, this factor won't affect entry level jobs at the very top of the profession, but it is very much affecting everybody else. Lots of solid jobs that formerly went to new grads are now going to people with three and five and even ten years experience.

(3) I've never argued that nobody should be going to law school, which is an obvious straw man. A very large percentage of people going to law school now would be better off if they were doing something else. Obviously if you get a full ride to Yale you're almost certainly going to come out ahead. How about a full ride to Pretty Good School in flyover country? That's a lot trickier. How about 50% off full boat to Vanderbilt? Again, not an easy call. Etc.

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:41 am

I'm not connecting the dots. How does the discharge of a federally backed loan affect tuition rates?

Curious1
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:44 am

Paul Campos wrote:(3) I've never argued that nobody should be going to law school, which is an obvious straw man. A very large percentage of people going to law school now would be better off if they were doing something else. Obviously if you get a full ride to Yale you're almost certainly going to come out ahead. How about a full ride to Pretty Good School in flyover country? That's a lot trickier. How about 50% off full boat to Vanderbilt? Again, not an easy call. Etc.


You should endeavor to make the first point more clearly in your posts. I think it would be very sad if you succeeded in discouraging some YLS-bound student into taking a desk job instead.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:44 am

Somewhat ironically, Professor Paul Campos, the OP, teaches law at the University of Colorado Law School which recently fell about 10 spots in the US News rankings because it reported its placement in a more realistic fashion than others. (This was due, in part, because Colorado Law Dean's position was open. Thus, no one at the top had a motive to exaggerate employment data.)

msuz
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby msuz » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:46 am

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Last edited by msuz on Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mce252
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Mce252 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:46 am

Curious1 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:(3) I've never argued that nobody should be going to law school, which is an obvious straw man. A very large percentage of people going to law school now would be better off if they were doing something else. Obviously if you get a full ride to Yale you're almost certainly going to come out ahead. How about a full ride to Pretty Good School in flyover country? That's a lot trickier. How about 50% off full boat to Vanderbilt? Again, not an easy call. Etc.


You should endeavor to make the first point more clearly in your posts. I think it would be very sad if you succeeded in discouraging some YLS-bound student into taking a desk job instead.



If they were discouraged by an internet blog, they probably don't belong there anyway. And what job out of YLS isn't a desk job?

Curious1
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Curious1 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:47 am

msuz wrote:
Curious1 wrote:Are you talking about what I referred to in the last paragraph of that? I don't think any other part of the post was extremist. If you were--it's certainly less extremist than the OP's position. I think there are 5 law schools worth going to while OP says there are none.
I mean things like "HYS or CC with LOTS of money or bust." IMO that seems a little black-and-white, because for a good amount of people (at least I have been led to believe) that there are good choices for people that arent T14 schools, depending on if you have ties to a certain region and a large scholarship. For example, for some people would it really be THAT bad of an idea to go to MSU full-ride, if they have MI ties and want to stay in that area? Of course UM or any of the HYS/other schools are better options, but the way you put it sounded a little too black and white/extreme.


I understand. I meant that position was my own personal standard only. If you have ties in the south and want to take UVA at a full ride, more power to you and I think that's a very good decision.

Paul Campos
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Re: Thoughts from a law professor

Postby Paul Campos » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:51 am

Curious1 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:(3) I've never argued that nobody should be going to law school, which is an obvious straw man. A very large percentage of people going to law school now would be better off if they were doing something else. Obviously if you get a full ride to Yale you're almost certainly going to come out ahead. How about a full ride to Pretty Good School in flyover country? That's a lot trickier. How about 50% off full boat to Vanderbilt? Again, not an easy call. Etc.


You should endeavor to make the first point more clearly in your posts. I think it would be very sad if you succeeded in discouraging some YLS-bound student into taking a desk job instead.


The risk of that happening can be safely calculated as zero.




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