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Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:07 pm
by Tommy Boy
I mean specifically in terms of regional mobility. If you get a law degree from a "regional" school you can pretty much only get a job within that region. But if you get an engineering, accounting,medical,etc degree from that same school you could probably get a job outside of the region. Why is law different than most other fields in that regard ? If I graduate from the University of Minnesota why can't I work in LA or Austin ? Are USC and UT grads learning anything different than I am ? I've always been curious about this issue.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:19 pm
by Scotusnerd
Because making money and federal taxes don't change from state to state. Because the human body remains pretty much the same. Because building a building takes pretty much the same calculations no matter where you are.

While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)

Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:27 pm
by JamesChapman23
Because there are quite a few jobs in the useful fields of engineering, accounting and medical and a job apocalypse ongoing in law.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:30 pm
by collegebum1989
Compared to other professional degrees, it's much harder for lawyers to get jobs after law school because the concept of "law" is so broad, that legal education is focused on teaching the principles of the law as opposed to teaching the practice of being an attorney. Therefore, firms usually recruit based on schools, rankings and other factors.

If you consider other professional programs (ex. Medicine, dentistry, etc), training is incorporated into the education. Two out of four years of the program are spent doing clinical rotations where you are actually tested and graded on your practical skills. This is why students in healthcare fields can obtain jobs easily after school without substantial work experience. With MBA programs, graduates have prior work experience, hence contacts to ease the employment process.

The problem has to do with the prerequisites and the training for law school. While most post-undergraduate professional degree programs have substantial prerequisites which restrict applicants from entering the field, law school has virtually no prerequisites. This means that more people get the chance to apply, which makes the overall value of the degree less meaningful, and the location of attendance and class rank more important for recruiting and employment.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:38 pm
by Icculus
Scotusnerd wrote:Because making money and federal taxes don't change from state to state. Because the human body remains pretty much the same. Because building a building takes pretty much the same calculations no matter where you are.

While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)

Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.


Spoken like a true 0L. Law school does not teach you state law, and this has nothing to do with why a law degree isn't as portable as other degrees.

First

collegebum1989 wrote:concept of "law" is so broad, that legal education is focused on teaching the principles of the law as opposed to teaching the practice of being an attorney.


This means firms invest a ton of money into new associates when training them, and firms are weary about hiring someone from outside the region for fear they will up and leave and it will be a wasted investment.

Second:

collegebum1989 wrote:firms usually recruit based on schools, rankings and other factors.


Most firms hire from schools they know, this means outside the T14 you are best suited going to a law school in the area you want to practice in.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:39 pm
by thesealocust
Icculus wrote:Most firms hire from schools they know, this means outside the T14 you are best suited going to a law school in the area you want to practice in.


Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

Scotusnerd wrote:While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)


This comment is bad and you should feel bad.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:42 pm
by SuperCerealBrah
Icculus wrote:
Scotusnerd wrote:Because making money and federal taxes don't change from state to state. Because the human body remains pretty much the same. Because building a building takes pretty much the same calculations no matter where you are.

While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)

Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.


Spoken like a true 0L. Law school does not teach you state law, and this has nothing to do with why a law degree isn't as portable as other degrees.

First

collegebum1989 wrote:concept of "law" is so broad, that legal education is focused on teaching the principles of the law as opposed to teaching the practice of being an attorney.


This means firms invest a ton of money into new associates when training them, and firms are weary about hiring someone from outside the region for fear they will up and leave and it will be a wasted investment.

Second:

collegebum1989 wrote:firms usually recruit based on schools, rankings and other factors.


Most firms hire from schools they know, this means outside the T14 you are best suited going to a law school in the area you want to practice in.



Oh rly? Mine does.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:45 pm
by Icculus
SuperCerealBrah wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Scotusnerd wrote:Because making money and federal taxes don't change from state to state. Because the human body remains pretty much the same. Because building a building takes pretty much the same calculations no matter where you are.

While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)

Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.


Spoken like a true 0L. Law school does not teach you state law, and this has nothing to do with why a law degree isn't as portable as other degrees.

First

collegebum1989 wrote:concept of "law" is so broad, that legal education is focused on teaching the principles of the law as opposed to teaching the practice of being an attorney.


This means firms invest a ton of money into new associates when training them, and firms are weary about hiring someone from outside the region for fear they will up and leave and it will be a wasted investment.

Second:

collegebum1989 wrote:firms usually recruit based on schools, rankings and other factors.


Most firms hire from schools they know, this means outside the T14 you are best suited going to a law school in the area you want to practice in.



Oh rly? Mine does.


Really? I think the only class we touched on state law was LRW, and that was just for one memo about a tort. Other than that we haven't done any state specific law.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:45 pm
by TTTehehe
SuperCerealBrah wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Scotusnerd wrote:Because making money and federal taxes don't change from state to state. Because the human body remains pretty much the same. Because building a building takes pretty much the same calculations no matter where you are.

While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)

Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.


Spoken like a true 0L. Law school does not teach you state law, and this has nothing to do with why a law degree isn't as portable as other degrees.

First

collegebum1989 wrote:concept of "law" is so broad, that legal education is focused on teaching the principles of the law as opposed to teaching the practice of being an attorney.


This means firms invest a ton of money into new associates when training them, and firms are weary about hiring someone from outside the region for fear they will up and leave and it will be a wasted investment.

Second:

collegebum1989 wrote:firms usually recruit based on schools, rankings and other factors.


Most firms hire from schools they know, this means outside the T14 you are best suited going to a law school in the area you want to practice in.



Oh rly? Mine does.


Tulane? Just curious.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:48 pm
by SuperCerealBrah
TTTehehe wrote:
SuperCerealBrah wrote:
Icculus wrote:
Scotusnerd wrote:Because making money and federal taxes don't change from state to state. Because the human body remains pretty much the same. Because building a building takes pretty much the same calculations no matter where you are.

While the method for learning the law is the same, the content is very different. The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)

Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.


Spoken like a true 0L. Law school does not teach you state law, and this has nothing to do with why a law degree isn't as portable as other degrees.

First

collegebum1989 wrote:concept of "law" is so broad, that legal education is focused on teaching the principles of the law as opposed to teaching the practice of being an attorney.


This means firms invest a ton of money into new associates when training them, and firms are weary about hiring someone from outside the region for fear they will up and leave and it will be a wasted investment.

Second:

collegebum1989 wrote:firms usually recruit based on schools, rankings and other factors.


Most firms hire from schools they know, this means outside the T14 you are best suited going to a law school in the area you want to practice in.



Oh rly? Mine does.


Tulane? Just curious.



Yea, I won't disclose anything specifically. It just feels weird to do so on this site. However, I will say the state I am in is unique in this probably. That should tell you right there.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:15 pm
by nigelfrost
SuperCerealBrah wrote:Yea, I won't disclose anything specifically. It just feels weird to do so on this site. However, I will say the state I am in is unique in this probably. That should tell you right there.


And are you enjoying learning about Louisiana's f#@*ed-up attempt to create French-American civil law?

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:07 am
by Scotusnerd
Did I say that the law school taught you state law? I did not. I just said that the law was different from state to state, and you can take any bar exam.

If y'all wanna be internet badasses, feel free. But ya dun goofed on the reading comprehension part of things.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:38 am
by Aberzombie1892
nigelfrost wrote:
SuperCerealBrah wrote:Yea, I won't disclose anything specifically. It just feels weird to do so on this site. However, I will say the state I am in is unique in this probably. That should tell you right there.


And are you enjoying learning about Louisiana's f#@*ed-up attempt to create French-American civil law?


I didn't understand his comment. Was he saying yes he went to Tulane or yeah he doesn't feel comfortable disclosing? Either way, Tulane doesn't make you learn state law. LSU and Southern do make you learn it, however.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:00 am
by Tushbush
This a joke. I've had many lawyers tell me that after 8-10 years of experience your schools prestige and your class rank mean practically nothing. Regardless of whether your school is considered "regional" or not.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:13 am
by RodneyBoonfield
Tushbush wrote:This a joke. I've had many lawyers tell me that after 8-10 years of experience your schools prestige and your class rank mean practically nothing. Regardless of whether your school is considered "regional" or not.


Facepalm

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:12 pm
by SuperCerealBrah
Tushbush wrote:This a joke. I've had many lawyers tell me that after 8-10 years of experience your schools prestige and your class rank mean practically nothing. Regardless of whether your school is considered "regional" or not.



Yes, but you need the bolded. And thats hard to get when entry level hiring is largely based on class rank/school prestige.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:14 pm
by SuperCerealBrah
Aberzombie1892 wrote:
nigelfrost wrote:
SuperCerealBrah wrote:Yea, I won't disclose anything specifically. It just feels weird to do so on this site. However, I will say the state I am in is unique in this probably. That should tell you right there.


And are you enjoying learning about Louisiana's f#@*ed-up attempt to create French-American civil law?


I didn't understand his comment. Was he saying yes he went to Tulane or yeah he doesn't feel comfortable disclosing? Either way, Tulane doesn't make you learn state law. LSU and Southern do make you learn it, however.



I am in Louisiana and it is not southern. That leaves LSU, Tulane, and Loyola. Ill leave it at that. I like to keep it at least somewhat general even though I am probably being overly paranoid lol

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:17 pm
by JamMasterJ
Louisiana doesn't count

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:31 pm
by Icculus
Scotusnerd wrote:Did I say that the law school taught you state law? I did not. I just said that the law was different from state to state, and you can take any bar exam.


Okay, then how does this:

Scotusnerd wrote:The laws of Minnesota and California aren't anywhere close, and you can get into serious trouble if you confuse one for the other (malpractice suit, anyone?)


answer the OP's original question? It doesn't even address why law schools are regional unless the reader makes the assumption you are referring to what is taught in law school. So either you originally were saying that law schools teach state law and realized you were incorrect and are now backtracking, or you didn't understand the OP's question and some how thought state law and the bar exam were relevant.

So if I "goofed on the RC" explain to me how any of what you said is relevant?

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:48 pm
by Scotusnerd
Also, you can absolutely work in another place from where you went to school, if you pass that state's bar. You will have to work at getting a job since you have zero contacts, but people do it, successfully.

Law is a lot about who you know, not just what you know.


I'm not going to engage in a pissing contest. There's your answer if you need it.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:49 pm
by JohnV
Has little to do with the content you are taught and everything to do with how the legal market operates. Employers hire people from schools they are familiar with, people who they have access to for OCI's, people who have developed a professional network within their region due to the school they went to. Ofcourse you 'can' practice anywhere from any school, it's just the level of difficulty getting a job outside of your region (For the vast majority of schools) is difficult because you lack the infrastructure and normal job-seeking routes that other grads will have worked on for the past 3 years.

Re: Why are law degrees different than most other degrees ?

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:53 pm
by JohnV
Tushbush wrote:This a joke. I've had many lawyers tell me that after 8-10 years of experience your schools prestige and your class rank mean practically nothing. Regardless of whether your school is considered "regional" or not.


Have fun at Cooley.