Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:11 pm

BruceWayne wrote:1. HYS do need based aid only--i.e you won't end up in 200K in debt from HYS unless you're the type of person who can afford that anyway. Big difference.


Any HYS students care to comment on this? With full loans leading to roughly 270K (LinkRemoved) in debt when repayment starts I'm wondering whether this assertion that even 200K debt just isn't happening without substantial family wealth is accurate.

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kwais
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby kwais » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:17 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Lincoln wrote:
bk1 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:The problem is that the current reality is that only HYS and CCNPenn (for NYC jobs) provide a "fairly good chance". And the thing about the CCNPenn option is that the lot of debt neutralizes the outcome for those who attain the NYC firm jobs (and when considering the low job security at these firms in the current climate things get even bleaker).


Why does the debt neutralize the outcome for CCNP but not HYS? We also come full circle to disagreement about what is a "fairly good chance." And where do you get that job security in biglaw is low?


This. Why does, say, $200k in debt "neutralize" the value of a $160k job if you graduate from a T14 but does not neutralize the same if you graduate from HYS?


Two substantial reasons.

1. HYS do need based aid only--i.e you won't end up in 200K in debt from HYS unless you're the type of person who can afford that anyway. Big difference.

2. HYS give you a reasonable shot at a firm job in markets other than NYC--meaning that your salary for your COL will be much higher and your likelihood of being forced out of biglaw in 4 years is much lower.

And its common knowledge that job security in the big NYC firms is very low. You are generally forced out in a couple of years.


you need to stop saying this. There are people who do not qualify for substantial need based loans at HYS who are also not super wealthy. "Affording" 65k/yr requires substantial wealth.
Also, secondary markets are "reasonably" achievable from CCN. Not as much as HYS, but it is still there.
You are determined to believe that CCN is not somehow a decent set of options. There is risk for sure, but you don't attend one of these schools and I get the feeling you have no idea what the job situation is like.
You need to retire.You are a fucking terrible poster.

senorhosh
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby senorhosh » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:22 pm

Sorry i picked american u because it was one of the first on the drop down list on lst. Not trying to be selective about data.
Another question is what's the value of a jd from cls 3-5 years later? 10 years?

I mean you can start at 50-80k but whats the likelihood of"moving up"?
On that note how often do grads give up on offers bc the salary is too low? One of the scam blogs complained about a 80k job and turned it down. If it were possible to move up, i wouldn't minda salary like that (compared to unemployment )
Basically, is it"easy" to get a ~75k job and move up to 6 figure?


Also side question: considering your grades aren't horrible and you got unlucky at oci, why can't you mass mail every year until you get a biglaw job? wouldn't you be more marketable each year as you obtain work experience (even if it's fellowships) that 2Ls don't have?

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:40 pm

senorhosh wrote:Also side question: considering your grades aren't horrible and you got unlucky at oci, why can't you mass mail every year until you get a biglaw job? wouldn't you be more marketable each year as you obtain work experience (even if it's fellowships) that 2Ls don't have?


No. Unless you get a prestigious clerkship or certain government agencies (more competitive than biglaw) any job you are going to get out of law school is going to be so divorced from what biglaw does that your experience will count for little, if anything. There's more than just salary that stratifies the entry-level legal market. Three years out, biglaw firms are looking for laterals from other biglaw firms, not people who haven't done their kind of work.

Biglaw entry-level hiring is also based on a certain level of desirability in the market. How much other prestigious employers want you is very important. If you missed the boat during 2L OCI, or got no-offered, you are persona non-grata. You missed the boat. Do not pass go, do not collect 160K.

senorhosh wrote:I mean you can start at 50-80k but whats the likelihood of"moving up"?
On that note how often do grads give up on offers bc the salary is too low? One of the scam blogs complained about a 80k job and turned it down. If it were possible to move up, i wouldn't minda salary like that (compared to unemployment )


It depends on the job, of course. However, in most legal jobs there is not an opportunity to substantially move up the pay scale unless you get your own clients, which isn't going to happen in any meaningful way (I mean you get clients who actually pay and pay well) until 7-10 years down the line (for example in biglaw many seniors have generated small client matters for the firm).

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:45 pm

Kwais, is BW really that bad? I know he may overemphasize certain things, but I would rather a student being too conservative when choosing law schools than the other way around.

To the other poster, it is not "easy" to get an ~$80K a year job unless you have particularly competitive credentials and you are targeting a very large legal market (large CA cities, Chicago, DC, and of course, New York). As for the scamblogger, only T14ish graduates would even consider balking at ~$80K.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:59 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:1. HYS do need based aid only--i.e you won't end up in 200K in debt from HYS unless you're the type of person who can afford that anyway. Big difference.


Any HYS students care to comment on this? With full loans leading to roughly 270K (LinkRemoved) in debt when repayment starts I'm wondering whether this assertion that even 200K debt just isn't happening without substantial family wealth is accurate.


BW is wrong... Even if you are dirt poor you are graduating with something like 135-145k in debt at all of HYS. 200K can easily happen just from owning a middle class home and having a low six figure household income. On the plus side, the school's LRAP equivalent will cover undergrad debt and at least some non-legal jobs (in the case of H and S).

The great thing about HYS (that doesn't show up on things like LST) is that you really do have access to some of those fantasy jobs that 0Ls dream of. I know of people w/ offers to do human rights/poverty law type work in foreign countries, fellowships (that they applied to as a first option), and other random stuff. A shocking number of people ignore OCI and go straight for gov't/PI work.

While a few handfuls of people completely strikeout at HYS, often it has to do with factors other than grades.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby cahwc12 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:34 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:You can't marginalize the difference between COL in Manhattan and COL in St. Louis.

And someone who has the choice between Columbia and WUSTL would get undoubtedly get a full ride to WUSTL, while presumably paying sticker to CLS.

So you're looking at around $45k debt to attend WUSTL as compared to $280k debt to attend Columbia. Certainly CLS has much better placement, but this is not an automatic decision to make.


Stick with me here. All I said was that for someone who really only wants BigLaw WUSTL isn't much of an option at all. Going to WUSTL for BigLaw is essentially the same as going to WUSTL with the intention to transfer. It's not CLS v. WUSTL; it's whether law school at all makes any sense given those two choices.

And one of the people I know who got into only CLS and WUSTL did not get a full ride to WUSTL. But even if he had gotten a full ride and only left with 45K in debt, that's still very different from the "regional school always gives you zero debt" assumption made earlier.

EDIT: By the way, graduating with sticker debt from CLS is also SPS. I can certainly understand someone deciding not to attend any school when they'll be graduating with 280K in debt. But for the 3.3 splitter crowd who want large firm corporate law it's between that and shooting for a different career.


Thanks, didn't mean to misrepresent your argument. This does make sense and I agree.

I guess the difference between your friend and me is that my GPA is 3.4. That tenth of a point represents the difference between being under 25% and over it at WUSTL, and at least on LSN it does seem to make a difference in the full rides offered (a couple).

If my retake score ends up being as high as I think/hope it will be, this scenario is going to be very real for me in the coming months. If I were straight out of undergrad I would take CLS no question, but now that I've grown up some and experienced what real debt is like, I'm just not sure I could deal with $280k debt unless it was for a school like Stanford, which is about as likely to admit me with a 3.4 as to admit me with a 2.0.

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JCougar
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby JCougar » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:34 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote: A full ride can still mean 60K in debt at graduation.


Holy crap. I'm only taking out $30K in COL loans. Of course, I live in St. Louis, where it's possible to live for $10K if you can find paying summer work to get you though June, July, and August.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby JCougar » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:57 pm

BruceWayne wrote:Exactly. One thing that just isn't stressed enough on here is that once you strike out on biglaw, the "mystique" and prestige benefits of a top 14 law degree almost completely dissipate. Of course you are not seen as being exactly the same as a Cooley or Florida Coastal grad. But that doesn't translate to having the type of hiring advantage that exists for an above median top 14 student vs. an average regional grad.

One more thing to point out in response to the top 14 degree name "cushioning" you even if you miss biglaw. Outside of the extremes like HYS or at the other end of the spectrum a true tier 3 school your grades and whether you were on law review seem to matter a lot more than the school name in terms of "cushioning" you if you miss a firm. Many many legal employers rather have a top 10 or 20 percent UNC student with law review than a below median top 14 one--period. People on here heavily exaggerate the importance of school name for below median students. Once you're below median you're a pariah to employers that care about grades (note what I said there--for employers that care about grades. There are a significant number of legal employers that don't--but those aren't the ones that people attending a top 14 generally expect to be working for).


This is such a good post. Once you strike out at OCI, even from a T14, T25, whatever -- your chances of having a job that offers benefits in any way proportional to your debt is very slim. You'll get "the stink," which means people look at you and decide that something must be seriously wrong with you if you were smart enough to get into a T14, but terrible enough to be in a desperate position despite that.

It's the same "stink" you get from being pushed out of Biglaw early. Biglaw exit options are not always good, and if you only make it 2-3 years, you will still be debt-Pwned.

As I mentioned in another thread, I just spent $150 to pay an ex-Biglaw associate to go down to municipal court and wade through all the crack addicts and drug users from North and East St. Louis to beg the city judge to drop my speeding ticket to a non-moving violation. But I might be in the same position in a year or two.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby bhan87 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:14 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Kwais, is BW really that bad? I know he may overemphasize certain things, but I would rather a student being too conservative when choosing law schools than the other way around.

To the other poster, it is not "easy" to get an ~$80K a year job unless you have particularly competitive credentials and you are targeting a very large legal market (large CA cities, Chicago, DC, and of course, New York). As for the scamblogger, only T14ish graduates would even consider balking at ~$80K.


Truly bad? Maybe not, but he really does sound like he has a chip on his shoulder... From other threads I noticed:

BruceWayne wrote:It's pathetic how many people on here, like you, care more about trying to convince someone of the strength of the "Top 6" and swing their dick about how awesome US News rankings are over a legitimate question that someone might want a truthful answer to. A person could EASILY miss out on the job they want by attending Columbia over Harvard in this economy. But it's more important to a lot of people that they tout how awesome their school is. HTH. What's worse is that there are loads of 1Ls and Columbia admits doing it at that. Hopefully someone with a 3.2 at Columbia interviewing at DC firms can come chat with you about how awesome being at a top 6 is after they are shut out of DC firm jobs.


BruceWayne wrote:First I had no idea there were so many Columbia grads on here and that they were so vehement about them being "basically the same as Harvard". Normally I'm not a fan of that form of argument but it's just a bit too coincidental that EVERYONE arguing that point goes to Columbia.

Second, that whole "80 & of Columbia got a firm offer" thing is really only something that's been repeated by Columbia/NYU students online. It doesn't match up with the nlj numbers (or anything else) and its nothing more than internet hearsay.

Third, one argument technique that I notice a very large percentage of TLS Columbia posters like to use when it comes to employment prospects in general--but particularly in regard to how they compare to HYS (well either a technique or they can't read very well but I'll assume it's the former since they got into CLS) is that when people ask them about how CLS compares to other schools in placement they ignore any and everything people ask about non-NYC biglaw jobs. It's very weird. Even when people specifically say that they want to know about how job prospects compare between CLS and another school they never respond with anything other than how many people get big NYC firm jobs. This last guy is a prime example. Even though several people specifically said that Columbia is no different than the rest of the top 14 for NON-NYC BIGLAW jobs he STILL is talking about how NYC firms are hiring far more at Columbia than UVA. The next thing you know he'll be telling us how remarkable it is that more California firms are hiring from Boalt than Georgetown.


Bottom line for any job that ISN"T AT A NYC BIGLAW FIRM, YES WE KNOW THAT COLUMBIA PUTS A LOT OF PEOPLE INTO FIRMS IN THE CITY WHERE IT IS LOCATED ,Columbia is NOT close to Harvard. Harvard blows Columbia out of the water for DC firm jobs, California firms jobs, Chicago firm jobs, Texas firm jobs, and any other non NYC market. YES COLUMBIA IS PRETTY CLOSE FOR NYC NO ONE IS SAYING THAT IT ISN'T. But Harvard is also far better for the DOJ and any federal government work. Harvard is also in another league for federal clerkship jobs. But again everyone is WELL aware that Columbia puts a lot of people into firms in its home market---you don't have to keep reminding us of that lol.

And as an aside, when people ask for an honest answer about the employment prospect differences between the 2 schools, telling them that trying to get a job that isn't in NYC is "stupid" or that "secondary market firms don't hire" is not a helpful (or mature) response.


BruceWayne wrote:
kwais wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
kaiser wrote:Even so, I'd rather graduate with little debt, and take my chances on the strength CLS's reach outside of NYC, whatever it may be. Sure, its not H-level reach, but relative to almost anything else, it is pretty damn good. So yeah, I'd take big $$ at CLS over sticker at H pretty much anytime, unless I was so deadset on the prestige of the H name.


One of the most ironic things about this whole thread is that this scenario it isn't particularly relevent. Harvard does nothing but need-based aid. So if you are truly in financial position where you need scholarship money there's no way in hell you're paying sticker. The only people who face Hamilton vs. Harvard full price are well off people who could pay sticker for Harvard without a problem and who have sky high numbers. I.e wealthy WASPS.


and this is worst one yet. Need scholarship? Is that how you think it works? Kids with 180s get Hamiltons who also have lots of cash in the bank. They would get NOTHING at Harvard. Do you seriously thing CCN gives out their big schollys to needy kids?


You have REALLY bad reading comprehension. What is wrong with you? THAT"S EXACTLY WHAT I'M SAYING. Hamiltons are based on NUMBERS ONLY. Whereas Harvard's aid is based on need. In other words, the only way an individual would have a Hamilton but face sticker at Harvard is if they have HIGH NUMBERS AND THEY ALSO HAVE A LOT OF MONEY I.E THEY DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF FINANCIAL NEED. I specifically mentioned that CCN DON'T DO NEED BASED AID and that's why this situation isn't likely to arise for a person for whom it would really matter. It's like you're so obsessed with telling everyone how Columbia is so great and almost the same as Harvard that you aren't even attempting to make coherent statements anymore. I guess that does say a lot about the Columbia experience but you need to calm down.


It really does seem like he has a vendetta against CCN :roll: What's weird is he doesn't even go to HYS... (or CCN...)

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby bhan87 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:17 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:1. HYS do need based aid only--i.e you won't end up in 200K in debt from HYS unless you're the type of person who can afford that anyway. Big difference.


Any HYS students care to comment on this? With full loans leading to roughly 270K (LinkRemoved) in debt when repayment starts I'm wondering whether this assertion that even 200K debt just isn't happening without substantial family wealth is accurate.


BW is wrong... Even if you are dirt poor you are graduating with something like 135-145k in debt at all of HYS. 200K can easily happen just from owning a middle class home and having a low six figure household income. On the plus side, the school's LRAP equivalent will cover undergrad debt and at least some non-legal jobs (in the case of H and S).

The great thing about HYS (that doesn't show up on things like LST) is that you really do have access to some of those fantasy jobs that 0Ls dream of. I know of people w/ offers to do human rights/poverty law type work in foreign countries, fellowships (that they applied to as a first option), and other random stuff. A shocking number of people ignore OCI and go straight for gov't/PI work.

While a few handfuls of people completely strikeout at HYS, often it has to do with factors other than grades.


About time an HYS student chimed in to correct BW's wild theory that need-based aid at HYS means everyone can finance HYS education without substantial loans.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby idk » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:06 pm

Cambridge and Palo Alto are EXPENSIVE PLACES TO LIVE. Even with max need-based aid at Harvard (around 35K/year) and minimum living costs, you're still looking at roughly 40K/year of debt. If you think you can get a firm job in the summer to help lower your debt, think again. Instead, HLS lowers your need-based aid package accordingly. Stanford is similar on both fronts, but more generous (max aid is slightly over 40K/year).

Unless you're in your late twenties or older, your imputed "parental contribution" can crush your chances of need-based aid. Even if you are poor and your parents are middle class, you may find yourself with $0 in need-based aid from HS. I'm not sure if Harvard posts their aid calculation formula online, but you can find Stanford's with a simple google search and estimate the amount of aid you would actually receive. Unless you are 29 or older, HS impute a "parental contribution" (which varies based on how old you are) when figuring out your aid.

Stanford's loan repayment program is extremely generous for anyone doing p.i. legal work. Harvard's program is not as generous, but covers a wider range of employment (anything in the public sector). Not sure how much of a pain it would be to live off of Harvard's "Low Income Protection Plan" (LIPP), but it does provide a fallback option. Even so, people financing their own education at SH should think long and hard about whether the debt is worth it.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:29 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:Honestly, I don't even think HYS at sticker is worth it (and I say this as an HYS student). Im looking at around $150-160k debt at graduation and, while it will likely be gone in 5 years, it really makes you feel like you don't start your life until you are 30.


This is kind of a dumb argument, unless you think the vast, vast majority of people who will never make more than the $75k you will even after loan payments and taxes never start their lives.

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rayiner
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:01 pm

The calculus you need to make considering HYS or CCNP or whatever the biglaw "most likely outcome" is should be whether it will increase your earning power 5+ years down the line. It's going to take you at least 5 years to get back to zero, probably more like 7-10 if you factor in the possibility of getting laid off or burned out. So, what kind of careers can you expect to have 5, 10 years out of college vs. what are the biglaw exit options?


This is really the heart of the question, and I think people vastly understate post big law options and vastly overstate non law options. The average BA/BS holder makes $75k/year mid-career. That's skewed up by engineers, who make $100k mid-career. The average graduate of Harvard makes $115k mid-career, and it's probably closer to $100k if you take out all the science/engineering majors or the dudes who go into finance, consulting, law, or medicine That's the benchmark you're looking at. If you can pay off your debt with big law, and make at least $75k-$100k mid-career, you're coming out ahead with the JD.

And I think the average post-big law lawyer is going to do that. The median annual wage of the 728,000 lawyers is $113k. The legal field is growing slowly, at about 1% per year, but unless they invent life-extending technology attrition can't drop below 2% indefinitely. So you're looking at 20-25k long-term jobs opening up in the field every year. Not great compared to the 45k JD's graduating each year, but pretty good compared to the 5k people entering big law.

And people are so worried about the downside of being Latham-ed, but nobody accounts for the potential upside of making partner. Which makes no sense, because even if you have a 2009-like collapse every decade, your odds of making partner at an Am Law 200 firm are substantially higher than your odds of being Latham-ed before you have any exit options.

I'm a big believer in numbers. I think people should look at the numbers to make their decisions. And I think the numbers show an obvious truth--going to law school is statistically not worth it because there are far more jobs than people. It doesn't get any more clearer than 45k JD's and 20-25k jobs. But the numbers also show other obvious truths--once you get a job as a lawyer, especially as a lawyer at a large law firm, you're probably going to be much better off than you were with just your BA. It's just the consequence of all of the barriers to entry in the legal profession.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby idk » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:21 pm

rayiner wrote:I'm a big believer in numbers. I think people should look at the numbers to make their decisions. And I think the numbers show an obvious truth--going to law school is statistically not worth it because there are far more jobs than people. It doesn't get any more clearer than 45k JD's and 20-25k jobs. But the numbers also show other obvious truths--once you get a job as a lawyer, especially as a lawyer at a large law firm, you're probably going to be much better off than you were with just your BA. It's just the consequence of all of the barriers to entry in the legal profession.


this

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hung jury
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby hung jury » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:49 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:1. HYS do need based aid only--i.e you won't end up in 200K in debt from HYS unless you're the type of person who can afford that anyway. Big difference.


Any HYS students care to comment on this? With full loans leading to roughly 270K (LinkRemoved) in debt when repayment starts I'm wondering whether this assertion that even 200K debt just isn't happening without substantial family wealth is accurate.


It varies from school to school and year to year, but minimum contribution at Stanford this year was 37k. Last year it was a little more generous (33k minimum?). These figures assume you're hitting the maximum COL expenses and I've been able to live below that figure by a little. So subtract any dollar you can save below the COA figures.

Your contribution then goes up if your family/you have wealth or you make over 6k in a summer (you keep 43% of all dollars over 6k). But if you and your family are a median US household you're pretty close to the minimum contribution mark plus the tax on summer earnings. (Of course, the majority of HYS students don't come from median US households.)

COL is high in Palo Alto but (a) that's built into the 37/33k figure above and (b) if you're taking out 200k in loans then you have bank somewhere (parents, prior six-figure employment, a HOUSE). I guess there are a few cases where you'll get an unfair package because of the way the rules work (estranged parents who've written you out of their will?), but those are the exception and not the rule.

So if you're "dirt poor"--a median US household!--I think it's easy to end up with less debt than 135k-140 at Stanford, especially if you do firm work 2L summer or cut costs in other ways (e.g., TA/RA during the year).

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby LeBronBBall » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:51 pm

rayiner wrote:
The calculus you need to make considering HYS or CCNP or whatever the biglaw "most likely outcome" is should be whether it will increase your earning power 5+ years down the line. It's going to take you at least 5 years to get back to zero, probably more like 7-10 if you factor in the possibility of getting laid off or burned out. So, what kind of careers can you expect to have 5, 10 years out of college vs. what are the biglaw exit options?


This is really the heart of the question, and I think people vastly understate post big law options and vastly overstate non law options. The average BA/BS holder makes $75k/year mid-career. That's skewed up by engineers, who make $100k mid-career. The average graduate of Harvard makes $115k mid-career, and it's probably closer to $100k if you take out all the science/engineering majors or the dudes who go into finance, consulting, law, or medicine That's the benchmark you're looking at. If you can pay off your debt with big law, and make at least $75k-$100k mid-career, you're coming out ahead with the JD.

And I think the average post-big law lawyer is going to do that. The median annual wage of the 728,000 lawyers is $113k. The legal field is growing slowly, at about 1% per year, but unless they invent life-extending technology attrition can't drop below 2% indefinitely. So you're looking at 20-25k long-term jobs opening up in the field every year. Not great compared to the 45k JD's graduating each year, but pretty good compared to the 5k people entering big law.

And people are so worried about the downside of being Latham-ed, but nobody accounts for the potential upside of making partner. Which makes no sense, because even if you have a 2009-like collapse every decade, your odds of making partner at an Am Law 200 firm are substantially higher than your odds of being Latham-ed before you have any exit options.

I'm a big believer in numbers. I think people should look at the numbers to make their decisions. And I think the numbers show an obvious truth--going to law school is statistically not worth it because there are far more jobs than people. It doesn't get any more clearer than 45k JD's and 20-25k jobs. But the numbers also show other obvious truths--once you get a job as a lawyer, especially as a lawyer at a large law firm, you're probably going to be much better off than you were with just your BA. It's just the consequence of all of the barriers to entry in the legal profession.


For what it is worth, I know a bunch of people from my college making 150-200k per year, as 23-24 yr olds. Granted, these kids all had top GPA from a top UG. The most baller people I know majored in something quantitative at a top college, had top GPA, and landed jobs in quant-heavy high finance roles. One guy I know majored in CS at my college, had 3.9 GPA, and took a job at a top hedge fund as a quant trader. Last time I talked to him, he was making 360k a year as a 23 year old. (and he was complaining that some other traders he knew at other top firms were making more than him) Another guy I know - he was a math major and now works as an actuary at an insurance firm. His starting pay - 150k.

If you have strong quant skills and excel at a top college in a quantitative discipline, you can have your pick of pretty nice jobs. At the end of the day, the most fundamental equation in the labor market is the supply vs demand. As of now, there is a high demand for workers with strong quant skills, and those with these skills are compensated accordingly. Even if the vast majority of college grads don't have access to these baller finance jobs, I would imagine breaking 80-90k mid-career without any grad school degree, just with your BA/BS, is more than possible if you play your cards right. (majoring in something marketable in college, networking, building good reputation and marketable skill sets at your jobs, etc)

The biggest problem with law, I think, is that there is a vast-oversupply of lawyers. Even if you are lucky to break into biglaw, you will always have limited career security. I decided to not pursue law school last year after reading through many threads on this site, and after talking to an ex-biglaw attorney. He urged me not to go to law school due to vast over-supply of lawyers in the market. After biglaw stint, he worked at a dozen or so mid-sized firms over 20 years, each of which he described as 'dead ends'. He mentioned that each week, about 100 lawyers would apply for that one position at his "15-men law firm", and hence, his job was always in jeopardy. Not to mention, he complained greatly about his work/life balance. His view was that his employers (partners at these mid sized law firms) received so many applications from lawyers with top credentials so that they took advantage of the situation and mistreated their employees. (lack of upward mobility, strenuous working conditions, lack of job security, mediocre pay compared to the level of experience, etc) Now, after biglaw stint if you are lucky enough to exit into a top company as an in-house counsel, your career security and working conditions may be much better than what this attorney described to me. However, I heard those in-house lawyer jobs are very competitive to get.

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PDaddy
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby PDaddy » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:11 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:Honestly, I don't even think HYS at sticker is worth it (and I say this as an HYS student). Im looking at around $150-160k debt at graduation and, while it will likely be gone in 5 years, it really makes you feel like you don't start your life until you are 30.


Uh...30 feels "old" until you reach 30. Once you do, you realize that you are virtually still a kid who is just beginning to figure things out. Knowing what I now know, I would sacrifice my right arm to go to HYS law school at 22-25 with the prospect of "starting my life" at between 27 and 30. Once it's all done, you have a HYS law degree that will continue to open doors for you for the rest of your life, deservedly or not. You cannot put a price on that.

That having been said, law school is becoming a little like b-school in terms of diminishing the value of law degrees from lower-ranked schools, but degrees from lower-ranked law schools are still worth something (depending on personal goals), whereas MBA's from b-schools outside of the top 10 or 15 are virtually worthless. I don't mean that literally, but they tend to provide opportunities one can get without an MBA (you can work your way up to senior accounts manager at Costco quite easily), whereas a Stanford MBA can have you starting at $300K+ bonuses at Warner Bros. or Microsoft right out of school.

If you want to be a real baller (a Wall Street or Hollywood power player), the go-to b-schools are HSPMNCCBDY (plus a few others), and if you don't go to one of them you're almost surely wasting your time - unless you just want an MBA degree to hang on your wall.

Getting a leg up as an attorney doesn't necessarily dictate that you attend a T14; it's just more advantageous to do so. The top-10% at lower law schools can still be ballers. The top 10% at lower ranked b-schools get to be "project managers" for the ballers; they tend to have a glass ceiling because they lack the long-standing social connections that Wharton and Harvard MBA's get to establish. Politics take over. Why get an MBA to reach a level that a savvy B.A. can reach with hard, steady work?
Last edited by PDaddy on Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:40 pm

LeBronBBall wrote:For what it is worth, I know a bunch of people from my college making 150-200k per year, as 23-24 yr olds. Granted, these kids all had top GPA from a top UG. The most baller people I know majored in something quantitative at a top college, had top GPA, and landed jobs in quant-heavy high finance roles.


You have to define "top" pretty narrowly for this to be true. Finance hiring is very tight now and for the foreseeable future. To get into a BB you basically need 3.8+ at HYPS (or connections). My brother graduated from HYPS this year, and the vast majority of his friends have nothing like the opportunities you mentioned open to them. Indeed, a lot of the 3.8+ people who would have gotten finance, etc, in better years had to settle for consulting, which has a nice starting salary but nothing like the headroom in finance.

LeBronBB wrote:If you have strong quant skills and excel at a top college in a quantitative discipline, you can have your pick of pretty nice jobs. At the end of the day, the most fundamental equation in the labor market is the supply vs demand. As of now, there is a high demand for workers with strong quant skills, and those with these skills are compensated accordingly.


I went to a top 10 engineering school, but one that's not a target for finance recruiting. The people who excelled in quantitative majors at my school didn't go to Wall Street making $150k+ in their 20's. A good job was going to work for Lockheed-Martin for $60k starting, or maybe Accenture for $70k starting. A best went to PhD programs and came out 6 years later to get a job that paid $90k-100k. And these were great jobs! Everyone else we knew outside of STEM was making $35k or so working HR or marketing. This was before the recession, so people were at least all employed.

LeBronBB wrote:Even if the vast majority of college grads don't have access to these baller finance jobs, I would imagine breaking 80-90k mid-career without any grad school degree, just with your BA/BS, is more than possible if you play your cards right. (majoring in something marketable in college, networking, building good reputation and marketable skill sets at your jobs, etc)


Sure, it's more than possible, but if you've got good networking skills and a solid head for business, it's also "more than possible" to get very good jobs in law that pay a lot more than $80-90k mid-career. Senior counsel positions in the City of Chicago law department pay $100-$120k. If you've got the people skills to work your way up into a middle-management $90k job with just your BA/BS, you've got the people skills to work your way up a municipal bureaucracy.

Note bene: "baller" never, ever, applies to math nerds. "Baller" only applies to actual ballers--people who get paid big money to play a game, because of their physical prowess and athleticism. The physical aspect is central to the definition of "baller."

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby PDaddy » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:49 pm

rayiner wrote:
Note bene: "baller" never, ever, applies to math nerds UNLESS THEY MAKE A LOT OF $$$$$$. "Baller" only applies to actual ballers--people who get paid big money to play a game, because of their physical prowess and athleticism. The physical aspect is central to the definition of "baller."


The first sentence above is 100% correct, but you are wrong in asserting physical prowess as the only determinant. The word "baller" is a metaphor for one who plays a game well - regardless of the type of game. Although we often refer to physical games when we think of "games", the reference is metaphorically translated and universally applied to prowess demonstrated in any game. That means someone who plays the stock market well is considered to be a baller. A rich, accomplished doctor can be called a baller.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:51 pm

PDaddy wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Note bene: "baller" never, ever, applies to math nerds UNLESS THEY MAKE A LOT OF $$$$$$. "Baller" only applies to actual ballers--people who get paid big money to play a game, because of their physical prowess and athleticism. The physical aspect is central to the definition of "baller."


The first sentence above is 100% correct, but you are wrong in asserting physical prowess as the only determinant. The word "baller" is a metaphor for one who plays a game well - regardless of the type of game. Although we often refer to physical games when we think of "games", the reference is metaphorically translated and universally applied to prowess demonstrated in any game. That means someone who plays the stock market well is considered to be a baller. A rich, accomplished doctor can be called a baller.

no. he is a king of geeks.

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rayiner
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:08 pm

A good look at the outcomes from a top law school is the Monahan study tracking UVA law graduates in the class of 1990: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/manus ... wanson.pdf. It's a good 20-year longitudinal study with a high response rate (72%).

It should still be relevant, because I don't think the legal field has changed structurally since then. The explosion in big law happened in the 1970s and 1980s, not in the 2000's as some people assume. Moreover, the oversupply of JD's back then wasn't really any better. 36,400 JD's graduated in 1990, versus 44,500 in 2011. The 1990 figure is slightly higher than the 2011 figure adjusted for population growth, and quite a bit higher when adjusted for GDP growth. While C/O 2011 graduated into a substantially worse economic climate, it should be noted that C/O 1990 graduated into a recession, one that hit the legal field pretty hard. After all, Latham invented Lathaming in the early 1990s recession...

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby minnbills » Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:48 pm

rayiner wrote:A good look at the outcomes from a top law school is the Monahan study tracking UVA law graduates in the class of 1990: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/manus ... wanson.pdf. It's a good 20-year longitudinal study with a high response rate (72%).



My god those salaries are impressive.

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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby NR3C1 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:59 pm

This report, like any recent employment report of graduates, has the flaw that it only includes those who respond to the survey. In all likelihood, responders are much better off and happy than non-responders. This is not a random cohort; it is biased. This is valuable data, but one has to be careful about drawings conclusions because of this and other limitations.

See page 14:
Of the 360 living graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law Class of 1990, completed surveys were returned by 260; 155 of these respondents (60%) were men and 105 (40%) were women. The response rate was 72.2%.

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minnbills
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Re: Just read Don't Go to Law School (Unless)

Postby minnbills » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:37 pm

NR3C1 wrote:This report, like any recent employment report of graduates, has the flaw that it only includes those who respond to the survey. In all likelihood, responders are much better off and happy than non-responders. This is not a random cohort; it is biased. This is valuable data, but one has to be careful about drawings conclusions because of this and other limitations.

See page 14:
Of the 360 living graduates of the University of Virginia School of Law Class of 1990, completed surveys were returned by 260; 155 of these respondents (60%) were men and 105 (40%) were women. The response rate was 72.2%.


I don't know if that's really true. I think people who are disgruntled may be even more likely to respond. It's certainly safer to assume the worst, though.




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