Is a Harvard JD worth $227,400?

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Is a Harvard JD worth $227,400

Poll ended at Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:14 am

Yes (I'm a 0L)
Yes (I'm in LS or graduated)
No (I'm a 0L)
No (I'm in LS or graduated)
Not sure / Maybe
Total votes: 79


Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Is a Harvard JD worth $227,400?

Postby dissonance1848 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:00 pm

The speculation in this thread is interesting.

Although a Harvard JD is worth $227400, the assumptions of the NPV are off by quite a bit,

which I think implies greater aribitrage than really is there.

Firstly, the assumptions here that people will be working 45 years are over-optimistic.

You have to assume that people are not laid in the interim, not burn out of higher income opportunities, not face blatant ageism, not be displaced by automation (if you think only doc reviewers are in the shit for new discovery algorithms, think again, this stuff is transferrable to corporate deal making in part), and also assume that the changing structural demand in legal services does not continue trending quite negatively (see lawschooltuition bubble for the lag in legal services to general GDP growth).

Also, the assumptions here for non-JD prospective income is way too low. It is not being taken into account that not everyone can get into HLS in the first place. While I agree that law school admissions are ridiculous and can be competently gamed, the fact of the matter is that the typical HLS admittee would on average be much stronger in the general job market than the general non-admittee (leaving aside those at the margins who barely missed the cutoff, as they nearly fungible with HLS admittees in the general labor market).

After all, if one has a relatively high GPA (at least 3.5+ for this cycle on LSN), then one could do a post-bacc in a health care profession, or get work experience, kill the GMAT, and get into a reasonable MBA program (granted not M7)..... the point being that prospective returns in the labor market are being made out to be much smaller than they would be. Would these other options necessitate more schooling, therefore debt? Yes, they would be much like the HLS example...... and the NPV's, while varying, would in many cases be quite similar, meaning that, yes, HLS is worth 230k, but there are other options worth say 200k or 250k too, and they are about as hard to get or not quite so.

As for the UVA study, that was done towards the crest of prosperity in the legal field. That would be like asking for an evaluation on the prospective returns for an MBA in banking looking at classes that came out during the 1990s, as opposed to now, when not only are your odds getting quite worse (banking divisons are being hacked away), but also the new regulations will be constraining compensation more as well.

I agree that Harvard is worth it..... but people are expecting much higher prospective returns and rent capture than will ultimately be there.
Last edited by dissonance1848 on Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is a Harvard JD worth $227,400?

Postby sinfiery » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:06 pm

yeah, that guys an idiot

harvard sucks


Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Is a Harvard JD worth $227,400?

Postby dissonance1848 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:13 pm

yeah, that guys an idiot

harvard sucks


Uh-huh.... clearly you read what I wrote;

Although a Harvard JD is worth $227400

I agree that Harvard is worth it..


Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: Is a Harvard JD worth $227,400?

Postby AllTheLawz » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:19 pm

Depends on your other options. As a current HLS student I say NO for the type of people who would normally have the choice (i.e. people with other T10 offers at a significant discount or good entry-level job options).

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