Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

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reasonable_man
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:10 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:Well I have to admit - this is interesting. And I don't know why - but I don't hate this dean.


Thanks, Mom.


I'm your daddy Mitch - not your mom. Get that straight. :lol:

All kidding aside, I'm an 08' grad of a 4th Tier ABA accredited school. I'm probably one of maybe 5 to 10 lawyers from my graduating class that is earning over 100K at this point in my career, despite the fact that the school pretty clearly implied that all of us would be where I am right now. Its shameful. So honestly, I have zero problem with what you're doing. $60,000 total tuition is a fair price for what you're offering (assuming what you say is true and students have ready access to jobs that start out at ~$50,000 per year). Frankly, your graduates are probably in a much better position than many of the 3rd and 4th tier ABA approved graduates floating around out there (who may or may not have access to a ~$50,000 per year job, but owe three times as much in student loans than your graduates).


Thanks, DAD!

Good work on your part and I fully agree regarding the false implications (or worse) regarding costs and job prospects. Back in the dark ages (late 1970's) when I went to law school (University of Houston), the entire program, including academic counseling and OCIs, was designed around an institutionalized model that pretended that everyone was top 5% and heading to BigLaw. Everyone else was considered invisible (or unworthy of attention/concern). I didn't agree with it then and I obviously still disagree with that limited view of law school now.

One clarification, I wouldn't characterize any starting law jobs as "readily available" . . . and at the risk of being painted as a typical sh*#tboomer by the TLS trolls, I counsel our graduates that practice skills, reputation, work ethic, previous experience (including externships, part-time, and clerkships), and networking are what create job opportunities. Even in a small community like ours (perhaps even more so), legal employers have choices and it is clearly a "buyers market". It takes planning, flexibility, creativity, and a dedicated effort to get any job worth having. That part hasn't changed.


I agree. I went to LS knowing that I was going to have to make it happen on my own (and that OCI and waiting for the school to help was not a viable option). I worked every semester of law school (while attending full time) at a small firm and over the summers at a bigger firm. Both were jobs that I landed on my own (and I had entered LS having already worked at a big firm for 2 years while in college. I think that the younger generation out there has to realize that no jobs are "readily available" right now in any field (especially law). Its takes a lot of careful positioning and hard work (in and out of the academic setting) to achieve any manner of success right now (as well as some luck).

With that said, the market for newly minted attorneys is very hard right now and so I would caution anyone reading this thread that right now, if you're thinking of attending this or any law school for that matter, that great thought and planning should go into how you are going to address the job issue. If you're going to attend law school be sure to do the things at the very beginning of your law school journey to ensure that you will have some opportunities at the end. And do the math on your investment assuming a job earning 40 or 50k (as the dean has indicated), and not a high-paying biglaw job.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:48 am

And the thought and planning doesn't end at getting your first law job. Prior to my academic career as a law dean, I spent several years in senior management at a large (300+ lawyer) firm. The best young associates soon realized that even after getting a coveted BigLaw position, success wasn't guaranteed. They realized that it was as important to learn how to develop "clients" inside the firm as it was to learn how to develop paying clients outside of the firm.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:06 am

Why do some law school graduates never “practice” law? I can answer this question from my own professional experience. Throughout the course of my 35+ year career, my law degree has provided me the opportunity to enjoy a range of different, interesting, challenging . . . and occasionally profitable . . . professional opportunities. Of course, none have been as rewarding as serving as dean of MCL!

I must admit that I didn’t attend law school with the intention of practicing law in a traditional law firm setting. My first interest was politics, but after internships in state and national congressional offices . . . let’s just say I grew out of that phase. Early in my career, I practiced law as an Asst. State Attorney General. I enjoyed the public policy aspects of the work and the collegiality of working in a legal team environment. However, with an interest in economics and marketing, and a booming economy at the time, I was drawn towards the broader challenges and opportunities in the private business sector. As a management consultant, venture capitalist, public company executive, and entrepreneur, I put my legal education to great use . . . even though I wasn’t “practicing law.”

However, Reasonable_Man raises a good question, if my legal education costs were $150K, and not the relatively nominal cost of a regional public law school in the late 1970s, would the same opportunities be available today? I think that for a few industrious graduates the answer is still "yes", but for the vast majority the answer is "no". As clearly demonstrated on LST and in the discussions here on TLS, graduating law school with the potential of $250K in student loan debt is professionally crippling. Prior to serving as a law school dean, I spent 15 years as a law firm management consultant, working with individual lawyers and law firms to develop practice development plans. However, the financial reality of needing to service $30K to $40K (after taxes) of annual student loan payments for the first ten years of practice will simply not work for most law school graduates. The opportunity to start my legal career in a low-paying, but well-respected public attorney position was an essential step in my career . . . and is still a valuable career move for new lawyers today. But the option is obviously removed if your monthly student loan payment is more than your paycheck.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:02 pm

reasonable_man wrote:I went to LS knowing that I was going to have to make it happen on my own (and that OCI and waiting for the school to help was not a viable option). I worked every semester of law school (while attending full time) at a small firm and over the summers at a bigger firm. Both were jobs that I landed on my own.


I suspect that your experience is far more common than is reflected here on TLS.

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patogordo
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:05 pm

going to law school ten years ago probably didn't hurt

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:58 pm

patogordo wrote:going to law school ten years ago probably didn't hurt
That is a valid point.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:33 am

P.S. To kappycaft1 wherever you are . . . we are currently conducting our 2013 update for alumni employment stats . . . we will post results in about two weeks. Thanks again for "encouraging" MCL to get in the game and get actual data. You were right. Hope school is going well for you.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:58 pm

Recent article discusses new lawsuits seeking reciprocity rules that would allow admission by motion (no additional bar exam) for lawyers with at least three years experience in another state. Given the current job market for young lawyers, I think this would provide valuable portability for lawyers who might consider career opportunities in less impacted markets. The three-year practice requirement would not help recent grads, but it might provide alternative exit plans for those who felt trapped into taking initial jobs that are not meeting their long-term professional interests.

The National Association for the Advancement of Multijurisdiction Practice is hoping to speed up the process of easing restrictions on admission for experienced attorneys with a series of lawsuits challenging the rules in some of the busiest jurisdictions in the country

. . . the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 recommended that states adopt a new model rule allowing bar admission on motion for lawyers with at least three years of experience.

“These restrictive rules really serve no public policy purpose,” says Andrew Perlman, a professor at Suffolk University Law School who served as chief reporter for Ethics 20/20. “In my view they are indefensible from the standpoint of public and client protection and should be eliminated.” Reciprocity fight returns as lawsuits press the ABA-advocated issue, ABA Journal, Victor Li, Feb 1, 2014


I am curious whether current law students and recent grads have thought about this issue and have opinions/ideas?

BillsFan9907
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Re: Non-ABA Law School Dean takes questions

Postby BillsFan9907 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:23 am

MCL Law Dean wrote:P.S. To kappycaft1 wherever you are . . . we are currently conducting our 2013 update for alumni employment stats . . . we will post results in about two weeks. Thanks again for "encouraging" MCL to get in the game and get actual data. You were right. Hope school is going well for you.


Half a year later, it appears the data is not available.




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