USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:14 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:
swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:you realize the data used to create that graph is false?


What you don't trust the NALP either? This isn't a law school salary survey. This is a lawyer salary survey

National
Association
of
Legal
Professionals



You might wanna find out where they get their data.


They tell you. 22,000 respondents to their salary survey.

Oh I guess they tossed out those responses that didn't fit the story they are trying to tell. Because they are clearly motivated to sell somebody something.

hieveryone
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby hieveryone » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:15 pm

swheat wrote:[img]Distribution of Full-Time Salaries — Class of 2006

Image
Note: Graph is based on 22,884 salaries — for clarity, salaries above 200,000 are excluded from the graph, but not the percentage calculations shown on the y-axis.[/img]

http://www.nalp.org/2008jansalaries

Here ya go. NALP 2006 statistics. The median salary for new associates in private practice is now 62k nationally. Since 50% of new lawyers make 62k+, I dont see how we can conclude that 45-55k is "quite the rule" in CA or any other major legal market. This is based on a large sample, 22,000+ respondents. There is a bulge in the 30-50k range, but it accounts for less than half (44% I believe the article says) of new lawyers. And how many of those are lawyers in backwater, non-legal markets like those in Arkansas, Idaho, etc.?

How does that 8 out of 10 sub-55k in CA figure look to you now, snotrocket?

It's also interesting that the bulge of lawyers in the 30-50k range has diminished significantly since 1991.



Look--I'm a 0L too, and I'm looking to attend law school in the fall. However, it's your comments like "And how many of those are lawyers in backwater, non-legal markets like those in Arkansas, Idaho, etc.?" (And you comments about the "bottom rung" that get me, since it just seems like you're doing everything you can to distance yourself from the "losers".

44% (so you say) are making 30-50K? are you kidding me? How is this reassuring at all? If you go to a lower tier school, your work is cut out for you if you didn't get in with $$$ if that statistic is true. That percentage is probably be higher at lower tier schools, since I doubt the 44% is for law schools across the board, since not all law school are created equal.

Also, does that data include information on unemployed lawyers? If not..then... the chart is too rosy.

edit: swheat..nothing against you at all--but the statistics you're giving are actually scaring me more than reassuring me...
Last edited by hieveryone on Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:16 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:
swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:you realize the data used to create that graph is false?


What you don't trust the NALP either? This isn't a law school salary survey. This is a lawyer salary survey

National
Association
of
Legal
Professionals



You might wanna find out where they get their data.


They tell you. 22,000 respondents to their salary survey.

Oh I guess they tossed out those responses that didn't fit the story they are trying to tell. Because they are clearly motivated to sell somebody something.


they did not get data from the lawyers.

And any data coming from lawyers who are mailed surveys is self selected data, and hence invalid.

Find out where they got the data.

Saying they got the data from lawyers is not sufficient. Did they get the data from the law schools? My investigation says YES.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:19 pm

one more thing--how is NALP funded? By manna falling from the skies?

Or is it funded directly or indirectly from law schools and or the legal education industrial complex?

is it funded by the big law firms that make profits off of cheaper lawyer salaries used to do document review?

Conflict of interest, much?

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:25 pm

hieveryone wrote:
Look--I'm a 0L too, and I'm looking to attend law school in the fall. However, it's your comments like "And how many of those are lawyers in backwater, non-legal markets like those in Arkansas, Idaho, etc.?" (And you comments about the "bottom rung" that get me, since it just seems like you're doing everything you can to distance yourself from the "losers".

44% (so you say) are making 30-50K? are you kidding me? How is this reassuring at all? If you go to a lower tier school, your work is cut out for you if you didn't get in with $$$ if that statistic is true. That percentage is probably be higher at lower tier schools, since I doubt the 44% is for law schools across the board, since not all law school are created equal.

Also, does that data include information on unemployed lawyers? If not..then... the chart is too rosy.


All of this is in response to a guy who told OP that he/she had a 8/10 chance of graduating from USF with 180k in debt and a 50k job.

I believe the chart is for private practice only but it could be for all lawyers. I read all of the text at the top and it did not say anything either way. I'll assume this is only for lawyers who got on with private practice gigs. According to the NLJ250 chart from law.com, about 60% of USF grads went to work in private practice. Unemployed+unknown+attrition for USF is around 15%.

The other link I posted, which was summarily dismissed by the lawyer crew here, showed that the smallest firm, private practice new associates earned a range of 60-90k in the Bay Area.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/

So all I am arguing here that the OP has about a 60% chance of earning the money he/she needs to justify the 120k in loans. A far cry from the 80% likelihood posited by some here that OP will end up in a financial 'killself' position.
Last edited by General Tso on Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:27 pm

the roulette wheel gives odds almost as good as that, and it does not take up almost 4 years of your life.


Getting a professional degree is not supposed to be gambling. But the true data shows that it is indeed a high stakes gamble.

From what I can tell from my sources, in the past 4 years or so, going to a TTT school (the bottom half of the rankings) gives you about a 40 percent chance of ruining your life--i.e., it was all for nothing.

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:33 pm

hieveryone wrote:
edit: swheat..nothing against you at all--but the statistics you're giving are actually scaring me more than reassuring me...


Oh no offense taken at all...

I agree that the situation is not ideal, in fact it is a pretty tough and scary situation going to a T2 with 100k+ in debt. I am not planning on doing that and I would definitely pause and give serious thought to my career choices if I found myself in that situation.

But do I think that many TLS'ers are going too far in their warnings. I think there is a definite shock value that people are going for when they claim "30-55k" salaries being the norm.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:37 pm

40K may be the NORM for TTT grads, but there is a huge percentage that get NO work in law, or only intermittent work in law. And eventually these have to go to another field entirely.

'04 Grad
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby '04 Grad » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:53 pm

Some interesting statistics:

"The prognosis also is bleak for new attorneys in smaller firms, who typically earn much less than those at large firms. The median salary for first-year associates in firms with 26 to 50 attorneys was $65,000 in 2004, just 44 percent more than the median salary at those firms in 1990, which was $45,000. Beginning lawyers at law firms with two to 10 lawyers earned $48,000 in 2004, compared with $30,000 in 1990."
http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter ... 8701909390
This is interesting because firms in the 26-50 attorney range are struggling these days. Midsized law is dying.

"Most Law Graduates Disappointed: Few Jobs, Low Salaries, High Stress"
http://www.lawstudent.tv/2007/11/23/mos ... gh-stress/

"The numbers are interesting. In 2006, the average starting salary for an attorney at a small firm (2-10 attorneys) was $50,000. "
http://www.uslaw.com/library/Law_Studen ... item=34192

"As the graph indicates, salaries in the $40,000 - $60,000 range collectively accounted for 42% of salaries."
"Clearly, then the average salary of a First Year Associate is closer to $60,000. Although law students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their classes may be lucky enough to land jobs in top-tier firms making upwards of $120k, those in mid-size firms usually earn $55-80k, while small-firm and government jobs usually pay between $40-60k."
It provides a link to a graph that says the media starting salary for attorneys with 1 year of experience is $57K.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:02 pm

but where does your data come from? If it comes from sources that stand to gain monetarily if stats look good, then that data is worth little. Garbage in, Garbage out.

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:08 pm

'04 Grad wrote:Some interesting statistics:

"The prognosis also is bleak for new attorneys in smaller firms, who typically earn much less than those at large firms. The median salary for first-year associates in firms with 26 to 50 attorneys was $65,000 in 2004, just 44 percent more than the median salary at those firms in 1990, which was $45,000. Beginning lawyers at law firms with two to 10 lawyers earned $48,000 in 2004, compared with $30,000 in 1990."
http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter ... 8701909390
This is interesting because firms in the 26-50 attorney range are struggling these days. Midsized law is dying.

"Most Law Graduates Disappointed: Few Jobs, Low Salaries, High Stress"
http://www.lawstudent.tv/2007/11/23/mos ... gh-stress/

"The numbers are interesting. In 2006, the average starting salary for an attorney at a small firm (2-10 attorneys) was $50,000. "
http://www.uslaw.com/library/Law_Studen ... item=34192

"As the graph indicates, salaries in the $40,000 - $60,000 range collectively accounted for 42% of salaries."
"Clearly, then the average salary of a First Year Associate is closer to $60,000. Although law students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their classes may be lucky enough to land jobs in top-tier firms making upwards of $120k, those in mid-size firms usually earn $55-80k, while small-firm and government jobs usually pay between $40-60k."
It provides a link to a graph that says the media starting salary for attorneys with 1 year of experience is $57K.


Most of these statistics point to a better situation than the ones you guys were talking about earlier. Lost in all of this talk about national trends is the OP, who is looking at a NorCal law school and presumably NorCal employment. It's foolish to discuss this particular situation in national terms when the Bay Area yields dramatically different employment and salary prospects. Again, the starting salary midrange for the smallest private practices in the Bay Area stands at 60-90k.http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/

Looking at this pdf http://www.law.com/pdf/nlj/20080414empl ... trends.pdf

I'd say the OP has a 5+55+5+1+5 = 71% chance of being able to survive with the 120k debt, whether it be through working at a private firm, or using LRAP for gov't/public interest

USF:
NLJ250 = 5%
Private practice = 55%
Government= 5%
Clerkship = 1%
Public Interest = 5%

'04 Grad
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby '04 Grad » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:14 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:but where does your data come from? If it comes from sources that stand to gain monetarily if stats look good, then that data is worth little. Garbage in, Garbage out.


I agree with that. I only posted stats because it's the only thing that these 0L lemmings will believe.

I've written here over and over again, the starting salaries for attorneys at small firms is $35K through $60K. Outside of the T14 and the top 25% or so of the T30, almost all grads end up in small firms. Therefore if you go to USF, BLS, Cardozo, wherever, expect to make $55K. Can you survive in a major American city on $55K while paying back $150K (or God forbid $200K)?

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:45 pm

'04 Grad wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:but where does your data come from? If it comes from sources that stand to gain monetarily if stats look good, then that data is worth little. Garbage in, Garbage out.


I agree with that. I only posted stats because it's the only thing that these 0L lemmings will believe.

I've written here over and over again, the starting salaries for attorneys at small firms is $35K through $60K. Outside of the T14 and the top 25% or so of the T30, almost all grads end up in small firms. Therefore if you go to USF, BLS, Cardozo, wherever, expect to make $55K. Can you survive in a major American city on $55K while paying back $150K (or God forbid $200K)?


And because you've written again and again, it has ceased to be regarded as hearsay and has instead become cold hard fact! :roll:

'04 Grad
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby '04 Grad » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:26 pm

swheat wrote:
'04 Grad wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:but where does your data come from? If it comes from sources that stand to gain monetarily if stats look good, then that data is worth little. Garbage in, Garbage out.


I agree with that. I only posted stats because it's the only thing that these 0L lemmings will believe.

I've written here over and over again, the starting salaries for attorneys at small firms is $35K through $60K. Outside of the T14 and the top 25% or so of the T30, almost all grads end up in small firms. Therefore if you go to USF, BLS, Cardozo, wherever, expect to make $55K. Can you survive in a major American city on $55K while paying back $150K (or God forbid $200K)?


And because you've written again and again, it has ceased to be regarded as hearsay and has instead become cold hard fact! :roll:


It's cold hard fact whether you want to believe it or not.

And I guess you're not even going to address the stats I posted showing that the median starting salary for new attorneys is $57K. Or the stats about how difficult it is for grads to find jobs.

But I guess it won't matter because the debt will be "easily handled." You'll even have $23 a month to spare. Maybe he can go to Red Lobster once a month or something. :lol:

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:47 pm

'04 Grad wrote:
swheat wrote:
'04 Grad wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:but where does your data come from? If it comes from sources that stand to gain monetarily if stats look good, then that data is worth little. Garbage in, Garbage out.


I agree with that. I only posted stats because it's the only thing that these 0L lemmings will believe.

I've written here over and over again, the starting salaries for attorneys at small firms is $35K through $60K. Outside of the T14 and the top 25% or so of the T30, almost all grads end up in small firms. Therefore if you go to USF, BLS, Cardozo, wherever, expect to make $55K. Can you survive in a major American city on $55K while paying back $150K (or God forbid $200K)?


And because you've written again and again, it has ceased to be regarded as hearsay and has instead become cold hard fact! :roll:


It's cold hard fact whether you want to believe it or not.

And I guess you're not even going to address the stats I posted showing that the median starting salary for new attorneys is $57K. Or the stats about how difficult it is for grads to find jobs.

But I guess it won't matter because the debt will be "easily handled." You'll even have $23 a month to spare. Maybe he can go to Red Lobster once a month or something. :lol:


Your stats show 57k, mine show 62k. In any event, the number IS higher for the Bay Area which is what this thread is really about.

And both numbers are higher than the 30-50k which was touted earlier in this thread.

I wouldn't recommend that budget on a single income. It'd be best suited for a dual income situation. But it IS manageable if you cut out the car expenses that I included, or if you get a roommate.

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rayiner
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby rayiner » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:02 pm

So here is the thing about median income. Even assuming that the 22,000 people reporting in that NALP data is fully representative (ie: it's not, it's probably skewed way right), half of folks will still make less than the median. That doesn't sound that bad until you realize that at USF, you're starting out near the bottom! There are 45,000 law graduates each year, and 15,000 in the Tier1 (= top 50). There are ~20,000 in the Tier2, and another 10,000 in the T3/T4. USF is at the bottom of the Tier2, and hence there are 35,000 grads above you...

http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/20080 ... uation.jpg

30% of law graduates never find employment requiring a JD. Realize that means more like 10% at a Tier1 and 50% at Tier3/4...

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:27 pm

rayiner wrote:So here is the thing about median income. Even assuming that the 22,000 people reporting in that NALP data is fully representative (ie: it's not, it's probably skewed way right), half of folks will still make less than the median. That doesn't sound that bad until you realize that at USF, you're starting out near the bottom! There are 45,000 law graduates each year, and 15,000 in the Tier1 (= top 50). There are ~20,000 in the Tier2, and another 10,000 in the T3/T4. USF is at the bottom of the Tier2, and hence there are 35,000 grads above you...

http://www.law.com/img/nlj/charts/20080 ... uation.jpg

30% of law graduates never find employment requiring a JD. Realize that means more like 10% at a Tier1 and 50% at Tier3/4...



Eek. That does sound ominous. Doesn't surprise me though.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Fri May 01, 2009 3:49 pm

gosh, I sure do hate to be the purveyor of negative waves, as Oddball would say, but before you ruin your life by going to a TTT, ya might wanna read this:


http://www.abajournal.com/news/ex-assoc ... r_jobless/
Last edited by solo_lawyer on Fri May 01, 2009 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Helmholtz
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Helmholtz » Fri May 01, 2009 3:50 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:http://www.abajournal.com/news/ex-associate_hit_with_wave_of_negativity_at_session_for_jobless/


"When one panelist asked the unemployed lawyers whether they had really enjoyed practicing law, only a few raised their hands in response."

Hmmm......

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Cleareyes
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Cleareyes » Fri May 01, 2009 3:51 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:http://www.abajournal.com/news/ex-associate_hit_with_wave_of_negativity_at_session_for_jobless/


I'm kind of excited about moving to the Midwest! Hopefully my TTT degree will travel that far.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Fri May 01, 2009 3:53 pm

WW2 kamikaze pilots were excited to be able to do some traveling to exotic locales, too.

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Helmholtz
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Helmholtz » Fri May 01, 2009 3:54 pm

Cleareyes wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:http://www.abajournal.com/news/ex-associate_hit_with_wave_of_negativity_at_session_for_jobless/


I'm kind of excited about moving to the Midwest! Hopefully my TTT degree will travel that far.


You'd be lucky if your JD takes you out of the city limits of Cambridge. What a sucker.

hieveryone
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby hieveryone » Fri May 01, 2009 4:03 pm

harvard is a ttt? uh oh lol

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Cleareyes
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Cleareyes » Fri May 01, 2009 4:10 pm

hieveryone wrote:harvard is a ttt? uh oh lol


Here are the tiers:

1) 1/2 of Yale

2) The second half of Yale

3) T T T

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Fri May 01, 2009 4:32 pm

I have to wonder if certain prolific pro-law school posters here are proprietors of law school prep websites or whether they are clinically delusional




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