A very interesting article by Professor Campos

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Anonymous User
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A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:38 pm

CCN transfer 2L that completely struck out at OCI (and mass-mailing) after finishing in the top 5% of a top 50, spending 2 years working as a paralegal at a V5 firm, and getting top 20% grades at a top 10 undergrad (based on the LSAC data service). While I realize that there are no shortage of articles out there about how dismal legal hiring is at the moment, I found this article to do a better job at providing actual/cold hard numbers about what current students can expect. Thus, I'm not simply trying to be some troll posting another random doom and gloom story. I think that every person considering going to law school right now should sit down, read this, and seriously consider their decision. I wish I could have read something like this beforehand.

http://www.tnr.com/article/87251/law-sc ... georgetown

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mr_toad
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby mr_toad » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:54 pm

I sympathize, but there's no takeaway in this article that would necessarily lead someone to conclude that CCN is a bad idea. If anything, it's one more point of evidence leading to the conclusion that most schools should take 20-50% fewer students, perhaps including even the best schools, but the double bind that schools are in (increase tuition revenue -> accept more students vs. increase employment statistics -> less obvious conclusion) means that self-policing will remain ineffective.

You seem to have done all the right things, but I don't think this article would have dissuaded you. Maybe from your original school, I suppose... still, tough boat to be in. Best of luck to you. I'll be at Georgetown, and I'm sure by post-OCI time I'll share your point of view personally or anecdotally as hundreds of students are forced to re-adjust their self-conceptions and future prospects.

bdubs
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby bdubs » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:CCN transfer 2L that completely struck out at OCI (and mass-mailing) after finishing in the top 5% of a top 50, spending 2 years working as a paralegal at a V5 firm, and getting top 20% grades at a top 10 undergrad (based on the LSAC data service).


Who is the CCN 2L transfer who struck out? You?

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mr_toad
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby mr_toad » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:00 pm

bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:CCN transfer 2L that completely struck out at OCI (and mass-mailing) after finishing in the top 5% of a top 50, spending 2 years working as a paralegal at a V5 firm, and getting top 20% grades at a top 10 undergrad (based on the LSAC data service).


Who is the CCN 2L transfer who struck out? You?


That's how I understood it (after reading the article and not finding reference to that person). But yeah, it's ambiguously worded.

rose711
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby rose711 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:06 pm

I think the take away from the article is that the job situation is even worse than you think it is, by a huge percentage. Campos doesn't identify the school but it is a top 50 school. He probably wants to avoid identifying the one school he looked at data from. Also, he is saying that this data is available, but not published in an accurate form.

What do you think the percentage is of your getting a full time job in law after you graduate? I bet that everyone thinks that they will find a great job, in spite of the evidence that there is a strong percentage chance that you will not get a full time job. I think everyone assumes they will be the person to find jobs while their peers do not find jobs. But this is not reality. Different schools may have different levels of employment, but even going to CCN is not going to guarantee that every student is going to get a fulltime job; at any school (except Y?) you will be playing a percentage game for jobs.

Also in the article Campos calls less state trial court clerkships temporary jobs because no one would take them if they could find a better full time job. See quotes below:


In order to calculate this figure, I used employment data drawn from 183 individual NALP forms, in which graduates of one top 50 school self-reported their employment status nine months after graduation. This data suggests that fully one-third of those graduates who report they are working in full-time jobs that require a law degree are in temporary, rather than permanent, positions. (Some of these graduates are temporarily employed as judicial clerks, and, in those cases where the clerkships were with federal courts or state supreme courts, I have treated this as equivalent to permanent full-time legal employment. Such clerkships are difficult to obtain, and considered desirable credentials by legal employers. I have treated state trial court clerkships as genuinely temporary employment, since few law graduates will accept such a clerkship if they have the option of taking a full-time permanent legal job instead. I have excluded the tiny percentage of graduates in state appellate court clerkships altogether, because the desirability of such positions compared to a full-time legal job is ambiguous.)


When we take temporary employment into account, it appears that approximately 45 percent of 2010 graduates of this particular top-50 law school had real legal jobs nine months after graduation. And the overall number is likely lower, since it seems probable that the temporary employment figures for the graduates of almost any top 50 school would be better than the average outcome for the graduates of the 198 ABA-accredited law schools as a whole.

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mr_toad
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby mr_toad » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:34 pm

Sure. But this article does not focus on schools like CCN, where, as we've known for years, there will always be people who 'strike out'. The schools that this article focuses on, i.e., a "top-50" school (which could be, oh, say, anything from one of the Arizona state schools to American, schools which in general are known EVEN ON THIS SITE to have less than stellar job prospects) as well as the implications of this for the aggregate job prospects of the 198 or so ABA-accredited schools, have had typically little in common with the job prospects of a CCN student. It's a data point, and it's painful, but most of us on this site know that even the best of schools are going to have people who 'strike out'.
But while your point is well taken in that perhaps many people overestimate their ability to compete with others in a similar band of intelligence (as demarcated by LSAT/GPA attainment... ), I just can't agree with you that the job situation is even worse than we/I (?) think it is. To whom are you referring? Those who are convinced that sticker at Tulane will land them Big Law? Or people like me who have a good scholarship at a T(TT)-14 like GULC and are still haunted by the notion of post-LS joblessness? The former are being replaced by the latter, methinks. If this article helps that process, great, but the reason I said there's no real takeaway is because there's nothing new here.

The more interesting thing for me than the article is that the strike out was a transfer student. I wonder if this is more common? Also, I thought transfer students weren't allowed to participate in OCI? Or is that school-to-school?

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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby rose711 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:47 pm

I wasn't addressing any particular person.

I am curious about what percentage of getting a job people must have in their heads in order to go to any law school (other than possibly Y)? I simply don't believe that 50% or so of the class at the Top 50 school he studied went to school thinking they would not leave with a full time job. I think that everyone who is going to law school assumes they will get a full time job practicing law, unless perhaps they are going for free- so they have no loans to pay back.. but even they must think they will have a full time job practicing law when they graduate.

I think that Campos' article adds information because he clarifies how useless the publically reported data is, if you are relying on it to gauge your full time employment prospects.

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bk1
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:49 pm

rose711 wrote:Campos doesn't identify the school but it is a top 50 school. He probably wants to avoid identifying the one school he looked at data from.


He's an idiot if he thinks people can't deduce roughly what it is. That being said, it is highly likely Davis or Hastings.

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mr_toad
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby mr_toad » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:51 pm

Right. I agree with your points. I just don't think this is the article that would have pushed me over. There's too much other information out there. But I love TNR and I'm glad it's getting wider attention. Soon it will be a cause celebre and speeches will be made and legislation based on anecdotes will be passed and then we will complain about the results of that (possible results including fewer spots in law schools, loans that are more difficult to acquire or have more stringent credit requirements, etc.).

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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:19 pm

mr_toad wrote:The more interesting thing for me than the article is that the strike out was a transfer student. I wonder if this is more common? Also, I thought transfer students weren't allowed to participate in OCI? Or is that school-to-school?


No, that's not true at any school I know of. In fact in past years I've known transfers to do very well at OCI.

Otherwise, of course CCN has a better shot at a job than a random top 50, but you have to ask what risk you're willing to accept for $200K debt. 1/5 chance at no job? 1/3?

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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:42 pm

I’m the person who started this thread. Apologies, since I realize that I made my post way too quickly and was totally unclear. The first sentence was about me. Most transfer students at my school (like 80%) came out of OCI with something, and the rest struck out.

My point isn’t that going to CCN is a bad move. Rather, my point is that prospective law school students, although they pretty much all realize by this point that legal hiring is not in great shape, still vastly overestimate their odds of being able to secure full-time attorney positions upon graduation. I think that it would be safe to say that at the T50 school that I started out at, pretty much everyone thought that all but maybe the bottom 20% of the class would find full-time attorney positions. We didn’t think that many of us would be getting BigLaw or prestigious clerkships, but we thought we would pretty much all be on track to get SOMETHING (i.e. public defender, prosecutor, etc…). Furthermore, in listening to the 1Ls at my CCN school talk, it sounds like although they realize that some people will strike out at OCI, the overwhelming majority don’t seem to really realize that it could be them.

To be clear, I’m not trying to say that people should never go to law school. There are way too many of those threads on the internet. Furthermore, even some of the third tier law schools like the University of Wyoming could be a good move if you’re 1) from Wyoming, 2) want to practice/live in Wyoming, and 3) are getting a great scholarship. However, this is the first article that I’ve read that paints what I think is a perfect and statistically well-backed up picture of current legal hiring (neither too negative nor positive), and frankly, I don’t think that most prospective law school students are aware of how crappy legal hiring is right now.

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bk1
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby bk1 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 5:55 pm

I agree. I like the article and I like the way that the author presents it. There already is a 4 page thread on it here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=154102

CanadianWolf
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:00 pm

OP: Are you willing to share info. about your experiences as a paralegal for a Vault 5 law firm ? Thanks !

CanadianWolf
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:01 pm

P.S. PM me if you don't want this thread to get off track.

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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:25 pm

OP here. Being a paralegal at the V5 was actually pretty cool. I think that the biggest surprise for me was how friendly most of the attorneys were. Don’t get me wrong, people would be stressed out sometimes, and when they were stressed out, they weren’t always the most enjoyable people to deal with. But on the whole, it was a pretty good experience, and I saved up a ton of money (I think that my income came out to like 65K pre-tax for my first year and around 85K for my second year).

Also, the hours fluctuated a lot. There were months (especially during the summers) where I was literally working 9-5 M-F, and then there was a 6-month stretch where I averaged 71 billable hours a week. That said, when you’re getting paid extra for overtime, those 71 billable hour weeks = $$$!

You thinking about paralegalling? Overall, I would say that if you can deal with a few months each year that are pretty busy/hectic, it’s not a bad gig.

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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby romothesavior » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:29 pm

IBTL

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I saved up a ton of money (... income came out to like 65K pre-tax for my first year and around 85K for my second year)....

There were months (especially during the summers) where I was literally working 9-5 M-F ...

Overall ... it’s not a bad gig.


Hate to be the one to say this, but it sounds like you did better as a paralegal than you are most likley going to do as a lawyer (at least for a number of years out) in terms of income (i.e. with having struck out at OCI at CCN). $85k /year jobs outside of large/midsize law firms are exceedingly rare right now, particularly with as nice of hours you were working as a paralegal (large/midsize firms almost all exclusively hire out of their 2L summer classes nowdays.) Kind of sad to think you would have been better off, in terms of compensation, by continuing work as a paralegal than going to law school :?

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Re: A very interesting article by Professor Campos

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:18 am

CCN 2L here, also struck out at OCI.

Would this article have influenced my decision...probably not.

First of all, after I had been accepted into law school my "engagement" with forums like TLS and XO disappeared. Even when I was researching schools, I never really visited the Legal Employment forum, and didn't know about ATL, which at that time was publishing layoff notices. I didn't know any lawyers or anyone going to law school who could tip me off and my other options (shit degree from big state school) were not great. For example, if I'd been able to get a paralegal gig like the one OP had I probably would have taken that and deferred two years. I was also drinking heavily, partying, and generally enjoying my last semester of college. I feel like my case is the rule not the exception, and that the people who expect 1Ls to come into law school knowing what avid posters here on TLS or XO know about the legal market are being unrealistic. That might be stupid of me, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Second, I probably still would have trusted that CCN (top 6 schools in the country) would be guaranteed biglaw for people who wanted it. I probably would not have been able to fathom how there would be so few jobs available for entry levels that someone at one of the top schools in the country would struggle to find something paying a decent wage.




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