Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

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andythefir
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Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby andythefir » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:31 am

The threads on dropping out all mention that if one finds themselves below median they ought to drop out. For the people giving advice: do you mean a 3.26 on a 3.28 curve ought to drop out? Other threads say that it's more accurate to think of the class in 3rds, which would seem to mean that the bottom 3rd ought to drop out. I understand that it depends (sounds like law school alright) on the school but for clarity do the people giving advice about dropping out mean a mechanical if-then?
I personally thought the whole median preoccupation was a function of this site's biglaw focus until my internship this summer with a federal judge had boxes on the application to check for top 1/10, 1/3, 1/2. It wouldn't surprise me if firms were that arbitrary because everything about law school and law hiring is arbitrary, but it seems to me that the knee jerk reaction doesn't make sense. At ND (my school) 75% of the class of 2011 graduating in the teeth of the recession got (1) full time (2) JD required (3) permanent (4) not funded by the school jobs. I understand that it was not the top 75% of the class academically that got those jobs, but still roughly 1/2 of the people below median got jobs. Another roughly 15% of the class had school funded professional networking positions, which are not great for some but actually ideal for small town prosecutors/PDs. So is the advice really if below median and unwilling to work in small firms/PD then drop out? If only willing to work biglaw then why isn't the advice if not law review then drop out and why even mention median?

truevines
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby truevines » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:48 am

andythefir wrote:The threads on dropping out all mention that if one finds themselves below median they ought to drop out. For the people giving advice: do you mean a 3.26 on a 3.28 curve ought to drop out? Other threads say that it's more accurate to think of the class in 3rds, which would seem to mean that the bottom 3rd ought to drop out. I understand that it depends (sounds like law school alright) on the school but for clarity do the people giving advice about dropping out mean a mechanical if-then?
I personally thought the whole median preoccupation was a function of this site's biglaw focus until my internship this summer with a federal judge had boxes on the application to check for top 1/10, 1/3, 1/2. It wouldn't surprise me if firms were that arbitrary because everything about law school and law hiring is arbitrary, but it seems to me that the knee jerk reaction doesn't make sense. At ND (my school) 75% of the class of 2011 graduating in the teeth of the recession got (1) full time (2) JD required (3) permanent (4) not funded by the school jobs. I understand that it was not the top 75% of the class academically that got those jobs, but still roughly 1/2 of the people below median got jobs. Another roughly 15% of the class had school funded professional networking positions, which are not great for some but actually ideal for small town prosecutors/PDs. So is the advice really if below median and unwilling to work in small firms/PD then drop out? If only willing to work biglaw then why isn't the advice if not law review then drop out and why even mention median?


Dude, no one knows your future. People only speak of their experiences and give opinions in general.

If being a lawyer is what you want to do, stick it out. If you want to try your best and see if you get anything from OCI, stay. If you will have incurred a soul-crushing debt over $200k after law school, will make only $50k a year, and will enjoy your law career, then stay. If you have trust funds, or a M.D. significant other, then stay.

There are simply too many reasons for a person to finish law school.

andythefir
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby andythefir » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:03 am

I am both above median and comfortable with a $50k job (going to law school in 2012 and finding a $50k job unacceptable are inconsistent in my opinion), I was just trying to reconcile the different advice on the site. Especially "only go to a school where you are comfortable graduating at median" and "drop out if below median"

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:08 am

andythefir wrote:I am both above median and comfortable with a $50k job (going to law school in 2012 and finding a $50k job unacceptable are inconsistent in my opinion), I was just trying to reconcile the different advice on the site. Especially "only go to a school where you are comfortable graduating at median" and "drop out if below median"


It may not be as easy to just get a $50k job. Have you read Campos' article about average salaries published by nalp? $50k is beyond the reach of many law school graduates.

ajaxconstructions
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby ajaxconstructions » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:09 am

I lost it at 50k job.

Anonymous User
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:23 am

Just wanted to point out you can get more than 50k right out of undergrad so why bother with law school at that point? (You can get that with overtime being a paralegal if you really want a law job).

andythefir
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby andythefir » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:29 am

I didn't mean for this to turn into a state of the legal economy thread, if you're unaware that you are unlikely to get to models and bottles then your head has been in the sand. The only clarification on the below median=dropping out has been that everyone should drop out or the bottom 75% should drop out.

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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:34 am

it's just generic advice.

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homestyle28
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:37 am

As a general rule, TLSers are prestige/money whores. If you want V10 Biglaw, median at most places won't cut it. But of course this is ALWAYS context specific. Median at ND is a better place to be than Median at a TTT. What any student needs to do before/in addition to consulting the hive-mind of TLS is to ask students/recent/alums/career service office for how students with thier numbers/experience have fared in recent years. If the answer is unacceptable to the student, then dropping out is a reasonable repsonse. At a school like ND lots of less prestigous firms/PI gigs are still an option, but they'll take more effort to land than median at a t-14.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:56 am

andythefir wrote:I didn't mean for this to turn into a state of the legal economy thread, if you're unaware that you are unlikely to get to models and bottles then your head has been in the sand. The only clarification on the below median=dropping out has been that everyone should drop out or the bottom 75% should drop out.


Controlling for getting an offer fall of 3L (firm, PI, Gov, or otherwise), no one knows how much they will make after graduation. Many of those that don't won't get full time jobs, many won't get long term jobs, and many don't get legal jobs. Out of the 55% that don't fit in those three categories, many of them got their jobs essentially from OCI. The remaining members frequently don't make "$50k."

My point is that you cannot predict how much you will make until you have an offer in hand, and that is a serious reason for concern - especially if (1) your strike out at OCiI or are effectively non-competitive at OCI and/or (2) you are using debt to finance your education.

andythefir
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby andythefir » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:05 pm

So are you saying that only above median people are competitive for OCI? And dropping out if striking out at OCI is a very different conversation than dropping out if below median, especially if there's no LRAP

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Clarification on Median Dropping Out Advice

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:18 pm

andythefir wrote:So are you saying that only above median people are competitive for OCI? And dropping out if striking out at OCI is a very different conversation than dropping out if below median, especially if there's no LRAP


No. I'm simplying saying that someone should seriously consider dropping out if (1) their goal in going to law school was to make $50k+ or (2) they are looking at significant debt $75k+, but their grades are not particularly competitive at their institution. I'm not saying they should drop out; I'm saying that they should seriously think about it.




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