Why is everyone so anti T3?

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:31 pm

nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Stringer Bell » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:14 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.


I don't completely agree with this take. For a Liberal Arts major, attending a T12 (obvious trolling) can be a smart financial decision. What other realistic options are there? If this person attends the t12 they will hopefully have a 50% or so chance of landing a really high paying job. If they strike out they can go teach middle school or something, pay 10% of their income for 10 years and get the debt wiped out. This seems like a decent risk/reward scenario for someone without many better options. Sure, an associate degree in nursing may offer a better value, but there is nowhere naer the same amount of upside.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:24 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:I don't completely agree with this take. For a Liberal Arts major, attending a T12 (obvious trolling) can be a smart financial decision. What other realistic options are there? If this person attends the t12 they will hopefully have a 50% or so chance of landing a really high paying job. If they strike out they can go teach middle school or something, pay 10% of their income for 10 years and get the debt wiped out. This seems like a decent risk/reward scenario for someone without many better options. Sure, an associate degree in nursing may offer a better value, but there is nowhere naer the same amount of upside.


You're assuming a certain need for economic levels of attainment and embracing of certain levels of risk vs. reward.

And, also, your argument displays the lapse in logic that is applied to the T1/T2/below applicants have thrown in their faces every day. For some reason, it's ok for someone in the T14 to bank on the top 50%, even though it's a 50% shot at the big money. However, it's not ok for someone at at T1 or T2 to bank on top 25% even though there are less ivy league, masters/PhD's, 4.0's, and 175+'s in the class.

In the end, everyone is banking on a probability. Some people don't need the incentive of $160k starting for the risk of the education to be worthwhile, to them the utils of simply being educated and entering the field with a moderately enjoyable job compensating enough to pay the bills is enough.

I just find it hypocritical and self-congratulatory for the T14 hopefuls to play the probabilistic game and turn around and lecture T1/T2 hopefuls for the same thing.

Hell, for all of these people motivated by money and prestige, what is the washout rate for big-law? What percentage of these attorneys get in, get burnt out, and then end up leaving law for a field they actually enjoy? I think this is a real risk that needs consideration as well, the opportunity cost of a job they actually enjoy during those years is significant as well.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:26 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:
nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.


I don't completely agree with this take. For a Liberal Arts major, attending a T12 (obvious trolling) can be a smart financial decision. What other realistic options are there? If this person attends the t12 they will hopefully have a 50% or so chance of landing a really high paying job. If they strike out they can go teach middle school or something, pay 10% of their income for 10 years and get the debt wiped out. This seems like a decent risk/reward scenario for someone without many better options. Sure, an associate degree in nursing may offer a better value, but there is nowhere naer the same amount of upside.



Also, you being passe about "Oh, just go teach middle school for 10 years" is dismissive of actually WANTING to spend a decade of life forced into a job just to remove the debt of a mistake.

I don't disagree that these are risks that most of us take. I just contend that it is conveniently ignored by a segment of the applicants here.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:29 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:I don't completely agree with this take. For a Liberal Arts major, attending a T12 (obvious trolling) can be a smart financial decision. What other realistic options are there? If this person attends the t12 they will hopefully have a 50% or so chance of landing a really high paying job. If they strike out they can go teach middle school or something, pay 10% of their income for 10 years and get the debt wiped out. This seems like a decent risk/reward scenario for someone without many better options. Sure, an associate degree in nursing may offer a better value, but there is nowhere naer the same amount of upside.


You're assuming a certain need for economic levels of attainment and embracing of certain levels of risk vs. reward.

And, also, your argument displays the lapse in logic that is applied to the T1/T2/below applicants have thrown in their faces every day. For some reason, it's ok for someone in the T14 to bank on the top 50%, even though it's a 50% shot at the big money. However, it's not ok for someone at at T1 or T2 to bank on top 25% even though there are less ivy league, masters/PhD's, 4.0's, and 175+'s in the class.

In the end, everyone is banking on a probability. Some people don't need the incentive of $160k starting for the risk of the education to be worthwhile, to them the utils of simply being educated and entering the field with a moderately enjoyable job compensating enough to pay the bills is enough.

I just find it hypocritical and self-congratulatory for the T14 hopefuls to play the probabilistic game and turn around and lecture T1/T2 hopefuls for the same thing.

Hell, for all of these people motivated by money and prestige, what is the washout rate for big-law? What percentage of these attorneys get in, get burnt out, and then end up leaving law for a field they actually enjoy? I think this is a real risk that needs consideration as well, the opportunity cost of a job they actually enjoy during those years is significant as well.


huh? i dont think anyone's made deterministic comments. it is about probabilities - the chances of getting a job that pays off the law school debt is significantly greater at a T14 than at a T2 or so. thats all.

and isnt the person banking on the 25% at the T2, where there are fewer PhD's, 175+, etc. ONE of those ppl as well? it is all relative you know. i mean, this is assuming we're talking about a general case and not some outlier (which always exists)

and from what ive heard, a lot of ppl DO leave biglaw after a few yrs...but those few yrs are enough to pay off all or most of the debt (a big reason why many go to biglaw in the first place)
Last edited by DoubleChecks on Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:33 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.


i think he just meant it would be highly correlated lol, and that is sort of enough in this scenario.

and no, not everyone is going to be rich or happy, but you're right, we're talking about probability. greater job prospects w/ similar debt vs. T2/T3 schools of similar debt...in general, it is a pretty cut and dry scenario

sure there are tons of mitigating factors (distance, goal, scholarship money, connections, etc.) but we're only talking about either a) general cases or b) this specific one, and in both, i dont see how it is foolish to look at the probabilistic outcomes of choosing full ride T14 versus full ride TTT

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cardnal124
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby cardnal124 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:37 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.


First of all, risk in and of itself does not make for a poor economic decision. Stocks are inherently risky, but anyone with knowledge of financial markets wouldn't say investing in the stock market is a poor economic decision (even considering today's market).

Secondly, the risk of a law school education is fairly low at the T14 level, since 40%+ get NLJ250 jobs paying an average of 145k/year, while another 20% get clerkships with loan forgiveness. Either way 10 years down the road, no debt. Even if the other 40% had nothing to show for the education (which is probably not true), they still would not have to worry about paying off loans if their income is too low. So really, 40% make 145k+, 20% get prestigious clerkships and the rest don't worry about loans. I'd say the risk is pretty low.

Last, there is a real economic value that can be placed on doing what you want in your life. To do this, look at the paycuts people take to work for non-profits they believe in. This is simply another benefit that should be factored in. At a T14 school where there is already a good chance the ROI on the law school investment will be positive, this extra economic value could push this decision over the edge. On the other hand, for a T2 school and below, the probability of a positive ROI is much lower, making the extra benefit from the touchy feely stuff not enough to justify going.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:41 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:huh? i dont think anyone's made deterministic comments. it is about probabilities - the chances of getting a job that pays off the law school debt is significantly greater at a T14 than at a T2 or so. thats all.

and isnt the person banking on the 25% at the T2, where there are fewer PhD's, 175+, etc. ONE of those ppl as well? it is all relative you know. i mean, this is assuming we're talking about a general case and not some outlier (which always exists)


Yes, that is the point I'm trying to bring attention to. Clearly the chances of big law are better at a place, assuming everything is equal, where more firms hire more students. In the end, however, it's operating on an assumption of being better than the average T14 student.

There are so many intangibles associated with the decision to go to law school that a purely economic decision is shortsighted and has many pitfalls, including not being happy and being forced into a career to pay off the debt. On the other hand, it's naive to not take into account the economic considerations and affix those ever-risky rose-colored glasses.

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:44 pm

cardnal124 wrote:First of all, risk in and of itself does not make for a poor economic decision. Stocks are inherently risky, but anyone with knowledge of financial markets wouldn't say investing in the stock market is a poor economic decision (even considering today's market).

Secondly, the risk of a law school education is fairly low at the T14 level, since 40%+ get NLJ250 jobs paying an average of 145k/year, while another 20% get clerkships with loan forgiveness. Either way 10 years down the road, no debt. Even if the other 40% had nothing to show for the education (which is probably not true), they still would not have to worry about paying off loans if their income is too low. So really, 40% make 145k+, 20% get prestigious clerkships and the rest don't worry about loans. I'd say the risk is pretty low.

Last, there is a real economic value that can be placed on doing what you want in your life. To do this, look at the paycuts people take to work for non-profits they believe in. This is simply another benefit that should be factored in. At a T14 school where there is already a good chance the ROI on the law school investment will be positive, this extra economic value could push this decision over the edge. On the other hand, for a T2 school and below, the probability of a positive ROI is much lower, making the extra benefit from the touchy feely stuff not enough to justify going.



Wow, I didn't know 10 years of work in an intense field that many seem to dislike can be taken so lightly.

Oh wait, sorry, that's only if it's a T14 that a decade of life doesn't matter.

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nealric
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby nealric » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:48 pm



I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.


I know that this isn't directed only at me, but I'm not "looking to attend"- I'm about to graduate. But I don't think it's really about refusal to acknowledge the "touchy feely" stuff. If it were just about money, I don't think I would ever caution against lower ranked schools. Next to nobody is going to end up on the streets as the result of their law school decision. It's that in many respects, the lower ranked schools are much more likely to foreclose the opportunities from which someone would get psychic benefit.

I'm not saying that one won't work hard in law school because they didn't work hard studying for the LSAT, but instead saying that the LSAT is the point of least resistance in getting to the legal career that they desire- almost no matter what that legal career is. Even if your fondest desire is to attend the local T3 and open a solo family law practice, scoring an extra few points on the LSAT could enable that dream by giving you a scholarship, which would put you in less debt, which would make it much easier to get capital to start your practice.

And if you think biglaw associates are dissatisfied, you should talk with some people who do temporary document review because they are unable to pay off their student loans any other way. That path has all the negatives of biglaw (probably many more), and none of the positives.

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cardnal124
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby cardnal124 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:59 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
cardnal124 wrote:First of all, risk in and of itself does not make for a poor economic decision. Stocks are inherently risky, but anyone with knowledge of financial markets wouldn't say investing in the stock market is a poor economic decision (even considering today's market).

Secondly, the risk of a law school education is fairly low at the T14 level, since 40%+ get NLJ250 jobs paying an average of 145k/year, while another 20% get clerkships with loan forgiveness. Either way 10 years down the road, no debt. Even if the other 40% had nothing to show for the education (which is probably not true), they still would not have to worry about paying off loans if their income is too low. So really, 40% make 145k+, 20% get prestigious clerkships and the rest don't worry about loans. I'd say the risk is pretty low.

Last, there is a real economic value that can be placed on doing what you want in your life. To do this, look at the paycuts people take to work for non-profits they believe in. This is simply another benefit that should be factored in. At a T14 school where there is already a good chance the ROI on the law school investment will be positive, this extra economic value could push this decision over the edge. On the other hand, for a T2 school and below, the probability of a positive ROI is much lower, making the extra benefit from the touchy feely stuff not enough to justify going.



Wow, I didn't know 10 years of work in an intense field that many seem to dislike can be taken so lightly.

Oh wait, sorry, that's only if it's a T14 that a decade of life doesn't matter.


Most people seem to hate the first 10 years of any profession thats worth a shit. Think about it... everyone in any professional industry works around 60-80 hours a week for years to get to the top. You think anyone likes that?

The point is it's what happens after that 10 years that matters, which includes what doors open up from the jobs you had during the 10 years of hell, which will be significantly better if you graduate from a T14.

And anyways, why do you think the people all do it if they hate it? People who graduate from T14 are the caliber of people that can choose where they go. Especially with new loan forgiveness programs, federal loans aren't that much of a burden.

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darknightbegins
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby darknightbegins » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:03 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.


This was a great post. Going to law school is of course a probability play. Its a risk with your life. All things being equal that risk goes down with a T14 school as opposed to a TT, TTT or TTTT school. However rarely is real life this cut and dry. Many times it can come down to going to a T14 school at sticker and going 180K or 200K in debt vs going to a TT school and having little or no debt, or going to a TT school at sticker and going 100K and debt and going to a TTT school and leaving with very little debt and so on. Also this depends on what kind of career you want and where you want to live.

So trying to tie this back into the OP. If you are going to a TTT school be sure you are going on the cheap and come out with little if any debt. Even if you are going to a TT school be sure you aren't coming out with mega debt, depending on the region of couse as some parts of the country are more expensive and some TT schools dominate their region more than others. If you are going to a T14 and you are going at sticker and will be in the 180K debt or 200K debt area then just be sure you can preform well.

Like Satchmo said no matter what school you go too you should bet on being in the middle of the pack, not the top 15 percent. That goes for attending Cooley or Yale. OP just be sure you are satisfied with the likely job outcome of whatever school you go to and believe you can be happy and financially stable when the expected salary/debt ratio is calculated.

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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby insidethetwenty » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:23 am

Anybody ever think these federal loan forgiveness programs aren't going to be around forever? It seems to me that with the national debt as high as it has been over the last 4-5 years, and no sign of smaller deficits in the future, we might be looking at some scaling-back or abolition of those programs...

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soullesswonder
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby soullesswonder » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:38 am

insidethetwenty wrote:Anybody ever think these federal loan forgiveness programs aren't going to be around forever? It seems to me that with the national debt as high as it has been over the last 4-5 years, and no sign of smaller deficits in the future, we might be looking at some scaling-back or abolition of those programs...


Not sure what you're referring to. The IBR is for federal workers and it's not going anywhere, while LRAPs are managed by individual LSs.

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darknightbegins
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby darknightbegins » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:35 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
insidethetwenty wrote:Anybody ever think these federal loan forgiveness programs aren't going to be around forever? It seems to me that with the national debt as high as it has been over the last 4-5 years, and no sign of smaller deficits in the future, we might be looking at some scaling-back or abolition of those programs...


Not sure what you're referring to. The IBR is for federal workers and it's not going anywhere, while LRAPs are managed by individual LSs.


I had heard Obama was saying something about federal loan forgiveness if students worked for the federal government right out of law school. Not LRAPS but some new program. Sorry I can't be more specific its just something I heard in passing.

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Mattalones
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Mattalones » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:21 pm

Again and again I see people making arguments with the assumptions that general statistics can apply to individuals: If person A is an X and 99% of all Xs are Y, the what is the probability that person A is Y?

The answer is, "There is no way to say ... whether personal is A is a Y depends on the circumstances of person A."

The only question you can actually answer is, "If a randomly selected X is chosen from all Xs, and 99% of all Xs are Y, the what is the probability that the selected X is Y?"

Only if it is random can you say, "The odds are 99%." Otherwise you don't know!

The main point is not to hate on people, but doing it based on invalid reasoning is even worse!

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UnitarySpace
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby UnitarySpace » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:30 pm

In the case where we don't have sufficient information about A - it's not unreasonable to assume that A was randomly selected from X.

koehn2
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby koehn2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:35 pm

darknightbegins wrote:
Great Satchmo wrote:
nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.


This was a great post. Going to law school is of course a probability play. Its a risk with your life. All things being equal that risk goes down with a T14 school as opposed to a TT, TTT or TTTT school. However rarely is real life this cut and dry. Many times it can come down to going to a T14 school at sticker and going 180K or 200K in debt vs going to a TT school and having little or no debt, or going to a TT school at sticker and going 100K and debt and going to a TTT school and leaving with very little debt and so on. Also this depends on what kind of career you want and where you want to live.

So trying to tie this back into the OP. If you are going to a TTT school be sure you are going on the cheap and come out with little if any debt. Even if you are going to a TT school be sure you aren't coming out with mega debt, depending on the region of couse as some parts of the country are more expensive and some TT schools dominate their region more than others. If you are going to a T14 and you are going at sticker and will be in the 180K debt or 200K debt area then just be sure you can preform well.

Like Satchmo said no matter what school you go too you should bet on being in the middle of the pack, not the top 15 percent. That goes for attending Cooley or Yale. OP just be sure you are satisfied with the likely job outcome of whatever school you go to and believe you can be happy and financially stable when the expected salary/debt ratio is calculated.



Okay, well what happens if the place where you can go cheap is not where you want to practice? All are regional schools in this question. I have to option of staying in my home state having minimal debt in comparison to the average cost of tuition of most law schools with decent job prospects from an average T2. I don't want to stay here what so ever. Think midwest and the middle of nowhere. I am looking at schools in San Diego because that is where I want to practice. This means Cal Western a T4, which is looked down highly on this board. Tuition here is extremely high and lets be honest a risk when thinking of securing a job out of school that will allow me to pay back those loans and live comfortably. This is where I want to live and practice and this school is probably my best option with my numbers. I am not looking to conquer the legal world by any means. I am thinking a mid sized firm where I can do interesting work in the field I choose and live comfortably. That's it! Which do you choose?

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General Tso
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby General Tso » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:48 pm

koehn2 wrote:Okay, well what happens if the place where you can go cheap is not where you want to practice? All are regional schools in this question. I have to option of staying in my home state having minimal debt in comparison to the average cost of tuition of most law schools with decent job prospects from an average T2. I don't want to stay here what so ever. Think midwest and the middle of nowhere. I am looking at schools in San Diego because that is where I want to practice. This means Cal Western a T4, which is looked down highly on this board. Tuition here is extremely high and lets be honest a risk when thinking of securing a job out of school that will allow me to pay back those loans and live comfortably. This is where I want to live and practice and this school is probably my best option with my numbers. I am not looking to conquer the legal world by any means. I am thinking a mid sized firm where I can do interesting work in the field I choose and live comfortably. That's it! Which do you choose?


Good luck getting a job at a mid-sized firm in SD out of Cal Western...

My conlaw prof at Hastings told us today not to plan on finding a job in the Bay Area. He was only half joking.

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im_blue
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby im_blue » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:51 pm

koehn2 wrote:
Okay, well what happens if the place where you can go cheap is not where you want to practice? All are regional schools in this question. I have to option of staying in my home state having minimal debt in comparison to the average cost of tuition of most law schools with decent job prospects from an average T2. I don't want to stay here what so ever. Think midwest and the middle of nowhere. I am looking at schools in San Diego because that is where I want to practice. This means Cal Western a T4, which is looked down highly on this board. Tuition here is extremely high and lets be honest a risk when thinking of securing a job out of school that will allow me to pay back those loans and live comfortably. This is where I want to live and practice and this school is probably my best option with my numbers. I am not looking to conquer the legal world by any means. I am thinking a mid sized firm where I can do interesting work in the field I choose and live comfortably. That's it! Which do you choose?


Yeah, but the problem is that getting a small-law job or even no job at all is a significant likelihood ITE.

koehn2
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby koehn2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:50 pm

im_blue wrote:
koehn2 wrote:
Okay, well what happens if the place where you can go cheap is not where you want to practice? All are regional schools in this question. I have to option of staying in my home state having minimal debt in comparison to the average cost of tuition of most law schools with decent job prospects from an average T2. I don't want to stay here what so ever. Think midwest and the middle of nowhere. I am looking at schools in San Diego because that is where I want to practice. This means Cal Western a T4, which is looked down highly on this board. Tuition here is extremely high and lets be honest a risk when thinking of securing a job out of school that will allow me to pay back those loans and live comfortably. This is where I want to live and practice and this school is probably my best option with my numbers. I am not looking to conquer the legal world by any means. I am thinking a mid sized firm where I can do interesting work in the field I choose and live comfortably. That's it! Which do you choose?


Yeah, but the problem is that getting a small-law job or even no job at all is a significant likelihood ITE.



What is ITE?

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General Tso
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby General Tso » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:55 pm

koehn2 wrote:
im_blue wrote:Yeah, but the problem is that getting a small-law job or even no job at all is a significant likelihood ITE.



What is ITE?


In
This
Economy

You still havent responded to my question: what makes you think you will get midlaw out of Cal Western?

koehn2
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby koehn2 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:24 pm

swheat wrote:
koehn2 wrote:
im_blue wrote:Yeah, but the problem is that getting a small-law job or even no job at all is a significant likelihood ITE.



What is ITE?


In
This
Economy

You still havent responded to my question: what makes you think you will get midlaw out of Cal Western?


I don't think anyone can be certain of getting a job after you graduate. Going to law school "ITE" is a risk anywhere right now. Yes, T14 is significantly less of a risk in comparison to a t4 but still a risk in the amount of loans you will take out with no guarantee you will succeed in law school. I have no illusions that *if* I choose to attend Cal Western it will be a difficult feat. I know going in that I am going to have to perform well and be on my game every single day. I don't view it as impossible though like many on this board. I don't think I would be the first one to graduate from a T4 school and survive in the legal community. I see it every single day. I work at a private golf club where there are many that graduated from a nearby T4 school and making enough to pay a $30,000 initiation fee and $750 a month to be a member at a golf club. I would agree this is more the exception than the rule, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. My cousin got a 150 on the LSAT. I think he went to school in the early 2000's and barely got in to a T2 school. Got rejected first, but at the last minute they had an opening. Many of you here would have criticized and discouraged him for attempting to go to school at all. He graduated in the top 10% of his class. Clerked for two judges and currently works for a mid sized firm and is doing extremely well. The legal field is different today than it was even 7 years ago, but being successful in law school is not dependent on mastering the LSAT! I know any school I choose to attend will be a risk, but I am questioning whether to go to a school where I want to practice, but pay high tuition and high cost of living or the alternative of going the "safer" route and go to a school that is low in tuition, low cost of living, and where I have connections in the legal community, but ultimately not where I want to practice and getting stuck in this state with a regional JD diploma.

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GeePee
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby GeePee » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:32 pm

Great Satchmo wrote:
nealric wrote:
Considering the overwhelmingly pompous crowd that inhabits this forum, and the perpetual claims of their 'genius' you would think they'd be capable of answering a simple question. Out of the 100+ posts on this thread, I think 4 of them have been on the topic of T3 success stories. Flame on.


Apologize in advance for the rant:

I don't understand what the point of asking for "T14 success stories" is. I'm sure anybody can find a brothers, friend's, sister's, former college roommate's study partner who is now a multi-millionaire after attending (Insert T3/T4 school here). To me, that's like asking for day trading success stories in an advice thread about dumping one's life savings into speculative penny stocks.

To the OP: I hate to break it to you, but it's very unlikely that your VC experience is going to get you into a firm that does substantial VC work unless you have very high grades from the T3. It is unfair and elitist, but that's the way it works. The cold hard fact is that it is more likely than not that you will not get those grades, just like it is more likely than not that you will not become a millionaire by dumping your life savings into penny stocks. Everybody thinks they will be at the top of the class going into law school, and just about everyone backs that up with commensurate work. The vast majority are disappointed.

What I don't understand is why people think they will work super hard in law school, when they did not work super hard studying for the LSAT. The LSAT is the easy part of law school. You can easily put a solid 200 hours of LSAT studying into lunch breaks and spare minutes over the course of a year. That amount of studying is plenty for a decent score. I'm all for the work hard and be ambitious part, but why to some people insist on doing it the hard way?

Here's an analogy: you are trying to cross a swiftly flowing river. There is a bridge across the river, but it is protected by a 6 foot high brick wall. Otherwise you will have to swim (and possibly drown). The people who refuse to properly prepare for the LSAT are refusing to climb the wall in favor of trying to swim for it. Sure, you can possibly swim across the river, but why would you swim when there is a perfectly good bridge? I'm all for ambition, but ambition needs to be sensibly directed if it is going to do any good.

As an aside, I think a big problem with the discussions about T3/T4 is the ex-ante/ex-post problem. For someone thinking about attending such a school, it's important that they understand that for the vast majority of folks, the school will be a terrible investment. For someone already attending or who has graduated from such a school, it's indeed elitist and childish to try to denigrate them. The problem is that those who already attend or who have graduated from T3/T4 schools often think the ex-ante advice is an ex-post attack on their decision.


This is where economics falls short of behavioral economics and consumer choice - economics assumes a purely rational decision based upon assigned value in the vacuum of emotion.

Just because you didn't take time to work on the LSAT's does not have a causal relationship with how hard you work in school. Is it likely pretty highly correlated? Yes.

If you really want to make this into a purely economic question, consider other career fields. I would say that the risk inherent in schools is likely a poor economic decision for most law students, even some in the T14 (because, the bottom of the class isn't necessarily going to find great employment and they may well be saddled with $180k in debt).

I find it funny that those looking to attend the T14 acknowledge the utils in all of the non-economic, fuzzy-touchy-feely stuff that they chide those applicants looking at T2 and below consider.

Not everyone is going to be rich. Not everyone is going to be happy. Not everyone is going to be powerful.

It seems foolish for one to assign such economic consideration to a probabilistic outcome that has so many qualitative measures that are difficult to consider.

This is a very incomplete and inaccurate description of what economics actually entails. I don't really have the time to teach econ and statistics to fully explain why right now, but there are other ways to describe a utility-maximizing agent other than their expected monetary earnings within a purely economic scope. Really, most of the T3/T4 phenomenon seems to come from information imbalances and an individual whose search for prestige is highly correlated with a risk-loving attitude (i.e., why they also might believe studying for little time for the LSAT is a good decision to maximize their utility). So, their decision would be purely rational based on their preferences, despite not fitting into many of our preference profiles. Whether or not they *should* attend a T3/T4 is another story entirely, but economics is not a normative field.

Pure monetary expectation might break down when agents' preferences change. Economics does not.

Danteshek
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Re: Why is everyone so anti T3?

Postby Danteshek » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:33 pm

If you work hard and do well, you will be fine. Not having a sense of entitlement (unlike so many on this board) is important for your future success.




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