University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:32 pm

Kind of an out of nowhere observation, but I just had to say: one of your former students was in a movie about World of Warcraft and the best players in the world who compete in it. Seemed like an awesome guy (that isn't meant to be sarcastic). Not sure why I wanted to post that, but there it is.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:07 pm

@ Renne Walker, Pate & Birdnals

This forum is for folks who are interested in learning more about the University of Kansas School of Law. It is not a site for holding a debate over whether law school is worth it. There are plenty of threads for that. I am tempted to make the strong case for why law school can be a sound career choice for most people, but I am not going to be drawn into an endless argument with folks who have no interest in KU Law. That would detract from the purpose of this site.

If you care to carry on the debate elsewhere, I have some resources for you. If you want to hear the pro-law school side, Professor Aaron Taylor offered his thoughts at http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/w ... l-worth-it. If you disagree with his anything in his essay, I encourage you to start a thread elsewhere discussing the article.

Also, although I never encourage folks to view a law school as a financial investment, you can do the math on http://www.finaid.com to see if what level of debt are you comfortable with. In my next posting, I'm going to use the loan calculator to see how an average student fares at KU Law. (cont'd)

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:28 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:If you care to carry on the debate elsewhere, I have some resources for you. If you want to hear the pro-law school side, Professor Aaron Taylor offered his thoughts at http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/w ... l-worth-it. If you disagree with his anything in his essay, I encourage you to start a thread elsewhere discussing the article.


It comes off as a little disingenuous to 1) tell posters to stop discussing whether going to KU Law is financially worth it, but then 2) to post an article that amounts to little more than propaganda and 3) say that no one can discuss its merits, either.

I agree this thread shouldn't be cluttered with a generic discussion of "law school: yay or nay?" -- but you also shouldn't contribute to it as you did above.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:31 pm

So here's a fair analysis of why I think Kansas Law is a good value and a good decision for folks who want to start a career with a law degree.

The average debt at graduation for a Kansas Law student is $67,598. With a ten year repayment schedule and a 6.8% interest rate, the monthly debt payment for a student is $777. If you committed 15% of your salary to loan repayments, you would need an average salary of $62,233 to afford that payment. It would be tight, but it would certainly be doable.

But what if you don't average $62,233 per year? Well, most students consolidate their loans into 30 year loans. It's true that you'll end up paying more in interest over the course of the loan. But if you look at the math, you might agree that it makes sense to do this. If I change the number of years to 30 years, the monthly loan payment drops to $440 per month and you only need to make $35,255 to afford the loan repayments assuming you direct 15% of your salary to loan payments.

Even in this really tough market, I don't think it's a stretch to tell someone that they have a very good chance of averaging $35,255 - $62,233 in salary during the first ten years of their post law school career. (note: all of these calculations come from using the calculator available at http://www.finaid.org/calculators/loanpayments.phtml).

So that's a financial analysis of why attending the University of Kansas School of Law can be an affordable option. Next I'll close with some thoughts on folks who don't make a lot of money as attorneys - but still love what they do. (cont'd)
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:32 pm

PS: KU Law is a fantastic value for those interested in KS/MO, and it has a great reputation in this area. Many of its graduates are unhappy with their current career prospects, but none of them blames it on the school, but rather the economy. At least you come away without too much crippling debt.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:14 pm

Before I talk about lawyers who don't make a lot of money, let's not lose sight of the fact that most lawyers do well financially. Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce does extensive research tracking average lifetime earnings by salary (http://cew.georgetown.edu/collegepayoff) and attorneys are among the highest paid group.

But certainly many attorneys make relatively normal salaries. This group includes prosecutors, defenders, state employees, public interest attorneys and attorneys working for small and medium sized firms. Talk to these folks. Most of them (not all) are happy with their choices. This includes recent graduates too who have higher debt loads. Law is an honorable career with the chance to make a real impact in life. Who knows, maybe accounting or engineering pays off better. And that's great for people who want to be accountant or engineers (no disrepect for either vocation, my dad's an engineer and my mom's an accountant - they both loved their jobs). But if you want to be in an intellectually demanding career with the potential for good earnings and/or the ability to help people, law is a really good way to go.

But let's face it, not every graduate these days is finding a career in law. Last year 67% of our students found full-time positions in JD required or JD preferred positions within nine months of graduation. It's safe to assume a number more will eventually end up in a legal job, but we also have to acknowledge some folks won't. So what does that mean for those graduates? Although there is an absence of data out there to definitively answer the question, most people would acknowledge that even for folks who do not find employment as lawyers, having a JD can only help someone over the course of a forty-fifty year career.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:19 pm

@ Renne Walker

Regarding the old data on Top Law School's website, I don't manage the TLS website. You need to ask them why the data is out of date. For up to date data, please view our website at http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:49 pm

@ Mr. Somebody & 2014

I agree that KU Law is a great choice for students seeking to practice in Kansas and in the Kansas City area. But I strongly disagree that KU Law grads are not able to find employment opportunities outside of our local area. In fact, each year about 25-35% of job placements take place outside of our region (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD). Last year students found employment in fifteen different states and one foreign country.

We maintain a list of employers from outside Kansas and Missouri - it's pretty long (http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/us ... yers.shtml). These represent employers within the last five years who hired a KU Law graduate within nine months of graduation. It includes NLJ 250 law firms (Pepper Hamilton, Morgan Lewis, Wiley Rein), federal positions (Dept. of Justice, Commerce, Education, PTO), median and entertainment (Northern Arizona, CNN, the NCAA). We even have some international placements including the World Bank in D.C., Clifford Chance in Frankfurt, and Deloitte in Tokyo.

Listen, we're always honest with prospective students. The above list is not a typical outcome for a KU Law student. Two-thirds of our class comes from Kansas and two-thirds of our class are thrilled to stay in Kansas. If you click on the link, you'll see most of the positions outisde of our region are similar to the positions found in our region - small and medium sized law firms where you can build a career. The vast majority of our students do not go on to work at the biggest law firms in the biggest cities. But our students work all over the country. And our standout students do end up in remarkable places. For these reasons, we can say with certainty that a KU Law degree travels. And it travels well.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Renne Walker » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:22 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:@ Renne Walker

Regarding the old data on Top Law School's website, I don't manage the TLS website. You need to ask them why the data is out of date. For up to date data, please view our website at http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats.


Since you asked.

Below is the NEW up-to-date-data (as in a couple weeks ago) from Law School Transparency. What is it you disagree with? The UK employment score of only 47.6% the UK un/unemployment score of 29.8%, or the 4.6% placement into large firms?

--LinkRemoved--

BTW: I love LS. I also am intrigued with stats, and right now the stats from the highly respected LST and UK do NOT jive.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:39 pm

It's KU. UK is kentucky.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby ahnhub » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:45 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
JayhawkLaw wrote:@ Renne Walker

Regarding the old data on Top Law School's website, I don't manage the TLS website. You need to ask them why the data is out of date. For up to date data, please view our website at http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats.


Since you asked.

Below is the NEW up-to-date-data (as in a couple weeks ago) from Law School Transparency. What is it you disagree with? The UK employment score of only 47.6% the UK un/unemployment score of 29.8%, or the 4.6% placement into large firms?

--LinkRemoved--

BTW: I love LS. I also am intrigued with stats, and right now the stats from the highly respected LST and UK do NOT jive.


They jive. LST's data is just a lot more granular.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Renne Walker » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:49 pm

ahnhub wrote:LST's data is just a lot more granular.


Granular? The KU 29.8% un/underemployed score is pretty much in your face. Ditto the 47.6% employment score.

I don’t have a dog in this fight and I think it’s pretty cool that a LS Dean is taking questions on TLS. I wish more would.

All I know about KU is the one story from a friend whose dad hired a KU LS grad as a $30K a year insurance salesperson. Of course, stories aboout Law students not finding legal work are widespread.

There is always a thread on TLS about the glut of new JDs versus the shortage of jobs ― the brunt of the blame is often aimed at non-tier 1 schools because exiting school with no job and $100K or so in debt is no small thing.

As far as the employment data, maybe the dean will explain why the KU and LST data are so different.
Last edited by Renne Walker on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby btp » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:12 pm

Dean Freedman,

Sorry for the re-post. I just wanted to make sure you did not miss my question. Growing up in the KC area, KU has been and still is my dream school and I was wondering if you offer any sort of early-decision option. Thank You.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:06 am

@ btp

Sorry, I missed that one. We do not have an early decision program. My concern, and I believe the school's concern, is that many early decision programs take advantage of students who must commit to a school before they even know what their full range of options are. If we were to do it, I would favor following those schools that offer sizable scholarship offers to students who commit early. That seems like a more balanced equation. But for now, we do not foresee starting such a program.

Although we do not have an early decision program, there are ways to get an early decision from us. Most significantly, apply early in the fall. Our goal is to provide answers to early applicants before we get to the later applicants. If your goal is to let us know that you are specifically interested in KU Law, I encourage you to submit the optional Kansas statement in the application.

Finally, you might want to consider our Summer Start program (http://www.law.ku.edu/prospective/admissions/summerstart/). Since Summer Starters have an earlier start date (late May), you will likely hear from us earlier than if you applied for the Fall.
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:08 am

Does an application statement such as "KU is my first choice" or "if accepted, I will attend" help ?

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:11 am

@ Canadian Wolf

Yes, that will help. But even more helpful would be to fill out the optional Kansas essay on the application.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:42 am

@ Renne Walker

Everyone has an agenda and LST clearly has an agenda to paint as bleak a picture as possible. The way they present the data is slanted. Why aren't solo practitioners counted in their employment score? Under that method Abraham Lincoln would not count. Why aren't FBI agents counted towards the score? Why aren't folks doing compliance in athletics departments counted? We have a student with a permanent job offer from a big firm, that firm is paying for him to get an LL.M. at NYU. Why is he not counted? Why do they list the non-discounted cost, but not the average debt at graduation? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

LST is also inaccurate. LST states that the KU Law Class of 2011 had a 2.4% school funded rate, which comes out to four school funded students. In fact, we only had two school funded positions, both of which were full-time, at least year long positions (one is a funded fellowship, the other is a permanent position in the library). So the correct number is 1.2%.

So what do we do? We put all the data on our web site, both the top line data and the underlying data that makes it up. We're honest with our students letting them know it has a been a difficult market. But we're also honest with our students when we tell them that most of our students are finding the types of jobs they expected to get when they started law school. And we're also honest with our students that our students find a broad range of positions, from foot-in-the-door part-time positions with small firms, to employment at some of the largest law firms in the world.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby btp » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:13 am

Why does KU look at both scores rather than just the highest. Wouldn't it be in the best interest of both parties to only use the highest score? Also, what is your opinion on the LSAT? It could be that a 157 gets you in and a 153 you are out, yet is that person who answered 5 or 6 more questions right on a 4-hour test more qualified than the other. It sucks that US News has put such pressure on accepting high LSAT scores.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:22 am

btp wrote:Why does KU look at both scores rather than just the highest. Wouldn't it be in the best interest of both parties to only use the highest score? Also, what is your opinion on the LSAT? It could be that a 157 gets you in and a 153 you are out, yet is that person who answered 5 or 6 more questions right on a 4-hour test more qualified than the other. It sucks that US News has put such pressure on accepting high LSAT scores.


Because GPA/LSAT are easily measurable variables that give at least some indication about a person's ability to make logical decisions in a time crunch. What's really difficult is attempting to establish some sort of soft factor hierarchy. You simpy cannot eliminate all "unfair" factors from the admissions process. It's not possible.

Here is a question I think is more appropriate for this thread: what percentage of graduates go to practice in cities with >100,000 people? >50,000? I want to ask whether or not Washburn having a law school is a good thing for the legal community (oversaturating) or not, but I suspect you won't want to touch that one.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby Samara » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:28 am

JayhawkLaw wrote:@ Renne Walker

Everyone has an agenda and LST clearly has an agenda to paint as bleak a picture as possible. The way they present the data is slanted. Why aren't solo practitioners counted in their employment score? Under that method Abraham Lincoln would not count. Why aren't FBI agents counted towards the score? Why aren't folks doing compliance in athletics departments counted? We have a student with a permanent job offer from a big firm, that firm is paying for him to get an LL.M. at NYU. Why is he not counted? Why do they list the non-discounted cost, but not the average debt at graduation? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

LST is also inaccurate. LST states that the KU Law Class of 2011 had a 2.4% school funded rate, which comes out to four school funded students. In fact, we only had two school funded positions, both of which were full-time, at least year long positions (one is a funded fellowship, the other is a permanent position in the library). So the correct number is 1.2%.

So what do we do? We put all the data on our web site, both the top line data and the underlying data that makes it up. We're honest with our students letting them know it has a been a difficult market. But we're also honest with our students when we tell them that most of our students are finding the types of jobs they expected to get when they started law school. And we're also honest with our students that our students find a broad range of positions, from foot-in-the-door part-time positions with small firms, to employment at some of the largest law firms in the world.

Thanks for contributing on TLS! This post highlights why gauging job prospects is so difficult given the data that the ABA requires and is typically submitted by schools. Do you think there is a better way to report job placement statistics? Do you think change will come from the ABA or from the schools themselves?

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:04 pm

@ btp

We look at all the LSAT scores, but pay more attention to the highest score since that's what we report to the ABA.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:07 pm

@ samara & bseq

You ask some good questions, but I would like to stay focused on questions about KU Law. There are a lot of good vibrant discussions going on about these issues, I encourage everyone to take part in them.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:53 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:@ samara & bseq

You ask some good questions, but I would like to stay focused on questions about KU Law. There are a lot of good vibrant discussions going on about these issues, I encourage everyone to take part in them.



But I did ask one.

bjsesq wrote:Here is a question I think is more appropriate for this thread: what percentage of graduates go to practice in cities with >100,000 people? >50,000?

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby JayhawkLaw » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:06 pm

@ bjseq We compile data by state, not city. And we don't maintain data on city size. So I think that would be a tough answer to get for you. On our website we list the city and state for every full-time position our students have found in the past five years. You need to click on the link "Employers in Kansas & Missouri" and also "Employers in the U.S. and the World". That should give you a good sense of the types of cities our students end up in.

http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats
Last edited by JayhawkLaw on Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: University of Kansas School of Law Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:09 pm

JayhawkLaw wrote:@ bjseq We compile data by state, not city. And we certainly don't maintain data on city size. So I think that would be a tough answer to get for you. On our website we list the city and state for every full-time position our students have found in the past five years. You need to click on the link "Employers in Kansas & Missouri" and also "Employers in the U.S. and the World". That should give you a good sense of the types of cities our students end up in.

http://www.law.ku.edu/careerservices/employmentstats


Thank you. I was just attempting to gauge how many students end up in the big city atmosphere and how many had more rural practices. I know that some states, South Dakota being one, was paying graduates to be attorneys in rural towns so a service could be provided to those extremely rural areas.




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