Choosing location and ranking

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15506
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:55 pm

jerichosm wrote:http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch19.html

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible on your tax return. However, if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $75,000 ($150,000 if filing a joint return) there is a special deduction allowed for paying interest on a student loan (also known as an education loan) used for higher education. For most taxpayers, MAGI is the adjusted gross income as figured on their federal income tax return before subtracting any deduction for student loan interest. This deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500 in 2011.

Edit: This helps to some degree.


$2500*(marginal tax rate) hardly helps at all. You need to adjust your formula to account for the fact that loans are paid with after-tax money.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:59 pm

I've made up my mind to ask Romothesavior to either 1) kick me in the nuts as hard as he can, or 2) take a swing at my knees with a 2 by 4 with several nails in it. I've made up my mind. Which should I choose???

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:11 pm

Grizz wrote:
jerichosm wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:Wondering when you graduated UG, considering barely anyone I know who graduated ITE is making that much.


Wondering the qualifications of the posters on here crushing peoples' dreams -- rather than advising the best path to follow through law school (since almost everyone on here has already decided such) they try to tell them to not attend.

Can I get a CV from any of you that do this?

Don't want advice, don't poast.


Grizz, at least you're consistent and honest.
Gail wrote:
jerichosm wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:What world do you live in where making $50k straight out of undergrad is "worst case"?


The one where I have tangible work experience and didn't run the drive-thru at KFC through undergrad. The one where I attended a strong undergraduate institute that provided me with the skills, education, and connections to either continue with my education or attain a solid job.

State schools = poison


Mom and dad?


This jackass, on the other hand, has no idea what he's talking about.

Edit: Or she.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:13 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
jerichosm wrote:http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch19.html

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Generally, personal interest you pay, other than certain mortgage interest, is not deductible on your tax return. However, if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $75,000 ($150,000 if filing a joint return) there is a special deduction allowed for paying interest on a student loan (also known as an education loan) used for higher education. For most taxpayers, MAGI is the adjusted gross income as figured on their federal income tax return before subtracting any deduction for student loan interest. This deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $2,500 in 2011.

Edit: This helps to some degree.


$2500*(marginal tax rate) hardly helps at all. You need to adjust your formula to account for the fact that loans are paid with after-tax money.


I might not. If Obama takes the whitehouse again, it may only be Zuckerberg and Buffett paying taxes -- it's only fair!

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:14 pm

And for the record, I gather my opinion from working at a debt-collection law firm that specializes in student loan collection.

It's funny seeing these things in action.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:16 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Grizz wrote:
jerichosm wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:Wondering when you graduated UG, considering barely anyone I know who graduated ITE is making that much.


Wondering the qualifications of the posters on here crushing peoples' dreams -- rather than advising the best path to follow through law school (since almost everyone on here has already decided such) they try to tell them to not attend.

Can I get a CV from any of you that do this?

Don't want advice, don't poast.

Yeah no shit.

Also, LOLOLOLOLOL @ $63,000 being a worst case scenario for people at T2s and up. I know people who would chew off a testicle for a $60,000 job at a T20 right now.



Sounds like the people you know are very good at job searches and clearly in the top of their class.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:17 pm

jerichosm wrote:And for the record, I gather my opinion from working at a debt-collection law firm that specializes in student loan collection.

It's funny seeing these things in action.

Look, that's great that you have some anecdotal evidence on debt collection, but you said this:

These are worst-case scenario for anyone that didn't attend a cookie-cutter state institution and get a bachelor's degree in psychology OR someone who didn't attend a non at least T-2 law school.


...which is just patently false on both accounts. You can't say things like this and try to portray yourself as fact-based, or even intelligent.

User avatar
Nelson
Posts: 2061
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:43 am

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby Nelson » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:20 pm

Grizz wrote:I've made up my mind to ask Romothesavior to either 1) kick me in the nuts as hard as he can, or 2) take a swing at my knees with a 2 by 4 with several nails in it. I've made up my mind. Which should I choose???

2 is TCR. Enjoy big Social Security disability coverage.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:20 pm

jerichosm wrote:Sounds like the people you know are very good at job searches and clearly in the top of their class.

Top 25% and law review?

Top third with extensive work experience in a very competitive field?

Hordes of top top half people with great personalities who have applied to hundreds upon hundreds of jobs?

Should I go on? You clearly have no idea what is going on with the legal market right now, so don't come in here spewing a bunch of fucking nonsense and telling us that it is easy to get jobs, especially 60k+ jobs, for anyone at a T2 and up just by virtue of being there with decent grades.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:21 pm

romothesavior wrote:
jerichosm wrote:And for the record, I gather my opinion from working at a debt-collection law firm that specializes in student loan collection.

It's funny seeing these things in action.

Look, that's great that you have some anecdotal evidence on debt collection, but you said this:

These are worst-case scenario for anyone that didn't attend a cookie-cutter state institution and get a bachelor's degree in psychology OR someone who didn't attend a non at least T-2 law school.


...which is just patently false on both accounts. You can't say things like this and try to portray yourself as fact-based, or even intelligent.



Well, I quoted the sources I used -- so unless you care to dispute the validity of CNN Money, which I have no problem with, then I'm not sure what you're aiming at. Yes, I used hyperbole, but the underlying principles are factual.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:22 pm

romothesavior wrote:
jerichosm wrote:Sounds like the people you know are very good at job searches and clearly in the top of their class.

Top 25% and law review?

Top third with extensive work experience in a very competitive field?

Hordes of top top half people with great personalities who have applied to hundreds upon hundreds of jobs?

Should I go on? You clearly have no idea what is going on with the legal market right now, so don't come in here spewing a bunch of fucking nonsense and telling us that it is easy to get jobs, especially 60k+ jobs, for anyone at a T2 and up just by virtue of being there with decent grades.


I remember when a gentle smile got me a job. It's not "fucking nonsense", I'm just analyzing the data the way I see it. I don't real the editorial section of the Journal everyday to decide how I feel about an issue -- I looked at the data, and this is what it says to me.


Edit: And I never said "decent grades". If you want a great job, get great grades. It's not rocket science.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:27 pm

jerichosm wrote:If you want a great job, get great grades.

The law school curve is a zero sum game, and from lower ranked law schools (and even higher ranked ones), it is impossible for wide swathes of the class to make the grades that make getting the jobs that are needed to pay back big debt (generally large and medium sized firms that recruit at the beginning of 2L) feasible.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:30 pm

Grizz wrote:
jerichosm wrote:If you want a great job, get great grades.

The law school curve is a zero sum game, and from lower ranked law schools (and even higher ranked ones), it is impossible for wide swathes of the class to make the grades that make getting the jobs that are needed to pay back big debt (generally large and medium sized firms that recruit at the beginning of 2L) feasible.


I'm not asking for handouts -- if I don't get a good job, it will be because I didn't put the grades up that I should've. I'm not going to blame personal incompetence on a free market that only hires the best students -- that's capitalism.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby Grizz » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:33 pm

jerichosm wrote:
Grizz wrote:
jerichosm wrote:If you want a great job, get great grades.

The law school curve is a zero sum game, and from lower ranked law schools (and even higher ranked ones), it is impossible for wide swathes of the class to make the grades that make getting the jobs that are needed to pay back big debt (generally large and medium sized firms that recruit at the beginning of 2L) feasible.


I'm not asking for handouts -- if I don't get a good job, it will be because I didn't put the grades up that I should've. I'm not going to blame personal incompetence on a free market that only hires the best students -- that's capitalism.

Well all I'm saying is adjust for the damn risks by minimizing debt, and I mean taking out $50k-$75, for somewhere decent (none of the schools OP is looking at) or going to a top school. Think about this for >2 seconds.
Last edited by Grizz on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
20130312
Posts: 3842
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby 20130312 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:33 pm

jerichosm wrote:I gather my opinion from working at a debt-collection law firm that specializes in student loan collection.


And you want to go to law school? :shock:

ETA: Oh wait, I gather that you're a "bold conservative" from the anti-Obama dribble.

Enjoy this.
Last edited by 20130312 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:36 pm

Grizz wrote:
jerichosm wrote:
Grizz wrote:
jerichosm wrote:If you want a great job, get great grades.

The law school curve is a zero sum game, and from lower ranked law schools (and even higher ranked ones), it is impossible for wide swathes of the class to make the grades that make getting the jobs that are needed to pay back big debt (generally large and medium sized firms that recruit at the beginning of 2L) feasible.


I'm not asking for handouts -- if I don't get a good job, it will be because I didn't put the grades up that I should've. I'm not going to blame personal incompetence on a free market that only hires the best students -- that's capitalism.

Well all I'm saying is adjust for the damn risks by minimizing debt, and I mean taking out $50k-$75, for somewhere decent (none of the schools OP is looking at) or going to a top school. Think about this for >2 seconds.



Okay, okay. Point taken. [Opens mouth, inserts foot.]

OP, if you're going below Top 50, go for free, or not at all, unless you're financially stable or independently wealthy and can counteract the high risk.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:36 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
jerichosm wrote:I gather my opinion from working at a debt-collection law firm that specializes in student loan collection.


And you want to go to law school? :shock:


It's kind of sickening how tied our hands are as a firm because the FDCPA is so stringent. I almost want to default on my own loans to achieve a lower interest rate!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:38 pm

Only consider your West Coast plan with a full tuition, no stipulations scholarship in hand.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:39 pm

jerichosm wrote:Well, I quoted the sources I used -- so unless you care to dispute the validity of CNN Money, which I have no problem with, then I'm not sure what you're aiming at. Yes, I used hyperbole, but the underlying principles are factual.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176606&p=5146995#p5146995

There is a better article out here analyzing the most recent job data, but I couldn't find it. I will keep looking and post it later if I can.

P.S. Just for disclosure, Paul Campos, author of the post I just linked, is a law professor.

User avatar
jerichosm
Posts: 160
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby jerichosm » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:42 pm

romothesavior wrote:
jerichosm wrote:Well, I quoted the sources I used -- so unless you care to dispute the validity of CNN Money, which I have no problem with, then I'm not sure what you're aiming at. Yes, I used hyperbole, but the underlying principles are factual.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176606&p=5146995#p5146995

There is a better article out here analyzing the most recent job data, but I couldn't find it. I will keep looking and post it later if I can.

P.S. Just for disclosure, Paul Campos, author of the post I just linked, is a law professor.



I'll take it a look at it a little later -- thank you for the post.

P.S. Sorry for being a douche -- it's just something I feel strongly about.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:43 pm

jerichosm wrote:
romothesavior wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176606&p=5146995#p5146995

There is a better article out here analyzing the most recent job data, but I couldn't find it. I will keep looking and post it later if I can.

P.S. Just for disclosure, Paul Campos, author of the post I just linked, is a law professor.



I'll take it a look at it a little later -- thank you for the post.

P.S. Sorry for being a douche -- it's just something I feel strongly about.

Not the post I was looking for, but this is a good one. Enjoy.

Basic overview: 58% of graduates got ABA graduates got full-time, JD-required jobs. That number alone is appallingly bad. But even it is exaggerated, as Professor Campos points out.

In 2010, ABA-accredited law schools, who have extremely powerful incentives to discover the extent to which their graduates have legal jobs, and indeed are increasingly inventing "jobs" for ever-larger proportions of their graduates, were able to report that a total of 58% of their graduates had full-time employment requiring a law degree nine months after graduation. But consider what that figure includes:

(1) Temp work. If during the NALP survey window a graduate happened to be on a six-week document review project requiring 40 hours per week of work and the possession of a law degree (as most such projects do), then guess what: that person counts as someone who has full-time employment requiring a law degree.

(2) "Jobs" that feature a nominal or completely non-existent salary. How many graduates of the class of 2010 listed themselves as employed full-time in a position requiring a law degree when what they were doing was working for free? Given that only 40% of the national class of 2010 reported a salary to NALP, and given that a brief tour of the interwebs reveals that a lot of law school graduates are working for free, the answer is "we don't actually know (because we don't want to know)" but the number appears to be, as the stats people say, non-trivial.

(3) "Jobs" invented by law schools to pump up putative employment rates. This category included more than 4% of all "jobs" reported by 2010 graduates, and there's every indication that the 2011 number in for this category is going to be much, much higher.

(4) Short-term positions which will leave those in them unemployed within a few months after the survey window. Judicial clerkships fall in this category: the NALP definition of "short term" employment is any employment that is scheduled to last less than one year. This allows schools to list their graduates in judicial clerkships as having long-term employment. Now while it's true that an Article III clerkship is usually something a graduate took when the graduate would have had the option of a taking a long-term full-time job requiring a law degree, Article III clerkships make up a very small percentage of judicial clerkships as a whole. Most judicial clerkships are state district court positions that, in the vast majority of cases, are going to leave those who take them searching for legal employment quite shortly. But they can be -- and often are -- counted by schools as full-time long-term employment requiring a law degree.

(5) Unsustainable forms of self-employment. Nearly one third of 2010 law graduates who listed themselves as employed full-time in a position requiring a law degree were either in solo practices or with "firms" of 2-10 employees. Many of the latter positions consist of a couple of new grads opening a law office and trying to make a go of it, in a hyper-saturated market in which they (naturally) have almost no idea what they're doing, because the whole "practicing law" thing -- not to mention the "running your own small business" thing -- wasn't covered during the course of their legal education.

It's safe to say the statistic that 58% of 2010 grads were discovered to be in full-time employment requiring a law degree nine months after graduation is a very significant overstatement of the true legal employment rate for recent law graduates. And the true legal employment rate for recent law graduates has, in the end, nothing to do with whether this or that person had good grades, or good people skills, or good connections, or anything else. People don't get jobs as lawyers because there are more than twice as many law school graduates as there are jobs for lawyers. This ratio is, from the perspective of new graduates, getting worse every day. Any discussion of law school reform that doesn't put this fact front and center is just whistling past an increasingly full professional graveyard.


Yes, this affects T3/4 schools disproportionately, but even T1-T2 schools are struggling to place the majority of their students into full-time, JD-required jobs. And of those who do find jobs, only a small percentage are getting jobs that are well-paying enough to justify the incredible cost of tuition.

This isn't a statement on capitalism or some other stupid bullshit. It's a simple cost-benefit analysis, one which any professed Obama-hating capitalist loving man like yourself should appreciate. For the majority of students, the costs of a JD does not justify the expense.

User avatar
J-e-L-L-o
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:42 am

Re: Choosing location and ranking

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:11 am

romothesavior wrote:
jerichosm wrote:
romothesavior wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=176606&p=5146995#p5146995

There is a better article out here analyzing the most recent job data, but I couldn't find it. I will keep looking and post it later if I can.

P.S. Just for disclosure, Paul Campos, author of the post I just linked, is a law professor.



I'll take it a look at it a little later -- thank you for the post.

P.S. Sorry for being a douche -- it's just something I feel strongly about.

Not the post I was looking for, but this is a good one. Enjoy.

Basic overview: 58% of graduates got ABA graduates got full-time, JD-required jobs. That number alone is appallingly bad. But even it is exaggerated, as Professor Campos points out.

In 2010, ABA-accredited law schools, who have extremely powerful incentives to discover the extent to which their graduates have legal jobs, and indeed are increasingly inventing "jobs" for ever-larger proportions of their graduates, were able to report that a total of 58% of their graduates had full-time employment requiring a law degree nine months after graduation. But consider what that figure includes:

(1) Temp work. If during the NALP survey window a graduate happened to be on a six-week document review project requiring 40 hours per week of work and the possession of a law degree (as most such projects do), then guess what: that person counts as someone who has full-time employment requiring a law degree.

(2) "Jobs" that feature a nominal or completely non-existent salary. How many graduates of the class of 2010 listed themselves as employed full-time in a position requiring a law degree when what they were doing was working for free? Given that only 40% of the national class of 2010 reported a salary to NALP, and given that a brief tour of the interwebs reveals that a lot of law school graduates are working for free, the answer is "we don't actually know (because we don't want to know)" but the number appears to be, as the stats people say, non-trivial.

(3) "Jobs" invented by law schools to pump up putative employment rates. This category included more than 4% of all "jobs" reported by 2010 graduates, and there's every indication that the 2011 number in for this category is going to be much, much higher.

(4) Short-term positions which will leave those in them unemployed within a few months after the survey window. Judicial clerkships fall in this category: the NALP definition of "short term" employment is any employment that is scheduled to last less than one year. This allows schools to list their graduates in judicial clerkships as having long-term employment. Now while it's true that an Article III clerkship is usually something a graduate took when the graduate would have had the option of a taking a long-term full-time job requiring a law degree, Article III clerkships make up a very small percentage of judicial clerkships as a whole. Most judicial clerkships are state district court positions that, in the vast majority of cases, are going to leave those who take them searching for legal employment quite shortly. But they can be -- and often are -- counted by schools as full-time long-term employment requiring a law degree.

(5) Unsustainable forms of self-employment. Nearly one third of 2010 law graduates who listed themselves as employed full-time in a position requiring a law degree were either in solo practices or with "firms" of 2-10 employees. Many of the latter positions consist of a couple of new grads opening a law office and trying to make a go of it, in a hyper-saturated market in which they (naturally) have almost no idea what they're doing, because the whole "practicing law" thing -- not to mention the "running your own small business" thing -- wasn't covered during the course of their legal education.

It's safe to say the statistic that 58% of 2010 grads were discovered to be in full-time employment requiring a law degree nine months after graduation is a very significant overstatement of the true legal employment rate for recent law graduates. And the true legal employment rate for recent law graduates has, in the end, nothing to do with whether this or that person had good grades, or good people skills, or good connections, or anything else. People don't get jobs as lawyers because there are more than twice as many law school graduates as there are jobs for lawyers. This ratio is, from the perspective of new graduates, getting worse every day. Any discussion of law school reform that doesn't put this fact front and center is just whistling past an increasingly full professional graveyard.


Yes, this affects T3/4 schools disproportionately, but even T1-T2 schools are struggling to place the majority of their students into full-time, JD-required jobs. And of those who do find jobs, only a small percentage are getting jobs that are well-paying enough to justify the incredible cost of tuition.

This isn't a statement on capitalism or some other stupid bullshit. It's a simple cost-benefit analysis, one which any professed Obama-hating capitalist loving man like yourself should appreciate. For the majority of students, the costs of a JD does not justify the expense.


Where's the like button?

Thanx for posting.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AriGold33, existentialcrisis and 6 guests