Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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reasonable_man
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby reasonable_man » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:42 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:Look at the data from Law School Transparency:
--LinkRemoved--

Long story short, they placed 0 students in biglaw. Indeed, no student was known to be working for a firm larger than 50 attorneys. 24% of graduates of the class of 2011 were known to be completely unemployed at the time of data collection (which I believe is 9 months after graduation, but I could be thinking of NALP data).

If you attend regents, you essentially plan on making $40k-$60k a year working for a small law firm (2-10 attorneys), and probably taking on non-prestigious clients (think DUIs, standard divorce cases, etc.).

There's nothing wrong with this lifestyle, and it's definitely attractive to some people, but keep in mind that this will be essentially your only option coming out of Regent, literally no one from Regent goes to work for biglaw.


But he will have the lord on his side...

jwinaz
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby jwinaz » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:09 pm

rayiner wrote:Law school is 5% about receiving a legal education, and 95% about signaling your intelligence to employers. A Regent JD signals that you've got bottom of the barrel capabilities. I'm not going to debate whether or not this mindset is justified, but in my experience with the legal field it's exactly the mindset that people in charge of hiring have.



I see what you guys mean. I've been reading here. But for the record, as I tried to explain to another person above, I was asking two different sets of questions. I wasn't so much asking about the ability to get jobs, but instead about the competency of a Regent Law grad for why people were "bashing" the school.

But, yeah, I see what you and others mean about job outlook.

It's still kind of hard to believe that if you go to a very good law school like UVA and pay $150-175K for everything that you may be unemployed or working for low wages.

I just posted this message here about cheap law schools: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482&start=200

I really want to look into that. There are some law schools that charge $10k/year tuition. So might be a good bargain for people not hugely interested in biglaw. If I could leave law school with $50K or less in debt, then that might not be too bad. I'm looking into that right now.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby somewhatwayward » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:20 am

Honestly, jwinaz, I have read both your threads, and you seem like a pretty smart guy/gal who just doesn't know a lot about law yet. Unlike a lot of the posters who stumble upon this site, your grammar, word choice, punctuation, etc are pretty good. My conclusion is that you belong at a better school.

I remember what it was like when I was first investigating law schools. I came on a board like this and I saw a thread called 'Don't Go to Law School if it is not T14' and I was shocked. I had grown up my whole life believing that higher education was always good and that there were opportunities for everyone out of graduate school. This was in 2009. I was very naive.

Now I am a 3L, and my viewpoint is very, very different as yours no doubt will be if you take the plunge and become a 3L down the road. From someone on the ground, it is extremely rough out there. You may find articles, charts, or anecdotes that suggest that getting a job out of Regent is possible. Sure, it is possible. But it is about probabilities, not possibilities. You cannot trust the data published by the schools themselves (they manipulate it) or by the ABA (because it is based on the school's manipulated data). One big example of how schools manipulate data is they report a very high median starting salary, but it turns out it is based on a very small sample of the class....like 10 people out of 200 responded to the survey, and of those 10, the median salary is $90,000 or whatever. Obviously that does not tell you anything.

Just give you a sense of how bad it is, I am at Columbia Law School, supposedly the fourth best school in the country, and I'd guess 5-10% of last year's class graduated unemployed. If they can't find jobs, you just have to imagine how bad it is farther down the food chain. These unemployed CLS grads are not above working in small-town jobs. They are desperate for anything.

Anyway, that long saga is not to tell you not to go, necessarily. But before you go learn a whole lot more. Read a lot more here. Study Law School Transparency. Do everything you can to raise your LSAT score; that means either self study using Power Score bibles and lots of practice tests or a Test Masters or Power Score course, not Kaplan or Princeton Review; there is a good self-study guide by pithypike on the LSAT subforum. Then aim to get a big scholarship to a school that places decently in its region. If you want to stay in VA, obviously UVA is your first choice, but if your LSAT isn't high enough, maybe W&L or University of Richmond with a big scholarship. There's also William & Mary, ideally also with a scholarship.

I'm no saying T14 or bust. I'm just saying go in with your eyes wide open and milk that LSAT for all that it is worth!

jwinaz
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby jwinaz » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:51 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:I remember what it was like when I was first investigating law schools. I came on a board like this and I saw a thread called 'Don't Go to Law School if it is not T14' and I was shocked. I had grown up my whole life believing that higher education was always good and that there were opportunities for everyone out of graduate school. This was in 2009. I was very naive.


Thanks. :) I actually do get it now. It's a jobs thing. :(

Pretty much there aren't enough legal jobs out there for the number of law student graduates, so that means (logically) that 50% of law student graduates won't be able to get a lawyer job. I've been spending time reading.

To me, this is a bit insane! That's a very bad proportion. I see what you mean now by probabilities versus possibilities.

If this was true of medical school, then there would probably be an outcry and the AMA would likely restrict admissions to meet the market demand. How long has this been going on? Was it like this before the recession and are there expert opinions on whether it might get better if the economy improves?

If this has been actually going on for a while, then I'm not sure why anyone hasn't done anything? Doesn't the ABA have a moral duty to ensure that there aren't thousands of graduates with 100K in debt and unable to obtain work as a lawyer? I feel like the governing body of law schools has an obligation to prevent such an oversupply. I know the AMA does actively try to do this by gauging demand and adjusting admissions to fit that demand. So if you graduate from medical school it's a near certainty you'll be able to find work as a medical doctor.

The only thing I can see is perhaps they feel people can open up their own practices and become lawyers that way or use their law degrees for non-legal work and may be thinking along those lines to justify so many students coming into law school. One hopes they're not purposely trying to trick students!!!

I had a friend who was reading to me from a website a few years ago about how a law degree is considered a universal degree and you can use it to pursue a variety of work. Now I'm reading that the opposite might be true from a number of sources. I want to look into this, because I had thought at the time that that might be true. It actually even sounded enticing! An engineer usually works as an engineer and a medical doctor usually works as a medical doctor..and so on. ... I remember actually thinking it would be kind of cool to have a degree like a JD that could open up lots of options if it was a universal degree. Now I'm starting to see that might not be true.

Don't worry. I'm going to do a thorough investigation. I wasn't set on law school, but had thought about it. Now I'm not sure. I definitely don't want to make a big mistake. I'm going to look into all this and learn as much as I can and then make the best decision for myself.

Thanks for taking the time to write that message and for the tips. I appreciate it!

ETA: Good luck to you in your own studies and everything you do too!
Last edited by jwinaz on Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronte
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby Bronte » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:36 pm

You're a good sport, jwinaz. There are posters who have come before you and spawned 40 page threads on this subject without so match as considering changing their minds. You shouldn't necessarily give up on law school, but you should consider your choices and think hard about the placement power of the schools you consider.

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Tuco Salamanca
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby Tuco Salamanca » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:49 pm

jwinaz wrote:If this was true of medical school, then there would probably be an outcry and the AMA would likely restrict admissions to meet the market demand. How long has this been going on? Was it like this before the recession and are there expert opinions on whether it might get better if the economy improves?

If this has been actually going on for a while, then I'm not sure why anyone hasn't done anything? Doesn't the ABA have a moral duty to ensure that there aren't thousands of graduates with 100K in debt and unable to obtain work as a lawyer? I feel like the governing body of law schools has an obligation to prevent such an oversupply. I know the AMA does actively try to do this by gauging demand and adjusting admissions to fit that demand. So if you graduate from medical school it's a near certainty you'll be able to find work as a medical doctor.

The only thing I can see is perhaps they feel people can open up their own practices and become lawyers that way or use their law degrees for non-legal work and may be thinking along those lines to justify so many students coming into law school. One hopes they're not purposely trying to trick students!!!


I'm not an expert on this by any means but I'm pretty sure that it's been going on for a while. It's just that before the recession it wasn't nearly as notable because there were a lot more jobs and thus a lot less unemployed law grads. People project it to get slightly better, but from what I've read no one expects legal hiring to ever be like it was pre-recession.

You would think that the ABA would do something about this but they don't seem to care as long as they line their pockets. The ABA doesn't "purposely" trick students, but schools sure do, and they use the same rationale that you did in the last paragraph I quoted in order to justify it. They say that all these law grads can help bring legal services to those who couldn't afford it before, but the sad reality is that those same people who need help often have trouble paying, and even when they do chances are they are going to have a subpar attorney due to the fact that law schools do almost nothing to prepare people to actually be lawyers.

Law school and the debt it causes ruins lives. With that said it can be a great option but you need to be fully aware of the risks it entails and know how best to minimize those risks. The possibility of making 160k and having the great career options that come with that as a young twenty something are immensely appealing and that is why there will always be a large amount of students willing to pay anything for a chance at it. Most of them realize too late that law school is a game with the odds heavily stacked in favor of those at the top schools. The game played them...welcome to one of the websites trying to help you play the game. I'm happy that you're going to take your time and fully consider your options. It's refreshing to see someone come to this site with an open mind, because as Bronte said most people refuse to see the facts.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:07 am

Bronte wrote:You're a good sport, jwinaz. There are posters who have come before you and spawned 40 page threads on this subject without so match as considering changing their minds. You shouldn't necessarily give up on law school, but you should consider your choices and think hard about the placement power of the schools you consider.

This.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:28 pm

just read all the posts... my comment no longer applies.
Last edited by Nicholasnickynic on Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Need Perspective - Any Regent University Law Students?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:36 pm

Bronte wrote:You're a good sport, jwinaz. There are posters who have come before you and spawned 40 page threads on this subject without so match as considering changing their minds. You shouldn't necessarily give up on law school, but you should consider your choices and think hard about the placement power of the schools you consider.



Seconded. Amen!




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