Value of a JD

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ahduth
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby ahduth » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:05 pm

observationalist wrote:
observationalist wrote:You're on the right track. I would take a look at what Prof Schlunk (tax prof) recently put together in this paper for more ideas:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1497044


This is the direct link to the paper by the Vandy prof. One of the most-downloaded papers on SSRN last year for legal scholars, probably due a mix of WSJ coverage and crazed Ed Bruce fans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngbcsxFET68


lol, I had to look it up too. I know about as much about country as biochemistry. =D

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ahduth
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby ahduth » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:07 pm

I'm doing it exactly because of the comment "Nando" makes in this WSJ blog:

Small business lawyer above is correct: in order to compete as a lawyer, you NEED to be a good salesperson. And such a person would probably be better off running his own business, i.e. insurance sales, owning a restaurant, advertising, etc. At least, he would avoid three years of little or no income and massive student loans. In the last analysis, law school is for those with a legal job lined up beforehand. Those without the connections are put in the position where they MUST excel academically to set themselves apart. Just do the numbers. And look at the number of disillusioned and unemployed/underpaid attorneys in this country. Look at the number of articles and blogs documenting and detailing the demise of this industry, See ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451, which permits U.S. law firms to offshore American legal work to foreign attorneys AND non-lawyers.


cf http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/ ... co_pangea3

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observationalist
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby observationalist » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:14 pm

rman1201 wrote:Thanks guys! That seems pretty similar to what I was getting at.

I guess for me its a decent investment - I'm making $24k a year and I'll be attending a T25. And I've grown up in a household with a single mom with a double bankruptcy, so it's not like dealing with poor credit (due to the ls debt) will be anything foreign to me. Meh. Law school it is.


If you're still listening, my advice is to contact the school directly and ask to see data for the Class of 2010 before you commit to going. It may justify taking a year off to save up some more or build some connections so that you don't end up with six figures of debt and no job prospects in the legal sector. Dean van Zandt's comments aside, most people familiar with these issues would not argue that T25 schools are a good investment at sticker price right now, which is why you need to review the actual employment data before you make that call for yourself. If nothing else, seeing a list of employers will let you take a closer look at all of the public interest, government, and small firm gigs that go largely unreported so you can see whether it's the sort of work you're interested in pursuing.

I won't go so far as to say that bankruptcy is actually a better situation than having student loan debt, but it's really important to remember that you can never discharge the debts you will take on to finance a JD, even if you can't find legal work and need to return to your former employment making 24K. BU, as with every other ABA approved law school, will be finalizing their data for the Class of 2010 next month. At that time I strongly recommend you contact them asking for a complete list of employers, or at the very least the number of graduates working in legal jobs, 25/median/75th salary stats for the private sector, and the number of students in the private sector who reported those salaries.

Either way, g'luck in your endeavors. Plenty of people assume these risks each year and some will see it work out, but the vast majority are going to wonder why they didn't try harder to demand actual employment information so that they might have chosen a better-suited school. LST wouldn't exist were it not for this point.

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observationalist
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby observationalist » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:16 pm

ahduth wrote:
observationalist wrote:
observationalist wrote:You're on the right track. I would take a look at what Prof Schlunk (tax prof) recently put together in this paper for more ideas:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1497044


This is the direct link to the paper by the Vandy prof. One of the most-downloaded papers on SSRN last year for legal scholars, probably due a mix of WSJ coverage and crazed Ed Bruce fans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngbcsxFET68


lol, I had to look it up too. I know about as much about country as biochemistry. =D



Yeah I didn't know it was originally an Ed Bruce piece, but I kind of like the original better after having heard it. Nothing against Willie or Waylon, of course.

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rman1201
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Re: Value of a JD

Postby rman1201 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:18 pm

observationalist wrote:
rman1201 wrote:Thanks guys! That seems pretty similar to what I was getting at.

I guess for me its a decent investment - I'm making $24k a year and I'll be attending a T25. And I've grown up in a household with a single mom with a double bankruptcy, so it's not like dealing with poor credit (due to the ls debt) will be anything foreign to me. Meh. Law school it is.


If you're still listening, my advice is to contact the school directly and ask to see data for the Class of 2010 before you commit to going. It may justify taking a year off to save up some more or build some connections so that you don't end up with six figures of debt and no job prospects in the legal sector. Dean van Zandt's comments aside, most people familiar with these issues would not argue that T25 schools are a good investment at sticker price right now, which is why you need to review the actual employment data before you make that call for yourself. If nothing else, seeing a list of employers will let you take a closer look at all of the public interest, government, and small firm gigs that go largely unreported so you can see whether it's the sort of work you're interested in pursuing.

I won't go so far as to say that bankruptcy is actually a better situation than having student loan debt, but it's really important to remember that you can never discharge the debts you will take on to finance a JD, even if you can't find legal work and need to return to your former employment making 24K. BU, as with every other ABA approved law school, will be finalizing their data for the Class of 2010 next month. At that time I strongly recommend you contact them asking for a complete list of employers, or at the very least the number of graduates working in legal jobs, 25/median/75th salary stats for the private sector, and the number of students in the private sector who reported those salaries.

Either way, g'luck in your endeavors. Plenty of people assume these risks each year and some will see it work out, but the vast majority are going to wonder why they didn't try harder to demand actual employment information so that they might have chosen a better-suited school. LST wouldn't exist were it not for this point.


Solid advice. Of all the 20-25s though BU seems to have the best reputation for job prospects. Of course that's anecdotal and the numbers should speak for themselves, which is why I will try contacting the school for more detailed stats when they become available for the class of 2010.

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observationalist
Posts: 472
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Re: Value of a JD

Postby observationalist » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:58 am

rman1201 wrote:
observationalist wrote:
rman1201 wrote:Thanks guys! That seems pretty similar to what I was getting at.

I guess for me its a decent investment - I'm making $24k a year and I'll be attending a T25. And I've grown up in a household with a single mom with a double bankruptcy, so it's not like dealing with poor credit (due to the ls debt) will be anything foreign to me. Meh. Law school it is.


If you're still listening, my advice is to contact the school directly and ask to see data for the Class of 2010 before you commit to going. It may justify taking a year off to save up some more or build some connections so that you don't end up with six figures of debt and no job prospects in the legal sector. Dean van Zandt's comments aside, most people familiar with these issues would not argue that T25 schools are a good investment at sticker price right now, which is why you need to review the actual employment data before you make that call for yourself. If nothing else, seeing a list of employers will let you take a closer look at all of the public interest, government, and small firm gigs that go largely unreported so you can see whether it's the sort of work you're interested in pursuing.

I won't go so far as to say that bankruptcy is actually a better situation than having student loan debt, but it's really important to remember that you can never discharge the debts you will take on to finance a JD, even if you can't find legal work and need to return to your former employment making 24K. BU, as with every other ABA approved law school, will be finalizing their data for the Class of 2010 next month. At that time I strongly recommend you contact them asking for a complete list of employers, or at the very least the number of graduates working in legal jobs, 25/median/75th salary stats for the private sector, and the number of students in the private sector who reported those salaries.

Either way, g'luck in your endeavors. Plenty of people assume these risks each year and some will see it work out, but the vast majority are going to wonder why they didn't try harder to demand actual employment information so that they might have chosen a better-suited school. LST wouldn't exist were it not for this point.


Solid advice. Of all the 20-25s though BU seems to have the best reputation for job prospects. Of course that's anecdotal and the numbers should speak for themselves, which is why I will try contacting the school for more detailed stats when they become available for the class of 2010.


Always a good idea to try and look at some actual data before investing that much money. The ABA is working on improving consumer protection right now, but any changes likely won't be implemented until next year at the latest. In the meantime it's entirely up to the consumer (you) to get the data you need.

One really interesting complaint we've been hearing from graduates of schools like BU is that they over-advertise public interest programs without having enough funds dedicated towards helping out PI students. In case that's something you're looking at, it would also be a good idea to ask about LRAP programs and if the school offers post-graduation stipends for PI people. I was able to relocate to Chile to pursue environmental work thanks to a 7-month stipend from my law school (while my SO had a 3-month stipend from her own law school). Without those grants we wouldn't have been able to secure work and get started up. Our situation is definitely not a traditional path, but these days there's no telling whether a law school's reputation will land you any legal job absent additional help (like financial assistance). If they don't have a program set up and you end up going there next year, I strongly recommend getting involved in petitioning the school to make changes. Schools are increasingly nervous about being viewed as scammers thanks to all the publicity surrounding the value of a JD, and if you can propose solutions they're likely going to listen.




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