Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:56 pm

There are two types of "Is it really worthwhile" topics - the ones that get distracted and locked, and the ones that spur lots of conversation. This is a serious topic, and I hope it will instigate serious conversation. If you are a burned out TLSer who thinks these questions are stupid, I thank you for your previous advice and endearing gunner-tude; it played a big part in my LSAT score and where I've managed to get to this point, but please feel free to ignore this topic. I know that this has all been addressed with varying degrees of snark, but I still want to pose a series of simple questions to encapsulate what's been posted elsewhere.

1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"

User avatar
soullesswonder
Posts: 553
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:36 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby soullesswonder » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:01 pm

delusional wrote: I still want to pose a series of simple questions to encapsulate what's been posted elsewhere.

1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"


There's nothing simple about answering any of those questions. To pick just one, the perception of what is "safe" can vary wildly from person to person.

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:04 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
delusional wrote: I still want to pose a series of simple questions to encapsulate what's been posted elsewhere.

1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"


There's nothing simple about answering any of those questions. To pick just one, the perception of what is "safe" can vary wildly from person to person.


Agreed. But I would think that being on law review at Yale on a full scholarship is pretty friggan safe.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:35 pm

soullesswonder wrote:
delusional wrote: I still want to pose a series of simple questions to encapsulate what's been posted elsewhere.

1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"


There's nothing simple about answering any of those questions. To pick just one, the perception of what is "safe" can vary wildly from person to person.

Maybe "straightforward" would have been a better word to use. I'm looking for input without snark, without nitpicking over whether Sullivan Cromwell is more prestigious than Wachtell for international mergers and acquisitions and how that affects OCI at Cornell. Keep it general.

I assume that the average TLS gunner is just like me, in the sense that at the end of the day, they just want to have a job that can reasonably address their debt. Should I give ballpark figures? $150,000 in debt, bar pass, median. In very general terms, at which school does managing that debt become a difficult task?

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:38 pm

delusional wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:
delusional wrote: I still want to pose a series of simple questions to encapsulate what's been posted elsewhere.

1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"


There's nothing simple about answering any of those questions. To pick just one, the perception of what is "safe" can vary wildly from person to person.

Maybe "straightforward" would have been a better word to use. I'm looking for input without snark, without nitpicking over whether Sullivan Cromwell is more prestigious than Wachtell for international mergers and acquisitions and how that affects OCI at Cornell. Keep it general.

I assume that the average TLS gunner is just like me, in the sense that at the end of the day, they just want to have a job that can reasonably address their debt. Should I give ballpark figures? $150,000 in debt, bar pass, median. In very general terms, at which school does managing that debt become a difficult task?


I don't think the average TLS gunner just wants a job to "cover their debt." By that logic, you are going into debt just to get a job that clears the debt.

User avatar
soullesswonder
Posts: 553
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:36 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby soullesswonder » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:42 pm

delusional wrote:
soullesswonder wrote:
delusional wrote: I still want to pose a series of simple questions to encapsulate what's been posted elsewhere.

1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"


There's nothing simple about answering any of those questions. To pick just one, the perception of what is "safe" can vary wildly from person to person.

Maybe "straightforward" would have been a better word to use. I'm looking for input without snark, without nitpicking over whether Sullivan Cromwell is more prestigious than Wachtell for international mergers and acquisitions and how that affects OCI at Cornell. Keep it general.

I assume that the average TLS gunner is just like me, in the sense that at the end of the day, they just want to have a job that can reasonably address their debt. Should I give ballpark figures? $150,000 in debt, bar pass, median. In very general terms, at which school does managing that debt become a difficult task?


The best metric I can come up with off the top of my head is NLJ 250 placement + clerkships. Because I'm just an anti-Cornell and anti-GULC troll, I'll put my cutoff at 55% and say Vandy is the lower limit.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=108528

Of course, some NLJ 250 firms don't even pay $100k, but virtually all of them pay at least $90 to start.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:47 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
I don't think the average TLS gunner just wants a job to "cover their debt." By that logic, you are going into debt just to get a job that clears the debt.

Nitpicking, nitpicking. I meant that they want the career, but as a qualification for the risk involved in the career, at the very least, they want to know that they can cover the debt.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby MrKappus » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:48 pm

delusional wrote:1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"


Preamble: your query isn't unique or interesting. All your questions depend heavily on individual circumstances. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

1. Impossible to answer. If you're the smoothest talker alive and you have a 4.0 at Touro, you might be safe. Narrow your variables. Otherwise it's a fool's errand.

2. If anyone had the answer to this question, they'd be the most successful legal sourcing consultant alive and we'd know his/her name. The industry's changing. Everyone knows that. Beyond that, all anyone can do is make predictions and see how those predictions stack up against reality.

3. In my experience, people from top UG's and/or with work experience seem to do best. You can get an idea of how you're doing, but given the variability of law prof grading...no, you can't know how you're doing until you get your grade. If this is news to you, you're stupid.

4. You're fucked. You might land a mid-law or public interest/service gig, but chances favor your failure. Don't fuck up.

wildcats2008
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:12 am

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby wildcats2008 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:53 pm

Keep in mind, opportunity cost. Most people go to law school because their degrees will not enable to them to earn much at all. At a t14 law school, at least people have a shot (maybe 25%) of making 6 figures. Without law, these people would have no chance of making that much money. So yes, it is a lot of debt, but for people who have a low opportunity cost, it's not like they're giving up anything great.

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

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:54 pm

delusional wrote:1. At what point, ranking, financial aid, and class ranking-wise, are people generally considered to be "safe"? Law review at Y with full scholarship? Median at GULC at sticker?

2. Given that the industry of law is in a terrible state right now, how does it compare to the economy at large, as far as the effects thus far, and the prospects for recovery?

3. Given that people cannot "expect" to succeed simply by giving their best effort, what outside factors have been known to affect success in law school? Is there absolutely no predictability at all until your first semester grades come in? Or is it easy to see what you're getting and not getting early on?

4. What are the prospects for people with Biglaw plans who strike out at OCI, beyond blanketing every firm in the country with resumes and praying? Does the fabled bimodal distribution kick in, and they get stuck at the bottom of a small town full service law storefront? Or is there some relatively easier landing in "midlaw?"

1. This is hard because people in the top 10% at a T10 can and will strike out at OCI, while people in the top 1/4 at a T20 will strike gold. The best way to be safe? Go to school for free.
2. It is worse, due to oversaturation and the amount of debt it often takes to become a lawyer.
3. Going in, its a crapshoot. I'd say having a background that involves writing helps, as do business backgrounds. But I don't think it helps that much. IMO, grades are completely unpredictable even after you take the exam. So, so, so many people did the worst on the exam they felt most confident in and vice-versa.
4. You're pretty much screwed. Better start blanketing firms with mass mailing and looking into other career paths.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby JCougar » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:13 pm

I think the economy has made it harder to get Biglaw jobs, but as far as I know, firms haven't raised their GPA standards. They're just being more and more picky within their GPA standards, because there's less firms interviewing period. Interview skills, demonstrated career focus, and work experience mean more. But you still can't get an interview without the minimum GPA. Firms are looking to get more efficient, and that means hiring associates that aren't going to bail after 2-3 years. Biglaw firms don't turn a profit on associates until around their 3rd or 4th year...especially when corporate clients are bristling about being over-billed for ineffective young associate hours.

There's plenty of uber-gunners in the T10 that make law review that have no plans on sticking around Biglaw for more then a few years to get their debts paid off and move on to more rewarding work. No matter how high your grades and the prestige of your school, if you don't stick around for about 5 or so years, the firm will not turn an overall profit off of your work. If you make it seem like in your interview that you're only interested in Biglaw as a temporary thing or that you want to "try it out," they're not going to take you no matter what your grades.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:14 pm

MrKappus wrote:
Preamble: your query isn't unique or interesting. All your questions depend heavily on individual circumstances. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

1. Impossible to answer. If you're the smoothest talker alive and you have a 4.0 at Touro, you might be safe. Narrow your variables. Otherwise it's a fool's errand.

2. If anyone had the answer to this question, they'd be the most successful legal sourcing consultant alive and we'd know his/her name. The industry's changing. Everyone knows that. Beyond that, all anyone can do is make predictions and see how those predictions stack up against reality.

3. In my experience, people from top UG's and/or with work experience seem to do best. You can get an idea of how you're doing, but given the variability of law prof grading...no, you can't know how you're doing until you get your grade. If this is news to you, you're stupid.

4. You're fucked. You might land a mid-law or public interest/service gig, but chances favor your failure. Don't fuck up.

I'm very hurt. I think I specified in the OP that my questions were going to be groundbreaking.

1. I meant to specifically asked about this in general terms. THAT is actually what I am trying to approach a little bit differently. I don't WANT narrow variables and cousins' friends who met Johnny Cochran in an elevator. In the broad picture, which schools are safer, and at which percentages?

2. Obviously, no one knows exactly who is hiring, and when they plan to start. But again, as a general question, is unemployment higher among people who practiced law until, say, 2008 than it is among the general population? If this is hard to define, why is that?

3. Thank you. It is news to me, which is why I asked, but I'm not sure why that makes me stupid. Maybe that's because I'm stupid.

4. Define "fucked". A van by the river? Hard work at low pay? Jail? A career in some industry other than law?

And a perfectly reasonable question: Why do regular capitalist economics not kick in here? Isn't Joe from Pittsburgh at median in Penn at least as likely to salvage a local-area job in, say, his hometown, as someone at median in Pitt? Who is competing for those jobs, if T14 grads are shut out?
Last edited by delusional on Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:16 pm

JCougar wrote: Biglaw firms don't turn a profit on associates until around their 3rd or 4th year...especially when corporate clients are bristling about being over-billed for ineffective young associate hours.

There's plenty of uber-gunners in the T10 that make law review that have no plans on sticking around Biglaw for more then a few years to get their debts paid off and move on to more rewarding work. No matter how high your grades and the prestige of your school, if you don't stick around for about 5 or so years, the firm will not turn an overall profit off of your work. If you make it seem like in your interview that you're only interested in Biglaw as a temporary thing or that you want to "try it out," they're not going to take you no matter what your grades.

That sounds like valuable advice. Thank you.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby MrKappus » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:19 pm

delusional wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
Preamble: your query isn't unique or interesting. All your questions depend heavily on individual circumstances. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

1. Impossible to answer. If you're the smoothest talker alive and you have a 4.0 at Touro, you might be safe. Narrow your variables. Otherwise it's a fool's errand.

2. If anyone had the answer to this question, they'd be the most successful legal sourcing consultant alive and we'd know his/her name. The industry's changing. Everyone knows that. Beyond that, all anyone can do is make predictions and see how those predictions stack up against reality.

3. In my experience, people from top UG's and/or with work experience seem to do best. You can get an idea of how you're doing, but given the variability of law prof grading...no, you can't know how you're doing until you get your grade. If this is news to you, you're stupid.

4. You're fucked. You might land a mid-law or public interest/service gig, but chances favor your failure. Don't fuck up.

I'm very hurt. I think I specified in the OP that my questions were going to be groundbreaking.

1. I meant to specifically asked about this in general terms. THAT is actually what I am trying to approach a little bit differently. I don't WANT narrow variables and cousins' friends who met Johnny Cochran in an elevator. In the broad picture, which schools are safer, and at which percentages?

2. Obviously, no one knows exactly who is hiring, and when they plan to start. But again, as a general question, is unemployment higher among people who practiced law until, say, 2008 than it is among the general population? If this is hard to define, why is that?

3. Thank you. It is news to me, which is why I asked, but I'm not sure why that makes me stupid. Maybe that's because I'm stupid.

4. Define "fucked". A van by the river? Hard work at low pay? Jail? A career in some industry other than law?

And a perfectly reasonable question: Why do regular economics not kick in here? Isn't Joe from Pittsburgh at median in Penn at least as likely to salvage a local-area job in, say, his hometown, as someone at median in Pitt? Who is competing for those jobs, if T14 grads are shut out?


You sound like a decent person who's a pre-law that's concerned about the variance between school/rank/background/success. Go to the best school that you think you can afford and work as hard as you can. You really can't ask much more of yourself. Also, despite the doom 'n gloom on TLS, 150-200k is not this unassailable beast....ordinary middle class people, especially in the Tri-State area, routinely pay off houses worth 2-4x that value. Statistics say you'll eventually get a job and be able to pay stuff back, and if you want to be a lawyer, then it was all worth it.

But this attempt to preview and meet the risks associated with going to law school probably isn't going to work. You just have to jump in and see what happens.

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

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:21 pm

delusional wrote:1. I meant to specifically asked about this in general terms. THAT is actually what I am trying to approach a little bit differently. I don't WANT narrow variables and cousins' friends who met Johnny Cochran in an elevator. In the broad picture, which schools are safer, and at which percentages?

Even if you don't want narrow variables, it is inevitable. You need some sort of variables in order to get an even remotely helpful answer. Safe for what? What do you want to get out of the law? What do you want to do with your degree? Where do you want to practice? Do you have any connections? etc. etc. These are all relevant.

You want to know which schools are safe? Start [url="http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html"]here[/url]. The top is about 100%. It goes down from there.

I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm just telling you there is no way to answer this question in a vacuum. There are way too many variables to give you a standard generic response that would have any real meaning, other than to tell you to look at the rankings. And those, in and of themselves, have no real meaning.

User avatar
MrKappus
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:46 am

Re: Now I'M asking if LS is worthwhile

Postby MrKappus » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:24 pm

romothesavior wrote:I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm just telling you there is no way to answer this question in a vacuum. There are way too many variables to give you a standard generic response that would have any real meaning...


This is all I was trying to say, but he's more articulate/empathetical than I am. It happens.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: tinafeyclone and 1 guest