Non T-14 schools/paying sticker

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Non T-14 schools/paying sticker

Postby PrelawSteve » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:40 am


Just wondering, Is it ever worth it whether using a loan or in rare cases like mine (saving over the course of half a decade via working in a business) to go to a non T-14 school and pay sticker?

With worse than coin flip probabilities of getting a job in Big-Law, and coin flip probabilities of even getting any legal job, does it really make sense to put out 150,000 for a 40 percent chance at having a decent job.

You could borrow that amount to speculate on higher probability real estate in emerging markets like Singapore and be able to just go Bankrupt if it does not work out. but if you don't get a job as a lawyer you are stuck and the loan will just keep on piling.

If you save the money in advance, simply taking it and investing it or even starting a business will give you a better risk reward ratio with less aggrevation than being a non-Big Law lawyer.

To sum up my questions are:

1. Is it ever worth it to pay sticker to go to a non T-14 Law school?

2. Apart from Big-Law and the various business options that maybe a T-6 law school could help with like Venture Capital, can being a non Big-Law attorney ever lead to wealth these days?

You might be asking now, if I have the opportunity to learn business from a relative, why law (apart from using it to enter certain corners of the business world):

A. As a result of growing up with a learning disability and having some people with more severe disabilities in my family and having a mixed racial background, I have some strong feelings on certain issues in disability law and civil rights law. I am one of the few non-Lawyers who actually has gone to a law library many miles away just to amunition to support some of my "spare time arguing" essays. I even spend much time debating other issues such as whether it is morally correct to create laws that increase the amount of innocent people found guilty in exchange for getting predators/drug dealers off the street, whether government has the right to regulate risk taking by speculators in certain ways, etc.

B. Although, from what I know business may be more exciting than law with a more exciting financial upside and more variety of work ( and usually better risk reward ratio), from my work as a paralegal that deals with many public interest lawyers, I have great admiration for the few I know that have a superman dignity about them and old school "serve my client and do what is right mindset."

I have seen some lawyers go to extraordinary means to do what is right and beneficial. Yes, I have seen many deadweight lawyers and lawyers that are begging for business in court record waiting rooms, but I have seen a few, just a few that are truly great and noble that a part of me wishes I could be like.

As a paralegal, I mostly run back and forth from court document rooms and do hours and hours of detailed bs clerical work, but very very ocasionally, I get to use some detective style ingenuity and maybe some clever phone sales ability to actually affect one of the everyday people that cross our paths.

Out of several years of boredom and time wasted Internet surfing, I will look back on a single incident where as just a paralegal I actually did change someone's life and help them move foward.

However, I also find business thinking fascinating and would love the game of flying around and making deals and would find it 100 times more exciting then most legal jobs, if I forgone law for a business career, a part of me would miss the moments within the field of law that while very very rare do allow you a chance to truly change someone's life for the better.

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Re: Non T-14 schools/paying sticker

Postby Bronte » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:52 am

A little too long there, so I just skimmed. I think it can be worth it to pay sticker at certain non-T14s in certain circumstances. Texas/Vandy/UCLA/USC are debatably worth sticker for some people, although others will tell you different. Some strong regionals with instate tuition are debatably worth sticker. However, if you're in it for the money or for "helping people," law school might not be a good idea.

People do strike it rich doing shitlaw. There's still some money in personal injury, etc., but it's rare. Most people who go the big law route will not get rich either. Both run the risk of hurting people as much as they help them or at least doing little more than playing a necessary role in the machine. Overall, you should consider law school only if you: (1) recognize that the practice of law primarily involves technical, detail-oriented writing, reading, and research, (2) get into a top school or strong regional that makes financial sense, and (3) do not have another viable career option that you already know you enjoy and is financially secure.

You should think of law school as investment, but not like a stock or a bond. The difference is that it's not a passive investment. It's an extremely active investment, and that activity is something that many people find out they loath. There's both financial risk and quality of life risk. Good luck.

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