Trap law schools

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sunynp
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Trap law schools

Postby sunynp » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:18 am

Paul Campos has a definition of law schools that are "trap law schools.". The criteria are:1 very expensive. 2. Desirable location. 3. Superficially attractive employment and salary statistics. (the trap concept gas to do with a sports metaphor that I don't understand or care about- something about a game being harder to win than it seems on the surface just comparing two teams.)

Trap schools are schools that look good enough on the surface that reasonably prudent students will attend at sticker- but end up in financial disaster anyway.

He nominates-USC Fordham and George Washington as examples of this trap. Some commentators think Minnesota might also be included.

Thoughts? If you are thinking about attending one of these schools would you pay sticker?

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bk1
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:25 am

1. Well this is true of pretty much every law school except a handful of state schools. However, if you have a large scholarship then schools such as USC/Fordham/GW aren't so bad.
2. People want to live in desirable locations? Shocker.
3. Similar to 1, every school has this since they all produce misleading stats.

This seems like a stupid term considering outside of #2, almost every law school falls into this category. Which I guess leads to the obvious conclusion that law schools in general are traps. Fucking news to me.

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sunynp
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby sunynp » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:12 am

I was curious about what people here think. From reading the threads, there are a number of people who consider going to these schools at sticker. These applicants seem to think going to these schools is a good idea. So I was interested in their response.

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kwais
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby kwais » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:14 am

Fordham and GW for sure, plus many others, though I would hesitate to put USC on that list.

MrAnon
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby MrAnon » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:42 am

Not sure why Fordham/GW etc would not be "so bad" with large scholarship. What if you lose the scholarship? What if you are among the 2/3 of the class that does not get biglaw?

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dextermorgan
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby dextermorgan » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:46 am

sunynp wrote:Some commentators think Minnesota might also be included.

Who the fuck thinks Minnesota is a "desirable location?"

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cogitoergosum
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby cogitoergosum » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:55 am

dextermorgan wrote:
sunynp wrote:Some commentators think Minnesota might also be included.

Who the fuck thinks Minnesota is a "desirable location?"

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:08 am

I disagree with USC. USC and UCLA have had similar placement since at least 2007. So if USC makes this list, so does UCLA.

skipy
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby skipy » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:46 am

Not sure why Fordham/GW etc would not be "so bad" with large scholarship. What if you lose the scholarship? What if you are among the 2/3 of the class that does not get biglaw?




This is only for me personally, but I received a scholarship from Fordham and there were no strings attached. It was guaranteed for four years, with no minimum GPA or rank required.

I'm also someone who has no interest in big law.

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superbloom
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby superbloom » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:54 am

Wouldn't schools like Cardozo and American make more sense than GW/Fordham? Cardozo and AU are both fairly highly ranked, they both cost just as much as GW/Fordham, and their employment outlooks are much bleaker.

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crossarmant
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby crossarmant » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:45 am

superbloom wrote:Wouldn't schools like Cardozo and American make more sense than GW/Fordham? Cardozo and AU are both fairly highly ranked, they both cost just as much as GW/Fordham, and their employment outlooks are much bleaker.


Agreed, everyone is blasting these T20 schools for being "traps" but I really think that what OP's guide is referring to are places like:

Golden Gate
NYLS
Drexel
John Marshall (both Chicago and Atlanta)
Thomas Jefferson
UDC
Suffolk
St. Thomas
New England Law
Barry
California Western

USC, Fordham, and GW are legitimate schools that pour a lot of people into BigLaw and in general are good schools; not the holy T14, but good schools. Schools that I think are traps are these private 3rd and 4th tier schools that charge as much as a T14 and give you no chance of ever getting a job or paying back those loans. I mean, Fordham (at least according to TLS's page) has an 86% employment rate at graduation, UDC doesn't even have that 9 months out. So, I don't think "trap" is the right word, per se, for GW/USC/Fordham. They may be worse than the T14, but in the grand scheme of law schools, there's a lot worse that can be done.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:17 am

If by "UDC" you mean U of DC, I would probably not leave it on the list. The school is dirt cheap (~$9,000) and doesn't market itself as anything other than ether (1) a place to go if you intend to work at the local level (city) in non-prestigious positions or (2) you don't get into anywhere else but really want to be lawyer.

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NYC Law
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby NYC Law » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:21 am

Useless distinction is useless

srfngdd6
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby srfngdd6 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:22 am

crossarmant wrote:
superbloom wrote:Wouldn't schools like Cardozo and American make more sense than GW/Fordham? Cardozo and AU are both fairly highly ranked, they both cost just as much as GW/Fordham, and their employment outlooks are much bleaker.


Agreed, everyone is blasting these T20 schools for being "traps" but I really think that what OP's guide is referring to are places like:

Golden Gate
NYLS
Drexel
John Marshall (both Chicago and Atlanta)
Thomas Jefferson
UDC
Suffolk
St. Thomas
New England Law
Barry
California Western

USC, Fordham, and GW are legitimate schools that pour a lot of people into BigLaw and in general are good schools; not the holy T14, but good schools. Schools that I think are traps are these private 3rd and 4th tier schools that charge as much as a T14 and give you no chance of ever getting a job or paying back those loans. I mean, Fordham (at least according to TLS's page) has an 86% employment rate at graduation, UDC doesn't even have that 9 months out. So, I don't think "trap" is the right word, per se, for GW/USC/Fordham. They may be worse than the T14, but in the grand scheme of law schools, there's a lot worse that can be done.



OP refers to reasonably prudent students...I don't think there are any reasonably prudent people paying sticker at any of those schools

nsbane
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby nsbane » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:33 am

sunynp i read the same blog post after you directed me how to find his blog. i actually think what he wrote has merit. i think the best way to objectively measure it would be to control for employment prospects, and find which schools receive more applications.

There should be a correlation between employment prospects and applications; as employment prospects decline, so should the number of applications.

The trap schools would be the outliers, where applications are disproportionately higher than they should be, because the school's lay prestige is not reflective of how crappy the employment prospects are.

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crossarmant
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby crossarmant » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:34 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:If by "UDC" you mean U of DC, I would probably not leave it on the list. The school is dirt cheap (~$9,000) and doesn't market itself as anything other than ether (1) a place to go if you intend to work at the local level (city) in non-prestigious positions or (2) you don't get into anywhere else but really want to be lawyer.


I was unaware of that, thanks.

srfngdd6 wrote:OP refers to reasonably prudent students...I don't think there are any reasonably prudent people paying sticker at any of those schools


Yeah, but in that case, I don't feel like "trap" is exactly the right word. They're merely schools that aren't as good as some of the competition in the market. I mean, GW sends a ton of people into BigLaw (granted it a big class) and same with Fordham; USC (coupled with UCLA) kinda owns the LA market. It seems like they give a good platform to some people, but aren't necessarily a sure-fire big law job. They serve their purpose and beat out tons of other places in terms of placement; just don't think "trap" should be used to refer to them.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:38 am

Yeah, y'all are confused about what campos meant by "trap." Schools in the T20 range are a trap precisely because it is possible to obtain an excellent outcome by attending, but 70% of the class won't. Plus, they enjoy the reputation of being good, sub-elite schools.

As previous poster said, no one prudent is going to be "trapped" at golden gate. You're either ignorant or making a consciously bad choice if you go there.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:38 am

GULC?

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:36 pm

Tom Joad wrote:GULC?


Exactly.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:25 pm

OP, the "trap law schools" that Mr. Campos is referring to would certainly include all of the schools ranked highly but not in the T13. That's not to say that they are not great, but they generally attract a lot of students that are willing to pay a COA of $190K+ to attend them (Texas, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, George Washington, BU, BC, Notre Dame, WashU, UCLA, USC). I realize that Notre Dame, WashU, and Vanderbilt are not necessarily in desirable locations - but - that doesn't make them any less desirable to 0L's. Outside of those schools, students generally know better and have realistic expectations.

If you omitted the T14 (and maybe Texas and Vanderbilt) and looked at the rest of the T50 and compared the median overall salary across the rest of the T50, the median overall salaries would likely be fairly similar. True, salaries in higher cost of living areas like Los Angeles, Boston, or NYC would be higher, but that increased salary would not be a reflection on the strength of the schools so much as it would be an indicator of the higher cost of living to live in those cities. This median salary would be around $40,000-$75,000 depending on the COL of the cities that the particular law school places students into.

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20130312
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby 20130312 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:29 pm

Don't know how we got this far without this, so obligatory Admiral Ackbar post:

Image

Revolver066
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Revolver066 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:32 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:I disagree with USC. USC and UCLA have had similar placement since at least 2007. So if USC makes this list, so does UCLA.


This.

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Nelson
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Nelson » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:52 pm

Dunno why you would stop at the T14. You might as well include any law school in this definition. Useless term is useless.

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caputlupinum
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby caputlupinum » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:02 pm

Law school is a trap....

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vpintz
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby vpintz » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:46 pm

caputlupinum wrote:Law school is a trap....

This is completely new information!




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