sunynp wrote:How many people from your class do you think should drop out now/really have no chance at a life not hampered by loans? (I know you don't know how many people are there on a full ride or substantial ride) How do you think this extrapolates to similarly ranked schools?
Here is another question - given what you have learned about the legal profession, jobs and debt - how many people on this forum would you say shouldn't go to law school or should drop out?
Firstly I recommend reading many of the articles by Elie Mystal on AboveTheLaw. He's a HLS grad, and I wished I'd paid more attention to him before going to law school. What seemed like hyperbole turned out to be completely true.
1) I went to a private school so financial aid was fairly decent generally for everyone. That said, it's still not enough. Here's a sad fact of life...many, MANY law school 1Ls come in from Liberal Arts majors or other majors and are financially illiterate in many cases. Smart as all hell, certainly, but not quite experienced with loans, and interest, and the like. 90% of all classes of all law schools complain about law school while in law school...and this includes the loans. From what I understood, many of my fellow 1Ls at my school were on their way to graduating with 70000+. They ALL complain. They ALL question whether they should be there. My law school, and other top law schools presumably, actually HIRE people to be there for students dealing with doubts over whether this is a prudent investment given the Landscape of the legal field. They won't lie to you...but still...they have a vested interest in you and your money flowing into that school. TL/DR: They're there to keep you drinking the Kool-Aid.
Let me hit you with a cold hard fact...NEARLY EVERYBODY contemplates dropping out. Of those that contemplate, I'd say 1/3 have serious discussions amongst friends and family about it. About 1/8 actually talk to a school guidance counselor about it. And even fewer (me and a girl) have the balls to do it. It really doesn't come down to people not having enough desire to drop out, but it comes down to people's fear of the unknown (dropping out) that overwhelms that desire to drop out. Let's face it, these are all overachievers that view dropping out as losing at life, failing, et cetera.
As far as who should drop out? You can just look at statistics floating around online. Of schools ranked 14 to 25 maybe, the Top 10% get decent jobs to build careers on. Top 11-30% get opportunities that may lead to careers (not so certain though). And the rest...the OTHER 70% of the class is scurrying for these categories: A) maybe the 3 or 4 great opportunities left, B) the 10 or so "meh" opportunities, C) the crap in the legal profession, D) the crap out of the legal profession, and E) the oh no what in the world do I do. So to the bottom 70%...why play Russian Roulette with debt, seriously think about quitting. The bottom 50% should just cut and run, they don't have any shot.
And you might ask...well certainly that would be insane to have the bottom 70% of all law schools drop out....right??? And my answer is no, the Law School market, like all markets in an economy, needs to self-correct. Too much supply (way too much). Easy federal loans have lead to this. If we all just bomb out of the law school bubble, two good things will happen. 1) Law Schools will lose revenue (since they are Underperforming on the service they sell...creating successful lawyers). Think about it, if Honda is underperforming on the cars it makes, it'll lose revenue...that simple. and 2) The Supply and Demand will get back into line and there will be harmony in the legal market again...YAYYYY...or maybe even cooler...A SHORTAGE OF LAWYERS (hahah, in your dreams).
2) Of the people in this forum, and this is just my opinion, MANY shouldn't go. You are all smart people that can make ends meet and be successful without taking out loans, to go through a crappy life for 3 years, to then have to work even harder to get a job, to then have to work even harder to keep the job, to then have to work even harder to make the money to make the whole ordeal worth it. Just my $0.02. However, I won't say most, or half, or even a third. There are just very many.