When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

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jwinaz
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When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby jwinaz » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:32 am

I've been reading some debates on TLS recently over specific cases of people looking into attending what can be called "bad" law schools (T4...T3). These were interesting arguments and got me wondering - in a more general way.

Under what circumstance would you feel it justified and a good/OK idea to attend a T3/T4-ish type of school?

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dr123
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby dr123 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:37 am

I would imagine when it's the state flagship in a state you have strong ties to or are from and the price is low.

ETA For example, if you're a small-town Wyoming kid who wants to practice some small-town Wyoming Law. I think going to University of Wyoming would be a reasonable choice.
Last edited by dr123 on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

jwinaz
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby jwinaz » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:38 am

dr123 wrote:I would imagine when it's the state flagship in a state you have strong ties to or are from and the price is low.



Any specific COA numbers (e.g., $50K or less)?

What if it's not the state flagship, but you have a full scholarship?

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Nova
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby Nova » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:49 am

jwinaz wrote:
dr123 wrote:I would imagine when it's the state flagship in a state you have strong ties to or are from and the price is low.



Any specific COA numbers (e.g., $50K or less)?

What if it's not the state flagship, but you have a full scholarship?


Those "full tuition scholarships" usually have strings attached.
Last edited by Nova on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:02 am, edited 4 times in total.

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dirtrida2
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby dirtrida2 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:50 am

jwinaz wrote:
dr123 wrote:I would imagine when it's the state flagship in a state you have strong ties to or are from and the price is low.



Any specific COA numbers (e.g., $50K or less)?

What if it's not the state flagship, but you have a full scholarship?


Check the stipulations.

See if the school section stacks.

A lot of these schools set you up to fail - ensuring that a certain percentage of students, granted full scholarships, lose them.

Also, remember that a full ride can still cost you living expenses, gas, books, and three years away from the work force... all for a small chance of actually attaining a job that requires a J.D. a

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dingbat
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby dingbat » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:30 am

jwinaz wrote:
dr123 wrote:I would imagine when it's the state flagship in a state you have strong ties to or are from and the price is low.



Any specific COA numbers (e.g., $50K or less)?

What if it's not the state flagship, but you have a full scholarship?

Depends on the school. Washburn isn't that much worse than U Kansas, while Touro is 15th, not just behind Columbia & NYU, but even at a disadvantage against such crappy schools as St. Johns and Hofstra

utlaw2007
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby utlaw2007 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:40 pm

It's justified when you have a job lined up because your dad owns a law firm. That's not the only reason, but that is the only reason that I know.

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cinephile
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:49 pm

When you have some combination of the following:

It's free
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and your spouse has an amazing/high paid job he/she cannot get elsewhere
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and you own a home you can't sell due to an underwater mortgage
You want to work in the region and this is the best regional school
You have a guaranteed job lined up after graduation

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bk1
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:53 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:It's justified when you have a job lined up.

+1

Other than that, I think you essentially need to meet a lot of conditions to justify attending a bad school:

1. Have exhausted all avenues of improving your LSAT. I don't mean just taking it 3 times in 2 years, I mean that you literally cannot improve another single point whether this means taking the LSAT 3 times or 13 times.

2. You go to a "good" TTT/TTTT. Essentially you're going to one that places at least 50% of its class into full time lawyer jobs.

3. You have a very high scholarship such that your expected debt is around 50k.

4. You really want to be a lawyer and have a decent idea of what that means (this applies to all law schools).

5. You are willing to drop out if you lose your scholarship or your grades suck after a semester.

Essentially you're treating law school like a 1 semester gamble that you only stick through if you do well. I don't really buy the whole "it's the best school in it's region" line that a lot of people trot out in TLS. Many TTT/TTTT schools that are best in their state (e.g. UMaine) offer as bad employment stats as their respectively ranked peers that have lots of regional competition (e.g. St. John's). This isn't all that surprising considering these best in state schools tend to be in sparsely populated states without many legal jobs.

Alternatively, if you're obscenely wealthy, do whatever you feel like with your money.

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pannekoeken
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby pannekoeken » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:54 pm

IP law. Maybe.

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scifiguy
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:32 am

lol.

I was thinking ...man, you could write the same thread with "good"...lol.

What is attending a good law school justified nowadays. $200K debt at sticker is scary.

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dingbat
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:56 pm

scifiguy wrote:lol.

I was thinking ...man, you could write the same thread with "good"...lol.

What is attending a good law school justified nowadays. $200K debt at sticker is scary.

I certainly took the money over a better school

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stillwater
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:03 pm

dingbat wrote:
scifiguy wrote:lol.

I was thinking ...man, you could write the same thread with "good"...lol.

What is attending a good law school justified nowadays. $200K debt at sticker is scary.

I certainly took the money over a better school


Ding "I did it for the money" Bat

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dr123
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby dr123 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:45 pm

cinephile wrote:When you have some combination of the following:

It's free
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and your spouse has an amazing/high paid job he/she cannot get elsewhere
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and you own a home you can't sell due to an underwater mortgage
You want to work in the region and this is the best regional school
You have a guaranteed job lined up after graduation


Taking out student loans when you have an underwater mortgage is a terrible idea.

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cinephile
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:00 pm

dr123 wrote:
cinephile wrote:When you have some combination of the following:

It's free
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and your spouse has an amazing/high paid job he/she cannot get elsewhere
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and you own a home you can't sell due to an underwater mortgage
You want to work in the region and this is the best regional school
You have a guaranteed job lined up after graduation


Taking out student loans when you have an underwater mortgage is a terrible idea.


That's why I said combine it with something else like a spouse with a high paying job or full scholly. In that case, at least you're not getting in more debt.

ajax
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby ajax » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:53 pm

I just read the thread title, and the answer is never.

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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:57 pm

pannekoeken wrote:IP law. Maybe.


Get a patent agent job first, and then paying for a cheap part time program might make sense. But about half or more of the people applying to the Loyola Patent Fair don't even get 1 interview. People from T14's routinely get 10+ with medicare/poor grades.

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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:00 pm

If, and only if, you have want to work in shitlaw (or have an absolute job locked up for after, 100% certain) AND your debt load after graduation is under the salary you can reasonably expect to gain (which is 40K in flyover states, and maybe 60K in real cities).

jwinaz
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby jwinaz » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:42 pm

bk1 wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:It's justified when you have a job lined up.

+1

Other than that, I think you essentially need to meet a lot of conditions to justify attending a bad school:

1. Have exhausted all avenues of improving your LSAT. I don't mean just taking it 3 times in 2 years, I mean that you literally cannot improve another single point whether this means taking the LSAT 3 times or 13 times.

2. You go to a "good" TTT/TTTT. Essentially you're going to one that places at least 50% of its class into full time lawyer jobs.

3. You have a very high scholarship such that your expected debt is around 50k.

4. You really want to be a lawyer and have a decent idea of what that means (this applies to all law schools).

5. You are willing to drop out if you lose your scholarship or your grades suck after a semester.

Essentially you're treating law school like a 1 semester gamble that you only stick through if you do well. I don't really buy the whole "it's the best school in it's region" line that a lot of people trot out in TLS. Many TTT/TTTT schools that are best in their state (e.g. UMaine) offer as bad employment stats as their respectively ranked peers that have lots of regional competition (e.g. St. John's). This isn't all that surprising considering these best in state schools tend to be in sparsely populated states without many legal jobs.

Alternatively, if you're obscenely wealthy, do whatever you feel like with your money.



I found this interesting, however, I wonder about your dropping out after 1 semester. If a person has a guaranteed scholarship to a bad law school, then would it not be a good idea to just finish?

Dropping out would seem to make sense if the expected debt would be really unmanageable and the person had very little to no chance of paynig it off.

I can imagine being at, say, NYU with expected debt of $200K or more and essentially bombing and being at the very bottom of the class after the first year. In that case, it might be a good idea to drop out.

But, if I were to gain a full scholarship at a lower ranked school and could still get out at around $50K like you said, then is it still a good idea to drop? Different discussion topic and maybe better for a new thread.

But, here's a question. Wouldn't employers view the law school dropping out as a minus...or at least a question mark on your record? Again, I'm not saying that in cases where there would be overwhelming debt and very slim chances to pay it off would be a bad idea to drop. But in this scenario if the person would have $50K total, then the cost-benefit analysis might seem to swing towards finish at the bad law school.

jwinaz
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby jwinaz » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:44 pm

Also, where do you guys cut-off good vs. bad schools? Here, it seems the T14 is the standard.

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spleenworship
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:08 pm

cinephile wrote:When you have some combination of the following:

It's free
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and your spouse has an amazing/high paid job he/she cannot get elsewhere
It's the only school in commuting vicinity and you own a home you can't sell due to an underwater mortgage
You want to work in the region and this is the best regional school
You have a guaranteed job lined up after graduation


This

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spleenworship
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:18 pm

I go to a "BAD LAWL SCHOOL," at least according to many on TLS.

T2. Only school in the state, making it a strong regional. Tuition for me, because of a scholly, is approximately 1/4 of the average private school in this country. I'm still going to be approximately $100K in debt (including undergrad) when I graduate though. School has a ^50% rate of long term full time bar required job placement. Have a house I'm not underwater on, but I would effectively have to lose all our equity if I were to sell in this market... and I was concerned about renting to someone while living hundreds of miles away. I do want to stay in my state and practice. I didn't have (and still don't have) a job lined up.

So far, I'm feeling like I've made a pretty good choice. We'll see how I feel after passing the bar. If I'm one of the 1/3 without a job, I bet I'll regret it.

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manofjustice
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby manofjustice » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:26 pm

Hello. The Pollfessor has waded into the on topics...

The bottom line is that there is never a good reason to attend a "bad" law school. There was never a good reason to buy a "bad" sub-prime mortgage bond...well, okay, if you bough a super-senior tranche...but bad law schools are sinking ships. They are firing faculty. Observers wonder how they'll be able to maintain accreditation and fill their classrooms, as applicants crash to likely their lowest levels ever since law school existed--at least the lowest on record, since we started keeping records in 1983: and then, we had fewer law schools with smaller class sizes. So who buys the "super-senior" tranche at a "bad" law school? Law professors and faculty, probably. But even if you were given a full scholarship to a "bad" law school, got bad news for ya--time to grow up and get a job. You'll have to earn money doing something in this world if you want to progress to the next stage in life, and the general unemployment rate in this economy is about 10%. For graduates from a "bad" law school, it's about 50%. So you tell me, dear OP of his early 20s, why would you ever go to a "bad" law school?

Just grow up and find a way to hack it in this awful world. And vote for people who will improve the economy.

-The Pollfessor

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spleenworship
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby spleenworship » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:53 am

manofjustice wrote:Hello. The Pollfessor has waded into the on topics...

The bottom line is that there is never a good reason to attend a "bad" law school. There was never a good reason to buy a "bad" sub-prime mortgage bond...well, okay, if you bough a super-senior tranche...but bad law schools are sinking ships. They are firing faculty. Observers wonder how they'll be able to maintain accreditation and fill their classrooms, as applicants crash to likely their lowest levels ever since law school existed--at least the lowest on record, since we started keeping records in 1983: and then, we had fewer law schools with smaller class sizes. So who buys the "super-senior" tranche at a "bad" law school? Law professors and faculty, probably. But even if you were given a full scholarship to a "bad" law school, got bad news for ya--time to grow up and get a job. You'll have to earn money doing something in this world if you want to progress to the next stage in life, and the general unemployment rate in this economy is about 10%. For graduates from a "bad" law school, it's about 50%. So you tell me, dear OP of his early 20s, why would you ever go to a "bad" law school?

Just grow up and find a way to hack it in this awful world. And vote for people who will improve the economy.

-The Pollfessor


Ah.... generalizations. How could they be wrong?

Oh, wait, here is one of three T2s or T3s I could think of offhand where it would totally be worth going, if you wanted to be a lawyer: http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=lsu

I'm not saying a T2/3/4 isn't a risk, but you can't say that every one of them is a bad idea for every 0L. If you lived in Louisiana and wanted to practice in Louisiana, well, then LSU isn't a bad choice with a nearly 80% full time legal employment rate. The key here is someone who wants to be a lawyer. If you don't, any law school outside of the T14 is probably not a good idea. If you do, a T2/3/4 can be a good choice if you research well.

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Ruxin1
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Re: When is Attending a "Bad" Law School Justified?

Postby Ruxin1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:02 am

spleenworship wrote:I go to a "BAD LAWL SCHOOL," at least according to many on TLS.

T2. Only school in the state, making it a strong regional. Tuition for me, because of a scholly, is approximately 1/4 of the average private school in this country. I'm still going to be approximately $100K in debt (including undergrad) when I graduate though. School has a ^50% rate of long term full time bar required job placement. Have a house I'm not underwater on, but I would effectively have to lose all our equity if I were to sell in this market... and I was concerned about renting to someone while living hundreds of miles away. I do want to stay in my state and practice. I didn't have (and still don't have) a job lined up.

So far, I'm feeling like I've made a pretty good choice. We'll see how I feel after passing the bar. If I'm one of the 1/3 without a job, I bet I'll regret it.


This is dumb bro, youre giving up tens of thousands of dollars. What do you think people that own multiple properties do?




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