Worst law school worth sticker?

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nixy

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:24 am

laanngo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:16 am
nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:04 am
I interpreted cav as saying that I was off topic; was that inaccurate?
Your question was certainly out of left field, but that doesn’t have anything to do with what anyone thinks of McGirt as a person.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:10 am

BrainsyK wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:03 am
laanngo wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:59 pm
Isn't biglaw all but guaranteed at CCN, as in you have to get caught plagiarizing or graduate dead bottom to not get an offer?
You'd be surprised. 2 of visa issues, personality (not even manifest defect; below average charm), bad bidding (within NY), bad bidding (focusing tough markets), bad grades, and/or bad luck, and you could be out on your ass. At Columbia, I know of at least one Stone strike out.
Worth noting that this applies to Harvard as well, although you'd arguably need more like 3-4 of those issues before feeling the heat. I still think HCCN are fair value at sticker, but I'd strongly prefer even a moderate scholarship elsewhere in in the T13 with prices as high as they are now.

Yale is the only school where you can truly feel "guaranteed" biglaw because #nogradez, and you still have to intelligently target firms in NYC to make it happen.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:57 am

nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:24 am
laanngo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:16 am
nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:04 am
I interpreted cav as saying that I was off topic; was that inaccurate?
Your question was certainly out of left field, but that doesn’t have anything to do with what anyone thinks of McGirt as a person.
Agreed. Also, McGirt v OK isn't going to create the kind of extra legal work that will make Oklahoma City a biglaw hub by the time OP is interviewing with firms. It was responsive but mostly irrelevant to my point that OU Law isn't worth sticker because Oklahoma is generally economically weak.

nixy

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:02 am

Yeah, I don’t know what the civil law implications are, but if anything it will create jobs for federal prosecutors who will now have jurisdiction over crimes committed on the reservation (which just got a lot bigger).

(I actually think if you’re from OK, know you want to work in OK, don’t have to pay much, and are good with small firm/local government work, OU Law is fine, but that doesn’t sound like the OP’s situation.)

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by laanngo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:15 am

nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:02 am
Yeah, I don’t know what the civil law implications are, but if anything it will create jobs for federal prosecutors who will now have jurisdiction over crimes committed on the reservation (which just got a lot bigger).

(I actually think if you’re from OK, know you want to work in OK, don’t have to pay much, and are good with small firm/local government work, OU Law is fine, but that doesn’t sound like the OP’s situation.)
Wouldn't it create work for the tribes' general counsel, not the BIA?

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nixy

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:51 am

laanngo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:15 am
nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:02 am
Yeah, I don’t know what the civil law implications are, but if anything it will create jobs for federal prosecutors who will now have jurisdiction over crimes committed on the reservation (which just got a lot bigger).

(I actually think if you’re from OK, know you want to work in OK, don’t have to pay much, and are good with small firm/local government work, OU Law is fine, but that doesn’t sound like the OP’s situation.)
Wouldn't it create work for the tribes' general counsel, not the BIA?
The BIA aren’t federal prosecutors and tribes’ general counsel aren’t either. I’m talking about criminal jurisdiction, which, in the absence of state jurisdiction, belongs to the local US Attorney’s Office. (For most and major crimes; tribes retain jurisdiction over certain lower-level crimes.)

Like I said, I don’t know what the civil implications are. To the extent there are any, yes, they might create jobs with the tribal GC. They might also create additional BIA jobs, but I have no idea. The major focus in the case was on the implications for criminal law, and that seems to be its major import. I think the civil implications are much more minor.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:55 pm

nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:51 am
The major focus in the case was on the implications for criminal law, and that seems to be its major import. I think the civil implications are much more minor.
This, and again, it'd be a difference in only those criminal cases that would have been in state court but now need to be in federal or tribal court; the federal criminal work that existed before won't be affected. The changes, even if they include some civil issues, just aren't biglaw-relevant at all and won't contribute enough paying work to grow the Oklahoma legal markets in a meaningful way

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:07 pm

Oh, yeah, absolutely agree about that.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:17 pm

nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:51 am
Like I said, I don’t know what the civil implications are. To the extent there are any, yes, they might create jobs with the tribal GC. They might also create additional BIA jobs, but I have no idea. The major focus in the case was on the implications for criminal law, and that seems to be its major import. I think the civil implications are much more minor.
I think the civil questions might dip into admin law with regards to land-in-trust and Indian Gaming-related stuff. But that's unlikely to create any extra work in Oklahoma; that kind of stuff usually gets handled by outside counsel and often ends up in DDC regardless of which state is involved.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by laanngo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:32 pm

decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:55 pm
This, and again, it'd be a difference in only those criminal cases that would have been in state court but now need to be in federal or tribal court; the federal criminal work that existed before won't be affected. The changes, even if they include some civil issues, just aren't biglaw-relevant at all and won't contribute enough paying work to grow the Oklahoma legal markets in a meaningful way
How do you create legal jobs then? Overregulate for no reason?

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:42 pm

laanngo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:32 pm
decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:55 pm
This, and again, it'd be a difference in only those criminal cases that would have been in state court but now need to be in federal or tribal court; the federal criminal work that existed before won't be affected. The changes, even if they include some civil issues, just aren't biglaw-relevant at all and won't contribute enough paying work to grow the Oklahoma legal markets in a meaningful way
How do you create legal jobs then? Overregulate for no reason?
Nobody is really trying to "create legal jobs." (At a societal level, why would that be desirable?) Overall, job prospects for lawyers have steadily gotten worse since at least the 80's, although certain practice areas have done better or worse depending on economic/demographic trends.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:54 pm

laanngo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:32 pm
decimalsanddollars wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:55 pm
This, and again, it'd be a difference in only those criminal cases that would have been in state court but now need to be in federal or tribal court; the federal criminal work that existed before won't be affected. The changes, even if they include some civil issues, just aren't biglaw-relevant at all and won't contribute enough paying work to grow the Oklahoma legal markets in a meaningful way
How do you create legal jobs then? Overregulate for no reason?
You increase the number of companies in town who can sue each other and increase crime, obviously. Encourage divorce while you’re at it. /s

(You don’t create legal jobs.)

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by laanngo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:01 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:42 pm
Nobody is really trying to "create legal jobs." (At a societal level, why would that be desirable?) Overall, job prospects for lawyers have steadily gotten worse since at least the 80's, although certain practice areas have done better or worse depending on economic/demographic trends.
But I assume people on this board are interested in there being more lawyering jobs? Before the great recession, were prospects getting worse due to schools pumping out more grads than jobs, or was the profession already slipping?
nixy wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:54 pm
You increase the number of companies in town who can sue each other and increase crime, obviously. Encourage divorce while you’re at it. /s

(You don’t create legal jobs.)
Yeah but those companies need laws to sue each other over right?

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nixy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:15 pm

People wanting it to be easier to get a job themselves isn't the same as people wanting there to be more lawyers in the world.

Also it's moot b/c law practice is not about creating more jobs, nor is it (most of the time) about creating laws, and even if it were about creating laws, that doesn't necessarily mean there would need to be more lawyers.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:17 pm

laanngo wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:01 pm
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:42 pm
Nobody is really trying to "create legal jobs." (At a societal level, why would that be desirable?) Overall, job prospects for lawyers have steadily gotten worse since at least the 80's, although certain practice areas have done better or worse depending on economic/demographic trends.
Even before the '08 recession, things were slipping because of the same four horsemen assailing every skilled profession: 1) automation, 2) outsourcing, 3) greater reliance on junior/non-legal staff and 4) later retirement ages causing a logjam at the top of the pyramid. Of those, (1) and (3) are probably the biggest issues for law specifically.

The Great Recession was a jolt that caused a painful short-term correction, but the overall trend line from 1980 to 2020 is steadily downward. To be clear, I'm not super doom-and-gloom about the profession dying out in the next few decades, but we're definitely settling into a new normal with less legal work, especially of the high-paying sort, to go around. We're simply producing more law-school graduates than society needs right now.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by laanngo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:26 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:17 pm
Even before the '08 recession, things were slipping because of the same four horsemen assailing every skilled profession: 1) automation, 2) outsourcing, 3) greater reliance on junior/non-legal staff and 4) later retirement ages causing a logjam at the top of the pyramid. Of those, (1) and (3) are probably the biggest issues for law specifically.
On 3, weren't paralegals hit even harder than lawyers were in the great recessioN?

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by Ohiobumpkin » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:30 pm

No school is worth sticker.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:45 pm

Ohiobumpkin wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:30 pm
No school is worth sticker.
I think this is a bit melodramatic. At least a few (the line is drawn somewhere between HLS and GULC depending on cyclical economic conditions) law schools are worth their tuition, at least on paper, because of the ROI that comes with biglaw. The math is there, especially for a polisci major who'd otherwise be waiting tables or doing entry-level sales.

Obviously, it's still not a good choice for lots of people, but has more do with with law being a bad career for them. Plenty of people, even post-2008, are perfectly happy with their outcomes.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by laanngo » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:05 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:45 pm
I think this is a bit melodramatic. At least a few (the line is drawn somewhere between HLS and GULC depending on cyclical economic conditions) law schools are worth their tuition, at least on paper, because of the ROI that comes with biglaw. The math is there, especially for a polisci major who'd otherwise be waiting tables or doing entry-level sales.

Obviously, it's still not a good choice for lots of people, but has more do with with law being a bad career for them. Plenty of people, even post-2008, are perfectly happy with their outcomes.
Wasn't the line below GULC before the great recession, and now between Cornell and GULC, for median student being able to pay back their debt of sticker price?

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by ALCA1920 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:32 am

None. No law school is worth sticker.

I debated this issue in my mind since I got my LSAT score, and I had a chance at my "dream" T14 school by applying ED. While I was sending my apps yesterday, I looked at those buttons that said "regular decision" and "early decision". I clicked ED and just 5 minutes later, when I finished my app, I thought "what the f*** did I just do?" I refused to pay LSAC to send that app, and I'm happy about my decision every waking moment. I swear it was some kind of divine intervention, and I have a feeling I saved myself a lifetime of heartache.

It's easy to think in the abstract and draw hypothetical scenarios like, "I'll work in biglaw and pay off 300k, and I'll have a prestigious degree next to my name for the rest of my life. I'll have a world of opportunity." But reality is so different. By taking on loans (plus interest) for sticker price, you're asking for trouble. That's non-dischargeable debt, so you have to pay it off or die trying.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by polareagle » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:04 am

ALCA1920 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:32 am
None. No law school is worth sticker.

I debated this issue in my mind since I got my LSAT score, and I had a chance at my "dream" T14 school by applying ED. While I was sending my apps yesterday, I looked at those buttons that said "regular decision" and "early decision". I clicked ED and just 5 minutes later, when I finished my app, I thought "what the f*** did I just do?" I refused to pay LSAC to send that app, and I'm happy about my decision every waking moment. I swear it was some kind of divine intervention, and I have a feeling I saved myself a lifetime of heartache.

It's easy to think in the abstract and draw hypothetical scenarios like, "I'll work in biglaw and pay off 300k, and I'll have a prestigious degree next to my name for the rest of my life. I'll have a world of opportunity." But reality is so different. By taking on loans (plus interest) for sticker price, you're asking for trouble. That's non-dischargeable debt, so you have to pay it off or die trying.
I mean, nobody should apply ED because that's just a foolish way to guarantee you'll have to go to a school that won't be giving you any merit aid (with the possible exception of Northwestern).

"No law school is worth sticker" may be the correct personal calculus for you, but it's a bit overblown as general matter. Everyone has a different level of sensitivity to debt. If you're going into public interest work, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford at least are worth every penny because you'll barely be paying for them and will certainly be able to get some public interest legal job. (The same is arguably true of many schools, but these three schools at least have great LRAPs independent of the federal government that mean your loans will be paid off, not forgiven, in 10 years. They could charge $10 million and it would still be *worth it* if you knew public interest was your goal.)

If you want to enter private practice, you don't necessarily want to go too far down the T14 at sticker (and certainly not beyond it), but $300k is something you can very much pay off within a few years of living frugally. Will that be tough and require sacrifice? Sure. Will it unlock much better earning opportunities than a generic undergrad degree? You bet. And it will provide you with an income that allows you to live comfortably in a major city, something that is increasingly out of reach for people without high-paying jobs.

Having a lot of debt hanging over your head is definitely a burden, but it can also be a strong motivator to get through the slog of early biglaw to the more interesting work (and better exit opportunities) that follow. Whether you're the type of person that will be crushed by the debt or find it motivating is something only you know. Like any investment, paying for a law degree carries risks. But even at sticker, a law degree from, say, the top half of the T14 is *worth it* for a lot of people.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by ALCA1920 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am

polareagle wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:04 am
ALCA1920 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 10:32 am
None. No law school is worth sticker.

I debated this issue in my mind since I got my LSAT score, and I had a chance at my "dream" T14 school by applying ED. While I was sending my apps yesterday, I looked at those buttons that said "regular decision" and "early decision". I clicked ED and just 5 minutes later, when I finished my app, I thought "what the f*** did I just do?" I refused to pay LSAC to send that app, and I'm happy about my decision every waking moment. I swear it was some kind of divine intervention, and I have a feeling I saved myself a lifetime of heartache.

It's easy to think in the abstract and draw hypothetical scenarios like, "I'll work in biglaw and pay off 300k, and I'll have a prestigious degree next to my name for the rest of my life. I'll have a world of opportunity." But reality is so different. By taking on loans (plus interest) for sticker price, you're asking for trouble. That's non-dischargeable debt, so you have to pay it off or die trying.
I mean, nobody should apply ED because that's just a foolish way to guarantee you'll have to go to a school that won't be giving you any merit aid (with the possible exception of Northwestern).

"No law school is worth sticker" may be the correct personal calculus for you, but it's a bit overblown as general matter. Everyone has a different level of sensitivity to debt. If you're going into public interest work, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford at least are worth every penny because you'll barely be paying for them and will certainly be able to get some public interest legal job. (The same is arguably true of many schools, but these three schools at least have great LRAPs independent of the federal government that mean your loans will be paid off, not forgiven, in 10 years. They could charge $10 million and it would still be *worth it* if you knew public interest was your goal.)

If you want to enter private practice, you don't necessarily want to go too far down the T14 at sticker (and certainly not beyond it), but $300k is something you can very much pay off within a few years of living frugally. Will that be tough and require sacrifice? Sure. Will it unlock much better earning opportunities than a generic undergrad degree? You bet. And it will provide you with an income that allows you to live comfortably in a major city, something that is increasingly out of reach for people without high-paying jobs.

Having a lot of debt hanging over your head is definitely a burden, but it can also be a strong motivator to get through the slog of early biglaw to the more interesting work (and better exit opportunities) that follow. Whether you're the type of person that will be crushed by the debt or find it motivating is something only you know. Like any investment, paying for a law degree carries risks. But even at sticker, a law degree from, say, the top half of the T14 is *worth it* for a lot of people.
I agree, I should've qualified it with, "it depends on what your goals are and how tolerant you are to debt." In that case, there's no objective way to decide which law schools are worth sticker. I was assuming OP wanted our opinions, so I gave my opinion as "none".

Some people don't mind taking on that kind of debt, but to me, it's scary. You have to trust that you'll finish law school with decent grades, you'll get a biglaw interview, you'll pass the bar exam, and you'll stick around in biglaw until you manage to pay off your debt. Anyone might fail at one of these steps. From the forum posts I've read and conversations I've had, working in Big Law can be very difficult for an extended period of time. In any case, it's a very risky proposition to make a 300k+interest "investment" with so many hurdles in the way. That's why good financial advisers discourage people from borrowing too much money to finance anything, even investments- you never know what's going to happen. Sometimes, things don't work out the way you want them to, and then you're in trouble.

To each his own, I guess. It's a free country, and anyone can make that kind of "investment".

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:24 pm

ALCA1920 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:59 am
You have to trust that you'll finish law school with decent grades, you'll get a biglaw interview, you'll pass the bar exam, and you'll stick around in biglaw until you manage to pay off your debt. Anyone might fail at one of these steps. From the forum posts I've read and conversations I've had, working in Big Law can be very difficult for an extended period of time.
I think the point is more that if you go to a T13, only the underlined starts to be an issue.

I agree that sticker-price debt is generally a bad idea, but if you aggressively pay down your debt, even 2 years in biglaw can make enough of a dent that you can comfortably transition to a lower-paying area of private practice. And as mentioned, you can always do PI and take advantage of the generous LRAP programs at HYS/Columbia/NYU. The reality is that a degree from these schools makes a massive difference to your future career prospects, so that's why people often suggest that it may--in some situations--be worth it to go to a top school at sticker.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:14 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:24 pm
I agree that sticker-price debt is generally a bad idea, but if you aggressively pay down your debt, even 2 years in biglaw can make enough of a dent that you can comfortably transition to a lower-paying area of private practice. And as mentioned, you can always do PI and take advantage of the generous LRAP programs at HYS/Columbia/NYU. The reality is that a degree from these schools makes a massive difference to your future career prospects, so that's why people often suggest that it may--in some situations--be worth it to go to a top school at sticker.
Curious about the noticeable omission of Chicago (and really the rest of the T10-13 or so) here. Is it just that they're not negative-am? I was under the impression that Chicago in particular had just revamped their LRAP to be pretty friendly to people who stay under the $80k/yr ceiling.

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Re: Worst law school worth sticker?

Post by nealric » Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:23 pm

There really isn't a single answer to this. If you from a wealthy family for whom tuition is no object, it doesn't really matter if you pay sticker or not. If you already have massive undergrad debt, the calculus is different than if you are debt free. If your sincere goal is biglaw partner, the calculus is different than if your goal is to be a public defender.

You also have to weigh other offers. It would be silly to go to Cornell when Northwestern offered you a full ride (though that's admittedly a relatively unlikely scenario). More likely, it would be the difference between sticker at some higher ranked school, or some amount of scholarship at some slightly lower ranked school.

Some lower ranked schools can be relatively cheap, while others very expensive. City University of New York is relatively inexpensive ($15k/yr part time) such that one could conceivably cashflow tuition while working a reasonably attainable full time job for someone with just an undergrad degree. Sticker there is a very different proposition from similarly ranked Pace law ($50k/yr tuition).

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