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Messages - jack24

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Law School Admissions / The Tough Numbers on Law School
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:26:40 AM »
Now remember, The average education debt for law grads at private schools last year was nearly $125,000, while the average for grads of public law schools was more than $75,700, according to new figures released by the ABA.


According to the ABA data from 195 law schools:

Full-time, Long-Term Legal Jobs:

These jobs require bar passage or are judicial clerkships and are for at least 35 hours per week and have an expected duration of at least one year.
The national full-time, long-term legal rate is 55.2%.
At 73 law schools (37.1%), less than 50% of graduates had these legal jobs.
30 schools (15.2%) had less than 40%
10 schools (5.1%) had less than a 33%
89 schools (45.2%) exceeded the national rate of 55.2%.
31 schools (15.7%) had more than 67%
19 schools (9.6%) had more than 75%
5 schools (2.5%) had more than 90%


We define a graduate as underemployed when he or she is “Unemployed – Seeking”, pursuing an additional advanced degree, in a non-professional job, or employed in a short-term or part-time job.
The national underemployment rate is 26.4%.
180 schools (91.4%) reported a rate greater than 10%.
144 schools (73.1%) had more than 20%
109 schools (55.3%) had more than 25%
57 schools (28.9%) had more than 33%
20 schools (10.2%) had more than 40%

Large Firms (at least 101 attorneys):
10.7% of graduates were employed at large firms in full-time, long-term positions
Graduates seek these jobs in part because they’re the jobs that tend to pay the highest salaries.
At only 45 schools (22.8%) were more than 10% in these jobs.
20 schools (10.2%) had more than 20%
15 schools (5.6%) had more than 33%
Only 3 schools were over 50% – Columbia, Northwestern, and Penn.

Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 27, 2013, 10:57:56 AM »
Just to settle the score:

I am going to law school, like I have said before, I understand my numbers are low but that is not going to stop me from attending an aba law school.

Yea I was admitted to Appalachian as well as New England Law School, New York Law School, and Touro. I was also wait listed at Hofstra (where I attend undergrad) as well as pace law school.

As the OP, I want to make it clear that I am attending law school, I understand the risks involved and beat myself everyday for a low gpa, however, i wrote an addendum explaining personal situations that prevented me from excelling. I just want to make it clear I was not making an excuse or complaining, just stating facts.

As far as the comparison about MBA school, I intern at a law office in NY and work directly under a paralegal who attended law school but realized it was not for him so now he is attending grad school. I have written close to five of his papers and he received A's on all of them. I obviously was extra careful when writing his assignments since, at the time he was writing my letter of recommendation but it just proves that MBA is not as hard as law school and I believe it to be a joke. Again I want to practice law so Jack24 please stop posting about irrelevant facts involving MBA programs.

Like I said previously I created this thread to see if anyone else was in my similar situation and worked hard enough to transfer to a better law school, because at the end of the day it only matters where you get your JD degree and if I have to attend a TTTT or TTT with the hopes of transferring than that's exactly what I am going to do.

Thank you all for your input. I will update this thread when I hear from more schools in my cycle.

Okay, so you don't like side discussions on your threads.  Noted.
I've said in all of my comments that you can do whatever you want.  My comments are for those who are still undecided.   My comments about MBAs were intended to explain how an MBA is a poor comparison to law school because the risk of law school is substantially more than an MBA.  Law School defender Livinglegend seems to think that because it's rough all over, going to law school is no more risky than other popular endeavors.  I think that is wrong, and I hope others who read the thread will find the information on their own.

As for you, good luck.   When I applied for law school in 2007, I really wanted to get into a top 50 school in my region.  I was rejected, and I attended a T2 a few states away.   My stats (3.3/160) were slightly under the median at both schools.   After getting in the top 25% I found a decent clerkship and made law review, so I struggled with my decision over whether to transfer to the school in my home region.  After several conversations with their admissions committee, I decided the transfer was unlikely.  That particular school received over 100 transfer applications per year and only reserved 4-6 spots.  They told me they looked closely at my LSAT and UGPA in addition to my Law School rank.   My understanding from talking to several admissions counselors is that transferring is a bit of a crap shoot, so it's generally unwise to go to a particular law school on the condition that you will transfer.   If transferring would just be a benefit, but you'd be happy to graduate from the school you go for 1L, then fine.   My irrelevant comments may not be relevant to you, but I believe anyone with your numbers is simply rolling the dice. 

The data shows that LSAT scores correlate fairly well to 1L grades, so I went to law school knowing that the average student at my school was probably smarter than me and/or worked harder than me, so I knew I needed to strategize.    I made smart friends and got their great outlines, I found out what teachers were looking for on their exams, and I did quite well (but not THAT well). 

I just don't think it's ever a sure thing.  Maybe the smartest of the smart can dominate every class (A guy got a 4.0 my 1L year), but there is some luck involved for most people.   I mean, look at Appalachian.  They have a forced 2.5 curve and anybody lower than 2.0 after their first semester is dismissed.  That's BRUTAL.  With such a narrow gap between the attrition threshhold and the median, it's like that the vast majority of 1Ls (probably 75%) are within a couple tenths of each other.   At my school, 81% were within .2 of the median.  In other words, 81% of students had between a 2.8 and a 3.2.    With 4 classes, one grade could be the difference betwen the bottom third and the top third, easy.   If you look at score distributions for law school classes, there are usually a lot of people clumped together, so a 20-30 points on a 500 point exam could be the difference between the top third and the bottom third.     It's crazy, but one out of every two students is in the bottom half of the class, and transferring out of the bottom half of Appalachian is a tough road to hoe.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Too Many Good Choices
« on: February 26, 2013, 10:00:29 AM »
Come on Living Legend.  Are you an admissions counselor for a T4 somewhere?   You are an attorney.  Make a real argument.

You have some great points in that form letter you love to paste in every thread, but then you get on your analysis and it doesn't add up. 

None of the things you mentioned are good comparisons to law school.   A masters in accounting and a CPA for an accounting major is a very small investment.  An MBA for a business major is only 1/3 of the credits of law school.   A job as a cop doesn't require anything close to the investment of law school.   A BA or BS?  One of those is required for law school, so how can it hurt to pursue a career for a couple years before going to law school?

The statistics are horrible.  Our debate about Appalachian has some good information about this.   Graduates at Appalachian have approximately an 18% chance of getting a law job that pays over 55 grand a year.  And their average debt is well over 100,000.   You can get a MAC or MBA with less than 20,000 debt with very little problem, and do you really think the chance of making 55,000 is less than 18%?  Even if it is, the debtload is significantly less, so a lower paying job is more manageable.

Nobody is arguing that there is some other yellow brick road out there.   We are arguing that law school is a statistically bad investment unless AT LEAST ONE of the following is true:

1: You already have a job lined up and you can crunch the numbers.
2:  You can graduate with very little debt and will have no trouble surviving off 40,000 a year.
3: You can get into a T-14 school or a school that absolutely crushes in the region you want to work (Like Texas)

Now, if you don't have any of those going for you, you can still go to law school. However, the odds are not in your favor that it will be a good financial investment.   If you are going to law school for reasons independent of finances, then my advice has little relevance. 

And I think that's what people like Anti09 and I are trying to convey to people.  The only smart reason to go to law school is if you have sufficient evidence that you can find a job and that you will be happy working in that job.

My experience tells me that very few law students can predict what their work environment will be after law school.   You may find a job at a DA's office, city office, in-house at a company, a small firm, a big firm, with a judge, in compliance, with some other government organization.  Those jobs are hardly even comparable.  My day to day isn't anything like my friends in Biglaw.   My day to day isn't anything like my friends at the DA's office.

So again, I can't in good conscience recommend law school unless you have a specific job lined up, you can graduate with little debt, you get into the top 14 or clearly best school in your region, or you like to gamble with your financial future.

And then your response is, "There's no guarantees in life. Go to law school if you want."   Everybody already knows that.  Now they need information that will help them to make an educated decision.   Why don't you provide them with some? 

Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 26, 2013, 08:14:44 AM »
Basically nobody knows whether they want to be a lawyer or not.   It's a huge gamble.

And you are talking about things you apparently know nothing about.  I don't mean to be rude, but an MBA is usually only 60 credits, and about half of those are undergrad level business courses.  For a business graduate like me, an MBA would only be 30 credits at most institutions.   There are also a lot of state schools that offer extremely cheap options.   I know one MBA program at a well respected state school that is only $12,000 if you have a business degree going in.  If you don't, you can take the prerequisites in their undergrad program for $4500 more.   So that means a communications major could have an MBA for $16,500 in total tuition.   The MBA arena is flooded, and I don't think it's a great path for most people, but it is a much lower risk than law school.   This isn't opinion, it's clear fact.   90 credits of law school is going to cost a ton more than 30-60 credits of an MBA.  And I know plenty of people who finish an MBA in two years while working full time at a career-type job.   Law school doesn't provide that. 

So let's recap:  An MBA from a good state school that basically anyone can get in to is $16,500 for tuition, and you can work full time while you do it.   

A JD from Appalachian costs $93,000 in tuition (minus scholarships) plus you can only work 20 hours a week, max, unless you lie.  IF you are really lucky, you can make some good money during the summer.

Now, where we get into opinion is when we contrast the upside to the equation.   We know the costs of the two programs, at least in this example, but what is the upside?  That's really hard to tell.  We don't know where the OP will end up.  His LSAT is below the median, but that's not always indicative of where he will end up.  Still though, everyone thinks they will be in the top third, and 66.7% are wrong.

Appalachian's employment data is found here:

Of the 91 graduates in 2011, only 34 work in a position where "bar passage is required."  Another 9 work in a "JD advantage position".  Of those 43, only 35 are in Full-time long term positions.  So that leaves 48/91  (52%)  who are either unreported or whose law degree didn't make any positive contribution to their career at the time of reporting and another 8 who are either in short term or part time positions.

Let's examine the data a little further. 26 of the 34 Bar passage required people work for firms with 2-10 attorneys, 1 works for a firm with 11-25, and 1 works for a firm with 51-100.     Those numbers are BRUTAL.  They don't publish their median salaries (scary) but with a distribution like that, the median has got to be below $55,000, and probably way below, and that's not even factoring in the unemployed people.     So the OP, who is far below the median in terms of LSAT score, wants to invest over 100,000 in debt into a career where students at the school have a 48% chance of getting a benefit and at least a 50% chance if they do get a job, they will make less than $55,000.     In summary, OP is a below median LSAT performer, and she wants to go to a school where graduates have an 18% chance to make over $55,000 in a bar-passage required job.

Are you really trying to say that's less risky than an MBA?

Sure, if it's her passion, she should go to law school.  But unless her passion is in family law or personal injury, there's no guarantee her job will be anything near what her passion is.

Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 25, 2013, 03:44:51 PM »
First law school is not that easy to get into? It is easier than medical school you need a bachelor's degree, which only about 30% of American's have and globally that number is far lower. Then you need to get basically a 145 to get into Appalachian or Cooley two of the easier to get into schools in America, but even to do that you need to be in the top half or higher of LSAT takers. You state 30,000 people did better than OP on the LSAT, but there were 130,000 test takers therefore he did better than 100,000 people who have bachelor's degrees, which is quite good.

Okay, the 30,000 was just a random number.   A 145 is the 25th percentile, so if 130,000 took the test, then 97,500 test takers (per year) get better than a 145.

I was comparing law school to Medical School.   Let's look at one example.   The 86th ranked Med School is USC-Keck, and its students have an average MCAT score of 34.1, which is in the 92nd percentile.  AVERAGE, at the 86th ranked med school.   Compare that to Law School, where those who get the 92nd percentile (165) can generally take a swing at schools ranked from 20-25.    The 86th ranked school requires a score round around the 66th percentile.

I'm just pointing out that a med school comparison isn't a good comparison.

What I don't think most law students realize is that if you attend law school you are good at school. I played sports in college and know many people are not capable of pulling a 2.0 to any law student that seems like a joke and I got a 3.3 drinking, partying, and putting in minimal effort in college, but school simply was easy for me. It is not simply work ethic either I played basketball in College I could probably work 100x harder than every NBA player right now and not be anywhere near their level. I remember watching a documentary of Allen Iverson saying he never lifted a weight in his life yet he was an NBA All-Star somethings just come naturally to people. So getting into law school and scoring well enough to get into any ABA school is an accomplishment in my opinion.

It is an accomplishment to get into an ABA school, but 45% of the graduates from my T2 were jobless at 9 months after graduation.   The OP's test taking ability is in the 25th percentile of all applicants, so he's facing some tough numbers.  Add on the $100k+ in debt he'll likely face, and the gamble is bad.  Worse than the gamble for other programs.

Do some people was their law school experience? Yes. There is no mandatory requirement to take the hardest courses, bust your ass to find a paying internship, etc. Plenty of people I went to law school with routinely missed class, took easy courses, and were rarely involved with anything. Yes the third year of law school was a complete waste for these people, but any educational experience is what you make of it.

During my Third year I was on a journal, I took numerous writing classes so I would have good writing samples at graduation, I participated in two mock trial competitions, and got an internship (paid) that lead to my first job out of law school.

My classmates had the same opportunities to do what I did others did not. Undergrad or any other school is no different. In college I knew plenty of people that smoked pot all day, missed class, got a 2.0, and did jack over their 4 years in college. I could have done more in college personally, but I played basketball, made friends, held several jobs, was in school politics, etc. I got a scholarship for basketball, but my stoner dorm mates had the same opportunities I had , but they never utilized them.

My point is law school is no different than any other form of school you make it a worthwhile experience or not. If you want to sit in the back of the class, take Yoga for lawyers 3L, or some other fluff thing nobody is stopping you just as nobody is stopping you from taking the difficult courses, befriending professors, participating in moot court or mock trial. The choice is yours no matter what school you attend.

While you may be correct on all of your points, you still paid a ton of money to either work, or take classes that you didn't need.  I did a lot of great stuff during law school as well.  I remember editing hundreds of pages of law review articles for free... but that experience doesn't really help me now.  2L and 3L don't really prepare you for the bar or for work as an attorney, and all the extra curricular stuff that is effective shouldn't cost so damned much.

CPA programs and MBA programs may be a total waste of money to some people, but the risk is way lower.  The total cost is much less, the opportunity cost is much less, and you can work while you go.  Some people make good money during law school, but they are the rare exception.

I don't think the OP should listen to an anonymous internet poster, but he should look at the statistics.   He's in the bottom 3rd of applicants in a world where law school is only a good investment, in my opinion, for those in about the top 40% of graduates.    I just saw a job posting that required a JD + bar license and it was only paying 28,000 a year.

Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 25, 2013, 08:40:42 AM »

What you and those of your thought persuasion seem unwilling to discuss is the massive waste that is law school.   Yes, other professions are brutal as well, and nothing is a sure thing.  But Law school is incredibly expensive.  It's also three years long, and two of those years could arguably be spent in an apprenticeship for free rather than in class for 800 bucks per credit. 

Medical School and Law school is not a great comparison either.   It is extremely difficult to get into med school right now, and it's VERY easy to get into law school.   If you are willing to drop to the bottom of T4, you can get in with a 15-20 percentile score on the LSAT.   You can also get into law school with a very easy undergrad degree, but med school requires intense prerequisites and a huge commitment.   In short, the OP wouldn't stand a chance to get into an american med school. 

Perhaps a better comparison would be Pharmacy School, Optometry School or PA school.   These options require about three years after your bachelors and they all have significant tuition costs.   Those job markets, however, are much more stable.   Two qualified law grads with similar resumes may have wildly different results out of law school.  That's not so much the case in these professions.  For example, almost all retail pharmacists start out at 55+ bucks an hour.  They have a lower ceiling than an attorney, but it's not like the law, where 50% of the graduates have to be on income based repayment because they make less than $55k a year.   Overall, the legal industry is getting killed.  Only 55% of the graduates from my T2 had JD preferred or required positions at 9 months after graduation. 

An MBA or a MAC+ CPA are also bad comparisons because an MBA or MAC at a low ranked school is incredibly cheap.  You can get an MBA for about $12,000 total.  A MAC isn't much more expensive, and you will be better prepared for the CPA exam coming out of accounting school than you will be for the Bar coming out of Law School.  You can also easily work full time while you earn an MBA, and it opens up a broad range of potential employment.  It's no guarantee, and it's a waste of money for a lot of people, but it's not as bad as law and the risk isn't nearly as high.

I think someone like the OP should probably try being a paralegal or administrator for a law firm or state organization.  OP could even work as a victims advocate or an investigator.   Jobs in the 40-50k range pop up all the time, the hours are better, and the up front investment is tiny in relation to law school.   Working as a paralegal won't prepare you to be a great lawyer in most cases, but it will help you decide exactly what kind of law you want to practice and whether or not you'll like it.

Finally, OP can do whatever, but I think you generally paint a rosier picture of law school prospects than is reasonable.  I don't know what LSAT score you got, but the OP did worse than like 30,000 LSAT takers.  It's an uphill battle.

This is a question for an admissions officer.   Have you tried calling a few law schools to ask about this?   Generally speaking, an addendum of this sort isn't a personal statement.  You can use it to show growth, but should be an argument that you can still sit for the bar exam.   Have you spoken with the character and fitness people in the state you want to practice in?    With a problem this serious, you really need to speak with a few admissions officers and someone at the state bar.  They can give you information that will help you.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: I can't decide!
« on: February 21, 2013, 07:22:31 AM »
Could not agree more the rankings hold some weight, but if someone wants to live in New York then go to law school in New York. Attending BYU even if it is a top 50 something school is not going to do you any favors getting a job in New York. You would honestly be better off attending New York Law School, Brooklyn, or another mid level school if you wanted to be in New York.

The same applies nationwide it is really quite simple go to law school in the location you want to live. Somehow 0L's make it so much more complicated than that and make life altering decisions based on a magazine.

I agree with you in principle, but BYU specifically travels very well all over the place.  Those Mormons have a crazy strong network and hiring partners tend to love them.

Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:10:04 AM »

I created this thread for indivudals who actually attended a T4 and transfered to a T2, not for someone like you to post rude and uncalled for comments like the above quote. I understand my numbers are low and certainly do not need someone I do not even know to remind me and I am not expecting a hand out as you mentioned above.  Not that this is any of your business but, I am well networked as the majority of my family are attorneys. This is my calling and I am not going to let a standarize test prevent me from attending law school even if that means attending a lower ranked school with the goal of transferring.

Agian, refrain yourself from commemts that you made in my post to others. Nobody needs to be labeled as you labeled me. There is a difference from constructive criticism and rude comments.


While I do think Blue54 goes a bit far, I hope you do recognize the challenges that lie ahead.   Now, if you have a job lined up with a family member (or if you are planning to hang your own shingle on day one), then none of the advice on this thread will be helpful.   Seriously, if that's the case, go to the cheapest law school you can find, and finish as fast as they'll let you.   Legal training is, by and large, a joke.  2L and 3L can be worthwhile, but they don't have to be.  I know plenty of people who studied irrelevant and easy courses for two years, and law school is hella easy if you are OK graduating in the bottom half.   

Transferring is just such a brutal prospect.  I went to a great school, but it was in a market I didn't want to work in.  I didn't get into the schools in the market I wanted to work.   When I looked into transferring to a school ranked around 35-55, I found that they only took 5 transfer students each year, but they got an incredible amount of applications.   They told me they still considered LSAT and UGPA, and that your 1L achievement only constituted about half of the decision factors.

This may not be the same for all schools, but it was certainly discouraging.    I found my job through networking, but it was really tough.  Sometimes you get lucky, and you find something fast.  I managed to convince three different hiring partners from medium sized firms to go to lunch with me.  Each one of them confessed to getting hundreds of resumes each month.  They said they didn't have many openings, but when they did, the only way to deal with the resume's was to use a  matrix and have their paralegals implement it for the first round.

For example, one partner said he would throw away any resume unless the student either went to a top 25 school, the top school in the region, or was in the top 25% of his class at another school.    He said he usually had 20-30 resumes from IVY league 3Ls or grads. 

Now, you may not be looking to work for a mid-sized firm, but this has a domino effect.  This means that you are competing with candidates like me for the lower level jobs.  As a result, you need to network like a champ, dominate your T4 (and/or get transferred to a T2), and be willing to take less desirable jobs, maybe even jobs that don't match your "calling."  The BLS and LSAC are estimating that there will still be 12,000-20,000 more law graduates than legal jobs in 2016, even though enrollment has fallen through the floor. 

So if it is your calling to practice family law in a medium market for around 45,000 a year, then I think you have a great shot.   But if you want to do mergers and acquisitions at a mid-sized firm, you are basically playing roulette.

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