Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: baseball_2003 on February 25, 2013, 12:49:35 AM

Title: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: baseball_2003 on February 25, 2013, 12:49:35 AM
What are people's thoughts on this school?  I am considering attending this coming fall and would like some helpful feedback from people who are actually familiar with San Diego and TJSL's reputation throughout the region. 

Thanks!
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on February 25, 2013, 02:24:33 PM
First off realize that anything you read on this board or other comes from anonymous internet posters who have no repercussions for being completely wrong, making things up, etc. There is no qualifications to post on this board, top law schools, or others for all you know I could be one of the greatest lawyers in the world or a bum in a public library. Bottom line taking any advice from anonymous internet posters myself included with a major grain of salt.

With that introduction I can tell you that I have never been to Thomas Jefferson Law, but I am a lawyer in California. I can tell you I have seen good and bad lawyers from every law school Thomas Jefferson included. Thomas Jefferson does have significant issues with bar passage, but having taken the California Bar I really think bar passage is far more up to the individual than the school, but TJLS numbers are significantly lower than other schools. I do not know what to make of that, but it should be of some concern as they had 33% and 52% bar passage rates in the last 2 years. Again whether you pass the bar is much more up to the individual than the school, but those are significantly lower numbers than other schools.

Now with that said there are some major Pros to TJSL. I noticed they recently reduced their tuition to 19,000 a year, which is about half the price of every other California Law School. Furthermore, TJSL is in San Diego where there are simply not many other law schools, which means less competition.

One other thing to realize about legal education is that it is all the same. Whether you attend Davis, Hastings, University of San Diego, Thomas Jefferson, California Western, etc your first year will consist of Torts, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure. etc and you will read Supreme Court Cases. The United States Supreme Court does not spend time writing seperate opinions for different law schools and no matter what school you attend you will read Palsgraf in torts to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff to in Civ Pro to learn about notice. So there really isn't much difference between law schools they teach you the same exact thing. You will take the bar exam and hopefully you will pass if you do you will have a law license and whether you succeed as a lawyer will be far more dependent on you than any law school name on your diploma.

Now is anyone going to be impressed by TJSL? No certainly it would be better to go to Stanford the road to succeeding as a lawyer would be easier, but plenty of people do succeed from TJSL while many others do not. It will be an uphill battle, but people have overcome a lot worse things than not going to Harvard for Law School. There were attorneys who got licensed during segregation and overcame numerous obstacles, people around the world are starving and fighting for survival every day. People that complain that they cannot get a job, because they didn't get into Stanford are the epitome of first world problems, but if you someone that expects things to be handed to you then do not attend TJSL or any law school for that matter. If your prepared to work your ass off, overcome obstacles, and get sh** done then I encourage you to go for it, but it will not be easy.

Good luck to you whatever you decide.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: baseball_2003 on February 25, 2013, 03:07:57 PM
Thank you for your honest opinion.  I have a lot of things to consider in the coming month and don't have to fully decide until April 1st.  I am curious though;  where did you read about TJSL reducing their tuition costs to $19,000?  I was under the impression that they were charging right around 40K a year? 

Fortunately, I am willing to work my ass off in order to make things happen for my future.  Where in CA do you practice?  Thanks again!

     
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on February 25, 2013, 03:31:29 PM
I got it from LSAC http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba4973.pdf , but definitely call the school directly as that is a difference of 20,000 over one year and 60,000 over three.  I am in the Bay Area, but once you pass the California Bar you are licensed in every city in California and it being such a massive state covering towns like San Diego, L.A, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento to name a few you will be licensed in all of them if you pass the California Bar.

No problem happy to give some advice I know there is a lot of negativity on these boards, but you have to ask yourself what kind of person spends hours on anonymous posting on the internet to complain how unfair everything is? That is not the type of person I want to hang out with and I am a big believer in accountability I choose to go to law school no gun to my head and there were flaws in the system just like everything else, but I am glad I went. There are many others who hated their experience and the reality is whether you fail or succeed will be much more dependent on you than anything TJSL or other schools do. 

Remember all a law school owes you is a ticket to take the bar exam and any accredited law school will give you that opportunity. Whether you pass the bar or fail will be pretty much dependent on you and whether you find a job again will be on you. These are difficult tasks and TJSL is not going to impress anybody, but plenty of people from every ABA school nationwide do succeed however it is not easy. 100% of people on the first day of law school think they will graduate in the top 10% and they are special and will find a job at graduation no problem. 90% of people don't finish in the top 10% of the class and plenty of people struggle to find jobs. It is hard I will not sugarcoat and it is not always fair, but if being a lawyer is what you want then I encourage you to go for it, but be prepared for a challenge.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on February 25, 2013, 04:46:20 PM
TJSL gives you a 26.7% chance of ever working as a lawyer.  In fact, you have a significantly greater chance of being unemployed altogether (41.5%) than you do of finding work as a lawyer. 

It's objectively one of the worst schools in the country and an outright scam. 

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=thomasjefferson&show=chars
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on February 25, 2013, 10:54:48 PM
Although I am all for lawschooltrasnparency and their mission realize it is far from an accurate picture. This information is based on reports from 39% of students so that mean's over half the sample size is missing. I can tell you I graduated, passed the bar, and got a job. I never ended up reporting my employment and many people simply do not take the time to fill out a survey, or release their financial information, etc. Therefore I was a no-report despite working as a lawyer.

Furthermore, I posted this exact thing on another thread:

Copy/Paste from other thread


Realize that law school is the only profession I know of that is required to report employment information on an easy to access database. I would love to see the employment numbers for recent college graduates I am sure it is far worse than law schools. There is no centralized database for medical grads, MBA grads, accounting grads, or undergrads that I am aware of. At the very least law reports statistics and as far I know not one other profession does that.  If you know of a site that reports universal job statistics and everyone is reporting 90% employment making 80-100k from CPA school then I guess that is the route, but plenty of people struggle to find jobs in every profession as evidenced by my two second Google search.

A pessimist accountant saying in your first year you will make only 45-50k if your lucky. http://www.city-data.com/forum/work-employment/1004020-think-twice-before-you-get-accounting.html

Another thread of desperate accountants submitting endless resumes without finding a job. http://www.another71.com/cpa-exam-forum/topic/passed-all-exams-on-first-attempt-still-cant-find-a-job



A whole article explaining why an MBA is a waste of money. http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/04/pf/jobs/business_school_waste.fortune/index.htm

Another article explaining why an MBA is a waste of money http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/04/pf/jobs/business_school_waste.fortune/index.htm

Another thread of a guy with an MBA posting for a job http://www.indeed.com/forum/loc/Chicago-Illinois/MBA-graduate-can-t-get-job/t303546

Maybe being a cop is easy?
Oh nope http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/more_than_700_nj_police_office.html

another thread of people looking for law enforcement jobs http://policelink.monster.com/topics/83557-cant-find-a-law-enforcement-job/posts

How about just a plain old Bachelor's everyone must be hiring people with a B.A. or B.S. right? Uh no.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57434159/half-of-college-grads-cant-find-full-time-jobs/

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/college-grads-cant-find-work-1b7vkvg-183086941.html

I could go on and on, but the reality is starting a career is difficult and nobody likes looking for work. I don't know if your still in college or attending law school, but you can see there is no easy route that I can find. At the end of the day people can complain on the internet about finding a job or get it done. Personally when I was waiting for bar results I was rejected by over 400 employers it was depressing, but I did have a few interviews and thankfully one came through once results were released, but it was not easy. It will not be easy no matter what profession you choose that is my point.

However, if you know of some golden ticket where everyone is getting hired, you don't have to pay any tuition, and you are paid exorbitantly please let everyone me know as well as everyone else on this board I would honestly love to know about it.

Conclusion:
OP Thomas Jefferson is not going to result in anything being handed to you, but every other profession will present it's own obstacle unless Anti09 knows of the Golden Ticket profession that I have been trying to find for over 30 years. If being a lawyer is what you want to be then go for it. There is a higher likelihood that you may not pass the bar attending TJSL your numbers are likely lower than others and this means you are not a good standardized taker. Standardized test taking makes no difference in your career as a lawyer, but your ability to take standardized test does make a difference on the bar and you cannot be a lawyer until you pass that exam.

There are plenty of TJSL grads and people from lower ranked schools that pass, but it is likely going to be more difficult for you to pass the bar than someone from Harvard. Furthermore, people from Harvard will have an edge on you in the legal job market and for that matter in any profession as Harvard has an MBA school, an accounting school, etc. If you want to be a lawyer and you know what it entails I encourage you to go for it. I knew what I was getting into when I enrolled and I love being a lawyer. I have numerous classmates that hated their experience and others that love their jobs more than I do. It is a gamble, but nothing is certain life and if being a lawyer is what you really want there is only way to become one and that is going to law school.

Good luck to you.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on February 26, 2013, 08:05:49 PM
LivingLegend, I'm not sure why you are insistent on encouraging people to make bad decisions.  Why would anybody pay $250,000 to attend a law school that only gives you a 26.7% chance of getting a job as a lawyer?   

Your list of other struggling professions is wholly irrelevant to this conversation.  OP isn't asking if he should become a CPA, or a Cop, or a Firefighter.  He is asking if he should attend one very specific law school, in pursuit of a specific career.  The answer to that question is no, because of overwhelming evidence that such a decision would be financial suicide.

Are you actually a lawyer?  Serious question. 
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on February 27, 2013, 10:02:11 PM
I don't know where you get 250,000 from their tuition is 19,000 per year http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba4973.pdf (direct from LSAC)  19,000 x 3=57,000 in tuition not 250,000.

As for the 26.7% again where do get these numbers LSAC says it is 86% employment. Now not everyone in law school has any desire to practice law and the circumstances of individual are so varied that these stats are essentially useless on top of the fact that many people fail to report their information because it is not mandatory. Do you fill out every survey that comes your way? Probably not and when you get something 9 months after you graduate from your law school it is the last thing on most grads mind.

As for the lawyer yes I am, but maybe I am just some insane delusional person all it takes to post on this board is an internet connection. Therefore, OP before making a life altering decision really understand what you read on this board or others should be taken with a major grain of salt. I have never set foot on the Thomas Jefferson Law School Campus and I am assuming Anti has never attended a law school class so we are some of the last people you should be listening to when choosing whether to commit 57,000 in tuition or more importantly 3 years of the prime of your life.

Anti as for the other professions I listed my point is you can make an argument that any profession is a bad idea. There are numerous boards and posters such as yourself who say do not become a CPA, Cop, firefighter, etc. This world is a cruel nasty place and nothing will be handed to you. So my point if OP really wants to be a lawyer he should pursue it, because there is not some easy path to take.

Feel free to continue ripping on people, but again OP realize we are nothing more than anonymous internet posters so please do not take anything said on here to seriously when making a life altering decision such as whether or not to attend law school and where to attend it. Should you pursue law school I wish you good luck and feel free to personal message me regarding things related to the practice of law in California, where I am licensed. If you choose another career path that is fine to, but make sure it is one that will keep you happy education is a long-term investment and if you choose the law school path it will be hard to get off of. If you go some other graduate school route that path will be hard to get off as well.

Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on February 28, 2013, 04:09:03 PM
I don't know where you get 250,000 from their tuition is 19,000 per year http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba4973.pdf (direct from LSAC)  19,000 x 3=57,000 in tuition not 250,000.

That's $19,000 per semester.  And that information is actually outdated, the actual cost of tuition is $21,500 per semester for the 2012-2013 academic year. See: http://www.tjsl.edu/admissions/tuition

$21,000 x 2 = $42,000 per year in tuition.

Adding in living expenses, estimated by your source at $27,440 / year, and the total cost of attendance is $69,440 per year.

$69,440 x 3 = $208,320. 

Now take into account tuition increases.  From 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 the tuition increased from $19,000 to $21,000.  That's over a 10% increase.  Let's assume that rate stays constant for the next three years.  This means the cost of tuition, per semester, for 1L, 2L, and 3L year will be $21,000, $23,100, and $25,410, respectively.  This adds an extra $6,200 his 2L year, and an extra $10,820 to his 3L year.  Tuition increases will cost an additional $17,020.

$208,320 + $17,020 = $225,340

Now, I don't know too many people who have that kind of money lying around.  That means OP is taking out loans.  After loan fees (4% of principal) and interest over three years, OP will easily top out over $250,000.  (And let's be honest, it's not like OP's life would be any less destroyed if it were only $225,340).

Quote
As for the 26.7% again where do get these numbers LSAC says it is 86% employment. Now not everyone in law school has any desire to practice law and the circumstances of individual are so varied

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=thomasjefferson&show=chars, which gets its data directly from the NALP report: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/documents/NALPReports/2011/thomasjefferson_Redacted.pdf

69 students out of the class of 228 got long term, full time legal jobs.  That's 30% (slightly higher than the 26.7% reported at LST, but still inexcusably bad).

And I don't understand your argument that some students "have no desire to practice law."  If one does not want to practice law, why is that person going to law school. Would you go to Med school if you didn't want to be a doctor? 

Quote
that these stats are essentially useless on top of the fact that many people fail to report their information because it is not mandatory. Do you fill out every survey that comes your way? Probably not and when you get something 9 months after you graduate from your law school it is the last thing on most grads mind.

If you have ever taken a statistics class you are probably familiar with something known as a sample size. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_size_determination)  100% participation is not required to gain an accurate picture of the legal industry.  Additionally, the NALP report suggests (http://www.nalp.org/salarycurve_classof2011) that over-representation at large firms (and consequently high paying jobs) actually skews the salary data we do have in a favorable light.  Meaning, things are actually worse than they look, and things look pretty awful.The statistics may not be perfect, but they are the best that we have.  It makes a lot more sense to rely on statistics than it does to rely on personal anecdotes.

Quote
As for the lawyer yes I am, but maybe I am just some insane delusional person all it takes to post on this board is an internet connection. Therefore, OP before making a life altering decision really understand what you read on this board or others should be taken with a major grain of salt. I have never set foot on the Thomas Jefferson Law School Campus and I am assuming Anti has never attended a law school class so we are some of the last people you should be listening to when choosing whether to commit 57,000 in tuition or more importantly 3 years of the prime of your life.

I agree.  I am not asking him to listen to me, or not to listen to you.  I am asking him to listen to basic fiscal (and common) sense.  Objectively, attending this school is one of the worst investments anyone could possibly make.  It will end in abject failure for three quarters of the class, and those who are lucky enough to find work will face loan payments of nearly $2,600 a month for 10 years, or $1,500 a month for 30 years.  That is life-crushingly awful debt for anyone, but shouldering that debt while making (at a maximum) $60,000 per year is literally impossible. 
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on March 01, 2013, 01:31:15 AM
Anti your basis is that 100% of people entering law school want to be lawyers and that is far from true. Furthermore, TJSL has poor bar passage rates and as a result people who do not pass the bar cannot work as lawyers.

TJSL is on pass with the state average in California of 50% bar passage. If you knew how the bar exam works you would realize you don't get your bar results in California until November so you literally cannot be licensed to practice law until 6 months after you graduate in May. Then people are not exactly hiring during Thanksgiving and Christmas so January is when you can really start looking for work. This is 8 months after graduation so the statistics are very skewed as a result of that alone since 9 months is the reporting date.

With that obstacle alone you can see numerous flaws in the reporting of information. Now TJSL has a 52% bar passage rate which is poor and this means 48% of people cannot be licensed to practice law until results of the February Bar are released in May. So for those 48% they literally could not work as lawyers within 9 months of graduation so the information is again flawed.

To add on to this I cannot tell you how many people I went to school with who had a JD/MBA combination who repeatedly told me they had no desire to practice law and went on to work in business. Not everyone listed working in the business sector is working at Starbucks. There are also people with joint degrees in clinical psychology and other joint programs as well. On top of that I knew several students from the Middle East and South America whose parents were extremely wealthy and just wanted them to go to law school for the intellectual challenge.

When you get through all of those flaws in reporting there are numerous people who wanted to be lawyers when they enrolled, passed the bar, and went on to work as attorneys, but simply never filled out the survey like myself. So the info is terribly flawed based on the factors I listed above.

Again I am all for lawschooltransparency, but show me one other profession that keeps any detailed employment information on their graduates. Law school at the very least does that I am not aware of any other profession that does.

Now with that all said OP TJSL has the worst bar passage rate in California that is not a good sign, but the California Bar Exam is far more up to the individual than the school. In February 2011 Berkeley had a 71% bar passage rate and Stanford a 75% passage rate. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Statistics/FEBRUARY2012STATS.pdf . Those are both pretty good schools, but attending them does not guarantee you success on the bar exam.

Now even if you pass the bar it is a tough job market, but it is done I mean am employed as a lawyer and I am rambling on the internet at 12:30 a.m. so it can be done, but it was not easy for me. However, I truly love my job and what I do so if being a lawyer is what you want go for it. TJSL will get you a ticket to take the bar exam and if your ready to really fight and work your ass of good things can happen, but there are no guarantees.

Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: jack24 on March 01, 2013, 09:34:41 AM
July bar exams are far better for their statistical reliability:
http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=PL6VLVgQEIM%3D

As a sampling, here are some bar passage rates for FIRST TIME TAKERS:

Thomas Jefferson: 33%  (for Repeaters, 13/89 TJ students passed.  ouch)
Cal Western: 79%
Chapman: 79%
Golden Gate: 79%
Pepperdine: 86
Stanford: 89
Berkely: 87
UCLA: 85
U San D: 76
USC: 91
Western State: 77
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: jack24 on March 01, 2013, 09:37:54 AM
I mean, just think about that for a minute...  84 of the 126 students who took the bar exam for the first time failed it.  67% failed.  Overall,  160/215 students from TJLS who took the bar exam failed it.   That's three out of every four!

How can anyone defend a school like that?

(To be fair, the July 2012 first time passage rate on the Cal bar for TJLS was a super good 52%)
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on March 01, 2013, 10:04:21 AM
Anti your basis is that 100% of people entering law school want to be lawyers and that is far from true. Furthermore, TJSL has poor bar passage rates and as a result people who do not pass the bar cannot work as lawyers.

TJSL is on pass with the state average in California of 50% bar passage. If you knew how the bar exam works you would realize you don't get your bar results in California until November so you literally cannot be licensed to practice law until 6 months after you graduate in May. Then people are not exactly hiring during Thanksgiving and Christmas so January is when you can really start looking for work. This is 8 months after graduation so the statistics are very skewed as a result of that alone since 9 months is the reporting date.

With that obstacle alone you can see numerous flaws in the reporting of information. Now TJSL has a 52% bar passage rate which is poor and this means 48% of people cannot be licensed to practice law until results of the February Bar are released in May. So for those 48% they literally could not work as lawyers within 9 months of graduation so the information is again flawed.

To add on to this I cannot tell you how many people I went to school with who had a JD/MBA combination who repeatedly told me they had no desire to practice law and went on to work in business. Not everyone listed working in the business sector is working at Starbucks. There are also people with joint degrees in clinical psychology and other joint programs as well. On top of that I knew several students from the Middle East and South America whose parents were extremely wealthy and just wanted them to go to law school for the intellectual challenge.

When you get through all of those flaws in reporting there are numerous people who wanted to be lawyers when they enrolled, passed the bar, and went on to work as attorneys, but simply never filled out the survey like myself. So the info is terribly flawed based on the factors I listed above.

Again I am all for lawschooltransparency, but show me one other profession that keeps any detailed employment information on their graduates. Law school at the very least does that I am not aware of any other profession that does.

Now with that all said OP TJSL has the worst bar passage rate in California that is not a good sign, but the California Bar Exam is far more up to the individual than the school. In February 2011 Berkeley had a 71% bar passage rate and Stanford a 75% passage rate. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Statistics/FEBRUARY2012STATS.pdf . Those are both pretty good schools, but attending them does not guarantee you success on the bar exam.

Now even if you pass the bar it is a tough job market, but it is done I mean am employed as a lawyer and I am rambling on the internet at 12:30 a.m. so it can be done, but it was not easy for me. However, I truly love my job and what I do so if being a lawyer is what you want go for it. TJSL will get you a ticket to take the bar exam and if your ready to really fight and work your ass of good things can happen, but there are no guarantees.

Everything in this post is nothing but a ramble of unsupported speculation.  Nothing in your post even closely resembles an understanding of today's legal market. 

Your assertion that many people go to law school with "no intention of becoming a lawyer" has no basis in reality.  That would be akin to attending med school with no intention of becoming a doctor.  Any business-related job that does not require a JD can be acquired in ways that are easier and less expensive than attending law school, and if they do require a JD then they are counted in TJLS's embarrassing 30% placement rate.

Your argument that many graduates simply don't pass the bar is further proof of the bottom barrel quality of TJLS.  A school that cannot even prepare its graduates for the bar surely cannot prepare them for a career as a lawyer (again, ignoring the fact that over 2/3 of them will never have the opportunity to begin with). 

Any foreigners who "come for the intellectual challenge" are not attending schools like TJLS.  Furthermore, I doubt your assertion that such people exist entirely, as I can think of much easier and less expensive ways to gain intellectual stimulation.  This entire line of reasoning is moot, of course, because it is entirely based on speculation.

I strongly dislike using ad-hominem attacks, but by this point it is hard to resist coming to the conclusion that you hold a pecuiniary interest in one of these schools, and use LSD to spread misinformation to prospective students.  I can think of no other reason to ignore the great weight of evidence suggesting that for nearly everyone, attending TJLS is literally one of the worst professional and financial decisions that one can ever make.

To any prospective students who read LivingLegend's posts, you should be skeptical of his claims.  His posts are not supported by evidence and do not accurately depict the realities of the legal market today.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on March 02, 2013, 10:15:45 AM
To the OP as you are likely seeing this conversation has now spun completely off course and this proves why basing a life altering decision based on information from anonymous internet poster board is a bad idea. I just love showing this Michael Scott Video to reiterate my point regarding this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvZBg7qLzU8 .

I don't have a financial interest in any law school, but I could be lying and be the Dean of TJSL posting on the internet to encourage you to attend or I could be some bum in a library. What I really am if you want to believe it is a guy who went to law school and was terrified by posters such as Anti09 when I was a OL. However, having gone through law school I realized that listening to people who have never set foot in a law school classroom and for some reason spends hours a day posting about the pitfalls of law school on the internet probably are not the best source of information. I am also not a good source because I have never met you and know nothing about your situation, what you want, or what is best for you.

Jack24 who posts on this site and I can tell from his writing actually attended law school makes some valid points regarding the economics of law school. I agree with most of that analysis and if you are going to law school to make money and nothing else I would not recommend TJSL or law school in general. However, if you really want to be a D.A., Public Defender, City Attorney, or have some cause you really believe in then TJSL can work out for you, but you know what your personal goals are and perhaps those who personally know you can offer insight as well.

I will offer my own experience to explain the above paragraph in a little more detail. When I was in undergrad I worked for a clinical psychologist who was making a ton of money and loved me. He wanted to put me through psychiatry school and have me partner up with him and I would have a lot more money than I do right now. I really like my old boss and still keep in contact with him, but being a psychologist and listening to rich white people complain about how they didn't feel enough love as a child would have driven me crazy. There are numerous people that love that profession, but it is just not for me. Economically it was not the BEST decision, but I wanted to be a lawyer and I love going to court, understanding Supreme Court Decisions, knowing the law etc. It is the profession for me I go into work everyday excited to show up because being a lawyer is what I wanted to do, but I make far less than the psychologist does and paid more money for tuition than psychiatry school, but to me personally I am happy with the decision.

If you go to TJSL and pass the bar you can probably find work as a lawyer, but it will take time and it will not be much money when you start out. For all three years of law school you will be stressed about finding a job and incurring substantial debt. Then you will take the bar exam with those stressors and it will be a terrible summer and even worse 4 month waiting period. If you pass you will then be a licensed lawyer, but it will then be up to you to make a career with that law license and the money is not great for the majority of lawyers, but it can be a very rewarding career for the right person.

CONCLUSION:
Take everything you read from anonymous internet posters with a major grain of salt.  Next visit the school, talk to current students, and e-mail alumni http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Thomas-Jefferson-School-of-Law/fad6dace-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html these are people who can meet and assess their credibility.

Also when making the life altering decision of whether to attend law school or not look inside yourself and ask what is it about law school that appeals to you. If it is because you want to get rich DO NOT go to law school financially there are better career paths. If you really have a burning desire to practice law then I encourage you to pursue the path I knew law school was for me and I am very happy with it, but I know plenty of depressed attorneys as well and I believe many of them are that way because they expected to get rich from the legal profession and if money is your #1 priority it is probably not the profession for you. Good luck whatever you decide.

Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on March 02, 2013, 02:07:21 PM
I don't have a financial interest in any law school, but I could be lying and be the Dean of TJSL posting on the internet to encourage you to attend or I could be some bum in a library. What I really am if you want to believe it is a guy who went to law school and was terrified by posters such as Anti09 when I was a OL. However, having gone through law school I realized that listening to people who have never set foot in a law school classroom and for some reason spends hours a day posting about the pitfalls of law school on the internet probably are not the best source of information. I am also not a good source because I have never met you and know nothing about your situation, what you want, or what is best for you.

I'm in law school right now, since you constantly bring it up.  I would think that an actual student currently involved in the hiring process has a vastly more useful perspective than someone so clearly out of touch with the current realities of the legal market.

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Jack24 who posts on this site and I can tell from his writing actually attended law school makes some valid points regarding the economics of law school. I agree with most of that analysis and if you are going to law school to make money and nothing else I would not recommend TJSL or law school in general. However, if you really want to be a D.A., Public Defender, City Attorney, or have some cause you really believe in then TJSL can work out for you, but you know what your personal goals are and perhaps those who personally know you can offer insight as well.

None of those jobs you listed are easy to obtain, and positions exist in very limited quantities.  Those jobs will become even more scarce with the looming sequester and increasingly dire budget crises faced by State and Local governments.  If your backup plan is becoming a D.A., you're gonna have a bad time.

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If you go to TJSL and pass the bar you can probably find work as a lawyer,

This statement is indisputably false.  The vast, overwhelming majority of TJSL graduates will never work as a lawyer.  Reams of statistical data support this claim.  Since 2009, TJSL has placed an average of 34% of their class into full time, JD required jobs.  Their placement numbers have steadily declined every year, with no signs of reversing the trend. 

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is objectively one of the worst law schools in the country, located in one of the most saturated legal markets in the country. It should be obvious that attending this school is, for 99% of all applicants, an abjectly terrible decision.  The only scenario in which it might make sense would be if one could attend for completely free, including living expenses, and a close family relative who owns a successful law firm has promised them a job (in writing) upon graduation.

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but it will take time and it will not be much money when you start out. For all three years of law school you will be stressed about finding a job and incurring substantial debt. Then you will take the bar exam with those stressors and it will be a terrible summer and even worse 4 month waiting period. If you pass you will then be a licensed lawyer, but it will then be up to you to make a career with that law license and the money is not great for the majority of lawyers, but it can be a very rewarding career for the right person.

Even if OP is one of the lucky 30% who scores a job as a lawyer, how exactly do you expect him to pay off $250,000 in debt?  You even acknowledge that he will not make much money.  How is one expected to handle monthly loan payments of $2,600 for 10 years on a salary of $60k?  You have repeatedly failed to adequately explain this point, besides bizarrely discounting the NALP salary data as inexplicably flawed. 

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Take everything you read from anonymous internet posters with a major grain of salt.  Next visit the school, talk to current students, and e-mail alumni http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Thomas-Jefferson-School-of-Law/fad6dace-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html these are people who can meet and assess their credibility.

This strategy is obviously flawed, because you will only gain the perspective from those who were successful.  By limiting your sample size to only super lawyers, you are guaranteed to only speak with those few who were lucky enough to gain legal employment. 

Additionally, your source points out something very interesting.  There is not a single super lawyer from TJSL who graduated after 2007.  The super lawyer title in itself is fairly meaningless, but this fact is important because it ensures you will never speak to a lawyer with a current understanding of the legal market.  Any opinion from a pre-2007 graduate is essentially meaningless due to the gravity of changes in the legal market since then.  Therefore, nobody on that list has an opinion which will be useful.

CONCLUSION

TJSL is a very, very bad school.  It is objectively one of the absolute worst in the country, (http://abovethelaw.com/2012/10/ranking-the-worst-aba-accredited-law-schools/) and the obscene tuition they charge their graduates is nothing short of criminal.  If you refer to this chart, (http://dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Law-School-Gulag-Table.jpg) you can see that the rankings were conducted using purely objective data: employment statistics, bar passage rate, cost, etc. 

TJSL is essentially an outright scam and should be avoided at all costs.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on March 02, 2013, 03:05:36 PM
If law school is so awful then why don't you take your own advice and get out? It truly sounds like you hate the system and nobody is forcing you to attend law school. If you are this upset with law school your going to hate being a lawyer even more and be miserable. Honestly, I would drop out tommorow if I was in your situation it sounds like your miserable. Your the classic example of someone that shouldn't be there so leave and move onto something you enjoy.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on March 02, 2013, 04:29:53 PM
If law school is so awful then why don't you take your own advice and get out? It truly sounds like you hate the system and nobody is forcing you to attend law school. If you are this upset with law school your going to hate being a lawyer even more and be miserable. Honestly, I would drop out tommorow if I was in your situation it sounds like your miserable. Your the classic example of someone that shouldn't be there so leave and move onto something you enjoy.

Straw man is made of straw.

Show me where I said I "hate law school" or that I was "miserable."  I actually quite like law school so far, and I'm happy that I am here.  I'm especially happy that I am attending a school that gives me good job prospects at a reasonable price. 

Nowhere did I say that OP should not attend law school.  I don't think I have told anybody not to attend law school.  My position has been pretty explicit - as I said in another thread:

Quote from: Anti09
I am not advising OP not to attend law school.  I am simply advising OP to sit down and crunch the numbers . . . it will become quickly apparent that attending this school, at the price OP would be paying, is financial suicide even if OP is lucky enough to find a job. 

I stand by that statement.  If OP truly wants to go to law school, he should.  What he should not do is go to TJSL; an obscenely overpriced, bottom-barrel degree mill that exists only to rip off its students, knowing full well that the vast majority of them are signing up for a lifelong debt prison they will never escape from.  Even for free, TJSL is not worth OP's time (or anyone else's) without the promise of a job in the bag.  Otherwise, it's far more likely than not that OP will never work as a lawyer, and will waste three years of his life on a functionally worthless degree.

I am not here to spread doom and gloom about the legal industry.  I'm here to spread truth:  Hard facts, evidence, and a much needed dose of common sense.  If OP were attending a T14 school, or a lesser ranked school at a reasonable price, I would tell him to go for it, like I have told many others.  That is not the case here.  OP is considering one of the absolute worst schools in the country, in one of the most saturated markets in the country, and debating about whether to take out nearly a quarter-million dollars in non-dischargeable loans for the privilege of a 30% shot of obtaining a "shitlaw" gig that will pay $50k per year. 

I do not want to see anybody in such an awful situation.  I am not sure why you do.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on March 02, 2013, 05:58:33 PM
@Jack I know February statistics are inaccurate, but it is more of a dig at Anti to show that stats can often be misleading. I mean using February Bar Statistics an a non-ABA approved law school Santa Barbara had a better bar passage rate than University of Michigan. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Statistics/FEBRUARY2012STATS.pdf and they had the same amount of test takers 15. I could find any statistic to support my argument I wanted as could you or Anit and it will be an endless cycle.

Santa Barbara College of law had 15 takers 13 passed http://learn.collegesoflaw.edu/welcome (there is the website and it is not even ABA approved.

University of Michigan allegedly one of the top law schools in the world had 15 takers and 12 passed. As a result Santa Barbara must be a better school because statistics don't lie. However, as Jack and I know having taking the bar exam the July test is the real indicator, but in the bar exam administered in February 2012 Santa Barbara did better than Michigan that is a statistic.

Georgetown another top law school only has a 62% rate and 13% are school funded so only 49% of Georgetown grads are actually working in the legal field. http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=gulc&show=chars

However, I am sure within 5 years most people from Georgetown who stick to it to fine.

Anti why as a law student you don't know what the real world is and whatever stats LST shows regarding a school do not guarantee you a job or even that you will pass the bar. (Unless you attend Marquette or Wisconsin, which grant you automatic admission. On the bar exam you will not be able to say I went to X school so let me pass and when your applying to jobs you won't be able to say my school had x employment rate so you must higher me. Soon enough you will be in the real world and see these statistics mean very little.

Message to the OP
I am sure your aware that TJSL is not a world renowned school and the low bar passage rate is something to consider. However, this is your personal life decision visit the school and talk to alumni and those actually working in the San Diego Legal Market. Meet people face to face to judge their credibility I am in California, but in the Bay Area and I haven't been to San Diego since I was in high school I have no knowledge of what the legal market is like there or what TJSL's reputation is in San Diego.  People who actually live there, work there, and particularly those that attended TJSL will give you insight.

The random internet banter of three anonymous internet posters really shouldn't influence your decision that much whether you attend TJSL will be a life altering decision and you should get information from sources with direct experience. I know on the internet information is easily accessible, but it is often highly inaccurate or doesn't paint a full picture. Honestly, for all I know TJSL really is a terrible school I have never been there and only know a handful of lawyers from there and I don't know any of them that well. The few I have interacted with were fine enough attorneys and people, but it is a small sample size.

Bottom line just really do not make a life altering decision based on anonymous internet posters it is a terrible idea. Visit the school and see it for yourself it may be a great fit or you will know instantly it is not for you.  Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on March 04, 2013, 07:28:49 PM

Santa Barbara College of law had 15 takers 13 passed http://learn.collegesoflaw.edu/welcome (there is the website and it is not even ABA approved.

University of Michigan allegedly one of the top law schools in the world had 15 takers and 12 passed. As a result Santa Barbara must be a better school because statistics don't lie. However, as Jack and I know having taking the bar exam the July test is the real indicator, but in the bar exam administered in February 2012 Santa Barbara did better than Michigan that is a statistic.

This statistic is literally meaningless.  Only 15 kids from Michigan went to CA, so your sample size isn't exactly representative - the overall bar passage rate at Michigan is an order of magnitude higher, and you know that.  This is a red herring and irrelevant to our discussion regarding employment statistics.

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Georgetown another top law school only has a 62% rate and 13% are school funded so only 49% of Georgetown grads are actually working in the legal field. http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=gulc&show=chars

However, I am sure within 5 years most people from Georgetown who stick to it to fine.

First of all, you are once again misrepresenting statistics.  Of those 13% of school funded jobs, only 3% are Long Term, Full Time jobs counted in that 62% statistic.  The actual percentage of Georgetown grads employed in long-term, full-time legal jobs is 59%, not 49% as you claim.

Secondly, what is your point?  I agree that GULC's employment stats are bad.  They would do well to cut their class size in half.

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Anti why as a law student you don't know what the real world is and whatever stats LST shows regarding a school do not guarantee you a job or even that you will pass the bar. (Unless you attend Marquette or Wisconsin, which grant you automatic admission. On the bar exam you will not be able to say I went to X school so let me pass and when your applying to jobs you won't be able to say my school had x employment rate so you must higher me. Soon enough you will be in the real world and see these statistics mean very little.

If I understand this incoherent ramble correctly, you are suggesting that going to a better school, with a better bar passage rate and better employment statistics, may not correlate to a better chance of passing the bar or getting a job.  In essence, your argument boils down to "just because the statistics say so, doesn't make it true." I mean, statistically it does, but that's not the point.

I am fairly certain by this point that you are either (a) a Troll or (b) a shameless shill for TJSL, Golden Gate University, Santa Barbara, or one of the other various bottom-barrel toilet schools proliferating in California.  However, on the off chance you are really just misinformed, I am willing to continue this dialogue only if you agree to the following provisions:

Stop deflecting my legitimate arguments with red-herring, irrelevant details.  Stop trying to cast doubt on data that you know is solid.  If you genuinely believe doubt exists, provide evidence and offer an alternate hypothesis.  Finally, I am still waiting for you to explain:

1) How a 30% job placement rate can be explained away by "lack of participation" in employment surveys.
2) What the actual employment rate is at TJSL, since according to you, the NALP data is flawed to the point of uselessness.
3) How one of the rare lucky graduates from who manages to find full time, legal work is expected to pay off $250,000 in non-dischargeable loans.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: livinglegend on March 04, 2013, 11:17:18 PM
You win I am going to live and enjoy life continue ranting anonymously on the internet I really don't care that much. I really can't believe I spent this much time arguing frivolous stats with some random anonymous Internet poster.
To the OP remember take everything you read on here with a grain of salt. This is a life altering decision so opposed to listening to people who have never been to the school get first hand knowledge from people with direct experience. However, I am hopeful you had enough common sense to stop paying attention to all the ranting on this thread days  ago.

Anti if the job market is really as bad as you say I would spend a lot more time studying to get some kick ass grades opposed to ranting on here as much as you do. Good luck finding a job and passing the bar you will need it.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: jack24 on March 05, 2013, 11:17:10 AM
You win I am going to live and enjoy life continue ranting anonymously on the internet I really don't care that much. I really can't believe I spent this much time arguing frivolous stats with some random anonymous Internet poster.
To the OP remember take everything you read on here with a grain of salt. This is a life altering decision so opposed to listening to people who have never been to the school get first hand knowledge from people with direct experience. However, I am hopeful you had enough common sense to stop paying attention to all the ranting on this thread days  ago.

Anti if the job market is really as bad as you say I would spend a lot more time studying to get some kick ass grades opposed to ranting on here as much as you do. Good luck finding a job and passing the bar you will need it.

Taking your ball and going home, eh?

Maybe anonymous ranting isn't helpful, but sharing statistics can be helpful.  People can verify those statistics and hopefully make a good decision.    Could we paint a rosier picture with anecdotal evidence?  Sure.   I had something like 10 close friends in law school.  Each of them has a full time legal job.  SUCCESS!   But I don't know these people on this board.   Most of the "where should I go" posters have very poor LSAT scores, mediocre grades, and are choosing between terrible schools.   Most of my friends had 160+ LSATs and half of them were on Law Review.  We also went to the most dominant law school in our region (And still only 55% of students in our law school class had full time legal work 9 months after graduation, even though we were all sworn in 5 months after graduation.) 

This particular poster is asking about Thomas Jefferson LS.  A school with abysmal statistics, in the state with the toughest bar, in the state with the most law schools, in the state with a high cost of living.

So yeah, life is what people make of it, but I just hope these people understand that there are inferior law schools out there, and that not all law schools are created equal, despite your rantings about how crappy US news is.     If this person was claiming to have received a decent scholarship and in-state tuition at the University of New Mexico or Oregon or something, I'd probably keep my opinion to myself.   But anyone considering TJLS is considering an incredibly risky path.
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
Post by: Anti09 on March 05, 2013, 12:19:31 PM
Anti if the job market is really as bad as you say I would spend a lot more time studying to get some kick ass grades opposed to ranting on here as much as you do. Good luck finding a job and passing the bar you will need it.

Thanks for your advice.  I'm actually solidly in the top quarter of my class at a highly-regarded school, so I think I'm doing ok. 

I really don't spend that much time "ranting" on here, as none of my posts took more than a few minutes to write (having done my research, I'm pretty familiar with the statistics). But I'm happy to do it, because I believe I am performing a valuable public service.  The words that you and I write will influence the decisions of future prospective students, and I want to prevent them for making an awful decision.  After all, you and I will be the ones paying for it when they default.

Also, you have twice as many posts as I do and I have been registered on LSD for over a year longer, so if anybody spends too much time "ranting," it isn't me.   

But this was fun, thanks for playing.