« on: February 13, 2006, 05:22:17 AM »
okay, here are some posts written by the experts- "borrowed" from another website:
"First, you need to realize that the admissions process at law schools is more than just competitive, it's corrupt. Law schools, particularly those below the top twenty, are obsessed with rankings. Rankings mean bragging rights to alumni, and that translates into dollars. Dollars mean better salaries, new buildings, etc. The same thing is true everywhere in academia.
Having actively been a member of a law school admissions committee for several years, here's the raw feed:
Look at the US News and World Report rankings. That'll give you the percentile ranks of GPA and LSAT score. You'll see average scores and the 25th and 75th percentile. Are you below the curve? Your odds are 20-1 at schools in the top twenty, and roughly 8-1 at schools ranked 21-100.
That's before you even apply. It's simple math, you've got 2000 people competing for 100 slots. Get ALL the stats on the schools you're looking at from LSAC."
"There are more lawyers than there are entry lawyer jobs. There are more lawyers than there are people looking for lawyers, which is why law firms run ads telling people that "You might have been injured if you took this drug...", and why lawyers sometimes beat emergency personnel to plane wrecks.
Legal associates are expected to work 70 hours per week without any extra pay. A $40K salary for 70 hours per week works out to about $11/hour, which you can earn at WalMart without having paid $20K per year for 3 years for tuition. The high starting salaries that you see in the newspapers are for the top 1% of each year's graduates who land prestige jobs in the big city firms. The other 99% of the graduates fight for maybe 1 real legal job for every 5 graduates, at wages more appropriate to a 40-hour work week. Many lawyers go back to their former non-law careers, try to become paralegals, or start from scratch in new jobs that don't require lawyers.
Associates are bribed into working these absurd hours by vague promises of maybe making partner some day, the same way that multi-level marketers keep selling crap to friends because they think that eventually they will be in the Magic Profit Zone, with many associates below them making money for them the same way the gullible boob is making money for the higher-ups today. Law firms are pyramids, with associates making money for the partners; the partners don't really want to share.
Then there are ethics questions. It's an eye-opener the first time a partner instructs you to betray a client, withhold discoverable material, or move forward with an absurd legal theory. That's why I'm in solo practice now."
Now compare the marginal cost ---various costs of the LSAT, LSAC, applications, cost of seven or more years of college at a brick and mortar college and an ABA law school, housing, transportation, hours spent in classrooms, Bar exams, Performance exams, Character and Fitness interviews, cost of licensing and admittance to the Bar, cost of Continuing Education, costs of renewing licenses and malpractice insurance----with the marginal benefits listed in the above paragraphs.
Compare the chances of best case scenario---acceptance (5%) graduation, passing the Bar exam (86.6%) admittance to the Bar, and employment with a good law firm with the worst case scenario...by the year 2008, experts expect the market will be flooded with law school grads. What is the purpose of acquiring large amounts of debt to work in an area where there isn't enough employment?
What is the percentage of law school students who graduate? What is the percentage who are admitted to the Bar and enter their chosen field of practice?
Basically, the non-successful lawyer wannabees are the ones paying the way for the successful lawyers' prestigious traditional education. If only the students who later enjoy a successful law career were attending law schools, the law schools probably wouldn't have adequate funding to keep their doors open.
Hence, a sensible person who wants to enjoy the hobby of law, which is perfectly okay, should consider the amount of money he/she is willing to spend for the education.