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Current Law Students / Re: Roger Williams is a scam
« on: August 27, 2007, 01:01:16 PM »
I was just trying to say that Tier 2 doesn't automatically mean fail.

Clearly.  There are tier 2 grads who work in BIGLAW and do quite well.  For most people, however, it doesn't make much sense to take out $100k in loans and pass up three years of income to come out and make $45k with a ceiling of $75k.

And according to the CNN cost of living calculator, 80k in Miami is equal to 145,000 in NYC, so I will be perfectly fine with 70-80k starting.

I hope you're not seriously relying on the CNN COL calculator when you're thinking about this.  The COL calculator tells you that you can buy the same amount of stuff with that money in two places.  But most people aren't going to spend every dime on "stuff."  Eggs may be twice as expensive in NYC, but who really spends $80k a year on eggs?  Your fixed costs (taxes, student loans, investments) are going to be the same regardless of where you live.  It's not like sticking $15.5k pre-tax into your 401k in NYC costs more than it does in Miami.  It costs the exact same, only it takes up far less of your income in NYC than in Miami.  Same with other investments.  When you retire, you'll retire in a cheaper place anyway.

The COL tell you that it's easier to live on $25k in Miami than $50k in NYC.  That doesn't mean that it's easier to live on $150k in Miami than $300k in NYC.  Once you get past the area where most of your income goes to necessities--i.e. when you start dealing with truly disposable income--the COL stops scaling.

Current Law Students / Re: is law a good career to get into?
« on: August 27, 2007, 12:55:48 PM »
It's a good idea to be wary of anyone giving advice on a message board, particularly if they're the father of someone who attends a tier 4 law school.  I'm not sure that LawDaddy is giving the best advice here.  He--like most fathers--is obviously proud of what his daughter has accomplished, but that clouds his understanding of how things really work. 

In particular, his advice to consider accounting is perhaps misguided.  A close friend got his degree in accounting, then passed the CPA exam.  He works at one of the Big 4.  I, on the other hand, went to a t14 law school and will be working at a firm next year (if not clerking).

We'll work comparable hours.
He'll make $45k; I'll make $160k + bonus.
He has a 13 year partnership track.  I have an 8 year partnership track.
He does audit, which means he drives around BFE, stops at gas stations, and counts the rolls of toilet paper in stock.  I do regulatory work.  Admittedly, it's not super exciting either, but it sure beats what he's doing.

A regular accounting B.S. plus a M.P.A./M.Acc. isn't going to put someone on Wall Street unless they're from a fairly elite undergrad. 

If you want to work for the FBI, the JD route is by far the easiest, assuming you go to a decent school.

If you have the grades/LSAT to go to a t14, do it without hesitation.  If you don't, only go to law school if (1) you can make it into a top tier school, or (2) you can take a full ride to some school and you're okay with making 30-40k coming out.

Current Law Students / Re: Roger Williams is a scam
« on: August 26, 2007, 05:58:15 PM »
what? One part doesn't represent a whole? You said "virtually any" which heavily implies all.  I gave an example of one that doesn't fit your generalization, which means your statement holds little worth.

No, that's not it.

I say:
If outside tier 1, then bad job prospects.

You say:
In tier 2, and better job prospects than tier 1.

You overlook the fact that some tier 1 schools may not have great job prospects, either.

This is even overlooking the fact that the salary figures reported by USNews are patently unreliable.  They reflect the salaries of those in private employment who report their salaries.  At Michigan, if you have 85% in private employment and reporting numbers, the salary info is solid.  But if you're at STTTate U, where 15% are in private employment and only half of those report, the odds are that the group that reports its salary is self-selected to report on the higher end.  So you get a small, unrepresentative number that people latch onto. 

People from lots of law schools get jobs.  Some even get very good jobs.  But when you figure the median salary in the US for people with BA/BS is pushing 50 or 60, you have to wonder whether it's a good idea to miss three years of employment (and pay for tuition) to come out with the opportunity to make a PD salary.  That's not to say that there aren't T2 grads who do quite well (because there certainly are) but that, on the whole, it's a risky business.

Current Law Students / Re: Roger Williams is a scam
« on: August 26, 2007, 05:31:39 PM »
hmm, that is strange, being that my school has a higher salary than several lower ranked tier 1's, and I go to a tier 2!

I've give you the first chance to find the flaw in your reasoning.  Think of it as an LSAT problem.  Of course, since you're at a tier 2, thinking of it as an LSAT problem may guarantee that you miss it.

Current Law Students / Re: Does briefing cases as a 1L = waste of time?
« on: August 26, 2007, 08:24:16 AM »
There's no secret to doing well on law school exams.  The whole point is to reason out the possibilities and select a conclusion, all while demonstrating your knowledge of the material.  Study in such a way as to know the material cold.

Current Law Students / Re: Roger Williams is a scam
« on: August 25, 2007, 11:32:52 PM »
But I think it's pretty pessimistic to say outside the top 40 or 50 schools its hard to get a job ANYWHERE. Graduates from even tier 4 schools hardly face an impossible odds to find jobs in mid or small firms, or even private practice. I'd be surprised if any ABA approved school had an employment rate of under 50 percent, even in the fourth tier. From what I know, they're all well above that.

What I intended to imply is that it's difficult to get a job that will (1) pay back the student loans and (2) provide a comfortable upple-middle class lifestyle.  It's not like tier 4 schools cost substantially less than tier 1 schools; students run up loans at both places.  When you get down to the bottom of the barrel, though, the jobs that pay enough to cover the above simply aren't there in such a way as to make up for the opportunity cost of law school.

Current Law Students / Re: NYC Biglaw Raises to $160k
« on: August 25, 2007, 02:33:41 PM »
I'd rather take $135K at Jones Day in Cleveland (if I had a prayer to get in).  I don't think that extra 20K covers the cost of living differences.  What do you all think?

It depends.  A huge chunk of that will disappear with taxes, housing costs, and loan payments.  How much is left over?  How much will you be investing?  Your investments won't scale with COL; they'll be the same when you retire regardless of where you are when you put the money in.  The leftover amount is the only amount that matters re COL.  You can run the numbers for yourself to get a better feel.

Current Law Students / Re: LR/ LJ
« on: August 25, 2007, 02:30:57 PM »
100k is not considered BIGLAW. You'd have to be making at least 145k.

While I agree that 100k is not BIGLAW, 145k seems a little arbitrary.  Jones Day/Foley & Lardner are certainly BIGLAW, but their midwestern offices are currently at 135k.  On the other hand, NY/DC/Houston/LA are all at 160k now.

It never hurts to apply, but unless you have a real connection with a judge, you're not going to have many looks at the federal level with top 5% at a tier 2 with a secondary journal.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Debt
« on: August 25, 2007, 02:28:52 PM »
The government payscale is available online.

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