« on: August 22, 2011, 03:45:46 PM »
Genius! I should have added making a guaranteed $160,000 profit
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Messages - bigs5068
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:45:46 PM »
Genius! I should have added making a guaranteed $160,000 profit
« on: August 21, 2011, 08:03:03 PM »
Starting out very few if any lawyers make 160k even from t14 schools. Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but not to make money. The reality is no degree guarantees you a fortune. Not an MBA, J.D, M.D, whatever it may be odds are you will never become a millionaire. There are plenty of t3/4 grads that have jobs as lawyers and there are plenty that don't. Same is true of people with Bachelor's, MBA's, M.D.s etc and a graduate from any school in any profession will likely say finding a job sucks. However, if you graduate from an ABA school pass the bar and work for as a lawyer for 20+ years then you will likely make a decent chunk of change and more importantly if you wanted to be a lawyer you would have enjoyed your career. There is no guaranteed way to get rich quick, but using common sense you can figure most T14 law school grad are going to make more than Tier 3/4 school grad. This is not always the case, but it is the majority of the time. I attend a tier 4 school and have really enjoyed it and made decent money so far. I also have a huge scholarship so I won't have much debt at graduation, which is awesome. A few of my friends that graduated from my school obtained jobs ranging from 50-100k. There are others who are still looking for a job and others who have not passed the bar yet. Some are really happy with their jobs thus far and others are not. It is really hard to say what will happen, but one thing is for sure if your main concern is money and money alone DO NOT go to law school. It is overpriced and the odds are you will never be a millionaire. However, if you are a person that wants to go into law because you want to be a Public Defender, D.A, or have some issue you want to resolve going to law school can be a great investment of time and money. This is because you cannot be a lawyer without going to law school. (I know there are some very complex ways to get around this, but they are so onerous it is not practical.)
So go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. If you want to make a fortune then I don't want to tell you. If someone knows of a guaranteed and easy way to make 160k let me know I'm sure everyone on this board including myself would like to know.
I was basically in a similar situation when I was a 0L and choosing between MSU and my current school. The simple fact is that schools of this caliber don't carry much weight outside of their market. Michigan is likely fine for Michigan, but Michigan is kind of in the sh**ter that has nothing to do with MSU law just a fact. Stetson will probably do fine in Florida, but nobody is going to go out of their way for an MSU Grad and same for Stetson or any school other than T14. It really comes down to where you would rather live. The school I ended up choosing is "lower ranked" than MSU, but it has worked fine, because I wanted to live where my school is located and plenty of places in my area hire people from my school simply because of the location. I have never worked alongside an MSU law student and that is simply because Michigan is very far away from where I am located.
The rankings are basically a joke outside of the T14 schools and DO NOT base your decision on them. Schools move upwards of 20-25 spots any given year and currently there is an 11 way tie for 84th place, which I believe Michigan State is in. Actually there are in a 4 way tie for 95th place as you can see here. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+4 . If you look you will see every school is in a 5-10 way tie for some obscure spot. This is because the ranking formula makes no sense it based on people filling out Scantrons. This is why the ABA, AALS, LSAC and every accredited law school organization adamantly warns against considering them. U.S. News is nothing more than a private magazine offering their subjective opinion on schools.
So it really comes down to whether you want to live in Michigan or Florida. The rank-name of either school is going to be irrelevant the location will matter. Remember all ABA schools basically teach you the same thing so you will not get a better or worse education from MSU or Stetson. You will be reading Supreme Court cases and analyzing them. The Supreme Court does not make special editions for certain schools you will just be reading Pennoyer v. Neff, Palsgraf, International Shoe, all these random cases and analyzing them. You will also learn Westlaw, Lexis, etc and this curriculum is the same at every ABA school. Well good luck to you.
The thing is they aren't misreporting as the table shows you can see employment is far from guaranteed. I am totally with you on the tuition prices and apparently Massachusetts school of law sued the ABA for an anti-trust suit and got a settlement. The tuition rates are outrageous and at every school are increasing roughly 1,000-2,000 a year without any justification. I would be behind any student or organization suing law schools for the monopoly they have created and abusing it by making arbitrary raises on their tuition year by year. However, suing the school because a student can't find a job is another story. That is a basic contract money for education. No school anywhere not even Harvard guarantees you a job at graduation. As the chart I pointed indicates there are no lies it is just putting numbers in very favorable lights. When I really got to asking questions before deciding to enroll in law school they showed me actual salary information on each student and it did not paint a bright picture, but I wanted to go to law school and I choose to attend. They did not lie they gave me the numbers, but I had to ask some questions.
It is honestly like buying a house or a car the seller will dress it up as nicely as possible and not point out every flaw to you. If you ask they have to tell you, but if you are going to spend 150,000 on a house and not ask any of your own questions then if you missed something it is on you. The same is true for law students they need to ask real questions and not just blindly take the school's work for anything. Schools are a business plain and simple and that is the way it is at every institution not just law schools. I personally wish Congress would regulate education by requiring schools to disclose how they justify their tuition rates especially considering Federal Student Loans are funding these arbitrary hikes, but that is the job of politicians not schools to figure out.
The stat reporting cases are a little ridiculous to me. I don't blame the schools for using a little puffery in their employment numbers. No school guarantees you will get a job or salary and students particularly students going to Law School should have the ability to do sufficient research before making a 100,000 3 year investment.
I am assuming you are referencing the Thomas Jefferson lawsuit and others being brought forward, by law students taking no accountability for their decisions. That kind of behavior drives me up the wall and I can't stand it. I hope the law schools admit the plaintiff's personal statements into evidence when they detail how they overcome any challenge, are so hard working, etc etc talking about how smart, diligent, and responsible they are then blame their school for them not succeeding.
Granted the salaries are manipulated, but they do report them. You just have to look at the numbers a little in depth. Thomas Jefferson for example lists the information on the website, but they put the numbers in a more favorable light. http://students.tjsl.edu/employment_statistics?contentType=flash
84% of students were employed. Ok so does employed mean? Only 58% were employed in a law firm and 7.5% of these 58% are solo practitioners which just means they did their own thing so nobody really employed them. So that means 51% were actually received a legal job. Then 38% of that 51% got jobs in firms of 2-10 people, which generally are not paying high salaries. 36.6% are in firms of unknown size so that is completely vague. So the info is there and if you took two minutes as I just did to look at the numbers students would realize getting a job a a lawyer is difficult. However, getting a career started in any field is difficult. What really shocks me about these cases is that these law students know the time and financial commitment of law school and they took no time to research the numbers. I took two minutes and figured out TJSL is not getting people 100k a year jobs at graduation. People that get into law school are not idiots either they are college graduates who generally had a 3.0 or above, were intelligent enough to get a decent LSAT score, they had people write recommendations for them, and then they write a personal statement about how great they are. This indicates to the school that these people are competent enough to make a decision for themselves. When things don't work out for you it is not right to go point the finger at someone else. I guess we will see how it all turns out. I'm almost certain these students will lose though and I hope they do.
The 2.67 160 guy did not get into an Ivy League school. He went to an Ivy League school got a 2.67 and 160 then got no scholarship money. Therefore, he would have been better off going to a worse school and getting a higher GPA. In regards to numbers be easily quantifiable I suppose that is true, but numbers are the most easy thing to manipulate as well.
I'm just saying what I have seen from my own personal experience. Schools particularly tier 2,3,4 schools are extremely caught up in the rankings. The rankings blindly use GPA/LSAT to determine who they give money to. My logic does not apply to elite level schools Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc are well respect so they will look at the major and undergraduate institution etc, but I know people from several schools who had easy majors and high GPA's from no name schools who got scholarship money. I know people who had difficult majors and went to well known schools who did not get scholarship. U.S. News does not report what undergraduate school or major the students went to they just report the numbers. I think it is a retarded system, but it really is how it works. I myself got 29 units of free A's for playing basketball and I got a significant scholarship from my school for my GPA. It is not right, but it is what happened.
This guy for example a 3.7 from UNLV in Public Administration and a 152 LSAT scholarship at several schools gave him scholarship money. UNLV is an ok school and public administration is a major, but I don't think anyone is going to say it is the most difficult route you can choose. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/fireLaw
This person went to a Top 10 school don't know what that means, but I assume an Ivy League and got had a 2.67. He got very little money considering he had a 160. The person with the 3.7 and a 152 got more money. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/MoarRoar
Small Private school with a 3.85 and a 166 a few HUGE scholarships. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/JLuc8686
I could go on all day, but really a lot of schools look solely at the numbers. There are exceptions, but if you get a 4.0 in basket weaving from Timbuktu State and a respectable LSAT score there will be a few huge scholarships coming your way.
The majority of them are based on LSAT/GPA and if you are a URM(Minority) with marginal numbers you will probably get a substantial scholarship. Law schools don't really care what undergrad or major you had they just want to manipulate the rankings, which is a whole other story. So what schools will do is pay for people with a with 3.4 162 to attend their school whose incoming students have an average GPA of 3.0 and 155. They don't care if you graduated from Timbucktu state majoring gin basket weaving or went to UCLA majoring in physics. For law school scholarship purposes you are better off with a 4.0 from timbucktu state in basket weaving than a 3.2 from UCLA in Physics. It is a screwy system, but it is how it operates.
Lawschoolnumbers.com does a great job of showing you what numbers you need to get scholarships at certain schools. I highly recommend checking it out.
In regards to the CBA schools they work fine in certain areas of California. San Joaquin College of Law for example does very well in Fresno. This is because there is no law school within three hours of Fresno and nobody is itching to move there, but it has a large population. The head D.A Egan is a graduate of San Joaquin College of Law.
Many of the firms in Fresno have graduates from San Joaquin College of Law.
6 from San Joaquin at this firm.
3 from Berkeley at this firm
2 from Notre Dame etc
These are just a few from this school and San Joaquin does well in it's location simply because there are no other schools in the area and there is no competition so graduating from a CBA school is fine there.
Cal Northern in Chico is the same thing. It is a small town, but the area has roughly 1,000,000 people. UC Davis and MCGeorge are kind of close to Chico, but very few people at these schools or any ABA school are aspiring to move to Chico so Cal Northern does well in Chico, Redding, Shasta, etc.
There might be some other areas I am missing, but California is a very unique state. It is HUGE and towns of 500,000 people are considered small here and these towns need lawyers. This is why CBA schools are in existence in California. I would not attend CBA schools in large cities like San Francisco Law School, JFK, Lincoln Law School, etc because San Francisco and L.A. already have a large number of law schools and many people nationwide want to move to these locations so going to a CBA school is not going to get you far in these areas.
Then as far as the rankings go they do matter to some extent for top schools, but every internship I have had up to this point has been full of Hastings, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, and USF interns and lawyers. I have seen a few lawyers that went to Berkeley and none that went to Stanford. I have not worked with any law students from Berkeley or Stanford either. I imagine the people from Berkeley, Stanford are working at more prestigious internships han me. As for the low tier 1 Hastings, Tier 2 Santa Clara-I think tier 3 University of San Francisco, and Tier 4 Golden Gate we are all in the same boat nobody is that impressed or even really knows the difference. This is why the rankings don't make sense outside of the elite schools.
I compare it to the NCAA the top 25 teams matter, but there is simply no way to tell if Wyoming is better or worse than Florida International University. If for example Wyoming was ranked 42nd and Florida International University was ranked 111th nobody would be blown away if FIU beat Wyoming. If either of those schools beat USC in Football then it would be a head turner, because USC has an elite football program (Pre-Scandal, but that is another story. Nobody else would know or care about any ranking difference between Wyoming and FIU.
You are right it is highly illogical, but a lot of what legal education has become is illogical. The rankings make no sense yet schools are obsessed with upgrading it even though they have no control over it. The majority of a schools ranking is based on judges/lawyers nationwide marking a scantron from 1-5. So a judge in Miami that has never been to Washington state rates a school there. That makes no sense, but it happens. The sad thing is U.S. News does not have to make sense, because it is a for-profit private magazine offering their subjective opinion without any authority. LSAC and the Bar adamantly disapprove of the rankings as seen in this articles from LSAC. http://www.lsac.org/JD/Choose/deans-speak-out-rankings.asp http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf.
The majority of the rankings is completely out of a schools control, but 20% of a schools ranking is based on GPA/LSAT score so they do everything they can to get numbers. U.S. News does not do any investigation into where the applicant went to school or what their major was they just report the GPA. So schools will use the 4.0 in basket weaving to show a 4.0 student choose their school. There is no in-depth analysis of where the 4.0 came from. I am proof of this. Currently I have a huge scholarship at my school, because I played college basketball and got numerous free A's, therefore my GPA was heavily inflated. Below is a copy of my transcripts from one semester. My friend in law school went to a very good undergrad and had a 3.0 in molecular biology and was offered no money. It makes no sense, but that is what happens.
CALIF STATUTORY LAW 3.00 B
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION 3.00 B
ART HISTORY 3.00 B
THEORY OF BASKETBALL 1.00 A
VARSITY CONDITIONING 1.00 A
MEN VARSITY BASKETBALL 1.00 A
Men's Varsity Basketball 1.00 A
CIRCUIT WEIGHT TRAINING 1.00 A
BASKETBALL BIA *V* 1.00 A
Schools also manipulate the rankings by sending out fee waivers to students they know they are going to reject. This is because acceptance rate is also calculated into U.S. News formula. Again there is no in-depth look at who is applying just how many applications were sent and how many were rejected. So schools will send out fee waivers to all kinds of people. If a free application comes in a lot of people will apply and they will promptly reject them making it look like they are more selective than they are. It really is sad, but schools are often more focused on improving their ranking than providing a quality legal education. This is because important things like bar passage make up a whopping 2% of the ranking. Then the bottom line is a school boosts their rankings by the kind of students that start at their school. There is no look at the quality of students produced at graduation. This makes no sense, but it is the way it goes.
To show how far the scam U.S. News has perpetuated has gone Villanova has recently been caught for lying to U.S. News http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/02/09/villanova-law-school-admits-it-lied-to-boost-rankings-but-so/ . I am sure many schools are doing this, but Villanova was courageous enough to step forward.
I have personally loved my law school experience up to this point, but there are lot of things that make no sense in legal education and much of it is perpetrated by U.S. News. Unfortunately, law schools have resorted resort to lying to this for-profit private publication instead of uniting against it. I hope one day law schools get the balls to do something about it, but that day probably won't come anytime soon. Instead schools will continue to spend time, money,and energy attempting to manipulate this magazine so they can be an 11 way tie for 84th place. As you can see there is currently an 11 way tie for 84th place http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+4
I realize there are top schools Harvard, Yale, etc and they don't fall for the kind of manipulation that I am discussing. However, the remaining 90% of law schools spend more time trying to rise from 92nd to 84th in this private magazine than they do on preparing students for the real world.