Law School Discussion

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Four graduates of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, unable to find steady work in one of the most difficult legal job markets in decades, are suing their alma mater.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, claims that Cooley blatantly misrepresented and manipulated its post-graduation employment and salary statistics in order to attract students. [....]

Source: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20110811/NEWS06/108110316/4-grads-sue-Cooley-250M-saying-job-finding-salary-numbers-inflated

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« on: July 18, 2011, 06:56:43 PM »
I guarantee, with your GPA and LSAT, if you go to Cooley, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

Most people with such scores probably would if they knew how truly difficult it is oftentimes to get a decent job leaving a Tier IV school (or even a job at all).  Now, if this were someone with lower GPA and LSAT trying to decide between a Tier III like MSU vs. Cooley with full scholarship, I'm not sure going to the Tier III would necessarily be the better choice.

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« on: July 18, 2011, 06:24:50 PM »
Are there any other schools that accept associate's degrees?

Not that I'm aware of.   You likely wouldn't be able to transfer out of Cooley if you went there without a bachelor's, either, because it's my understanding that schools require a bachelor's degree whether one is a new student or a transfer.

Cooley's main campus is in close proximity to MSU and their law school.  Many younger students at Cooley choose to live in East Lansing near MSU.


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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« on: July 18, 2011, 05:43:43 PM »

I admire your spirit, but take on the debt and get the BEST legal education you can get, not the cheapest.  In this and many other things in life, you get what you pay for. 

There isn't anything wrong with the quality of legal education there. It's probably better than at a good number of other law schools, including the one down the road from it. They have good tenured faculty, nice facilities, one of the best libraries, etc.  They have more classes to choose from for electives than most other law schools as well.  They can do that because of the number of students.   

Who created this fiction that if someone goes to a Tier II instead of a Tier III or IV that the quality of instruction and experience is going to be magically better?  It's not. Cooley uses the same casebooks, they go through the same amount of material, and they have good faculty.  That's not why it's more difficult to get a good job leaving there.  It's because of the lack of selectivity in student admissions.

It's not a "you get what you pay for" type of thing. 

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« on: July 18, 2011, 02:14:49 AM »
There isn't anything wrong with Cooley's main campus aside from the fact that they aren't selective with the students they accept for admission. It's possible the grading there is more difficult to help boost bar passage rates due to this.  There's no reason to think the quality of education there is any worse than it is at most other law schools.  They have money. They attract good faculty.  They have good facilities with a nice new classroom building and one of the best law libraries. 

And depending on one's perspective, allowing others a chance that didn't graduate college with a high GPA might not be a bad thing.  How many millions of intelligent persons messed up their GPA during their their freshmen/sophomore years in college when they were 18/19?  Should these people forever be barred from going to professional or grad school?  I don't think so.  But then the overabundance of law school graduates also has to be taken into account....

Recruiters don't pass by schools like this because they think the quality of education is poor and think the instruction was better at University of Michigan of some other school.  They focus on highly selective schools because they know these schools already did much of the work for them by being selective with the students they accepted for admission in the first place.  They go to Tier I's and II's because every student there had earlier proved themselves by graduating with an A/A- average in undergrad combined with very high LSAT scores.

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With fewer jobs available at high-paying law firms, 2010 law school graduates saw their median starting salaries fall by 13 percent from 2009, according to data from the National Association for Law Placement.

NALP’s research also reveals that aggregate starting private practice salaries fell a whopping 20 percent for the class. [...]

Read more: http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/jeff-blumenthal/2011/07/average-starting-salaries-for-law.html

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News Discussion / In 2010, twice as many bar passers as job openings
« on: July 10, 2011, 09:48:21 PM »
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304793504576434074172649718.html

Excerpts:
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"In 2010, there were more than twice as many people—about 54,000—who passed the bar exam than there were legal job openings in the U.S., according to an analysis by consultants at Economic Modeling Specialists Inc." [....]
"Only about one-quarter of last year's graduating law-school classes—down from 33% in 2009—snagged positions with big law firms."

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I think the reason she's suing for $50 million is because she's seeking class action status and needs the publicity generated for this purpose.

Thousands of people in law school right now are disillusioned as to what their law degree will likely do for them.  It doesn't help if law schools are being misleading with their employment numbers.  The problem is, the ABA sets the guidelines for reporting these figures.  That would probably allow law schools to hide behind these guidelines by saying, "Well, we're within the regulations for reporting set by the ABA", even though they may be exploiting it in some fashion. 

We also have far too many law school graduates these days and there doesn't appear to be any effort to curtail that.  The largest law school in the country, Cooley, just opened three satellite campuses on top of its main campus.  So, on top of its main campus being the largest in the country, it is now the equivalent of four law schools in and of itself.

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Am I the only one who visited countless law firm websites while applying for positions in a particular state and wondered where all the new people were when viewing the attorney profiles? (particularly after taking into account how many people take the bar in that state every year?) 




 

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SAN DIEGO CBS 8 - A former local law student is suing her alma mater for $50 million, after she couldn't find a job.

The student, San Diegan Anna Alaburda, graduated with honors from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law and passed the bar on her first try. She claims she has been unable to find full-time work as an attorney for the past three years. [continued ....]

http://www.cbs8.com/story/14831984/san-diego-law-school-grad-sues-her-alma-mater-for-50-million

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