Law School Discussion

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Messages - Hamilton

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311
Thomas M. Cooley / Re: First Term at Cooley
« on: September 03, 2010, 11:46:10 AM »
THIS is where I think you are wrong - it IS news to many.  Law schools and the ABA are not doing anything to warn people who they darn well know should not be getting sucked into law school and wracking up unreasonable debt.  The playing field is a lot more even for a teacher from Mid Cowpie State College vs University of Big State than it is for T4 vs T1 law schools.  And the T4 law degree can still cost $100K - THAT is the big difference.

A tier 3/4 degree can provide that, it won't work out everytime and it might turn out miserably, the lower down the totem pole you go the more of a risk you are taking. This is not news or should be news to any tier 3/4 student, or tier 4 dental school, med school, nursing school, etc. 

312
Law School Applications / Re: Im a splitter, I need help.
« on: September 03, 2010, 09:00:44 AM »
Might discuss the prospects of transfering with your top choices if they reject you.  With your LSAT and a 4.0 in another laws school, probably could transfer in just about anywhere - but you need to hear that from the school.

313
Hamline / Re: PT weekend program
« on: September 02, 2010, 01:30:35 PM »
Certainly doable - it is how I did it.  Balanced/juggled work, family and school and finished in 3.5 years.  Took 2 weeks off to study for the bar and passed - all of the scare tacticts that you need 6 months are bull.  It takes a toll on the family - if you have young kids I would not do it, you will miss a significant part of their growth and development.  Time is too short for that.

I am a cynical voice when it comes to law school - I do not think it a wise investment for many.  Would certainly advise against it if you have a family and kids or are paying full price to go to a T3/4. 

314
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Master of Jurisprudence
« on: September 02, 2010, 12:14:36 PM »
YOU get it, a lot of people dont.  There are a lot of folks out there going to law school b/c it might be interesting or seems like the thing to do - those are the folks I am speaking to.  As I said before (stinkypants just wasn't cutting it as an alias) I am a T4 grad.  There are huge risks, lots of downside, and not great job prospects for the T3/4 grads - unfortunately some folks DONT get it, spend $100K on a JD, finish low in the class and are then basically screwed.  The law schools wont advise them to reconsider - heck, they keep building MORE law schools and need to fill the seats - thereby screwing more students.  You and I do not disagree - we all get it that thare are no promises in any field or that law school is not an easy ticket to work.  Unfortunately, that is the dream being sold by law schools and there are just folks out there lacking the maturity or appreciation to understand the down side.  I was there, one gets blinded by the prospects of being a law student and finishing law school - Looking back I wish I had quit after first term but I finished near the top of my class.

The troubles in the legal market are not only the result of a global recession - it is a bubble and the bubble has burst... just like tech stocks, just like real estate, just like financials, and just like gold soon will.

People of your ilk who go to a top 10 school and give advice to people like me or the OP on the risks of attending a tier 4 are basically out of line. I realize you would never have attended a tier 4, because you must have killed the LSAT. That is awesome and good for you, I imagine you probably killed the SAT as well. With the logic your using it would be like telling anyone that took the SAT and didn't get into at least some chump ivy league school like Brown for undergrad they should be relegated to McDonald's. That just won't work, I mean not everybody can or even does expect Big Law or Judicial clerkships when they go to law school. Those are not the only jobs available in fact the majority of legal jobs are not Big Law or Judicial clerkships PD's, DA's, small firms, mid-size firms, etc are the majority of people use. I realize Big Law etc were your expectations and you achieved them, which is awesome. Honestly, everybody who goes to a tier 3/4 or a no name undergrad, or no name dental school etc knows they are not going to Harvard. However, these schools are not awful horrendous place that people who have never set foot or even considered such a school like yourself make them out to be.

315
General Board / Re: Character and Fitness
« on: September 02, 2010, 09:29:42 AM »
They will probably probe around a little more based on these, but unless the state rules provide that these will preclude bar admission, you should be good.

316
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Master of Jurisprudence
« on: September 02, 2010, 08:40:08 AM »
I think we are in nearly 100% agreement - we just see it differently.  You think it is a worthwhile risk.  Having done it and looking back, I dont think it is for most (i.e. those paying full price, at a T3/4, not in the top 10% of their class, and not with a burning desire to be a lawyer).

Honestly, education is a risk, but a calculated one and unless you get a degree in religious studies or basket weaving there are jobs for any degree. However, jobs always have and always will be hard to find no matter what you do.

317
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Master of Jurisprudence
« on: September 01, 2010, 07:32:48 PM »
Your "run of the mill" Masters degree is less expensive than a JD, so is a MBA.  Nobody says that anything in life is guaranteed, but right now law school is an even worse risk for many.  A JD is EXTRA debt with ZERO odd increase of finding work, perhaps WORSE odds if you focus the effort on working in law.  The recession will end - probably in 8 years or so (we have not seen the worst and it is not ending soon).  In the mean time loans need to get paid back - hard to do with no job.  I doubt the legal market will come back to the levels it was before the recession.

Would you pay twice as much for a lottery ticket if it did not have a bigger jackpot or better odds at winning?  Right now a JD is the same deal - pay extra for the degree with no improvement in odds or payout.

Yes the debt is an issue, but believe it or not it is a GLOBAL recession and jobs are and will always be hard to come by in any field. If you know of some degree that is free or dirt cheap and will guarantee me a sweet high paying job let me know.

318
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Master of Jurisprudence
« on: September 01, 2010, 03:22:20 PM »
Thats great, if that is the dream, by all means go for it.  I do not know what your situation is, all I am saying is go in with all of the facts, think long and hard about where you are going to school, what your REAL job prospects are (do not rely on the law school's employment and salaty stats, they are pure BS), and how much debt you are going to take on.  As an example, a private Tier 3/4 will cost you at least $100K with no scholarships - you would have to be nuts to take on that debt right now in this job market.  Not wanting to be rich sounds good right now, but you need to be able to eat and pay bills (and student loans).  Believe it or not, you WILL want an improved lifestyle. 

I need a JD to practice law. It would be a nice to have a fancy degree and I agree it would make me more marketable but at the end of the day I need a legal education to get me where I want to be. I'm not interested in BIG Law or clerking. Besides being poor isn't really a new condition for me.

319
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Master of Jurisprudence
« on: September 01, 2010, 10:54:21 AM »
I am down on law school and echo sentiments that I have seen others post - unless you go to a T1, get a great scholarship, or truly have your heart set on being a lawyer, I think law school is a terrible investment.  Law school is not even a ticket to stability - forget wealth.  In fact, with a huge loan, law school could be a one-way ticket to financial ruin.  Record numbers of JDs are being produced and the job market is not expanding. 

Before anyone jumps on me, I am not attacking non-T1s, I am stating the reality that they are going to have a much harder time landing work because of the pecking order within the legal community.

320
Thomas M. Cooley / Re: First Term at Cooley
« on: September 01, 2010, 10:41:18 AM »
No, but it does come up when interviewing to actually get into those law firms.  It's a buyer's market for law firms -- firms that did not generally have access to T1 grads now do.  There IS a pecking order and when the firm is going to interview 5 people and they have resumes from a slew of T1s, T2s, and T3/4s, who do you think will NOT get called in for interviews?  Perhaps a top 5% T3/4 student will get a look.  If you dont get on with a firm of high-caliber lawyers, you do not learn high-caliber skills.  Where you go to school matters b/c it affects where you get a job.  Where you get a job matters b/c it affects the level of skill you will learn.

How many players does the NBA draft from Division I versus Division II?  Law school ranking is no different.

I went to a T4, be honest, how many times have you sat in a class and thought that person X had no business being in law school, or knew that person was not going to make it?  Those people lowered the performance bar for all of us and the T1s have far fewer of the bar-lowerers.  Schools with lower GPA and LSAT score requirements get far more people that probably should not be there.  Sure they deserve the opportunity, but if a school like Cooley is going to take their money, they should not bemoan the rep they get for having lower admission standards.


In San Francisco Courts they see each other. There are people from every single ABA school here and CBA schools as well. They all litigate against each other, since they are lawyers after all. I have seen about 100 trials in the last year and attorney's school never comes up, but out of curiosity I look the lawyers up on the California Bar website to see what school they went to. So far I have seen people from schools as unknown  as University of West Los Angeles School of law up to schools like Harvard. San Francisco is a destination for a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds and if they are lawyers they can and do end up in court against eachother.

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