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Messages - Hamilton

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It is easy to get into the weeds on these boards.  Jack put together a well-reasoned back-of-the-envelope financial breakdown to demonstrate that (1) a realistic salary of $75K is not that much money, and (2) when factoring in living expenses it does not leave much extra for paying off loans.  Quibbling over the numbers the specific numbers is not worth it because he is right: onece you get out working and living life, you will have expenses and "needs" that consume your cash.  Nobody will live a monklike life simply so they can pay off their loans - life will be calling and you will participate.  This will be triply true if you have a family - one simply cannot and will not live a spartan existence so they can throw extra money at their student loan and pay it off.

The main point remains, $100K in loans IS a big deal and should be taken VERY seriously because they are not quickly and easily disposed.

You are right, $140K is not a "big" investment... it's a HUGE risk if you are looking at a T3/4 or non-ABA school.  It is not one years salary either, especially if it was borrowed.  At best, starting salary is realistically $80K, at best.  After taxes that is now about $45K take home. Factor in rent and other living expenses and there is not a whole lot left for loan payments.   In the mean time, that $140K is accruing about 8% interest - so it's a festering growing boil that does not quickly go away.  After loan payments, there is not a whole lot left for improving one's quality of life (nice car, vacation, travel, etc.).

It's not like one gets a job making $140K, throws all of that money at the loan, and it is gone in one year.

How is $140K a "BIG" investment? It's one years salary.

Current Law Students / Re: open your own practice
« on: August 09, 2011, 07:58:24 AM »
Falcon - I did a poor job of showing my sarcasm.  I too know folks who started practices right out of school - they are surviving.  Everyone's situation is different.  Certainly if one is not saddled with $100K in loans and without a family in need of financial support, starting a practice and carefully growing it is an option - but as you guys have pointed out, it is not a simple answer for everyone unable to find work.

I find it very frustrating that there are people like you and others with real practical knowledge and experience providing insight and information and it largely falls on deaf ears.  Couple that with the market and our leaderless country and my frustration meter was pegged yesterday.

Between the lawsuit against bloggers, continued expansion, and their own ranking system, they are not helping their reputation.*

*these statements represent personal opinions and are not intended to disuade any prospective students from attending TMC Law School.  These opinions are not intended to suggest fraud or misrepresentation of fact by TMC Law School.  Prospective students must do their own due dilligence and reach their own conclusions about which school to attend.

THERE - hopefully that will keep them from suing me too...

Current Law Students / Re: open your own practice
« on: August 08, 2011, 01:34:23 PM »
Slays me how on these boards folks REALLY only want to be told what they want to hear.  Good advice is just ignored.  So heck with it, yea, start a firm right out of school - you will be a smashing success, don't know why more people have not thought of that.  It works best if you have crappy grades from a T4 and carry at least 100K of debt.  You are different.  You are special.

Not suggesting anyone divulge anything - those are questions you should ask yourself.  I certainly was not asking them of anyone nor expecting answers. 

Black Law Students / Re: Should I attend NCCU or Howard this fall?
« on: August 05, 2011, 09:34:57 AM »
You do not need to know any attorneys, you just need to find some.  Working professionals are generally open to giving a little time to students interested in entering their field and will speak with you -- people like to help people.  Contact the Bar for the state you are looking, they can put you in contact.  You can do a simple web search, find some recent grads from each school and put a call in to them or send an email.  If you explain you are a student considering becoming an attorney and looking at their alma matter, I'm sure they will be more than willing to set up a phonecall (or even meeting) to answer some questions.  I recommend looking at recent grads since they will have the most timely perspective.  This will be good practice for showing initiative and reaching out to strangers.

Duncan, you are missing the point.  These so-called "disparaging" comments are not made out of malice, this is real advice and perspective given by people who have been on that path, or who have a different perspective on it.  It is not wise to simply view it as something that must be challenged - stop and listen with an open mind.  It is simply advice that may prevent someone from making a very costly mistake.  The perspective is that rather than invest time and money on a likely worthless JD, one may want to consider some other training or degree.

This idea that doors will suddenly be opened to new opportunity within existing careers is not a common reality - it certainly is not if one is planning on suddenly becoming in-house counsel.  Companies generally look for Sr. Associate/Partner level people for in-house, not a newbie from a non-ABA school.  The legal department will not look at you differently b/c you come from some other branch of the company with specialized knowledge - this is not meant to be harsh, but in-house legal does not need or want new lawyers from within the company.  You need to seriously, critically, and specifically ask yourself WHAT doors will open?  WHAT do they lead to?  HOW do they open?  "Doors will open" is as nebulous and non-descript as "hope and change."  WHAT ARE THE DETAILS?  If those opportunities exist right now, today, why are they not filled then?

Law School Admissions / Re: Undergrad Institution
« on: August 04, 2011, 07:18:55 AM »
One may not like or agree with the rankings, but they are real and relevant to law firms considering candidates.  Ignore them at your peril.

Thanks very much for the thorough reply.

I've been doing a great deal of research on bar passage rate and found it interesting that some of the state approved schools (in California) have a higher passage rate than some ABA schools. If their passage rates are higher, it seems they should be ranked accordingly. Something's not right. My future-lawyer-critical-reasoning skills are kicking in...

Serious question - what is the general per-credit-hour tuition at a DL Law School?

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