« on: April 04, 2015, 07:03:45 AM »
"Also the employment statistics for SCU seem to be far different on their site (ABA approved?) than the source you used (LST?)"
The stats are the same (NALP-reported); LST just does a more thorough job with them. What many people learned, to their horror, in the last ten years, is that law schools were artificially goosing the numbers to look good to prospective students and to US News. Common examples include, but are not limited to:
1. Reporting students hired part-time by the school itself as hired in JD positions (this was somewhat common, and some schools would do this for 5-15% of the class..... SCU employed 4.3% of its graduating class in 2013);
2. Reporting students working intermittently (even students who worked one research job in nine months and then gave up) as hired in JD positions;
3. Reporting students hired in non-JD positions as part of their employment;
4. Reporting students who were unemployed as sole practitioners;
5. Counting yanked offers as employed;
6. Not trying very hard to get salary information- since this is self-reported, only the successful students would self-report, and you'd get curves that would show a decent likelihood of that $160k job (sure, if you realize that 20% of the students reported their salary, and those were the successful ones);
7. and so on. Heck, sometimes they just, um, fudged the self-reported numbers.
In essence, this allowed all the schools from Yale/Harvard down to Cooley/Whittier to appear to have roughly the same employment profiles- not the same, but in the ballpark. This appearance, which was never true, completely unraveled to the public in 2008. So places like LST try to parse these numbers a little better. I find that, with a few exceptions, the employment score listed there is a good, ballpark figure for the actual employment figures. However, you can also look at the full numbers on that website. But, to put it more bluntly, SLU, on average, has better outcomes than does SCU.
Turning to CityLaw's post, I both agree and disagree with him (as I have, often). On the one hand, I continue to think that his thinking betrays far too much pre-2008 thinking. Let's take Golden Gate, for example. You mentioned you wanted to be a federal judge. Now, that's pretty unlikely. But not a single GG U graduate received a federal clerkship in the 2013 class. Not one. Over 40% of their graduates were long-term unemployed. That's nearly unconscionable. Their average admittance for LSAT was below 150. They have an 8% school-funded rate, and even that doesn't help their job numbers that much. Now, does that mean you can' succeed out of GG? No. Some do. But the odds are very much stacked against you. I wouldn't go there unless they gave me a free ride, and I lived in the area. And I'd still hope to have better options. But that's me.
But he is right that if you want to practice in California generally, and the Bay Area specifically, you shouldn't go to SLU. You should go to a Cali or Bay Area school. Period. 100%. I am with Maintain in this- I've seen far too many people screwed, and (personally) I am flexible in locations, so I think debt is a bigger issue than location, but I know for some people it's like the real estate mantra (location, location, location). In which case, minimize your costs as much as possible and be realistic. Good luck.