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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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General Board / Law School Attrition
« on: May 13, 2014, 02:35:15 PM »
I posted a link to this article in another forum, but am reposting here.

Apparently, despite all the handwringing law school attrition it is at an historic low. It was very high in the 60's, dropped to 20% by 1975, and has not gone above 10% since 1994.

Grade inflation? Better academic support? A more qualified applicant pool? I don't know.

I remember my Con Law prof (an Ivy League grad) saying that 1/3 attrition was expected when he was in law school. Maybe our increasing sense of entitlement has convinced us that we deserve a J.D., and we balk at the idea of being told "no".

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2013
« on: May 12, 2014, 01:20:07 PM »

Interesting article, and pertinent to our conversation. According to this author, law school attrition is at a historic low. In 1966 attrition was 45% (!). It has been dropping since 1974, and is now around 10%.

It's all about perspective.

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2013
« on: May 12, 2014, 12:28:49 PM »
Citylaw brings up some good points.

Attrition rates have to be separated into academic/non-academic attrition, otherwise they make no sense. For example, I graduated from a part-time program where many of the students were balancing jobs and families along with law school. Our academic attrition was pretty low, but we had lots of people drop out because they couldn't handle the pressure, the expense, or they transferred.

Of course, at some lower ranked schools academic attrition is high because they're admitting people who didn't get in anywhere else. There are two ways to look at this practice. The conventional wisdom seems to be that these students are being ripped off by being admitted then failed out.

The thing I don't like about that theory is that it assumes that people have no personal agency whatsoever. No personal responsibility, no decision making power.

No one forces anyone to go to law school, and the requirements and expectations are available to anyone who takes five seconds to google them. Another view is that these schools are giving people an opportunity that they wouldn't normally have. And yes, there is some risk involved. But if the student works hard and dedicates themselves they will likely graduate, pass the bar, and realize their dreams.

Remember, a large majority of the people who begin law school will graduate and become lawyers. I meet lawyers literally every single day who couldn't get admitted to high ranked schools, went to a low ranked schools, and are successful practicing attorneys. I know quite a few who put their T1 counterparts to shame. It's all about the level of dedication you're willing to invest.   


Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2013
« on: May 10, 2014, 06:22:18 PM »
According to the ABA first year attrition is 30.5%.

BTW, which state's bar results are you waiting for?

There's good, solid info available here but it's less sensational and with fewer juvenile insults than other forums. Maybe that's what people actually want: insults and whining.

FYI Maintain. Hofstra's student-faculty ratio has dropped from 15.1 to 18.2. Thats about a 20% drop.

That means a 1L course would go from having 100 students to having 120 students. I doubt if that makes much difference.

But I agree with you that Hofstra is overpriced.

Citylaw brings up some great points that definitely require consideration.

Here's the thing:

No matter what you've read, heard, or surmised, you are not prepared for how difficult the first year of law school is. You're just not. I'm not saying that as a criticism, nor is  intended to reflect on your abilities. The fact is you can't be truly prepared because it is unlike any other academic endeavor you've attempted.

Your life will pretty much be class, study, sleep, repeat. Your fiancÚ is also not prepared for how much of your time will be taken up with school. When you get home you won't be hanging out watching movies and chatting with her. You'll be reading and briefing 15 cases, pouring through a hornbook trying to get ready for the next morning. That's if you're not at the library until 10 PM.

I was married when I went to law school. Even though my wife is a lawyer and she knew what to expect, it was still a strain on our relationship. And that was living in a city with a support network of family and friends.

I believe that it is possible for people to do law school and a relationship, but you should have a very open, honest discussion beforehand about the ramifications. Make sure your fiancÚ understands the level of commitment that law school requires and is on board.

Are you serious? Larger classes are okay? Not getting the classes you need is okay? Do you think tuition is going down? When you lose a significant number of teachers the quality of the education goes down.

I think you're making some assumptions here.

There is nothing in the article to suggests that Hofstra students are not getting the classes they need. As far as class size, no, I don't think it's a big deal. This isn't kindergarten and you don't need the teacher to hold your hand. Law students should be intelligent enough to succeed whether the class has 100 students or 10. 

Tuition is a different story, as I think almost ALL law schools are insanely overpriced.

As a general rule, I agree with Citylaw that if you want to live in Miami you should go to law school in Miami. I think this is true for the vast, overwhelming majority of students.

Additionally, I think the rankings scheme is a crock (as Supreme Court justice Alito recently said).

However, there are exceptions to every rule. Michigan is one of the very few law schools (along with Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and few others) that can legitimately boast about a national reputation. A law degree from UM will be carry weight in L.A., NYC, WDC, or Miami.

Is it worth the expense? That I can't answer, but I do think your situation is a little different from someone who is trying to decide between say, FIU/Miami and a higher ranked (but not elite) school. It's a tougher decision, IMO.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that after a couple of years your degree will be subordinate to your experience. No institution's name alone can carry a career indefinitely.

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