« on: May 14, 2007, 01:58:45 PM »
Same as the other thread, but for schools that made you all warm and fuzzy and/or gave you wet-dreams of lawyerdom during the cycle.
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A few days ago I blogged about the NY Times article which gave very bad advice to prospective college studentsóthat they should go to a less prestigious college thatís a better ďfit.Ē
But in the comments to my post, people wondered if more prestigious schools really conferred any benefit.
A research paper by Stacy Berg Dale and Alan B. Krueger (1998) (link to pdf file) confirms that people who attended more prestigious schools earn more money. They looked only at students who were accepted to multiple colleges, so they were able to determine what happens if a student is accepted to a better school but attends a lesser school. From page 24:
Based on the straightforward regression results in column 1, men who attend the most competitive colleges [according to Barron's 1982 ratings] earn 23 percent more than men who attend very competitive colleges, other variables in the equation being equal.
23 percent is quite a bit of money, itís almost like getting two college degrees instead of one!
They also discovered that there was a benefit to attending a more expensive school. The more expensive tuition resulted in a lifetime internal rate of return of 20% for men and 25% for women.
THE MOST MIS-CITED STUDY EVER?
Whenever this study has been cited, it has always been for the exact opposite of its actual conclusion. This typical article states that the study ďdropped a bomb on the notion of elite-college attendance as essential to success later in life.Ē
A third finding of the study was that when colleges were rated based on average SAT score, students who attended a school with a lower average SAT score didnít earn any less money. Everyone used this finding to say it doesnít matter what school a student attends. But what it really says is that the average SAT score of a school is unimportant, whatís important is how highly ďrankedĒ it is. I suspect that in many cases, when a student attended a school with a lower average SAT score, they did so because the school with the lower score was actually the more prestigious school.
This demonstrates a persistent bias in which the media only reports what people want to hear instead of reporting the truth. Parents want to know that they didnít harm their kid by sending him to a state school instead of a more prestigious private school. Unfortunately, the reality is that sending your kid to a state school instead of the best private school he can get into does irreparable harm to his future career.
STUDENTS WITH HIGHER SAT SCORES EARN LESS MONEY
The regression analysis in the Dale & Krueger study had a coefficient for the personís SAT score and a second for the square of the SAT score. Based on these two coefficients, earnings peaks at an SAT score of 1100. People who have an SAT score higher than 1100 earn less money.
I would find it hard to believe if I hadnít discovered the same thing myself. Seeing the same result in a completely different dataset confirms that I didnít do anything wrong.
It seems that the only benefit of high intelligence is that it gets you into a better college and graduate school. After you get your degrees, high intelligence is of no benefit in the labor market.
ATHLETES EARN MORE MONEY
The Dale & Krueger regression analysis also included a variable indicating if the person was an athlete. Those who were athletes earned more money. This also confirms my own findings from the General Social Survey.
A kid who gets accepted to Harvard because of his athletic ability, even though his SAT score is lower than most other Harvard students', and attends Harvard, will likely earn far more money over the course of his life than an unathletic kid with a perfect SAT score who attends a state school.
THOUGHTS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLEGE
The more I study the subject, the more I come to the conclusion of the immense importance of a college degree and a graduate degree on a personís future earnings. Itís almost as if a personís whole life course is set when he walks out of college and begins working at his first job
Thank you for applying to BU Law. Your file has been evaluated by the
committee. You should receive a decision shortly. Have a nice day!
Sr. Admissions Assistant
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwearth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
AI Cited for Unlicensed Practice of Law
A web-based "expert system" that helped users prepare bankruptcy filings for a fee made too many decisions to be considered a clerical tool, an appeals court said last week, ruling that the software was effectively practicing law without a license.
At issue were two websites maintained by entrepreneur Henry Ihejirika -- Ziinet.com and 700law.com -- which offered automated bankruptcy assistance. That sounded good to consumer Jayson Reynoso, who paid $219 for 60 days of access to the "Ziinet Bankruptcy Engine," described on the websites like this:
Ziinet is an expert system and knows the law. Unlike most bankruptcy programs which are little more than customized word processors the Ziinet engine is an expert system. It knows bankruptcy laws right down to those applicable to the state in which you live. Now you no longer need to spend weeks studying bankruptcy laws.
Reynoso entered his personal information, debts, income, assets and other data into a series of dialog boxes, and the program generated a complete set of bankruptcy forms, including an affidavit for Reynoso to sign claiming he'd done all the legal research on his own. (Yes, like meat-lawyers, the Ziinet Bankruptcy Engine knows how to gild the lily a little.)
When a bankruptcy trustee noticed errors in the forms, Reynoso blamed his computerized counsel, and Ihejirika joined the party in federal court. A bankruptcy judge ruled that Ihejirika had committed fraudulent, unfair, or deceptive conduct through his computer program, and had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
Ihejirika was fined, enjoined from offering the same service in the future, and ordered to give up the fees he'd collected from nine customers in Northern California. He appealed, and last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling.
The software did, indeed, go far beyond providing clerical services. It determined where (particularly, in which schedule) to place information provided by the debtor, selected exemptions for the debtor and supplied relevant legal citations. Providing such personalized guidance has been held to constitute the practice of law.
(The) system touted its offering of legal advice and projected an aura of expertise concerning bankruptcy petitions; and, in that context, it offered personalized -- albeit automated -- counsel. ... We find that because this was the conduct of a non-attorney, it constituted the unauthorized practice of law.
Ihejirika had a human lawyer for his defense.