Law School Discussion

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Messages - B212bb

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1
Oh Canada! / Re: Is an ABA JD enough to practice in Canada?
« on: January 30, 2012, 10:02:53 PM »
I'm surpised Quebec isn't it's own nation. (even though Canada isn't really a nation yet itself)

I hope that was sarcasm. Canada is a nation, a pretty damn great one too. Oh, and the CBA actually limits the number of law schools which is why Canadian lawyers and law graduates are far better off than American ones. Canada does not belong to the UK either. It is a sovereign and independent country. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada as much as she is Queen of the United Kingdom. The Canadian Monarchy is co-equal with the British one.

2
Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Any feedback about Cooley Ann Arbor Campus
« on: January 30, 2012, 09:52:45 PM »
B212bb - after looking through some of your older posts you have made it evident you hate Cooley Law School.  Why?  Where do you attend?  Have you attended Cooley?  Do you know anyone who went to Cooley and graduated?


No, I graduated from Villanova and am thankfully employed with no debts. However, I cannot say the same about a lot of my peers. I do hate Cooley though in the sense that it is criminal to charge people that much money in tuition when they have piss poor employment rates. Look at the US Dept of Labor, it tracks the number of jobs that open up per year in an industry and the expected growth or decline in that field. Law schools turn out nearly 50,000 students per year, yet there are only about half that many job openings. So what chance does a Cooley grad have? It's not for nothing that they have been sued.

3
Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Any feedback about Cooley Ann Arbor Campus
« on: November 04, 2011, 01:35:13 PM »
Every Cooley campus is good. Best law school in the county. Also, if you decide you dont like AnnArbor after a term you can transfer to the other 3 locations in the state. People do it all the time for lots of reasons.

This is a joke right?

4
"I have a liberal arts degree, but I don't want to be a plumber. If I wanted to be a plumber I would not have gone to college in the first place. I think most people would agree that there would be no point."

Well, what do you want to be? If you want to be a prosecutor - of course go to law school! If you do not know exactly what you want to be and just think you want to be a lawyer -- well, what kind of lawyer? Do you know what most lawyers do? Do you know that most lawyers hate what they do? Do you know what the salary ranges are? My point isn't to discourage, but I do want people to think more carefully about their choices. If you want to, f/e, be a "corporate lawyer", well ok, but I find most people who want to be that (a) don't know corporate lawyers work 90+ hrs/week and have high levels of drug and alcohol abuse and above avg rates of depression and suicide, and (b) how difficult those big corporate jobs are to get in the first place. If you go to Pace, you will not get a corporate job. So if that is your be all and end all, you should probably not accrue debt by going to that school. There are only so many jobs for so many people. With 40,000 graduates per year competing for 10,000 openings, your chances are not that great. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it -- if it is your passion and if you are sure about your prospects and the reality of being an attorney. But far too many of my friends and acquaintances find themselves unemployed or underemployed -- and they went to schools far better than Charlotte or Pace.

"It sounds like you are a competent person from a good family so I will let you in on a little secret, your affluent parents were not always affluent. At one point, someone in your family stopped raising chickens and started reading law books. That is what most people are doing in law school: making a transition."

Its not a little secret to me, my family began poor. I am first generation in North America. My father was however, exceptionally good in math and very entrepeneurial. He was able to turn that into a lucrative career. I am not as smart as he is, I will likely not make his income. That is just life, and genetics. "Most" people in law school are not in T1. Most are also taking on student loans. Most are competing for 10,000 jobs per year in a market where 40,000 JDs graduate per year. It is most certainly not B.A. + J.D. = Profit.


"Have you thought about the disappointment that entire families would experience if their law student called them to say they want to be a plumber? I think that is what I see many people encouraging students to do, especially if they attend tier 3 or 4 law schools. I think that is unreasonable insensitive to others. No family wants to see their college graduate become a plumber or handyman."

Do you think they are any less disappointed when their son or daughter has no job and $150,000+ in debt he/she must pay off but can't? Do you think they are any less disappointed when son or daughter is doing doc review for pittance? Second, what is wrong with being a plumber? It is a fine profession, we need plumbers and mechanics, etc. And, to boot, many plumbers and mechanics make more money than lawyers and work fewer hours. No family wants to see their college grad become a handyman? Sure, they'd prefer to see their son/daughter get a very lucrative and presitgious job -- but only a minority get those jobs (and the minority that does ends up extremely disappointed with it). To make a huge financial decision, one that will impact yourself and your family, based on perceived 'prestige' or on hope, is a dangerous game.

 "A career as an attorney is far better than that of a plumber because attorneys have the ability to make more money and have social status"

Some attorneys have the ability to make more -- some, not all, only some. Many make less. You also need to look at the per hour salary one takes home. An attorney working at a big corporate firm makes $160K to start (in NY and DC). But he/she works 90+ hrs per week and has no vacation (vacation exists in theory only). A public school teacher on Long Island or Westchester, if he/she worked those hours and had next to no vacation days off, would also make that kind of salary, if not higher. For that matter, plenty of plumbers, if they worked such hours, would be in six figure salary range. Most lawyers of course do not work at big firms, or make $160K to start, but in the private sector (public, which I am in is different thankfully), most salaries outside the big firms range from $35,000-60,000, but even then attorneys are working more than 40 hrs per week -- maybe not 90hrs -- but still more than 40, 45. So really, are most attorneys better off than a good mechanic, handyman, or public school teacher? Doesn't look like it.


"In law, any client that walks in off the street could be the client whose fee is so large you can retire after the case."

You are conflating possibility for probability. Yes, in law it is possible that any client that walks in off the street could be the client whose fee is so large you can retire after the case -- but how probable is it? How probable is it that it will happen to you? One may as well spend $150,000 on lotto tickets because, after all, it is possible you can win and be a millionaire over night.



5
"I agree with everything you said it will be hard partiucarly if your going to a lower ranked school don't have connections etc. It is also very expensive to go to law school, but so is every other form of education. Architects, Business People, Doctors, Nurses list goes on and on in these professions if you graduate from Harvard will have more opportunities as an architect etc. The same logic you use applies to basically every profession I can think of so what do you do?"

Yes, schooling is increasingly expensive, but law is more expensive than most - particularly when one factors in the return on investment. Further, architects, doctors, nurses, etc. actually learn to do their profession. You do not learn how to be a lawyer in law school. You learn to "think like a lawyer" and get an introduction to legal research and writing -- very important, but this is 1 year out of 3. In addition, there is actually a market for doctors, nurses, etc., there, of course, is a market for lawyers also, but NOT for law graduates -- and therein lies the difference. If you are in debt and cannot find gainful employment, you really are screwed.

"As far as the bureau of labor goes what profession is understaffed right now? America's population is growing at an exponential rate and with the world more connected many foreign people come here taking jobs. As a result finding gainful employment has never been more competitive and it applies to basically everything I can think of not law school alone. Life is hard and it is always hard to get your start and you may never get it."

True. But because it is more competative than ever, going to law school, and taking on loans for it, becomes an ever bigger risk. This would be particularly true for those going to get their JD who do not have a marketable undergraduate degree (e.g. Art, PoliSci). For many, the far better option would be to become a plumber, carpenter, etc. These professions cannot be outsourced or computerized, people need them, and very often plumbers make more money than lawyers and work fewer hours. I'm lucky I am employed, I am lucky my family is affluent, lucky I got a scholarship, and I'm lucky I did well enough on LSAT/GPA to get said scholarship at a fairly good school. Most people are not nearly so lucky. Look, if your passion is law and you actually know what lawyers do for a living, and that most of them hate it, and you still want to do it -- best of luck, I hope it works out. But in all other cases, one should avoid law school, especially in T3 or T4 like its the plague.


6
Maybe the OP did not go to either. I am starting to get troubled by all these posts that seem to tell everyone that they will not be a successful attorney because of the school they attend or the lack of jobs available. I think whoever posts messages such as these demonstrates a very real problem with legal education and that is the negative attitudes of some of the students. The OP was asking for your help in deciding between the schools in a subsection called "Where should I go next fall?" and was not given the benefit of the assumption that he or she has done the research needed to make the very important decision to attend law school. In fact, the OP is being offer scholarships by both schools so that should hint that they might have what it takes. The bottemline is that it is extremely disrespectful to the OP to reply that they should not go at all in a public thread attached to their question no less. That is not what they asked. If the question was "Charlotte, Pace, or do not attend law school?", then that answer to not go becomes an appropriate answer.

Discouraging others from attending law school will not help anyones cause or careers. There are no shortcuts. I am enjoying law school thus far because I feel multiple times smarter and more confident everyday. I am not bringing in my liberal arts degree into a human resources office each day,  nor am I straining my family's important business relations in order to find some minimum wage, temporary office position. Instead, I use the law school career center to help me network and meet the real top lawyers and judges in my area who will have an Honest-to-God entry level associate attorney position available for me to apply for in good faith as soon as the ink on my diploma has dryed. If worst comes to worse, I will "Hang a shingle".

My advice to the OP is to attend Pace.

But sometimes the answer really is "don't go at all". Look, the Bureau of Labor says that in the next decade the country will create 100,000 new law jobs. However, each year, 40,000 people graduate from law school. You do the math. A law degree costs a lot of money, and, if you don't have connections or do not go to a highly ranked school - especially in a very competative market like New York - you may end up in a lot of trouble. You could say "hang a shingle" -- but starting your own practice is expensive and requires prior experience practicing law. If you cannot get a job out of law school, or the only job you get is document review, the chances of hanging out a shingle 2, 3, 4, or 5 years out becomes far less likely. Moreover, because there is a glut of lawyers means that your salary, or future billing rate as a solo, may be depressed and undercut by all your competitors. When one has massive student loans + other costs (car, house, insurance premiums, etc.), it may not be enough to make a decent living. I would strongly discourage anyone from going to a T3 school, especially if they need to go in debt to do it.

7
May I make a suggestion? Don't go at all, and if you already there, cut your losses and quit. Any debt from either school is a bad idea. Jobs are hard to come by and it is not just because of the economy. There is simply a glut of law school graduates. The Dept of Labor estimates that the country will create about 100,000 legal jobs in the next decade, but remember over 40,000 people graudate law school per year. So you do the math (OK, if law students could do math they would be going into finance and not law).

8
Villanova undergrads are really good looking (don't know if you are a guy or girl, but the girls are hot, and quite frankly, the guys are pretty good looking too) does that help your decision making?

Generally, try to avoid debt. Wake Forest does have a better rep though and I am sure you will get a job in the South and cost of living is of course lower. I also suppose it matters what kind of law you want to do. If you are aiming for a big firm, well then quite honestly, North, South, East, or West you will be working long, long hours ("slower pace" in BigLaw below the Mason Dixon might mean 65-70hrs per week as opposed to 75-80 in Philly and 90 in NYC).

9
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« on: July 15, 2011, 02:59:47 PM »
Okay im a canadian student who really didn't have really good grades so im going to  be applying for law school in the u.s because in Canada the law schools are just too competitive. My gpa is 2.9 and my LSAT is a 156. Can you guys tell me what law schools i might have a chance at? Furthermore people told me that Cooley University is lenient for entrance but it has a bad reputation.

Yes Cooley is bad. Canada does it right, they limit the number of law schools. Whereas in the US, if you put a couple books in your garage you could probably get accreditation from the ABA.  I don't know why you would ever consider leaving Canada, with a strong labour market and lower employment rate, for a legal career in the USA where legal wages are depressed, people cannot pay off their loans, and a law degree is increasingly less prestigious and no ticket to a better future (often, it is a ticket to a terrible future). Plus, if you do not get a job after graduating Cooley (very likely), you will not be able to remain indefinitely in the US. Thus, you will have to return to Canada, but in order to practice law you need to Article first - and what firm will take someone who left Canada for a piss-poor US school?

From one Canuck to another - don't do it!

10
Wait List / Re: Waitlisted @ Maryland
« on: May 23, 2007, 10:35:46 PM »
LOL, well if you're in their highest box and waitlisted and in-state and I'm only waitlisted...You're gonna take my spot ;)





Have you looked at the class statistic chart on the website? Wide, wide range of GPA/LSAT accepted at Maryland... I'm in their highest boxes but still waitlisted... in-state tuition would be nice

Has anyone officially gotten a letter that says "Priority Wait List" or something to that effect??...maybe I'm being optimistic but I really think it's one big waitlist 
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