Law School Discussion

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Messages - squarre

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General Board / Re: Anybody else really glad to get an "average" grade?
« on: January 07, 2006, 04:45:55 PM »

Our curve was something like 20% C's until this year, I'm glad they changed it before I got here since I didn't pay attention to that stuff when choosing a school.  Why do they want the 1L median so much lower at your school?

It really makes no difference where your curve is set (for any purpose other than maybe making you feel good about yourself).  Potential employers aren't looking at your GPA when they compare you to similar students at other schools.  Instead they look at your class rank and the relative strength/reputation of the schools.  A 3.1 at one school may be better than a 3.5 at another.


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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Evidence final
« on: December 08, 2005, 01:22:08 PM »
Sorry to hear the professor would do that. 

As far as my exams - We can't have FRE for our evidence exam.   My professors allowed FRCP for Civ Pro and the UCC for Contracts both semsters.

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General Board / Re: Financial Services v. Lawyers
« on: November 16, 2005, 12:06:16 PM »
Getting a job with Goldman is tougher than getting into Harvard or Yale law FYI...

It shouldn't surprise you then that they are paid so well, so quickly. Your average biz grad will get a financial services job in sales and hate their life because it is just one big hustle...

Exactly, he seems to think jobs at Goldman Sachs just fall at any business school grads feet.

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General Board / Re: Financial Services v. Lawyers
« on: November 15, 2005, 12:44:51 PM »
I'm not saying money is everything, but money is a factor esp. if you don't have any - otherwise what's the point of working? Would anybody wake up 7am everday and work for 8 hrs/day for 365 days if they don't get paid? Also, money has to be a factor b/c we're investing 100k in something that is supposed to benefit us. If the main reason people go to law school is b/c they like the law, can't they simply sit at the beach and bust out a casebook and read as leisure all they want? You don't see people becoming car mechanics just b/c they "like" cars. I guess I'm just trying to find a more compelling reason that law school is worth the 3 yrs and there are more benefits than the 55k-60k a college grad can also get. Sometimes, I see my friends (23-24 yr olds) moving on with their lives already b/c they're making $$ after college and now close to being able to by a house. Whereas, I need another 3-4 years just to pay off loans? I'll be in mid-30s b4 i can buy a house for my mom. 20 years ago, if you're a lawyer, you make more than most people. But today, it's not the same anymore - the benefit isn't as great. Society puts more emphasis on business, the big corps, finance, stock market. There's got be an advantage for attending school for 1/3 of our lives.

Lawyers still make more money than most people, and still make more money than the average college graduate their 1st year out.  You might not realize it, but there has always been potential for a lot of money in finance, stocks, and big business. However, there are very few who come straight out of college making big money. 

Your job comparison is comparing apples to oranges.  You are comparing the finance jobs in the highest 1% of starting salaries with the average law starting salary.  To really compare apples to apples you either need to look at the average finance job or the top paying law job. 

Average Starting Salary: Finance/Accounting: $36-40K; Law: $60-65K

Top End Starting Salary: Finance/Accounting: about $85-90K; Law: about $125K

There aren't very many of these dream/top end salary positions in either field (or any field for that matter).  If you haven't graduated from college yet and really expect your $55-60K jobs to just fall at your feet you are in for a rude awakening.  If you already have those type offers - good for you, and if you aren't convinced the law is for you you should definitely take the pay of these positions into consideration.

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General Board / Re: Financial Services v. Lawyers
« on: November 15, 2005, 12:51:12 AM »
Ok, let's just say i'm off on the 40k. But even if starting salary is $60k, a 22 year old college graduate can also make starting salary 55k to 60k in a financial industry. So, after 3-4 years of law school, we're no better off financially (not to mention paying off loans) than the 22 yr old who didn't have a JD but just a college degree (who didn't have to throw in another 100k for law school)?   

Like someone said above the money isn't everything.  If you are going to law school just for the money then chance are you won't ever enjoy a job as an attorney.  My suggestion would really be to find something that you at least moderately enjoy - no matter the pay.  If you are miserable at work then all the money in the world won't make a difference.

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General Board / Re: Financial Services v. Lawyers
« on: November 14, 2005, 09:46:49 PM »
you can go into business with a law degree. and i think your estimate on the starting salary for new lawyers is a little low. it's probably closer to 60k. and come to think of, with all the MBAs that are popping up everywhere, and all the business graduates out there i doubt going into business is as easy or as glorious as you make it sound. my 2 cents

You have a good point, but I do know a few people who graduated with just an economics degree in undergrad and started out at $55k. i don't know if you're from NY but if you're not in Law Review or in Top20, you'll be lucky to start w/ $40k. It's so competitive here b/c people from all over U.S. and worldwide flock over here. Each yr, more and more students apply to law schools.

Not sure where you get your $40K NY number from but if you check hotjobs.com they have the following NY city info: median of $93,663, 25th percentile $79,892, and 75th percentile $110,394.   

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General Board / Re: Financial Services v. Lawyers
« on: November 14, 2005, 09:34:18 PM »
$40K is really low and unless you are looking at only government jobs the number is way off.  At my school last year (low T1 or high T2 depending on the list) the average was about $60K overall and about $70K in private practice, with a 98% placement rate.  I know for a fact the average salary in NY is higher than where the majority of students from my school take jobs.

Also remember that Goldman Sachs and Smith Barney are not at all similar to Ernst & Young.  They are very different - the first 2 are investment banks/financial service companies and E&Y is an accounting/auditing firm.  Although these 2 types of business are both numbers related they are not at all similar. 

At an investment bank (IB) you probably make more than $55-60K initially (probably closer to $70K), and after 5-6 years you do probably reach the 6 figure salaries you mention. However in that field you work A LOT more hours than any law firm associate has ever thought about working.  A typical work week for new associates (and even those who have been there 7-8 years) at an IB 90-100 hours, often with overnight type hours due to asian and european markets.  Not to mention it is very, very difficult to get an IB job - virtually impossible out of undergrad.

At E&Y your $55K number is probably a little high.  In NY you can probably almost get there, but most places it will be in the low to mid $40K range. After a few years you aren't close to $125K.  You can probably get to the $100K range after 6-7 years.  Also remember that these numbers are only at the large accounting firms and as you get smaller generally the salaries get smaller.  Not saying you can't make a big salary, but it isn't as easy as you make it seem.  It is also isn't exactly easy to get hired at one of the big accounting firms.  The work can also be very monotous and this is the reason I have a several classmates who left the big accounting firms to come to law school. 

   

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: All my exams are closed book...
« on: November 03, 2005, 01:04:17 AM »
I would suggest making outlines because the process of creating the outline helps you to learn the law.  Even if the book is open book, notes, etc. you still need to know the law and for the most part won't have a lot of time to consult what you bring in.

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Finding Practice Tests
« on: October 30, 2005, 11:27:04 PM »
Harvard's website has a lot of exams from the past several years.

Link Here: http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/registrar/exams.html

Also wanted to mention that I couldn't agree more that you need more than 1 practice exam.

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General Board / Re: The Reality of the Forced Curve
« on: October 21, 2005, 10:59:58 AM »
What I'm really trying to say is raw grade I guess. I think they should convert the raw score to a letter grade. Schools should report your actual grade as well as your curved grade. I just don't see how it's fair that someone could potentially do B work and end up with a C or even D grade. I can see the utility in distinguishing someone's performance from the performance of the rest of the class, but it's just plain misleading to represent someone as being a C or D student when they've never even recieved a C or D score on any assignment or exam.

Of course, it's like my Dad told me. The world isn't fair. Get used to it.

The problem is that you can't really convert the raw score to a letter grade without the curve or subjective assessment by the professor.  There is no basis for the professor to use to do this. The only thing a professor could do is say, "I think last year this would have been a B but is a C this year", the problem with this is that the exams are not the same. 

The only actual grade there ever is the grade you receive on the curve.  Since everything is graded against other students there is never B work that results in a C or D.  If the teacher had not taught as well or the class had been smarter the given exam may have been a higher grade, but generally there are not big deviations from year to year for given professors.  You also have to remember the point is to compare you work to other students at your school so even if you did almost as good as another student they still did better.  Employers only have so many available spots to interview and need some way to distinguish.

Also if you read the an A exam, B exam, and C exam you will be able to tell the difference in the level of analysis.

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