Law School Discussion

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Messages - jack24

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11
Where should I go next fall? / Re: JD or DBA or both?
« on: April 09, 2013, 06:52:17 PM »
You've left out one key piece of information:  What do you want to do for a living?  Do you want to continue working for the feds in logistics?

Law School, particularly after the first year, ads little to no value other than giving you the ability to get a law license.  Sure, law school can teach you to "think like a lawyer," but I'm sure you can learn contract law on your own, especially if you are smart enough to excel in logistics at the Ph.D. level.

There is a difference between needing a law degree and wanting to know things about law. 

 

12
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Never too late
« on: April 09, 2013, 03:04:05 PM »
I attended an ABA school, but agree with Duncan's point for the most part an attorney is an attorney. There are some places that have elitism and anyone attending a CBA school should be realistic in their expectations as they are unlikely to clerk for the Supreme Court right out of law school, but there are plenty of people in need of legal representation and most clients simply want an attorney to resolve their problem with a law license from any school you can accomplish a goal for your client.

I don't think anyone even CA Law Dean would encourage someone who wants to work for Cravath or O'Melveny & Meyers to attend Monterrey College of Law as those doors will be closed, but someone that wants to do Family Law, Criminal Defense, even small civil Litigation in the Bay Area particularly Monterrey itself it is likely a good option for the right person.

"An attorney is an attorney."

I understand your point, but it's simplistic.  Attorney jobs really aren't equal, and most people are only cut out for a certain percentage of attorney jobs.  Students should avoid severely limiting their options.   Yes, any licensed attorney can open a small firm and chase down family-law leads.   In that sense, an attorney is an attorney.   I believe most students don't know what kind of attorney they want to be, so it's important for them to have as many options as possible.  Otherwise, you are playing roulette with your future.   You may be perfectly cut-out to be a staff attorney for the state supreme court, but you may not be a good fit to be a commision-only personal injury attorney.

You need passion, you need to be able to pay your debts, and you need the right personality for the jobs that will be available to you.  Just remember that there is almost as much variety in the legal industry as in the general economy.

13
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Never too late
« on: April 03, 2013, 05:25:33 PM »
Well I am an attorney in a medium city with one of those 50-60k jobs.  I went to an ABA school that charged 400 per credit.   There are hundreds of applications for almost every job.  I'm planning to live paycheck to paycheck for a few more years, and then I believe I'll see the upside.

I have nothing against your model.   I think it's just fine for people to go to your school if they decide it is for the best.  I just believe that non-traditional law students have fewer working years and less opportunities than their younger peers, so taking on a large amount of debt to go to a non-ABA school is even more risky that it would be for a 22 year-old.   Unfortunately, most schools don't have the data on what their graduates earn several years after law school.  Bar Passage Rates and Employment Rates are nice and all, but they are far less helpful in the financial analysis.

14
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Never too late
« on: April 03, 2013, 01:16:06 PM »
Bar passage rates, huh?

What about average incomes five years after graduation?  Any difference there?
I don't see employment statistics on your website.  What percentage of your grads are employed in full-time long-term legal positions that require a law degree?

Why should someone consider a part time program?  If a calbar accredited law school is worth the investment, why not finish and be a lawyer as fast as you can?

15
Where should I go next fall? / Re: UCLA, Texas, GW or Arizona?
« on: March 28, 2013, 11:09:35 PM »
Living Legend:
My comments about location and cost and quality of life and thoughts about the school were sarcastic.  I'm saying that anyone who has good options like this likely already knows those are significant factors to consider.  Do you think people choosing between UCLA, GW, Arizona, and Texas just pick the highest rank blindly?   No.  Of course they will consider Debt load as well as the LA vs. DC vs. Phoenix vs. Dallas question.

It just seems like you give your advice like you are making some big revelation.

16
Where should I go next fall? / Re: UCLA, Texas, GW or Arizona?
« on: March 28, 2013, 10:57:32 AM »
Hey OP, this is a pretty interesting chart (toward the bottom of the article).  It's a little out of date, but it's good.  http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/the-lawyer-surplus-state-by-state/

Livinglegend...  come on man.

You are posting your same old form letter for this guy?   It's pretty patronizing all the time, but it makes a little more sense for someone who is deciding between T4s and scored a 145 on the LSAT.

Really?  He should consider location and cost?  He's going to take the same courses no matter what school he picks?  You are divulging some serious secrets. 

Why don't you take your considerable interest in the subject and actually form an opinion about what legal markets are growing the most.  Find out which states have the largest surpluses of lawyers and which regions have the best median salary/cost of living ratio.

OP likely scored in the high 160's and has some tremendous options.   GW, Texas, and UCLA all have a huge advantage in their markets.  Arizona is good too, but the AZ markets are still pretty beat up.  Cost of living is wonderful in some places down there, though, and the state only has two law schools.

17
Where should I go next fall? / Re: UCLA, Texas, GW or Arizona?
« on: March 27, 2013, 12:09:15 PM »
Wow.  What a crazy range of options.

I'm sorry that I can't be of much help, but the full-scholarship at Arizona has got to be pretty tempting.   

What is your goal?  Biglaw?  Government?

18
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 22, 2013, 11:19:28 AM »
One other factor that has to be taken into account when evaluating employment statistics:

My law school, like many law schools with large part time/evening programs, had a significant number of people who graduated in December. The employment surveys for the December grads were collected in February, at the same time as the May grads. Most (if not all) of the December grads spent December, January, and February studying for the February bar as opposed to looking for a job. Their post grad employment data, however, gets counted with the previous academic year in which they graduated.

Considering that only two and a half months pass between graduation and data collection, this could significantly affect the statistics for the entire year's graduating class.   

What is your point?  Are you just arguing that it may not be as bad as law school transparency says?   Okay, maybe it's not.  But you know what else the employment statistics don't reflect?  The number of attorneys who leave the law after two years and the number of attorneys who live paycheck to paycheck and the number of attorneys who hate their jobs. 

If you look at the data, it's pretty harrowing.    Enrollment in law schools has finally started to drop.  While this is fantastic news, the legal picture is still brutal.   The industry isn't really growing.  It shed 2,400 jobs in january of 2013. http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/legal_industry_loses_2400_jobs_in_january

The BLS estimates that the legal industry will add about 7,000 new lawyer jobs per year over the next ten years.   Unfortunately, we have been added about 53,000 newly licensed attorneys in 2009.   40 years ago, there were only 16,000 law grads per year.   So even if we estimate that 80% still practice law, that means that retirements are only leading to about 12,800 open spots per year (if they are actually retiring, and if their work isn't just being absorbed by their firms).   

It's reasonable to assume that we need less than 25,000 new lawyers each year until the boomer lawyers really start to retire.   In the 2011-2012 cycle, there were 44,366 who enrolled at ABA ranked schools. 

Look at this lawyer surplus analysis by state.  The chart is interesting. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/27/the-lawyer-surplus-state-by-state/

Do you really think the ABA's employment estimate, that only 55% of ABA grads have full-time legal work is that far off? 

This is an absolutely brutal time to go to a T3, but at least enrollments are dropping.   Hopefully more lawyers will retire in the next decade.  But computers and machines will probably take up the slack.


19
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 20, 2013, 10:40:38 AM »
While I think Anti is probably too cynical about this topic, the job market is pretty tough.  That said, if you are getting huge scholarship offers, (offers you can maintain throughout three years) then you likely have advantages over your peers and the job market stats should not be as concerning. 
Going to Drexel at full price would probably be a mistake if you had a "big-law or bust" attitude.

Your family connections probably know more about the Philadelphia market than anyone on here, but I will offer the following:

Ballard Spahr is a big law firm with an office in Philadelphia. 

They have 2 attorneys from Drexel, 44 attorneys from Penn, and 24 from Villanova.

This is anectodal, of course, but it's not a good sign for Drexel in terms of Philadelphia BigLaw.

Now, if you were planning on starting your own firm or if you had a set-in-stone job lined up, I'd say going to Drexel for free is much better than going to Penn at full price.  If your goal is big law though, Penn may be the better option.




20
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Scored around 165 on first attempt
« on: March 15, 2013, 11:53:32 AM »
I would say yes.  An LSAT prep course can push you up 3-10 points.  Powerscore is pretty good.  You will probably bump yourself up about 5 points just by reading a prep book like the powerscore or Manhattan LSAT.  15 points is a lot, but I've seen people jump 20 and even 30. 

And kudos, you are a rarity. 

Sorry MisDirected, but statements like this are just bad.   You need to clarify it and qualify it.    A jump from 150 to 160 is not relatable at all to a jump from 165-175.   Saying a prep course can push you up 3-10 points is wrong for many people. 

If this person got a 165 on the first practice test (I got a 171, and ended up getting a 160 actual)  then he already has speed, reasonable awareness, focus, and he gets the point of the exercise.   A 165 actual score is in the 92nd percentile.   A 175 is in the 99.4 percentile.   A 175 is absolutely crushing the test.

Prep courses don't increase your intelligence, and they don't give you any real secrets.  THey help you manage your time, they help you get used to the wording, and they help remind you to practice.  Sometimes prep courses can even help you identify patterns.

Now, if the OP got a 165 because he ran out of time on three sections and didn't answer four or five questions, then yeah, practice and a prep course might go a long way. 

I have one buddy who is now a great attorney.   He had a 3.7 GPA and he consistently acheived practice scores close to 160.  He took an intensive practice course, quit his job for a few months, and studied like crazy.   He ended up with a 154.

Living Legend's post is spot on.

Still, Scores over 168 on the real thing are so very rare.  Only 4 out of 100 acheive those marks...   so I think the reasonable answer to the OP's question is, don't count on it.

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