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21
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: what if I WANT to go to a T3/T4....
« on: November 11, 2006, 07:24:59 AM »
I agree that in some situations, regional reputations can carry the day for job opportunities within the region.

But it also seems that schools with regional reputations are more susceptible to short-term downturns in factors such as bar passage rates. Schools with national reputations are better able to simply "ride on their reputation", even if recent events don't jibe with the reputation.

With all that said, I hope that a school with a regional reputation will be able to ride through the changes that come with a change in management at the top. I suspect that changes at the top of a school with a national reputation might not mean as much as they do with smaller, regional schools. Changing horses in mid-stream must always be done with a great deal of caution.





22
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Distressing WSJ Article
« on: June 24, 2006, 04:27:29 PM »
Turning back to the original topic for a moment, Stacher's Wall Street Journal article attempts to make a few points.

He writes that 40,000 new lawyers are minted every year. But large law firms lose 40 percent of their associates within four years. Furthermore, 42 percent of lawyers in smaller firms switch firms after three years.

Those statistics do raise some concerns, but at this point, Stracher makes a leap. Stracher writes: "While many go to other law firms, or into other legal jobs, such as in-house counsel at corporations, anecdotal evidence shows that a significant percentage drop out of the legal profession entirely."

What is his anecdotal evidence? Two of his closest friends (presumably these friends were lawyers) are now mothers choosing to stay at home. Another friend of his has become an actor. Another friend is a screenwriter and several are novelists. Then he quotes one commercial firm's director for the following, "The buzz now is lawyers getting three years of experience at a big firm, then going off and doing something entirely unrelated to the law... ."

Stracher then writes,

"The legal profession is really two professions: the elite lawyers and everyone else. Most of the former start out at big law firms. Many of the latter never find gainful legal employment. Instead, they work at jobs that might be characterized as "quasi-legal": paralegals, clerks, administrators, doing work for which they probably never needed a J.D."

It's a rather sweeping statement.  But he doesn't really have any statistics for what constitutes "many of the latter never find gainful legal employment" and admits that "hard data about the nature of these jobs is difficult to come by."

Stracher thinks that lawyers need to do a better job of communicating to others outside the profession that most lawyers don't earn $160,000 a year. OK, I would agree with that proposition.  Also, lawyers should let the world in on the fact that rock star-lawyer lunches do not happen.  You know, I've never heard this rock star lunch expectation from anyone wanting to go to law school. If I do, I'll be sure to disabuse them of that notion. Apparently, he never meets people interested in studying the law for the sake of learning. He doesn't devote any discussion to the fact that the law degree is still a rich and versatile degree.   

Stracher says he is annually surprised by students who believe a J.D. is "a ticket to fame, fortune and the envy of one's peers -- a sure ticket to the upper middle class." He faults the "system" that "makes a whole lot of people pay a whole lot of money for jobs that are not worth it, or that have no future." 

I think law school debt is a problem. There are a lot of unrealistic expectations out there.  But there are still a lot of reasons to go to law school. Stracher doesn't really have enough facts in his article to support his sweeping conclusions. He covers a lot of ground in his article and all his pessimism gets jumbled up with the facts.  His solution is to just sweep it all under the rug. 

 
 


 

23
Law School Admissions / Re: Texas Tech Fall 2006
« on: May 13, 2006, 07:18:05 AM »
The Krud has misrepresented by resume. I've never been a mole in any admissions office. And the poster above, Gujuguy, mentioned Professor Beyer who has taught at more than four law schools across the country.

24
Law School Admissions / Re: Texas Tech Fall 2006
« on: May 12, 2006, 07:28:11 PM »
Professor Beyer is one of the very best law professors in the country.

25
The Texas Board of Law Examiners' website is located at

www. ble. state. tx. us




26
By including the "repeaters" with the first-time takers, you can get an "overall" pass rate for a law school, but you have to consider exactly what that number is telling you. Because people can sit for the Texas bar exam five times, the "repeater" number can include people who have been trying to pass the exam for up to five years (if the person is, say, only sitting for one of the two bar exams offered every year after they graduated).  And we don't know from the data if there are more repeaters from, say, one graduating class than another. It's probably safe to assume that most "repeaters" in a February exam are by and large people who failed from the previous July, but the exact numbers are not shown on the Texas Board of Law Examiners' website.  The "repeaters" are all lumped together. And some people, after they fail the first time, only sit for the July exams thereafter. They do this because some people say that the February exam is slightly more difficult to pass than the July exam.

Also, US News & World Reports lists only the first-time taker number in their publications and it is the first-time taker number that is the factor that goes into their rankings.  The ABA is also concerned with the first-time taker number. Kudos to Baylor for being number one.   

27
The results of the February 2006 Texas Bar Exam for the first-time takers from Texas law schools are as follows:

1. Baylor        97% of their class passed
2. UT            92% of their class passed
3. SMU           89% of their class passed
4. Tex Wes       83% of their class passed
5. St. Mary's    81% of their class passed
6. U of Houston  79% of their class passed
7. South Texas   78% of their class passed
8. Tex. Southern 77% of their class passed
9. Texas Tech    74% of their class passed


28
The results of the February 2006 Texas Bar Exam for the first-time takers from Texas law schools are as follows:

1. Baylor        97% of their class passed
2. UT            92% of their class passed
3. SMU           89% of their class passed
4. Tex Wes       83% of their class passed
5. St. Mary's    81% of their class passed
6. U of Houston  79% of their class passed
7. South Texas   78% of their class passed
8. Tex. Southern 77% of their class passed
9. Texas Tech    74% of their class passed



29
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Texas: Really how bad is a 4 Tier?
« on: April 22, 2006, 09:41:57 AM »
To keep things honest, here are statistics from the April 2006 US News and World Reports: Special Report: America’s Best Graduate Schools.  Remember that for most graduates, if you graduate in May, you won’t take the Texas bar until July, and the results do not come back until November. You aren’t licensed to practice law in Texas until you pass the Texas bar.

Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation.
UT           98%
Baylor      98%
SMU        96%
UH           96%
TTU         96%
St Mary’s 86%
Tx W        83%
S Tx         80%
TSU        75%

30
St. Mary’s University School of Law is tied to the legal history of the City of San Antonio, one of the largest cities in the United States.  St. Mary’s School of Law is an institution with a rich history.  The University is the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest.  The law school has a proud tradition. St. Mary's Law Review is ranked third nationally for law review articles cited by courts. In the Spring of 2004, school officials inaugurated a research center on terrorism law, accompanied by several dignitaries, including U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a St. Mary's law school graduate.   Among the first of its kind in the nation, St. Mary's Center for Terrorism Law at the School of Law received an anonymous donation of $1 million, which will allow the center to expand law courses and seminars in terrorism law, add new office space and recruit new staff. The Princeton Review recently recognized the School of Law in a student survey of the Best 159 Law Schools, citing such qualities as St. Mary’s School of Law’s administration, effective teaching techniques, an emphasis on clinical programs, writing and research, and the potential for clerkships and internships.

However, St. Mary’s is a private institution and while it is not the most expensive of the Texas law schools, it is probably in the top three or four.

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