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Messages - stateofbeasley

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Temple vs. Villanova
« on: July 06, 2008, 09:13:26 AM »
A new building is meaningless where the rankings are concerned, with the Cooley rankings being the obvious exception.  Myself and others predicted that Temple would make significant gains in the last five years due to new faculty hires and new facilities, but this did not happen.

In order for a school to rise in rank, it has to improve its reputation (lawyer/judge scores) and selectivity scores.  I honestly do not think that lawyers and judges have time to evaluate each school -- the score they give is probably going to be based on their impression of (1) graduates of that school (2) the school's publications, if they read them.  Busy lawyers just don't have the time to contemplate a nice new building.

Where selectivity is concerned, both Temple and Villanova have attracted students with LSATs in the low 160 range.  This has not changed in years and I suspect it will not change.

I know that people make predictions every year that a school will make Tier 1, but it is extremely difficult to do so when competing against many good law schools.  Cardozo is a good example of a school that has risen through the rankings quickly, but hit a barrier in the mid-50's, even though its LSAT range is solidly in the mid-160's.

Another poster on here started a blog about his miserable job prospects coming out of Temple.  I am not saying that he is exactly the norm, but you have to realize that Temple isn't Harvard either.

Referring to me?  ;D

It's difficult for most people coming out of Temple.  But things are much much worse for Dickinson grads in the Philadelphia area.  Temple, Rutgers, and Villanova have a huge presence in the crowded Philly market.  And to make matters worse, Drexel is throwing more JD's out into the fray.

Dickinson has the advantage in central PA.  Dickinson is the big force in the Harrisburg market.

What is alarming about Dickinson is the cost - paying private school tuition that can total $120,000 will be very painful when you have to start repaying the loan on a $40,000/year salary.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Seton Hall bad reputation?
« on: July 02, 2008, 05:54:00 AM »
well in my opinion about 85% of the people on these boards are overly concerned about the price of a school

Overly concerned? 

It's beyond stupid to borrow money that you can't afford to borrow.  The subprime crisis, credit crunch, and other economic ills are directly related to people borrowing beyond their means.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Seton Hall bad reputation?
« on: June 29, 2008, 09:54:32 AM »
I think the "ill will" you're discovering doesn't have much to do solely with Seton Hall's reputation, or academics, or facilities, or career prospects. People simply think it's overpriced.

Exactly.  Seton Hall is an incredibly bad deal compared to Rutgers (in-state) under normal circumstances.  There is no reason for an NJ resident considering those schools to even give SHU serious consideration unless SHU offers scholarships that reduce the cost of attendance to Rutgers levels.  Even then, if you can get a scholarship from SHU, you can probably get one from Rutgers.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: 150K -200K Debt Club...Anyone?
« on: June 17, 2008, 06:04:40 PM »
The Associated Press is picking up on the law school debt story - just recently posted on the New York Times:

''I think we have this fundamental disconnect between images of lawyers in the popular media, in the courtroom dispensing justice, where everyone seems prosperous and well paid,'' said William Henderson, an Indiana University-Bloomington law professor who studies the job market. ''The reality is for a lot of people, law school is a route to trying to start your own private practice, and that's a very crowded business right now.''

And what is worse, TTTs are sprouting up like weeds everywhere.

Regardless, universities continue to build law schools.

With provisional accreditation, Charlotte School of Law and Elon University were Nos. 199 and 200. Nine others operating share that status. And at least 10 new ones are in the works nationwide, The National Law Journal recently reported, in states including Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California.

It is clear to me that the American Bar Association will do nothing to stop the spread of law schools that are little more than for-profit diploma mills. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: 150K -200K Debt Club...Anyone?
« on: June 15, 2008, 11:09:57 AM »
The legal market is terrible, and we have been going through a period of economic prosperity. As the realities of a recession set in, the legal market will get even worse. There are articles monthly in the Wall Street Journal about how terrible the legal market is.

First, I would question anyone who says 'DontQuestionMe'.  The fact that people often don't ask questions about law schools is the very reason why people find themselves $150,000 in debt with no job prospects.

That being said, I've seen the worst that can happen.  People go to law school, and upon graduation, can't find a job or don't want to work as lawyers.  They are then stuck paying over $1000/month in student loans for the next 20 years. 

Here are my calculations:

This makes it virtually impossible for people to move ahead with their lives.  Buying a house, raising children, and paying for necessities becomes extremely difficult when 33-42% of your take home pay goes to debt service. 

The bottom line is don't treat loans like monopoly money.  Like credit cards and adjustable rate subprime mortgages, the debt always comes back to claim its due.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: JD or PhD in Biology
« on: May 17, 2008, 03:10:06 PM »
I am not sure I want to give my soul to science- because it is an all or nothing commitment. I like the idea that in law I could always do my own thing one day-

Law is also generally an "all or nothing" commitment, especially if you go out on your own (I am assuming that you "do my own thing" means opening up your own shop).  Running your own law firm is running your own business.  Half of it will be chasing business.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: JD or PhD in Biology
« on: May 16, 2008, 05:26:23 PM »
I think I would enjoy either. Which is more practical?

You know you already enjoy biology.  Why change course now?

Most of law school is vapid and sleep inducing.  The socratic method gets old quickly, and by 3L year, most people find class a waste of time.  Hell, as 2Ls people were already bored.

Go to law school only if you are sure you want to practice law. 

Wow!  I can't believe how knowledgable you guys all are; ...How can I become so smart and wordly?  It's amazing.

I've been admitted to practice in PA and NJ for about 18 months. 

Ignore the warnings at your peril.  I graduated from Temple, which is a respected school, and there are plenty of people from my class who are still reviewing documents. 

The plain truth of the matter is that decent entry level jobs are hard to come by.  Wages that allow you to pay your bills and more importantly, good mentoring, are in short supply.

I got a kick out of this one...

what a bunch of miserable people. but seriously,

Ignore JD Underground at your own peril.  While much of what is written there is exageration, there's a grain of truth -- the job market is horrible in some areas of the country.  And many of the jobs that are available are horrible themselves.  Several of my friends who were very passionate about having the opportunity to practice have encountered only verbal abuse, sweatshop-like hours, and even sexual harassment from partners at firms they worked for. 

In a small firm, there's no human resources to turn to when things go bad.  You might not have Title VII protection because the firm has too few employees.  The absolute power the partners have over you in your capacity as employee pretty much ensures that you either take the abuse, or resign.

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