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Messages - stateofbeasley

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Villanova job prospects
« on: February 28, 2008, 06:15:22 PM »
Is the Philly scene like NYC, where it seems to be either biglaw or $50,000?


Small PI firms start around 43k/year, which is on par with the DA and PD's offices.  If you are willing to bill 2200-2400 hours/year (approx 70 hrs/week in office) you can get a gutter ID job at a midsize firm for 60k.

If you're top 10% at Villanova and make law review, you'll have a decent shot at biglaw.  Otherwise, be prepared to work for 45-50k/year.  A lot of 'Nova grads end up in doc review because they can't pay their bills otherwise.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: New York Law School
« on: February 12, 2008, 06:46:53 PM »
What are your thoughts on this school?

Utterly fails the stateofbeasley test.  It's an extremely expensive private school with mediocre to poor job prospects.  If you must go to NYC and can't get into a top school, go to CUNY.  Even out-of-state tuition at CUNY is comparatively low.


Jason Luros graduated in the top 20 percent of his class at Golden Gate University School of Law in 2007, with a portfolio of internships including business and intellectual property law experience and work abroad.

Given the impression from professors and career counselors that he was doing fine and that law firms were hiring, Luros said that he was surprised at the feeble job market that greeted him on return from Europe last summer. Most of his interviews were with firms of five to 30 attorneys -- and they weren't hiring.

"All the opportunities that I heard about required active bar membership and a lot of experience," Luros said.


Luros decided to pop into the office of a financial services firm and fill out an application. After three rounds of interviews, the firm offered him a job as a financial planner and started him on a training program.


University of San Francisco School of Law Dean Jeffrey Brand says that segment might soon see growth. He sees an employment trend on the horizon that will have graduates from nonelite schools taking a harder look at careers outside the law.

With the economy's recent downturn and mushrooming overhead costs, he thinks law firms will be scaling back job offers.

"What I've heard from firms is that the associate economic structure they've created is destined to collapse," Brand said. Alumni are reporting that large national firms are increasingly hiring laterals or experienced lawyers on a contract basis, he added. "There are fewer associate positions for recent graduates," Brand said. "It's going to require them to be more resourceful in figuring out what they're going to do."

Yet another sign that the bright and shiny future that many law schools promise is often nothing but a sham.  It's just not worth the time and money to attend an expensive private law school if you aren't absolutely sure you want to be a lawyer. 

Looks like a lot of people hope for jobs paying in the 70-100k range.  Fact of the matter is that hardly any law firms pay that for recent graduates.  People are either making 135k + bonus at the big firm, or barely avoiding default on the loans while slaving away for 43k or less.

Bottom line is that people's hopes do not match the reality that greets graduates of TTT law schools.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Taking a year off to work...yes or no
« on: February 04, 2008, 06:18:07 PM »
I'd say yes.

People who go into law school with a year (or better yet, a couple years) actual work experience have a much easier time finding a job.  Your resume looks stronger and shows that you can handle responsibility.

And if you decide law isn't for you later, you have experience somewhere that can help get you out of the legal profession.  People who go into law straight from ugrad get pigeonholed in the law. 

If you want to be a lawyer, going to law school while the interest rates are low and your other job options are weak could rarely be seen as a bad plan.

The key being "if you want to be a lawyer".

When I applied in 2002, the economy and job market were really weak.  Everyone was applying to law school.  By the time I graduated in 2006, there was massive oversupply of JDs, and half or more of the newly admitted attorneys are working in document review sweatshops to keep Sallie Mae away.

The low interest rates were nice though.  The vast majority of my loans are consolidated at fixed rates that are below inflation.

I hate all of this elitism.  I just want to study and then one day teach law.

(Hello Ladies and Gentlemen.  I'm new here.)

I won't mince words:

(1) The legal profession is inherantly "elitist".  The legal system is adversarial, and you gain eliteness by winning winning winning for your client.  Nobody would pay you otherwise.  Legal education is purposely set up to encourage competition and a 'win at all costs' mentality.  For example, many law schools have enforced curves.  Even if everyone learns the material well, a good percentage will lose the grading game because of the curve.

(2) If you want to teach, your best bet is to go to a top ranked law program, get on a journal, and publish.  Look at the profiles of law professors at any school, and you will see that most of them went to T14 schools, or graduated at the top of a lower ranked school.

I think the Indiana article is right on target.  Solo/Small firms require truly entreprenurial personalities.  The run-of-the-mill person who just wants a job will not do well in this type of setting.

A couple things that should also be addressed:

(a) Health care benefits - Small firms generally don't offer great health benefits and you will likely pay a good portion of your premium.

(b) CLE & Bar Association fees - You may also be on your own for this in a small firm.

(c) Retirement plans - Really hit or miss.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Pitt vs. Penn State
« on: January 20, 2008, 12:36:15 PM »
You have a point, but...I can tell you anecdotally that they might be able to jump the rankings.  Look at me.  I have a 163/3.99, and I'm seriously considering going there.

Consider that:

(1) A small number of people with high LSAT #'s will choose to attend a T2 school for various reasons, but these are balanced out by people with low LSAT #'s.  At Temple we had more than a handful of students with 170+ LSAT scores who chose Temple over Penn because of cost. 

(2) Rising LSAT #'s don't really help if the reputation scores aren't there.  Cardozo has a 25/75 spread of 162/166, which is higher than many T1 schools (OSU and Wisconsin for example). 

Again, greenbacks cannot buy reputation.  That's the big picture.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Pitt vs. Penn State
« on: January 20, 2008, 12:27:23 PM »
W&L did not just become a prestigious law school. It has historically been rated in the top 20 law schools in the country. There is a thread on the "Rankings" section of LSD that can provide you with USNEWS rankings of W&L for the past 15 years.

That was what I was trying to convey.  W&L has a lot of history and a lot of built up reputation.  This is what schools like Seton Hall and Dickinson cannot simply buy with stacks of greenbacks. 

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