Law School Discussion


Which school offers the best education?

Northern Illiniois University
John Marshall Law School
Southern Illinois University

"Which is the Best" -- Poll

Re: "Which is the Best" -- Poll
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2004, 08:51:39 PM »
By the way, I did not edit the previous post. My apologies for the grammar mistakes I see in it .

Re: "Which is the Best" -- Poll
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2004, 09:12:14 PM »
What I've observed is that very few people choose to pursue a law career understanding what a law career entails.  I suspect that's why there is such dissatisfaction in the profession.  Lawyers are not doing what they thought they'd be doing when they went to law school. 

A drive to succeed won't do you much good if no one will open the door for you.  The market today is much more prestige driven that it used to be.  There are many more law schools and there is considerable consolidation amongst firms which leads to job losses.  Overall there is a greater supply of lawyers and a smaller demand than there used to be.  Mid-sized regional firms with older partners from the local schools are merging with large national firms and their young associates are coming from better schools. 

Another dynamic is that clients are getting increasing 'stingy' about paying their bills.  I've heard that it's near impossible to get private individuals to pay their bills anymore so attorneys require retainers up front to cover the cost of the litigation.  That's why every law firm talks endlessly their corporate clients.  Corporations are more likely to pay than individuals.  And corporations are getting chincy.  They're getting sick of large bills.  Everyone knows how associate salaries shot up during the 1990's and the corporations don't want to bankroll the $125K salary of a 25 who has never had a job.  Insurance companies have slashed payments to firms.  So this leads to an escalation in the number of billable hours required.  A client will negotiate like crazy to get a ridiculously low rate per hour so the firm will make sure it bills as many hours as possible.  And this isn't just in BIGLAW.  This is in any firm with corporate clients. 

So big firms need something to justify their ridiculous rates to their clients.  Legal ability is so subjective.  A Harvard JD isn't subjective.  That's why the big firms are prestige whores. 

Re: "Which is the Best" -- Poll
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2004, 09:33:48 PM »
Of course, not everyone wants to pursue a career in commercial or corporate law. If you do nothave high school loans to deal with, you can still go to University of Chicago and happily work at a non-profit organization at asalary of $40K (before getting married of course).
    As for the problem with small clients who may not want to pay you. By my own experience withthem, the solution is simple: make a contract stating that in case of non-payment, you will no longer represent them. That works wonders at the firm I used to work for. However, as you may have read from my e-mails little_old_lady, I am just a person with a very positive, although maybe naive view of life. Still, I have met meny people who would not be at where they are by giving up. I certainly hope Hoops is one of those individuals.
   By the way little_old_lady, if you are a Harvard student, and if you happen to know a L1 student named Didi, tell her that Jose from the Temple Debate Club said hi. ;D


Re: "Which is the Best" -- Poll
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2004, 09:04:31 AM »
I don't plan on giving up. I want to pursue many forms of education before I get too old to make any use out of it.  I have played with the idea of an MBA, as this might be more attactive- and more realistic for what I want to do.  Although I want both a JD and an MBA, I might start with the MBA and see what happens.

The only thing I can say about the system (of law school admissions) that troubles me- is my inability to gain admission at a school like U of I. I have always been poor at standard tests, and started college with less than ideal grades, but I have a decent LSAT score and I got a 3.93 GPA in my final 2 years in undergrad. It's sad that the system grants entry to high scoring test takers that as you mentioned, enter law school without an idea of what they will be doing afterward and in turn hate their jobs.

I have the approach that it "is what it is", but you want an answer to why lawyers are upset with their work after school? It's b/c the law schools admit on LSAT/GPA and on hardly anything else.  I understand what you are saying about a more educational education would come from a higher ranked school, where theory and less mechanics (when compared to lower tier schools) is taught.  This is what I want, but unfortunatly I don't have the scores or overall GPA to get it at this point.  I'm not giving up by any means- just sadened by the situation.

Re: "Which is the Best" -- Poll
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2004, 12:12:34 PM »
My main argument lies with the ridiculous cost of law school.  People should be able to go school without mortgaging their future away so they do public interest or work for a small firm. That's the way things used to be.  But now the average student is graduating with an enormous of debt.  That limits your choices severely. 

Hoops, you might want to consider a different kind of graduate program if education is truly what you're after.