Law School Discussion

Stop being politically correct

thechoson

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2004, 08:10:47 PM »
So then where's the line you would draw?  What's the lowest ranked school where spending 150k would still be a good investment?  To me, honestly, it seems like it's only the top 20 the way things are now. That's why I started this thread

jgruber

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2004, 08:11:54 PM »
The cost should be in relation to the value, I agree.

If I had to incur 150K in debt to go to my non-ABA school, it would never happen.

My total should run to about 16K plus books.

The legal profession has done a terrible job restricting supply.  Organized medicine makes sure that there is a demand for doctors.  Our profession, unfortunately, doesn't care.  So new law schools open every year. 

If law school cost a reasonable amount (considering salaries) then it would not be "useless."  However, acquiring $150K in debt for a 4th tier education is IMHO "worthless."  People say "money doesn't matter" but it sure does matter when you owe $150K. 

forthguy

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2004, 08:12:53 PM »
So then, where do you draw the line?  Law schools continue to spring up, with dubious levels of quality.  I'm saying, it's not like that for med school.  There are so few of them, you either go or you don't.  You just aren't cut out to be a doctor if you can't.  Yet because there are so many law schools out there, there's no such thing as not being cut out to be a lawyer.  So does this mean anyone can be a lawyer?

Wouldn't it be judgmental to define such a line?  ;)

As an attempt at precision, a "lawyer" is someone who is not only schooled, but also certified, to practice law. Going to law school doesn't make someone a lawyer; going to law school gives someone the training.  Passing the bar makes someone a lawyer.

Is there something magical about practicing law to believe that if someone can pass the bar exam and get certified to join the bar that they shouldn't be a lawyer?  So, to the degree that they can pass the bar exam (and the stats make it clear that not just anyone can) I'd say, "Sure, anyone can be a lawyer."  I'd suggest that the bar exam, not admission to law school, is the barrier.

Greg

DaBoo

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Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2004, 08:16:54 PM »
it's crazy that any education costs $150K. it's crazy anyone would put themselves through the tortures of law school and pay $150K to do it.

when that school is named harvard, yale, standford is when it becomes moderately acceptable.

but you are what you make of your education. that's not PC, that's optimism. why go if you will always see yourself as something below harvard, yale, etc? be like sam on "the apprentice," and give that thousand-dollar lemonade a chance ...  ;)

jgruber

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2004, 08:18:23 PM »
I suspect if I come up against an Ivy Leaguer in court, they will have more to prove than I will.  Hell, no one will expect much from a non-ABA dude.  But the Ivy Leaguer better shine bright every time.   ::)

thechoson

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2004, 08:19:23 PM »
Yes, 150k does seem nuts.  Doctors can spend that much on their educations, but at least if you are a doctor, at the very worst you are GURANTEED a job.  Lawyers do not have this luxury.

forthguy

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2004, 08:30:52 PM »
So then where's the line you would draw?  What's the lowest ranked school where spending 150k would still be a good investment?  To me, honestly, it seems like it's only the top 20 the way things are now. That's why I started this thread

The problem with the question is that there's no uniform answer.  Calling it an "investment" is what leads someone like me to make "judgmental" comments based on appparently bad inferences.

What if someone's goal is to do public interest?  Is going $150K in debt to go to a top-20 to go provide free legal services (or whatever) a good idea?  Hard to say, I suppose, but sure seems risky to me.

For me, going $150K in debt to go to HYS would be a bad idea, because I wouldn't want to have to work the way I'd have to work to service that debt.  I've done my stint of 100-hour weeks working at a string of Internet startups during the boom.  I don't need it again.  But if that's what someone else wants, more power to them.  It's not at all obvious that anyone outside a smaller segment than the top-20 can count on getting those jobs, though. In that case, I'd have a difficult time recommending anyone go $150K in debt.  And surely a lot of these people still have undergrad debt, too.  Just makes me hurt thinking about it.  I'll pay off the last of my $60K or so in undergrad debt in about 4 months. 

However, if someone's got $150K sitting around (or rich parents who will make it available) and they want to go to a low-ranked school, is that necessarily bad?  In my mind, that opens up lots of options.  I had a friend spend $75K on an MFA to help her better write poetry.  That seems like a much more questionable "investment" to me.  But she had the money and wanted to do it.  Doesn't that make it "right?"

Greg

jgruber

Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2004, 08:32:00 PM »
Anyone with 150K sitting around should not go to law school.  They should be my new best friend.

 ::)

DaBoo

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Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2004, 08:35:00 PM »
I suspect if I come up against an Ivy Leaguer in court, they will have more to prove than I will.  Hell, no one will expect much from a non-ABA dude.  But the Ivy Leaguer better shine bright every time.   ::)

nice point, mr. jeffjoe!

so, i have a different concern. i loved my undergrad degree, and am very close to a few of my professors. it was funny when i applied to law school because they actually seemed disappointed that i wasn't pursuing a ph.d. in a field related to my B.A. ... and i started to feel like i was giving up. so, personally, i'm glad that i have this big fat rankings chip on my shoulder now. i don't feel like i'm giving up ... i feel like i'm fighting to prove something ... ;)

zpops

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Re: Stop being politically correct
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2004, 08:37:55 PM »
So then where's the line you would draw?  What's the lowest ranked school where spending 150k would still be a good investment?  To me, honestly, it seems like it's only the top 20 the way things are now. That's why I started this thread

The problem with the question is that there's no uniform answer.  Calling it an "investment" is what leads someone like me to make "judgmental" comments based on appparently bad inferences.

What if someone's goal is to do public interest?  Is going $150K in debt to go to a top-20 to go provide free legal services (or whatever) a good idea?  Hard to say, I suppose, but sure seems risky to me.

For me, going $150K in debt to go to HYS would be a bad idea, because I wouldn't want to have to work the way I'd have to work to service that debt.  I've done my stint of 100-hour weeks working at a string of Internet startups during the boom.  I don't need it again.  But if that's what someone else wants, more power to them.  It's not at all obvious that anyone outside a smaller segment than the top-20 can count on getting those jobs, though. In that case, I'd have a difficult time recommending anyone go $150K in debt.  And surely a lot of these people still have undergrad debt, too.  Just makes me hurt thinking about it.  I'll pay off the last of my $60K or so in undergrad debt in about 4 months. 

However, if someone's got $150K sitting around (or rich parents who will make it available) and they want to go to a low-ranked school, is that necessarily bad?  In my mind, that opens up lots of options.  I had a friend spend $75K on an MFA to help her better write poetry.  That seems like a much more questionable "investment" to me.  But she had the money and wanted to do it.  Doesn't that make it "right?"

Greg

You're forgetting that the top schools have the best LRAP programs in the country.  If you want to go to Yale or NYU and do public interest, you won't end up owing a dime for your education, as long as you're not being paid much. . .