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Author Topic: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?  (Read 4348 times)

LonghornFan

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Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« on: April 19, 2008, 12:33:06 PM »
Cross Posted

Paragaph use - Noted and edited   :)

This is both a general question and one regarding my specific situation. I've read the vast majority of articles that have been linked from this site over the past few weeks indicating how tough it is for a newly minted JD recipient to actually score one of the mythical $160K + 30K in bonuses starting salaries, and how a lot of grads are making $60 - 70K / yr (which to me is still a lot of money), but a lot of lawyers are stuck doing document review or whatever with no benefits or job security.

I've read all those things, and they scare me somewhat, but I have a great deal of faith in my future school (Texas) and my ability to do well enough over the next three years to have good employment prospects after school  (as I'm sure we all do). I really want to learn to read, write and think like a lawyer, eventually using these skills in a public interest field but am not averse to trying to score a high paying biglaw job in order to pay off the approximately $100K worth of debt that I am going to be coming out of school with. In other words, I'm not going to law school just because I don't know what else to do with my life - I'm a few years out of UG and have been wanting to go to LS ever since I finished.

This morning I read this article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/19/business/19bear.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin about how a lot of Ivy league grads have had their job offers from Bear Stearns rescinded before they have even started working, and it TERRIFIED me. I know it's not about LS grads or the legal job market, but when combined with the article from the Wall Street Journal the other day about how big firms are shortening their summer associateships and scaling back hiring, I am pretty worried about coming out of school with all this debt, not being able to pay it off in short order and ending up saddled with thirty years worth of repayment. Anyone else have a similar fear, regardless of where you plan on going to school next year?

Everything I've read recently seems to indicate that, from top to bottom, the economy is going to get worse before it gets better, and - here I'm going to digress a bit and get into politics - I don't see ANY of the presidential candidates really pointing a way forward that's going to pull the country out of this mess. So, in short, is now REALLY the best time to take on $100K worth of debt?

If I don't do LS now, I might never do it, which would be a disappointment... I know a lot of people on these boards have great opportunities as far as scholarship offers go - I didn't quite have the #'s - and it seems to me that the current economic situation should make you really think about the age old $$$$ versus prestige question, because if there are no jobs, there are no jobs, no matter where you go to school.   What do you guys think?

LonghornFan

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 02:01:40 PM »
Edit bump  :)

Max Fischer

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2008, 05:11:35 PM »
Kids from the tip-top schools will still get jobs without difficulty.  But at schools like Texas and Vanderbilt, I think there is some reason for concern.

Martin Prince, Jr.

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2008, 05:23:13 PM »
It's a bit pessimistic to base decisions on how the market is acting *now* when what really matters (and is, unfortunately, unknowable) is what it is like 3 years from now.
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JusAccrescendi

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2008, 09:19:16 PM »
If anything, it seems that now might be the most recently ideal time to attend law school, at least since the dot.com bubble burst.

I nonetheless must admit that I am worried about the prospect of $150,000 debt.
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GunnerDore

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2008, 09:21:47 PM »
My only concern is inflation. I'm hoping 2008 brings a government that will get inflation under control (read: any government that will get Ben Bernanke the hell away from the Fed). I don't want my student loans getting nutty on me.

After 2012, inflation can run rampant--anything to devalue the real cost of my student loans.  ;D

GER

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 12:09:19 AM »
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But at schools like Texas and Vanderbilt, I think there is some reason for concern.

Erm, I'm new here, so this maybe a stupid question, but...aren't Texas and Vanderbilt pretty good schools? So how come people going there should be concerned ???

filet o' fish

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2008, 11:40:52 AM »
Honestly I think it will really hurt schools like Columbia and Fordham - the second and third best law schools in a market (in this case, NYC).

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Shark Week

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2008, 12:25:14 PM »
Honestly I think it will really hurt schools like Columbia and Fordham - the second and third best law schools in a market (in this case, NYC).


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john jacob

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2008, 12:41:48 PM »
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But at schools like Texas and Vanderbilt, I think there is some reason for concern.

Erm, I'm new here, so this maybe a stupid question, but...aren't Texas and Vanderbilt pretty good schools? So how come people going there should be concerned ???

people on the internet have this silly notion that there's a sharp cutoff between the top 14 schools and 15 on down.

personally, i think if people at texas and vandy have some reason for concern, so do people at cornell and GULC, thought admittedly somewhat less.

there are numbers to back up this assertion.