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Author Topic: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?  (Read 4224 times)

Bulldog86

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2008, 01:28:07 PM »
If the economy is crap now, then it's not like you're gonna get a good job with that BA (or whatever) anyway. In three years, there's a VERY strong chance the economy will be back up -- not because of some savior president, because the prez has very little to do with the economy, but rather because the American economy never stays down for long. (Granted, that's a bit of inductive reasoning that could be wrong in this case, but I wouldn't bet against the US economy over the long haul.)

So, that said, it would probably (comparatively) suck to be law school class of '08, probably '09 and possibly '10, although having a JD from a good school like Texas means you'll still have it better than lots of people. Meanwhile, by 2011, when we finish up, things will likely be on the upswing and you'll be glad you had the credentials to take advantage.

Good luck in Austin!
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metooo

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2008, 02:00:33 PM »
Quote
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.

there are numbers to back up lines drawn at other places as well.  i just think of it like this: do cornell and GULC have more in common with vandy and ucla or with yale?

Yale. They're both Ivy League.

HYSHopeful

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2008, 04:47:35 PM »
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.

BSC is a unique case, and their situation bears--no pun intended--very little resemblance to the legal job market. Bear suffered serious liquidity issues resulting from mortgage-backed securities and hedge fund losses, and were subsequently taken over by JPM. Layoffs and offer retractions are commonplace during any acquisition, as redundancies in organizational structure result in operational inefficiencies. Unless the firm that you accepted an offer from was going bankrupt and was taken over in a white knight acquisition, then the BSC case offers no parallel. The high-finance job market is notoriously volatile even in the best of times, and offers much less job security than the legal profession.

That said, I would argue that layoffs and slow hiring over the next couple of years would actually result in an increase in hiring as the economy picks back up in the wake of a recession or economic slowdown. The economy is cyclical, and periods of contraction tend to last, on average, 17 months. It is highly unlikely that this current period of economic slowdown will continue for another 3 or 4 years, when many of us will be entering the job market. In fact, we may enjoy graduating into an expanding economy and above average hiring practices.

In Sum: The case of Bear Stearns is unique and not representative of the high-finance job market at large; The high-finance job market, though currently contracting (to a lesser extent than the Bear Sterns example would cause you to believe), is more sensitive to changes in the overall economy than is the job market for lawyers; The economic cycle rarely sees periods of contraction lasting longer than several years, and we are likely to  graduate into a period of economic expansion in 3 or 4 years.

MrDiggler

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2008, 06:32:49 PM »
Like any other applicant, I have faced this issue as well. I do, however, think that our cycle is in a good position due to basic demographic and macroeconomic factors.

First, I believe that the economy will correct itself in due course. Basic principles rule that recessions are rarely long stints, and the initial layoffs are the first step to recovery. As a result of the Fed's moves, I think that may have a tougher time getting private loans. Harder, but not really all that much. Also, there's been significant legislation that's cut the federal interest rate from 6.8 to 6 to 3.4 (eventually). That's a great price to buy money.

Second -- and this is the most significant consideration in my opinion -- you need to consider the systemic demographic forces. In 3 years (coincidence?), the first wave of baby boomers will start retiring. While this has drawn alarm in regard to Social Security concerns, it also means that there will more jobs available. Now, I'm not sure if the recent glut of law grads more than accounts for this (on that note, I'd like to hear someone else's take), but I do think we need to consider this fact when we assess the situation.

Finally, and I know this argument is a bit flimsy, I for one do not approach law school as something that is as conditional as the OP's concerns may suggest. I want to be a lawyer. I am not buying stock or leasing a car because I have extra money. This is a life decision that I have made and I am fairly confident in.
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HYSHopeful

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2008, 09:45:32 PM »
I for one do not approach law school as something that is as conditional as the OP's concerns may suggest. I want to be a lawyer. I am not buying stock or leasing a car because I have extra money. This is a life decision that I have made and I am fairly confident in.

I suppose the issue then becomes a matter of timing: "If I wait until 20xx to begin law school, I will be more likely to graduate into a favorable job market." This is, of course, nearly impossible to predict with any precision. If you are able to time the market with that kind of accuracy then you'd enjoy a much more lucrative career in hedge fund management.

Given that law school is a three-year endeavor, it is very difficult (if at all possible) to forecast the macroeconomic conditions into which you are likely to graduate. If you begin your matriculation in a bear market, you are just as likely (if not more likely--given historical trends in economic expansion and contraction) to graduate into a bull market as you are to graduate into a bear market. Imagine the uncertainty facing those students entering law school in 2001--yet they graduated into a rapidly expanding economy. Alternatively, I'd imagine that the class entering law school in 1999 was very optimistic about their job prospects, yet they graduated into the worst job market in a decade.



LonghornFan

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2008, 10:37:20 PM »
Good thoughts and info here, thanks for all the good discussion.

Astro

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2008, 02:46:18 AM »
BAFF for later... interesting discussion...
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

HYSHopeful

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2008, 04:00:37 AM »
BAFF for later... interesting discussion...


BAFF? I'm afraid this acronym is not a part of my lexicon. I'm new here, so I apologize in advance if this is nomenclature that I am expected to be privy to. Would someone please fill me in?

Astro

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2008, 04:13:42 AM »
Long story.  BAFF was an old poster on this site who would tag threads incessantly without returning to read them or ever offering any substantive value.  Eventually his name became a term for tagging.  Few people still use it.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

jamnjo

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Re: Does it really make sense to go to Law School right now?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2008, 08:59:25 AM »
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.

What is it with this response? It's like it's automatic. Everytime i see someone write a post about the big divide between t14 and all the rest in the top 30 or so, i want to know what the poster does to be such an expert, and if it's law school, which one. I find it hard to believe that these t14 kids are able to travel to all of these top firms, and all of these national schools to REALLY know what's going on with such confidence.