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Author Topic: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices  (Read 4061 times)

asuthrnbelle

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What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« on: January 07, 2009, 08:41:04 PM »
Not sure anyone is interested... but I came across these two websites today and wanted to share.

http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter/lawArticleCareerCenter.jsp?id=1208256428026

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1207904905714
(National Law Journal)

bt

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 12:03:02 AM »
I've seen them before.  That data is helpful if you are pretty sure of what region you want to work in.  It's important to realize though that in desirable markets, even the best regional schools (excepting the top ~16) will be trumped by the more national schools.  In an economy like this and considering the field of law, I would be wary of attending any regional schools and expecting to land the more desirable jobs.

SomeOldSideRoad

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 01:51:00 AM »
I've seen them before.  That data is helpful if you are pretty sure of what region you want to work in.  It's important to realize though that in desirable markets, even the best regional schools (excepting the top ~16) will be trumped by the more national schools.  In an economy like this and considering the field of law, I would be wary of attending any regional schools and expecting to land the more desirable jobs.

I would disagree with you when it comes to the South, or at least the part of the South where I'm from. The lawyers here are sort of clubbish, and unless the prospective lawyer comes from a well known legal family or family of other standing in town, it would be better for them to go to a law school that is represented well in our bar association (or honestly a Catholic one because of where we are). That may just be a Deep South thing, but someone coming here from Pepperdine, if they had no family here, they would not be taken well in our legal community at all because of how this town works (and this is not a podunk town by any means, one of our firms currently holds the state record for largest civil verdict rendered and many of our lawyers are licensed in 2 or 3 states and some are licensed in 4)

penni_rose

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 01:18:14 PM »
It really depends on the region and the sort of work you want to find. If your goal is to go to a huge law firm and rake in a lot of money, then the higher ranked schools will always be favored. I'm in Texas, so that's what I know. The bigger law firms here hire mostly from UT with smaller numbers from the larger schools in the state, but they also hire in high numbers from T14 schools if they have the option. Smaller firms, however, even mid-sized ones, often prefer people from other regional schools (especially if a partner went there).

LawDog3

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2009, 01:38:46 AM »
Sort of scary to think about, huh? Ah, well...I'm pushjing forward. The article makes a great point, though. in this current economy, it's prudent to give more thought to those scholies from the lower-ranked, but respectable, schools.

SamE397

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2009, 07:52:16 AM »
That wasn't a bad article but to some extent it was fear mongering. I'm a finance major and I've crunched  numbers to figure out what kind of return I should expect on a legal education using a 40 year working life, lost wages of 35-60k for 3 years, and a 7 percent interest rate. The amount is actually only 13-15k more per year. Before you start writing me angry comments let me explain something that doesn't mean that law school is a good investment if you can make 13-15k more per year with a JD. What it means is that from an investors standpoint you would actually be neutral about law school if you could get that return and be in favor of it if you could get more. Of course, I realize that traditional investment models have their limitations when evaluating something like an education because of the time and lifestyle investment. Still though I think that if you want to be a lawyer the actual amount of return you should be expecting from your law school investment isn't anywhere near as staggering as you might think.

BikePilot

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2009, 09:01:03 AM »
What were you using for expected income post law school? Seems like going from 60k to 160k would be a pretty big jump, then if you figure in rate of salary increase I suspect LS wins out again.
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Ninja1

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2009, 04:53:38 AM »
I've seen them before.  That data is helpful if you are pretty sure of what region you want to work in.  It's important to realize though that in desirable markets, even the best regional schools (excepting the top ~16) will be trumped by the more national schools.  In an economy like this and considering the field of law, I would be wary of attending any regional schools and expecting to land the more desirable jobs.

I would disagree with you when it comes to the South, or at least the part of the South where I'm from. The lawyers here are sort of clubbish, and unless the prospective lawyer comes from a well known legal family or family of other standing in town, it would be better for them to go to a law school that is represented well in our bar association (or honestly a Catholic one because of where we are). That may just be a Deep South thing, but someone coming here from Pepperdine, if they had no family here, they would not be taken well in our legal community at all because of how this town works (and this is not a podunk town by any means, one of our firms currently holds the state record for largest civil verdict rendered and many of our lawyers are licensed in 2 or 3 states and some are licensed in 4)

Agreed. The South is pretty well insulated.
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LawDog3

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2009, 12:55:56 AM »
That wasn't a bad article but to some extent it was fear mongering. I'm a finance major and I've crunched  numbers to figure out what kind of return I should expect on a legal education using a 40 year working life, lost wages of 35-60k for 3 years, and a 7 percent interest rate. The amount is actually only 13-15k more per year. Before you start writing me angry comments let me explain something that doesn't mean that law school is a good investment if you can make 13-15k more per year with a JD. What it means is that from an investors standpoint you would actually be neutral about law school if you could get that return and be in favor of it if you could get more. Of course, I realize that traditional investment models have their limitations when evaluating something like an education because of the time and lifestyle investment. Still though I think that if you want to be a lawyer the actual amount of return you should be expecting from your law school investment isn't anywhere near as staggering as you might think.

Agreed. The problem with many of people's fears is that they are the result of people thinking "job". That has to stop. Lawyers are the leaders in this society and should continue to be. The world is changing fast, and, as was the case with the 1990's, those who fail to create will be left behind, figuratively and literally. Lawyers are suited for many careers, and legal knowledge is highly portable, geographically and professionally. Newly graduated JD's should expect nothing but what they left undergrad with, an education. If people prepare to graduate without a job but ready to hit the ground running, they presumably develop a backup plan, or, heck, the law job becomes the backup plan, and any law job offer becomes a nice surprize rather than a breath of relief.

I want to be an entertainment lawyer, but I also want to start a magazine, write films and continue to act. I will put my degrees to work, along WITH my JD. If others would think the same way, they would feel much butter about their futures. I am one who truly does not give a FF whether I get recruited or not. I'll make something happen. A law graduate from Loyola, CA started DADA Tennis Shoes, and she hasn't looked back since. Hill Harper graduated from Harvard Law, but became a Hollywood actor...and a multi-millionaire! Folks, use what you have...ALL of what you have.

Try looking at this blog and its responses:

http://www.calicocat.com/2004/08/law-school-big-lie.html

I do disagree with what the writer says about the portability of law jobs. As stated above, I think a law degree is damn valuable.

BurtsBees

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Re: What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2009, 02:39:31 PM »
I <3 t14 scholarships  :P