Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Chicago-Law Schools  (Read 5498 times)

hunnie0913

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
    • Email
Chicago-Law Schools
« on: July 21, 2009, 10:10:11 PM »
Hello,

I am new to the board but have been contemplating Law school for a very long time. I have a BA degree and am about a third of the way through my MBA studies through Keller Graduate/Devry. I have two issues I'd appreciate some input. Up until now, I have taken the majority of my classes online, with the exception of the second part of a double major I took for my BA. I realize that after a lot of research, their are a couple if any reputable law school programs online. I have three children and have been able to get this far, but I know Law will be a much bigger challenge.( I also have a full time job)My GPA is a 3.8, thus far.

I have looked at Chicago Kent, De Paul and am getting ready to investigate a third-I believe that Loyola also offers a part-time program. So far, Chicago-Kent and De Paul both offer dual degree programs.

I am wondering if I should continue with my MBA studies, gain that degree and then begin studying for the LSAT or start now. I am also wondering if any of the part-time programs are less than 5 nights a week. At this point, it would be tough taking the train downtown for 4 years straight every night.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, and sorry for the long post.


,.,.,.;.,.,.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2016
    • View Profile
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 01:09:44 AM »
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but degrees from these schools aren't worth the paper they're printed on.  Law, unlike most fields, is prestige-fixated because it's a service profession.  Most good clients want to see that their lawyers went to a top school.

Illini Boy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 01:38:45 AM »
Come on... not worth the money they're printed on? Someone is spending way too much time on xoxohth.

It all depends what you want to do. Big law firms are definitely out at those schools. Government work is possible depending upon what you are looking for, but that doesn't seem to be what you'd want with a dual MBA. My recommendation is to follow the money, because four years = lots of debt.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 07:51:28 AM »
Well I think all three of these schools have reputable programs.  They have strong regional reputations.  They are all within the Top 100 of the US News Law School rankings.  Accordingly, Loyola and Chicago-Kent do well salary wise in terms of private practice (this, according to the current US News salary data).  It is my understanding that most programs (including part-time evening programs) meet four out of the standard five day week. 

According to US News, Chicago-Kent's part-time program is rated 10th in the country.  Loyola's part-time program is rated 16th in the country.  Depaul's part-time program is rated 21st in the country.

It is untrue that "big law" is out of one's options at these schools.  And as for government work, the most recent data shows that very few graduates (in terms of a percentage) are in this sector.  Most are in the private sector.  If you are interested in large law firms, you can do your own research at large firms in Chicago like Mayer Brown and Winston Strawn, do a search of the graduates from any of these schools, and see the current number of associates and/or partners.  In my view, it is always problematic to rely on advice from users on message boards.  It would be better to talk to actual admissions officers at these schools to help you figure out what you want to do.  Do your own research of law school graduates from these schools at firms of all sizes to get an accurate assessment of what options are available, pursued, and granted.

I hope that helps.

PS: No matter what you decide, it is never too early to begin preparing for the LSAT.

hunnie0913

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 07:56:17 AM »
Well I think all three of these schools have reputable programs.  They have strong regional reputations.  They are all within the Top 100 of the US News Law School rankings.  Accordingly, Loyola and Chicago-Kent do well salary wise in terms of private practice (this, according to the current US News salary data).  It is my understanding that most programs (including part-time evening programs) meet four out of the standard five day week. 

According to US News, Chicago-Kent's part-time program is rated 10th in the country.  Loyola's part-time program is rated 16th in the country.  Depaul's part-time program is rated 21st in the country.

It is untrue that "big law" is out of one's options at these schools.  And as for government work, the most recent data shows that very few graduates (in terms of a percentage) are in this sector.  Most are in the private sector.  If you are interested in large law firms, you can do your own research at large firms in Chicago like Mayer Brown and Winston Strawn, do a search of the graduates from any of these schools, and see the current number of associates and/or partners.  In my view, it is always problematic to rely on advice from users on message boards.  It would be better to talk to actual admissions officers at these schools to help you figure out what you want to do.  Do your own research of law school graduates from these schools at firms of all sizes to get an accurate assessment of what options are available, pursued, and granted.

I hope that helps.

PS: No matter what you decide, it is never too early to begin preparing for the LSAT.





Thank you-I appreciate your feedback and honesty.



,.,.,.;.,.,.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2016
    • View Profile
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 09:06:09 AM »
Talk to admissions officers from these schools?  How naive are you?  Do you really think they'll tell you the truth?

My college resident head is at Depaul Law.  Do you want to know what he's doing this summer?  Traffic court.  And he's a 3L.

big - fat - box

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 800
    • View Profile
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 09:12:15 AM »
You need to call the schools or research on their websites what the schedule is for part-time students. I know some schools only have p/t classes monday thru thursday. Going to class isn't the main problem. It's finding the time to put in enough studying to prepare for the exam (which counts for your entire grade).

Graduates of these schools, like most students at schools outside the top 15 or so are going to be working at small private law firms. $50K would be a "good" salary for one of these places, with most making closer to $40K or less, if they can find work at all. The only way you are going to get the big bucks is to be in top 10% of the class after first year at one of these schools, and even then there is no guarantee. Talk to recent graduates, 1-2 years out NOT employees of the school. School employees are essentially salesmen for the school. Do not rely on salary or employment stats from USNews. Those numbers are all fudged by the schools.

Lastly, law school is going to be much, much harder than earning an online degree.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 01:21:48 PM »
To Hipcathobbes:

Egregious Depaul trolling?  Explain that.  What proof or indication is that statement based on?  I've said nothing with bias toward any of the three schools hunnie 0913 mentions.  I've actually used data to back up my statements.  Furthermore, I was telling hunnie0913 what she could do to find out which graduates (of the schools she mentions) work for firms of a given size.  That isn't trolling. And of course, law review, moot court, and good grades are essential to anyone's strategy for obtaining employment. That is a given. It's very childish to accuse someone of trolling just because you disagree with them.  You need to grow the @#!* up and stop doing that.

Also, I find that those quickest to accuse others of trolling, 1. often don't know what trolling is (by definition) and 2. are ironically trolls themselves.

Also, I think you owe hunnie0913 a thorough and sensible explanation as to why you think it's an "awful" idea to prepare for the LSAT as soon as possible. 

To Hunnie0913:
I think it is still a good idea to talk to the professionals (and alumni if possible) at the schools you're considering about your situation and if their programs will be a good fit for you.  You should also reach out to part-time evening students at these schools as well.  The professionals, alumni, and current students of the schools you're looking at can give you the most accurate information about their specific programs (and personal experiences)  than any anonymous user on a message board, or any person outside of these institutions who lacks the information or first-hand knowledge to begin with.

If you feel that you can't trust the schools you're considering, then the remedy is simple.  Don't apply to those schools.

Generally Speaking:
I find it interesting how some are willing to religiously accept the numerical rankings (and the underlying methodology behind those rankings) of U.S. NEWS, but disregard and discredit all of the other data associated with these same rankings, especially when the data deals with schools outside of a certain arbitrary bracket like "Top 10" or "Top 15."  Every bit of data collected from a school is used in some capacity with additional factors to determine its overall standing. The notion that somehow the U.S. NEWS data and rankings are accurate and acceptable for the first 10-15 law school schools, and then completely fudged, arbitrary, and untrue for the remaining schools is ridiculous.  An elitist argument like this is useless and exposed.

You can't have it both ways.  You can't pick and choose.  The process (no matter what you think about it) is uniformed for all schools surveyed; if it weren't, you couldn't have rankings because you would have no viable way to compare the results. 

And I don't say this to suggest that you should not be critical of ranking systems in the first place (of course you should).   

Illini Boy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009, 02:54:14 PM »
"Egregious Depaul trolling?  Explain that.  What proof or indication is that statement based on?  I've said nothing with bias toward any of the three schools hunnie 0913 mentions.  I've actually used data to back up my statements."

Not to get into a huge thing, but you actually didn't show any data. And, while I'm on the more optimistic side of the ledger, I tend to agree; you're not getting Mayer Brown or other Chicago biglaw from DePaul or Kent unless you're top in the class (I mean, absolutely top), and even then only maybe. That's not an avenue that's open to you as a part-time student. There's simply too much competition.

vansondon

  • Guest
Re: Chicago-Law Schools
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2009, 04:20:57 PM »
"Egregious Depaul trolling?  Explain that.  What proof or indication is that statement based on?  I've said nothing with bias toward any of the three schools hunnie 0913 mentions.  I've actually used data to back up my statements."

Not to get into a huge thing, but you actually didn't show any data. And, while I'm on the more optimistic side of the ledger, I tend to agree; you're not getting Mayer Brown or other Chicago biglaw from DePaul or Kent unless you're top in the class (I mean, absolutely top), and even then only maybe. That's not an avenue that's open to you as a part-time student. There's simply too much competition.

Well I don't intend to get in a back and forth,  but I never said that I "showed" the data to back up my statement, I said that I "used" the data for my statement.  It's pretty obvious I didn't copy and paste any data here.  The data is accessible for everyone to see. We all know where to find the data for US News premium online edition (which I was referring to). 

What you might "tend" to agree with is beside the point. As far as I can tell, you have no way of knowing what you're talking about insofar as you've tried to portray it as absolute or fact. Anyone can pull from anecdotes and make an argument; that isn't determinative by any means.  You can not definitively state with any determinative evidence who "will" or "will not" get a certain kind of job based on the factors you've mentioned.  And even if you could, there will always be some case or circumstance that disproves you otherwise.  Acknowledge that. 

The notion that only full-time students graduating from your perceived "top" school will get "big law" jobs is simply untrue. Skadden & Arps, one of the biggest law firms we have (with an office in Chicago I might add) hires part-time and evening law students. See for yourself (4th question): http://skadden.com/recruiting/recruitingContent.cfm?p=10&c=111

Show me a link to each and every "big law" firm's website where it says or indicates (definitively) that graduates of part-time evening (or day) programs will not be hired.

And at which point in one's career are we talking about? 6 months? 2 years? 4 years? One's career is a continuum of opportunities; it is not a binary; it is a spectrum.  One can accept a position to a "big law" firm at any given point on that spectrum (regardless of the law school they attended or whether they attended that school part-time or full-time).

I am so sick of these bad elitist ass arguments that are only meant to privilege a certain number of schools and their graduates. The notion that those making such arguments are somehow especially endowed to predict and determine definitively which job of which sector an attorney is going to be in for the entirety of their career is nothing short of snob-induced foolery. 

No one should subscribe to that bull.   

The fact is there are many graduates of perceived "top" schools who aren't doing "big law," but are doing other jobs in other sectors.  Likewise, there are many graduates of other schools that are doing "big law."  And it may or may not be the case that they were part-time students; it may or may not be the case that they graduated in the top 1% of their class. 

The truth is, you can't look at an associate's profile on a firm's website and always know who did or did not attend law school part-time or full-time.  An associate may have attended law school part-time their first year, and transferred to the full-time program at some point during their remaining years.  You can't always look at degree conferral dates and think you know whether an associate attended law school full-time or part-time. Furthermore, just because you're in a part-time program doesn't mean that you have to graduate in four years (especially if you take classes over a summer or two)--not that there is anything wrong or stigmatizing about completing the standard four years which is customary for part-time students.  Just because someone didn't go to school after they immediately graduated undergrad or grad school, doesn't determine whether they went to law school part-time or full-time.  You'd be guessing at best without first-hand knowledge or reputable data.  Also, there are many part-time law students who graduate at the top percentiles of their respective classes and make excellent grades doing so.  And there are plenty of full-time law students who graduate at the bottom percentiles of their class.  To suggest that that isn't possible is untrue.  You don't know what you're talking about unless you're knowledgeable about an individual's specific circumstances.  Stop making these sweeping opinionated statements as if they're fact.  That is irresponsible. 

I'll concede that you're entitled to your own opinion (no matter how ridiculous I think it is), but you can't make up your own damn facts.