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Author Topic: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)  (Read 3255 times)

HippieLawChick

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Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« on: September 23, 2009, 01:06:05 PM »
In case you all have had your heads in the sand, this is a terrible time to be thinking about law school, unless your parents are paying for it or you have a full scholarship.  The job market is terrible, and will continue to be for several years with the near collapse of the BIGLAW hiring model.  And since most people don't practice in BIGLAW, I thought you would all like to take a look at this article that sums up salary distributions among law grads

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/06/30/the-dawning-of-the-end-of-the-bi-modal-era/?mod=relevancy

Essentially, you will probably take on $100K in debt, and earn between $40,000 and $65,000 per year following graduation.  (If you can even find a job)

With all this being the case, why are so many people still lining up to go to law school?

Ninja1

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 12:09:04 AM »
$40-65k to start is still better than you can make with most liberal arts BAs, and the long term upside of a JD is huge compared to a BA. The $100k+ is an expensive buy in, but if you can't recoup it several times over with a JD, you're doing something wrong.
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HippieLawChick

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2009, 12:51:46 PM »
While I accept your point Ninja1, I think there are still a lot of people here who think they will be one of those earning $100K plus upon graduation.  Trying to start a little dialog about reality with some of the people here.

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 04:10:22 PM »
While I accept your point Ninja1, I think there are still a lot of people here who think they will be one of those earning $100K plus upon graduation.  Trying to start a little dialog about reality with some of the people here.

What makes you think that?

Talk Is Cheap

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 05:56:10 PM »
$40-65k to start is still better than you can make with most liberal arts BAs, and the long term upside of a JD is huge compared to a BA. The $100k+ is an expensive buy in, but if you can't recoup it several times over with a JD, you're doing something wrong.

This.

I'm not going to lie, I wanted the money going in, but...reality sets in. It's unlikely that you're going to be making 50k for the rest of your working career.
The debt sucks, but you'll pay it off. I know many people with ridiculous debt from their undergrad degrees...at least we'll have a J.D.

Law school is (too) expensive, but if I were to end up with a 65k starting salary, I'd feel pretty damn good ITE.

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2009, 11:11:21 AM »

With all this being the case, why are so many people still lining up to go to law school?

Its still the easiest to get into (respectively, i.e. no perquisites or degree requirements) grad program with the best chance of making huge money at the end. So long as everyone and his brother wants to go to law school there will always be more demand than seats available. Limiting supply (like closing schools as some argue) never does much for demand (see war on drugs, gambling, prostitution, smoking ect.) itís only when you limit the demand (to some degree see smoking i.e kills you) that you actually make any dent. Lower salaries right out the gate will do more to lower the demand by students to go to law school than anything else.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

moonpie

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2009, 02:42:50 PM »

With all this being the case, why are so many people still lining up to go to law school?

Its still the easiest to get into (respectively, i.e. no perquisites or degree requirements) grad program with the best chance of making huge money at the end. So long as everyone and his brother wants to go to law school there will always be more demand than seats available. Limiting supply (like closing schools as some argue) never does much for demand (see war on drugs, gambling, prostitution, smoking ect.) itís only when you limit the demand (to some degree see smoking i.e kills you) that you actually make any dent. Lower salaries right out the gate will do more to lower the demand by students to go to law school than anything else.

Salaries have always been low for most school graduates.  4th tier schools in CA exist with like a 40% bar passage rate. Nobody in their right mind would go to those schools now.  The reason demand for schools is so high is a combination of people's own existing misconceptions - people think lawyers make $$, that jobs abound, and outright deception by law schools who inflate both employment percentages and reported salaries.  People don't respond to wages now - if they did, there would be many schools that would be unable to fill their classes every year.

nealric

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2009, 02:58:09 PM »
Quote
Limiting supply (like closing schools as some argue) never does much for demand (see war on drugs, gambling, prostitution, smoking ect.)

Are you suggesting that if we closed down the law schools people would start illegal law schools? Would the Mexican mafia get involved? Because a mafia law school would be awesome.
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Now who's being naive?

Matthies

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009, 06:37:23 PM »
Quote
Limiting supply (like closing schools as some argue) never does much for demand (see war on drugs, gambling, prostitution, smoking ect.)

Are you suggesting that if we closed down the law schools people would start illegal law schools? Would the Mexican mafia get involved? Because a mafia law school would be awesome.

No, but a mafia school would be cool.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

mac n cheese

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Re: Doesn't pay to pay for law school right now (article link inside)
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 11:50:08 AM »
Most people who are in law school or even thinking about it, seem to have reasonable expectations about salary. At this point, i'd like to think that people know that lawyers can make anywhere from 40000-180000+ per year. But guess what - so can an engineer, or a plumber, or a stripper. There probably are some people that have unreasonable expectations about starting salary but that stands for any profession. I had a friend that thought being a real estate salesperson was going to lead to riches but later learned that after you pay association fees, errors and ommissions, marketing, and get dragged all over town by some client who decides to put the purchase on hold, finally learned the difference between "guaranteed pay" vs. "potential pay". By the way selling real estate is a much more cost effective way to learn this valuable lesson. He wasted about 3000 and 6 months instead of 3 years and 120000:)
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