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Author Topic: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?  (Read 73113 times)

newlawkid

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #110 on: July 18, 2011, 12:00:17 PM »
I found this post googling..

My reason for going isn't because of low scores (3.9/173) Because of my scores I'll be getting 100% scholarship. But the reason I'm leaning towards Cooley is mostly because Cooley accepts those with only associate's degrees and I just don't have time to waste. Being a single parent, they have weekend/night classes and they go year round so I'd have the option of finishing in two years instead of three-five.

Is it worth waiting two-three years to finish a bachelors to be able to go somewhere else? What are the chances that I'll get a 100% scholarship somewhere else?

Edit: I'm 19 and before you say that I have plenty of time to take finishing things, I am the sole breadwinner for my household. I've paid my way through school in cash so far and plan to if humanly possible. Would it be worth it to go to a t4 school if it meant graduating without a cent of debt?

FalconJimmy

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #111 on: July 18, 2011, 04:45:54 PM »
 
Would it be worth it to go to a t4 school if it meant graduating without a cent of debt?

Cooley is only T4 because there isn't a T5.  Everybody who goes to T4 schools points at schools like Cooley and says to themselves, "At least I didn't go there".


Is it worth waiting two-three years to finish a bachelors to be able to go somewhere else?

God yes.  You're young, but that Cooley degree will establish a hard ceiling on your future prospects that you're highly unlikely to ever rise above.  It will be like a curse that you will never, ever be able to shake.  T4 grads do make midcareer transitions into biglaw now and then.  Cooley grads?  Sorry, but you're just screwed.  Really.  For the rest of your life, you'll have to COMPETE to try and get the worst jobs in the entire industry.

What are the chances that I'll get a 100% scholarship somewhere else?

Pretty darned good if you ask me.  I got a half-ride with a 159/3.00.

With your grades, you should be poising yourself for admission to a T1. 

Take on the debt.  Sell a kidney if you have to.  With your grades and smarts, you could be making $200,000 in your first year out of law school.

However, with that Cooley degree?  You'll be unlikely to find a $35,000 a year job.  Seriously.

Cooley makes sense for some folks.  Old folks who are going into practice for themselves.

I admire your spirit, but take on the debt and get the BEST legal education you can get, not the cheapest.  In this and many other things in life, you get what you pay for. 

I know you feel like you can't stand the financial strain of doing this the right way, but if you don't make the sacrifice now, you'll end up making the sacrifice for the rest of your life until the day you die.

unknownOne

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #112 on: July 18, 2011, 05:43:43 PM »

I admire your spirit, but take on the debt and get the BEST legal education you can get, not the cheapest.  In this and many other things in life, you get what you pay for. 

There isn't anything wrong with the quality of legal education there. It's probably better than at a good number of other law schools, including the one down the road from it. They have good tenured faculty, nice facilities, one of the best libraries, etc.  They have more classes to choose from for electives than most other law schools as well.  They can do that because of the number of students.   

Who created this fiction that if someone goes to a Tier II instead of a Tier III or IV that the quality of instruction and experience is going to be magically better?  It's not. Cooley uses the same casebooks, they go through the same amount of material, and they have good faculty.  That's not why it's more difficult to get a good job leaving there.  It's because of the lack of selectivity in student admissions.

It's not a "you get what you pay for" type of thing. 

newlawkid

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #113 on: July 18, 2011, 06:07:55 PM »
$200,000? I didn't even know you could make that kind of money doing this. I've been waitressing through school and taking home 3G a month sounds like heaven. :)

My real issue is the time constraints. Debt happens but is it worth waiting tables for 2-3 more years while getting a bachelors at OU - barely scraping by - all in the hopes of getting into a better school? It just seems like the years it could take to finish the pre-law side would be better spent gaining experience on the other end.. right?

Are there any other schools that accept associate's degrees?

unknownOne

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #114 on: July 18, 2011, 06:24:50 PM »
Are there any other schools that accept associate's degrees?

Not that I'm aware of.   You likely wouldn't be able to transfer out of Cooley if you went there without a bachelor's, either, because it's my understanding that schools require a bachelor's degree whether one is a new student or a transfer.

Cooley's main campus is in close proximity to MSU and their law school.  Many younger students at Cooley choose to live in East Lansing near MSU.


FalconJimmy

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #115 on: July 18, 2011, 06:28:18 PM »
$200,000? I didn't even know you could make that kind of money doing this.

$160,000 with a signing bonus is the customary salary for a new associate in biglaw.  Yes, that kind of money is possible, but only for people who are attending the very best schools and do very well in their classes.  Based on your test scores and GPA, I don't see why you couldn't be one of those people.

I've been waitressing through school and taking home 3G a month sounds like heaven. :)

For now.



My real issue is the time constraints. Debt happens but is it worth waiting tables for 2-3 more years while getting a bachelors at OU - barely scraping by - all in the hopes of getting into a better school?


Depends.  Seriously, let's say you go to Cooley and just totally kill.  You finish towards the top of your class.  You probably are setting yourself up to be a $40,000 new-hire at the DA's office or as a new associate with some very small local law firm.

So, instead of losing money and time in school, you make $40,000 for 2 years.  You are $80,000 ahead, plus the cost of tuition.  So, $100,000 ahead.

Or, you could kick butt, get into UofM law, wait 2 more years to graduate, and get some job in Chicago that starts you off at $150,000 a year.  Keep in mind, this is starting pay.  After 3 or 4 years, you're a midlevel associate.  You could make $300,000 a year or so. 

If you're tough enough to make it 10 years and make partner, you're probably looking at $700,000 a year or more.  (Some senior partners are billing $1,000 an hour these days.  That's $2 million a year, just for YOUR direct work, not including the money you make from the associates working for you.)

After your 2nd year in biglaw, you've more than made up any ground you lost.  PLUS, you have a huge runway ahead of you.  Graduate from Cooley, and the money you saved by not going to 2 more years of undergrad disappears in a year and your career is basically forever doomed.  You can absolutely forget about ever making $700,000 a year.

If making $40,000 to $60,000 is your idea of success, then go to Cooley.  You'll have a hard time getting those jobs, but you can probably get them if you are determined, work hard and do well in school.

However, you could make 10 times that amount as a senior associate at a biglaw firm and who knows, 15-20 times that much as a partner.

Can you be a partner in biglaw from Cooley?  Sure, just like you can be a justice on the US Supreme Court.  In theory, it's possible.  In practice, it'll never happen. 


 
It just seems like the years it could take to finish the pre-law side would be better spent gaining experience on the other end.. right?

No, the kinds of jobs you get out of Cooley are generally not good ones.  You'll get 2 years of crappy experience.  5 years in Biglaw and you can land a cushy corporate job as in-house counsel for $200,000 a year if the biglaw pace is too much for you.  5 years after cooley, you'll probably be lucky to be making $60,000 a year. 

Are there any other schools that accept associate's degrees?

None that you should go to.  I'm coming to the conclusion that these schools (like Cooley and the non-ABA schools) are fine if you're old and don't want a job at graduation. 

However, you're both young and I presume you want a job.  Cooley will doom your career. 

The choice is yours.  Slug it out the rest of your life for $60,000 a year, or make the sacrifices now and put yourself in a position to enter a strata of the law where minimum wage is 150 large.

I guarantee, with your GPA and LSAT, if you go to Cooley, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

unknownOne

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #116 on: July 18, 2011, 06:56:43 PM »
I guarantee, with your GPA and LSAT, if you go to Cooley, you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

Most people with such scores probably would if they knew how truly difficult it is oftentimes to get a decent job leaving a Tier IV school (or even a job at all).  Now, if this were someone with lower GPA and LSAT trying to decide between a Tier III like MSU vs. Cooley with full scholarship, I'm not sure going to the Tier III would necessarily be the better choice.

Hamilton

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #117 on: July 18, 2011, 07:47:33 PM »
Who created this fiction that if someone goes to a Tier II instead of a Tier III or IV that the quality of instruction and experience is going to be magically better? 

1. It is not a fiction.
2. It is a reality that was created by the thousands of law firms out there that make hiring decisions.

You may not like taxes, but they are a reality that you cannot ignore - same with the rankings.

Hamilton

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #118 on: July 18, 2011, 07:52:09 PM »
Listen to Falcon, he speaks the truth.  DO NOT go to Cooley just b/c you are in a hurry - do not even be tempted by the Oakland campus.  Kick butt, finish undergrad and go to U of M law (or some other T1).  With a T1, the debt is worth it compared to a T4 with no debt.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« Reply #119 on: July 18, 2011, 08:03:46 PM »
Kid, I have a few more things to say to you:

1.  If you are supporting yourself AND A FAMILY, waiting tables, and you get your BA with a 3.9 gpa, you will have a personal statement that will be an absolute envy.  In your shoes, I'd be feeling like life sucks right about now, but if you can endure this just a little longer, you could really punch your ticket.  2 years seems like forever to you.  Trust me, it isn't.  Your perspective will change as you get older.  You're clearly a brilliant person, but your perspective will change as you gain wisdom.

2.  Find a 4 year school, any school, any major, that you can finish in 2 years.  A school I once went to had a communications major that had like 42 hours of electives.  Get the easiest degree you can, as fast as you can.  They will NOT hold this against you when you apply for Law School.  You might be able to get a good scholarship.

3.  Did you prep for that 173?  If not, prep for the next one.  (There are inexpensive ways to do this, btw.)  It'll be easy enough to explain.  "I took it as a Sophomore because I was considering going to a law school that would accept me with 2 years of college.  However, when I heard more about it, I decided to devote myself to going to a higher caliber of school".  If you got a 173 with minimal studying, you have a truly exceptional mind.  You owe it to yourself to let it take you as far as you can go.

4.  Are you talking about going to Oakland U or Ohio U?  If you're anywhere near SE Michigan or NW Ohio, I will honestly meet you and buy you lunch to explain all this stuff to you.  It took me 2 decades to figure all this stuff out (not to mention a pile of books).  It's basically too late for me, but it's not too late for you. 

5.  With the numbers you're talking about, you could be looking at a full-ride all the way into some T2 schools.  I'm not kidding.  You might even be able to wangle good schollys to some T1s.  If you can improve your LSAT score a point or two in the next couple of years, you'd be amazed at how many schools will throw money at you.

I'm not trying to be melodramatic when I say this, but if you go to Cooley, I can guarantee that you'll regret it, forever.  Probably will start regretting it sometime in your 1L year.