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Author Topic: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait  (Read 3921 times)

the white rabbit

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2010, 10:07:29 PM »
If you want to be a lawyer then you should anticipate doing it for the length of your career considering your giving up 3 years of your life to school and another 6 months etc to bar preparation. If you are going to invest that much time and money then you should anticipate being a lawyer for a long time. The odds are your pay well go up as you get experience baby lawyers or baby any profession generally need a lot of help at the beginning. If you are a lawyer for 20 years odds are you will know a thing or two and be compensated more than you were right after graduation. It will be stressful and maybe you won't even pass the bar there is no way to know, but baby lawyer seems to think working as a lawyer for the rest of your career after law school is a crazy proposition and I think you should expect to do it. There is the huge financial stress particularly after the first few years after graduation and maybe for the rest of your life if you don't do a good job.  However, the risk of not getting a suitable job after spending a lot of time and money getting a degree is present in every field.

Of course, it's not all up to you as to whether or not you stay in the field for that long.  You either need to find someone willing to employ you for that long or you need to figure out a way to survive in your own practice for that long.  For most lawyers, that doesn't happen.

And if you manage to survive 20, 30 years, then maybe your income has gone up steadily.  Or, if you're doing contract work reviewing documents, maybe you've seen your income stagnate.  (Contract attorneys don't get paid more because they've been out of school longer.) 

But even if we assume that you start at $40k (a generous figure if you're not coming out of a top school) and you see a 3% raise every year (highly unlikely), you'd still be 28 years into your career before you start making the $90k that you need to be making every year for 30 years in order to service the conservative figure for total debt.

You're right, every field has risks in terms of whether or not you will get a good job.  But not every field entails an additional $100k+ in debt.

And for the record, I'm not saying this automatically means one should NOT go to law school.  I'm just pointing out that this is what you're up against.  It's worth thinking about just a little.
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bigs5068

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2010, 11:19:18 PM »
Tier 3/4 graduates usually make more than 40k if they find employment generally speaking. That is a low number I would say you start out around 50K at the low end and 70k at the high end. You generally will go up most people are not contract attorneys their entire careers of course there are exceptions.

Many educations cost roughly the same law school is more, but at least in law school your out in 3 years many people take 5 years to get a B.A. and although the tuition is not as high 2 years of significantly reduced income is a bigger factor.  Basically law school is a risk, but if you stay in teh profession long enough and do a decent job your salary will increase particulalry if you work for a government agency that has a set pay increases. Private firms could kick you out whenever they wanted or reduce your salary etc, but if you have 10 years of litigation experience and you did a decent job or hopefully a good job you will have some real value.

I am going out on a limb here, but if a Cooley Grad has been a trial lawyer for 10 years and done over 100 cases from start to finish they will know a lot more than a recent Harvard Grad and I would rather hire the guy with 10 years of experience.

Just like if I am having heart surgery and there is a guy from University of Phoneix Medical School who has done over 1,000 heart surgeries with a 98% success rate I would want him doing the surgery over a guy who just graduated and finished number #1 at Harvard at Medical School who never performed an operation.

There really is no substitute for experience at least in my opinion.

the white rabbit

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2010, 05:12:07 AM »
Tier 3/4 graduates usually make more than 40k if they find employment generally speaking.

You're saying this based on what?

You generally will go up most people are not contract attorneys their entire careers of course there are exceptions.

Same question as above: how do you know this?

Many educations cost roughly the same law school is more, but at least in law school your out in 3 years many people take 5 years to get a B.A. and although the tuition is not as high 2 years of significantly reduced income is a bigger factor. 

Yes but law school is not a substitute for undergrad.  It's not like anyone is doing the three years for law school in place of getting that B.A.

Basically law school is a risk, but if you stay in teh profession long enough and do a decent job your salary will increase particulalry if you work for a government agency that has a set pay increases.

I hope you're not assuming that government positions are easy to find.

I am going out on a limb here, but if a Cooley Grad has been a trial lawyer for 10 years and done over 100 cases from start to finish they will know a lot more than a recent Harvard Grad and I would rather hire the guy with 10 years of experience.

Just like if I am having heart surgery and there is a guy from University of Phoneix Medical School who has done over 1,000 heart surgeries with a 98% success rate I would want him doing the surgery over a guy who just graduated and finished number #1 at Harvard at Medical School who never performed an operation.

There really is no substitute for experience at least in my opinion.

Bigs you always think up these exceptions to the general trends, but the exceptions aren't what matter.

(Also, there are plenty of lawyers out there who have tons of "experience" who are still embarrasingly bad.  Trust me.)
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bigs5068

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 12:44:10 PM »
I am basing the salary on GGU alumni I have met, but in the bay area McDonald's cashiers make 40K a year (a bit of stretch), but honestly the Bay Area pays people well and minimum wage is 10 bucks an hour and if you work in the city you get free health insurance. My experience is probably different than people in other cities, but graduates from GGU most of them told me they started out making 60k and some 50k. Maybe in Spokane Washington or Lansing, Michigan the salaries are a lot lower in fact I would expect them to be.

I do not think government jobs are easy to find at all. I am just saying if you do get them that you have basically a guaranteed pay raise.

I am sure there are embarrassingly bad lawyers, but that is just it if you embarrassingly bad at something that you put 3 years of school into, have years of work experience in it, and you are still embarrassingly bad it is probably the person not the profession that has a problem. A person who does all that and is still awful probably would have been bad in any profession they chose.  There are bad computer programmers, bad businessmen (basically all of Wall Street), bad everything and if they are bad they will get laid off, not paid well, or not be able to find employment. If a computer program is good they will get raises, they will keep their jobs when money is tight, and if they want to switch jobs they can.  The truth is in anything if you are good at something people will figure it out and if you are not good at something people will figure that out as well. Take responsibilty for you honestly if you have been working as a lawyer for 10 years and you are still awful it is not your school's fault it is yours.

the white rabbit

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 07:21:47 PM »
I am basing the salary on GGU alumni I have met...

How large a sample is this?
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bigs5068

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2010, 07:40:29 PM »
7 I can track everyone down that ever graduated and poll them if you want.

At your school are their people that have struggled to find jobs, or have low paying ones, or did not pass the bar yet?  I know you said you went to a top 10, but I am sure there are graduates struggling from your school just like there are from GGU. 

You might get laid off and struggle to find a job I hope that does not happen, but it could. I may never pass the bar life or even if I do I might get disbarred for incompetence who knows.  It is struggle, but generally people with J.D.'s who get jobs in the Bay Area even from the non-aba schools make 40k or more. However, 40K in the Bay Area is not going to take you very far either and that is why people at McDonald's make 40K a year in the Bay (that is a joke, but kind of to my point).

iamcardozo

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2010, 12:22:56 PM »
i did my first year at Widener ...two words for you ....dont go. Horrible curve, terrible teachers, way to expensive. There is a reason why it is a tier 4 school.  Go to Nova, go to Penn State, Go to Rutgers

bigs5068

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2010, 01:36:07 PM »
Do you think only tier 4's have a steep curve? As far as I know all schools have a curve and 50% of the class is going to finish at the bottom 50% even at Ivy League schools. If the teachers are terrible then that is your first-hand opinion and I will not criticize it, but the curve at any law school is hard.

the white rabbit

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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law vs. Wait
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 11:07:14 PM »
At your school are their people that have struggled to find jobs, or have low paying ones, or did not pass the bar yet?  I know you said you went to a top 10, but I am sure there are graduates struggling from your school just like there are from GGU. 

There were a few people who struggled.  Thankfully, my class went through recruiting during the boom.  A handful got hit with deferrals from their firms though.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)