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Author Topic: First Term at Cooley  (Read 9576 times)

bigs5068

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Re: First Term at Cooley
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2010, 01:54:31 PM »
The ABA and tier 4's are fairly honest if you ask questions, they don't lie or mislead you. I  honestly if you want to be intelligent enough to realize that people are full of sh**t everywhere you go. At least the ABA keeps statistics on bar passage, employment etc, granted the employment statistics are manipulated, because as I understand it employment can mean an unpaid internship. I think everyone can agree if you pay 100k you are expecting a little more than that. I asked my school for a detailed list of salary information with actual numbers and it portrayed a much more accurate picture. There are some people who are shocked that a lot of top law firms are lining up to hire them, and honestly if you are that naive your gonna get screwed by a lot shadier thigns than the ABA. The ABA at least regulates bar passage, and has some form of standards. It is not great, but it is something.

Do teachers from West Valley Moorey State have the same opportunities as a UCLA person, I don't know. I am sure it is easier for a UCLA grad than West Moorey State. Again, this goes back to my core point in that people in law school think that the legal profession is some special place or that you are special for getting into law school, and are shocked that people are not lining up to hire them. You got a piece of paper and passed some test that states you have "MINIMAL COMPETENCY" to be an attorney. It will take years to build a successful career in any profession, and for some reason people in law school think that just getting a J.D. = 200k a year salaries. It is one of the few professions were you can start out with an exorbiant salary like that, but that probably happens to less than 10% of graduates from every ABA school. The majority of graduates are going to have to work hard and for a long time to pay off their debts and have a good career, but that applies to every profession.

I agree I think we are saying the same things for the most part, but I don't think the ABA is scamming anybody. There is a bit of puffery of course, and that is everywhere people trying to sell you something exaggerate, that is the way it is. However, at least the ABA does keep statistics as far as I know undergrads are not required to keep any kind of stats that an ABA school is required to. There is something in place, but it could be better. Honestly, if the ABA employment statistics included a detailed salary sheet like the one my school provided after specifically requesting it, I think people would be a lot less surprised. They probably should have to include those types of numbers in their report, which is a reasonable request if you are paying 100k.

Bottom line I really think law school and the system is fair. Some people might be naive enough to think it is a ticket to exorbiant salaries and no work, but it is not. As far as I know there is no degree that guarantees you a million dollar salary, is really easy, and is just interesting all the time. If there is I have pleaded on this board for someone to tell me about it, but there have yet to any responses. Life is tough, and people trying to sell you things will put things in a light most favorable to them, and law school is no different. However, at least the ABA imposses some kind of extra standards, but those could certainly be improved.

Morten Lund

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Re: First Term at Cooley
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2010, 02:35:30 PM »
At the risk of offending a whole bunch of people here, allow me to offer up what I would consider to be the greatest concern with low-ranked law schools. 

So far this discussion appears to be mostly focused around the quality of the education received and the post-graduation job opportunities.  What is missing is the question of WHY someone attended a tier 1 school versus a tier 4 school (to take the extreme example).  With all suitable disclaimers about statistical variability and individual differences, etc., here is my claim:  Attorneys from top schools tend to do better, generally speaking, than students from lower-ranked schools because they tend to have more of whatever makes a good lawyer - be it better discipline, more intelligence, more motivation, better work/study habits, or something else - which in turn is why they attended the top school.

Generally speaking, students at top schools are at those schools because they earned those spots, and many of the same skills and abilities that got them there will help them be good lawyers when they finish law school.  This is in no small part the reason why firms prefer to hire from higher-ranked schools - to some extent, firms use school ranking and academic success a proxies for mental ability and work ethic.

This same issue arises in every field, of course - I, for instance, once seriously considered a career in mathematics.  Had I chosen to pursue that avenue, I am confident that I would have been able to attend a graduate program and received a Ph.D.  One of the factors that held me back, however, was the realization that while I would probably be successful in becoming A mathematician, I knew that there was little chance that I would be the smartest guy on the job, or even anywhere close thereto.  I would be competing with people far smarter than me, and whose love for math was greater than mine, and this would limit my career potential.  I might be a mathematician, but I would be placing myself in a very difficult competitive environment.

Think of it this way:  All those guys you are competing with now for the law school spots - those are the same guys you will be competing with for jobs and clients for the next 40 years.  Think hard about that - and then ask yourself honestly why you think you will be more successful competing against them for clients than you were competing with them for law school admission.  Sure, you can be a lawyer.  You might even be a good lawyer.  But that isn't the real question for determining future career success.  What you should be asking yourself is whether you will be a good enough lawyer to compete successfully with all the other lawyers.

bigs5068

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Re: First Term at Cooley
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2010, 03:06:18 PM »
I could not agree more with that. I have friends that attended Stanford and they were smarter than me no doubt, and I would hire the Stanford people I know over myself.  Believe it or not these Stanford Grads are limited in number so are Harvard Grads if all there was in the legal field were people from Stanford and Harvard there would simply not be enough people in the profession to have it run smoothly. In any every field there needs to be people that don't get all the prestige, on a basketball team there are 12 people on a roster. There are 5 starters, and generally one or two main scorers. You need all 12 people to have a functional team and not everybody can be a star.

 Now you wanted to be a mathematician, but law worked out better for you. You could have received a PhD in math and gotten a job somewhere becoming a mathematician. If you really wanted to be a mathematician and you were capable of earning a Ph.D. in the field you obviously have some basic talent, and there would be nothing wrong with your decision. I assume had you gone down this path and got a Ph.D in Math from San Jose State you would have the common sense to realize the odds of you winning the Nobel Peace Prize would be low, but you would have found a job in the math field, maybe something as awful and atrocious as being a math teacher at Junior College . Honestly, that is not a horrible position to end up in, and if you had a passion for math you would have made the right decision. You liked math, but not enough to give up a more prestigious career in the legal field. 


Most tier 3/4 student's will find jobs as A lawyer. They will probably not become judges, make partner at a top firm, etc it can and does happen, but it is the exception and not the rule. However, if you really like the legal field and you go to a tier 3/4 you made the right choice. All I have every tried to say is use common sense, tier 4's are not the road to riches and if you are concerned about nothing more than prestige and money then got to a tier t14 or find something else. If you really like reading, researching, public speaking, all the things a lawyer has to do then go for it. You can probably at least find a job as a Public Defender in some po dunk town. Again, if being a lawyer is something you really want to do then you made the right choice.

Bottom line Harvard is a great school, I hope that is not a newsflash to anyone. Tier 4 law schools, or Ph.D's in math from San Jose State, or an accredited yet lowly ranked nursing school will not ruin your life. There are jobs in all of these fields, but if you go a tier 4 and expect people to be impressed by you merely graduating and passing the bar I don't know what to say. You are going to have to put more work in than someone from Harvard, and it is very possible you may get worse results even if you do work harder than someone from Harvard. I keep making the same analogies so I feel like a broken record, but a 6'7 guy in basketball has some potential, it is not head turning in the basketball world, but you can be a pretty good player at that height. Now a 7'2 guy will turn heads and will have an easier time. The 6'7 guy will have to work 10x harder to get rebounds, or score over a 7'2 guy and a lot of times the 7'2 guy will still win. I mean Charles Barkley is a perfect example 6'4 guy who worked his a** off nobody played harder than him and he had a great career, but never won a championship. Shaq on the other hand is lazy as hell, but he is 7'2 360 pounds and has natural athletic ability and has 4 championship rings. Putting in almost no effort over his entire career.

A tier 3/4 student is like Charles Barkley nothing is going to be handed to and you are going to have to work 10x harder than the Ivy League Grad to succeed. Even if you do put in all the effort you probably still will not beat the Harvard Grads or Shaq's of the world. Shaq would be the example of a Harvard Grad, many people who attend those schools are just naturally very smart.  The people I know that go Stanford I grew up with and they  were just smarter than everyone and didn't necessarily put in more work. Now did Charles Barkley have a horrible career, because he did not win a championship no he is a hall of fame player and celebrity athlete. Shaq had a better one putting in no effort, because he is naturally gifted.

the white rabbit

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Re: First Term at Cooley
« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2010, 09:43:18 AM »
Okay and lets say you could not get into a top 10 school for anything.

And at what point did I strike you as someone who's T10 or bust?  Just because someone thinks that your assessment of post-law school life is too rosy doesn't mean that they're saying that.

I wouldn't think about my decisions exclusively in terms of "what I want."  Let's just put it that way.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

JDGuy86

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Re: First Term at Cooley
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2010, 07:33:41 PM »
I would like to add (and possibly provide some direction to this discussion) that the decision to attend Cooley is more a toss up between Cooley and another tier 3 or 4 school - not Cooley or tier one or top 20 school.

From this, it would be useful to compare Cooley's results (post graduate employment & quality of jobs) with that of other tier3/4 schools.

I think that Cooley stands out in one way that its a large school giving it some name recognition- although it has a negative connotation, hopefully this changes to be regarded as a practical law school (like people regard say suffolk or new england in the Mass area).

Pdukes

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Re: First Term at Cooley
« Reply #35 on: August 12, 2011, 04:09:02 PM »
any press is good press right???