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Author Topic: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less  (Read 2088 times)

smartandunique

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Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« on: October 26, 2010, 07:53:56 AM »
Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less


Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 10/25/2010 - 5:00am
 
 A recent article by University of San Diego law professor David McGowan and academic fellow Bernard Burk of the Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford suggests that some law schools may be forced to close as the prospects for graduates decline.

 

 
In a recent article, “Big But Brittle: Economic Perspectives on the Future of the Law Firm in the New Economy,” the professors note that large law firms continue to hire fewer highly paid associates. On the whole, firms seem to be hiring more associates and paying them less. The article predicts that with the prospects of a substantial salary looking grim, law school applications will eventually drop, causing a number of law schools to close their doors.
 
The issue boils down to whether or not individuals still feel that law school is a good investment. According to Northwestern Law Dean David Van Zandt, the break-even salary for law grads is $65,000, and in some cases even higher. Coupled with the recession, law school is looking like a bad economic decision for more and more people.
 
Not all law schools are in danger, however. McGowan and Burk note that the “super elite” law schools will remain. In order for other schools to remain open, they will most likely have to have a track record of good placement as well as lower tuition in order to attract applicants.
 
The cost of law school has been a hot topic in recent weeks. One third-year Boston College law student even went as far as to write an open letter to the school's paper asking for his tuition back. The student cited a lackluster job market as well as massive student loan debt among his reasons to want to leave law school and receive a refund.
 
“This will help BC Law go up in the rankings, since you will not have to report my unemployment at graduation to U.S. News,” the student wrote.
 

john4040

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2010, 09:12:25 AM »
I seriously doubt this will ever happen.  Just look at the number of "should I go to law school" threads that have surfaced lately where the OP is either old or seeking to get into a T3 or T4.  Despite my warning, the warning of others, logic, and (apparently) their own instinct, they choose to go.  Going to a T1-T2 was a good bet before 2007... it's not now.  Certainly, going to a T3 or T4 was never a good bet unless you had a full (or near full) scholarship.  Some of these people wanting to go to T3s and T4s in this economy need to get their heads examined - at the least, their decision shows a complete lack of judgment.

IPFreely

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2010, 12:01:50 PM »
I seriously doubt this will ever happen.  Just look at the number of "should I go to law school" threads that have surfaced lately where the OP is either old or seeking to get into a T3 or T4.  Despite my warning, the warning of others, logic, and (apparently) their own instinct, they choose to go.  Going to a T1-T2 was a good bet before 2007... it's not now.  Certainly, going to a T3 or T4 was never a good bet unless you had a full (or near full) scholarship.  Some of these people wanting to go to T3s and T4s in this economy need to get their heads examined - at the least, their decision shows a complete lack of judgment.
Credited.

bigs5068

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2010, 01:00:55 PM »
Yes tier 3 and 4 students are awful the worst! All tier 1 students make it though without question I have never seen a thread on this board or others were a tier 1 grad complained about their situation. The simply reality is the legal field is pretty similar to anything else and it is hard to start out. That is the same in every profession and finding a job sucks.  Computer scientists have to find jobs, cops, businessmen, accountants, all of them have to find jobs and it is hard. There are only 3 schools I know of that guarantee you a job at graduation in the field you choose West-point, Navy/Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy. If you do not attend one of those 3 schools no matter what profession you are going into there will be no guarantee of a job. You will have to look for a job and when you graduate you will come to the realization that there are plenty of other people with a piece of paper that says they are somewhat competent in something who are also looking for jobs.  You will need to be somewhat more impressive than the million other people with a degree and you will get rejected along the way.  However, at some point things will open up and then you are going to have to work your ass of to prove yourself.


 I am sure this same study could be used in every single field of study and there are always young graduates looking for jobs or confused about what they are doing at age 25 or so. In fact it is not a new phenomenon there is even a famous old movie starring Dustin Hoffman called the Graduate to display that recent graduates for sometime have not hit the ground running with 100k a year jobs and are indecisive about what they are doing. He did not have a J.D. as I remember, but he was a simple college graduate who had no job at graduation and was not sure what he was doing. He lived with his parents and had no income etc (does that sound like a common theme on JD underground or other sites). The bottom line is recent graduates having a hard time finding a job is not a new problem or something simply restricted to the legal field. Regardless of a schools prestige it is up to the individual to make it and if you are willing to bust your ass with a tier 4 or even a degree from a CBA school you can succeed, but do not expect anything to be handed to you.

john4040

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2010, 02:32:40 PM »
Yes tier 3 and 4 students are awful the worst! All tier 1 students make it though without question I have never seen a thread on this board or others were a tier 1 grad complained about their situation. The simply reality is the legal field is pretty similar to anything else and it is hard to start out. That is the same in every profession and finding a job sucks. 

Not sure who your post was directed to, because I was speaking as to which schools were "safe bets" from a cost/benefit standpoint.

bigs5068

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2010, 03:03:07 PM »
I was responding to your quote of "you need to get your head examined if you attend a tier 3 or tier 4." That is a strong overstatement based on everything I said above. I am sure not everyone at whatever school you went to is a success story, am I right? It is just complete overstatements like the one you made that drive me crazy. Use common sense when going to law school or any type of education and yes Harvard will open more doors than a tier 3/4 school. If you go to a tier 3/4 school nothing is going to be handed to you, but it can and does work out for a lot of people. Therefore, you do not need your head examined if you go to a tier 3/4 school.

john4040

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2010, 04:25:46 PM »
I was responding to your quote of "you need to get your head examined if you attend a tier 3 or tier 4." That is a strong overstatement....

Therefore, you do not need your head examined if you go to a tier 3/4 school.

What I said was "some of these people wanting to go to T3s and T4s in this economy need to get their heads examined - at the least, their decision shows a complete lack of judgment."  I never said that "you need to get your head examined if you attend a tier 3 or tier 4."

When you read that sentence in conjunction with the entire post (instead of inferring that I'm talking about all T3 and T4 students), you'll notice that "these people" refer to the folks posting on this board who are old or who want to attend T3s and T4s without substantial scholarships.  Therefore, the jist of my argument is that: Given the current state of the economy, you need your head examined if you go to a T3 or T4 without a full or near full scholarship.  Going to a T3 or T4 was never a safe bet in a booming economy (pre-2007), and it sure as hell isn't a safe bet in the current economy.

bigs5068

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 05:04:43 PM »
I agree, but with the caveat that no schooling is ever a safe bet. At the end of the day education is a rip-off no matter where you go, but it is a rip-off you have to deal with to even have a chance at doing anything.

What other industry and this applies to every single school requires you first to pay them to be considered (application fees) what if Boeing, or a law firm charged 60 bucks to submit your resume?  Once they gip you for a pretty minimal $60 bucksyou then get to go to school and pay an outrageous amount of tuition and this applies to undergrad, med schools, law schools, and grad schools. What do you get for these thousands of dollars in tuition money you would expect a nice shiny textbook at the bare minimum, but no you get to be ripped off by the University Bookstore. The professor you are paying to give you an education publishes their own book that you have to buy to succeed in their class. The book is generally outrageously priced and then at the end of the year you get to sell it back for about 10 cents on the dollar and the school sells the same book for another outrageous amount of money to the next student. The questions becomes what are you paying these outrageous tuition costs, book fees, etc for.  The answer you get the honor of listening to someone talk generally they are fairly competent so something I suppose.  However, another problem is the outrageous tuition you are paying goes up every year. When you are done getting just gouged by whatever school you are at what do you get. A piece of paper! that you need to pay a graduation fee for they charge you thousands of dollars to get this piece of paper you think they would at least not charge for that, but you end up paying $30 or something for a graduation fee.  Then once that is all over unless you are at one of the military schools I mentioned you are left basically on your own to find a job and pass the licensing test if you are law or med school. If you do not pass the test and cannot find a job the school goes on and says sucker. Again, this just blatant rip off for education applies to EVERYTHING EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION IN EVERY FIELD. However, if you do not go through this gouging rip-off you do not even have a chance to compete for a job, because people with high school diplomas are not in demand. So you are in a Catch 22 go into thousands of dollars in debt and spend years of your life getting an education that might help you find a job or go straight from high school with no debt hoping to find a more menial job. Neither prospect is great and the whole educational system is just an outrageous rip off, but people love to say my school is different U.S. News listed them as the 93rd best liberal arts program so clearly I am guaranteed a job, but they are in on it too. The whole education system EVERYWHERE is so ludicrous and unfair that it defies logic.


IPFreely

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2010, 07:22:58 PM »
I give your rant a 2/10, with major point deductions for logic failures, grammar, and sanity.

I agree, but with the caveat that no schooling is ever a safe bet. At the end of the day education is a rip-off no matter where you go, but it is a rip-off you have to deal with to even have a chance at doing anything.
You know what, that really isn't the case.  Prior to 2008, most T1 law grads -- on the close order of 90% -- were getting jobs in the legal industry, or could have if they wanted to.  IIRC, my school's employment rate was 97%, with 30% going to biglaw.  Meanwhile, even then, plenty of T4 schools had 50% unemployment rates nine months after graduation.

In 2008, when I started 1L, full tuition at my T1 was $11,000 lower than what Golden Gate (T4) charged as its full rate -- $25K vs. $36K.

That's without taking scholarships into account.  Also, tuition increases here are capped for continuing students;  I think it's 5% per year.  (Newly entering students get socked with whatever the latest and highest rate is, currently $36K.  Sorry, folks.)

"A ripoff no matter where you go"?  Hardly.  I think I'm getting a damn good deal, even with new-grad hiring having fallen off a cliff.

What do you get for these thousands of dollars in tuition money[. . . .]
Well, we used to get beer, soda, and cookies every Thursday, but the university put a stop to the beer (liability concerns), so now it's soda and either brownies or cookies.  The brownies are really good, though.  I had three last week. :P

The professor you are paying to give you an education publishes their own book that you have to buy to succeed in their class.
With two exceptions, my profs haven't used their own texts for their classes.  In one's class, he used his own book because it's the recognized best-in-field.  In the other, they gave us free copies in PDF (and the text likely will be best-in-field, just as the treatise one of them wrote is a standard reference already).

The book is generally outrageously priced and then at the end of the year you get to sell it back for about 10 cents on the dollar and the school sells the same book for another outrageous amount of money to the next student.
You do know that you're allowed to sell your used textbooks directly to the next semester's or year's students, too, and to buy them from previous semesters' students, right?

bigs5068

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Re: Professors predict law school closings as grads earn less
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 07:48:01 PM »
You might be getting a great education and I think any ABA school provides you with the basic tools to succeed. To me paying 11k for cookies and beer (oh wait they took it away) is a bit of a rip-off .  It may work out for you in the end and up to this point it has been working out for me. Hopefully it goes well for both of us.   However, even if you go to Harvard there is no guarantee of anything working out as is evidenced by Harvard not having 100% employment or bar passage. 

You are right you can sell the books back to other students and that is just me being lazy. My law school does not do the whole publishing professor scam, but some professors in my undergrad did. It was looked down upon there and I was using it as an exaggeration. Still the prices of books are outrageous. Not to mention they come up with new editions almost every year so often you cannot buy it back from students.

A tier 1, 2, 3 or 4 school is not a guarantee of anything.  I know plenty of tier 1 grads from Hastings and other schools who have yet to pass the bar and many that are unemployed.  I also know many grads that from tier 1's doing very well. I also know plenty of people from GGU that are in the same exact position some doing great others not.  At the end of the day there is no guarantee of success, but certainly a Harvard grad has a better chance than a Cooley Grad, but whether you will succeed or not is completely unpredictable. Yet schools continue to increase their tuition and charge completely unjustifiable amounts of money for tuition. I honestly really like GGU, but no school in the Bay Area reflects the fact that they are ALL charging 30k a year from each student. It is pretty obvious from doing a quick walk around any of these schools that the majority of this ungodly amount of tuition is not going back to the students. At any school MBA, Undergrad, etc the same can be said. Education is a rip-off, but one you have to deal with. If you think the way education system in place around America is financially fair then you are entitled to your opinion, but paying ungodly amounts of money for a piece of paper that does not guarantee anything and in your case some cookies seems like a rip-off to me. This rip-off applies to every school and you can tell yourself you are at a tier 1 etc and you are getting a great deal, but the fact of the matter is you will not know until about 5 years after graduation if you made a good decision or not.