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derrick.hibbard

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Suing your law school?
« on: November 06, 2010, 08:56:21 PM »
What do you think about all these people suing their law school because they can’t get a job?  I read an article recently (I put a short section of it below), and I’m kind of disturbed for a number of reasons—first there does seem to be a real problem of too many lawyers and not enough jobs, but also because law graduates seem to be rolling over and accepting that fact without creating opportunities.  (for example, some of my friends started up their own firm doing real estate title searches and are doing well (they won’t be uber-wealthy anytime soon, but they’ve got jobs—another friend of mine found an untapped niche in Florida’s insurance defense field and is also doing well.)  My point is this—there is a problem (I can see that, just like the rest of you), but is it really the fault of the law school?  After all, we did sign up for it—and we signed our names to those promissory notes.  Tell me what you think. 

One popular medium is the "scam blog," where indebted, unemployed attorneys accuse law schools of being little better than tuition-sucking diploma mills. (Sample blog title: Shilling Me Softly.) The author of one popular, if histrionic, such blog describes his law school as a Ponzi scheme.
Others have taken, perhaps inevitably, to the courts. Kenneth Desornes, for instance, named his law school in his bankruptcy filing. He asks the school to "[a]dmit that your business knew or should have known that Plaintiff would be in no position to repay those loans."  http://www.slate.com/id/2272621

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2010, 09:10:39 PM »
You didn't read the bulletin that law school is the only type of education where you are supposed to have a 100k year a job handed to you for finishing in the middle of your class at the 83rd best law school. If you go to law school you are not supposed to have to concern yourself with looking for a job.  A school owes it to you to have people knocking down doors to hire freshly minted J.D.'s. We all know that in every other type of education that is what happens. When you get your political science bachelor's degree from X- State any reasonable person should should expect at least 15 employers with 100k a year contracts in hand waiting to receive them at graduation.

Now these poor unfortunate recent graduates have had to deal with looking for a job. The absolute horror and how unfair. These poor law school graduates actually have to apply for jobs and even show up for interviews. At times they might even need to apply to more than one job and could even get rejected if they get a job interview. We all know if something is challenging and things are not going your way it cannot possibly be your fault. Rule number one in life is take no accountability for your actions and blame everybody else, but yourself when things don't go your way.

It baffles that law students think this type of thing does not happen in any other profession. Not to mention if you waste all your time writing letters to deans and engaging in a full-on lawsuit you are probably taking a bit of time away from your job search. Nobody is going to hand you anything in life nut up and deal with it. Life is unfair and that applies to EVERYTHING. Nobody had a gun to your head to go to law school and I know that no law school would say we guarantee you will pass the bar and have a job at graduation. Education is risk and if you are not smart enough to figure that out then no wonder you do not have a job.

aglittman

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2010, 07:20:10 PM »
I must disagree with bigs5068.  The real problem is not unrealistic expectations of law students (or a sense of entitlement), but rather the lack of accurate information put out by law schools regarding employment numbers.  There are tons of 0L's flocking to law schools because of the inflated job numbers put out by law schools, and for there to be any market equilibrium, this information must be more accurate.  I would be interested in hearing an intelligent argument that law schools are not scamming people out of money.   

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2010, 07:28:17 PM »
Lawschool transparency gives accurate numbers and it is a good site I recommend any 0L check it out. It takes account of all the unaccounted JD's and it gives a more realistic picture.  This and general common sense should be sufficient to realize that schools manipulate their stats. They are a business so they are going to put their numbers in light most favorable to them. Salary exaggeration does not only apply to law schools it applies to every educational institution   I cited in another thread a bunch of other articles where MBA students, Med Students, etc were having trouble as well. Here it is two seconds worth of google searching brought this up.

http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/01/leadership-mba-salary-cx_tw_0801mbacomp.html Here is MBA stats and according to Forbes the "Average" MBA student is making around 100k. I find it hard to believe and there is no regulating body even keeping track of MBA grads. The "average" salary at my tier 4 is 80k, but that is pretty easy to do when you do not report half the people. I am sure MBA schools report the same bloated stats.

http://www.grin.com/e-book/148269/unemployed-mba-graduate-diary. An unempoyed MBA, with no job, and a lot of debt. Sound like a theme we have heard somewhere before?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30622026/ A successful MBA grad who expected to work for a top hedge fund after graduation is instead sleeping on a friend's couch.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=622597 I should have thrown away my med school application when I did worst decision ever. The stress and etc is not worth it. I would rather be a "LAWYER".  This was a whole thread, but a lawyer does chime in along the way and his post is worth reading.

School is not a guarantee of anything and if you really believe that you are going to be handed a 100k at graduation from any school then I do not what to say. Some people get 100k a year jobs at graduation, but that is rare and you probably need to be in the top 10% at any school for that to happen. 90% of incoming students are not in the top 10%.  When I got letters from colleges in high school they told me about all their NBA draft picks they had and so one out of 1,000 people made it to the league as a second rounder who played for a year on the Bucks etc. As a 17 year old high school senior I had enough common sense to not think they were promising a spot in the NBA if I played for their school. Sadly some kids did and they still complain about the coaches, or the system, etc, but if I was good enough to hang with them they were not that good in the first place.  However, from my college basketball experience I did end up some getting basketball related jobs and so I did a lot of those guys who really thought they were going to the league.  This kind of thing applies to law schools the brochures say you can get a job in International Corporate law, or become a judge or whatever other B.S. thing a school lists, but come on. The reality is you can get a job as a lawyer, but it is probably not going to be glamorous particularly starting out. Believe it or not any recent graduate in any profession starts out at the bottom. 

There is no doubt that law school exaggerate their stats. No matter what law school you go to or what class rank you have odds are you are not going to become a Big Law Partner, Senator,  or Judge. Use common sense though and tell me a business that does not exaggerate their results. If you want to be a lawyer you should have the critical thinking skills to look a little deeper and not just assume oh this school's brochure who wants my money says that the median salary is 90k. If you want to be a lawyer go to law school, but any salary stats are greatly manipulated and that is true of any type of education. .

Then on top of all that don't tell me these law students were tricked. They are 22 or 23 year old college graduates who made a decision as an adult. No ABA school will accept an applicant without a college degree. If you are a 22-23 year old college graduate you need to look a little deeper before applying to law school. They are adults and grown ups making a huge decision.  Once that decision is made for better or worse do not go crying about it if it does not work out.  If you were naive enough to think a law degree was just going to guarantee you a 100k a year job at graduation then it is your own fault for being that naive. If you are an educated adult then you make some tough decisions sometimes they work out sometimes they do not. In the real world nobody holds your hand and gives you 100% accurate information. Law schools are no differnt they will give you a degree and the right to sit for the bar no school guarantees anything more. If you bust your ass you CAN succeed as a lawyer, but there is no guarantee that you WILL. The thing I love about JDunderground, people suing their school, blah blah is that it could not possibly be their fault. They are victims truly incapable of making a decision on their own. When they bought their gym membership and never worked out and gained 50 lbs it is their gym's fault for not forcing them to work out. If someone says they will tutor you in something and you show up completely unprepared and do not put in any effort whatsoever it is clearly the tutor's fault when things do not go right. Nobody takes any accountability for anything anymore and it is truly astonishing to me. Life is hard and a lot of things are unfair get used to it. If you are going to complain about how hard and unfair things are then you are going to be singing that tuen for a long time, because I do not know anything worth doing that is easy and 100% fair.

Hamilton

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 10:12:19 AM »
I think this is called a strawman.  You (incorrectly IMO) presume that there is this rampant feeling of entitlement out there and that every JD feels that (1) they are entitled to a 6 figure job, and (2) does not feel the need to work to find any type of job.  These are fallicies thrown out any time one states a negative sentiment about the state of jobs or hiring, and frankly, they do not hold water.

If I complain about the cold rainy weather, I am simply stating a fact about the weather - I do not feel entitled to a warm sunny day, and you should not assume I am making no effort to stay warm and dry.

You didn't read the bulletin that law school is the only type of education where you are supposed to have a 100k year a job handed to you for finishing in the middle of your class at the 83rd best law school. If you go to law school you are not supposed to have to concern yourself with looking for a job.  A school owes it to you to have people knocking down doors to hire freshly minted J.D.'s. We all know that in every other type of education that is what happens. When you get your political science bachelor's degree from X- State any reasonable person should should expect at least 15 employers with 100k a year contracts in hand waiting to receive them at graduation.

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2010, 11:45:13 AM »
My point is that someone complaining about the weather is just as obvious a conclusion as education is a huge expenditure of time & money with no guarantee of success. Another obvious conclusion is that schools a are a business who are going to change around their stats to be somewhat accurate, but give a misleading picture. Lawschooltransparency a business with their own agenda gives better stats in my opinion than  the schools do.  At the end of the day education in any form is a risk and common sense should tell you that. Going to law school is not unlike any other type of education and it is not a golden ticket that will guarantee you success and there is nothing that will as far as I know. I am still asking around for an easy, guaranteed, & legal way to make 100k without putting that much effort in.  Still I have received no answer, but I am listening for one.

 I chose to go to law school as 24 year old college graduate  with two years of work experience and I was a capable adult when I made the decision to go. I looked at all the stats and not just what the school provided me. I talked to students with first hand experience at different schools and they gave varying accounts of doing well, doing ok, or not doing well at all. The main conclusion I gathered from these conversations is that law school is not a guarantee of anything as I expected. Whether you succeed or not is largely dependent on the individual as well. So when I sent my applications in I knew law school was a risk and I chose to attend. As a 24 year old college educated grown man I made a decision and there was no gun to my head.  Based on that decision I am accountable whether it works out or not. My school never said we guarantee if you come here you will make 80k and I find it hard to believe that any school would guarantee any student that. It's your burden to succeed in life no matter what you do, and if you want to say it is someone else's fault your not successful then go write about how unfair it is. It is your life you can do what you want, but nobody is going to reward a crybaby.


The one thing you have to agree with is that the writers of JDunderground, or the guy who initiated a lawsuit, or anyone else who spends time writing about how unfair school is do themselves a disservice, because instead of complaining about how unfair it is they could deal with their situation by looking for a job. .

Denny Shore

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 04:07:42 PM »
I say boo-hoo.  They aren't going to win their lawsuit.  It's bad for them to be a part of it as well as any firm that sees it will likely consider them as either pains in the butt or whiners.  The school owes every student precisely two things: an education and opportunities.
If you graduate from law school, you have both.  Can't find a job?  That stinks.  No doubt about it.  Do what thousands before you have done - get off your butt and start your own practice.  End of story.
The problem isn't with employment statistics, it's with expectations and entitlement.  There are absolutely no guarantees in life.  None.  It used to be that a law school grad had no problem getting a job.  The truth is that the legal market is hurting right now so jobs are scarce.  Potential law students who go into it thinking that the degree will guarantee them any job are delusional.  No education guarantees a job.  Even medical school graduates are finding it more difficult than ever (though most aren't suffering too much as doctors are still in high demand). 
I don't buy the argument that law school graduates aren't filled with entitlement either.  Most law students feel entitled, so why would they change?  The truth is that finding a job is tough and it is likely to remain tough until undergrads come to realize that law school just isn't the guaranteed way into a big paycheck anymore and start finding other opportunities that may come about with a different graduate degree.  Law school has become too accessible and there are too many students and too many graduates every year.  Looking back, if I hadn't had the post-graduation opportunities I have (I'm lucky), I'd have gotten either a masters degree or an MBA.  Given the right set of circumstances, I would have opened my own restaurant.  I look around at some of the people in my class and wonder what they plan on doing, especially those in the bottom 50% who have no connections in the legal field.
That said, instead of wasting an incredible amount of time suing a law school, why not spend time educating the public and/or finding a job/opening your own firm?  I know a half-dozen law offices that would be happy to share space for $1000 a month, including copier, fax machine, internet, and telephone.  Buy a cheap desk, chair, a lamp, a computer, bar association malpractice insurance and a printer and what else do you need?
Potential law students shouldn't listen to their parents, their uncle, or their bro's, they should go out and do some actual research and talk to actual law students in their second and third years before making a commitment to a six-figure education that sucks some of the life out of you and requires far more effort than other, more lucrative career options.  I worked in sales for 3 years and when I left for law school, I knew 20 guys with undergrad degrees pulling in well over $250k a year working 8-5 Monday through Friday. Point being, law school is hard.  Life after law school is hard.  Instead of wasting time suing a school (who, by the way, fulfilled their obligation), go do something.  If you can't lawyer, go find a job where an employer might appreciate a highly educated, logical employee in an executive position.  I know a guy who graduated with his JD and after he couldn't find a job as a lawyer, called a buddy who was an executive in a Fortune 500 company.  He's been an Executive Vice President with the company since shortly after he was interviewed.
Better yet - I know a guy who graduated from a tier 3 school that couldn't get work in a big, medium, or small firm.  So he took a look and realized only a few solo guys were handling landlord tenant law in the city, so he started his own firm.  It's been 10 years now and he makes plenty of money doing it and has brought on two new associates just this year.  At some point, people need to stop thinking like cattle and start thinking like entrepreneurs.

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 04:33:44 PM »
Thank you!

Simple facts are law school is expensive, law schools play with their stats, but 0% of law schools list 100% employment rate or make any guarantee you will have a lucrative career as a lawyer. The consideration for your time & money is a J.D. and the opporutnity to sit for the bar. Whatever else a school throws in is a bonus, but as long as the school allows you to get a law license they owe you nothing more. If you think paying 100K or more for the chance not the guarantee to become a successful lawyer then do not go to law school.

I would love to see the Judge in this case react to this I think it would go something like this.

Plaintiff Student: Your honor I know when you went to law school everybody become a judge or big law partner immediately after graduation.

Judge: Actually, no that is not what happened. I graduated from law school and worked as a clerk or some entry level associate position. the first few years have my legal career sucked I was paying off loans and not allowed to do much substantive stuff.  It actually took me 25 years to become a judge  and nothing was handed to me.

Plaintiff Student:  No you lie we all know succeeding as a lawyer 20 years ago was easy and firms were handing out contracts to anyone with a J.D.

Judge: Actually, no even in the 60's finding work as a young lawyer was difficult. I was not just put on this bench for having a J.D. I worked my ass of to be in this chair and I suggest you do the same. I did not waste my time blaming other people for my misfortunes and I had to work very hard to get where I am.

Plaintiff Student: No you are just part of the scam system and this is not fair. I deserve 100k a year salary, because the school brochure said you could have a successful career as a lawyer.

Judge: You can I know plenty of Boston University graduates who are doing well. There are plenty of other people in your exact situation who have gone out and found jobs. No school has a 100% unemployment and if you were not dicking around in my courtroom maybe you would have a job maybe not, but life is hard. Get used to it if you want to be a successful lawyer.

Plaintiff Student: Not fair, Not Fair.

jack24

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2010, 06:40:03 PM »
I think it would be nice (although not practical) if Law Schools were all required to publish the employment breakdowns for each quarter of their class 9 months after graduation.

For example:

At 9 months after graduation
Of the bottom quarter of graduates:  ___% are employed, ____% in legal related jobs (and then a breakdown of type (federal, state, local, private firms etc)
Average salary of those employed in legal jobs:
Median Salary of those employed in legal jobs:
Average salary of those employed in non-legal jobs:
Median salary of those employed in legal jobs.
_____% reporting

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 07:49:59 PM »
Could not agree more. Law school transparency does a pretty good job of that though. You will see the majority of schools even Harvard around 30% of their students have no reported salaries. My school 20% of people had reported salaries the other 70% there was no salary information available eand 9% were unemployed. They use the 20% of salaried people to make up their median starting salary of 80,000 all schools engage in this including the elites they just use the salary information they have and the other half of the graduates there is no responsibility go find out their salary.  No school should really be allowed to do this, but I am not surprised it happens. No matter what school you apply everything they say is going to make themselves sound better they are trying to sell you something. When you go to a car dealer and he tells how great the car is you should not just rely on his statements. Dealing with a school is no different than a car salesman take everything they tell you with a grain of salt and look deeper.