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Author Topic: Suing your law school?  (Read 1700 times)

Denny Shore

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2010, 01:29:29 PM »
It WOULD be wonderful if law schools gave an accurate picture of employment and salary data of graduates, but there are other factors besides the EVIL law schools trying to sell students on attending.  Many students simply don't respond to questionnaires sent to them by their law schools.  Some don't respond because they are embarrassed, some don't respond because they are too busy looking for a job, some don't respond because they are too busy working, and some don't respond because they were so sick of law school that they no longer want to "help" the school gather data.
Added to that, law schools don't want to get the most accurate data because it would reduce their application numbers.  Pre-law students don't really want the numbers because they prefer to live in a dream world filled with cute puppies and fields of daisies.  Ever try to talk to someone who is considering law school about the reality of law school?  If you are too honest, they look like they are either about to cry or they think you are a moron.  The truth hurts and, contrary to popular opinion, most people aren't interested in the truth.  They want the truth that they believe to be true.
For me, I ignored the toilet I attend's staggering reputation for flunking out students.  My school fails out more students every year than every other law school in the state (there are 9 schools, including mine).  Combined.  By a shocking amount.  If I had paid attention to that fact, I never NEVER would have gone to school here.  I would have waited for the next cycle and gone to a school more interested in pumping out quality lawyers than maxing out their admissions and flunking out 10% of every incoming class.  The data was there.  I even looked at it.  But I chose to ignore it because I wanted to go to law school asap and they offered me admission.
I just had a conversation with my cousin.  He graduated with a high GPA from Michigan with a degree in business.  He moved to NYC and started working for someone else and hates it.  His parents, both successful doctors, have been trying to talk him into medical school, but he isn't interested.  So they decided to try and push him into law school.  I spoke to him about how hard it is to get in, how hard it is to do well, and how hard it is to get a job.  His parents (my aunt and uncle) were furious.  I had to explain to them that it's his life and his choice.  I told them that they wouldn't like it if he went for a year and decided he hated it.  I told them that they wouldn't like it if anyone tried to talk them into going to medical school if it meant that 33-50% of medical school graduates wouldn't be able to find jobs or pay their debt.  I tried to explain to them that I wasn't going to lie to my cousin and paint a rosy picture of law school because that wouldn't help him.  I offered to have him accompany me to classes whenever he wanted.  That was 3 months ago.  My phone hasn't rung.  He wants to start a small business and thinks he'd have a better shot of making it than if he suffered through 3 years of school he probably wont like, then look for a job he probably wont like, then hate his career until he either quit to do something else or retired.
He's on the right track.  Too many kids graduate college thinking they are owed a high paying job, only to find out that their degree and complete lack of work experience only qualifies them for jobs that don't pay well and are very demanding.  It's entitlement.  Too many decide to go to law school because they think it entitles them to a six figure job, when it doesn't.  Even those who do get the golden job paying huge money find out it isn't glamorous, they usually don't have time to enjoy the money, and they don't see the inside of a courtroom for 5 or so years (assuming that's what they want).  What the legal community needs is more honest lawyers and law students forcing potential law students to understand just what they are getting into- the hard work, heavy load, being surrounded by a high concentration of the people they hated in college, ridiculous competition amongst peers, the lack of good jobs, and the massive debt.
My point is - the numbers law schools report shouldn't matter all that much.  What potential students should do is talk to 2L's, 3L's, recent graduates, and experienced attorneys.  They should attend a few law school classes as guests.  They should buy a first year Con Law or Property book and read it.  They should take a sample law school exam.  Most of all, they should be required to work in the real world for at least 2 or 3 years to see what that's like as well (I believe too many law students have zero life experience, making them arrogant, ignorant, and too self-assured).
I think they should also understand the trends in legal education, specifically the fact that for at least two decades there have been more students in law school than lawyers practicing.  That's all they really need to know....  The rest, the lawsuits, the blogs, the employment data, etc, is just BS.

aglittman

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2010, 02:17:31 PM »
Bigs5068,

Although you make a couple of good points, your reasoning is very flawed.  Although I don't want to spend a lot of time pulling apart what you wrote (since I have a lot of work to do), let me just make a brief point:

Many law students, such as myself, do not feel entitled to a six figure job after law school.  However, as someone who graduated at the top of my college class, and currently attends a top 50 law school (ranking in the middle of my very competitive class), I do feel entitled to A JOB after law school.  Let me make that very clear:  I would be extremely happy with something like a state government job paying $40-50k a year.  When people in my position have difficulty finding such employment, there really is a problem. 

Granted, no school wants to be the only one publishing accurate employment information, but there must be some regulation of the employment numbers put out by various schools.  As you point out, it is true that certain groups are trying to reveal how biased these published numbers are, but not enough people are aware of these organizations.  There really has to be some regulation coming from the top - such as the ABA. 

Your assertion that people are being lazy complainers falls flat when the reality is that very good students are sending out tons of applications and getting rejected from jobs that pay very low salaries.     

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2010, 02:56:15 PM »
See that is the problem you rank in the middle of the class at a mediocre school sorry to say top 50 is mediocre. It is still an accomplishment and you are obviously intelligent and I am not trying to take anything away from you. However, I am sorry your numbers are not going to have people going out of there way for you 40,50, 60k a year jobs are not handed out to people on street corners. That is the real problem people think oh I won't get a 100k a year job, but 50k I should get that it is my right. However, those jobs are competitive and being mediocre does not entitle you to those positions. Everyone at any ABA school is competent, and they are in competition for a limited number spots.  I will bring my basketball experience here when I played basketball the first step I had to do was make my high school team.  800 guys showed up and everyone was pretty good. They were only taking 12 guys that it is it for 800 people and I was luckily in the top 12. Had I been in the middle or even the top 10% -so the 80th best I would have been cut.  I would not have even made it to the final day of tryouts had I been in the top 10% of those guys. Even when I made the team I still had to scrap and fight with those 12 really good guys for playing time I was not entitled to anything.  Then two of us were lucky enough to get scholarships for basketball. So 2/800 made it to the next level at my high school.  That is the same kind of scrapping that goes on in the real world sports like the real world is competitive.

Now you were at the top of your college class good for you and it is quite an accomplishment. However, everyone at any ABA school was one of the top students at their undergrad.  You have to be one of the top students at your college to get into an ABA law school. Just like everyone on my college team was a good high school player and went through the B.S. I mentioned above. However, when practice started  nobody cared what you did in high school. I did not tell everybody hey I did this & that in high school it was assumed I was good to be there in the first place. I then had to scrap & fight for playing time again, but I wasn't that good compared to those guys probably the 8th best out of 12. It was not that I did not work hard, or was not a talented player, but the other guys were better worked harder and were more talented. On the same token no employer is going to care that you were in the top of your undergrad class even employers that pay 50K.  They are just going to assume you had good grades in college and that is how you got into law school.  As it stands you are in the middle of your school and all the people in front of you were good college students who are outperforming you in law school. So just like everyone on my college team worked hard, was talented, tall & strong  every student attending an ABA school  is smart, works hard, and is motivated. They will all compete for 50-60k a year jobs again those are not being handed out on the street corner.  Being smart, working hard, etc are the bare minimum things to be a lawyer and to get a job even one paying 40K. The bottom line is nobody is entitled to anything.

So as it stands from the description you gave I assuming you were the 147th best student at the 43rd best school in America. Do that sound like numbers that entitle you to something? Are you entitled to 50k for those numbers? There are about 10,000 people in front of you right now in regards to academics so you better not feel entitled to a damn thing. Because you are not and neither am I. The real world is a highly competitive and you better not feel entitled, because you are not going to make it very far. Companies or the government don't have just hand 40,50,60k a year jobs. I hope it works out for both of us, but never feel entitled because nobody owes you anything in this world. The sooner the writers of JDunderground & other b.s sites realize that hopefully the better their lives will get.

aglittman

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2010, 03:46:46 PM »
Bigs,

This will be the last thing I write on here, so you can (and I'm sure you will take the opportunity) have the last word.  First of all, I attend one of the law schools tied for 34rd in the country.  Ranking in the middle of my class at one of those schools is far from mediocre.  You attend Golden Gate University, which cannot even be considered mediocre - it is a bad school.  The law employment crisis would immediately be over if the ABA shut down sub-par diploma mill schools such as yours, but that of course will never happen. 

You state that all students at ABA approved law schools were at the top of their class in college, but according to the numbers you made available you were not near the top of your college class. 

I know my comments seem extremely mean, but thinking that you (coming from a tier 4 school, with a very average lsat score, and horrible writing skills) have as much of a right as me to a job is itself a form of entitlement.   

bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2010, 03:49:35 PM »
Well I have a job that pays me, do you have one of those? Tell yourself how great you are for being the 147th best student at the 34th best school and honestly good luck to you. I honestly do not see how being the 147th best student at the 34th best school is anything other than mediocre. I am sorry it is not that impressive and  my academic credentials are even less impressive. However, I am well aware that I go to a tier 4 school and that I am not entitled to anything. Knowing this I applied to  about 400 jobs. This resulted in 30 interviews so 370 applications went for nothing. I went to 30 interviews and got 6 job offers. So 394 attempts wasted maybe partially because of my school who knows, but I have a job. I never once said I am a genius in fact I am far from it. I know that I am not and have to work 10x harder than others to succeed. You apparently don't realize that being 147th best student at the 34th best school does not make you a genius either. You are the 147th best student at your own school so 146 students at your own school rank higher than you not to mention there are 33  schools with hundreds of students ahead of you. I am in the top 10% of my school, but I am not naive enough to think this entitles me to anything and even with my high class ranking you might still be in a better position than me.  However, I have enough common sense to know my school/ranking will not entitle me to anything.  Considering you are at the 147th best student at the 34th best school I suggest you develop the same common sense. 

I also imagine you are paying full tuition to go to the 34th best school as ranked by U.S. news system that makes no sense. By the time you graduate it could be the 63rd best school or hopefully the 15th who knows where it will be. I encourage you to look at the formula U.S. News uses to rank schools it will blow you away how inadequate the system is. That may or may not help you because your could rise or fall 40 spots in one year based on their unbelievably inadequate system. You probably should have taken scholarship money instead of going to the 34th school, but that is nothing more than my opinion.

It is really sad that U.S. News a for profit magazine adamantly disapproved by the ABA, AALS, and every other recognized regulatory organization takes advantage of young naive students. Students pay 100k more to go the 34th or 57th best school, because as you stated you are entitled to something if you go the 34th best school. Sadly not that many people care about 34th, 63rd, or even 112th place.  There are ELITE schools i.e Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, NYU, UCLA etc. Then there is 34th or 82nd place nobody cares. I am sure nobody outside of the region the school you attend has heard of it unless it has a big-time sports program.

jack24

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2010, 12:39:50 PM »
Hey Bigs:
You applied for 400 jobs?   400 summer internships right?  Are you saying you sent out 400 resumes? Because if you actually found 400 job openings you need to write a book on how to do that.
You seem like you'll end up with a job after graduation and be successful, but as a 3L with a paid internship, I have to point out that the market for internships (even paid internships) and the market for full-time jobs are not the same.


bigs5068

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2010, 02:18:54 PM »
Yea  it was around 400 I think give or take and I applied to some unpaid ones as well.  When you have nothing you can't be picky, but between Craigslist, indeed.com, monster.com,  my schools website, and my school is part of the Bay Area Consortium of law schools and it lets us connect to the other bay area schools career services so I think it ended up being around 400 jobs. I applied to jobs in L.A. as well, because that is where I am from. So between San Francisco and L.A. there were about 400 jobs on those sites.  I am also well aware that a paid internship is nothing like a full-time associate job and I will probably have to work even harder to find a full time position than to find these summer gigs. It is a tough field and who knows if those 6 job offers I got will fall apart by the time summer comes around or I will get fired on the first day.  The bottom line is no matter how hard I work to find a job, how high my class rank is, or if GGU gets invited to join the Ivy League, which is in the works :) I am not entitled to anything and neither is anybody else.
 
 I think you understand there is no entitlement either. The law is not some easy golden ticket and what aglittman does seem to understand is that firms or government offices are not just handing out  50k a year jobs. 50k does not grow on trees and a lot of people like them think I can finish in the middle of the class at the 34th best school. They will tell themselves it is cool I won't be in Biglaw or be a Judge, but one of those firms or government offices will just hand me a 50k a year job. I studied in law school and passed the bar no other entry level lawyer can boast those kind of qualifications ::).  The reality is there were 43,000 law school graduates nationwide last year.  The majority of these people will be looking for jobs and unless you are related to someone in a position to make hiring decisions nobody owes you anything.

That is what is really sad about U.S. News and how it tricks people like aglittman into thinking that being at the 34th best school entitles you to something. I have said it a million times I know so many people that transferred from GGU to USF, Santa Clara, & Hastings and paid 80k more to go to those schools. They generally end up not having a job at graduation and having to work hard to find a job where they ended up with GGU classmates who also had to look hard for a job. So all the transfer students got for going to the 43rd or 74th best school  80k more in debt. None of those schools impresses anybody especially when Stanford & Berkeley are right here. Even this year a few people my section transferred to Hastings and that school was dumb enough to accept me through a transfer application. I did not go and instead used that acceptance  to get 20k more in scholarship at GGU. I am still friends with those people and I saw them at Halloween Party they are all really cool people, but  Guess how many Bay Area firms were begging  Hastings Grads to work for them? The answer basically nobody just like at GGU.  Instead the burden feel on them to find summer jobs and none of them had found anything yet. Hastings is 43rd I think and 43rd place impresses no one, but U.S. News tricked these people into thinking it is worth 80k more to go to the 43rd best school. Or Santa Clara or USF, which are 85 or 98th and are even more expensive than GGU or Hastings. It is just a sad messed up system that leads people to make horrible decisions and gives them a false sense of entitlement. I really wish more people would speak out against it.

BikePilot

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2010, 08:16:41 PM »
Y'all need higher standards.  Taco bell managers make $40k and I know security guards making $80k....   :P  I can understand a low paying legal job after 7 years of busting your butt in higher education if you are convinced you are saving the world.  But in terms of financial ROI, I can't see going through 7yrs of schooling for a $60k job.  I think maybe rather than using "entitlement" which isn't really applicable in this context (yet thank goodness), maybe debating in terms of goals or expectations would be more correct and useful.

Anyhow, all this to say, don't sell yourself short.

The work ethic promoted by big is most commendable.  Apply that same work ethic before and during law school as well for best results.
HLS 2010

Denny Shore

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2010, 11:10:01 AM »
I hate to say it, but once we start attacking each others credentials, education, and choice of schools, we turn this from a productive conversation to nothing more than an opportunity to try and make ourselves seem superior to each other.  Isn't that one of the problems woven into the larger issue?
I attend a tier 4 school.  Then again, I have a job waiting for me when I graduate, so it doesn't matter or affect me negatively in any way.  Clients don't care where you went to school.  They only care about how good of a job you can do.  Going to a top 10 school doesn't mean a lawyer will do a better job.

That said, I don't agree that the ABA should shut down schools that don't rank high in some bogus rating system.  My school is rated very low in USNAWR but it produces more judges in my state than any other law school.  Period.  Does it affect biglaw opportunity?  Sure it does.  But students who attend here shouldn't be expecting the same opportunities for jobs as students at HLS.  For some students, lower tier schools provide them with an opportunity to fulfill a dream.  The problem comes when students erroneously believe that their JD is a golden ticket.  It isn't, even at HLS (though they tend to get better shots at jobs).  A JD is a starting point that opens a graduate to opportunities to do something hey love.  That's all.  There are no guarantees in life.  The issue isn't which school is better or who got better grades in college.  The issue is that some whiny law grads think they have a right to a six figure salary by virtue of their education.

As for BikePilot's comment, in a way he is correct.  There are way easier roads to jobs that pay the same or better than the ones law grads get.  That is the piece of the puzzle the dorks who filed suit (as well as the dorks who female dog and moan on websites) seem to have missed.  Being a reasonable, rational human being should include accurately assessing the value of the education you plan on paying for.  ROI.  40 years ago, the ROI was awesome.  My father in law worked as a teacher while attending Kent at night.  He paid his own way and never needed a loan.  The cost of the education has risen exponentially, partly due to inflation and partly due to there being too many students attending law school.

It all boils down to one thing - entrepreneurship.  If you can't find a high paying job, take a low paying job and get experience.  Then go open your own firm.  See all those huge law firms?  Everyone of them was started by a few guys and gals who got sick of working for some other schmuck and made their own firm.  You can choose to be a zombie (no offense) and work for someone else for a paycheck or you can go create your own firm and never work for anyone else again.  Maybe in 20 years, you'll end up with a practice that employs hundreds of attorneys.  Maybe your firm will stay small.  Either way, you'll be better off and make great money.  Killing yourself to work for biglaw can be great.  But if the world is telling you that isn't going to happen, don't file a suit against the law school who fulfilled their end of the bargain.  Go be a lawyer.  Go be an entrepreneur.  Your education puts you in a great position to do just that.  I don't know when or why hopeful members of our profession don't understand that.  I wish more would think like a capitalist and realize that true freedom doesn't come from making boat loads of money working for a huge firm that might fire you because you didn't log enough billable hours.  True freedom comes from being the guy whose name is on the door.

oceansmarine

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Re: Suing your law school?
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2010, 06:33:15 PM »
In working directly with the DOJ and US Attorney General on resolving the Grutter Decision, it appears that their is in-fighting between the ABA and the Department of Education and DOJ.  Keep in mind that Sallie Mae (The student loan program) is now bankrupt with 120 billion dollars in uncollectable loans (as they stated/gone forever).  Aunt Sallie and Uncle Sam are angry at the ABA and law schools for challenging the issues of 'Supply and Demand'   Sallie Mae can only admin the existing loans as of today.

As for the Law Suit.  The individual can prove corruption/negilence as discussed which has impacted their career and finances.  The case no# is DJ 169-73-0.   The law schools have been over allocating admissions into law school based on their seat allocations as established by the ABA and with Sallie Mae bankrupt, the individual should be able to connect the dots in respect to supply and demand. 

The missing step with admissions has been acknowledged by the US Attorney Generals' Office as stated. 
It will be interesting as to how the suit proceeds !!       

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