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baseball_2003

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Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« on: February 25, 2013, 02:49:35 AM »
What are people's thoughts on this school?  I am considering attending this coming fall and would like some helpful feedback from people who are actually familiar with San Diego and TJSL's reputation throughout the region. 

Thanks!

livinglegend

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 04:24:33 PM »
First off realize that anything you read on this board or other comes from anonymous internet posters who have no repercussions for being completely wrong, making things up, etc. There is no qualifications to post on this board, top law schools, or others for all you know I could be one of the greatest lawyers in the world or a bum in a public library. Bottom line taking any advice from anonymous internet posters myself included with a major grain of salt.

With that introduction I can tell you that I have never been to Thomas Jefferson Law, but I am a lawyer in California. I can tell you I have seen good and bad lawyers from every law school Thomas Jefferson included. Thomas Jefferson does have significant issues with bar passage, but having taken the California Bar I really think bar passage is far more up to the individual than the school, but TJLS numbers are significantly lower than other schools. I do not know what to make of that, but it should be of some concern as they had 33% and 52% bar passage rates in the last 2 years. Again whether you pass the bar is much more up to the individual than the school, but those are significantly lower numbers than other schools.

Now with that said there are some major Pros to TJSL. I noticed they recently reduced their tuition to 19,000 a year, which is about half the price of every other California Law School. Furthermore, TJSL is in San Diego where there are simply not many other law schools, which means less competition.

One other thing to realize about legal education is that it is all the same. Whether you attend Davis, Hastings, University of San Diego, Thomas Jefferson, California Western, etc your first year will consist of Torts, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure. etc and you will read Supreme Court Cases. The United States Supreme Court does not spend time writing seperate opinions for different law schools and no matter what school you attend you will read Palsgraf in torts to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff to in Civ Pro to learn about notice. So there really isn't much difference between law schools they teach you the same exact thing. You will take the bar exam and hopefully you will pass if you do you will have a law license and whether you succeed as a lawyer will be far more dependent on you than any law school name on your diploma.

Now is anyone going to be impressed by TJSL? No certainly it would be better to go to Stanford the road to succeeding as a lawyer would be easier, but plenty of people do succeed from TJSL while many others do not. It will be an uphill battle, but people have overcome a lot worse things than not going to Harvard for Law School. There were attorneys who got licensed during segregation and overcame numerous obstacles, people around the world are starving and fighting for survival every day. People that complain that they cannot get a job, because they didn't get into Stanford are the epitome of first world problems, but if you someone that expects things to be handed to you then do not attend TJSL or any law school for that matter. If your prepared to work your ass off, overcome obstacles, and get sh** done then I encourage you to go for it, but it will not be easy.

Good luck to you whatever you decide.

baseball_2003

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 05:07:57 PM »
Thank you for your honest opinion.  I have a lot of things to consider in the coming month and don't have to fully decide until April 1st.  I am curious though;  where did you read about TJSL reducing their tuition costs to $19,000?  I was under the impression that they were charging right around 40K a year? 

Fortunately, I am willing to work my ass off in order to make things happen for my future.  Where in CA do you practice?  Thanks again!

     

livinglegend

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 05:31:29 PM »
I got it from LSAC http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba4973.pdf , but definitely call the school directly as that is a difference of 20,000 over one year and 60,000 over three.  I am in the Bay Area, but once you pass the California Bar you are licensed in every city in California and it being such a massive state covering towns like San Diego, L.A, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento to name a few you will be licensed in all of them if you pass the California Bar.

No problem happy to give some advice I know there is a lot of negativity on these boards, but you have to ask yourself what kind of person spends hours on anonymous posting on the internet to complain how unfair everything is? That is not the type of person I want to hang out with and I am a big believer in accountability I choose to go to law school no gun to my head and there were flaws in the system just like everything else, but I am glad I went. There are many others who hated their experience and the reality is whether you fail or succeed will be much more dependent on you than anything TJSL or other schools do. 

Remember all a law school owes you is a ticket to take the bar exam and any accredited law school will give you that opportunity. Whether you pass the bar or fail will be pretty much dependent on you and whether you find a job again will be on you. These are difficult tasks and TJSL is not going to impress anybody, but plenty of people from every ABA school nationwide do succeed however it is not easy. 100% of people on the first day of law school think they will graduate in the top 10% and they are special and will find a job at graduation no problem. 90% of people don't finish in the top 10% of the class and plenty of people struggle to find jobs. It is hard I will not sugarcoat and it is not always fair, but if being a lawyer is what you want then I encourage you to go for it, but be prepared for a challenge.

Anti09

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 06:46:20 PM »
TJSL gives you a 26.7% chance of ever working as a lawyer.  In fact, you have a significantly greater chance of being unemployed altogether (41.5%) than you do of finding work as a lawyer. 

It's objectively one of the worst schools in the country and an outright scam. 

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=thomasjefferson&show=chars

livinglegend

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 12:54:48 AM »
Although I am all for lawschooltrasnparency and their mission realize it is far from an accurate picture. This information is based on reports from 39% of students so that mean's over half the sample size is missing. I can tell you I graduated, passed the bar, and got a job. I never ended up reporting my employment and many people simply do not take the time to fill out a survey, or release their financial information, etc. Therefore I was a no-report despite working as a lawyer.

Furthermore, I posted this exact thing on another thread:

Copy/Paste from other thread


Realize that law school is the only profession I know of that is required to report employment information on an easy to access database. I would love to see the employment numbers for recent college graduates I am sure it is far worse than law schools. There is no centralized database for medical grads, MBA grads, accounting grads, or undergrads that I am aware of. At the very least law reports statistics and as far I know not one other profession does that.  If you know of a site that reports universal job statistics and everyone is reporting 90% employment making 80-100k from CPA school then I guess that is the route, but plenty of people struggle to find jobs in every profession as evidenced by my two second Google search.

A pessimist accountant saying in your first year you will make only 45-50k if your lucky. http://www.city-data.com/forum/work-employment/1004020-think-twice-before-you-get-accounting.html

Another thread of desperate accountants submitting endless resumes without finding a job. http://www.another71.com/cpa-exam-forum/topic/passed-all-exams-on-first-attempt-still-cant-find-a-job



A whole article explaining why an MBA is a waste of money. http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/04/pf/jobs/business_school_waste.fortune/index.htm

Another article explaining why an MBA is a waste of money http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/04/pf/jobs/business_school_waste.fortune/index.htm

Another thread of a guy with an MBA posting for a job http://www.indeed.com/forum/loc/Chicago-Illinois/MBA-graduate-can-t-get-job/t303546

Maybe being a cop is easy?
Oh nope http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/09/more_than_700_nj_police_office.html

another thread of people looking for law enforcement jobs http://policelink.monster.com/topics/83557-cant-find-a-law-enforcement-job/posts

How about just a plain old Bachelor's everyone must be hiring people with a B.A. or B.S. right? Uh no.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57434159/half-of-college-grads-cant-find-full-time-jobs/

http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/college-grads-cant-find-work-1b7vkvg-183086941.html

I could go on and on, but the reality is starting a career is difficult and nobody likes looking for work. I don't know if your still in college or attending law school, but you can see there is no easy route that I can find. At the end of the day people can complain on the internet about finding a job or get it done. Personally when I was waiting for bar results I was rejected by over 400 employers it was depressing, but I did have a few interviews and thankfully one came through once results were released, but it was not easy. It will not be easy no matter what profession you choose that is my point.

However, if you know of some golden ticket where everyone is getting hired, you don't have to pay any tuition, and you are paid exorbitantly please let everyone me know as well as everyone else on this board I would honestly love to know about it.

Conclusion:
OP Thomas Jefferson is not going to result in anything being handed to you, but every other profession will present it's own obstacle unless Anti09 knows of the Golden Ticket profession that I have been trying to find for over 30 years. If being a lawyer is what you want to be then go for it. There is a higher likelihood that you may not pass the bar attending TJSL your numbers are likely lower than others and this means you are not a good standardized taker. Standardized test taking makes no difference in your career as a lawyer, but your ability to take standardized test does make a difference on the bar and you cannot be a lawyer until you pass that exam.

There are plenty of TJSL grads and people from lower ranked schools that pass, but it is likely going to be more difficult for you to pass the bar than someone from Harvard. Furthermore, people from Harvard will have an edge on you in the legal job market and for that matter in any profession as Harvard has an MBA school, an accounting school, etc. If you want to be a lawyer and you know what it entails I encourage you to go for it. I knew what I was getting into when I enrolled and I love being a lawyer. I have numerous classmates that hated their experience and others that love their jobs more than I do. It is a gamble, but nothing is certain life and if being a lawyer is what you really want there is only way to become one and that is going to law school.

Good luck to you.

Anti09

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 10:05:49 PM »
LivingLegend, I'm not sure why you are insistent on encouraging people to make bad decisions.  Why would anybody pay $250,000 to attend a law school that only gives you a 26.7% chance of getting a job as a lawyer?   

Your list of other struggling professions is wholly irrelevant to this conversation.  OP isn't asking if he should become a CPA, or a Cop, or a Firefighter.  He is asking if he should attend one very specific law school, in pursuit of a specific career.  The answer to that question is no, because of overwhelming evidence that such a decision would be financial suicide.

Are you actually a lawyer?  Serious question. 

livinglegend

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 12:02:11 AM »
I don't know where you get 250,000 from their tuition is 19,000 per year http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba4973.pdf (direct from LSAC)  19,000 x 3=57,000 in tuition not 250,000.

As for the 26.7% again where do get these numbers LSAC says it is 86% employment. Now not everyone in law school has any desire to practice law and the circumstances of individual are so varied that these stats are essentially useless on top of the fact that many people fail to report their information because it is not mandatory. Do you fill out every survey that comes your way? Probably not and when you get something 9 months after you graduate from your law school it is the last thing on most grads mind.

As for the lawyer yes I am, but maybe I am just some insane delusional person all it takes to post on this board is an internet connection. Therefore, OP before making a life altering decision really understand what you read on this board or others should be taken with a major grain of salt. I have never set foot on the Thomas Jefferson Law School Campus and I am assuming Anti has never attended a law school class so we are some of the last people you should be listening to when choosing whether to commit 57,000 in tuition or more importantly 3 years of the prime of your life.

Anti as for the other professions I listed my point is you can make an argument that any profession is a bad idea. There are numerous boards and posters such as yourself who say do not become a CPA, Cop, firefighter, etc. This world is a cruel nasty place and nothing will be handed to you. So my point if OP really wants to be a lawyer he should pursue it, because there is not some easy path to take.

Feel free to continue ripping on people, but again OP realize we are nothing more than anonymous internet posters so please do not take anything said on here to seriously when making a life altering decision such as whether or not to attend law school and where to attend it. Should you pursue law school I wish you good luck and feel free to personal message me regarding things related to the practice of law in California, where I am licensed. If you choose another career path that is fine to, but make sure it is one that will keep you happy education is a long-term investment and if you choose the law school path it will be hard to get off of. If you go some other graduate school route that path will be hard to get off as well.


Anti09

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 06:09:03 PM »
I don't know where you get 250,000 from their tuition is 19,000 per year http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba4973.pdf (direct from LSAC)  19,000 x 3=57,000 in tuition not 250,000.

That's $19,000 per semester.  And that information is actually outdated, the actual cost of tuition is $21,500 per semester for the 2012-2013 academic year. See: http://www.tjsl.edu/admissions/tuition

$21,000 x 2 = $42,000 per year in tuition.

Adding in living expenses, estimated by your source at $27,440 / year, and the total cost of attendance is $69,440 per year.

$69,440 x 3 = $208,320. 

Now take into account tuition increases.  From 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 the tuition increased from $19,000 to $21,000.  That's over a 10% increase.  Let's assume that rate stays constant for the next three years.  This means the cost of tuition, per semester, for 1L, 2L, and 3L year will be $21,000, $23,100, and $25,410, respectively.  This adds an extra $6,200 his 2L year, and an extra $10,820 to his 3L year.  Tuition increases will cost an additional $17,020.

$208,320 + $17,020 = $225,340

Now, I don't know too many people who have that kind of money lying around.  That means OP is taking out loans.  After loan fees (4% of principal) and interest over three years, OP will easily top out over $250,000.  (And let's be honest, it's not like OP's life would be any less destroyed if it were only $225,340).

Quote
As for the 26.7% again where do get these numbers LSAC says it is 86% employment. Now not everyone in law school has any desire to practice law and the circumstances of individual are so varied

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=thomasjefferson&show=chars, which gets its data directly from the NALP report: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/documents/NALPReports/2011/thomasjefferson_Redacted.pdf

69 students out of the class of 228 got long term, full time legal jobs.  That's 30% (slightly higher than the 26.7% reported at LST, but still inexcusably bad).

And I don't understand your argument that some students "have no desire to practice law."  If one does not want to practice law, why is that person going to law school. Would you go to Med school if you didn't want to be a doctor? 

Quote
that these stats are essentially useless on top of the fact that many people fail to report their information because it is not mandatory. Do you fill out every survey that comes your way? Probably not and when you get something 9 months after you graduate from your law school it is the last thing on most grads mind.

If you have ever taken a statistics class you are probably familiar with something known as a sample size.  100% participation is not required to gain an accurate picture of the legal industry.  Additionally, the NALP report suggests that over-representation at large firms (and consequently high paying jobs) actually skews the salary data we do have in a favorable light.  Meaning, things are actually worse than they look, and things look pretty awful.The statistics may not be perfect, but they are the best that we have.  It makes a lot more sense to rely on statistics than it does to rely on personal anecdotes.

Quote
As for the lawyer yes I am, but maybe I am just some insane delusional person all it takes to post on this board is an internet connection. Therefore, OP before making a life altering decision really understand what you read on this board or others should be taken with a major grain of salt. I have never set foot on the Thomas Jefferson Law School Campus and I am assuming Anti has never attended a law school class so we are some of the last people you should be listening to when choosing whether to commit 57,000 in tuition or more importantly 3 years of the prime of your life.

I agree.  I am not asking him to listen to me, or not to listen to you.  I am asking him to listen to basic fiscal (and common) sense.  Objectively, attending this school is one of the worst investments anyone could possibly make.  It will end in abject failure for three quarters of the class, and those who are lucky enough to find work will face loan payments of nearly $2,600 a month for 10 years, or $1,500 a month for 30 years.  That is life-crushingly awful debt for anyone, but shouldering that debt while making (at a maximum) $60,000 per year is literally impossible. 

livinglegend

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Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 03:31:15 AM »
Anti your basis is that 100% of people entering law school want to be lawyers and that is far from true. Furthermore, TJSL has poor bar passage rates and as a result people who do not pass the bar cannot work as lawyers.

TJSL is on pass with the state average in California of 50% bar passage. If you knew how the bar exam works you would realize you don't get your bar results in California until November so you literally cannot be licensed to practice law until 6 months after you graduate in May. Then people are not exactly hiring during Thanksgiving and Christmas so January is when you can really start looking for work. This is 8 months after graduation so the statistics are very skewed as a result of that alone since 9 months is the reporting date.

With that obstacle alone you can see numerous flaws in the reporting of information. Now TJSL has a 52% bar passage rate which is poor and this means 48% of people cannot be licensed to practice law until results of the February Bar are released in May. So for those 48% they literally could not work as lawyers within 9 months of graduation so the information is again flawed.

To add on to this I cannot tell you how many people I went to school with who had a JD/MBA combination who repeatedly told me they had no desire to practice law and went on to work in business. Not everyone listed working in the business sector is working at Starbucks. There are also people with joint degrees in clinical psychology and other joint programs as well. On top of that I knew several students from the Middle East and South America whose parents were extremely wealthy and just wanted them to go to law school for the intellectual challenge.

When you get through all of those flaws in reporting there are numerous people who wanted to be lawyers when they enrolled, passed the bar, and went on to work as attorneys, but simply never filled out the survey like myself. So the info is terribly flawed based on the factors I listed above.

Again I am all for lawschooltransparency, but show me one other profession that keeps any detailed employment information on their graduates. Law school at the very least does that I am not aware of any other profession that does.

Now with that all said OP TJSL has the worst bar passage rate in California that is not a good sign, but the California Bar Exam is far more up to the individual than the school. In February 2011 Berkeley had a 71% bar passage rate and Stanford a 75% passage rate. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Statistics/FEBRUARY2012STATS.pdf . Those are both pretty good schools, but attending them does not guarantee you success on the bar exam.

Now even if you pass the bar it is a tough job market, but it is done I mean am employed as a lawyer and I am rambling on the internet at 12:30 a.m. so it can be done, but it was not easy for me. However, I truly love my job and what I do so if being a lawyer is what you want go for it. TJSL will get you a ticket to take the bar exam and if your ready to really fight and work your ass of good things can happen, but there are no guarantees.