Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: Y2KELZ on January 28, 2009, 05:14:15 PM

Title: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Y2KELZ on January 28, 2009, 05:14:15 PM
What's the lowest LSAT score you know of received and accepted into law school?
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 28, 2009, 05:47:19 PM
The question you should ask is not what is the lowest LSAT score accepted. You should ask, what's the lowest lsat that's been accepted at a Tier 1 (Tier 2 possibly) law school. I don't know that you're going to recieve any serious responses to this post (why are you writing in all caps?) Go buy the Powerscore books, take at least 25 prep tests, if not more, the more recent the better. I know you didn't ask for studying tips, but judging from the posited query, I'd venture to say you could use a couple. Good luck in your studies.

Oh yeah, when you take those prep tests, each question that you get right and wrong, know the reasons behind everything.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Y2KELZ on January 28, 2009, 06:17:37 PM
Thanks for the reply but the question I asked, was they question I wanted an answer to. I didn't condition it the question with tier 1 or 2; maybe I should have clarified an ABA school though. I've already taken the test and I have a decent score. I wanted to know if anyone knows "a friend of a friend" or a cousin or neighbor down the street with an unusally low score that was accepted to law school.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: RobWreck on January 28, 2009, 06:26:29 PM
I've heard of high 140's getting in at some schools when there were 'other compelling factors'.
Rob
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 29, 2009, 05:21:45 AM
Just tell your friend not to waste his/her money going to the lowest ABA accredited school. Don't go to law school if you can't handle the LSAT, sure.
More importantly, don't go to any school that isn't going to guarantee you some sort a job as a consequence of attendance.
 
It should be T-14 or bust. Certainly Tier 1 or bust if that's a bit extreme for you and your friend. Don't hate me for being blunt, this my candid opinion.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: SavoyTruffleShuffle on January 29, 2009, 05:34:25 AM
If LSN is to be believed, people have gotten into Cooley with as low as a 137.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: fusername on January 29, 2009, 02:43:14 PM
You tier 1 or bust guys are full of it.  You go to law school to gain connections and of course learn.  What counts is what you do when you come out of it.  Clearly if you want to work in Big Law (which many people equate to success) you have less of a chance if you don't go to a t14 school, for example. 
However, you're basically saying don't pursue a career in law unless you get accepted to tier 1 because you won't be successful.  Let me put that in LSAT terms for you:   not tier 1 ---> unsuccessful    contrapositive:  successful --> tier 1.  Find the flaw in that statement:  (C) Its not necessary for you to go to a t14 school to be successful practicing law. 
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 29, 2009, 03:00:12 PM
If only employment was predicated on LSAT logic instead of the economy... You shouldn't get upset, you obvoiusly did extremely well on the LSAT to be schooling me, you must be sitting somewhere in the T14 fuse.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: fusername on January 29, 2009, 03:04:23 PM
The economy - ha.

I double shorted the market when the dow was at 13,900.



              SIKE!
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 29, 2009, 03:07:18 PM
Indeed
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Scentless Apprentice on January 29, 2009, 04:47:39 PM
Just tell your friend not to waste his/her money going to the lowest ABA accredited school. Don't go to law school if you can't handle the LSAT, sure.
More importantly, don't go to any school that isn't going to guarantee you some sort a job as a consequence of attendance.
 
It should be T-14 or bust. Certainly Tier 1 or bust if that's a bit extreme for you and your friend. Don't hate me for being blunt, this my candid opinion.

This is a terrible post. I'm not commenting on the ABA part, just the "Tier 1 or bust". I understand it's just your opinion, but I find that to be complete BS. Why would you decide to not go to law school because you can't get into what a news agency terms "Tier 1"? I just completed a courthouse internship where I met at least 50 attorneys, probably closer to 75 or 100. I live in a major west coast market. I cant tell you how many people I met from Tier 3/4 that were very busy, successful attorneys. AND, a number of the judges and D.A.s in the building were from "bust" law schools as well.

I was constantly surprised at where people went to school. After being on this board for so long I had taken on the INCORRECT opinion that unless you went to a certain school, your employment prospects are forever doomed.

If you have the ability to be a good lawyer, you will find work. I don't care what school you went to, as long as you are a member of the bar, and you want to practice. Your post is terribly misguided.

Law school curriculums are very similar, and I think a school's name will only get you so far. I know people from T14's that hate their professors and their schools. Your abilities end up fueling your career, not your school's name. 
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Orbits on January 29, 2009, 05:51:34 PM
And, getting into law school isn't the only (or real) issue.  You probably do not want to go to law school for esoteric reasons.  You'd probably like to have a realistic chance to pass the bar exam.  Anybody who cannot pull an LSAT score at least in the high 140s is going to have a hard time learning the law.  (It is not just about memorizing laws.  It is about how to use them.  That involves an understanding of basic verbal logic). 

I trust you tell this to prospective customers who have diagnostic scores lower than 150, right?
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 30, 2009, 06:29:05 AM
Your potential at a Tier 2 school or lower is capped compared to T14.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Pardon Johnny Cash. on January 30, 2009, 06:33:15 AM
Your potential at a Tier 2 school or lower is capped compared to T14.

This is the type of ground breaking news that I troll internet message boards for.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 30, 2009, 06:38:00 AM
I'm only stating the obvious because for some people, as in the person initially reffered to in OP's post, they think any law school is going to get them a high paying job as a lawyer. This simply is not true.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Stole Your Nose! on January 30, 2009, 06:42:29 AM
Quote
You go to law school to gain connections and of course learn

Wrong. Most people go to law school to GET A JOB.  It is professional school. You generally go in order to get into a profession. So 1) you should not go to a school that fails out a significant number of its students before graduation and 2) you should not go to a school where your prospects for jobs are so low that you have to be near the top of the class to have one or where half of the class doesn't have a job (ANY job!) 9 months after graduation.  I think you can go to most tier 1s, some tier 2s, but I think it's generally too risky at a lot of T3s/T4s in this economy.  It is what it is. Some people take on the risk and win at the tables, but others come away with their pockets turned out and no jackpot.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 30, 2009, 06:51:22 AM
Store Your Nose put it more eloquently than me, but he/she is correct. Personally it was T14 or bust. I would be wary of anything below Tier 1. Why do you think my post was horribly misguided? I'm not attempting to boost my ego by putting someone down. I don't want people to make potentially disastrous decisions because they aren't savvy to the mechanics of the legal market. 
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: SASS on January 30, 2009, 08:03:24 AM
Just tell your friend not to waste his/her money going to the lowest ABA accredited school. Don't go to law school if you can't handle the LSAT, sure.
More importantly, don't go to any school that isn't going to guarantee you some sort a job as a consequence of attendance.
 
It should be T-14 or bust. Certainly Tier 1 or bust if that's a bit extreme for you and your friend. Don't hate me for being blunt, this my candid opinion.

This is a terrible post. I'm not commenting on the ABA part, just the "Tier 1 or bust". I understand it's just your opinion, but I find that to be complete BS. Why would you decide to not go to law school because you can't get into what a news agency terms "Tier 1"? I just completed a courthouse internship where I met at least 50 attorneys, probably closer to 75 or 100. I live in a major west coast market. I cant tell you how many people I met from Tier 3/4 that were very busy, successful attorneys. AND, a number of the judges and D.A.s in the building were from "bust" law schools as well.

I was constantly surprised at where people went to school. After being on this board for so long I had taken on the INCORRECT opinion that unless you went to a certain school, your employment prospects are forever doomed.

If you have the ability to be a good lawyer, you will find work. I don't care what school you went to, as long as you are a member of the bar, and you want to practice. Your post is terribly misguided.

Law school curriculums are very similar, and I think a school's name will only get you so far. I know people from T14's that hate their professors and their schools. Your abilities end up fueling your career, not your school's name. 

While I believe this poster is well intentioned, it is certainly misguided. I went to a T4 and transferred to a T20 and I can tell you the difference is remarkable in every way. Every time I see someone telling somebody that the rankings don't matter I cringe. Even if the rankings are bs, they matter to many people so it is in your own best interest to go to the best school you can get into. While it is true that abilities fuel a career, there are simply many doors shut for lower ranked law students. Trust someone with experience in this, go to the best school you can get into.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: fusername on January 30, 2009, 09:07:43 AM
If only employment was predicated on LSAT logic instead of the economy... You shouldn't get upset, you obvoiusly did extremely well on the LSAT to be schooling me, you must be sitting somewhere in the T14 fuse.


I don't understand your comment.  I can't tell if its "subtle" humor or not.  I was merely reacting to the generalization of "T14 or bust".  People read these boards for opinions, advice and sometimes guidance.  I don't think your comment is fair guidance to people looking for some hope in their low LSAT scores.  But it is your own opinion and therefore warranted. 


I think we should tell everyone they're not good enough if they don't get into t14, keep the market tight right?  Less supply of lawyers, higher demand for T14ers! 
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Stole Your Nose! on January 30, 2009, 09:13:02 AM
Quote
Law school curriculums are very similar, and I think a school's name will only get you so far. I know people from T14's that hate their professors and their schools.

The same class names doesn't mean that the curriculum is similar. And beyond first year, it's just not.  I don't know anyone in the T14 that is concentrating on bar courses in any area other than what they're interested in practicing in.  The quality of the profs matter (and, yes, i understand that it's not a perfect correlation between high-ranked school/better prof, but generally you will find better, more academic profs).  And for academia/clerkships/big law, the name of your school will always be carried with you. For lower-ranked people, it creates a presumption that you have to prove incorrect that you're not good enough. T14 students are given the benefit of the doubt and are presumed competent until they prove otherwise. 
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: misbuble on January 30, 2009, 09:34:54 AM
I think people react offended to the presumption that anything below Tier 1 isn't worth the price of admissions because they find themselves in a precarious situation if said presumtion holds water. If you can't evaluate yourself and others objectively, this is not the right field for you or Al Sharpton.

This is how you evaluate things objectively. I look in the mirror and think "Damn, what a baller." Obviously I'm a master of objectivity, b/c objectivly speaking- I'm a f###in baller.  ;D
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: HYSHopeful on January 30, 2009, 11:29:43 AM
If you score at or below the 30th percentile on the LSAT (146 and below), then I think you should seriously consider another career path while you are studying to retake the exam. There is a statistically significant positive correlation between success on the LSAT and success in law school. The exam is designed to test certain basic skills that are critical to this success: reading and verbal reasoning, critical and analytical thinking, time management, etc. If your LSAT score is in the bottom third, then you either lack these skills or you weren't adequately prepared. Either way, law school may not be for you. You'd be well advised to carefully consider your options.

Law school is an expensive prospect... even Cooley will run you $35,000 a year after tuition, fees, room & board. Factor in the opportunity cost of the salary that you could earn by getting a job today, the time value of money, interest on any loans you will have to take out, and it may not be a good financial decision in real terms.

I ran a quick, rudimentary NPV calculation on attending Cooley:

Assuming Cooley costs $35,000 per year, tuition does not increase during the 3 years you are there, and you pay cash.
Assuming you could get a job now earning $30,000 per year, with a 5% annual raise.
Assuming you get hired immediately after law school at $47,750 (the average in 2007 for Cooley grads), with a 5% annual raise.
&
Assuming a 7% discount rate

In this case, your investment in law school does not have a positive net present value until year 25, after working for 22 years. If you work for 30 years, then the net present value of investing in law school is $51,788.91.

YEAR   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33
Career year            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30
COOLEY                                                                                                   
School Cost   -$35,000.00   -$35,000.00   -$35,000.00                                                                                          
Salary sacrificed g=5%   -$30,000.00   -$31,500.00   -$33,075.00   -$34,728.75   -$36,465.19   -$38,288.45   -$40,202.87   -$42,213.01   -$44,323.66   -$46,539.85   -$48,866.84   -$51,310.18   -$53,875.69   -$56,569.47   -$59,397.95   -$62,367.85   -$65,486.24   -$68,760.55   -$72,198.58   -$75,808.51   -$79,598.93   -$83,578.88   -$87,757.82   -$92,145.71   -$96,753.00   -$101,590.65   -$106,670.18   -$112,003.69   -$117,603.87   -$123,484.07   -$129,658.27   -$136,141.18   -$142,948.24
Lawyer Salary g=5%            $47,550.00   $49,927.50   $52,423.88   $55,045.07   $57,797.32   $60,687.19   $63,721.55   $66,907.63   $70,253.01   $73,765.66   $77,453.94   $81,326.64   $85,392.97   $89,662.62   $94,145.75   $98,853.03   $103,795.69   $108,985.47   $114,434.74   $120,156.48   $126,164.31   $132,472.52   $139,096.15   $146,050.95   $153,353.50   $161,021.18   $169,072.24   $177,525.85   $186,402.14   $195,722.25
Net gain/loss   -$65,000.00   -$66,500.00   -$68,075.00   $12,821.25   $13,462.31   $14,135.43   $14,842.20   $15,584.31   $16,363.52   $17,181.70   $18,040.79   $18,942.83   $19,889.97   $20,884.47   $21,928.69   $23,025.12   $24,176.38   $25,385.20   $26,654.46   $27,987.18   $29,386.54   $30,855.87   $32,398.66   $34,018.59   $35,719.52   $37,505.50   $39,380.77   $41,349.81   $43,417.30   $45,588.17   $47,867.58   $50,260.96   $52,774.00
                                                                                                   
NPV T0   -$60,747.66   -$118,831.34   -$174,400.82   -$164,619.55   -$155,021.10   -$145,602.07   -$136,359.10   -$127,288.89   -$118,388.21   -$109,653.91   -$101,082.86   -$92,672.02   -$84,418.39   -$76,319.03   -$68,371.07   -$60,571.66   -$52,918.04   -$45,407.47   -$38,037.29   -$30,804.88   -$23,707.64   -$16,743.07   -$9,908.67   -$3,202.02   $3,379.27   $9,837.55   $16,175.11   $22,394.22   $28,497.08   $34,485.86   $40,362.71   $46,129.71   $51,788.91


Then, I ran the same calculation using University of Chicago's numbers:

Assuming UChicago costs $50,000 per year, tuition does not increase during the 3 years you are there, and you pay cash.
Assuming you could get a job now earning $50,000 per year, with a 5% annual raise.
Assuming you get hired immediately after law school at $145,000 , with a 5% annual raise.
&
Assuming a 7% discount rate

In this case, your investment in law school does not have a positive net present value until year 8, after working for 5 years. If you work for 30 years, then the net present value of investing in law school is $1,268,131.48

 
YEAR   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33
Career year            1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30
UChicago                                                                                                   
School Cost   -$50,000.00   -$50,000.00   -$50,000.00                                                                                          
Salary sacrificed g=5%   -$50,000.00   -$52,500.00   -$55,125.00   -$57,881.25   -$60,775.31   -$63,814.08   -$67,004.78   -$70,355.02   -$73,872.77   -$77,566.41   -$81,444.73   -$85,516.97   -$89,792.82   -$94,282.46   -$98,996.58   -$103,946.41   -$109,143.73   -$114,600.92   -$120,330.96   -$126,347.51   -$132,664.89   -$139,298.13   -$146,263.04   -$153,576.19   -$161,255.00   -$169,317.75   -$177,783.63   -$186,672.82   -$196,006.46   -$205,806.78   -$216,097.12   -$226,901.97   -$238,247.07
Lawyer Salary g=5%            $145,000.00   $152,250.00   $159,862.50   $167,855.63   $176,248.41   $185,060.83   $194,313.87   $204,029.56   $214,231.04   $224,942.59   $236,189.72   $247,999.21   $260,399.17   $273,419.13   $287,090.08   $301,444.59   $316,516.82   $332,342.66   $348,959.79   $366,407.78   $384,728.17   $403,964.58   $424,162.80   $445,370.94   $467,639.49   $491,021.47   $515,572.54   $541,351.17   $568,418.73   $596,839.66
Net gain/loss   -$100,000.00   -$102,500.00   -$105,125.00   $87,118.75   $91,474.69   $96,048.42   $100,850.84   $105,893.39   $111,188.05   $116,747.46   $122,584.83   $128,714.07   $135,149.78   $141,907.26   $149,002.63   $156,452.76   $164,275.40   $172,489.17   $181,113.62   $190,169.31   $199,677.77   $209,661.66   $220,144.74   $231,151.98   $242,709.58   $254,845.06   $267,587.31   $280,966.68   $295,015.01   $309,765.76   $325,254.05   $341,516.75   $358,592.59
                                                                                                   
NPV T0   -$93,457.94   -$182,985.41   -$268,798.73   -$202,336.25   -$137,116.06   -$73,114.94   -$10,310.11   $51,320.81   $111,799.74   $171,148.23   $229,387.40   $286,537.99   $342,620.34   $397,654.42   $451,659.83   $504,655.79   $556,661.18   $607,694.50   $657,773.92   $706,917.28   $755,142.08   $802,465.48   $848,904.32   $894,475.15   $939,194.19   $983,077.36   $1,026,140.29   $1,068,398.30   $1,109,866.44   $1,150,559.47   $1,190,491.89   $1,229,677.91   $1,268,131.48


Obviously this data isn't even close to perfect, but I think it does give some idea of the disparity:

T4 = $51,788 NPV
T1 = $1,268,131 NPV

Perhaps the discount rate should be higher at Cooley, because of the increased risk associated with lower job placement rates, higher attrition rates, etc... which would create an even larger disparity...

Wow.. I must have been really bored over my lunch break to have actually done this... At any rate, my point was, from a purely financial perspective, it makes little sense to
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: nealric on January 30, 2009, 11:45:18 AM
^

I must say, that's a pretty impressive breakdown. Bravo!
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Scentless Apprentice on January 30, 2009, 12:36:56 PM
Just tell your friend not to waste his/her money going to the lowest ABA accredited school. Don't go to law school if you can't handle the LSAT, sure.
More importantly, don't go to any school that isn't going to guarantee you some sort a job as a consequence of attendance.
 
It should be T-14 or bust. Certainly Tier 1 or bust if that's a bit extreme for you and your friend. Don't hate me for being blunt, this my candid opinion.

This is a terrible post. I'm not commenting on the ABA part, just the "Tier 1 or bust". I understand it's just your opinion, but I find that to be complete BS. Why would you decide to not go to law school because you can't get into what a news agency terms "Tier 1"? I just completed a courthouse internship where I met at least 50 attorneys, probably closer to 75 or 100. I live in a major west coast market. I cant tell you how many people I met from Tier 3/4 that were very busy, successful attorneys. AND, a number of the judges and D.A.s in the building were from "bust" law schools as well.

I was constantly surprised at where people went to school. After being on this board for so long I had taken on the INCORRECT opinion that unless you went to a certain school, your employment prospects are forever doomed.

If you have the ability to be a good lawyer, you will find work. I don't care what school you went to, as long as you are a member of the bar, and you want to practice. Your post is terribly misguided.

Law school curriculums are very similar, and I think a school's name will only get you so far. I know people from T14's that hate their professors and their schools. Your abilities end up fueling your career, not your school's name. 

While I believe this poster is well intentioned, it is certainly misguided. I went to a T4 and transferred to a T20 and I can tell you the difference is remarkable in every way. Every time I see someone telling somebody that the rankings don't matter I cringe. Even if the rankings are bs, they matter to many people so it is in your own best interest to go to the best school you can get into. While it is true that abilities fuel a career, there are simply many doors shut for lower ranked law students. Trust someone with experience in this, go to the best school you can get into.

I never said rankings don't matter. I just told my experience of spending many hours in a courthouse, and explained that I met many people from Tier 3/4's that were very busy, successful attorneys. Now, obviously I only talked to them for limited amounts of time, but I did see the entirety of some of their cases, and while I'm certainty not in a position to give a full critique of an attorneys performance in the courtroom, I certainly saw them win cases. Like I said, one person I met from a Tier 3 was a D.A., and when I asked him if he knew a certain judge he said 'yeah, I went to law school with him'. I remember one case that I watched where the defendant was a national supermarket chain. I remember thinking, I wonder where the attorney they hired went to school. I spoke with him - Tier 2.

It didnt take long before I realized I had a completely convoluted idea of this whole school name/employment thing because of this board.

HYS, your NPV make huge assumptions with the discount rate and starting salaries. To me, it's apples and oranges to compare a Cooley degree to Chi based on those numbers. I'm not trying to say it doesnt matter if you go to a tier 1 compared to a tier 4, I'm just saying that you're not SOL with the latter, simply based on my experience, which I do understand is not a representative sample of the entire country.

I plan on going to the best school that I get into. For some, that will be a tier 2, and I don't think that should stop them from following up on their desire to practice.      
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: Stole Your Nose! on January 30, 2009, 12:50:02 PM
FWIW, market pay at those firms is starting $160k with $17.5-30k bonus.
Title: Re: LOWEST LSAT SCORE ACCEPTED
Post by: HYSHopeful on January 30, 2009, 03:22:20 PM
I am not sure I would buy the assumption that going to a Tier 4 law school leads to a salary of $30K with only cost of living increases for the rest of your life because it is far from necessarily true.

My assumption was that the Cooley grad made $47,750 (the Cooley avg.) upon graduation. $30,000 is the salary I assumed the same individual could earn today, without going to law school. Yes, it may not be entirely accurate to assume a 5% annual growth rate, but I assumed the same growth rate for the UChicago grad. In addition, I started the UChicago grad at $145,000, when we know the market rate is more like $165,000.  It isn't uncommon for a BigLaw associate to be making $280,000 in year 8 - my model has the UChicago grad earning right around $200,000 in year 8. If anything, I'm erring on the side of the Cooley grad.

HYS, your NPV make huge assumptions with the discount rate and starting salaries.    

Indeed, which is why i prefaced the whole thing by saying that I'd done "quick, rudimentary" analysis, and explicitly listed the assumptions made. Obviously, the discount rate is the variable that would have the most drastic effect on the data. I used the average rate of unsubsidized student loans (which is right around 7%) as a proxy for the cost of capital. You could probably make a case for for moving the discount rate 100 basis points in either direction.  Still, I used the same discount rate for each scenario, so you can still get an idea of the magnitude of disparity. If you move the discount rate to 6%, the Cooley grad's NPV goes up, but the dollar disparity between the two scenarios grows as the UC grad's NPV increases exponentially. If you move the discount rate to 8%, the dollar amount disparity between the two decreases, but the Cooley grad's NPV ends up being closer to $0.

My starting salary estimate for UChicago grad was left intentionally low at $145,000. The Cooley grad salary estimate was the stated average starting salary of the 82% of the class of 2007 that had jobs within 9 months of graduation. Sure, a Cooley grad might make a bit more or a bit less, but it is entirely reasonable to use the average as a best estimate.

As for the Salaries that I assumed these individuals could earn today instead of going to law school... Average starting salaries for B.S. degrees generally range between $30,000 (liberal arts majors, etc.) and $50,000 (engineering, finance, consulting). Again, in an effort to err to the benefit of the Cooley grad, I assumed that they would have a much lower opportunity cost than a UChicago grad.

Keep in mind that I did throw this analysis together in 15 minutes on my lunch break, but I don't think I made any assumptions that are completely irrational and where I do err, I attempted to do so in favor of Cooley. The point was not to execute an impeccably accurate analysis, but to consider roughly (give or take a couple hundred grand, perhaps) the difference in the average expected NPVs of an education at UChicago vs. Cooley & roughly (within a few years, perhaps) the difference in the amount of time each graduate must work in order for an investment in law school to have a postitive NPV.