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Is Law School a Losing Game? Article

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Rugger, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    Seriously? It's far from free.

    Even if you get full tuition/room and board, it's an extremely unpleasant three years of unearned wages.


    yeah. guess it all depends.
     
  2. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    anything free is a deal imo. the market will pick up, too.
    So three years of absence from the workforce, three years of wages lost, is free? I'm going to echo what other people have been saying: you come across as very immature and naive.
     
  3. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    nothing wrong with not wanting big law or working a government job. $50k a year is plenty for some people.

    besides a JD opens doors for you.


    Hey, I agree fully. If you love law and want a career in it (and don't care about money as much) a T3 school with little debt can be awesome. It's the fact that most people hear "law school" and think bottle service, Italian suits, and 6-figure pay that is the problem. Hell, the notion of T14 and you're set is pretty much gone now, too.
     
  4. lee_44106

    lee_44106 Senior member

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    so how is a dude with $250K in debt still living in NYC and eating in a restaurant in UES?

    Maybe the dude should blame the dipshit dumbass in the mirror..........
     
  5. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Seriously? It's far from free.

    Even if you get full tuition/room and board, it's an extremely unpleasant three years of lost wages.


    Especially if you leave a job that pays more than $50k-ish. Odds are you'll be back in the workforce making what you made before + debt (full tuition doesn't cover living expenses in most cases) + three years of lost salary. The NPV on most law school decisions is negative.

    If law salaries weren't so bimodal it wouldn't be too bad. If you could take a "MidLaw" job paying $90k and do so from a middle-of-the-road "good" school (think Villanova or Temple), it'd be a different story. But the fact it is boom-or-bust, $160k or $50k, for private jobs makes it a bad decision in many cases from a financial standpoint.
     
  6. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    So three years of absence from the workforce, three years of wages lost, is free?

    I'm going to echo what other people have been saying: you come across as very immature and naive.


    no reason to get really hostile. i'm being really reasonable. depending on who you are three years absent from the workforce isn't a really big deal as long as you didn't lose money in the process. maybe i'm wrong here but that doesn't give you the right to say i'm immature or naive just because i happen to be younger than you.

    Hey, I agree fully. If you love law and want a career in it (and don't care about money as much) a T3 school with little debt can be awesome. It's the fact that most people hear "law school" and think bottle service, Italian suits, and 6-figure pay that is the problem. Hell, the notion of T14 and you're set is pretty much gone now, too.

    yeah that's a huge problem. i agree 100%. people have unrealistic expectations and think a JD is a license to print money.
     
  7. Modern Day Adonis

    Modern Day Adonis Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I agree fully. If you love law and want a career in it (and don't care about money as much) a T3 school with little debt can be awesome. It's the fact that most people hear "law school" and think bottle service, Italian suits, and 6-figure pay that is the problem. Hell, the notion of T14 and you're set is pretty much gone now, too.

    My most realistic/ideal school choice is University of Iowa. I'm a state resident, could live at home, and could possibly land a scholarship there. Worst case scenario I sink $60,000 into a JD. Which I don't believe would be that bad for a decent school. Heck, that's on par with the tuition for most T3/T4 schools.
     
  8. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    My most realistic/ideal school choice is University of Iowa. I'm a state resident, could live at home, and could possibly land a scholarship there. Worst case scenario I sink $60,000 into a JD. Which I don't believe would be that bad for a decent school. Heck, that's on par with the tuition for most T3/T4 schools.
    I hope you realize that $60,000 is a lot of money. That is quite a bit more than the annual salary of the average American.
     
  9. ConcernedParent

    ConcernedParent Senior member

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    maybe i'm wrong here but that doesn't give you the right to say i'm immature or naive just because i happen to be younger than you.

    Yeah I'm sure that's why everyone thinks you're an immature little twit. [​IMG]
     
  10. nerdykarim

    nerdykarim Senior member

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    My most realistic/ideal school choice is University of Iowa. I'm a state resident, could live at home, and could possibly land a scholarship there. Worst case scenario I sink $60,000 into a JD. Which I don't believe would be that bad for a decent school. Heck, that's on par with the tuition for most T3/T4 schools.

    I hope you realize that $60,000 is a lot of money. That is quite a bit more than the annual salary of the average American.

    I'd probably sink 60k into a law degree from Iowa, tbh (I grew up in DSM). Iowa's ranked top thirty or so, right? With a liberal arts degree, you really don't have a lot of options that have any upward potential.

    I'll be in just a little bit less for my JD/MBA at UGA. I don't think I've made a horrible investment.
     
  11. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    Yeah I'm sure that's why everyone thinks you're an immature little twit. [​IMG]

    if i had never exposed my age you all would just assume i was an asshole. the immature bit is only introduced because you're aware of my age. my opinions aren't immature, they're just dickish. there's a difference.
     
  12. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    I'd probably sink 60k into a law degree from Iowa, tbh (I grew up in DSM). Iowa's ranked top thirty or so, right? With a liberal arts degree, you really don't have a lot of options that have any upward potential. I'll be in just a little bit less for my JD/MBA at UGA. I don't think I've made a horrible investment.
    Iowa is T30ish (closer to the ish end of things) - BigLaw out of there is tough as hell. You could make a way worse investment of $60k, though. Still, if you are willing to spend $60k and your ambition IS BigLaw, you should consider trying to get into a better school. $60k will be like $500/month in loan payments which ends up being quite a bit for someone making $50k/year (on top of rent, car payment, etc.)
     
  13. ConcernedParent

    ConcernedParent Senior member

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    if i had never exposed my age you all would just assume i was an asshole. the immature bit is only introduced because you're aware of my age. my opinions aren't immature, they're just dickish. there's a difference.
    No, people would then just think you are an idiot.
     
  14. nerdykarim

    nerdykarim Senior member

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    Iowa is T30ish (closer to the ish end of things) - BigLaw out of there is tough as hell. Has a good reputation for teachers, though.
    Yeah, same as UGA. I don't think you could go to either school and expect biglaw. But as long as you do decently well, you can assume that you'll find something and that if you work hard and make some smart lateral moves, you'll end up doing okay in the long term. Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I'd say you could easily get a positive NPV out of a law degree from Iowa at 60k in (assuming you're young/you're not leaving a decent position to go to school). The problem, I think, for students who get liberal arts degrees (and I think this is the fundamental problem with all of this law school stuff) is that you can make your $40-50k/year but there's little to no potential for growth in most of those positions.
     
  15. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    No, people would then just think you are an idiot.

    sure. same stuff.
     
  16. Modern Day Adonis

    Modern Day Adonis Well-Known Member

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    I'd probably sink 60k into a law degree from Iowa, tbh (I grew up in DSM). Iowa's ranked top thirty or so, right? With a liberal arts degree, you really don't have a lot of options that have any upward potential. I'll be in just a little bit less for my JD/MBA at UGA. I don't think I've made a horrible investment.
    Correct, Iowa is ranked 26. I agree, the liberal arts degree isn't ideal but I've enjoyed it a lot. Conne, $60k isn't chump change but it's no where near $250k in debt. I have a couple of options that I can fall back on if I do graduate and somehow fail to gain decent employment (read at least 50k). -Edit, I am young, I haven't finished UG yet. I'm honestly not sure if I want to do BigLaw or not? Haven't had enough insights from others or experiences to decide for myself. There are other law schools I could get admittance to but I'm hoping for a scholarship at Iowa. If I did and it turned to $0 debt then it'd take a good T14 gig to sway me from Iowa.
     
  17. BC2012

    BC2012 Senior member

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    Correct, Iowa is ranked 26. I agree, the liberal arts degree isn't ideal but I've enjoyed it a lot. Conne, $60k isn't chump change but it's no where near $250k in debt. I have a couple of options that I can fall back on if I do graduate and somehow fail to gain decent employment (read at least 50k). -Edit, I am young, I haven't finished UG yet. I'm honestly not sure if I want to do BigLaw or not? Haven't had enough insights from others or experiences to decide for myself. There are other law schools I could get admittance to but I'm hoping for a scholarship at Iowa. If I did and it turned to $0 debt then it'd take a good T14 gig to sway me from Iowa.
    If BigLaw is ultimately what you want, for sure, then Iowa isn't the place for you. In 2009 they placed 19% of their class in the top 250 (by size) law firms. Only 9 schools placed 50% or more, fwiw.
     
  18. Modern Day Adonis

    Modern Day Adonis Well-Known Member

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    If BigLaw is ultimately what you want, for sure, then Iowa isn't the place for you. In 2009 they placed 19% of their class in the top 250 (by size) law firms. Only 9 schools placed 50% or more, fwiw.

    Thanks for the info, I'll have to do some more reading on Biglaw and decide what exactly I want.
     
  19. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    I would not go to law school unless it was Yale, Harvard, or Stanford, or I had a family member or friend *guaranteeing* me a job after graduation. Sadly, I am a law student anyways.
     
  20. scientific

    scientific Senior member

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    anyone going to law school outside of tier 1 (real tier 1 ie top 5) is foolish and deserves to be an indebted barista
     

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