(Closed) Want to go to law school?

posted 10 years ago in Legal
Post # 17
Member
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I actually do have a HUGE complaint with this article.  The underlying premise is spot-on.  Law schools do fudge their employment statistics, which does cause way too many 22-year-olds to take on staggering, life-altering amounts of debt based on the mistaken belief that they’re guaranteed a 150K job after graduation.  In reality, only a very small minority of students from the top law schools have even the slightest chance of making that much.  The New York Times had a fabulous opportunity to shed light on this scam, on the fact that all these kids are mortgaging their futures on the huge gamble of law school, and what do they do instead?  They profile the most irresponsible kid ever.  There are SO MANY PEOPLE who actually did everything right.  They went to an affordable law school in an affordable city (NOT Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego).  They didn’t use student loans to finance West Coast condos and study abroad trips.  And they STILL got screwed, with tons of debt and no job.  By interviewing that clown, the NYT did all those other people a huge disservice, because their story could have been told.  And it might have been a real warning to would-be law students, cause then kids could read it and think, “Hey, that could end up being me.”  Instead of thinking, “Wow that kid was stupid.  I’m sure law school will pay off by the boatload for me!”  Cause that’s only half true. 

Sigh. 

Post # 18
Member
36 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2012

It’s not just law school.  Many graduate programs are costly and with the abundance of people competing for a small number of jobs, you’ll have many people stuck with student loans.  A couple years ago, the WSJ had a similar article regarding going for your MBA.  

I’m all for furthering yourself through education.  But it’s by no means a gimme.  It’s a chance you take… is the cost of a higher degree going to be worth it to you?  

Post # 19
Member
1801 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

View original reply
@MissMoni: I agree with what you pointed out.  My husband has yet to find a job that will hire him other than a restuarant and he has a journalism degree (he’s been looking since May).  I know people with masters degrees that have to go back and get second masters or a PhD just to stay competitive in the current job market. 

While the legal field may be more competitive than a lot of fields, and the loan debt might be higher, I don’t know that it’s really a ton tougher to get a job than in most fields at this point, especially in big cities.  Plus, a lot of PhD programs are turning into this as many have had to greatly reduce funding in the economy, leaving a lot of doctoral students with huge loan debt and mediocre job prospects in many fields.  

I think a lot of articles like these do a shoddy job at depicting the true state of things.  Like some PPs said, they find odd choices of sources and skirt around the real issues.

Post # 20
Member
1870 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think this article applies to pretty much every professional school, although admittedly, the law profession appears to have been hit harder by this recession. But I know recent medical school graduates (from top-tier schools) who are having a little trouble or aren’t seeing too many options; MBA graduates who have been looking for a while; and even new teachers who can’t find jobs. It’s not a good time all around. 

 

 

Post # 21
Member
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’ve heard this from some of my law school friends too, but you gotta throw med school in the mix too.  We don’t start making livable money until about year 8 or 9 of schooling on average.  If I didn’t have a partial scholarship I would come out of the first four years with $350,000 in debt!  As it is now, my fiance and I will be half a million in debt when we graduate medical school.  That $40,000 residency salary doesn’t sound super helpful either…  People wonder why med students are entering more glamorous specialties (for example, dermatology and plastics are probably the two most competitive specialties) instead of going where we are needed in primary care.  It all comes down to not being able to pay back loans!!  There needs to be some serious reform in graduate school costs.

Post # 22
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I got into every law school I applied to and took my second choice school, despite it being lower ranked because they gave me about a 90% scholarship. 3 years of law school will end up costing me less than 1 SEMESTER of my undergraduate school.

I don’t want to work at a big firm, I want to work in a specialized field where the starting pay is closer to 60K than 120K, so I made the choice that would best fit with that.

As of the first semester I am in the top 10% of my class, and the average employment rate at my school for the top 10% is over 95%. 

It’s about making the RIGHT choices, as previous posters have said, and accepting that there is always a gamble involved. Will I lose out on some interviews because I went to a lower ranked school? Probably. Will I be able to make my student loan payments even if I end up working at a grocery store? Definitely. That is the choice I have made, I would rather take the risk that someone might not want me because of my school than not be able to pay back my debt. 

Post # 23
Member
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

View original reply
@MissMoni: Just for the record, there ARE plenty of kids at Harvard, UChicago or Columbia/NYU struggling to find jobs.  I know several of them (all who have decent grades).  At my school (a top 25 school) pretty much none of the 3Ls have jobs.  So I definitely don’t find the article misleading in that sense.  If it’s misleading at all it’s because of what 
View original reply
bryce234 said.  It focuses on a few people who were incredibly irresponsible, instead of showing the terrible things that are happening to people who made decisions to go to even really good law schools, who tried to keep their debt down, but now are unable to find any employment at all (non-legal included).   

Post # 24
Member
6 posts
Newbee

View original reply
@whiteorchid: What Im saying is they used the worst possible example – in terms of where he went to school, what he did, all of that. I’m sorry that your friends are having problems getting jobs, I haven’t seen the same which is probably why I felt this article was so inaccurate. It was wrong of me to make assumptions about all grads from T14 schools because, as with all schools, there will be some people who don’t get jobs. I think I just tend to think that my experiences (or those of my family/friends when it comes to T14s) are all that there is.

 

View original reply
@Rubies: I think Im coming from where youre coming from. I took the best school for the best money. There were clearly other factors involved: alumni network, long-term cost of living, etc. My school allegedly reports 98% employment with an average salary of over 90G for new grads but part of what the article is saying is that those numbers are in some way inflated/a lie. Even if they aren’t 100% truthful, I will still be able to pay off my loans.

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