Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Few Must Reads....

The Journal Record discussing the debt that Law School Graduates are facing these days.  29% reporting that they owe more than $120K.  Woah.

The Editor of famous Above the Law discussing his Harvard Legacy--a huge debt.  Although not a huge critic of law school, he decided he wanted to warn the lemmings against making a similarly huge, $150K mistake.  As always, the comments that follow the article are enlightening.

A creative law student parlays his $30K student loan into $300K and a 39 month Jail Term.  Well, it may have seemed like a good idea.  Oh yah, his inside trading buddy killed himself before taking a plea deal. Heavy stuff.

Minorities getting a one up on Whites. It seems that less Blacks and Hispanics are attending law school although they are scoring beTTTTer on the LSATTTT than ever before. I say, Bravo!  That's one way to get ahead.


  1. Good Links.

    Perhaps it would be more effective to simply try to ensure aspiring law students don't take on much debt rather than trying to prevent everyone from going at all?

    As you know, almost everyone that wants to go is going to go anyway, and those that decide against it will quickly be replaced by someone else.

    It just goes too far to the other extreme when people are advising someone (i.e. me) that they're crazy to go when they're taking on zero debt, have a nice savings, another income, a paid off home, no children, etc.

    It just makes you appear desperate.


  2. Even if you go to law school on a full scholarship, there is a serious risk of unemployment or underemployment at the end.

    Because the law schools are cranking out tons and tons of JDs. Even if you are better qualified than most of those graduates, some percentage of them will be well connected, or lucky, or hot babes, or whatever, and will take a potential job away from you.

    It's kind of like starting a country inn. Even if you have the money to risk on it, you will be competing with legions of yahoos who are determined to overpay if necessary in order to realize their dream. So as a result, it's usually a bad investment no matter how carefully you plan.

    That said, I agree that attending law school is still a good idea for some people. For example, if you attend on a full or nearly full scholarship and really want to hang a shingle at the end. Or if the military will be paying and you like the idea of serving as a JAG for 5 years or whatever it is. And so on.

    But these are narrow exceptions which apply to a small amount of people . . . perhaps 5% of law school applicants.

    For the vast majority of people, the "Don't go to law school" mantra is correct.

  3. Law School doesn't prepare you to hang a shingle. You would commit malpractice if you did that. So narrow that down to Jag Corp.

  4. Angel,

    I'm pretty sure the time has come to ban Doug or delete all of his comments.

    And FYI Doug, I wanted to go to LS and after doing the research, I will not be applying. People are capable of changing their minds when they have the resources and information to make an informed decision. Angel is one more source of information and she has a right to say what she wants on her blog.

    You are the one is desperate. You're desperate for some kind validation of your life plan by people who would normally advise against it and for readership for your blog.

    Anyway, thanks for the link to the post about minority students. I think they are inadvertently getting shut out of the profession because of the emphasis on LSAT scores in admissions and the high cost of attending LS. As a minority with a decent but not spectacular LSAT score, I've been getting many LS recruitment e-mails asking me to apply, promising me that their school has a strong "my-minority" student organization. Like I said earlier, I won't be applying, but I can figure some of the top LS's are desperate for more minority applicants if they're recruiting me. ;)

  5. And Doug, where is your blog etiquette? I think it's so funny that you completely blow off the previous post and the comments that were directed at you. Jerry, in particular, is asking you address previous comments that he directed towards you. You instead, comment on this post and your comment is not relevant to the post. Do you think you're avoiding people's attacks this way?

    Then you bring up your same lame ass arguments. I understand that you'll be on scholarship (let's see if you keep it) and mooching off of your wife for the next 3 years. Nevermind incidental costs. So, debt will not be your issue. BUT you must think of loss of opportunity costs in those same 3 years. You are giving up whatever money you could have earned if you weren't in law school. And an even bigger reason to tell people not to go to law school is that they will automatically be OVER qualified for jobs that they could have gotten easily prior to law school. There is a dude named "M" that told you his story on your blog that was about just that. He couldn't get a job in the science field because he was overqualified with a JD--even though he had a hard science background. Remember, lawyer jobs are nearly impossible to come by because of the over over over abundance of lawyers. So, are you better off with a JD or without? I say without.
    I know this isn't the first time you've heard about the other reasons why one shouldn't go to law school. They're out there and many bloggers and commentators have hammered them home. Either you're stupid and you don't get it or you're a bot. If you are, in fact, as dense as you seem--you will be a failure in law school.
    Argument, counter-argument... why won't you face other commentators head on?

  6. Woo, censor me like the JJD!

    Jerry? I don't remember that one, I'll have to look.

    Mooching of of my significant other...that's the pot calling the kettle...


  7. Where did you get the feeling that I mooch? I don't at all. I pay all of my own bills. Your ideas about me are completely made up. Are you crazy?

  8. I'm not going to censor you. You can spew your crap all over the place. You frankly don't do a good job of arguing your point, so I have nothing to be afraid of. Have I deleted even one of your comments?

  9. No, you haven't, Angel.

    Sorry I misjudged you on mooching...but I suppose I could say the same thing. I won't be "mooching" either, but you assumed I would be. I have my own income and will continue to have it throughout law school.

    By the way, I changed my Pic for all of you.


  10. @ Anonymous 6:43am: you said,"And FYI Doug, I wanted to go to LS and after doing the research, I will not be applying. People are capable of changing their minds when they have the resources and information to make an informed decision. Angel is one more source of information and she has a right to say what she wants on her blog."

    Kudos to you. I agree that all of the blogs are good sources to get people thinking and to have them dig a little deeper about whether going to law school is a wise choice. Apparently that is what you did, and that's great.

    However, it will all have a ZERO effect on the overall situation because whatever seat you would've plopped your ass in will be filled by someone else. It isn't like law school X was going to have 250 1Ls if you went, but now, since you changed your mind there will only be 249.

    That's all I'm saying here...nothing to get so pissy about.

    That is why I said that it might be more productive to concentrate on keeping people from going into heavy-debt to go to law school. Isn't that the main bitch that these law school grads have? Student loan payments that they can't keep up with, having to take shitty doc-review jobs just to pay the bills, etc.?

    The seats in the law schools will be filled. 45,000 or more new JDs are going to be minted every year. Much less than 45,000 JD openings are going to be available each year. So be safe and don't mortgage your life that you'll be one of the JDs that gets the opening.

    I've never argued against that. Not once.


  11. Doug - While I agree that accumulating a mountain of debt is one of the worst aspects of the law school decision, Angel certainly has a point about the scarcity of jobs after law school. Additionally, you may wish to think ahead a little bit and have a little more compassion and understanding in your posts. For example, many law firms do Google searches as part of the hiring process. Further, law firms tend to avoid hiring people that have an abrasive online presence or illustrate that they can be less than diplomatic. Some would consider it to be distressingly ironic if your poorly thought-out commentary against someone advising you about the difficulty of obtaining a job after graduation was the actual source of you being denied a job after graduation. Word to the wise - and best of luck in law school.



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