Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Thank You and Take Care


Starting Position: When I started this blog, we had the following sources for info regarding the law school scam: Temporary Attorney, Big Debt Small Law, JDU, AutoAdmit, Top Law Schools, Above the Law, a single post from Calico Cat, unperson at Exposing the Law School Scam, State of Beasley, the Ramen Noodle Eating Law Student, an Amir Efrati article in the Wall Street Journal on September 24, 2007, and an October 31, 2009 economic working paper from Vanderbilt law professor Herwig Schlunk entitled “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be…Lawyers.” Loyola 2L had already left the scene. There were also a couple of obscure state bar reports pertaining to employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also posted some data. We also had some employment charts from NALP and total enrollment and graduate numbers from the American Bar Association.

In sum, there was a paucity of information on the topic. At the same time, law schools – including third tier commodes – were casually listing their “placement rate” as 98% or higher. The pigs did not need to provide any support for their assertions on their websites and other marketing materials. While sites such as JDU, AutoAdmit, TLS, and ATL may have been harsh and judgmental in tone, they were correct in their overall assessment: low ranked law schools are garbage, because they provide weak-ass job prospects for their graduates. In stark contrast, Frank Wu authored an April 22, 2009 USN&WR piece labeled “Why Law School Is for Everyone.” One example used by this serial dean and “law professor,” in that post:

“Students have been ahead of their teachers for some time. They have long been coming to law school planning to adapt their training to myriad pursuits. They benefit from their ability to interpret a statute, even if they end up opening a restaurant.” [Emphasis mine]

Anyone with a brain stem could simply point out that a restaurant or business owner is fully capable of reading a statute – and then hiring a lawyer to represent their interests. That route would cost them a fraction of the time or cost of attaining a law degree. Apparently, many prospective law students couldn’t be bothered to have such critical thinking skills. Furthermore, any online discussion then by “professors” regarding “legal education” was limited to arcane concepts or their next law review article.

Since That Time: After getting involved with blogging about the law school cartel, the message magnified. The posts were sharp, in order to garner the attention of prospective law students. At one point, there were dozens of active scam-blogs. Then there were three watershed moments. Brian Tamanaha wrote a Balkin entry entitled “Wake Up, Fellow Law Professors, to the Casualties of Our Enterprise” – on June 13, 2010. Next, on January 8, 2011, the New York Times published an epic article by David Segal, under the headline “Is Law School a Losing Game?” And Paul Campos started his blog, Inside the Law School Scam, on August 7, 2011.

With those voices in the fold, they attracted contributions from the following: Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic, Steven J. Harper of Northwestern University, the folks at Law School Transparency. Will Meyerhofer also shed some light on the gutter “profession” in November 2010. He is a former Biglaw associate and a current psychotherapist. Also, take a look at this Youtube video from user "jaimekid2." There are now literally hundreds of articles pertaining to the law school scam, since that time. Most importantly, member schools are now required to comply with, and publish, ABA Employment Summary Reports.

https://lawlemmings.tumblr.com/research

In fact, the link above contains a plethora of evidence about the law school scam. This page furnishes hyperlinks to several dozens of news article on this topic. It also provides video commentary from prominent critics of “legal education.” If you know anyone still considering this foolish gamble, then send them that link. At the bottom of the page, Meyerhofer refers to law school tuition as “blood money.” He also notes that he sees dozens of lawyers every week, and he points out that some of them owe $240K in student debt with abysmal job prospects. At the 0:44 mark of his clip, he states “From my perspective, Bernie Madoff couldn’t have pulled a better scam.” If your friend doesn’t have time to listen to a one minute and 14 second video, from a former corporate lawyer, then let them make the trek. And don’t let them sleep on your couch when they graduate.

Moving Forward: I have now profiled all 207 ABA-accredited law schools, and that was one of my goals when I started this blog. JAG is not included since it is reserved for a Master of Laws degree in Military Law. It is not a diploma mill, and students are not financially crushed by being charged outrageous sums in tuition.

Also, I don’t want a scintilla of credit for any of the law school closures. In the end, the pigs’ greed and avarice led to those results. At some point, even those of average intelligence can figure out that it is not viable to take on an additional $160K+ in non-dischargeable debt – for a TTT law degree. I am happy that fewer have been victimized by the law school scam, but those young men and women looked at the information and made the choice to avoid financial ruin. Many others let their egos make the decision to go to law school.

I have written this blog for over eight years and four months. That is longer than a president stays in office, when he serves two full terms. At this point, I have thoroughly documented the law school scam. I am not interested in providing updates on low bar passage rates in Alabama, New Jersey, or Wyoming. Frankly, it is depressing to post about all-time low pass rates. While it used to be slightly comical to highlight law deans crying about how the bar exams are too expensive and difficult for their dumb graduates, that is no longer the case. These “legal scholars” have knowingly skewed data, in order to get people to enroll – even though they are aware that the U.S. lawyer job market is glutted and shrinking.

Conclusion: In the final analysis, prospective law students and their families now have access to good information regarding tuition, total cost of attendance, student debt figures, and the employment outlook. We now have transparency in place, and that helps explain why fewer people have enrolled in law school, in recent years. No one should feel sorry for the cretins who now willingly take on an additional $175K+ in non-dischargeable student debt – for a JD from a fourth tier dump or second tier sewer. After all, these young men and women have earned – or are working on completing – a four year college degree.

It is now essentially common knowledge that law school is a bad idea for the vast majority of students. Applicants now have access to ABA Employment Reports. They know the up-front costs, which are ridiculous. Today, prospective law students have no one to blame but themselves. You can find this information with a basic 10-15 minute search online. If you cannot perform this research – for your own financial future and well-being – then how in the hell do you expect to competently represent others in routine and complicated legal matters? 

Lastly, I am sure that I overlooked several contributors to this movement. I hope that they will forgive that oversight. I want to thank all of the readers and commenters who improved the discussion. And most importantly, thank you for helping inform prospective law students about the inherent dangers of law school.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Fifth Tier Diploma Factory: Lincoln Memorial University John J. Duncan Jr. School of Law


https://www.lmunet.edu/academics/schools/duncan-school-of-law/admissions/tuition-cost-of-attendance

Tuition: Who wouldn’t want to attend law school at a univer$ity named after Abraham Lincoln? The commode lists tuition as $1,150 per credit hour. Since first year students will typically take 30 credit hours, this means that the full-time tuition bill will amount to $34,500 – for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Fees add $420 per semester, or $840 for the full school year. I suppose that the people running this place think that their potential students are too lazy or stupid to figure out this simple math. What a great bargain for the pupils at this wondrous in$TTTTTiTTTTTuTTTTTion of “legal education.”

Total Cost of Attendance: Based on this same page, the school estimates that indirect costs will run you and additional $22,090. The rodents derive at this figure by the following breakdown: $2,250 in books and supplies; loan fees of $240; personal expenses of $1,600, room and board at $15,000; and transportation costs of $3,000. Counting tuition and fees, this would lead to a total budget of $57,430. In fact, this amount is confirmed by the section at the bottom of the page, entitled “Typical First-Year Tuition, Fees, & Living Expenses.”

Seeing that actual law students will require expenses throughout the entire damn year, and not just for the magical period when classes are in session, we will prorate the following items: miscellaneous, room and board, and transportation. Doing so, we reach the more accurate total estimated COA of $63,963. This is for a solitary year of law school. Still want to take the TTTTT plunge, lemming?

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+9

Ranking: At those costs, this school must have a sterling reputation among the academic and legal communities, right? Well, according to a defunct magazine called US “News” & World Report, Lincoln Memorial Univer$iTTTTTy Duncan $chool of Law is rated as a fifth tier pile of rancid vomit. Bob Morse at that rag prefers to use the term “Unranked” – to describe these bottom-feeding cesspits. What a tremendous accomplishment! Of course, that refers to “law professors” and administrators being able to get cretins with Bachelor’s degrees to sign on the TTTTT dotted line.

https://www.lmunet.edu/public/uploads/law/EmploymentSummary-2017.pdf

Published Employment Placement Statistics: In order to get a glimpse of job prospects coming out of this dung heap, we will look at the school’s Employment Summary for 2016 Graduates. According to this form, there were only 17 members of this cohort. A total of 14 reported working in full-time gigs requiring bar passage, and the other three were employed in professional positions, within 10 months of receiving their diplomas. None were put in jobs that were funded by the university or law school. This means that this place had full employment, i.e. 100% “placement.” Even Duke Law cannot achieve this level, without resorting to its Bridge to Practice.

Scroll down to Employment Type. You will notice that 10 members of this graduating class were reportedly working in private law firms. High-ranked schools would be envious of these outcomes. Then again, this is a tiny sample size. Furthermore, here is a better picture: four of these JDs went into solo practice, another four were in offices of 2-10 lawyers, and one single grad was in a firm of 11-25 attorneys. Looking at the silver lining, one member of this cohort was working in an office of 101-250 lawyers. However, that was in a full-time, short-term position. Also, that could be a kid with the right family name. None were in clerkships, even at the state or local level.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings/page+6

Average Law School Indebtedness: US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the Lincoln Memorial Univer$iTTTTTy Duncan $chool of Law Class of 2016 who incurred debt for law school - as $89,779. Fully 94% of this school’s 2016 graduating cohort took on such vile debt. That means that one JD – out of the 17 grads – did not take on any educational loans for a law degree. Remember that this amount doesn’t include debt from undergrad, and it also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled in TTTTT law school.

It is notable that while Lincoln Memorial Univer$iTTTTTy SOL is ranked in the fifth tier in terms of overall qualiTTTTy, the school “merely” has the 134th highest average law student debt amount, for the Class of 2016. That is an incredible achievement! I suppose that the school should at least be placed in the fourth tier, with this debt figure in place. Only one member of this TTTTT cohort did not incur any student debt for a law degree. Would anyone be surprised if this was the same JD who got a full-time but short-term job in a firm of 101-250 attorneys? Good luck doing better than toilet law. Perhaps, you can get a job reviewing insurance applications.

Conclusion: Avoid this pile of waste at all costs. In the final analysis, the best you can hope for coming out of this fifth tier trash can is to obtain a job with an office of 2-10 lawyers. Those tend to be “eat what you kill” types of employment. If you have great sales skills – and you have a knack for legal practice – then you can make much better income by working directly in sales. You don’t have to piss away three years of your life – or incur an additional $100K+ in non-dischargeable debt – in the process.

That route does not require you to give up three years of earning a full-time salary. You would also not need to break your ass – in order to be approved to practice law in a single state. Plus, you will not have rigid court deadlines – and you will not need to shell out serious money each year for a law license of CLE credits. Even if you manage to get hired by a small firm, do the math to see manageable it will be to repay your student loans on a $40K annual income. You can do something more productive with your life – while saving a ton of money. By the way, this school opened its TTTTT doors in Fall 2011. Enjoy that alumni network.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fourth Tier Bundle of Waste: Belmont University College of Law


http://www.belmont.edu/law/admission/consumerinfo.html

Tuition and Fees: Full-time law students at BelmonTTTT Univer$iTTTTy will be charged $41,760 in tuition – for the 2017-2018 academic year. Don’t forget to add the Consolidated Graduate Student Fee of $1,000 to that tab. Still on the fence about whether to take the plunge, idiot?

For those taking on educational debt for this TTTT product, you can expect a Loan Origination Fee of $1,100 as well. That brings the big-ass total to $43,860. Who wouldn’t want to attend a TTTT law school in Nashville – that first opened its TTTT doors in 2012 – at that bargain rate? After all, if it’s federal student loans, that is merely taxpayer money! Go ahead and take that three year break from the rat race.

Total Cost of Attendance: This same document lists the total budget – for 2017-2018 – as $69,070. The school derives at that amount by the following: tuition and fees of $42,760; books & supplies at $3,000; loan origination fee of $1,100; personal expenses at $2,550; room & board at $15,900; and transportation as $3,760.

Seeing that actual students will accumulate expenses over the entire calendar year – and not just for the nine months that they are enrolled in classes – we will prorate the following items: personal costs, room and board, and transportation. Doing so, we the reach the more accurate, total estimated COA of $76,473. Again, this is for a single year of TTTT “legal education.” Apparently, prospective law students are too stupid to figure out that this will almost certainly end with them in financial hell. 

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+7

Ranking: At those prices, this school must have a sterling reputation among the academic and legal communities, right? Well, according to US “News” & World Report, BelmonTTTT Univer$iTTTTy College of Law is rated as a fourth tier piece of garbage. This defunct magazine now refers to this group as “Rank Not Published.”

What a thoughtful designation for those in$TTTTiTTTTuTTTTion$ not good enough to be listed in the top 148 ABA-accredited law schools in the nation. Hell, maybe it’s more impressive to not be among that large number. Perhaps, several of these cesspools do not have a fax machine – or enough volumes in their law libraries. 

http://www.belmont.edu/law/images/employmentquestionnairesummary-213-2687-04-04-2017-14-55-38.pdf

Employment Placement Statistics: Take a look at the commode’s ABA Employment Summary for 2016 Graduates. There were 69 members of this TTTT cohort. Of that amount, 61 reported being in full-time positions, within 10 months of earning their TTTT law degrees. This figure includes three grads who were in short-term jobs. That is an effective “placement” rate of 88.4 percent.

At least none of these TTTT grads were put in posts funded by the univer$ity or law $chool. Under Employment Type, you will see that 31 members of this TTTT class were employed by private law firms – including two who were working on a part-time basis. Two JDs were in firms of 101-250 attorneys, three were employed by offices of 251-500 lawyers, and one lucky graduate landed a job in a firm with more than 500 attorneys.

In contrast, two desperate fools started their own solo practices, 22 were reportedly employed in firms of 2-10 lawyers, and one graduate was hired by an office of 26-50 attorneys. By the way, one damn JD from this managed to land a federal court clerkship. Still like your odds of making it in the “profession,” lemming? 

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings/page+3

Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the BelmonTTTT Univer$iTTTTy JD Class of 2016 who incurred debt for law school - as $109,771. In fact, 77% of this school’s 2016 graduating class took on such toxic debt. Don’t forget that this amount does not include debt from undergrad, and it also doesn’t take accrued interest into consideration, while the student is enrolled in school.

It is notable that while BelmonTTTT Univer$iTTTTy COL is ranked in the fourth tier in terms of overall qualiTTTTy, the school ranks 90th highest in amount of average law student debt. I suppose that the school should at least be placed in the third tier, due to this tremendous accomplishment. Keep in mind that fully 23 percent of this TTTT class did not incur a single dime in student debt for their law degree. I’m certain that these will be the ones who can expect to have their influential father or uncle place a few phone calls on their behalf, so that they can land a nice job upon graduaTTTTion. But I’m sure that your “hard work” and perseverance will trump those connections and wealth!

Conclusion: If you are not from a thoroughly connected and rich family, then do not even consider attending this fourth tier dump. What’s the point of incurring an additional $125K+ in non-dischargeable debt for a law degree from something called Belmont University? Since the school has only been open since 2012, it has a tiny alumni base. If you leave the area to look for work, then you can expect prospective employers to ask you if this is an online school – or whether it is even accredited. In the event that does happen, try not to get that upset with the interviewer. It’s not their fault that you attended a trash pit.

Taking on such outrageous debt is beyond foolish. This is simply moronic, when anyone with an IQ above room temperate can recognize that a degree from a fourth tier law school will not open doors to decent jobs. The employment prospects for these recent graduates are anemic. Perhaps, you feel that a law degree will make you “important.” You are sadly mistaken. Your friends from college, and family members, will not be impressed with you when then see you wearing JC Penney suits and loafers. And women will not give you a second look when they see you driving a 15 year old Buick or sporting a $7 haircut.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Three Puero Rican Piles of Rot: Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law, and University of Puerto Rico School of Law


The American Bar Association has accredited three law schools in Puerto Rico. Since I doubt that these cesspits take in many cretins and waterheads from Florida, California, or the other 48 States, these dumps are not worthy of their own individual profile on this site. However, I will provide an analysis of them in this entry, for the benefit of the relative few dumb enough to apply to – or enroll in – these dung heaps.

Their respective official names are Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico Escuela de Derecho, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Puerto Rico Escuela de Derecho, and Universidad de Puerto Rico Escuela de Derecha. Of note, Interamerican University’s law school started an English language JD program in 2015. Perhaps, after a night of smoking too much pot, you might peruse these schools – in order to see if you have a place that is willing to accept you.

http://www.derecho.inter.edu/inter/node/561

Inter American’s Impressive Stats: Sometimes it is best to let the schools make your point, in their own words. Enjoy:

“MEDIAN

For the academic year 2015-2016 the median scores of admitted students were:

LSAT 138 GPA 3.22” [Emphasis mine]

Essentially, a person could monkey-guess on the LSAT and earn a tepid undergraduate GPA in Gender Studies from a fifth-rate college or university – and still gain admi$$ion to this law school. What sterling academic credentials, huh?

http://law-schools.startclass.com/l/134/Pontifical-Catholic-University-of-P-R

Pontifical’s Stupendous Outcomes: According to this source, here are some of the key metrics at this place:

“Acceptance Rate: 66.9%
Median LSAT: 134
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.28
Employment Rate of Graduates: 49% 
Bar Pass Rate: 32.1%” [Emphasis mine]

Prostitutes with facial hair are more selective! Who would want to be represented by these graduates in any legal matter?

http://law-schools.startclass.com/l/135/University-of-Puerto-Rico

University of Puerto Rico’s Amazing Numbers: This same source provides the following information on UPR School of Law. It clearly takes a little more to get into this amazing JD program:

Acceptance Rate: 65.8%
Median LSAT: 143
Median Undergraduate GPA: 3.52
Employment Rate of Graduates: 69.6%
Bar Pass Rate: 53% [Emphasis mine]

With those numbers, this is basically the Harvard of Puerto Rican law schools. What a tremendous accomplishment!

https://www.lstreports.com/schools/interamerican/

Tuition: Law School Transparency was able to find the tuition rates charged by each of these three diploma mills. Sticking to our alphabetical order listing, the tuition bill at Inter-American is $16,603. That figure is $17,048 at PonTTTTTifical CaTTTTTholic Univer$iTTTTTy of PuerTTTTTo Rico. In good news, the University of Puerto Rico SOL only charges $7,131 in annual tuition for residents. Of course, this is still too much to pay for such a shoddy product. Then again, plenty of fools will be happy to take the plunge.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+8

Ranking: As you can see, all three of these stinking piles of rot – InTTTTTer American UniversiTTTTTy of PuerTTTTTo Rico SOL, PonTTTTTifical CaTTTTTholic UniversiTTTTTy of PuerTTTTTo Rico SOL, and the UniversiTTTTTy of PuerTTTTTo Rico SOL – are rated as fifth tier garbage cans – by US “News” & World Report. In the parlance of that former magazine, they are listed under the “Unranked” category of ABA-approved law schools. Yes, doesn’t that just inspire you to enroll in one of these three programs of “legal education”? Hell, the degrees aren’t worth the cost of the paper they are printed on, folks.

Conclusion: In the end, if you are even considering applying to any of these three commodes, then you are a lost cause. These are not the equivalent of Caribbean medical schools, where you can still get licensed and make a good living. You would be much better off remaining in your dead-end job. At least then, you would be making money – which would allow you to pay bills, put food in your fridge, and provide for rent. That has to count for something.

Avoid these diploma factories at all costs – even if you currently reside there. Look at the pathetic bar passage rates, and the ridiculously low employment “placement” figures at these three toilets. Will a JD help you in your customer service rep job for AT&T, assisting consumers with cell phone issues? If not, then why spend three years of your life on this TTTTT venture?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

First Tier Iniquity: Yale Law School


https://law.yale.edu/admissions/cost-financial-aid/cost-attendance

Tuition and Fees: As you can see, full-time law students at Yale Univer$ity will face a tuition bill of $59,920, for the 2017-2018 academic year. What did you expect from the ultimate blueblood in$titution of “higher learning” in America? Furthermore, the University Administrative and Activities Fee will amount to an additional $2,250.

That brings the direct cost of admission to $62,170 – for one single, solitary year of law school. Such prohibitive charges clearly send the following message: “If you are not from established family wealth, then you are not welcome here.” How many of the young men and women enrolled at this law school went to elite, i.e. expensive, boarding schools at an early age – and then earned their undergraduate degree from Ivy League colleges?

Total Cost of Attendance: Based on this same page, the school estimates that room, board, and personal expenses will reach $17,000. Apparently, New Haven is a dump of a town. However, that line item appears to be ridiculously low. I suppose if you live in broken down tenement housing and subsist on Ramen noodles and tuna sandwiches, then this might seem somewhat realistic.

Books are listed at $1,100, and Univer$ity Ho$pitalization Coverage is $2,332. Their total listed budget is $82,602. I guess they think that everyone has cars that are paid in full, and that will not break down or require much in maintenance. And I’m sure that is the case for a certain segment of their entering classes. 

Seeing that actual law students will require costs for the full calendar year – and not just during the “magical” nine month portion when they are in classes – we will prorate the following items: room, board, and personal expenses. Doing so, we reach the following, more accurate total COA figure of $88,269. Keep in mind that this appears to be a conservative assessment of total expenses. Of course, it doesn’t matter to the scions of the rich if the annual budget is $89K or $100K.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings

Rankings: At those prices, this better be the best damn law school in the country. In that case, those enrolled here are lucky. Yale Law $chool is rated as the overall greatest, out of the more than 200 ABA-accredited mills, by US “News” & World Report. By the way, it is sickening when low-ranked cesspits charge $45K in annual tuition – in exchange for anemic job prospects for their graduates.

https://law.yale.edu/student-life/career-development/employment-data/class-2016-employment

Published Employment Placement Statistics: Let’s review the chart labeled Employment Statistics for 2016. You will see that there were 203 members of this graduating class. Of that amount, 189 reported being in full-time, long-term positions within 10 months of earning their JDs. That is an effective placement rate of 93.1 percent. From the best law school in the country. If you include the four grads working in full-time, short-term jobs, that climbs all the way up to 95.1%, which is just short of incredible! To be generous, we will go with that latter number. Remember when TTTs were simply claiming employment placement rates of 98 percent, on their recruitment materials?

By the way, when you take a closer look, you will realize that the picture is not quite that rosy. For example, a total of 19 members of this cohort were employed in posts that were funded by the univer$ity or law $chool! Let’s put this into perspective: without those 19 created/manufactured jobs, the full-time employment rate would be 85.7%, at the top law school in the United States. If that doesn’t make you rethink your decision to attend any ABA-accredited diploma factory, then you are a lost cause. You are the type of person who needs those warning labels on the side of a paint can.

Under Employment Type, you will notice that 83 members of this class were working in private law firms, including six in firms of 251-500 lawyers and 65 landing employment in offices of more than 500 attorneys. Another 72 reported being employed in judicial clerkships, with 69 of them in article III posts. Plus, five JDs from this cohort landed full-time jobs in “education,” which is a great racket.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings/page+3

Average Law Student Indebtedness: US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the Yale Law Class of 2016 who incurred debt for law school - as $121,815. Of note, only 68% of this school’s 2016 graduating class took on such noxious debt. Don’t forget that this amount doesn’t include debt from undergrad studies, and it also does not take accrued interest into account, while you are enrolled in school.

Bargain alert: while Yale Law $chool is ranked number one in terms of overall quality, it only has the 70th highest amount of average law student debt. That is a hell of deal for the pupil! Go out and purchase a new Porsche with the savings. Plus, fully 32 percent of the class that did not take out a nickel in student loans for a Yale law degree. It’s safe to say that those wealthy young men and women will have no trouble landing the juiciest jobs available. But have fun “competing” against them – and their rich father and his connected friends – for those positions.

Conclusion: Yale Law $chool is considered the most elite in$titution of “legal education” in the entire nation. Most of their recent grads landed Biglaw or federal clerkships, and a handful were hired by academia. The tuition is high, but what do you expect? Just keep in mind that you can just as easily be canned from Biglaw within 3-5 years, if you do not make partner before that time frame ends. If you can’t bring in major new business, the greedy partners and managers will not care that you graduated from Yale Law. By the way, when you are working 80-90 hours per week as an associate, see what that does for your health and well-being. And if you’re in it for the money, just consider this for a moment: at those rates, you are basically making $40-$45 an hour as an associate. Programmers can make more per hour, for a fraction of the stress.

Friday, December 1, 2017

First Tier Financial Heartburn: Harvard Law School


http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/financial-aid-policy-overview/student-financial-aid-budget/

Tuition: As one would expect, the cost of admi$$ion is nothing short of outrageous. Specifically, full-time law students at Harvard Univer$ity will face a tuition bill of $61,650 – for the 2017-2018 academic year. How egalitarian, huh? Essentially, this is a bold sign that says “Those of modest means need not apply.” If this price tag does not cause you to faint, then you clearly come from established wealth. Congratulations for “choosing” to come to the correct family.

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance: This same document lists the total budget – for one damn year – as $92,200. Who doesn’t have that amount of money laying around in their couch cushions? This is under the Nine Month Standard Student Budget. That means that all non-direct costs add up to $30,550. The line item for room/board/personal allowance alone tales up $23,158 of that figure.

A total of $1,575 is set aside for a travel allowance. That seems to be ridiculously low. I suppose that the eggheads at Harvard think that no one will incur auto repairs or vehicle maintenance costs at any point during the year. In the real world, many students will still have payments remaining on their car loans. Then again, perhaps these “educators” feel that everyone will travel by public transportation.

Seeing that actual law students will accumulate expenses over the full year – and not just when they are in class – we will prorate the following items: room, board, personal costs, and travel allowance. Doing so, we reach the following, more accurate total COA of $100,444. Again, this is for a single year, of a program that takes six semesters to complete. 

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings

Ranking: Since Harvard is often mocked for its perceived status as the ideal setting for ultra-wealthy students, one would expect HL$ to be among the best in$titution$ of “higher education” on earth. Well, it is rated as the 3rd greatest, most spectacular, and illustrious law school in the whole nation, by US “News” & World Report. While its gigantic first year class sizes have moved it out of the first or second slot, it does retain possession of 3rd place. Enjoy the bronze medal. 

http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/ocs/recent-employment-data/

Employment Placement Data: Let’s review the school’s Class of 2016 Employment Report at 10 Months After Graduation. As you can see, there were 598 members of this big-ass graduating class. Of that amount, a total of 585 obtained full-time jobs within ten months of earning their law degrees. That is an effective placement rate of 98.3%, which is pretty remarkable, right? And only three of those were short-term gigs. 

Well, take a closer look for a moment. Fully 25 of those positions – including the three short-term employees – were funded by the univer$ity or law school. Without those jobs included, the placement rate would have been 93.6 percent! That is a significant difference, and it speaks volumes that the third best law school in the country had to resort to these measures. But I’m sure the “scholars” did not do so, in order to artificially bolster their statistics. It must just be one of those coincidences that just happens to benefit the ABA-accredited in$titution of “higher learning.”

Scroll down to the next section, Employment Type. A total of 349 grads from this cohort reported working in private law firms – within 10 months of receiving their JDs. The bulk of these posts were in Biglaw – with 41 in offices of 251-500 lawyers and another 287 landing jobs in firms of more than 500 attorneys. These positions are the reason why most HL$ students enrolled there.

Furthermore, 137 members of this class were working in judicial clerkships. In fact, 122 of these men and women were in federal clerk positions. This means that a large portion of this cohort postponed Biglaw by a year. Another seven landed jobs in academia, however two of those were short-term. These are referred to as the law school winners. Now compare these outcomes to those facing graduates of your TTT alma maTTTer. Still liking your decision, Stupid?

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings

Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the Harvard Law Class of 2016 who incurred debt for law school - as $153,172. In fact, 77% of this school’s 2016 graduating cohort took on such toxic debt. Remember, this amount does not include debt from undergrad, and it also doesn’t take accrued interest into consideration, while you are enrolled in school. Enoy seeing how quickly $165K becomes $189K, when you are not making any student loan payments.

Here is some excellent news: while Harvard Law $chool is ranked 3rd best in terms of overall quality, it only has the 18st highest amount of average law student debt. And we all know that means this constitutes a fantastic bargain for the student! Hell, that could qualify as a “windfall” to the pupils. Of course, the 23 percent of the class that did not incur a dime of student debt for a Harvard law degree could care less. By the way, have fun competing with these rich young men and women for the best legal jobs available to recent graduates. Their connected father – or federal magistrate uncle – can further secure their future with a few phone calls.

Conclusion: Harvard Law $chool costs a king’s ransom to attend, and that is for those who are smart enough to gain entry. But at least the name carries serious weight with pretty much every employer in a professional field. If you no longer want to practice law – or you get tossed from Biglaw in 3-5 years – then you can do something else for a living. In three years, you should be able to make at least a few decent connections with rich classmates. Whereas low-ranked toilets claim that a law degree is “versatile,” one from Harvard should actually open other doors for you. This is still a huge investment, and there are no guarantees.

Monday, November 27, 2017

First Tier Stunning Price Tag: Stanford Law School


https://law.stanford.edu/apply/tuition-financial-aid/cost-of-attendance/

Tuition: As you can see, full-time law students at Leland $tanford Junior Univer$ity will be charged $58,041 in tuition – for the 2017-2018 academic year. I realize that the school touts its financial aid program, however that is a ridiculously steep cost for anyone who does not come from a wealthy family. 

Estimated Cost of Attendance: According to this same page, the world-renowned school lists an approximated room and board figure for those living in university housing. They also refer to a variance in other items. Apparently, they are too good to provide a more detailed budget for their students. To wit:

“For single students, room and board in university residences costs approximately $24,594 for the 2017-18 school year. Required books, if purchased new, cost about $1,530 a year. Local costs for transportation, clothing, recreation, and the like tend to vary. Most single students find they need to budget a total of at least $92,622 for the school year.” [Emphasis mine]

The areas delineated add up to $84,165. Deducting that from the estimated COA, everything else – from Netflix to auto repairs and health insurance – will amount to roughly $8,457. In the San Franciso area, of all places. Perhaps, the administrators here just assumed that all pupils will still be on their parents’ Cadillac health plan. Otherwise, it seems that these areas are low-balled. But I will be fair to this school anyway. 

Seeing that actual, breathing, living law students require expenses for the full year, and not just for nine months, I will prorate the non-direct items. Doing so, we reach the following, more accurate total COA of $103,639 – for full-time, single students at $tanford Law School. Again, this is for a single, solitary year of a program that takes six semesters. If that figure doesn’t make you faint, then I extend my congratulations to you – for having the foresight, i.e. sheer luck, to come out of the right birth canal. 

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings

Ranking: $tanford Law $chool is rated as the 2nd best law school in the country, by US “News” & World Report. This honor used to belong to Harvard Law $chool, but it seems that Harvard’s huge first year law class sizes have hurt their overall reputation. While the cost of admission is outrageous, keep in mind that it is a full 10 spots better than the next best school in northern California, i.e. UC Berkeley $chool of Law. That makes a significance difference when it comes to Biglaw placement and landing article III clerkships.

https://www-cdn.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Class-of-2016-FINAL-ABA-Stats.pdf

Employment Placement Statistics: Let’s peruse the school’s Class of 2016 Employment Summary Report. You will notice that there were 183 members of this cohort. Of that figure, a total of 176 were reportedly in full-time positions –within 10 months of earning their law degrees. That is an effective placement rate of 96.2 percent.

Then again, four graduates were in posts provided by the law school or university.While this is not a large number, in a small class size it has an impact. In this case, the employment placement rate would be 94.0%, without those four jobs. Remember when third tier commodes and second tier sewage pits were proclaiming – on their websites and recruiting materials – that 97.9 percent of their alums were employed within nine months of earning their JDs?

Head down to Employment Type. Fully 96 members of this class were in private law practice. Of that amount, five grads were in law firms of 101-250 attorneys, 11 more reported landed jobs in offices of 251-500 lawyers, and 76 JDs were employed in firms of more than 500 attorneys. Not bad, huh? Furthermore, 45 members of this class acquired coveted federal clerkships. This is what awaits those who attend real law schools. 

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/grad-debt-rankings/page+2

Average Law Student Indebtedness: US “News” lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the $tanford JD Class of 2016 who incurred debt for law school - as $137,625. By the way, only 75% of this school’s 2016 graduating cohort took on such astounding debt. Don’t forget that this amount does not include debt from undergrad, and it also doesn’t consider accrued interest, while you are enrolled in school. See how quickly your debt load increases, when you are not making any payments. Of course, this is not a concern for a large portion of the class.

On a positive note, while Stanford is ranked 2nd best in terms of overall quality, it features the 43rd highest amount of average law student debt. That means that this must be one hell of a bargain for the student. Plus, fully one-quarter of the last graduating class did not take out a single dime in non-dischargeable debt for a law degree from a real school! The world is their expensive oyster.

Conclusion: Stanford Law School appears to be a safe bet for most of the students who are enrolled in that institution. While the vast majority of law students in the United States are taking a stupid gamble to calculated risk, these young men and women are simply biding their time – until they can earn big dollars in academia, Biglaw, or in private industry. The cost of admission is immense, but it seems to be worth the price tag. Plus, if you come from established money, you can get the degree at no cost. 

Keep in mind that TTTTs are now charging $45K+ in annual tuition – and they provide their graduates with garbage employment prospects. And for comparison purposes among other comparatively strong in$titution$, look at the employment placement data for 12th ranked UC Berkeley SOL, right down the road from this law school. You will notice a meaningful difference in how their grads are viewed by Biglaw and federal court$. That should be informative for prospective law students.
 
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