http://www.calicocat.com/2004/08/law-school-big-lie.html You may get a kick out of this story. I almost went to law school myself. Coming out of undergrad as a finance major, I started foreseeing the negative NPV of law school. This guys tale confirms it!
The cruel truth of the world is that lawyers don’t understand TVM, and this is why they go to law school. This problem is compound by the completely fake “starting salary” numbers thrown around by law schools (although B-schools are at least as guilty, if not more so, of the same thing).
Thanks You might be saving somebody else some money and, at the same time, making the world a better place.
naked puts… I know SO many people who chose a law degree cuz they can’t do math!!!
virginCFAhooker Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > naked puts… I know SO many people who chose a > law degree cuz they can’t do math!!! Is this why billable hours is always ficticious?
Law school might not have negative NPV for English majors who spent their undergrad days sitting in a circle and talking about feelings and smelling their own farts.
Those english majors are a net disservice to the planet. I say stop creating BS lawyer talk, take a math class, & get a real job.
Law is a bit like finance in that you have 10% of the professionals making 90% of the money. But in Law, I’m sure it’s more like 5% of the pros make ALL of the money. The Senior Partner at the firm we use charges $650 per hour and that’s not one cent of an emblishment. Thats for a mid-to-upper level firm that deals with us. I’m sure there are corporate guys pulling down $1,000 PHONE CALLS. The rest of these plebes are fighting parking tickets and doing wills…big whoop. I make more than that. Willy
Greg Giraldo, the stand-up comic went to Columbia Law. He said law school was his drug story - “I was young, everyone was doing it…”
I think that article is too biased and a bit of BS. People that go to law school because they have their heads up their a$$es and don’t have anything better to do will end up with less than glamorous jobs, just as they would at any graduate school. The ‘top 14’ argument is not solid. From what I understand, you can look at the bios of many ‘BIGLAW’ partners and other very successful government officials, consultants (etc.) and see JDs from many law schools that you’ve probably never heard of. Sure, for the couple years out of school you might be hosed if you didn’t go to a baller university, but, at a certain point, in the long run, a JD seems to be sort of a ‘stamp’, the school becomes less important, and the NPV is positive for any normally ambitious person. A lot of government jobs give JDs a GS11 or GS13, which is ~60-80k. It’s not just BIGLAW or 30k. I’m no lawyer, but this is just what I’ve seen myself and heard from friends that have debated the law school decision pretty thoroughly.
3 years of law school (at 40K or more) for 70K when you’re 26? Whoo-hooo sign me up! All degrees become less than stamps in the long run.
When I interned at a large financial institution, I got in touch with a recent law school grad in the legal department to ask questions pertaining law school. She said she was very lucky to get a corporate law job right away. Likewise she said she enjoyed law school, but the starting salary blows. She was real open about her financial scenario; 3 years at 30k/year tuition to arrive at a low 40s starting salary corporate law position. To each their own. However, this explains why law can be a shady profession. With loan obligations that high combined with a pathetic salary; we wonder why all the frivolous cases surface.
“All degrees become less than stamps in the long run.” That’s your argument?
KJH, You’re not alone in your suspicions about lawyers’ motivations. I read a commentary by don coxe, a Canadian based investor, who says (i’m paraphrasing badly) that the out-of-control legal system in the U.S. is keeping him from investing here.
Young_Prof Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > “All degrees become less than stamps in the long > run.” > > That’s your argument? Your argument was that a JD becomes a stamp in the LR, and institution isn’t that important. I’m simply pointing out that statement is true for nearly all degrees. The point people should be making is that if someone goes to law school for reasons other than money, that’s fine. Factor in those individual externalities, and law school will certainly have a very positive NPV. If it’s just (or mostly) about money, it’s pretty tough to justify.
sounds like a whiner to me… wah wah wah In case this guy hasn’t noticed, most people in any field don’t make much money. I think it’s a really dumb assumption to make that just because you go to xyz grad school you will make this inflated amount of money. Of course grad school is something very valuable but you have to approach it the right way. A lot of people go to B school thinking it will be the cure for their careers and it just doesn’t work that way.
There is certainly some truth to the article, especially about getting good grades in the first year. If you don’t, you are fighting an uphill battle the rest of the way. Debt is also a big concern. My wife ended up with about $80K in loans after 3 years. Luckily, she did well in school and ended up with a nice job. She graduated #2 and went to a top 25 school, although not one of the “top 14”. I will say that one of the reasons that assistant DA’s get paid so little is because a lot of people want those jobs so there are plenty of candidates that get turned away. People want them because 1) it is good trial experience that you can leverage into a better paying litigation job down the road, and 2) many people use it as a starting point for a career in politics. Another bonus is that certain loans are forgiven if you work in the public sector for a specified period of time. There were plenty of people in her class that did not have jobs lined up, but that may be because they weren’t looking hard enough or had their sights set too high. Not everyone is going to get the big law jobs. There are plenty of companies looking for attorneys. You probably won’t be pulling down six figures but you won’t be living check to check. My wife’s firm pays first years a very nice salary (in line with Chicago but the COL is much lower) and they don’t expect you to be in there on Saturday and Sunday unless you have a trial going on. We live in a medium midwest city. When she was in school in Boston, is was grinded into their heads that they would be working 70+ hours a week. In NY and Boston, that may be the case, but most other places, that is not true. You do not have to work in NY or Boston to be successful. If that is where you want to work, you will be competing with all the Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia, Cornell and Penn graduates whose resumes are probably going to look better than yours anyway, plus the cost of living is way higher there. My point is that if you want the high roller jobs in NY and Boston, yes you do need to be in the top 10% and on law review (or know someone), but if you aren’t, there are certainly plenty of options out there that may pay less but require much less work as well. The NY and Boston firms focus on corporate law so if you want to be a trial attorney, that’s probably not where you want to work, anyway.
NakedPuts Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Young_Prof Wrote: > -------------------------------------------------- > ----- > > “All degrees become less than stamps in the > long > > run.” > > > > That’s your argument? > > Your argument was that a JD becomes a stamp in the > LR, and institution isn’t that important. I’m > simply pointing out that statement is true for > nearly all degrees. > > The point people should be making is that if > someone goes to law school for reasons other than > money, that’s fine. Factor in those individual > externalities, and law school will certainly have > a very positive NPV. If it’s just (or mostly) > about money, it’s pretty tough to justify. I still don’t understand. I guess your post had a typo? (ie, the “less than” should be deleted) If a typo is the case, I would still counter and say that, for example, a no-name JD holds more value than a no-name MBA. In other words, all degrees are not equal “stamps” in the long run. I also think that law school isn’t that tough to justify, even just for the money. You may be pulling pretty low salary your first years if you’re not a big shot. However, compared to someone without a graduate degree, I think you’ll be in better shape 20 years down the road (enough to justify the original cost). Not to mention part-time work/school programs, in-state tuition at some schools, tuition reimbursement by current or future employers… I don’t mean this as an attack, but where are you getting your ideas from? Are these your own assumptions or have you done some research into this decision yourself in the past?
I agree with Young Prof in the sense that the legal profession is one that, historically speaking, has aged well, i.e. old lawyers usually do better than young ones. I also disagree with that article about legal education not applying to other jobs. I sometimes wish I could quickly read & comprehend that wacky legaleze, that BS language that lawyers use to obfuscate facts. Damn that shyt is annoying. That all being said… LAWYERS still SUCK!
The term lawyer is being used too generically here. There are so many facets of law and just like finance it depends which path you decide to pursue. Meanwhile there are plenty of finance graduates who would kill just to work for FREE in the GS Investment banking division just for the experience. Even an medical doctor has to bust their a$$ for 3 years in a residency for crap pay before they reap the rewards. It’s no different than any other graduate degree. You have to pay your dues AND perform well.