Sunday, January 24, 2010

On the Bowl: Toledo College of Law

Tuition and Fees: for in-state students, the cost for the 2009-2010 academic year, is $19,137.40. For non-residents, these figures amount to $29,553.40.

Placement Statistics:

See the pretty pie chart and colorful map of the United States? Good, then you are on the right page. Look at the links on the bottom of the page. The first and third links listed under Salary Information are useless. The first link shows you firms, businesses and government agencies that have hired Toledo JDs. The third link just takes you to info provided by NALP – which relies on schools’ self-reported information. (Kind of like taking a criminal’s word that his dealer buddy is a great guy, and using that as a solid character reference.)

This link purports to show that Class of 2009 Toledo JDs, on average, who were hired as entry-level associates in Columbus firms, were making $81,250. Sure they did. And in the last 30 minutes, Christina Aguilera, Al Pacino, and Jennifer Lopez each called me and invited me to dinner and a Knicks game afterward.

This is simply one more example of a law school shading the facts to prospective students. The school lists the low, average, and high figures for those fortunate few of its last graduating class to land associate jobs - to give the impression to pre-law students that they have a good chance of making this type of money, upon graduation.

I would venture to say that those figures listed under Law Clerk Salary Figures: Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan are more reflective of the typical outcome for Toledo JDs. You can clearly see that the low for private sector clerks was a rate of $11 an hour. For public sector, the low was $10 an hour. So, how many of YOU went to law school so that you could make $10-$11 an hour, and take on massive student loan debt?!?! You can make more than that as an entry-level customer service representative working the phones!! And you don’t need to go $50K-$100K in the hole to do it.

Since we cannot get access to the employment rate - on the school’s website - we must go to another source:

We see that 83.0% of Toledo law grads were employed within nine months of graduation, in 2007!! We also see that as of 2008, the school reportedly has full-time enrollment of 342 students. It also had a healthy dose of part-time students, i.e. 152 students. That would mean that roughly 30.8 percent of students at Toledo’s were attending part-time, i.e. 152/494.

Well, at least this fine, upstanding, outstanding school's law library has its own blog:

What more do you need to confirm that this is a great school? Oh yeah, I almost forgot. This school is in the phenomenal third tier.

Boo-yah!! How’s that for reality?!


  1. I just posted something about another school in NY that has some interesting numbers as well. I think the schools should have to have a list of the names of their graduates and where they are working and provide it if anyone questions their numbers. If they want to put this crap on their websites, they need to be able to prove it.

  2. bob dole's little blue pillJanuary 24, 2010 at 3:52 PM

    Whhy are you going after this school? Tuition is fair, and at least these guys have the decency to list the salary of grads working as judicial clerks. Go after a bigger fish.

  3. Nice user name (to the guy above). Do you think charging Ohio residents tuition of $20K, for a TTT education, is a good deal? Don't forget opportunity costs, since the FT students will not be earning much money for 3 years. And you should also take living expenses into accoutn.

    An Ohio resident could easily graduate from this dump with $100,000 in nondischargeable student debt. And we need to realize that Ohio is not a hotbed of economic growth. How many of these JDs will come out making salaries sufficient to pay off such debt?

  4. Nando. I'm not sure if you remember, but Toledo was briefly in the top 100. I remember the year that happened, somebody on the Law School Discussion message board asked "Whose soul did Toledo sell to make the second tier?" Somehow, I don't think 20 or 30 g's is was worth it for Toledo even if it was technically 2nd tier. Sadly, this is actually on the lower end of tuition for law school.

  5. I understand that when people say things like "you should also take living expenses into account" they probably mean that it should be added to the amount of tuition to arrive at the total amount of potential debt.

    But really, you guys are taking two bites of the apple when you say that you should take into account opportunity costs AND living costs. Cuz it's not like you wouldn't have living costs had you chosen to work instead of going to law school. So, either forget about the living costs, or tamp down the opportunity costs by an amount for rent and food and entertainment etc. You can't have this both ways.

  6. It boggles my mind just how many craptastic law schools this country has!

  7. Drake Mallard, I don’t see anyone saying otherwise, i.e. to calculate opportunity costs AND living expenses as totally separate costs. (When mentioning opportunity costs, it is also fair to reduce the amount you would have paid in taxes over three years. This is money that you would not have seen anyway.)

    We point out living costs, because law schools often list this under Cost of Attendance. Maybe you should ask the law schools to put the following statement on their web sites: “You should also take into account the fact that most of you will be earning VERY little income over the next three years.”

    When you are working full-time, you can pay your living costs with your income, i.e. you avoid more debt. If you are a full-time law student, you will probably need to borrow for living expenses. (I did, and so did most of my classmates.) This puts you further in the hole, financially. So instead of just taking out student loans for tuition, you are likely taking out loans for living expenses as well.

    As a result, many law grads will end up an extra $35K-$65K in non-dischargeable debt (depending on where one lives). If it takes someone 30 years to pay off their loans at a decent interest rate, they will probably pay back more in interest than they did in principle. Hence, living expenses SHOULD be taken into account when talking to prospective law students.

    I know many married students who had to take out loans for living expenses because of our low-wage economy. Imagine the situation for those students who are not married or living with their family. There are ways to lower such expenses, but many will still need to take out more loans - out of necessity.

    And there are a relative few who may come out better – in terms of living expenses – by going to law school. A few are fortunate enough to be able to leech off of family for three years, and thereby avoid paying most of their own living expenses. (But this probably comes at the expense of one’s freedom, dignity, and privacy – for instance, what woman wants to come over to some 24 year old guy’s parents’ house to hang out?)

  8. I love these school profiles. Def. one of my favorite parts of your blog.

  9. I am glad you enjoy these profiles, Kelly. If the schools provided accurate, complete employment and salary figures, there would be no need for me to feature them on my blog.

    If the ABA cared about honesty and ethics, they would require the schools to submit their statistics to an independent, outside audit. They would then impose penalties on schools that put out false or misleading statistics. Such penalties could include a school losing its ABA accreditation - while making an exception for current students, so that they are not barred from sitting for the bar due to their school's underhanded dealings. (Of course, we all know that the ABA does not care about these things.)

  10. I share your sentiments about law school, and wrote about my experiences in the book LAW SCHOOL RED INK WHITE COLLAR BLUES, excerpted in a blog at Are you willing to link? Love your passion.

  11. Nando - I hope you can post profiles of these usless law schools dissecting their employment data. Who knows with enough hits, your blog could feature prominently if someone searches for such law schools and ward them off...

  12. I'm a University of Toledo grad, class of 2008. Top 15% class rank, Law Review & Moot Court. The credentials sure look impressive on applications for government benefits.

  13. I am graduating from UT now, it used to be a 2nd teir school, mainly because of their creative statistics and amoutn of people they actually counted as part time students upon admission (there ws only 60 full time students but 150 part time)... Place is a joke...

  14. I too am graduating from UT. The only thing worse than UT is the city of Toledo itself. I ended up going to UT, because it was a 2nd tier law school that offered Michigan residents in-state tuition (which if you look at in-state prices is very enticing in comparison to other law school prices).

    I personally would say avoid law school in general. Although, I must admit that living in Toledo for a few years offered me a great gift. Now most other cities seem amazing. Living in Toledo has allowed me to significantly lower my standards for happiness. Thank you Toledo for knocking me down a couple notches!!!

  15. I'm a UT grad (class of '08). It must have gotten worse, because tuition for '05 was 11k for in-state and 20k for out of state. Also, most of the out of state students who accepted Toledo did so on a full scholarship, provided that a 3.3 GPA was maintained. I'm not sure if they still have that or not.

    I was one of those out of state students. If they didn't have that, I don't think I would have bothered with law school. However, as another anon has said, living in Toledo has made me appreciate other cities much more.

  16. Another Anon '08 grad checking in. 88.5% of the 2008 graduating class employed at graduation according to the USNWR site? Get the fuck out of here. Perhaps of those who responded to the survey. I put down "work at a golf course." I guess that counts as "employed." Shutter that shithole.

  17. Another '08 Toledo grad commenting on this waste of time and money of a school. Law Review and top 25% of my class. Am I employed? Sure I am -- at some cesspool general practice firm making $36K a year with no benefits whatsoever. In other words, less money than I was making prior to law school. At the time I came up with this brilliant idea, I worked in nonprofits. For the love of God, stop giving this school your money!

    And I agree with anon above. 88.5% of the 2008 graduating class employed at graduation? Yeah, I guess so, if they consider searching for a job because Career Services is completely and utterly worthless valid employment. I responded to the survey and put "studying for the bar exam" as what I was doing. I guess that counts....

  18. Hey all:

    I graduated in 1997! My life is a wreck. I graduated deeply in debt. After graduation I did not make much money and defaulted on my student loans...Loan interest piled up for 6 years...

    I work in another field, making decent money. I've been paying loans for 5 years now, about $60k paid and I STILL OWE $80K! My credit is "good" but I can't get a mortgage to buy a house. I have too much student loan debt!

    Over HALF the graduates in my class work as attorneys. Do any of them make a "good" living? NO, all (that I know of) are desperately scrambling to make a living.

    UT has a nice campus and a great rec center though!

  19. As a result, many law grads will end up an extra $35K-$65K in non-dischargeable debt (depending on where one lives). If it takes someone 30 years to pay off their loans at a decent interest rate, they will probably pay back more in interest than they did in principle. Hence, living expenses SHOULD be taken into account when talking to prospective law students.
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  20. I love your blog! I stumbled across it attempting to search for a job because, alas, I am one of the unemployed Toledo Law Grads you speak of. I even graduated with honors! But, as you know that really doesn't matter in the real world. Everyday I wish I never went to Law School, assumed an exorbinant amount of student loan debt and simply just got a job after undergrad. I hope people see your blog and think twice about law school. One is lucky to secure employment as a Lawyer in Toledo, Ohio out of Law School for 35k a year. 35k!! Wow, the investment of time and money really seems worth it, doesn't it?

  21. I'm a current Toledo Law student and must admit that deciding to attend school here was, by far, the WORST MISTAKE I've made in my life. That's not hyperbole or drama jading my opinion either. I can only describe my peers with adjectives such as lazy, inconsiderate, incompetent and grossly inexperienced within the realm of life. A few simply fall into the category of profoundly retarded. Never before have I witnessed more apathy in managing everyday hygiene functions. Most fail to shower on a regular basis and come to class intoxicated. Others are simply foolish girls who wish they were still in middle school and piss away class time by talking shit about the professors and other students on Facebook. I weep for those who will have to supervise these folks IF they are lucky enough to find jobs in two years.

  22. I enrolled in the Toledo College of Law during fall semester of 2010. I spent a lot of time reading sites like this after I heard stories from 3L students regarding the lack of employment opportunities. I dropped out after that semester and although it was risky, I've been so much better off since. I actually have job opportunities and I've saved tens of thousands of dollars :)
    Fuck UT Law and I wish the best of luck to those too deep in the shit to pull themselves out.

  23. I graduated cum laude from UT law in December of 2010. I went full-time and graduated early. I actually make decent money compared to what a lot of people are saying (over 60k), but I had significant prior experience before attending law school. I have a huge amount of debt (120k) and sometimes regret having gone back to law school. I actually work in Regulatory Compliance and never had any real interest from any firms.

    For my personal situation, law school will be a benefit. Combined with my prior experience, I should continue to grow in my field and will exceed six-figures within the next few years. However, I would recommend to other people that they get accounting or finance degrees and let some company pay for their MBA or CPA. Outside of the top law schools, a J.D. really isn't worth the money.

    That said, I signed the loan papers and am capable of doing the math, so it's ridiculous to come onto this site and complain about the amount of loans you took out. Toledo Law, or any law school for that matter, can't guarantee employment. When law firms didn't call back, I switched tactics and looked for "legal-adjacent" careers. It's not what I envisioned when I started law school, but you have to be fluid when it comes to the job market. Also, there is no reason why you can't leave Ohio to pursue other opportunities. There are thousands of jobs around the country for people willing to relocate.

  24. Minority students considering Toledo should also read the following:

    This is but one example of some of the characters you'll find at the College of Law (though the individual discussed above graduated last spring). The others are just people who are other various shades of pale and still have the deluded notion that BigLaw firms will be chasing after them in the days leading up to graduation (despite the frank advice from people in Career Services). Several [reliable] friends from last spring's 2012 JD class told me that roughly six people had obtained work at the time of graduation (and if US News indicates something else, then I will take that as near-definitive proof that Admissions inflates Toledo's reported stats). This doesn't come as a surprise considering many of the people I've met behave like 12 year olds and feel that the idea of personal responsibility is something to be reviled. After a few months, Toledo had punctured my threshold of tolerance for BS and I began sending out transfer apps to schools that wouldn't be an embarrassment to list on a resume. Now, I'm at a high 2nd-tier school and can fully attest that the "Toledo Law Experience" is a [thankfully] unique one not replicated at other schools, or at least not at BETTER schools, as designated by US News. I suppose those rankings really do exist for good reason.

  25. I was too a grad of 97. I was luckhapy I had a good job outside of the pprofession. I think many of my fellow student when to open their own private pratice firms and are doing ok. I enjoyed the school but did not expect to get a great offer. I wanted to used my degree to get involved in politics.

  26. '04 UT Law grad here...I am really not sure who these unhappy souls are, but they are not, in my experience, representative of my many friends who are UT Law alums. If the idea behind going to law school is to get rich ASAP, don't bother. You can find easier ways to achieve that goal. If you actually enjoy the work, find it gratifying and are willing to work hard UT Law will give you all the tools you need. Many of my classmates were C/B students who are now solo practitioners and would not take a large firm job if offered to them. Bottom line: Quit complaining! There's an entire row of brass rings waiting to be grabbed. UT Law is a fine institution for anyone willing to work to achieve their goals.


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