Tuition and Fees: for the 2009-2010 academic year, full-time tuition for the JD program at the Chicago-Kent Commode of Law is $37,800! (Did you catch your breath yet?) Now to the fees – all students must pay $1,026 in fees EACH SEMESTER! That comes out to an extra $2,052 per year. So, to attend the full-time Day Program (sounds like a prison workshop, doesn’t it?), one actually will spend $39,852 for the current school year.
I suppose the Illinois Institute of Technology needs the extra income, right?!
According to BusinessWeek, the school has endowment assets of a mere $204.1 million.
Employment Opportunities: At least, the school was somewhat honest. They note that only 58 percent of survey respondents reported their salary information. That would probably mean that those making lower incomes were less likely to report their info, correct? Nobody likes to admit to failure, after all.
Look at the salary range for all reported salaries for the Class of 2008, i.e. $35,000-$165,000. Guess what? Most of this school’s graduates are making closer to $35K than they are to $165K. What about those in private practice? The range – as reported – reflects the info above. Those in the private business sector make between $40K-$110K. Those working in government earn $45,000-$106,000. And lastly, those in public interest make between $36,000 and $55,000.
Ranking: According to US News & World Report, Chicago-Kent COL is the 77th most amazing, celebrated and iconic law school in the United States. And look – it is somehow tied with 7 other schools for this honor!! Why not just list the remaining “first tier” group in a 24-way tie for 77th best school?!?
This school does not provide its students with a realistic chance to land a job that pays well enough to make the investment worth it. One could easily land $140K in debt just from tuition, fees, and very light living expenses.
If you attend this school, you will be competing directly against law students and attorneys from University of Chicago, Northwestern, and University of Illinois. Don’t forget strong regional law schools, such as Notre Dame and Minnesota. You will be competing against these students, as well.
The job market for lawyers is highly over-saturated, and the demand for attorneys is shrinking. Biglaw continues to outsource much of its document review work to foreign lawyers AND non-lawyers. (Thank you, to the cockroaches on the ABA “Ethics” Committee.) People are starting to do more pro-se litigation, as they have better access to legal forms, statutes, case law, and software programs.
UNLESS you have some SERIOUS family, political or business connections AND are getting decent scholarship or grant money to attend this school, DO NOT attend this program. You may end up making $35K upon graduation – as the school’s own numbers point out.
You may not like this advice, as it shatters your dreams of attending law school and being a practicing lawyer. However, it is MUCH better to know the realities of the market before investing three years of time and energy, forgoing three years of full income, and spending $140K+ of borrowed money. You need to look at law school SOLELY as an investment – this is your life.
If you go, you will likely wind up with a job that does not pay much more than what you currently make. Is that worth $140K, and three years of little to no income? Remember, YOU will be the one making monthly payments to the student loan cartel for the next 30 years – not the hot girl at work you are trying to impress. Taking all of the above into account, ask yourself the following: is it worth paying $39,852 per year in tuition and fees for a degree you may never get to use?