Tuition: For a full-time student at Southwestern Law School, tuition and fees will amount to $36,950 for the upcoming 2010-2011 school year. For part-time students, this figure will “only” be $22,250 for this same school year; this evening program takes four years, by the way.
Total Cost of Attendance: Let’s look at the costs and living expense for a full-time student living off-campus in the Los Angeles area, i.e. the worst-case scenario. Well, going off of the school’s estimated living expenses, we can see that room and board, books and supplies, transportation, student parking, insurance and personal expenses will add another $37,100 to the bill!!! Add the monthly figures for room and board ($2180), transportation ($310) and personal expenses ($351) – and multiply that by a factor of 12. Then add the figures for books/supplies ($625), student parking ($230), and insurance ($649), and multiply by two. Add these two figures together.
So the total COA for a full-time Southwestern Law student – living off-campus – would amount to $74,050 for the 2010-2011 academic year. Yes, you read that right – SEVENTY-FOUR THOUSAND, AND FIFTY DOLLARS!!!
[Blog author comes to, after smelling salts awake him from temporary blackout]
Ranking: Well, surely this school has a strong local and national reputation – to somewhat justify the cost of attendance, right? WHAT?!?! This school is ranked in the third tier of American law schools, as determined by US News & World Report! Are you kidding me?!
Employment and Starting Salary Info: The school is happy to report 97% employment within nine months of graduation for its class of 2009. Yeah, sure you had 97 percent placement – and Halle Berry is demanding that I hurry up and post this entry so that she can have her way with me.
Now, let’s take aim at the purported salary figures, shall we? For those in private practice, the 25th percentile allegedly makes $62,500. Those in the 75th percentile, earn $90K. According to the school, the top 75 percent of income earners can EXPECT to make more than $62K upon graduation and finding a job. Only the bottom 25 percent, i.e. the losers, will make less than $62,500 upon finding a job. The school is essentially telling prospective law students that TTT grads can bank on making more than $62K upon graduation.
Do you understand the implications of this? People with a BS or BA, currently making $30K-$35K will be drawn to a “career” where they start out making $62K a year. Too bad the ABA doesn’t require these sewers to submit their SELF-REPORTED, i.e. imaginary, figures to an independent audit. Oh well, I guess this does sit well with the ABA’s motto: “Defending Liberty, Pursuing Justice.”
Oh, you think writing onto the Southwestern Journal of International Law will give you an edge in the legendary, oversaturated California legal market, huh? Well, no employer gives a moist fart about your fifth-rate journal experience. Got that?! (By the way, this rag was previously named the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas. That just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) You think this will somehow distinguish you from the legions of attorneys in the state? Your resume and cover letter will end up in the trash can – the moment it arrives. How is that for distinct?!
Conclusion: In the final, brutal analysis, this smoldering pile of rubbish charges WAY too damn much money for its garbage product. Furthermore, you will be competing against graduates from the following law schools in the state of California: Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, UC Davis, Hastings, Santa Clara University, University of the Pacific, etc. Do you think you have a shot in hell of competing against these higher–ranked schools for the paucity of available jobs?! Some of the schools on this list are not even that great, but they are higher-ranked than this toilet. And that is what matters to legal employers!
If you are a prospective law student, and you are even thinking about applying to this sewer of law, set aside your anger and sit back for a second. (Conversely, if you are an administrator or “law professor” at this dump, you can walk in front of a city bus.) Let me save you $225K in non-dischargeable debt – and a lifetime of misery, debt servitude, and angst: you are better off buying California State Lottery tickets. (At least, you can get this debt discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.) End of story.
You want to get upset at someone? Why don’t you direct your anger at the people charging you $74K in yearly total costs for a third tier, third-rate “legal education”?