Tuition: For the upcoming 2010-2011 school year, first year full-time students - at this prestigious, amazing, mesmerizing law school – will be charged $43,500 in tuition. They will also pay $1,626 in required fees.
Total Cost of Attendance: The Commode of Law estimates that books and supplies, housing, meals, transportation, personal allowance, medical insurance, and average loan fees will add another $18,574 to the annual tab. This would bring the total estimated COA – for the first year, at this school – to $63,700! And considering that law students will need food and housing for TWELVE MONTHS, the total COA will actually be $67,777.
Ranking: U.S. News & World Report rates this dump as the 86th greatest, most fantastic, brilliant and amazing law school in the United States. Of course, it shares this prestigious “honor” with six other schools, i.e. Hofstra, IU-Indianapolis, Northeastern, Seattle U. – they have a law school?!, Arkansas-Fayetteville, and Richmond.
So the school is over-priced, and the repuTTaTTion is not that great. What’s that you say, Lemming? YOU will make law review, rub shoulders with the movers and shakers of the legal community, get your name out there, and make some serious cash?!
Starting Salary Statistics: The Office of “Professional & Career Development” at $yracu$e Univer$iTTy Commode of Law purports to show the following employment breakdown – for its Class of 2009: 44% in private practice; 21 percent in business & industry; 14% in government; 10 percent in judicial clerkships; 8% in public interest; and 3 percent in other.
How many of those judicial clerkships are paid positions? How many are in traffic court? How many of those currently clerking for a judge will find gainful employment for next year? Regarding those in “business & industry”, how many of these JDs are working as night managers at Pizza Hut? What percentage of this graduating class is waiting tables at Applebees? How many are taking orders at the Rise and Shine Diner?
“For members of the Class of 2009, salaries ranged from $160,000 for large firm practice to $35,000 for public interest law employment. The average salary reported by those in private practice law firm positions was $94,500. The average salary reported by those in public sector government jobs was $53,500, while the average salary reported by those in private sector jobs was $92,500. The average starting salary for all employment types was $76,500.” [Emphasis mine]
Would you invest $180K – that you CANNOT walk away from - for a chance to make $53K a year? Would you do so, for an outside shot at earning $94K or a lottery chance of making $160K?!?!?
Employment Placement: Under this “Fast Facts” page, it shows that 94% of the Class of 2008 was employed within nine months of graduation. Then again, employment may include temporary research assistant, insurance salesman, and bouncer at Alpine Bar & Gentlemen’s Club.
Oh, well. Let’s see how well some of the faculty members of this fine in$TTiTTuTTion are doing.
Go to page 10 of the Syracuse University 2008 Form 990. You can see that Syracuse dean and “professor of law”, Hannah Arterian made $372,803 in TOTAL COMPENSATION – for 2007. She made $330,960 in salary, $39,343 in contributions to employee benefit plans & deferred compensation, and $2,500 in expense account and other allowances.
We can see that dweeb/“law professor” Peter Blacnk made $438,722 in TOTAL COMPENSATION for the same tax year. To be fair, he holds several “appointments” with the university. Who says higher education doesn’t pay off?!?!
Conclusion: In the final analysis, this school is an overpriced commode. A student could EASILY land $160K in the hole, by attending this second tier sewage plant. If you absolutely MUST be an attorney, and you cannot get into a top 6-8 school, go to the cheapest, local law school – where you can live with family, to cut back on living expenses.
If your family – or girlfriend – is stressing the importance of attending law school, remember that this is YOUR life. You will be the one stuck with the NON-DISCHARGEABLE student debt. If you cannot find decent-paying work upon graduation, this WILL affect your level of happiness. This can also be a divisive issue in your marriage – as money will be tight. Ask yourself the following: Do you want to take on $160K in debt for *a chance* to earn $45K-$50K?