Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Law School Gamble - Playing With Loaded Dice


Looking at the ABA’s website, we can that total JD enrollment at ABA-accredited law schools came out to 142,922 students, for the 2008-2009 school year.

http://www.abanet.org/legaled/statistics/charts/stats%20-%208.pdf

Now, go to the top 14 schools, as ranked by US News & World Report. Going off of the information listed on this page, we can see that the total, cumulative full-time enrollment – for the 2008-2009 school year - at these fourteen schools amounted to 13,708 students.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings

We are also aware that, according to the ABA, the number of JDs pumped out in 2008 was 43,588.

http://www.abanet.org/legaled/statistics/charts/stats%20-%207.pdf

The NALP – with numbers self-reported and submitted by ABA-approved law schools – notes that there were 30,334 jobs where bar passage was required, in 2008. This PDF is part of NALP’s report entitled Jobs & JD’s: Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates – Class of 2008.

http://nalp.org/uploads/08SelectedFindings.pdf

Based on total enrollment of the top 14 law schools listed above, we can figure that these schools produce about 4,500 JDs every year. A few of these grads will elect not to sit for a bar exam, and some will fail the test. So, we will say that 4,000 JDs from these institutions gain bar admission. (Presumably, a licensed attorney who graduates from one of these top institutions can get an attorney or law-related position if he wants to do so – even if it is public interest law.)

So, that means that, for the Class of 2008, roughly 39,088 (i.e. 43,588-4,500) graduates of non-T14 schools competed for a paltry 26,334 legal jobs. This means that slightly less than 67.4% of these lower-tier graduates found employment where bar passage was required, i.e. 26,334/39,088.

Also, the NALP and the law schools do not take into account how many of these JDs ended up working in daddy’s firm. The schools also do not consider how many of these lawyers decided to hang out their own shingle. Here is something else to think about: how many of these grads are working as “contract attorneys” – reviewing documents in a basement at $20 an hour?!

How many are taking court-appointed work, practicing toitletlaw? (Remember, if you want to chase ambulances and fight over personal injury dreck, you still need a law license.) How many of these law grads are making a salary sufficient to reasonably pay back their student loans?

If you are even thinking about going to law school, you need to look at these numbers. Very few people will get Biglaw jobs. White shoe firms and top government agencies want those with the right pedigree and prestige on their staff. If you attend a TTT and are not well-connected, you will absolutely need to SMASH you legal studies, i.e. land in the top 1-5% of your class with law review – just to get noticed by such large firms.

You will need such a salary to be able to pay back your immense student loans, without too much stress on your finances and lifestyle. Plus, many do not last long in these HIGH-stress work environments. Looking at the insane billing requirements, can you see why so many who leave Biglaw after 2-5 years?

You need to look at law school SOLELY as a financial decision! If you want to represent poor people, go into social work. If you want to “save the world,” join the Sierra Club. You don’t need to go $130K in debt to do these things.

We are witnessing a fundamental re-structuring of the American economy. Scale back your expectations. Your sister purchased a $450,000 McMansion, and she and her husband both have newer, luxury vehicles? They also put their kids in expensive private schools, you say? (Let me guess. She makes $32K and her husband makes $38K pre-tax?) Well, DO NOT emulate the fools. Rent or purchase an affordable home, buy used cars that look nice and run well, and cut back on all unnecessary expenses - such as law school.

Optimism is unwarranted, for the following reasons: (a) American law firms are now able to hire foreign lawyers and non-lawyers for doc review projects – see ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451; (b) technology has allowed laypersons to sufficiently navigate their way through various legal matters; (c) the lawyer market has been oversaturated for decades; (d) the ABA continues to approve any fifth-rate law school that submits an application; and (e) recent JDs are graduating with more levels of non-dischargeable student debt than ever before – while facing shrinking employment prospects!

If your spouse, friends or family push you to go to law school, tell them to pay for it – i.e. your tuition and living expenses. Otherwise, they have NO RIGHT to say a word about this venture. Remember, YOU will be the one paying for this decision for the next 30 years.

Given these odds, are you prepared to roll the dice?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Smoldering, Steaming Pile of Excrement: Thomas M. Cooley Law School



Come on – you knew it was only a matter of time before this pile of dung would be featured on TTR.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_M._Cooley_Law_School

You can see that this private dump offers a weekend program, whereby one can earn a law degree by attending classes on Saturdays and Sundays. Nothing says world class institution like a weekend law program, right?! And look, the school has FOUR campuses throughout the State of Michigan. Oh joy! The main pile is located in Lansing, with waste sites in Grand Rapids, Auburn Hills, and a new campus in Ann Arbor. (It’s akin to having four rolls of toilet paper to wipe your ass with!)

http://www.nationaljurist.com/category/law-school-360-tags/thomas-cooley-law-school

Look at TTTTs helping each other out – TTTThoma$ Cooley took over the space that housed Ave Marie Toilet of Law, i.e. Domino’s Pizza School of Law. I’m sure my friend, Jack Crittenden, thinks that this is a great development in “legal education.”

http://www.cooley.edu/overview/factsataglance.htm

Tuition: Via Cooley’s supposed “Facts-At-A-Glance,” we see that tuition for full-time students will come out to $28,740 - for the 2009-2010 school year.

Estimated Educational Expenses: For the 2009-2010 academic year, the toilet estimates that a student will spend $13,800 in books, room & board, transportation and personal expenses. This would bring the total COA – for a FT student - to a suspiciously low $42,540.

And look, you can start your “legal studies” in January, May or September! What more could you ask for?!?!

Total Enrollment: According to this “fact sheet,” the school has a total enrollment of 3,783 students. Of this amount, 84 percent are part-time students! So, that means that only about 605 students – out of this figure – are enrolled full-time.

Average Starting Salary: The school lists this figure as $52,400. There are no charts, pie graphs, or further breakdown. That is about par for the course, when it comes to self-reported information.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+7

Ranking: According to US News & World Report, this school is a fourth tier trash can.

http://www.cooley.edu/ethics/

Ethics: This school has the temerity to feature a page on Ethics and Integrity. Yes, apparently, pumping out a ton of JDs every year into an over-saturated legal market is ethical. Especially, when this is done by a well-known diploma mill that realizes MOST of its grads will not have a shot in hell of practicing law! You are also producing a ton of minority lawyers who will be up to their eyeballs in non-dischargeable debt – with no chance of ever paying this off. Yes, good for you Thomas Cooley. You are the embodiment of integrity, right?!?! Oh well, at least you can crow about having the most “diverse” student body of any diploma mill in the country.

http://www.cooley.edu/newsevents/2009/011209_judginglawschools.html

Other Considerations: The school is ranked 12th by its own law school rankings scheme!

http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/cooley-law-school-takes-one-team

Well, at least the school is seeking to attract more students via advertising. Apparently, a total enrollment of 3783 students is not a large enough pool of victims for this school to claim. They have decided to spend $1.485 million, over 11 years, on the naming rights to a minor league baseball park. (Maybe that will help move Cooley up in US&NWR’s rankings. It should at least help the school climb the ladder in its own rankings scheme.)

In the last analysis, this school is a complete and total festering pile of excrement. Do not piss away (borrowed) money to attain a “legal education” at this dump. I don’t care if you get a scholarship that covers tuition plus living expenses. Where will you hang your law degree? I would rather admit getting my JD from Wal-Mart (with the purchase of a set of paint brushes) than tell anyone I went to this TTTToileTTTT!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Close the Door! DePaul University College of Law


http://law.depaul.edu/applicants/costs_budget/

Tuition: for the 2009-2010 academic year, a full-time student at DePaul Law will pay $37,525.

Total Cost of Attendance: from this same page, we can see that this school estimates the total COA to be $60,266. That’s right – sixty thousand, two hundred and sixty-six U.S. dollars to attend this school for one year.

What’s that you say? This figure is for full-time students. Yes, you are correct. How could I have overlooked that? Part-time students at this school will have no problem paying tuition. You see, the total estimated COA for part-time law students at DePaul is estimated to be a MUCH more manageable $46,801. And who doesn’t have $46K lying around the house, under the couch cushions, right?!?

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+4

Ranking: According to US News & World Report, DePaul is tied with six other schools for the high honor of being the 87th greatest, most fantastic and amazing law school in the entire country!! Hell, for this stratospheric level of prestige, the school is a bargain. Why aren’t they charging $75K a year in yearly tuition alone?!

http://law.depaul.edu/students/career_services/students/

http://law.depaul.edu/students/career_services/general_information/resources_services.asp

Employment Prospects: Apparently, the school’s CSO puts out the same garbage as the other backed-up sewers. Where are the numbers, DePaul? Oh, wait! Maybe the school’s grads do SO well and make such large sums of money – upon graduation – that the school is afraid to list those figures. They don’t want to face a deluge of applications, right?!

http://law.depaul.edu/students/student_affairs/class_ranks_historical.asp

Historical Class Ranks: Well, at least the school is nice enough to let you know what you will need, in order to land in the top of the class. You think you can be in the top 5 percent of your class at this sewer? All you need to do is have a 3.734+ GPA. Sure, no problem! Who can’t get and maintain an A- average in law school? (Oh, that’s right – the bottom 95 percent of the class!!)

Maybe you are more down to earth. Perhaps you have less lofty expectations for yourself. To land in the top ten percent, you will need about a 3.642 GPA. This is a shade under an A- average. Many of you at DePaul and other similarly-situated toilets/sewers didn’t get a 3.7 GPA while majoring in “Political Science”! But, of course, YOU will be the exception.

Ooh! Look at all the joint degree programs the law school offers. (Grab another roll of toilet paper – you’ll need it.)

http://law.depaul.edu/programs/joint_degree/

Before the commencement of the second year of law school, the student must be independently accepted by the college that offers the other portion of the degree and meet all admission requirements for that college. The other Colleges include the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business (MBA), the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (MS in Public Service Administration, MA in International Studies), and the College of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Technology (MA and MS in Computer Science Technology).

I mean, what employer – on the face of this earth – would not want to hire a DePaul Law grad with an MBA, or MA in “International Studies”)?!

http://law.depaul.edu/programs/areas_specialization/inter_comp_law.asp

But that’s not all this institution offers – you can also earn an International & Comparative Law Certificate!! And employers will climb over each other to hire someone with that illustrious credential, right?!

Conclusion: A law student from this school will have an uphill fight even getting noticed in the Chicago legal market, or what’s left of it. The cost is simply too high for most students. When taking the dismal job prospects that await the school’s grads into account, there is NO JUSTIFICATION for potentially going $180K in the hole. You don’t need a mountain of non-dischargeable debt to work as a bouncer, bartender, cab driver, or latte server. You also do not need a JD from a second tier sewer, i.e. DePaul, to work in auto parts delivery, insurance sales, or burger-flipping.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Turn on the Fan: Loyola University - Chicago School of Law



http://www.luc.edu/law/admission/jd/pdfs/fall%202010/Corrected_Cost_of_Attendance_Budget_1011.pdf

Tuition and Fees: [Disclaimer: this is not for the faint of heart or for those with a family history of cardio problems] In order to attend this toilet of law for the 2010-2011 academic year, a full-time student will pay $37,380 in tuition only! (Do you need a moment to recover your senses?)

Total Cost of Attendance: Okay, now here is the real kicker: total COA is estimated - by the school - at $58,074 for a full-time peon/student, for the 2010-2011 school year.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+4

Ranking: Surely, the school’s sterling reputation among “the legal community” justifies such costs, right?!?! Well…according to US News & World Report, Loyola-Chicago is tied for 87th best law school in the land – with six other schools (including another piece of trash in the same city, i.e. DePaul)! It’s uncanny how many 6 and 7 way ties US News comes up with, in its annual law school rankings scheme. Who says politics plays no role in these rankings?

So what if the school’s reputation is lower than corroded toilet water – certainly the job prospects can’t be that bad.

http://www.luc.edu/law/career/2008_data.html

Employment Prospects: For $ome rea$on, the school does not provide an actual breakdown of employment placement or starting salary info. Instead, the school throws out a bunch of meaningless info. (I wonder why that might be.)

http://www.luc.edu/law/admission/jd/pdfs/docs%20for%202010/09-10factsheet-1.pdf

More garbage spews forth – from this purported “Fact Sheet.” Seriously, just peruse this putrid filth for a minute. Make sure to bring a cloth to hold over your nose.

http://www.luc.edu/law/admission/jd/pdfs/docs%20for%202010/Distinguished_alumni_09-09.pdf

A list of supposedly “distinguished alumni.” Have you ever heard of any of these people? Neither have I. And guess what? After you get a JD from this fesTTering TToileTT, the only person who will know your name is the bureaucrat who processes your unemployment benefits claim. And perhaps, the person who processes your Food Stamp application will too.

http://www.luc.edu/law/about/worldclass.html

Location: You can always tell a sewer of law by the way it puffs up its location. Well, new flash for you: you are also located in a HEAVILY-SATURATED legal market. Legal employers are seeking to hire attorneys for $10 an hour on Craig’s List:

http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/2010/03/chicago-to-10-hour.html

Oh, and I almost forgot. You will be competing against students from two top ten law schools – in the same city – for legal positions. Good luck, Lemmings!

http://www.luc.edu/law/activities/publications.html

And lastly, NOBODY gives a wet turd that you were the Notes Editor for the Public Interest Law Reporter – or the equally bland Children’s Legal Rights Journal. In fact, it is best to leave these "accomplishments" off your resume, altogether.

What is so upsetting about these toilets is that they KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that their students will have little chance of landing a job that will pay them enough to allow them to repay their student loans and have a decent lifestyle. Yet, the tenured “law professors” of these genteel “institutions of higher learning” are not doing without. They talk about public service and giving something back to the community, but they earn well above $150K a year for “working” a mere 6 hours a week!

By their fruits, ye shall know them – especially when they teach at ostensibly Christian schools and yet make money over fist while pushing legions of young people into a lifetime of financial ruin. I imagine Jesus of Nazareth – as presented in the Bible – would literally toss these professors and administrators out into the street. With a nice, swift kick in the ass – for good measure!

DO NOT ATTEND THIS SCHOOL, UNLESS YOU ARE GETTING A FULL-RIDE SCHOLARSHIP, ARE NOT PAYING ANY LIVING EXPENSES, AND YOU HAVE A JOB LINED UP! Got that?! Don’t even bother applying to this dump. Yeah, the school waives its $50 fee, if you apply online. Big deal - I just saved you $180K in debt, and a lifetime of misery, disillusionment and failure. I didn’t charge you a fee, either.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Get Ready to Wipe: The National Jurist


I am taking a brief reprieve from my series of features on Chicago-area toilets of law. This is due to the actions of the editor-in-chief of the rag known as National Jurist. I was going to reserve judgment until after the March issue came out. However, three recent developments have made this entry necessary.

Jack Crittenden thinks law students should NOT seek to make a positive return on their “investment.” (Yes, shame on these people for wanting to eat and pay bills - as well as for seeking to avoid living in their sister’s basement for the next 30 years.)

For too long, many of the students who entered law school were seeking the high paying salaries that law schools were too happy to advertise. It was a rush to greed. And many of these wealth-seekers were sorely disappointed when they failed to land the $160,000 job.

Most never even had a chance, as only 20 percent of all graduates were landing jobs with salaries greater than $100,000. But, to be fair, some even failed to land the $40,000 job and now have $100,000 in debt breathing down their necks.

But the larger point is that law schools became filled with too many students who were more focused on a good return on their investment. We now have several blogs feeding this disenchantment. But buyer’s remorse does not get us very far.

Actually, some of us are simply trying to get the truth out to potential victims/law students. I will pay off my student loans. I merely want to help others avoid my fate. Would you prefer if I gave false info to young people and told them what a great investment law school is? Oh wait – that’s what YOUR magazine does!

In terms of faculty-student ratios, there are twice as many law professors per student today as there were 30 years ago, the National Jurist says.

The study by the National Jurist says the higher staffing levels at 195 ABA-accredited institutions account for 48 percent of tuition increases during the period studied, from 1998 to 2008. Average tuition during that time is up 74 percent at private schools and 102 percent at public institutions, the study says.

So, is this your way of pushing blame onto the US News & World Report annual law school rankings? That is such an original idea, Jack. So, what percentage of tuition increases is due to the following factors: (a) non-dischargeable, federally-backed student loans; (b) false and misleading employment and starting salary figures put out by the law schools; (c) lack of ANY oversight with regards to schools’ self-reported numbers; (d) aggressive advertising by the law school industry, in publications such as yours; (e) desperation caused by a low-wage, service-based economy; and (f) unmitigated greed on the part of the law schools and the ABA?

And, now to the straw that broke the camel’s back:


Thomas M. Cooley Law School officials announced the renaming of the former Oldsmobile Park, located a half-mile away from the school, this week.

Under the agreement, the law school will pay $1.485 million over 11 years, the length of the team’s lease with the City of Lansing, Mich., the Associate Press reports. The team and city will split the revenues.

“We are thrilled to make this long-term investment that will benefit, not only our students and employees, but the entire community and region for years to come,” said Dean Don LeDuc said.

I understand that you are not the one who decided to piss away $1.485 million of tuition money – and federal taxpayer funds – on naming rights to a damn minor league baseball stadium. But your magazine did report on this story – and did so with its trademark uncritical eye. It couldn’t be that adverti$ing dollar$ got in the way of National Jurist’s hard-hitting investigative, reporting, right?!

You, Jack Crittenden, chide law students – many of whom are from humble backgrounds – for seeking to make a positive return on their investment. But yet, you and your publication turn a blind eye to the industry’s greed. Apparently, it is okay for “law professors” to work 6 hour weeks and make $180K per year. You have no problem with a fourth tier piece of excrement misallocating federal funds, so it can purchase naming rights to a baseball park. But, when it comes to law students, you want them to just sit back and relax, while they are being financially ruined. That is reprehensible!

Now, go off and sell some more advertising space to third and fourth tier – as well as various unaccredited - commodes, such as University of St. Thomas, Capital University, and Chapman University. I’ll be here to “highlight” these fine commodes of law.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grab the Air Freshener: The John Marshall Law School



http://www.jmls.edu/admission/jd_tuitionfees.shtml

Tuition and Fees: To attend this commode, a full-time student will pay $1,260 per credit hour for the 2009-2010 academic year. Seeing that most law schools require 90 credits for graduation, it seems that this would come out to roughly $37,800 for the current school year, i.e. 30 * $1,260.

Also, take a look at the fees. A locker fee of $15 per year?! I understand that this fee is optional, but come on. Those lockers are not worth $15 a piece. Even Third Tier Drake only charged us $10 to rent a locker, and I got my money back after I returned the lock. I also just love the Loan Repayment Assistance Fee. Also look at the diploma handling fee for in absentia graduates. So, if one (understandably) wants to skip out on the graduation ceremony from this fesTTTTering toilet – and avoid the $40 cap and gown rental fee – he will still get charged a $5 fee.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+7

We can see that US News & World Report lists The John Marshall Law School firmly in the illustrious fourth tier of American law schools! (I am sure John Marshall is rolling over in his grave – he also has a provisionally-accredited law school named after him in Atlanta!!) And look – apparently full-time enrollment at this fourth tier piece of trash is 1000!

http://www.jmls.edu/careersvcs/employment_statistics.shtml

Employment and Starting Salary Statistics: This school asserts that within one year of graduation, 100 percent of its Class of 2006 was employed. Yes, this fourth tier piece of trash has the audacity to claim that 100% placement for its 348 members of the Class of 2006!! The school even has a purported breakdown of how the Class of 2006 found their jobs.

Yeah, sure 100 percent of the Class of 2006 was employed within one year of graduation – if you count the following professions: shipping and receiving; stocking shelves at a Big box retailer; sales associate; “people greeter”; fast food window operator; nightclub bouncer; online gambling; city bus driver; beer vendor at Wrigley Field; etc.

We see the (alleged) salary range was $24K-$240K for the graduating class listed above. The average starting salary was also listed as $71,103 – with the median listed as $$60,500. Of course, for self-employed attorneys, i.e. sole practitioners, no average or median salary was listed! Could it be that those figures would have brought down the overall average salary?!

http://www.jmls.edu/students/interscholastic.shtml

“But look how well our students have placed in moot court competitions!” Well, unfortunately, employers do not care that you placed fifth in the Pepperdine University National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition. Surprisingly, employers also do not care that you were an “octofinalist” at the (regional) Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. Simply put, legal and non-legal employers do not care how well you or your team placed at these BS competitions.

In the last analysis, this school puts out deceptive employment and starting salary figures, in order to justify the high cost of tuition at this fourth tier trash can. The general premise? “Sure, we’re not Northwestern or University of Chicago, but you can come here, get a quality education that will (somehow) prepare you for practice, and land a good-paying job upon graduation.”

Well, this simply is not the case. You WILL be competing directly against students and graduates from MUCH better law schools in your own city – even for "lowly" city jobs. Law is a prestige-obsessed industry. Where you went to school does matter to potential legal employers. You could easily land $180,000 in the hole by attending this school. This is a mortgage you CANNOT walk away from. Also, many employers will not be interested in your “credential” – in the slightest. They want someone with a better pedigree.

If you want to practice toiletlaw – and represent little people with BIG problems – where you went to school does not necessarily matter. However, you can certainly do so at a much cheaper school. (There is no need to go $180K in non-dischargeable debt to maybe make $35K per year in salary.) Plus, aren’t you interested in making a positive return on your “investment”?

Seriously, the stench of this toilet is starting to make me sick.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Open a Window: Chicago-Kent College of Law



http://www.kentlaw.edu/adm/adm_exp.html

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?!

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4120500

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.

http://www.kentlaw.edu/depts/cso/employmentstats.html

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?!?

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/rankings/page+4

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?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Give It a Second Flush – Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law



Tuition and Fees: For the 2009-2010 academic year, full-time, in-state residents will pay $16,586. Out-of state students, who are attending on a full-time basis, will pay $28,876.


Also, take a look at all the fees. Temple law students who are graduating this year must pay a $65 graduation fee! And apparently, this is not a one-time charge. What?! Is that for printing and processing of the degree? Is this a way for the school to make money off of the ceremony? These “destitute” schools must find a way to make a profit after all, right?!

Job Prospects: Just take a look at this sampling from the Office of Career Planning:


We work to provide our students with ample employment opportunities and to educate students so that they can take advantage of, and capitalize on, these opportunities in an informed and judicious manner.

As a result, Temple Law students are very successful at finding jobs. 94 percent of the class of 2006 was employed within nine months of graduation. In addition to placing the largest number of students in large Philadelphia area law firms, we also placed more graduates in public interest jobs than the four other area law schools in the area combined. Eighteen graduates were selected for clerkships in various federal courts across the country, from right here in the 3rd Circuit to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the District Court of the Southern District of Texas. Indeed, you will find our graduates in almost every legal setting: prestigious law firms, high-profile public interest organizations, corporate legal departments, federal and state judicial chambers, federal, state and local agencies, and prosecutor's and defender's offices across the nation. [Emphasis in original]

What I don’t see are hard numbers backing up the school’s claims. I don’t see a statistical breakdown of the numbers. There are no fancy pie charts or graphs. Ooh! Eighteen of your graduates from the last class cited landed federal clerkships! But, out of how many graduates?

What the school fails to mention is that you will also find many TTemple grads in almost every setting, i.e. in unemployment lines, at the food pantry, in homeless shelters, living in their sister’s basement, driving taxis, working the checkout line at the grocery store, on Food Stamps, changing your oil, collecting cans, in bankruptcy court, etc.

Ranking: According to US News & World Report, the TTemple Univer$iTTy Jame$ E. Bea$ley Sewer of Law is ranked as the 65th most prestigious law school in the  land. By some mathematical anomaly/political consideration, this toilet is tied with FIVE other schools for this honor!! Those schools being: Baylor, Georgia State, Kansas, Missouri and Penn State.


But look! If you come to this illustrious institution of higher learning, you can be a student editor of the prestigious Temple Journal of Science, Technology & Environmental Law. And what employer wouldn’t be blown away with that type of experience?!?!

http://www.temple.edu/law/tjstel/

And don’t forget the equally prominent Temple International & Comparative Law Journal!

http://www.temple.edu/law/ticlj/

In the final analysis, this second tier toilet provides one with slightly better job prospects than the typical, third tier law school. Grab a good plunger and give this school a second flush. Or grab a plumber’s snake. Remember, you would be better off by avoiding the crushing debt, keeping your job, making important job contacts, and building a reputation as a solid worker. Do not piss away your future on this “investment.”
 
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