Thursday, May 28, 2015
First Tier Cougar Droppings: Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School
Tuition: Full-time law students who are members of the church that owns the school were only charged $11,620 for the 2014-2015 academic year. Non-Mormon law students at BYU paid double that amount, i.e. $23,240, in 2014-2015. Here is how the school keeps tuition so low:
“The tuition at BYU Law School is among the lowest in the nation because more than 50 percent of the cost of operating the Law School is paid from the tithing contributions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All students benefit greatly from this support.”
Hell, the students who attend cheaply and cannot find decent employment upon graduation don’t exactly benefit greatly. Then again, the administrators and faculty do well – and that’s what matters, right?!?!
Ranking: According to US “News” & World Report, Brigham Young Univer$ity J. Reuben Clark Law $chool is rated as the co-34th greatest, most remarkable and splendid law school in the entire country. And it must be a truly grand institution, as it “only” shares this distinction with the following five commodes: Boston College, Fordham, Indiana University-Maurer, Ohio State, and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Employment “Placement” Statistics: Let’s check out the Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates. As you can see, there were 138 members of this BYU Law Class. Based on this chart, 128 of these JDs were employed within nine months of receiving their law degree. That equates to a 92.8% “placement” rate.
However, you will notice that 11 of these grads were in law school or university funded positions. At least, these were all full-time and long term posts. By the way, if these jobs were not included, the “placement” rate would have been a less than stellar 84.8 percent, i.e. 117/138. Those hires made quite a difference.
Go down to Employment Type. A total of 8 graduates landed article III clerkships. Remember that this is from the 34th most amazing law school in the entire nation, and that there are only two law schools in the state. Now, imagine your odds of landing such work, from a low-ranked toilet in a location that has several ABA-accredited diploma mills.
Out of 138 graduates from the 2014 class, 58 reported working in private law firms. That represents 42% of the cohort. Typically, private law offices pay more and – short of working for a federal agency in a good post – they are certainly held in higher esteem. Furthermore, people tend to go to law school so that they can make good money in a decent career – especially those with families or those looking to have kids. How many men and women attend supposed professional schools, with the intent to return to their old job or to make peanuts in a legal aid office?!?!
Also, out of the 58 BYU grads working in private law firms, only five landed posts in offices of 251-500 attorneys, while nine reported being hired by firms with 501 or more lawyers. Again, this is the 34th greatest law school in the United States. Those figures are pathetic! Could you imagine – for one second - if good American medical schools offered their graduates such weak job prospects?!
Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the J. Reuben Clark Class of 2014 who incurred debt for law school - as $54,203. In fact, 72% of this school’s 2014 cohort took on such foul debt. Don’t forget that this amount does not even include undergraduate debt – and also does not take accrued interest into account, while the student is enrolled.
By the Numbers: Take a look at this profile from Law School Numbers.
“BYU Law School Admissions
BYU Law School is considered a Moderately Competitive law school, which accepts only 29% of its applicants. Comparatively, [BYU] is Significantly Lower than the average cost for law school.”
Class of 2018 figures:
25th percentile UGPA: 3.40
Median UGPA: 3.75
75th percentile UGPA: 3.85
25th percentile LSAT: 158
Median LSAT: 162
75th percentile LSAT: 165
Those are some serious entrance scores, in order to be considered for this school. Keep in mind that these numbers are often achieved by men and women who are married, have children, and hold down jobs. Many, if not most, also have impressive volunteer experience. Now, look at the employment outcomes for the BYU Law Class of 2014. It simply does not match up with the lofty admission standards. Now is a bad time to attend law school, even one with a good rating.
Conclusion: BYU Law $chool is one of those places that attracts people with strong academic credentials. Frankly, several members of each class crush the LSAT and have options to attend top law schools. However, many of these same people pray about where they should go, and they sometimes pick BYU over schools such as Stanford, Columbia, or Northwestern. The odd thing is that for a school with a relatively high ranking, typically half of the recent graduating classes cannot land decent employment after earning their degree. Lastly, when a school, located in a smaller state, with such a good ranking only “places” 42 percent of its grads in private law firms – and another 5.8% in federal clerkships – then you KNOW that this is a GLUTTED field.
Posted by Nando at 4:36 AM