Study Law Online

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Very true. My kids are on Facebook only because the rest of us use FB Messenger.

    Those working adults, though....
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It's here already - at least a very successful offshore one has a Facebook presence - Ross University School of Medicine

    It is owned by Adtalem Global Education Inc., formerly DeVry Education Group, which purchased it in 2003. (For around $310 million, IIRC - J.)

    Given a few minutes, I could probably come up with Facebook pages for some of Ross's competitors.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    If you mean in the region, then St. George's University (in Grenada), American University of Antigua (in Antigua), and Saba University (in Saba) are probably the other ones that have earned the best reputation.

    If you mean in Dominica, the other one is All Saints University, although it's not usually considered to be as good.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    They're all on Facebook.

    SABA -
    St. George's, Med. School -
    American U. of Antigua Med. School -
    All Saints University Med. School -

    There goes that argument. Sorry about that, Marcus Aurelius. You were a good Emperor and an exemplary Stoic. After you, everything done broke down -and still is. Read your 'Meditations' a while back. Good stuff.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Virtually every college has a Facebook page. While there’s some advertising involved, I’ve seen it used more for social networking. We sometimes get questions from people who want to know...”what’s this like or what about that course”. These sorts of questions would be good to ask on these school Facebook pages
  7. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Active Member

    Yes, most schools have Facebook pages these days. Many even have Instagram accounts. What I was referring to earlier in this thread was paid advertising. I just thought it was interesting that law schools are now paying to advertise their programs, as if the demand for their programs has declined or something. Since when do law schools need to advertise? Last time I checked, even the fourth tier schools were turning applicants away.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    As if? It's often mentioned here - the current lack of employment opportunity for large numbers of law school grads. Some have even sued their schools, accusing them of overstating the employment prospects for graduates. The demand for law school should decline. Probably even further than it has.

    I remember a while ago, mocking a career school on DI - one that didn't have a good employment record for grads. I wrote "No job, no money, no car -- but I have a diploma." A lawyer with long experience posted that it sounded like many recent law-school grads.

    In the economic sense, at least, perhaps those applicants are the lucky ones.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  9. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    I don't recall which but some universities have had to close their law schools.
  10. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Let's be clear about a few things related to job prospects, the prospects are really no worse than any other industry. The problem is that the conventional wisdom for lawyers was that you went to law school, passed the bar exam, got yourself admitted to the bar and then landed a job as an associate at a firm, busted your ass and became a partner and then you basically lawyered for the rest of your life and enjoyed country club level wealth.

    This was, incidentally, the conventional wisdom for a bachelors degree before that. As more schools opened and access expanded, in both cases, it meant that people had to compete.

    Listen, I have a friend. An actual, honest to God person, a former HR colleague who just graduated from Pace Law last year. Guess what he's doing this year? He's a lawyer. An actual lawyer with a six figure salary. It doesn't hurt that he focused on labor law and that background in HR helped him. But, at end of the day, he's still a 40-something recent law school graduate who needs his professional "finishing" to be a fully capable lawyer.

    My company recently hired an associate general counsel with a fourth tier law degree (not their only qualification).

    Law isn't dead. What's dead is the notion that a JD from anywhere at all will guarantee you a solid job. When listening to a local Syracuse grad complain about the job market I pointed out that, just one county over, they had been searching for a staff public defender for nearly 2 years. Job paid $68k and they were very willing to consider clerkships and internships as "experience" if it got you through the door. Starting pay was $68k. The two responses?"

    "Ugh, I'm not living THERE!" and "I'm not going to defend shitbags for $68k!"

    So, fine, sit in the city of your choice and be unemployed.

    The biggest obstacle the JD faces is that, up until now, it required quitting your job and devoting three years to studying for it. If it goes solely online or online with residencies, then the JD is equally as approachable as an MBA. For a while at least, the JD may very well be preferable to an MBA which has been watered down to near uselessness over the past 20-30 years. But I'm sure we will see a day when you can get yourself a JD in Entrepreneurship or Sustainability with watered down electives and call centers will add it to their list of preferred qualifications alongside all the other watered down credentials that don't impact your ability to work.
    Jahaza likes this.
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Part of the problem with taking a job paying $68,000 is that the new law grad may well owe a quarter of a million dollars in student loans, more if there was debt from undergrad. It's pretty grim. Here in New Mexico, there are a double handful of public sector jobs (that pay less than that but qualify for student loan debt relief) open at more or less any given time but these jobs are often in places that are isolated and un-scenic while others are in places where the cost of living is high. It can be done but it isn't what they signed up for, you might say.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No? OK, then I'll take a whack at it. I don't have a law degree, but I'll do my best ... they deserve no less.
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    That isn’t unique to law degrees. At many small, private schools it is very easy to rack up six figure debt to earn a bachelors in sociology or women’s studies or anthropology. In all of those cases, you could probably get the same degree for a fraction of the cost if you shopped around.

    Many law schools are expensive. Some, like CUNY Law, are absolutely not. Every successful (gainfully employed) lawyer I know has the same story “I never would have been able to go to law school but Law School X gave me a half/three quarters/full ride.” Otherwise, they came from families that could pay cash and not worry about it. Obviously, not everyone is getting a scholarship. But notice that those people say they wouldn’t have gone without the scholarship. As in, if they couldn’t afford it, they wouldn’t go.

    Even when I, with my lowly CTU bachelors, applied to Syracuse law, I was offered a 50% scholarship. If you can’t write a compelling enough essay or command the LSAT scores to get a scholarship, what makes you think that you’ll be such an in demand lawyer as to command a high six figure salary?

    It’s no different than going nearly $200k in debt for your degree in music. Or, as my father always put it, “piss poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”

    $68k may not be the ideal salary, but it’s $68,000 more than the zero you make sitting around bitching about how you deserve a job paying over $150k because your admiralty law professor at Touro said you had a good head for law.
  14. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    It's true, and this is something that drove my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, both attorneys on the outskirts of a major metro, to stay in a dumpy apartment for a good decade after graduation from a top-20 law school. Their student loan debt was so great, it was taking up that portion of the income you'd set aside for mortgage, so they basically lived like the average undergrad student through most of their 30s, their first child, and then pregnant with #2, before they could finally afford a house. They're pushing 40 now and brother-in-law just made partner with the second firm he worked for and sister-in-law doing OK working for the government, so they can finally afford to do a few things. But law school wasn't exactly a ticket to the easy life for them. Was a long road and a decade of sacrifice after those three years of law studies.

    Syracuse is a very average law school. They should be thankful to have a shot at a $68K a year job. My alma's almost 50 points higher in the rankings than Syracuse, and I didn't get an offer that high, even inflation-adjusted. A quarter of a century ago, our dean told us it wasn't so much a shortage of legal jobs as a shortage of legal jobs in choice locations where most young law grads want to work. That's exactly what I experienced. Couldn't get but one associate offer with a small firm in the burbs of the major metro where I wanted to work, and I thought it was a lowball and could do better, so foolishly turned it down. What I didn't know was the offer was fairly close to the average for those, like me, who didn't graduate top 10 or 15%. Thought it was the first of many offers and something better would surely come along--until it didn't. The distribution of salaries for law school grads is bimodal with a hump centered around $55K and a spike for the top-of-the-class types getting Big Law offers up around $170K (these numbers may be a little old, and back in my day, they were maybe 2/3 of this). That spike skews the average for entry-level lawyer jobs, making it about $70K, so maybe 5 out of 6 law school grads make less than the average to start. I got one of those "under average offers", and was too ignorant and taken with my own magnificence to realize I was being offered a competitive salary commensurate with my average grades and lack of experience. The only other offer that came after that was along the lines of the jobs the Syracuse grad was poo-pooing, and it was a good hour and a half from the metro where my wife worked (in the sort of skyscraper I yearned to work in). So I turned that down also. We wanted to be urban professionals living in the gentrifying, trendy major metro community, going to see the cool bands downtown in the cool clubs, all that. We didn't foresee that kids would come along and eventually we'd leave the metro anyway (I now teach in a small town about 1/100th the size of my former major metro). That Syracuse grad should be happy for anything that can get them an open door into the profession, even in a podunk county.
    Abner, Neuhaus and sideman like this.
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    But, my friend, you just don't understand. They're not just a Syracuse grad they're a lawyer.

    I jest, of course, but I don't think I'm telling you something new when I suggest that some recent graduates of a variety of programs from schools across the spectrum are a tad arrogant.

    I often come back to the example of the young employee who stormed into my office demanding I (HR) do something about the air conditioning, which was down for scheduled maintenance that day, highlighting that he "had a bachelors degree in Finance from Binghamton University and shouldn't be sitting there sweating like a pig!"

    Meanwhile, his colleagues from greater and lesser schools kept working because they didn't feel that their educations entitled them to...whatever it was that he felt entitled to.

    That Syracuse grad should have been grateful for that job. But he wasn't. Yet, there are many graduates of Syracuse, Cooley, Touro, Albany and countless other schools not in the elite realm that:

    1) ARE grateful for whatever job comes their way
    2) Only took on as much debt as they felt they could reasonably afford

    The law school grad bemoaning their $70k salary is really no different, in my opinion, from the business school grad from the no-name school bitching about not getting immediately scooped up by Goldman. Many people go out into the workforce and do just fine. We don't hear about them because they don't lead student loan protests. They don't write angry blog posts about how everyone but them is to blame for their dreams not panning out. They are too busy working.
    FTFaculty likes this.
  16. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    True that. One learns in time they're entitled to exactly nothing. I had to learn it also. After turning down two perfectly good legal jobs for which I was somewhat qualified, I ended up at the margins of the profession, taking overflow work from firms and lawyer friends, picking up a friend as a client here and there, trying to scrape together some semblance of a legal career on my own, and I was making less on average a month than if I were an assistant manager in fast food. Were it not for my wife, the one who actually put on a suit each day and worked as a bona fide professional, we couldn't have paid rent. I was getting what was deserved for thinking I was too good for those jobs. When my wife finally snapped one day and told me her biological clock was ticking and she was sick of the professional life and wanted to become a mommy and stay home, I had to find whatever work there was that could support the new family, so got into tech sales, which was hot hot hot in the mid-to-late 90s, and made 2 to 3X what I'd been offered in those legal jobs I'd turned down. It was a bit embarrassing telling people I was a sales rep for a tech company who happened to have a law degree rather than a "dignified" lawyer, but at least I had a real job--until I didn't when the tech bubble burst. And that led me to this present gig. One thing you can be certain of is anyone teaching b-law at a biz school is not there because they blew away the legal profession with their brilliant courtroom work and contract writing skills.
    Neuhaus likes this.
  17. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Thank you for sharing this. It helps clear up many misconceptions regarding the legal profession. I'd add that not everyone is cut out to be a lawyer, and to assume so is folly. As for myself, I know I am not. I love the study of law but have no desire to practice it. Not after working with attorneys for over thirty years. There's nothing to be ashamed of working any honest job to support your family. This is where we can also learn from the Asian community. Many Asians come to the states and whereas they were physicians in their native country, can't practice medicine for a variety of reasons (i.e. can't pass the boards here, etc.). So they'll take any job they can get and it's not always in healthcare. Or they open up a store and sleep in it until they get on their feet. So my point is is that they will swallow their pride and humbly do what they have to do to provide a living for their family. Not saying it's easy for them to do this but because they are family oriented and family motivated, they press on.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This whole discussion kind of reminds me of a friend of my dad from the police force. This guy busted his ass back in the late 80's or early 90's to earn a law degree while working full time as a cop. Remember that New York has admission requirements above the ABA (i.e. no correspondence, weekend JD programs don't qualify). So he switched to third shift so he could attend law school during the day. Three years of, as he described it, absolute misery. He graduates, he gets admitted to the bar and everyone expects him to disappear. He hit 20 years of service, he could walk with his pension and start off his law career and probably make OK money in criminal law. But then, a year later, he made it clear he wasn't going anywhere. He made lieutenant and had to decide whether he would stick around and put on his white shirt or leave and start out at the bottom of a completely new field. He stuck around and only very recently retired as a Captain, not intending to begin any second career at all.

    Some say he wasted those three years. Though I'm sure the JD didn't hurt his promotion potential, it wasn't practicing law.

    If we can get that price down and offer it online then there is no reason many people couldn't benefit from having a JD on their resume even if they won't practice law full time. It would just be like having a business degree in that sense. My understanding, though I have no experience with it directly, is that in places like the UK it's not uncommon for LLB grads to "use" their degrees as, basically, business degrees and never go into practicing law full time. Of course, their system is set up such that one doesn't waste 7 years of their lives and sometimes over a quarter million dollars to find out that they don't really want to be lawyers afterall.
  19. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    True. LLB is an undergrad degree just like any other, so there is absolutely nothing that would prevent it from being used as an entry qualification to a business career. I's also a good field to flex yout intellectual muscles, and good body of knowledge to have in your life and career - not necessarily as a barrister or a solicitor.
    Also mirroring business degrees here, in UK, you have online law degrees, and two major law schools are for-profit universities (one owned by Apollo International) - BPP U. and U. of Law. For-profit status seemingly does not give their grads much of a stigma, if any. Changing careers to law in US is quite difficult, while in UK you have grad-entry two year LLB and one-year conversion courses (usually "Graduate Diploma in Law"). The profession is more open, and yet saturation problem is much less pronounced - since a law grad is not saddled with enormous debt and can pursue different careers. I think it's a better system, frankly.
  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I am often frustrated when speaking to aspiring law students (and others) when those students absolutely refuse to run the numbers and figure out whether law school debt is something they can manage on the sort of salaries they can reasonably expect to receive. The denial is palpable; "But it's my lifelong DREAM to be a lawyer!" as if that means anything at all in the real world. Same thing seems to be happening to chiropractors, dentists, and pharmacists.

    Well, is it your lifelong DREAM to be a debt slave and not be able to afford marriage, a family, or a home of your own? But even that line generally elicits (at best) a blank stare. It is said that law schools are full of very bright people who can't do math. I'm not sure it's "can't" but I am sure it's "won't".

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