Is law school really worth it? (Part II)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 14, 2010 in Unsolicited Commentary | Subscribe

Good evening y’all! :)

Yesterday I finally finished editing this entry on the monetary costs-vs-benefits of law school, which pulled together some easily-accessible data based on my own work history, ADA salaries in North Carolina, my tuition and fee payments for both N.C. State and NCCU Law, and so on.

Recognizing that it only took me about 2 hours for the data gathering / spreadsheet making / graphic creating / writing / editing, I didn’t tout it as a comprehensive panacea of analysis — even going so far as pointing out “[d]ata-driven analyses like this are, in a word, pointless. There are simply too many variables involved to produce anything useful[.]”

But that didn’t stop the comments on the post from being uniformly negative :beatup:

All the commenters raised points worth considering though, so rather than limit discussion to the comments section of that particular thread I figured I’d do a copy/paste in a separate entry with my responses.

For clarity, I’m using the same snippet-by-snippet response style I ran with in deconstructing the Pope Center’s hit piece on me way back in March. If you haven’t already done so, I’d encourage you to read yesterday’s entry and the comments yourself just so there are no concerns about me misrepresenting what was said :D

Here we go…

—===—

Aaron Massey: Since we’re both American, this might be completely anti-cultural, but I think you’re calculations are still significantly off because you’re not accounting for retirement savings plans. The head start on retirement that both the HS diploma and the BA/BS degree would have can make a big difference once you start factoring it in. A higher income is nice, but so is compound annual interest/stock appreciation.

I didn’t include any mention of retirement savings in my post, because it’s simply not relevant to the discussion :)

If you take a look at the “caveats” section of the entry, my only requirement is that any money earned during college or law school can’t go to defraying education expenses — done solely to artificially magnify the cost of that education for the purpose of the analysis.

The vast majority of college students work, which is why the common categorization of years in school as a true “opportunity cost” barely holds water (and retains even less). If a freshman wants to set up a 401(k) and put money into it from his side job, he wouldn’t run afoul of my analysis. Similarly, there’s nothing stopping a law student from taking a chunk of their financial aid refund or earnings from a summer associateship and socking that into a retirement plan as well.

Now in both cases they’d be better off financially by paying down their student loans, since their long-run net return on investments will likely be less than the 8% loan interest rate I’m using. But if they did that I couldn’t artificially inflate the student loan interest for the analysis ;)

If we assume students can and do work (but simply don’t defray education costs), a corollary question may be “Will they be putting away as much as someone working full-time?” And the answer to that is “It depends.”

Unlike the full-time employee, typically students get to have their living expenses (rent, electricity, etc) rolled into their financial aid package; it’s why economic analyses typically show traditional college-aged students having the highest discretionary income of any age group. Under those circumstances, a student could easily put away a comparable amount for retirement if they had the inclination to do so.1

Since planning for retirement isn’t precluded by my analysis and could easily be done by all three hypothetical students, I think for this particular analysis we’d lose more from the confusion inherent in tackling too many issues than we’d gain from discussing 401(k)s and related savings plans :)

***

Aaron Massey: Also, I also think you’re generic approach to the four year college degree is a little difficult to justify. Some degrees (like computer engineering) have starting salaries that average about $60,000. Others are almost half that.

Could some folks start out making more money? Of course. But similar to bringing in the discussion of retirement savings, expanding the analysis to include a litany of possible starting salaries for the BS/BA track adds a lot of noise without much signal.

For example, if we’re going to differentiate degrees like computer engineering to account for the higher salaries, it’d only be fair analytically to also differentiate the law track to rely on that expertise — an attorney doing IP-related litigation before the US Patent & Trademarks Office will be making far more than the ADA salaries I included ;)

Synthetic Work-Life Earnings Estimates by Degree

The generic approach also has the benefit of its reasonableness being reviewable against aggregate data compiled by the government. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau produced this compilation titled “The Big Payoff” analyzing data on average salaries and synthetic work-life earnings by education level, gender, race, and so on.2

Based on the government’s compilation, I’ve overestimated lifetime earnings of the diploma-only worker by ~$150K, underestimated the BS/BA earnings by only ~$53K, but underestimated professional degree earnings by ~$1,698K (aka $1.7M). The rhetoric about them being “difficult to justify” notwithstanding, my numbers are generally in line with the government’s except for the legal salary (that I’ve gratuitously underestimated).

So while a more-nuanced approach might provide a minimal amount of added clarity (at the expense of a lot more reading), I’ve already tilted the numbers so far in favor of the non-law school route that doing so isn’t particularly meaningful.

***

Aaron Massey: Still, the most important problem with this sort of raw calculation is that your disclaimers in the preliminaries are far more important than the rest of the post. “Worth it” is a question of happiness, which is often not at all about money. Sometimes, life happens and no amount of money will help.

I wholeheartedly agree, 110%. It’s why I linked to Jack Whittington’s entry on that very topic, and why the “I’d have more fun doing law” argument was central to my email to BL1Y.

But since Jack already covered the “Happiness is important” route, and BL1Y covered the “You’re not going to be happy” route, that left me with only the financials :beatup:

***

Aaron Massey: Realistically, the best advice anyone considering law school can receive about whether it is “worth it” is this: “Don’t just think that you’re going to be better off financially; run some numbers using some potential scenarios, including one in which you abandon law altogether. Also, don’t just think that more money will actually make you happier; be honest about what your life goals really are.”

I agree with everything here except the first word — strike “Realistically” and replace it with “Ideally” ;)

Realistically, almost no one’s going to do that level of analysis… which is why I did it for them :angel:

—===—

BL1Y: A lot of the trouble with students going in to law school is that they look at data like this and see law school as an investment. It’s not.

If you sit on the couch eating potato chips every day, your JD doesn’t bring in any money. If you go back to your old job, your JD typically won’t get you a raise (especially if compared against 3 lost years of seniority). A JD is merely a credential on your resume that may, or may not, make certain new job paths available to you.

What many law students don’t realize going in is how much work is then required. The JD doesn’t bring you any extra income, you do. You have to work for it.

I’m not entirely sure there’s a point here.

The same complaints you’re levying against a JD are also true of a BS/BA, but I don’t think that means we make the leap to saying folks should avoid giving up 4 years and various sums of $$$ to get a college degree.

***

BL1Y: And, for many people, the stress, boredom, long hours, and shitty atmosphere are not worth the increase in salary.

And, what makes law school a particularly shitty “investment” is that until you start working after graduation, you really have no idea whether you’ll like it or not.

This is a perfectly fair criticism, though I think you overstate the ability to figure out if someone would like law or not before going to law school.

There’s nothing preventing an aspiring law student from performing a little due diligence by trying to get a job in the legal arena and/or talking extensively with current practitioners. Is it going to be a perfectly accurate representation of actually living the life of a BigLaw associate? Not at all. But it should provide at least enough of an idea that it would remove “Am I going to be content / not hate my life?” as a concern before going in.

And once they’re in, if for some reason they haven’t done their research beforehand, at the very least they should learn whether or not they hate it through summer associateships or clinic work or something similar — hopefully in time to bail out before tacking on another 2 years of student loan debt.

If they haven’t done any due diligence at all before or in law school, or they have but pride stops them from getting out even though it’s not for them, they can’t then turn around and claim unfair surprise when they enter the job market and hate what they do for a living. As Professor Ks said last year, “Laziness is not a defense.”

***

BL1Y: The huge rates in depression, drug abuse, and suicide indicate a very high risk of being stuck in a job you hate. In fact, it’s probably easier to get a job in Big Law than to get an enjoyable one.

I concede I’ve got rose-colored glasses on this one, having already “enjoyed” the life of a homeless college dropout myself. I’d happily trade a sh*tty work environment that at least keeps bills paid over having to sleep in a shelter next to Bob the Crackhead and wondering if my personal effects will be pilfered by Methamphetamine Jane by the time I wake up ;)

But, more broadly, concerns over work environment are applicable to the BS/BA folks and the diploma-only people too. That’s the nature of just about any marketplace.

My suspicion is that the higher incidents of the various pathologies you noted are more the result of higher reporting, since lawyers play higher up the socioeconomic ladder — it’s easier to be an addict when you’ve got the money to spare, and to hire a therapist to talk about your depression when you actually get health insurance benefits and vacation time that you can take without wondering how your rent’s going to get paid.

—===—

Va.: I was really looking forward to this post, but I’ve got to say I’m a little disappointed with the methodology.

It was a quick post by a current student cobbled together on ACC football Saturday — cut me some slack :P

***

Va.: I also think that your analysis doesn’t really capture the “worst case” scenario that I’m seeing play out among people I know. Your expectations of being able to obtain a job after law school are certainly reasonable (or at least they should be), and you seem to have no illusions (unlike many law students) about how easily $160k jobs are to come by. However, despite applying for any and every job they see (including ADA positions), many people I know aren’t employed. I know people who graduated in 2008 who are still doing temp attorney contract work. Some can’t even get that. A lot of people aren’t doing what they set out to do or have had to make geographic compromises that take them away from friends and family. Although I certainly hope you find a job before graduation or soon thereafter, being unemployed for 6 months to a year or more can start you off in a financial hole that can be pretty difficult to get yourself back out of. The uncertainty is stressful and “settling” for jobs you don’t want lowers your quality of life.

Unemployment is a legit point, and one I thought about when I was writing the entry.

But I opted to exclude it as the “worst case” scenario because the overwhelming majority of people still find jobs. Even acknowledging the games law schools play with their employment data, few schools have 6-month employment rates below 80%. It didn’t make sense (to me at least) to tailor the analysis toward the other 20%, particularly when the economy will likely be turned around by the time 2013 gets here.3

If we want to factor in unemployment, though, it can be done fairly easily from an economics perspective by weighting the results. Essentially we’d take the projected work-life earnings and multiply by the percent probability of being employed, e.g. the $2.7M x 80% if we assume permanent 20% unemployment for the person’s entire work-life.

Doing comparable calculations for the other two columns makes law school less attractive from a marginal cost-benefit standpoint, but still a financially better option than just high school or just college even factoring in law school costs.

I’m less sympathetic on the “they’re not doing what they want yet” argument, but that’s also out of my own personal bias than any rational reason. My first job after dropping out of N.C. State was loading UPS trucks from 3am-8am Monday-Friday; it didn’t pay much and definitely wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it kept a (non-crackhead-containing) roof over my head and helped shore up my financial foundation while I looked for better work. The same principle applies to the law grads — I know it’s not much consolation to the people stuck in that situation, but where you start isn’t where you end up :)

***

Va.: And a good chunk of law schools are private and have much higher tuition than you do.

Very true… but a point that doesn’t necessarily change my conclusion ;)

On the one hand, I concede that plopping in cost data for other law schools affects the lucrativeness when using my salary numbers.

On the other hand, students have a choice in what law school they attend as far as cost is concerned. Using me as an example, NCCU Law was my first choice because UNCCH Law charged twice as much despite similar bar passage rates and employment prospects in North Carolina (which is where I’d prefer to stay professionally).

And on the third hand, in many cases the more expensive schools also have better employment rates and salaries — a point you yourself made to me back in January :P :)

***

Va.: Anyway, I think your conclusion should probably be a bit more cautious in tone. If you don’t get the job you want, or any job at all (god forbid…), then the evaluation would certainly change.

This is probably true. But would any of y’all still read this blog if I wasn’t flippant most of the time? ;)

Besides, if I don’t end up where I want maybe BL1Y will let me join him, Namby Pamby and Nando in the Cynics Club :spin:

—===—

So that’s my rebuttal y’all :)

Have any comments / criticisms / witticisms / thoughts of your own? Please post them below :D

  1. And inclination is really the crux of that particular issue: even a non-trivial chunk of full-time employees don’t save for retirement thanks to the “consume first, save later” philosophy instilled in people’s minds by our cradle-to-grave welfare state :roll: []
  2. I concede up front that the Census Bureau’s document is now 8 years old, but if you’re inclined to spend the time over at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website you’ll find that the values haven’t changed much in inflation-adjusted dollars, even with the recent recession. []
  3. Granted that might be excessive optimism on my part, but the idea of us being in or near a recession for 5 straight years is practically unheard of in the history of the American economy. []

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10 Comments

Keith Lee
Nov 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Damnit, you posted this while I was typing my comment on the last post. I’ll re-post it here as I would imagine the conversation will continue here instead. Below:

“Interesting thought experiment.

While the financials certainly play a part in the decision to go to law school for many people, maybe the majority of people, I fall into the camp that they’re the wrong reasons to go to law school. Like BL1Y noted above:

“What many law students don’t realize going in is how much work is then required. The JD doesn’t bring you any extra income, you do. You have to work for it. And, for many people, the stress, boredom, long hours, and shitty atmosphere are not worth the increase in salary.”

The people who go to law school and come out and are then surprised by the work involved, that it requires a sacrifice of their personal time, and that work/life balance is a load of crap perpetuated by marketers who like to peddle crap to law students and young lawyers – these people must have had their head firmly up their ass before going to law school, and then kept it there the entire time.

At what point did they not notice the growing trend of outsourcing, the upheaval in the traditional law firm structure, the modification of billing systems, and especially the general economic malaise? Did they somehow think that because they were in law school they would be immune to all of it? Do they ever read anything other than law books? Maybe pick up a copy of the Economist or visit http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/ sometime, y’know? At least try and pay some attention to the world outside of law school.

All these people complaining online about law school are, more than likely, people who went to law school not out of a desire to practice law, but out of a desire for the almighty dollar. Wrong reason to go to law school, and no surprise that they are dissatisfied with their lot once they hit the real world.”

Addendum:

This bit of you post:

“I’m less sympathetic on the “they’re not doing what they want yet” argument, but that’s also out of my own personal bias than any rational reason. My first job after dropping out of N.C. State was loading UPS trucks from 3am-8am Monday-Friday; it didn’t pay much and definitely wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it kept a (non-crackhead-containing) roof over my head and helped shore up my financial foundation while I looked for better work. The same principle applies to the law grads — I know it’s not much consolation to the people stuck in that situation, but where you start isn’t where you end up”

to me sums up the difference between someone who is going to make it and one who is not. You’re willing to do what has to be done, period. I get the vibe from many of the “let’s bash law school” crowd that they expected to have a cushy 6 figure job, they deserve it, and they aren’t going to do anything else until one falls in their lap.


 

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ashley Connick, T Greg Doucette and Associate's Mind, T Greg Doucette. T Greg Doucette said: @LNLawSchool @j2_whittington Thank you both :) Part II is now online at http://ow.ly/39UYY […]


 
Va.
Nov 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I like this post. I think that it, in combination with your more objective approach, actually provides a fuller discussion of whether or not law school is worth it. Some of your assumptions and values become clearer, and potential law-school-going readers can evaluate whether or not they agree with those assumptions instead of just looking at the bottom line.

“And on the third hand, in many cases the more expensive schools also have better employment rates and salaries — a point you yourself made to me back in January”
It’s actually more the case that higher-RANKED schools have better employment rates and salaries. Many of the third and fourth tier law schools are private and the tuition is only marginally less than that of top 10 private schools. I agree with your pre-law school financial calculation that if you’re not going to go to a top-ranked law school, then you should minimize educational debt (balancing that with job prospects and geographic preferences).

Two other small quibbles. (1) I think the reported data for employment is employed at graduation and employed at 9-months (not 6). An extra 3 months of living expenses and loan payments (oh, and that $3000 bar review course…) add to the burden. And while the discounting may make the analysis “better” in accounting for risk of unemployment, the reality is either you have a job, or you don’t. If you have a job, great, your numbers work out. If you don’t, you are in for a world of financial pain that hurts more than your 20% discounting. And one out of every 5 in the class not having a job isn’t really a negligible risk. Just as most people assume their financial situation will be better in the future than it is now (which helped get us into the credit crisis), most law students assume that they will get the grades, get the job, etc. And that just can’t be true for everyone.

(2) Even IF the economy recovers in 2013, there’s still the small problem of too-many-law-degrees floating around out there. Lots of people have been laid off. Those people presumably would like to go back into law when the jobs re-materialize. New law grads will therefore be competing against people who may have resume gaps, but also have 3-4 years (or more) of experience in the legal field. And between now and 2013, the hundreds of law schools around the country will be churning out tens of thousands of new grads. It’ll take awhile for the legal field to “catch up” to the economy, once you account for re-absorbing laid-off folks and the continuing supply of new lawyers that exceeds demand. The expansion in the legal field right now is almost exclusively for support staff, and nobody went to law school to do the job they could do (and that you did) before law school.

I also disagree with Keith. I don’t think that there are “right” reasons to go to law school; being idealistic doesn’t make anyone a better lawyer. There are lots of people out there who love the law (or love watching TV shows about the law?) and have NO business being a lawyer. That’s its own special form of narcissism right there. I wrote a bunch of “hopey changey stuff” in my admissions essay too, but I really went to professional school to get a job that makes a good amount of money to provide for my family. Anyway, I’m not really a scamblogger (more a caution-blogger?), but I do blog about the anxiety that comes with $200k in loans hanging over your head. And a love of the law won’t keep anyone feeling warm and fuzzy at night when the heat is off and the crackhead the next bunk over is rifling through your belongings. :) Your point about many law students feeling entitled is well-taken, but many law schools ENCOURAGED that entitlement when they knew that it was completely unrealistic. I do agree with you, though, that everyone currently in law school needs to alter their expectations to fit the current reality and pound the pavement looking for work, even if it means starting at the bottom.

I loved my law school experience. I don’t love the debt, and I do feel as though the debt is constricting my choices and driving a lot of my major life decisions right now. I guess I would just would like to see more law students doing more careful reasoning and making negative assumptions. Would they still want to go to law school if they assumed that they would have great difficulty getting a job, that they may have to move to a place they don’t want to live, that they may have to work as support staff or for free for extended periods of time, and that they are very likely to feel very poor for a very long time? If not, is it worth the risk?


 
Aaron Massey
Nov 15, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Since we mostly agree that happiness is more important than money, I’m not going to quibble too much about the financial analysis that you’re doing. Still, ignoring retirement savings is a mistake in any calculation of earnings. If you make an investment and it earns money, why not consider that “earnings?” The U.S. tax code certainly does. Obviously, it is outside the scope of your analysis to consider all possible investments, but it would be relatively easy to do an analysis of someone saving a fixed percentage of their income for retirement. This could significantly close the gap between the law degree and the others, particularly if you’re planning to pay down student loans before saving for retirement.

Anyhow, thanks for the post, and have a good week.


 
Keith Lee
Nov 15, 2010 at 2:32 PM

@Va.

I’d say we generally agree. There a number of reasons to go to law school. Mine certainly wasn’t any sort of bleeding-heart, “I want to help the little guy,” sort of thing.

Though to be fair, I didn’t say there was a “right” reason to go to law school, I said there was a wrong one: $$$. A desire for making big bucks is absolutely the wrong reason to go to law school. ATL and elsewhere have aptly covered that the pay scale for lawyers is not a bell curve. Those starting 6 figure jobs go to a very, very small set of the law student population.

@VA: “but many law schools ENCOURAGED that entitlement when they knew that it was completely unrealistic.”

Damn, now you’re going to tell me drinking Bud Light isn’t going to get me hot chicks! Or that the Total Gym won’t make me look like that Marine in the commercial who does nothing but work out everyday! Or that TSA really does have my best interest at heart!

People are fed BS on daily basis; it would be a useful skill to be able to detect it. Just a bit later you said,

@VA: “(I) would like to see more law students doing more careful reasoning and making negative assumptions”

Why do people suddenly need to start doing this now? Shouldn’t they have done this before as well?

I think it’s telling that law students/new layers are coming out of the woodwork in the down economy about how bad being a lawyer is (not you personally, in general). I imagine that they thought it was just as bad before and were miserable, but they were getting paid so whatever. People need to do their due diligence before going into law school. The smallest amount of research will turn up conversations like this online.

I guess I just have very little sympathy because I had very realistic expectations when I started law school. I looked at it merely as an opportunity to begin work in a given field. Anything after that is on me. If I managed to get a job after the process (I have), then that’s just icing on the cake.

I like your phrase “caution-blogger.” That’s a good thing. I’m definitely not saying we should all be kumbaya-ing our way through law school. Far from it. I prefer to think of myself as an optimistic realist. Through hard work and sacrifice, a law student can make his way through law school and come out the other end with a job as a lawyer. It might not be their “ideal” job, the best-paying job, or the most prestigious job. But it is a job, and they will be practicing law. If they went to law school not for the wrong reason, but their own, personal “right” reason – then that should be a good enough start.


 
KAalum
Nov 16, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Four points:

1) If you’re willing to make a $100,000 investment on something you know nothing about, you’re a moron. If you’ve made no attempt to tie into the legal community before law school and you’re making a blind decision based on prestige, you deserve whatever you get.

2) There are far too many people who arbitrarily enroll in law school to postpone reality, to get the “glamorous and sexy” life of an attorney, and of course, the infamous individuals can’t put their undergraduate degree to use, etc. Some of these people succeed based on sheer intellect, most do not.

3) If an attorney hates his job and turn to drugs, suicide, etc., he probably should have selected a different career. I know many attorneys who are unhappy for one of two reasons: they (a) are accountants, businessmen, engineers, etc. who forced a career in law thinking it’d result in a stellar paycheck or (b) took high impact/high reward positions out of school that were too much for them to handle.

4) If you want to be an attorney, and you’ve got a good work ethic, you’re going to make a great living for yourself. I don’t know a single attorney who enjoys what he is doing who doesn’t do very well for himself.


 

[…] week he posted an article entitled “Is law school really worth it? My $.02″ and Part II here. The articles focus around the monetary side of the classic question rattling around the legal […]


 
Va.
Nov 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM

In response to KAAlum, EVERYONE is subject to cognitive error on this kind of decision. First, for the vast majority of people attending law school, it is money that they don’t have and haven’t earned yet. So it’s not “real.” Almost everyone assumes that they will do well in law school, and that they will get a job, and that their financial position will improve enough to allow them to pay off their loans. I think a little empathy goes a long way. Especially with the total crap “data” that the ABA lets law schools hand out to students with its stamp of approval. It throws off any attempt by students to evaluate whether they should go to law school and which one they should go to.

Second, as I mentioned above, I don’t buy this “Oh, but I *really* love the law!” crap from law students and recent grads. Law, if you’re doing it right, is stressful and hard. You take others’ problems on as your own. You become an eternal pessimist, worrying constantly about worst-case scenarios. The vast majority of attorneys are SPs, and I don’t know very many sole proprietors that don’t work as hard as biglaw attorneys. I think biglaw is actually emotionally easier–although you’re constantly jockeying with other lawyers in your firm, you are removed from the client, and it’s almost always a giant corporation rather than an individual, who you know, with a real-life problem. Burn-out is common among both. But I think it’s the emotional toll that drives many attorneys to drink (in the same way that psychiatrists/psychologists and mental health professionals often succumb to addiction). If you do your best, someone could go to jail. If you screw up, someone could go to jail. Either way, you’re often blamed and good lawyers often blame themselves when nothing would have changed the outcome. It’s not just criminal defense cases — it’s personal injury cases, family law, etc. It’s the kind of work my father did for 30 years, and I honestly consider working 60 hours a week for the big bucks “the easy way out.” If your client’s problems don’t find their way into your daily life, then YOU probably should’ve chosen another career. You can love the law without loving the practice of law, and you can love the practice of law while also being stressed out, anxious, depressed and sad. There are also LOTS of attorneys who work hard, love their job, and are anxious all the time because of their financial situation. Being hardworking and loving your job does not equal an ability to pay off your loans and feed a family.

“If you want to be an attorney, and you’ve got a good work ethic, you’re going to make a great living for yourself.”

That’s the kind of “Oh, but I’m different!” exceptionalism that got people into this mess in the first place. (See “cognitive error.”) There’s much more to being an attorney than sheer desire and work ethic. Intellect is important. I know lots of hard-working, dedicated people who can’t pass the bar to save their lives, and it breaks my heart. Skill is important — writing, oral argument, information-retention, personal skills. Business acumen is also important — if you’re a SP, you need to be able to get clients and run your business. There are also hard-working people who can’t get a job. Or who have a job that they love that doesn’t pay well. Or who represent indigent clients. Or who lose contingency based PI cases. It’s easy to look down on the people who struggle by assuming that you have some special quality that they lack.


 
Troy Church
Nov 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Precisely why I withdrew. Factoring the cost/benefit against an independent variable, namely my age, I couldn’t justify the perpetuation of law school. Yes, I did factor that prior to entering. What I didn’t factor was the reports by the ABA on how many firms and even public sector jobs are being cut and those lawyers being turned out on the streets. Now, had I embarked upon this little venture 25 years ago, age would have been a moot point, given the debt spread across a greater number of decades. Today however, being over 50 and in today’s economy, it started making less and less sense coupled with the 19 to 20 hour days I was committing as a 1L. So the starting point in your life at which you enter law school, to me, would be just as crucial in consideration to the return on your investment, since we’re being completely rational in our thoughts.


 
TDot
Nov 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM

Wwwhhhaaattt??? I figured I hadn’t seen you around because you were busy studying or something, I didn’t realize you withdrew! :( I definitely understand your point about the age and return-on-investment, I’m just bummed I guess b/c you’ve got a stellar courtroom presence and would have made a damn fine trial attorney. Not sure if the Dean has any scholarship $$ he might be willing to part with should you decide to come back, but definitely give it some thought :)


 

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