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The Best Law Schools Are Attracting Fewer Students


Replies to: The Best Law Schools Are Attracting Fewer Students

  • yikesyikesyikesyikesyikesyikes Registered User Posts: 1,494 Senior Member
    As an undergrad student who has explored his options in law, it is really the direct costs that is holding me back. As I understand, and someone correct me if I am wrong, the financial aid given for these programs, even at the top schools which offer so much aid to their undergrads or PhDs, is terrible.
  • MoneyGoesToGTownMoneyGoesToGTown Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Where the quality issue begins to show is not at the elite schools so much, but at the next tier and below.

    Agree! I went to a middle-tier state school. My state has added new law schools since I graduated despite no need for them. Recently, the administrators of my law school were meeting with alumni and local business leaders who were decrying the extremely low quality of talent we are seeing from graduates. The top schools will always get top talent. But middle and low tier schools that place students in metropolitan areas of under 500,000 inhabitants are really being hit hard.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,100 Senior Member
    Law schools with median LSAT scores below, say, 160, should all close.
  • WorryHurry411WorryHurry411 Registered User Posts: 1,112 Senior Member
    I'm sure that if you are good it then there is still a job and money for you.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,552 Senior Member
    panpacific wrote:
    Does anyone have data for numbers of applicants to medical schools and business schools? Have they been increasing since 2011?

    For MD schools in the US, you can find applicant data at https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/ . Some of the tables show years as far back as 2006-2007. For example: https://www.aamc.org/download/321494/data/factstablea16.pdf .
  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,015 Senior Member
    edited February 2016
    Law schools, like medical schools and other grad schools are too expensive. With the huge onslaught of information into the decreasing job prospects for lawyers, why would anyone go into further 200K plus debt (further, meaning MOST student already have undergrad debt) to go to Law school. Medical school is more self filtering because they reject so many more students than law schools - from the beginning. There should be less law schools, and the ones left should be more affordable.

    Edited to add - plus, if you do make through medical school - you WILL get a job as a doctor. Has anyone ever heard of a doctor that couldn't find a job after med school? Doctors can even work internationally, if they want. Not the case for lawyers.
  • goldenbear2020goldenbear2020 Registered User Posts: 908 Member
    "Medical school is more self filtering because they reject so many more students than law schools - from the beginning."

    Medical schools purposely accept as many students as there will be residencies waiting for them after 4 years, so that's why the employment rate of MD grads is nearly 100%. That's definitely not the case for law schools!
  • debrockmandebrockman Registered User Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    I'm trying to figure out some things. 1. Why do people say that law school costs $200,000? Our in state tuition at a very respectable school will not cost anywhere near that amount. And 2.) Why do people act like lawyers cannot find jobs? Not all lawyers are wanting to work for law firms. A law degree is a very good degree for someone in a corporate career track. I have a son who is in a financial advising role with a big financial company. They hire estate planning attorneys and they will pay for my son to go to law school and he will have a position waiting for him when he graduates that will be a nice promotion for him. He figures he will do that role for awhile and take things from there. You have to have experience AND education before you are really worth real money advising anyone. Why do people think they should graduate from law school and walk right into a high dollar job they aren't worth? As a long shot, my son may apply to a high dollar school, because he is a hellacious test taker....perfect SATs.....but he only graduated with a 3.6 from a state school honors program - honors accounting and finance - but a state school, nonetheless - no legacy. More Indian heritage than Elizabeth Warren, but that's another story. We are people who generally think you earn your money the old fashioned way. You work your way up. You go to state schools you can afford. What are we missing? His dad went to the state medical school. His reimbursements are the same as the doctors who went to Harvard.
  • SouthFloridaMom9SouthFloridaMom9 Registered User Posts: 3,316 Senior Member
    @debrockman - interesting point. Some of the lawyers I know personally who are doing well have a background in accounting/tax/finance.

    I also think people get into trouble with private law school tuition (notwithstanding top tier schools). But even the state schools have gone up quite a bit since I was in law school.

    I got my law degree from a decent state school for less than I could get an MBA today.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,416 Senior Member
    re 1: Law is very prestige-driven. If son wants to leave financial advising (estates/trusts), he'll have much greater mobility if he graduates from a top law school. But if he will be happy staying and working in the local town, then instate public can work just fine, as long as its on the cheap.

    re 2: the Bureau of Labor statistics clearly reports that we graduate 2x as many JD's as the market can absorb/needs. Thus, but definition 50% of grads will not get a job that requires a JD, the purpose for which they went to school.

    And that is the big difference between med and law. 100% of med graduates will get a job practicing medicine. ALL allopathic med schools in the US are excellent, even the "lowest-ranked." In contrast, the bottom law schools are diploma mills, with miserable bar passage rates.

    btw: URM's with high scores are rare, so he definitely should apply to some pricy private law schools if he can ace the LSAT, since the top privates will provide him with plenty of merit money.
This discussion has been closed.