Posts Tagged ‘IVY League’

Cautionary Advice about Attending Law School-Clark Howard

A few days ago, when I actually had access to a television I saw Clark Howard’s show. For those who do not know, he is a regular guy who kind of became obsessed with money and saved much at a young age and now gives advice to others.

Anyway, a young man called in stating he was accepted to a few law schools and was asking which one, if any should he attend. The caller stated that a low ranked law school offered him $15,000 a year to defray the cost of attending such a ‘prestigious’ institution. He also explained that one of the other law school’s he applied for higher ranked but did not offer a scholarship at all.

Clark Howard asked him that it really didn’t make a difference between law schools and ask the gentleman whether or not he thought it was worth it since the legal industry has continued to suffer under this economy. Clark Howard proclaimed that if one of the law schools ranked in the Top 5 (notice not 1st tier, not first 25, not top 14 or 10, but 5!)…then long term investment even without scholarship would be worth it, otherwise he should really consider his choices among the law schools. I looked at Clark Howard’s face and knowing he is conservative with his money it looked like he wanted to say don’t go to law school but feared backlash. Kind of what Oprah suffered when she made don’t eat beef comment then was the target for a civil lawsuit.

Where were the  Clark Howards of the world hen the rest of us applied?

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In the News: Smart People Halt Going to Law School

 

All Rights Reserved

The Smarties Aren’t Rushing to Law School – The Careerist (full article) July 15, 2010

It’s madness. It’s loopy. How else to explain the spike in law school applications — a 7 percent surge, according to

The National Law Journal? Hello — didn’t anyone hear about those 22,000 legal jobs that got wiped out last year? Why is everyone and their mother trying to get into law school — any law school? So far we’ve heard the terms, irrationale, fool-heartedly, unaware and now madness and loopy. These characterizations refer to the mindset of those who continue to ping their false hopes on attending law school. At this point those who are already members of the legal industry are diagnosing you with a being deranged or a mental illness, I’ll refer to it as psychosis. This is when a person does not deal with the reality of situations or circumstances and continue to operate and behave as though the reality they’re comfortable with is the reality that’s actually there.

So who’s not rushing to law school? Ironically, some of the nation’s most sought-after college graduates are spurning law school, even highly coveted ones–at least for now. [emphasis mine]. The author asserts that those applying to law school in this economy and particular shift in the legal industry are not doing so with diligence and research. You are considered to be haphazard in making a very important decision. Now 0Ls and first year law students are being referred to as unintelligent.

A few days ago, I queried what’s harder: getting a job in a big-name law firm or a seat at a prestigious kindergarten in Manhattan? Though I’d put my money in the kiddie pool, it turns out there’s another prize that might even beat out admission to a swanky private school — and that’s a junior position at Teach for America.  

The New York Times reports that the nonprofit education group received over 46,000 applications for 4,500 spots to teach at some of the nation’s most troubled schools. (Hat tip to ABA Blog.) The article is full of anecdotes of students at highly selective colleges who got dinged by Teach for America. But what was really interesting is that many of the students in the article said that they’d rather teach than go directly to law school, including some who had gotten into places like Harvard Law School.  Earlier this year it was the U.S. Census that witnessed a unprecedented spike in temporary employment applications, with lawyers and Ph.D graduates at the helm. Teach for America is the runner-up for sought after position? This is interesting as far as law graduates who are now directing their attention to more meaningful, less paying work; though by the general public are perceived as money-grubbing-fast talkers. Let’s face it, not everyone who went to law school had greed in their hearts, though they did think that law school was the easier method for financial stability, many creative people are in business and law. These persons have sometimes found a way to escape the legal industry and focus on their creative outlet while sustaining a living. Some posts about these people may give some hope about leading your own path out of law.

But before you get all misty-eyed about the altruism of America’s youth, consider this: A stint with Teach for America is an instant resume enhancer. That it’s now become so competitive to get into the program can only add to the glow of those who have made the cut. Of course, when the market contracts, different careers either become extinct or more competitive as a shift in applicants increase. I’ve also heard that Peace Corps is now competitive. You even have to prove that you are able to pay your student loans, credit cards or other loans (either off in their entirety or meet monthly payments) while you’re in some remote area with none of the comfortable Western amenities you’ve grown accustomed to.

Corporate America can’t seem to get enough of these elite do-gooders. I can’t tell you how many times partners at major firms tell me that their favorite interviewees are Teach for America alumni. Partners talk about them in glowing terms, citing their leadership skills, work ethic, and all-around wonderfulness. From the personalities I witnessed in law in general, I disagree that this is the majority of firms or higher-ups within firms and businesses.

If you think about it, the profile of a Teach for America alum is what every big firm would want — someone who went to the right school, worked for a couple of years in a challenging environment, and then had the good sense to get back on the corporate track. They are what big-firm lawyers like to fancy themselves to be: smart and thoughtful, but practical enough to keep their billables up. So if you’re interested in doing some good in the world, make sure to the best of your ability for altruistic reasons; should you do this type of program to get your foot in the door of big business, you STILL won’t be considered because you attended a TTT/TTTT. It’s really saying, that Teach for America would be an ADDITIONAL criteria along with graduating at the top of your class at an IVY League. Ha, the door is still shut for the majority in the legal industry.

It might be too cynical to suggest that Teach for America has become a magnet for those with legal or corporate ambitions, but big law firms certainly seem smitten with the credential.  Umm, references to the legal industry should be cynical, afterall that’s what law schools trains its students to be resulting in depressed, hyper-competitive, backstabbing patrons of the legal industry, all the while having the student loan monkey on your back.

University of Michigan Law Journal: Preserving a Racial Hierarchy:

Preserving a Racial Hierarchy: A Legal Analysis of the Disparate RacialImpact of Legacy Preferences in University Admissions. [108 Michigan Law Review 577 (2010)] Katherine Ladewski

This is a note in the University of Michigan’s Law Journal. I would like to link this back to a previous post which discussed an article in the Stanford Journal concerning blacks receiving preferential treatment. It’s 2010 and one still has to make academic arguments that this isn’t the case. The article’s topic demonstrates another form of excluding Black Americans from IVY League institutions. Just by looking at this title, isn’t this just another form of discrimination against blacks? It’s when I read articles like this I am truly baffled as to why blacks are blamed when a white person isn’t admitted to an IVY League, especially when you likely had generations of head start in economic, social and educational arenas. Oh because blacks and poor people are the root of America’s problems [sarcasm definitely intended]. Anyway, here we go.

The article first discusses how universities originated legacy admissions to exclude Jews who were recent immigrants. First thought, replace one unpopular group with another, Blacks, who are ironically more indigineous to this country then the former. This article touches on the notion (which some of the other blogs have mentioned) that younger generations of Americans sought education, owning a home to achieve the American Dream as part of upward mobility. However, legacy admissions have a disparate impact on Black Americans and other minorities. One of the articles I list on this blog points out that during the most recent economic recession Black Americans were affected the most and the attempt to obtain future employment is marred by the lack of connections that educated Blacks have in different arenas, so multiply this by a graduate or professional education where the door is tougher to wedge through and it should not be surprising how difficult it is for Blacks to navigate through the employment sector. The same lack of connections may be applied to the precursor for professional employment, that of a quality, top tier education.  Historically, with rare exception some (the “black” heirs of their mother’s -wealthy paramour-usually by rape and the ability to “pass” or be light-skinned enough) were granted elite mentorship into private schools. Although to note most mixed children were house servants of their slavemasters.

The article further argues that legacy admissions increases the prospects of alumni donations and fundraising, provide better employment opportunities for legacy graduates as previous generation of alumni (parents and the inner circle) will hire someone who graduated from the same law school as they. Thus, as whites are more likely to have legacy admission, legacy employment, blacks and other minorities are likely to be left outside of the cold of such education and employment prospects. Sounds like common sense, but not for those people who continue to claim “We’re losing everything to blacks.” I remember Chris Rock was espousing this sentiment and his response was “losing it to who…it ain’t us, I’ve looked around this [here]” [he used an expletive]* And yes he did this particular show in Washington, D.C.

However, the author states “Because the negative impact of legacy preferences on minority applicants is based on past patterns of attendance at American universities and the underrepresentation of such racial groups over that period, the negative impact of legacy preferences on racial minorities should decrease over time if the student bodies at American universities continue to diversify.”

Which is non-sensical based on her prior premise that the legacy admissions were historically racist and continue the same modis operandi which benefits whites and are to the detriment to Blacks. Perhaps she meant it as a recommendation. Though I doubt these universities have any incentives to change their methodology as they were doing this for decades with Federal funding and no consistent objection by the government.  Even if you were to take the current blacks who made it to IVY League law schools and BIGLaw, it is a known fact that in this recession that Blacks were likely to be let go first, thus affecting their standard of living, income, influence for fundraising and donations to their alumn. What’s interesting as some blogs have noted about education in general being promoted as a source of upward mobility, but taking this particular sub-section of legacy admissions, there is little or no chance for Blacks to even create future generations based on legacy and IVY League education.

Anyway, the author goes into further details and statistics on disparate impact of legacy admissions, rate of donations and fundraising and the lack of correlation between continuing legacy admissions the way they currently stand and the latter two factors. “A post-legacy residual of zero would indicate that eliminating legacy preferences had no effect on university fundraising outcomes.” [589]

Full text of the article can be found: http://www.michiganlawreview.org/assets/pdfs/108/4/ladewski.pdf

Just imagine the chances for upward mobility for a Black American who not only didn’t attend IVY League but a non-top tier school. One shouldn’t wonder why voices of dissent espouse the reality of systemic discrimination.