Monday, June 16, 2008

ABA Law School Tuition Gouging - 2008 Edition

1997 Tuition / '97 Tuition in '08 $'s / Actual 2008 Tuition

Albany: $18,905 / $25,493 / $38,900
Brooklyn: $20,640 / $27,832 / $42,350
Buffalo: $7,350 / $9,911 / $13,200
Cardozo: $19,780 / $26,673 / $39,470
CUNY: $4,840 / $6,526 / $8,900
Columbia: $25,128 / $33,884 / (Not Yet Released)
Cornell: $23,100 / $31,150 / $46,670
Fordham: $22,600 / $30,475 / $42,076
Hofstra: $21,182 / $28,563 / $39,640
NYLS: $20,770 / $28,008 / $43,600
NYU: $24,740 / $32,997 / $43,749
St. John's: $21,000 / $28,318 / $41,500
Syracuse: $21,136 / $28,501 / (Not Yet Released)
Touro: $19,150 / $25,823 / $36,490

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks St. Johns and Cardozo are the two biggest ripoffs. You are paying Tier I prices for Tier III quality. Hopefully, their grads have a speedy clicking hand because they are going to doing a lot of that.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest they include a free one way ticket to Mumbai for all 3Ls.

Anonymous said...

$44,000 tuition + $20,000 living expenses easily can lead to $200,000 + of student loan debt. These kids are going to be trapped in document review hell for their entire careers.

Anonymous said...

3:40pm
I respectfully disagree with you. NYLS, we are number one in the doc review world. We are the best clickers out there.

Anonymous said...

NYLS grads make terrible coders, Carbozo and Crooklaw are far superior. The Nigerians, of course trump all with their vast knowledge of the American legal system.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why tom is ignoring the article by Alysia Solow (aka "Anita" on this site) on hiring contract attorneys? You would think that is fertile grounds for him. In fact, not one word about his days at Constantine has been written in a few years. Did he strike a deal with them? What's going on?

Here is the article: http://www.law.com/jsp/legaltechnology/pubArticleLT.jsp?id=1202421906208

Anonymous said...

how much longer can this go on ??? not even enough document review jobs to go around now...

Anonymous said...

Anita is so 2007. Constantine ditched Update, now provides for a decent working environment, and now pitches in for health insurance.

Anonymous said...

Constantine has not "ditched" Update. Yes, the firm now has it's own agency but it still uses update for big projects because they need Update's space.

So the question of why Tom is ignoring "Anita's" article raises serious questions about his relationship with them.

Anonymous said...

do think tom has sold us out?say it ain't so.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Tom? What's up with that?? You under some sorta gag order?

Are you AFRAID of Constantine, now??

Anonymous said...

"So the question of why Tom is ignoring "Anita's" article raises serious questions about his relationship with them."

Why? We should be discussing Joan King, New York Law school, brooklyn law school, touro, st. johns law school, seton hall school of law and the others.

Let's stay on topic here, the ghastly state of law school expenses.

The expense of law school is such now that only the rich can afford it. Can you imagine leaving law school with $200k+ debt?

Anonymous said...

Did Constantine threaten legal action against him when they found out who it was?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they invoked Article 15 of the Patriot Act and launched scud missles into his living room.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a good time for the sick-out! Who's in??????!!

Anonymous said...

What's funny is that Brooklyn law school, New York Law school and St. John's Law school are each almost as expensive as Cornell.

What a joke. Pity the poor toileteers that gamble their futures on one of these dumps.

Anonymous said...

Your powers of observation are amazing 8:29pm Thank you Mr. Obvious.

Anonymous said...

SICK-OUT OFFICIALLY UNOFFICIALLY CONFIRMED FOR JUNE 20. PASS IT ON.

Anonymous said...

Yeah right. Why are you all so afraid of a discussion of how unbearable law school tuition has become?

Anonymous said...

Why don't more people go to Buffalo or CUNY, they are a mere fraction of these private TTT's.

Anonymous said...

"SICK-OUT OFFICIALLY UNOFFICIALLY CONFIRMED FOR JUNE 20. PASS IT ON."


you must have graduate first in your class.

Anonymous said...

how did you know?

Anonymous said...

I agree that law school tuition is ridiculously high, but I still want to know why Tom hasn't said anything about that stupid article written by "Anita." It's not exactly off topic.

Anonymous said...

The solution to the problem of too-high tuition: if you don't think it's worth it to pay what they're asking, then don't! No one is demanding that you go to law school; if you don't think it's worth it to spend what they're asking, then simply don't go!

Think of it this way: if a Ford dealer was asking $50,000 for a used Focus, would you pay it? Of course not---because you would have done your homework and would know that it's not worth it! And so the same should go for law schools.

Anonymous said...

I was under the stupid assumption that CUNY and NYLS were the same! Sorry, not a New Yorker! Which is worse?

I graduated in 2001. The tuition per semester for my private school was $19K per year. I remember the amount, because that is what I paid for my first new car. I can't imagine spending $50K a year + room and board + living expenses per year for Law school. Compounding this is the fact you will only make $30K your first year out. You may break $50K after five years. In the end, you will have +$100K in in debt(a modest house) with little to show for it.
Further, they are now accrediting new Law schools 195+ at last count with 7 in the system.

Anonymous said...

Constantine Cannon has scared TTT. What a wuss!

Anonymous said...

8:01

I am going to assume you don't understand the issue by what you posted thus far. The question is not whether people should attend law schools, but what is the impact to the market when they do. Econ 101: When there are are more people providing the same service, the value of that service goes down. Quality is a secondary concern. Harm to existing producers (lawyer's providing legal service) is also of little consideration. The only concern is drawing down price. You can see the impact of this glut at all levels and positions in the legal industry.

Anonymous said...

8:01 - your assertion is correct, but the fact is that law schools are putting out a lot of bad information. The decision to attend law school is generally an emotional one rather than a rational, cost benefit analysis.

It's clear that the tuition will turn a lot of people off anyway, but as long as there companies that will allow students to sign their lives away, many will do it.

The myth of instant success for law graduates still exists today and a lot of losers think that going to law school will add panache and instant earning power to their resumes. Nothing is further from the truth. The odds of being successful grow longer every year.

Anonymous said...

http://wtop.com/?nid=316&sid=1423287

A relevant article...

Anonymous said...

law schools are guilty. but don't forget the undergraduate schools that promote government and political science majors which lead to law school applications. they share in the pain. any undergraduate school that promotes law school admission is doing their students a great disservice.

Anonymous said...

Never mind that article. It's more fun to taunt Anita like a 3 year old.

Anonymous said...

anita schools you, she's a partner and you're some slouching, pizza whoring temp.

No contest. She drives a nice car, has no debt and lives in a great apt. You eat ramen for dinner 3 nights a week.

There is no contest, oh poor bedeviled temp.

Anonymous said...

Anita was a charlatan. She would smile in your face and then turn around and swing the axe. Don't believe anything this woman says!

Anonymous said...

10:11, you must have graduated second with your intelligent quote "you must have graduate first in your class". Please go back to 6th grade English. Thank you for playing.

Anonymous said...

I thought Anita's article was quite good and made a lot of helpful suggestions about improving the work environment and general conditions for projects. Am I missing something? I wish all law firms took her advice.

Anonymous said...

Improving the work environment? Aside from advising readers to avoid dark basements and cockroaches, what tips did she provide?

Anonymous said...

10:19,

Making any decision based on emotion rather than a cost-benefit analysis is a recipe for disaster. This is especially true when your decision will cost you $50k+ per year.

Perhaps the law schools should be more forthcoming about some things. However, most of the blame for a poor decision rests squarely on the shoulders of the decision-maker. Before I went to law school I was able to figure out (roughly) which ones would be a good investment of my time and money, and which ones would not. I went to a school that is providing me with a good return on my investment. If someone did not make the same calculation before going to law school---and instead made their decision based on "emotion"---I have a difficult time feeling sorry for them.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Joan King!

Anonymous said...

When people look at the job statistics it is difficult to clearly judge your prospects based on the half-truths in these numbers.

Shouldn't law school statistics be uniform and audited, rather than sugar coated in order get the best US News ranking? The student lose big here, because they cannot get solid information on which to base a potentially life altering decision. As it is now the school comes up with a number on some sort of honor system which it is becoming quite clear, is unreliable at best. In order to get a better ranking they have great a incentive to lie.

Anonymous said...

If anybody wants to comment on Anita's article directly, here is her e-mail address: asolow@constantinecannon.com
I was on her infamous project and I guess her philosophy is do as I say not what I do. This fraud should not be put in charge of anything. On that project, she fostered an environment of distrust and paranoia. The location, Update's space, was a slum. We were on top of each other. The bathrooms were tiny and filthy. The air was stagnant because Ernie would not turn down the thermostat. Acrid smoke belched in the windows from the dive deli downstairs. The Chinese associate was banging one of the slutty temps. She appointed idiots as project leaders and privilege captains. She pasted pictures of owls on the windows of the offices looking out on the floor of temps in order to send the message that we were being watched. She moved people around constantly just because she could.
Her examples of mismanagement are endless. Bottom line is she is a crass, ugly and incompetent person who doesn't know how to treat people respectfully. And she mistreated temps so well that her sh*t firm, Constantine, made her a partner.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Why doesn't the media report more on some of these sleazy temp agencies that are feeding off of young people? Remember Update Legal and their petty blacklists?

Anonymous said...

It's the law schools that provide the crippling debt and are the entry point for temp work.

It's pretty simple. If you stem the surging tide of new lawyers, more poeple will avoid financial and emotional ruin and be able to contribute more fully to society.

Anonymous said...

"With a soft legal job market, there are plenty of bright, ambitious attorneys who will want to work on your project."

-Anita

Grist for the temp mill!

Anonymous said...

Yawn, anita is such ooooooold news.

The good news is that tuition gouging is now becoming a front page story. I guess the law schools will be really worried now.

JimAtLaw said...

These numbers are ridiculous. If you use the reported CPI as "inflation" to compute what 1997 tuition is in 2008 dollars, you miss the fact that the government is systematically massively underreporting inflation.

If inflation were computed today in the same way it was in the 1980s, we would be well into two digits. Sooo, they just change the math to make the so-called "Consumer Price Index" not even remotely represent what a consumer typically buys anymore. If you then use this number to show that law school prices are being jacked up at way disproportionate rates, you are premising your argument on a falsehood (i.e., the fallacy that the CPI represents a true picture of inflation in the economy as a whole). Go buy a carton of milk, a gallon of gas, or a hamburger if you want to see what inflation really looks like, and once you do, you'll realize that the increases in law school tuition are not as out of line as you think.

Of course, they're still not worth it at most schools out of the top 20, but that's another question.

Anonymous said...

If the gov't is dramatically under reporting inflation that must mean our stagnant document review rates and shitlaw salaries must really be pathetic.

Prashant said...

It's a known fact that Law School is an expensive proposition. I decided to get my grad degree in Engineering and not move into Law.

That said, I do have a question on how average pay has moved during the mentioned time-period.

That is, if one were to take the median pay in 1997, and adjust for inflation, how does that compare to today's median pay? I think demand/supply is a far more important factor for deciding tuition (and we all know that costs to study Law have decreased over the last few years due to easier access to credit)

Anonymous said...

Link to the data in the original post? would like to find out about other schools

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you include PACE. It is a new york law school

Anonymous said...

Pace. Don't they make candy? HAHAHAHA.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Syracuse is $43,000 for the class of 2011

http://law.syr.edu/media/documents/2008/3/1L_0809_COA_notice_for_web.pdf

Anonymous said...

Aah, an intelligent question, Prashant. I'm sorry to say I have no statistics or calculations that would allow a meaningful comparison of '97 entry level attorney wages to '08 entry level attorney wages. However, if I have to guess I would say that in '96 there was a slightly lower demand for law school admissions. Look at it in context. 1996 was roughly the time when John Grisham's novel The Firm was first published. Read the first chapter; the main character was offered about $85k in salary - a big deal back then but unimpressive now. That was the unofficial beginning of the Salary Wars, from then the top law firms offered higher entry level salaries every year.

As for the factors for deciding tuition, I think demand has something to do with it. I think that demand is based on the fantasies of greedy students (and I mean that in the kindest possible way, I was a greedy delusional student with fantasies of a new Porsche and a hot penthouse apartment)fueled by wrong perceptions of attorney pay. I did do research about attorney pay before applying to law school, but I did it at the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the time the BLS did not parse out the income of lawyers based on what school they went to or class rank, so it really made it look like lawyers were among the top 5 wealthiest professions. I never noticed that they were averaging the pay of the very wealthy lawyers with the very poor.

Students think "Lawyers are rich. I'll go to law school, get rich, and pay off the debt from my enormous salary. No problem." If someone tells you not to go to law school then students start thinking, "But I'm different. I'm smart. I did well in college so I can do well in law school. Who are these people to tell me not to go to law school? They don't know me!" Law tends to select for certain personality types, they tend to be a little cocky.

Student hubris drives demand well. I think the private law schools that have investors that provide start up capital would be inclined to price tuition high to try to reach breakeven faster. (Goodness knows law is cheap to teach and getting cheaper every year, so it can't be due to an increase in the costs of 'materials')Maybe one reason they raise tuition is to make people think they are getting a superior product because of the cost. You know, "Prada is better because it costs more, never mind the fact that it's a nylon bag stitched in China..."

Anonymous said...

Yes, law schools are gouging students trying to improve their lot in life. These are young, naive kids being told that they will have many job options when they graduate.

In fact, only the very top at these diploma mills has any shot at a good job. It's the greedy, misrepresenting law schools that have given rise to this tragedy. Further the ABA is complicit due to its desire to open law schools like Subway sandwich shops.

The only reason they charge this much is to fatten the wallets of the law professors deans and other law school staff, as well as provide scholarships for the top of the class. This is subsidized by the bottom students taking out huge loans to pay tuition, when they have no job prospects when they graduate. Further, schools ignore the bottom of the class as untouchables and provide them zero help in finding work.

This is the law schools scam, being inflicted upon thousands of young people every year, in the prime of their lives. It's unconscionable.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but laugh when I see people complaining that these law schools lead to nothing but document review jobs and $30K a year job. There should be a internet wide rule that when any one complains like this, they should be forced to put down their gpa and class rank also. Do not complain if you graduated with a 2.6 and were ranked in the bottom third of your class, and if you had a 3.7 and were in the top 10%, apparently you can't interview for a job. It's very difficult to get a $165K job out of law school, everyone knows that, but that doesn't mean you only other option is a job where you are going to be review documents for the next 5 years.