Who will be more financially sound in the future: Law vs doc

More successful?

  • Tier 3 or Tier 4 Law Students

    Votes: 28 20.4%
  • Off shore Medical Students

    Votes: 54 39.4%
  • Neither

    Votes: 55 40.1%

  • Total voters
    137

Knocked Up

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Let me clarify. This isn't a debate of Tier 1 Law schools vs. MD allopathic medical school graduates. Obviously graduates of both will continue to be fine.

The real question here is Tier 3 or Tier 4 law students vs. Caribbean (off shore) students. In this less than ideal situation, who will have the harder time in the future.
 

theseeker4

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Let me clarify. This isn't a debate of Tier 1 Law schools vs. MD allopathic medical school graduates. Obviously graduates of both will continue to be fine.

The real question here is Tier 3 or Tier 4 law students vs. Caribbean (off shore) students. In this less than ideal situation, who will have the harder time in the future.
If you are just comparing FMG's to lower-tier law students, the law students have a better future. It is much, much, much easier to become licensed and practice law from a low-tier law school than to come to the US and practice medicine as a FMG.
 

Stumpyman

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A 4th tier law grad will likely have a steep uphill battle, and have to work with a lot of lower-paying jobs for many years. An offshore med student doesn't even get a guarantee that he/she will be able to practice in the states, so I'd go with 3rd-4th tier law. Even though the comparison is very hard to make.
 
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pkwraith

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Uh, no Tier 1 law students will not obviously continue to be fine. They're not even fine right now, let alone the future. I could give you T14 maybe.
 

MedBound1

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Uh, no Tier 1 law students will not obviously continue to be fine. They're not even fine right now, let alone the future. I could give you T14 maybe.

As uncertain as medicine can seem at times, I agree with pkwraith, it would be pretty scary to even be a Tier 1 or 2 law student right now. Big debts and really no solid guarantees at all.
 

prolixity29

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Interesting thought experiment.

FMG, no question. I know people from Tier 1 law schools who have been burned. Really, the only lawyers who are going to "do well" would be those not just at the Tier 1 schools but those at the top of their classes.
 

notbobtrustme

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Both are ****ed. IMGs won't be able to match in 5 years while there's a massive glut of lawyers today.
 

Whiskeypunch

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At this point going to any law school other than a t14 law school is stupid. You'll make more money with an undergrad degree in accounting/engineering/CS.
 

Thego2guy

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Both are ****ed. IMGs won't be able to match in 5 years while there's a massive glut of lawyers today.

Pardon my ignorance, but I haven't heard about this. So one shouldn't go to Law School unless its in the top 14? Why? What is the current state of 'law' that makes it so unattractive? I haven't heard anything about this, so maybe someone can elaborate.
 

Dave89

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That really depends what you do with your law degree. If someone were set on practicing law, it would be very risky to go to law school right now.

Although, if you're smart enough to get into med school, you're probably smart enough to do well enough on the LSAT to get scholarships at mediocre schools.

But plenty of people go to law school intending to use the knowledge they gain in business. E.g. Mitt Romney's Harvard law degree probably helped him.

If your legal education would be ancillary to your career goals, it's still a great option.
 

Sephiroth

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Pardon my ignorance, but I haven't heard about this. So one shouldn't go to Law School unless its in the top 14? Why? What is the current state of 'law' that makes it so unattractive? I haven't heard anything about this, so maybe someone can elaborate.

Too many lawyers being graduated, economy isn't great so very few places are hiring. I have 2 cousins who are lawyers from non-prestigious law schools. One is working as a county defender, the other was recently laid off. I would not go to law school right now unless it were a T14 school or, as dave89 mentioned, I didn't have to pay anything for it and I would use it in a supplementary way. Graduating from a T14 school is the only way to ensure yourself a good shot at securing a legit lawyer job.
 

EBTrailRunner

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Too many lawyers being graduated, economy isn't great so very few places are hiring. I have 2 cousins who are lawyers from non-prestigious law schools. One is working as a county defender, the other was recently laid off. I would not go to law school right now unless it were a T14 school or, as dave89 mentioned, I didn't have to pay anything for it and I would use it in a supplementary way. Graduating from a T14 school is the only way to ensure yourself a good shot at securing a legit lawyer job.

I have several friends who all graduated from a top 40-50 law school. All managed to find a job within six months. One is being paid six figures starting. I agree that we're pumping out a whole lotta lawyers, but I wouldn't say you're doomed if you attend a law school outside the T14.
 
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bigloley

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pkwraith

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Pardon my ignorance, but I haven't heard about this. So one shouldn't go to Law School unless its in the top 14? Why? What is the current state of 'law' that makes it so unattractive? I haven't heard anything about this, so maybe someone can elaborate.

The reasons are legion.

Just google law school scam blogs
 

NatrixCaelicola

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I have several friends who all graduated from a top 40-50 law school. All managed to find a job within six months. One is being paid six figures starting. I agree that we're pumping out a whole lotta lawyers, but I wouldn't say you're doomed if you attend a law school outside the T14.

Not doomed but have a hard time. My best friend is at a T14 and some friends graduated from T14s and the experience is uncanny. First off, the average starting salary jumps up an order of magnitude when you enter the T14s and soooooo many doors open for you. For instance look at 2L internships, the top forms in the CPU try flat put have disclaimers to "not apply if you do not attend a T14."
 

johnnydrama

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Let me clarify. This isn't a debate of Tier 1 Law schools vs. MD allopathic medical school graduates. Obviously graduates of both will continue to be fine.

The real question here is Tier 3 or Tier 4 law students vs. Caribbean (off shore) students. In this less than ideal situation, who will have the harder time in the future.

They will both be f***ed, but the Caribbean will be worse off.

Graduate from a low tier law school and you still have your degree and are theoretically employable.

Without residency spots in the future for Caribbean grads due to increasing US MD/DO enrollment, they won't even be employable.
 

MMADoc

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I have an ex-girlfriend who is going to graduate at a Tier 4 Law school in December where she is slightly above average in her class and about $150,000 to $200,000 in debt. I am honestly really concerned about her economic future. With the whole glut of law students in our economy, the only way I can envision her getting out of her loan debt would be to work in public service and hopefully become eligible for loan forgiveness. Even then, the shear absence of economic earning potential for those ten years is scary.
 

Thego2guy

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scarshapedstar

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Too many lawyers being graduated, economy isn't great so very few places are hiring. I have 2 cousins who are lawyers from non-prestigious law schools. One is working as a county defender, the other was recently laid off. I would not go to law school right now unless it were a T14 school or, as dave89 mentioned, I didn't have to pay anything for it and I would use it in a supplementary way. Graduating from a T14 school is the only way to ensure yourself a good shot at securing a legit lawyer job.

The irony here - and half of the problem facing law graduates today - is that "a legit lawyer job" is essentially someone who never sets foot in a courtroom, ever. As opposed to a public defender.

Semi-related, I always chuckle when I hear people bitch and moan about 'trial attorneys'. To me that's like complaining about those damn 'OR surgeons'. I guess that's because my dad has a non-legit lawyer job; among other things, he handles all death penalty cases for the county indigent defender's office.
 
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Sephiroth

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The irony here - and half of the problem facing law graduates today - is that "a legit lawyer job" is essentially someone who never sets foot in a courtroom, ever. As opposed to a public defender.

Semi-related, I always chuckle when I hear people bitch and moan about 'trial attorneys'. To me that's like complaining about those damn 'OR surgeons'. I guess that's because my dad has a non-legit lawyer job; among other things, he handles all capital defense cases for the county indigent defender's office.
haha, no I understand. The top paid lawyers are all handling business proceedings and never actually going to trial. Any actual suit they settle out of court. I guess that analogy would be a bit better if it were common for good surgeons to be able to fix things non-surgically (though in that case it wouldn't be a surgeon handling it).
 

pkwraith

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Thanks buddy, good read :thumbup: I have a naive question; can't a large portion of these grads become self-employed, rather than waiting for an employer to contact them? I would imagine an aggregate of 5-6 unemployed graduates,and starting their own business. Or is there too much competition for that?

Hanging up shingles is pretty tough, because law school doesn't actually teach you how to be a lawyer.

Imagine a bunch of M2s starting their own clinic without any help.
 

Praefectus

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Yeah the main problem has been the economy. Kids have flocked to law school to find shelter only to find that the job market is oversaturated.
 
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C

cowme

change that to Tier 2 law students and I would still bank on the offshore med students. There are NO jobs out for law grads. I know at least 3 grads from 2010 (top 25 schools, mind you) who have been unemployed since graduation. The ones who did find jobs either took voluntary jobs (yes, no pay, no benefits, and 60 hour weeks) or government jobs for 50K. And they were competing like mad for those jobs. And now the government is in a hiring freeze, so those 50K jobs are mostly gone. ABA projections say that since 2008, 50,000 new lawyers have been pumped into the market each year, and only 15,000 jobs have opened. You do the math.
 

Aerus

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There's no point in comparing them. Both are equally screwed. 'Nuff said.
 

prolixity29

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You should also factor in that EVEN IF you are lucky enough to get a law job in this economy, what's the probability you hold onto it, let alone make partner.
 

Koosalagoosagoo

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I remember reading some article from valuemd that said offshore MDs have a 50% chance of getting a recidency compared to MDs in the states and even DOs. This number is only going to get worse..
 

Law2Doc

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You should also factor in that EVEN IF you are lucky enough to get a law job in this economy, what's the probability you hold onto it, let alone make partner.

Law is cyclical, tracking the economy very closely. If you get a job while in a bad economic downturn, things only get better. If you don't find a job, things will ease up eventually. This isn't really much of a question. If you are a lawyer you might have a tough time getting a job in this bad economic time, but there are lots of other jobs you can do with a law degree, ranging from editing, working with nonprofits, pretty much any job involving lots of writing or compliance with regulations. And the degree doesn't really get stale as fast, so if it takes you a year or two to find a law job, things aren't per se "over". There are really no other jobs you can get with an offshore medical degree than resident, and odds are progressively more and more against you to get residency each year you don't get the residency.. there simply aren't other uses for the degree. And you will have more debt with an offshore MD degree. And you can't just open up shop without a residency like you could in law. So hands down you are better off coming out of a low ranked ABA accredited law school over an offshore med school. You might never earn six digits like your top 20 law school colleagues, but as the economy gets better you will find a job. The offshore guy who doesn't find a residency ends up with high debt and no way to pay it off. The economy can only get better over the next few years, while the prospects of offshore folks landing residencies will only get worse as more and more US med students enter the pipeline. It's not a close call here.
 

Law2Doc

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I remember reading some article from valuemd that said offshore MDs have a 50% chance of getting a recidency compared to MDs in the states and even DOs. This number is only going to get worse..

50% is very generous. NonUS folks have about a 40% chance of matching, according to the AAMC. And that's 40% of those folks who already survived extremely high attrition and satisfied the schools internal requirements to sit for the Step exams, etc. In reality it's probably about 20% or fewer of the folks who "start" offshore programs.
 
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cowme

Law is cyclical, tracking the economy very closely. If you get a job while in a bad economic downturn, things only get better. If you don't find a job, things will ease up eventually. This isn't really much of a question. If you are a lawyer you might have a tough time getting a job in this bad economic time, but there are lots of other jobs you can do with a law degree, ranging from editing, working with nonprofits, pretty much any job involving lots of writing or compliance with regulations. And the degree doesn't really get stale as fast, so if it takes you a year or two to find a law job, things aren't per se "over". There are really no other jobs you can get with an offshore medical degree than resident, and odds are progressively more and more against you to get residency each year you don't get the residency.. there simply aren't other uses for the degree. And you will have more debt with an offshore MD degree. And you can't just open up shop without a residency like you could in law. So hands down you are better off coming out of a low ranked ABA accredited law school over an offshore med school. You might never earn six digits like your top 20 law school colleagues, but as the economy gets better you will find a job. The offshore guy who doesn't find a residency ends up with high debt and no way to pay it off. The economy can only get better over the next few years, while the prospects of offshore folks landing residencies will only get worse as more and more US med students enter the pipeline. It's not a close call here.

I hope you are right L2D. It's been really tough watching my friends forced to move back in with their parents with 6 figure debt and groveling for jobs that law grads 5 years prior would have laughed at.
 

MMADoc

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50% is very generous. NonUS folks have about a 40% chance of matching, according to the AAMC. And that's 40% of those folks who already survived extremely high attrition and satisfied the schools internal requirements to sit for the Step exams, etc. In reality it's probably about 20% or fewer of the folks who "start" offshore programs.

I think we can all agree that both boats are pretty bad to be in at the moment. However, I would rather take my chances as a FMG than a Tier 3 or 4 law school grad any day of the week. There is a higher chance of payoff (if you do land that resdency spot) than the type of jobs a Tier 3 or 4 would hope to achieve for not too much more debt.

Here is a decent website that I thought described the Tier 3/4 situation fairly well.
http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress.com/
 

neurodoc

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Get your MD, then go to law school if you like.You can even take night classes, and pay for it out of your earnings as an MD. If you can pass your state bar, you will be an MD/JD.
 

EBTrailRunner

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What do people think about those who hold a tier 2 law degree along with a US MD?

This has been debated before. Personally, I don't see the utility in holding a dual degree. Law and medicine are both demanding careers and it's nearly impossible to strike a balance between them. I imagine a fair number of MD/JD's either started out in law and found that it wasn't their calling, switching to medicine (like L2D), or vice versa. I don't see a clear professional advantage to holding both degrees. As Ron Swanson once said, "Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
 

johnnydrama

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People should stop going to the Caribbean. It was a valid path 5 years ago, it's an incredibly uncertain one now, and will probably be gone 5 years from now.

Unless you're a star who somehow slipped through the cracks but could be in the top 10% at SGU, you will just wind up in deeper debt without a US residency spot (in anything) thanks to increasing US MD/DO spots and stagnant residency spots.

It's an intentional move to freeze out the unlicensed schools, so going down that path now is foolish.

A third tier law school may not get you a job as a lawyer, but an MD without a residency is worthless.
 
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