Saturday, January 28, 2017

SoFi Shows Robust Market for Lawyers

There's a natural leeriness with private student loan companies, just as there is with any private loan consolidation scheme that spams the mailboxes of people expecting a steady stream of massive settlement checks, five-figure retainers, and paid bills with happy client gratuities.

SoFi is totally legit.  The LSTC has not done business with it, but its good purpose and honesty is clear from its valuable and helpful research into salary-debt ratios.
Elite institutions are generally worth the outlay, but, according to a newly released study, a few less nationally known schools also make the cut.

The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston and the University of Georgia were among the 10 schools offering the best salary-to-debt ratios, according to the study by SoFi, which stands for Social Finance Inc., an online student loan refinance company. They are grouped with Harvard, Yale and Stanford among the top schools that offered their graduates good value for the substantial debt they incurred while law students.
See?  You don't have to be at the tippy top to put your graduates on the fast-track to success, you only have to close to it!  Thanks, SoFi!

Of course, composing such a list requires high math.  As a result, a quick lesson in multi-dimensional, base-10 integer fractions is in order.  Salary-to-debt ratios require both a numerator and a denominator.  These are fancy Latin terms that mean "top" and "bottom," drawing a nifty parallel between fractional math and butt sex. 

Anyway, our numerator is first year salary and our denominator is long-term debt.  And how did SoFi determine "average" salary and debt at law schools?
SoFi rated the schools after examining salary and debt records of more than 60,000 people who applied to refinance their student loans with the San Francisco company between 2014 and 2016.
If anything, SoFi is being too harsh on law schools here.  Who applies for refinancing?  Obviously, it's people who need lower monthly payments.  The graduates who have the best salary-to-debt ratios would have no need for such things.

And we know this must be the case when we look at the salary numerators used by SoFi:

Worst law schools by lowest return on education 
We know these numbers are artificially low for averages.  Almost certainly, graduates of - say - TJLS are making more than $101,173 on average with debt loads of far less than $169,951.  But since SoFi is using a pool of lawyers going to loan sharks, most probably those few with substance abuse or gambling issues, the numbers get skewed and TJLS only has a 0.6x ratio.  In reality, it's probably more like 1.5.

While it's concerning that SoFi would present certain schools with a thumbs down logo, the salary numbers provided by those desperate for financial help show a robust lawyer market and that these people talking about gluts and overlawyering are ignoring that the Million Dollar Express is chugging down the tracks as fast as ever.

Thanks, SoFi!


  1. Average salary for Florida Coa$TTTTal is purported to be $84,664. Yeah, sure it is - and the San Francisco Giants just offered me their starting second base position. Sadly, waterheads would GLADLY sign up for $158K+ in additional NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt - in exchange for an annual income of $84K.

  2. This must be ALTERNATIVE FACTS. Lies are prevalent these days. 84K at these Unranked Diploma Mills? No Way. I graduated from a T-2 and consider $65K the golden ring if I can get it and beat out 500 of my closest friends for the same gig. I know one gig that offered 37K, yes, full time, and there were dozens of applicants---experienced and newbies. Talk to a practicing Solo---any Solo. Do not go with these statistics.

    1. Agreed. Salaries have to be doctored in that group. My TTTT is not on that list, luckily, but close enough - my "JD-Advantage" job paid 50%-66% of that average number starting out. I also call bull$h!t.

  3. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingJanuary 29, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    This is complete bullshit. If salaries were this good, why are there billboards around Chicago's expressways shilling $49.00 traffic defense? It's desperation and a cage fight for the same pool of clients for underemployed (unemployed solos).

  4. No, that company is not claiming that the average salary for graduates of Horrida Coastal is $85k; it is claiming that the average salary of those graduates of Horrida Coastal who seek to refinance their student loans through SoFi is $85k. For all that we know, that group might contain only one person.

    Presumably people who try to refinance their loans have a higher income than average. People with low or non-existent incomes would not be approved for refinancing and wouldn't benefit from it anyway.

  5. Wait a second, back when I was practicing, making 60k out of UF or FSU was considered an above average outcome. And those are both Tier 1 schools.

    Passing the bar is an above average outcome from Florida Coastal. Getting paid 85k a year for it is a one percenter type outcome from that school.