Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: need advice 123 on December 07, 2007, 12:36:45 PM

Title: 3rd tier schools
Post by: need advice 123 on December 07, 2007, 12:36:45 PM
I am looking for information on good T3 schools.  I would like to go to a T3 school and transfer to a T2 school.  I would like to find a T3 school that would not mean the end of the world if I was unable to transfer.  I am looking for pretty generic information about T3 schools (job placement, employment stats, competition from higher tier schools, etc).  I was told in another thread that St Thomas and Michigan State would be good places to look at, any others out there?
(I dont care about biglaw).
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: kmac128 on December 07, 2007, 12:44:48 PM
i got a full ride at st thomas in MN (not sure if youre talking about that one or the one in FL) last week or so.  was kinda a safety for me but its def appealing, and i think the MN market is good for  a solid tier 3. not crazy comp other than UMN, and the twin cities is huge, so there you go
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: nealric on December 07, 2007, 02:19:16 PM
Quote
good T3 schools

For the most part, an oxymoron.

The best t3 school is the one you pay the least to go to IMO.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: need advice 123 on December 07, 2007, 02:32:27 PM
Quote
good T3 schools

For the most part, an oxymoron.

The best t3 school is the one you pay the least to go to IMO.

I wondered how long it was going to take for someone to say something like that...
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: BigLulz on December 07, 2007, 02:43:18 PM
MSU and St. Thomas seem to throw money around like candy, so if you have competitive numbers you are likely to get a good scholarship. That said, if you're looking only at T3 I would suggest finding the one you like best in the area in which you would like to practice following law school. Though you might be able to transfer, you never know what will happen, and going to a T3 school in that area will give you a leg up on networking, etc.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: nealric on December 07, 2007, 06:11:37 PM
Quote
I wondered how long it was going to take for someone to say something like that...

Someone had to say it  :P
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: bridget_jones on December 08, 2007, 04:56:54 AM
What does 3rd tier mean, exactly? Is it like T14 and then the next 30 are tier 2 and so on and so forth? Clue me in someone.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: MHLM on December 08, 2007, 05:11:15 AM
What does 3rd tier mean, exactly? Is it like T14 and then the next 30 are tier 2 and so on and so forth? Clue me in someone.

Rank 1-50 = Tier 1
Rank 51-100 = Tier 2
Tier 3 (unranked)
Tier 4 (unranked)

These are pretty arbitrary distinctions though.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: bridget_jones on December 08, 2007, 05:33:58 AM
Thanks.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: clairel on December 08, 2007, 06:09:53 AM
What does 3rd tier mean, exactly? Is it like T14 and then the next 30 are tier 2 and so on and so forth? Clue me in someone.

oh man, i was just watching the "bookstore" episode of seinfeld last night. best uncle leo reference ever....
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: jeffislouie on December 08, 2007, 10:32:45 PM
In all seriousness, there is some merit to the bargain school concept.
You are only planning on going for one year and hope to do well enough to be able to transfer to a t2, right?  So why not go to the least expensive place you can find?
For instance, Northern Illinois is well known to be a quality legal education at a low price.  The limited prestige the school might have isn't the point (and I know plenty of successful attorneys who went there).  You just want to get a good base, then move on.  I know a few guys who did great 1L and transferred into T2 schools.
It's a little different if you are stuck going to a T3 (like me) for whatever reason.  I went to the best school I could get into right now.  And I'm paying top dollar for it.
It's not so important in your case, so why blow more than you have to?
If you are going to go to a T3 or T4, it's probably a good idea to do it in the market you intend to work.


Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: AkhilAmar on December 09, 2007, 10:09:48 AM
In all seriousness, there is some merit to the bargain school concept.
You are only planning on going for one year and hope to do well enough to be able to transfer to a t2, right?  So why not go to the least expensive place you can find?
For instance, Northern Illinois is well known to be a quality legal education at a low price.  The limited prestige the school might have isn't the point (and I know plenty of successful attorneys who went there).  You just want to get a good base, then move on.  I know a few guys who did great 1L and transferred into T2 schools.
It's a little different if you are stuck going to a T3 (like me) for whatever reason.  I went to the best school I could get into right now.  And I'm paying top dollar for it.
It's not so important in your case, so why blow more than you have to?
If you are going to go to a T3 or T4, it's probably a good idea to do it in the market you intend to work.




His point was to go to a T3 that he wouldn't want to kill himself at if he couldn't transfer out.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: kd17 on December 23, 2007, 05:03:43 PM
I'm a 1L at MSU.  If you're serious about law school, then MSU might be the place for you.  Law school is tough, don't enroll with thinking you will be able to transfer.  Most schools will accept transfers who were in the top 5% of their class.  When 1 final comprises your grade for the class, you kinda have to have everything workin for you otherwise if you get 1 C and kiss the transfer dream goodbye. 
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: SHolman08 on December 29, 2007, 04:35:18 PM
hey there! I'm kind of looking in a simillar direction.. planning on applying to tier 2 & 3 schools.. but not planning on transferring... Suffolk (in boston) is high on my list, although its not cheap but looks like theres good chance of decent employment afterward in the northeast area.. just a thought.. Is there a particular region you want to be in?
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: Ninja1 on January 04, 2008, 03:13:12 AM

...

The best t3 school is the one you pay the least to go to IMO.

As someone that is probably T2/T3 bound, I think that TITCR. Though I'd also say that in addition to cost, the best T3 is the one that is in the area that you want to practice in for at least a few years. Your school won't have as much clout/as many contacts in the area outside of your general region as a "better" school will. As a result, it might be harder to escape your law school's region for a few years. And I think this probably applies to most schools outside of the top 20-30. Even most T2 schools seem to be fairly limited to the state that they're in.

If cost is a major concern, I'd encourage you to look at some of the public T3s in the South. Even if it comes from a T4, I think that a JD would be well worth it if it costs you <$30k, something that is viable with some of the Southern schools.
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: jeffislouie on January 04, 2008, 07:54:49 AM

...

The best t3 school is the one you pay the least to go to IMO.

As someone that is probably T2/T3 bound, I think that TITCR. Though I'd also say that in addition to cost, the best T3 is the one that is in the area that you want to practice in for at least a few years. Your school won't have as much clout/as many contacts in the area outside of your general region as a "better" school will. As a result, it might be harder to escape your law school's region for a few years. And I think this probably applies to most schools outside of the top 20-30. Even most T2 schools seem to be fairly limited to the state that they're in.

If cost is a major concern, I'd encourage you to look at some of the public T3s in the South. Even if it comes from a T4, I think that a JD would be well worth it if it costs you <$30k, something that is viable with some of the Southern schools.

You could also consider NIU law.
To get in-state tuition of around $10,500 a year, all you need is six months in state prior to application...
Plus, living there is cheap.
You could graduate with less than $50k in debt and have the chance to make your bones in the public sector for a few years.
Truth be told, state schools (even lower ranked ones) provide an excellent value and allow you some easier choices after graduation.
Graduating with less than $60k in debt makes things way easier than those who end up $120k in debt - they HAVE to land big law jobs and run the very real risk of burning out a lot faster.....
Truth be told, if you do well anywhere, you can transfer to a higher ranked school and if not, well, you are still a lawyer but with far less debt.
I recommend creating 3 goal categories -
1) Wish schools that you probably wont get into
2) Stretch schools that you might get into, but are higher cost and higher tier
3) Cheap, easier to get into schools.

Apply to schools in all 3 and roll the dice - your acceptance letters ease the decision making.  If you get into a T1 or T2 and a few T3's, look at cost and weigh your options.
The major advantage to a lower cost, lower ranked school is that you leave with a JD and a lower debt load, allowing you to make choices that are much harder when you have massive debt (like becoming a public defender for 5 years or working as a ASA).
The reality is that I know a few guys who went T1 and then biglaw and a few guys who went T3 and worked at boutique firms or as public attorneys - the funny thing is that given enough time, the T3 small firm guys are making almost as much 10 years out and no one gives a crap about what school they went to anymore, yet they work less hours and have more normal lives....
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: Ninja1 on January 04, 2008, 07:34:12 PM

Apply to schools in all 3 and roll the dice - your acceptance letters ease the decision making.  If you get into a T1 or T2 and a few T3's, look at cost and weigh your options.
The major advantage to a lower cost, lower ranked school is that you leave with a JD and a lower debt load, allowing you to make choices that are much harder when you have massive debt (like becoming a public defender for 5 years or working as a ASA).
The reality is that I know a few guys who went T1 and then biglaw and a few guys who went T3 and worked at boutique firms or as public attorneys - the funny thing is that given enough time, the T3 small firm guys are making almost as much 10 years out and no one gives a crap about what school they went to anymore, yet they work less hours and have more normal lives....


This is basically my strategy to the letter. I've already got into a few good T2 private schools with no money and a few good enough public T3s with half tuition scholarships. I have some tough decisions to make, but it's very nice to have a decision to make for myself in the whole process. Unless one of my T1s come through, then it's great to not have to think about my decision at all. ;)
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: jeffislouie on January 09, 2008, 11:49:36 PM
Excellent!
Good luck.
A T3 public with half tuition will definitely make it more difficult to get a fancy biglaw gig, if that is your aim, but unless you are top 15-20% at a T2, it's not likely to matter all that much anyway.
For me, it is about the opportunity to practice law when I pass the bar and I am not super concerned about biglaw to begin with.  It seems like a rough way to practice to me.  Some, I'm sure, will find it challenging and rewarding.  I see myself going public law for a few years or straight to some sort of smaller, specialized firm.
The average law student graduates with around $80 grand in debt, so half tuition sure sounds like a good deal! 
$40 grand in debt is much more manageable than $80....
Title: Re: 3rd tier schools
Post by: vap on January 10, 2008, 06:53:48 PM
The best t3 school is the one you pay the least to go to IMO.

Good advice.