Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: goodadvice (account resigned) on January 21, 2005, 10:25:06 PM

Title: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: goodadvice (account resigned) on January 21, 2005, 10:25:06 PM
I think people place too much importance on where they go to school. Although important, it is in no way the key determinant of your success as a lawyer. In this thread, please post examples of successful legal professionals who came from 4th tier (as measured by the US News rankings) or unaccredited schools.

Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: goodadvice (account resigned) on January 21, 2005, 10:26:41 PM
University of West Los Angeles School of Law

The University of West Los Angeles School of Law is proud to report that 70 sitting judges are among the 7000 alumni. To point out just a few, Judge Lloyd Nash, who is presiding over the Robert Blake trial, is an alumnus. Another member of the bench, Judge Frederick Horn is the presiding Superior Court Judge for Orange County. Two alumnae have been appointed by the Governor, one as the Real Estate Commissioner for the State of California and the other as the former Medicaid Director for California's State Department of Health Services. We have alumni in the District Attorney's Office, the City Attorney's Office, and in the Public Defender's Office. Another outstanding graduate is Gary Dordick, who, at the age of 39, won the CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. The list goes on and on.

UWLA is not even accredited.

http://www.uwla.edu/law/index.html
http://www.uwla.edu/campus/accreditation-statement.html
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: goodadvice (account resigned) on January 21, 2005, 10:42:23 PM
Western New England College School of Law

The School of Law’s more than 6,000 alumni are truly one of its greatest assets. Our outstanding legal education provides the foundation for graduates to build rewarding and meaningful careers in legal practice, the judiciary, business, communications, criminal justice, finance, government, insurance, journalism, medicine, social work and numerous other fields. Many alumni support the School of Law through mentoring and internship participation, service as a moot court judge, recruiting at alumni functions, membership on Alumni Association committees or boards, and through financial donation.

From http://www1.law.wnec.edu/prospective/index.cfm?selection=doc.298

The school also highlights successful alumni in their publications: http://www1.law.wnec.edu/alumni/index.cfm?selection=doc.186
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: ScurvyWench on January 21, 2005, 10:43:05 PM
The vast majority of Orange County, CA judges are from Western State which is also unaccredited. The rest are pretty much made up of Whittier graduates.

Also, the foremost bankruptcy analyst and lawyer at my firm went to Whittier. He is successful, happy and making big money without working psychotic hours.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: goodadvice (account resigned) on January 21, 2005, 10:56:53 PM
Western State University College of Law

Western State is proud of its more than 9,000 graduates who have distinguished themselves as judges, public officials, and lawyers, both in public and private practice and in positions where their law degrees enhance their professional competence.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumni.asp

Nearly 25% of the judges and commissioners on the bench in Orange County are graduates of the school – a far higher representation than that of any other law school.

There are more graduates of the school in practice in Orange County than of any other law school.

(Orange County is possibly the most prosperous suburb in the United States and has a population of 3 million.)

http://www.wsulaw.edu/highlights.asp

Western State's "Hall of Fame" In recognition of distinguished service to the profession and the community.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumnihof.asp
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Tristana on January 21, 2005, 10:57:45 PM
I am not sure where the University of Detriot falls, but my step-father went there and has his own firm. He makes more money in a month than I do in a year. He is very well-known in his field. He got into U. Chicago and UM but went to U. Detriot because of a scholarship. HTH.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: One Step Ahead on January 21, 2005, 11:09:24 PM
Johnnie Cochran  Loyola LA
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: bobo21 on January 22, 2005, 12:54:40 AM
Suspicious.

Western State University College of Law

Western State is proud of its more than 9,000 graduates who have distinguished themselves as judges, public officials, and lawyers, both in public and private practice and in positions where their law degrees enhance their professional competence.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumni.asp

Nearly 25% of the judges and commissioners on the bench in Orange County are graduates of the school – a far higher representation than that of any other law school.

There are more graduates of the school in practice in Orange County than of any other law school.

(Orange County is possibly the most prosperous suburb in the United States and has a population of 3 million.)

http://www.wsulaw.edu/highlights.asp

Western State's "Hall of Fame" In recognition of distinguished service to the profession and the community.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumnihof.asp
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: DanTheMan on January 22, 2005, 01:27:30 AM
Much too much emphasis is placed upon The US News and World Report Rankings of the Top 100 Law schools.  It is for good reason; what an individual gets in return for the high cost of attending an Ivy League school besides intellectually stimulating atmospheres, which by the way, can be found at any local bar, is ACCESS!!!  And, at the prices that the top law firms are willing to pay to new Harvard grads (125,000 +), the price is many times worth it!!!  Here is an excerpt from an ivy leaguer...

Is it better to go to an Ivy League school?
What's the difference between a top-rated law school and one that's not so highly rated?
I may be expelled from the secret brotherhood for saying this, but the difference in the education that you would get in a top-tier law school and the one you would get in a second- or third-tier school is minimal. You might get a more stimulating intellectual experience at Harvard or Yale, but you'll probably learn just as much about torts and contracts at Boston College or the Univ. of Connecticut.

The real difference between law schools isn't what happens in the classrooms, it's what happens in the interview rooms. Better law schools attract better law firm recruiters. The big law firms that typically interview at a dozen law schools every year will be focusing on top-tier schools and offering those students the high-paying jobs. Students at lower-ranked schools can still get jobs, but they often have to make contact with the firms directly (rather than waiting for the interviewers to come to campus). With the top-ranked law schools, then, you purchase access to jobs. And, given the competition and rewards, that access is often worth the price.

What do law school rankings mean? Which ones are the most reliable?
Paradoxically, law school rankings mean everything and they mean nothing. They mean everything because, as I pointed out above, students and law firms treat them as if they mean something. But they mean nothing because, ultimately, they offer very little reliable information.

The USNews rankings are perhaps the most famous, but there are others out there (you can find many of them with this search). In general, the USNews rankings are typical in that they take various data into account that look both objective and relevant (such as average entering class LSAT) and put them into a formula that yields a numerical rating. Those ratings are then compared with others to come up with the rankings.

The problem comes with the methodologies used to determine the ratings. How much weight, for instance, should be given to the size of the law library? How does one measure a school's reputation? And how can one control for schools that manipulate admissions systems to boost their ratings? These kinds of problems are highlighted here and here in detail: these merely echo the numerous criticisms that are out there. But despite the criticisms, the rankings games continue. And as long as students and law firms place a great deal of weight on these rankings, they will continue to be important.

 ::)
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 07:37:23 AM
Two of my friends, Jodi and Michelle, went to Washburn and Catholic.  Jodi was the editor of law review and graduated at the top of her class.  Michelle was on law review and was in the top 8%.  I've spoken to both of them about what they think I should do, and they say "go where you can get the most $$ and work your butt off to be at the top of the class."  Jodi went to Washburn on a full scholarship, Michelle didn't have a scholarship.  They both now work in large firms (Jodi in Kansas, Michelle in DC--not far from where their respective schools were located) making very good money.  The only difference is Jodi banks her $$ and Michelle sends it off to the student loan corp.  They both told me they work side-by-side with people from T14, and that they got their good jobs based on law school performance, not solely on law school ranking.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Esq on January 22, 2005, 08:01:46 AM
USNWR's rankings were first published in 1987.  The rankings became important only recently in the 1990s. One reason for the rise in the importance of the magazine's rankings had to do with litigation that had been pending against the American Bar Association (ABA).  Historically, the ABA accredited law schools. The ABA-accreditation gave the schools a "brand name". Of course, other schools such as Harvard had reputations due to their histories, but when a law school received ABA-accreditation, it was also conferred a certain status. However, there were charges that the ABA was violating the Sherman Act (antitrust) and withholding ABA-accreditation to control the available supply. In 1995, the ABA settled with the Justice Department. The settlement weakened the ABA's control over the number of schools that could be accredited. More ABA-accredited schools came on line. USNWR became important because it treated prospective law students as consumers. The USNWR's rankings rely on objective data such as LSAT scores and admissions data. Unfortunately, this methodology ignores other factors about law schools. In addition, there have been charges that some schools manipulate their data to "improve" their rankings. The USNWR's rankings are important because prospective students give them importance. The rankings appear to influence decisions about where the students will go to school. The Law schools have to pay attention to this in order to survive.

Unfortunately, the magazine's rankings system has a tendency to turn an intellectual pursuit into just another product on the shelf. On this Board, many people use the term "third tier toliet."  What is the difference between a third tier toliet and a first tier toliet? I am glad they did not call the movie, The Toliet Paper Chase. It just doesn't have the same ring.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 08:08:03 AM
So what you're saying is that law schools are like designer jeans... I get it.  I want to go to Jordache, but I fit in best at JC Penney Plain Pockets.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Esq on January 22, 2005, 08:13:02 AM
Do people still wear Jordache?  I can't remember the last time I saw one of their commercials.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Are we there yet? on January 22, 2005, 08:51:14 AM
Johnnie Cochran  Loyola LA

I assume you're saying it was 4th tier when he attended, since it's second tier now.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 12:00:47 PM
Do people still wear Jordache?  I can't remember the last time I saw one of their commercials.

Hey, cut me some slack (or some slacks  ;)).  I was trying to think of some names, and all that came to mind were Sassoon, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Jordache.  I'm so f*cking OLD! 
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Troy McClure on January 22, 2005, 12:04:58 PM
What is the difference between a third tier toliet and a first tier toliet?

Compare the employment stats of a tier one and a TTT.  You'll find your answers.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 12:06:46 PM
I'll also be comparing my post-law school student loan debt ($0) with those of the T14.   ;)
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Troy McClure on January 22, 2005, 12:12:49 PM
I'll also be comparing my post-law school student loan debt ($0) with those of the T14.   ;)

Go ahead.  $125k from a T14 even with $120k in debt will come out way ahead in the long run compared to a TTT making $50k with much less debt.

I'm not bagging on TTT schools.  I applied to three myself and one I'd really consider if accepted.  But, I'd be lying if I said I'd pass up a T14 for a TTT.  Yes, TTT grads can and have had great success, but that road is much more difficult. 
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 12:26:08 PM
Oh please, If Harvard takes me I'm gone (that's a once in a lifetime opportunity)!  However, it is most likely that I will go to my 4th Tier paradise.  I'll be 38 when I'm done, and not really geared up to work in a big firm anyway (I'll leave those hellish hours to the kiddies  ;) ).  I just want a rewarding job doing what I already know I love, but with decent pay.  I already have a house, car, husband, and kids... no need for the flashy lifestyle.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Esq on January 22, 2005, 04:08:28 PM
I have many friends who graduated from Tier 1 schools. I happen to know that most of my friends are not making more than $100K a year. I have a few friends who do make those salaries. Some of the reasons that some are not making more than $100K a year is because they chose not to pursue jobs with those salaries. But does that make their legal education any less valuable?  They are not making huge salaries, but they received a great education.  There were professors they enjoyed and learned from, just as there were other professors they did not care for. Simply put, they got a lot out of law school. I know of others from Tier 1 schools who decided to live in areas where jobs paying those salaries are scarce indeed. There is no guarantee that someone who wants to make that salary will get it in those areas. They are not making huge salaries, but they don't walk around saying: "I graduated from a First Tier Toliet and I'm proud." My objection is to term "Third Tier Toliet." If it means that Tier 1 graduates are guaranteed jobs paying $100K a year and other schools are not, the term is a load of ****.

Employment statistics for all law schools are affected by the job market. Before the downturn, many firms were paying large salaries to first-year associates. After the downturn, that story changed dramatically. If the economy takes a nose dive, even those in the upper half of their classes feel it.  What's more, most law schools (even most of the Tier 1 law schools) exist within their geographical regions and they rely on local contacts for job placement. If you are at Harvard, yes, you will have many opportunities. I am not arguing that some schools do better nationally. However, any blanket statement asserting that all students in Tier 1 schools land $100K jobs right out of law school does not hold up. 


Here are some 2004 figures for 23 of the 25 largest law firms in Texas (read: likely to pay close to $100K a year or better) and the law school affiliations (with most of the tiers represented) of their 2004 associates. Note that in all cases the graduating class was considerably larger than the number of class representatives working in large law firms in Texas.

University of Houston Law Center 49

Baylor University School of Law 15

South Texas School of Law 12

SMU 42

Texas Tech University School of Law 8
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: brooklynman on January 22, 2005, 04:23:07 PM
I'll also be comparing my post-law school student loan debt ($0) with those of the T14.   ;)

Go ahead.  $125k from a T14 even with $120k in debt will come out way ahead in the long run compared to a third tier toilet making $50k with much less debt.

I'm not bagging on third tier toilet schools.  I applied to three myself and one I'd really consider if accepted.  But, I'd be lying if I said I'd pass up a T14 for a third tier toilet.  Yes, third tier toilet grads can and have had great success, but that road is much more difficult. 

It depends what your measurement of success is. Maybe someone would much rather live with less money and more spare time? You have a very narrow-minded and overall ignorant view of things. If everyone's goals are biglaw ( as they profess on the message boards) then there is a kernel of truth to your post...
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: brooklynman on January 22, 2005, 04:25:45 PM
By the way I am not speaking out of my ***. I had the same dillema for my undergraduate degree and ultimately chose the cheaper school. I am inclined to make the same decision for my law degree..
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Harrahs on January 22, 2005, 04:26:12 PM
petr angelos, the owner of the baltimore orioles, went to the university of baltimore.  i think he made a ton of money in asbestos and phen phen cases.

casino
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 04:27:57 PM
It depends what your measurement of success is. Maybe someone would much rather live with less money and more spare time? You have a very narrow-minded and overall ignorant view of things. If everyone's goals are biglaw ( as they profess on the message boards) then there is a kernel of truth to your post...

Ding ding ding... that's exactly right!  My idea of success is working in a small firm in my small town.  It's all about doing what you love.  I'm tired of being the office assistant, the paralegal, the secretary.  I want to be the one making the decisions, using my brain, making the better salary.  That's success.  For me, working 80+ hours per week in a corporate sweatshop would be so depressing, but for others that's the definition of success and happiness.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: brooklynman on January 22, 2005, 04:36:38 PM
It depends what your measurement of success is. Maybe someone would much rather live with less money and more spare time? You have a very narrow-minded and overall ignorant view of things. If everyone's goals are biglaw ( as they profess on the message boards) then there is a kernel of truth to your post...

Ding ding ding... that's exactly right!  My idea of success is working in a small firm in my small town.  It's all about doing what you love.  I'm tired of being the office assistant, the paralegal, the secretary.  I want to be the one making the decisions, using my brain, making the better salary.  That's success.  For me, working 80+ hours per week in a corporate sweatshop would be so depressing, but for others that's the definition of success and happiness.

I would venture to say that it is not their definition of success but rather the byproducts that come with the lifestyle (affirmation, prestige, perceived sense of importance) is what beings them happiness. That is a perfectly legitimate way to live one's life. I just am very skeptical that people genuinely call this lifestyle success/happiness.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 04:39:23 PM
I thinks it's great that we all want different things.  I certainly wouldn't want to compete with you all for that little job at the small firm in my home town.   :-[
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Troy McClure on January 22, 2005, 05:17:03 PM
It depends what your measurement of success is. Maybe someone would much rather live with less money and more spare time? You have a very narrow-minded and overall ignorant view of things. If everyone's goals are biglaw ( as they profess on the message boards) then there is a kernel of truth to your post...

Okay, fine.  If you have such a broad and open definition for sucess, then yes any student -- even a dropout -- can find success if they're happy.  That's sweet.  The whole point of this thread was talking about people making great strides in their careers even from 4th tiered schools, but if you want to water down the discussion, then we might as well close this thread.

There are a lot of options for JDs.  Those jobs that are the hardest to get are BigLaw, some federal agency jobs like the SEC, law school teaching gigs, and bigtime in-house work are all easier to land if you graduate T14.  That's the point of my statement.  I was comparing the return on investment of a law degree, and the T14 will come out ahead dollar wise and also in the doors it opens.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: brooklynman on January 22, 2005, 05:35:20 PM
It depends what your measurement of success is. Maybe someone would much rather live with less money and more spare time? You have a very narrow-minded and overall ignorant view of things. If everyone's goals are biglaw ( as they profess on the message boards) then there is a kernel of truth to your post...

Okay, fine.  If you have such a broad and open definition for sucess, then yes any student -- even a dropout -- can find success if they're happy.  That's sweet.  The whole point of this thread was talking about people making great strides in their careers even from 4th tiered schools, but if you want to water down the discussion, then we might as well close this thread.

There are a lot of options for JDs.  Those jobs that are the hardest to get are BigLaw, some federal agency jobs like the SEC, law school teaching gigs, and bigtime in-house work are all easier to land if you graduate T14.  That's the point of my statement.  I was comparing the return on investment of a law degree, and the T14 will come out ahead dollar wise and also in the doors it opens.

You make an erroneous comparison between success and money in a career. They surely overlap but are still two different things. Do you know that the average salary at Yale is lower than lower ranked schools in the T-14? Why? Because many of these students are geared to seek top level positions in government and courts. Based on your comparison these people are less successful than the schools that almost exclusively send students to biglaw firms. In order to prove the large gap that you conclude there would have to be a comprehensive study of the per hour income, attrition rates, COL factors and so forth. The picture is far more complex than what you think. You have a really naive view of the way the job market or the world in general works. Hopefully law school will change you for the better.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Troy McClure on January 22, 2005, 05:47:25 PM
You make an erroneous comparison between success and money in a career. They surely overlap but are still two different things. Do you know that the average salary at Yale is lower than lower ranked schools in the T-14? Why? Because many of these students are geared to seek top level positions in government and courts.

Again, you totally missed my point.  It's not about money.  It's about access.  The ROI point wasn't just about money.

Those Yale grads have far easier access to those great jobs because of their school's rank as would other T14 grads.  You're the one being very naive if you think a 4th tier grad will have the same chances as a Yale grad of landing top court, government, or teaching jobs.  It's not impossible for a 4th tier grad, but it is more difficult.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 22, 2005, 05:49:56 PM
Do you think the 4th Tier students are gunning for those positions anyway?  I know I'm not.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: wongsb on January 22, 2005, 06:01:31 PM
Johnnie Cochran  Loyola LA

Add Mark Gerragos, Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson's attorney, to the Loyola list! 
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: mcleod13 on January 22, 2005, 06:38:24 PM
All these DUMB ASSES that call lower ranked schools Third Tier Toilets kill me. I for one, will have no regrets about attending a 3 or 4 tier school. Because regardless of where I go, I will eventually have JD after my name. That is all that matters to me. I would much rather do something I love and make a little less, then work 80+ hours a week and hate my life. I am NOT saying that all lawyers that work 80+ hours hate their life. I am saying that I would. You keep talking about a ROI, well, for me the best ROI would be WANTING to go to work, not REQUIRED to go to work. To me it seems that most people think that going to a lower ranked school automatically means that you will not have job offers nor make that much money. The fact is, there are many graduates from 3 and 4th tier schools that make 100k plus, if that makes them happy, GO FOR IT. But it seems to me the whole T14 and 3 or 4th tier system is like the difference between Clothes from Wal-Mart, or from Dilliards. THey both serve their purpose, can even look just alike, the only difference is that Dilliards will cost more.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 23, 2005, 07:18:53 AM
McLeod, you and I are happy with our 4th tier paradise(s) because we know what it's like to crawl around in the mud eating MREs for a month.   ;)  We've lived in the tents and pooped in a hole in the ground.  The only way to go from here is UP!!

BTW, I'm trying to get a 90 deployment for the spring/summer.  Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Texan29 on January 23, 2005, 07:42:02 AM
I'll chime in here with my experiences with lawyers who are friends of mine.

Both lawyers that I will offer as examples in this case graduated from Third Tier Schools. One from Cleveland State- Marshall and the other from Duquesne. Both are working at firms in the Cleveland and Akron Ohio area. They both are employed at firms that have less than 15 lawyers on staff. Both in confidence have shared with me their salary information. The first is a partner 7 years out of law school, he makes about $250,000 year plus somewhere in between $5,000 and $10,000 as a bonus for the year, not including his benefits. This is after 7 years with them. This lawyer is now building a house with a custom home builder valued at more than $1.2 Million. The second lawyer graduated from Duquesne about 2 years ago. He is working at a firm of 17 lawyers. He graduated in the top 30% of his class. They offered him a starting salary of $75K, over the last 2 years he's been working there he has received $10K raises every year. The more he proves himself the more raises they'll give him.

This anecdotal evidence will give you an example of two not-so-uncommon experiences with third tier law students NOT going into biglaw and still making a very decent living after a few years of hard work. Something no one on this board understands is that it is considered in bad taste for a lawyer to brag about where he got his degree, it is simply not mentioned in the working world.

So for all the people out there who don't want to go into big law don't believe the hype, you'll be just fine and you'll be in the highest tax bracket that your heart desires.

Stepping off my soapbox now!
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: twarga on January 23, 2005, 08:22:03 AM
Nice avatar, Ellie.  I don't know about the WHOLE FAMILY, but hubby's moustache sure has been fun for me!   ;)
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: DefenestrateMan on July 01, 2016, 01:44:07 AM
People, who are looking for an attorney will presume T14 lawyers are better. Employers know this. So to ensure that people come to their firm over anyone else, they higher the highest T14ers they can. They probably know, the quality of their education is little better than tier four. But they don't care about that. They care about what will get clients in the door.
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 01, 2016, 10:11:19 PM
People argue about the "value" of the attorney, but that is moot IMHO.
I'd rather be the guy with a job making 100K than the guy who is stuck working temp jobs at doc review for years

Plus the bar pass rate is MAJORITY FAIL at many lower ranked schools...........can't be a lawyer if you never pass the bar........not to even get into attrition rates in the JD........
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on July 02, 2016, 08:52:47 AM
People, who are looking for an attorney will presume T14 lawyers are better. Employers know this. So to ensure that people come to their firm over anyone else, they higher the highest T14ers they can. They probably know, the quality of their education is little better than tier four. But they don't care about that. They care about what will get clients in the door.

That's the case at larger firms. They have more prestige-conscious clients, and they want to be able to say "My lawyer went to Harvard." Although even at big firms that not always the case.

The vast majority of the time, however, your client has no idea where you went to law school nor do they care. The fact that you have a law degree means that you possess some mystical knowledge that they don't. Most clients have heard of Harvard, Yale, etc, but have no idea what the difference is between Harvard and Loyola.

Quick example: the other day I contacted a lawyer (Ivy grad) for a recommendation for a good local attorney to handle a particular type of case. He referred me to a guy who graduated from a non-ABA school. Clearly, the Ivy League guy didn't care about pedigree because he knew the guy was a good lawyer. 
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 02, 2016, 12:11:32 PM
I'm not denying that clients tend not to care as much, that's a separate issue. The EMPLOYER does.
The fact is we are FAR PAST saturation point in the legal community, so if you have 100 people applying for a single opening you have to weed them out somehow. The somehow tends to, in large part, be which school they attended.

Plus there is the incidental factors associated with the schools beyond just the schools themselves.
Such as the attrition rate (never graduates) bar fail rates (never becomes a lawyer or takes so many attempts to pass that it looks horrible to employers), and the truth is MOST people who go to lower ranked schools have horrible GPA's (which employers do look at, at least for the first job which is the catalyst which in turn decides the domino effect of the rest of your career) as well as what internships/clinics you did in school (the good ones that employers want tend to have a way of weeding out non top tier school students which in turn gives them that edge later too) and heck even undergrad GPA I've seen used (most who go to lower ranked schools do so due to lower GPA/lsat score in undergrad)
They also tend to want writing samples (which for whatever reason higher ranked schools students have better ones of, in a fashion similar to the higher GPA) and other stuff too.........its equate to "disproportionate impact" and "diet racism" that you hear people complain out, but with the unprotected class of being a grad from a lower tiered school.

It is what it is

But yeah, do everything right and get lucky for 30 years and then clients don't care, I agree on that part of it (but that doesn't change anything else I wrote)
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 02, 2016, 12:19:42 PM
And for those who get full ride offers and the like.........yeah you'll 99.999% not fail out, have a decent GPA, and probably pass the bar the first time.......but you'll still have lesser quality clinics, the stigma of people THINKING of you in the same lump as the people they've met first hand of lower quality that were your classmates, plus use some real life past experience memories of yours here:

When you hang out with people SMARTER than you, you tend to become smarter by trying to compete with them, and heck even just listening to the intelligent things they say (you have memories of this, we all do, think back on it)

Now think back on hanging out with people LESS smart than you. The opposite takes effect. Not only do you start to slack off (even in unconscious about it while you do it until you look back later and realize it) but you also accidentally absorb the stupid things they say, ESPECIALLY when they get CONSENSUS on it (everyone in the room agrees a stupid thing is right and billions of years of evolution have taught your social animal brain that that must mean its true, especially if the 3L's tend to say it while you are a 1L, or heaven help you if the Prof who couldn't find work anywhere BUT the lower tier school agrees with said stupid and WRONG thought)...........trust me. We all have memories in our lives of this stuff too. Think back on it.

Now ask yourself............does that have value? Yes or No?

Example: I recall as a legal intern hearing guys who WERE FULL LAWYERS FROM LOWER RANKED SCHOOLS who were there argue loudly with eachother about whether its illegal or not to have someone else's prescription drugs on you (and use them) since they were purchases legally at one point.....clearly the one getting violent in support of the idea was a junkie, but that's another issue.............you get the idea. (for a short while he had me CONVINCED he MUST be right after his "I passed the bar, did you" speech........but the retard was wrong of course and likely is dead or in prison by now-we can all hope at least)
Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: loki13 on July 05, 2016, 09:15:30 AM
I think we need to break this out into what the real issues are. And, no, anecdotal evidence (I once heard some attorneys from low ranked schools arguing) doesn't cut it. I once knew an attorney with a JD from Harvard who was dumb as a box of rocks, but that doesn't mean that most attorneys from Harvard are.

Law schools are sorting mechanisms. The first of many, but a very important one. The T14 gets better "raw ingredients" than the T4. Put another way, the very last bubble applicant accepted at Yale would be a full ride scholarship, top recruit at any T4 school. To analogize it to football- you can have great players at a D3 school, but every player at Alabama is going to be pretty, pretty good, because they get the best high school students.

But what does that mean? That means that early in your career, when you have no client, no real work product, and credentials matter, the credentials of your law school matter a great deal. And the simple fact that you were good enough to get into a T14 school means that you are in the running for a BigLaw job, or a clerkship, or whatever it is you want. Whereas if you go to a different school, you need to prove more- law review, moot court, good grades, and so on. And the farther down the food chain you do, the more you need to do in school to show that your personal credentials > school's.

Now, once you've been in practice for a while, this fades. Because you have other things to be judged on - your book of business, your work product. But some things will continue to live on- the network of successful alums, or for some schools, the local, state, or regional influence. Some things may even be surprising- for example, if you want to go into state politics, you are likely better off attending State Law U. than Harvard. And cost is a factor, and, as I've stated before, while the difference between T14 and T4 may be noticeable, the difference between say, #30 and #70 not so much.

Title: Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on July 06, 2016, 07:16:24 PM
I think we need to break this out into what the real issues are. And, no, anecdotal evidence (I once heard some attorneys from low ranked schools arguing) doesn't cut it. I once knew an attorney with a JD from Harvard who was dumb as a box of rocks, but that doesn't mean that most attorneys from Harvard are.

Law schools are sorting mechanisms. The first of many, but a very important one. The T14 gets better "raw ingredients" than the T4. Put another way, the very last bubble applicant accepted at Yale would be a full ride scholarship, top recruit at any T4 school. To analogize it to football- you can have great players at a D3 school, but every player at Alabama is going to be pretty, pretty good, because they get the best high school students.

But what does that mean? That means that early in your career, when you have no client, no real work product, and credentials matter, the credentials of your law school matter a great deal. And the simple fact that you were good enough to get into a T14 school means that you are in the running for a BigLaw job, or a clerkship, or whatever it is you want. Whereas if you go to a different school, you need to prove more- law review, moot court, good grades, and so on. And the farther down the food chain you do, the more you need to do in school to show that your personal credentials > school's.

Now, once you've been in practice for a while, this fades. Because you have other things to be judged on - your book of business, your work product. But some things will continue to live on- the network of successful alums, or for some schools, the local, state, or regional influence. Some things may even be surprising- for example, if you want to go into state politics, you are likely better off attending State Law U. than Harvard. And cost is a factor, and, as I've stated before, while the difference between T14 and T4 may be noticeable, the difference between say, #30 and #70 not so much.
Says to ignore anecdotal evidence.........immediately uses it.............
and YES real world observations DO matter, and more to the point statistics are NOT "anecdotal evidence" they are STATISTICS.............And no, no one EVER is better going to State Law U than Harvard, and by no means better offer going to junk schools (which is what this thread is about, not the offtopic state school issue)