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Messages - silverdoe91

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Check out:

For detailed data as to the above info and why they are saying that, take some time to check out

In terms of employment prospects, you can ROUGHLY view the US News rankings as the following

T3 - Yale, Harvard, Stanford
These schools offer you as close of a "guarantee" for a job post graduation as you can possibly get. You will have the best chances to get most any job in almost any region and the strongest shot for big name Fed. Clerkships. This is NOT 100%, but as close to it as you can get.

T6 - Columbia, UChicago, NYU
As strong as T3 for employment minus the Fed. Clerkship boost.

T14 - The rest of the T14
A significant notch below T6 employment stats with not that great Fed. Clerkship prospects (i.e. you will need to be at the top 10-20% of your class for a shot at a fed. clerkships). These schools also tend to lean their employment to broad regions (i.e. The Mid West, The South, the east coast, etc), however, if you have connections to another region (ie your undergrad's city or your hometown), you probably have a good shot at landing a job there. You prob. will have little to no issue finding work in a small to medium sized law firm no matter your class ranking (assuming you don't completely fail).

"Honorable Mentions" - Vandy, UCLA, etc.
A big notch below T14 but these schools have ok prospects for big law in the school's same city. Very good chances for small to medium sized law firms within the school's general region (state).

T14 - 120ish
For the most part, basically everyone (all 100+ schools) here are in the same/similar boat as far as employment stats are concerned. Sure, if you are at the top of your class at a top 30 school, you will prob. have a stronger shot at better paying work in your immediate region, but that's about it. Your best chances here (in general) at landing jobs are in the school's immediate region (i.e. same state for the higher ranked schools to the same county/city for lower ranked schools). Very difficult - if not near impossible - for big law, and fat chance for fed. clerkship. Good to okay chances for small/medium sized law firms.

Sub T120 - Some ranked and all unranked schools
Beware. Unless you have family connections for a small law firm, you may face an uphill battle for jobs. Your best bet will be to open up your own practice. Get creative, network, and work your butt off. You should do the prior no matter what school you go to, but even more so here.

That is an immense oversimplification and generalization of US Rankings. You shouldn't base a decision on the above. The above is just a simplified view of employment stats. Although employment stats have gotten much more transparent over the past few years, they are far from perfect. Just because you get into a T14 school, it doesn't mean you will get w/e job wherever you want it. Likewise, just because you go to an unranked school, it doesn't mean you will never get a job.

The general take away is this... the lower in rank a school gets, the more region specific it becomes. Further, the lower in rank a school is, debt becomes more and more of an issue. i.e. Going into $120k of debt for Harvard and wanting to get a job in New York might be worth it. However, going into $120k of debt for the University of Puerto Rico and wanting a job in Chicago probably is not.

So.. you should base your decision on attending a law school on 1) where you want to live afterwards, 2) the debt you will face, 3) your feelings about the particular law school, and 4) as a tie breaker, refer to ranking.

Thank you for that overview, it was very insightful. Not having debt when I graduate is definitely a priority for me, so I was thinking of maybe getting a full ride to a lower ranked school, to eliminate that monetary concern. But if I do that, I am worried that that will greatly lower my chances at employment, bc as of now, I don't have any connections! :/

169 is a free ride at some T4 schools.
source: Guy who owes the same as someone who owns a nice home and a nice car, but wears a watch he bought from the dollar store.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I'd have to study again and retake the test and *hopefully* increase my score by 10 points in order to do that...

MD/JD joint degree

What did you choose to pursue after getting your degrees? A job in the legal sector, or medical?
I posted it the wrong way. I meant to imply that OP could pursue that.
I am NOT "that guy".  Mad respect for those who do though.

As notable as it is to be able to pursue both degrees (and survive), what is the purpose of actually getting both degrees simultaneously? It's not like you can practice both professions at the same time (I imagine it would be quite impossible, even if one does forego sleep entirely).

No, I was born in Uzbekistan.
Behind the curtain?

If so that might be a really good argument. Otherwise you might just be treated as any foreign student. (ex: someone from Japan)

What do you mean by "Behind the curtain"?

If you're referring to whether or not I was born when the country was still part of the Soviet Union, then yes, but only 3 months later the country gained its soverneighty so I don't think that makes much of a difference.  :P

I think a foregin student, such as someone from Japan would definitely have a leg up in the admissions process, simply because being a transfer student is so rare, as well as learning the English language etc., but I don't think I have that benefit, because I was basically raised in America, so I am not considered "Foreign." I'm an immigrant, but I'm still American.

MD/JD joint degree

What did you choose to pursue after getting your degrees? A job in the legal sector, or medical?

How about schools like Columbia, NYU, and Fordham? Do any of those schools fall into the category of highly ranked schools that actually "matter"? I know Fordham isn't as well known as the other two, but in NY its name does carry a lot of weight.

Are law school rankings really that useless and arbitrary? I see a lot of job postings online that specifically ask for applicants who went to a T14, T25 school, so maybe these law school graduates do have a lot more doors open for them. If you look at the Above The Law website, the statistics they've gathered show that more graduates from T14 schools get employed in the legal field rather than those from other schools (who might not be employed after law school at all!)

So, perhaps in the end paying $200k debt is worth it, so long as it actually gets you job in this terrible, terrible economy? As opposed to going to a school that's not highly ranked, paying less, but still having a considerable loan amount to pay off (i.e. $60,000) and not being able to get a job at all.

No, I was born in Uzbekistan.

I understand that I won't be qualified for Affirmative Action (since it's made specifically to correct historical inequalities in the admissions process) but I know that law schools generally try to have a diverse student body, and I've heard they like to accept people from diverse backgrounds into their schools, just so they could boast about the diversity of their school, even if that diversity is negligible. For example, I hear some schools like to accept people from different states, just to increase their level of inter-state diversity. Or accept a student from a country that is underrepresented in their college. Does any of that hold true? If so, would I be considered one of these "diversity" targets?

My ethnic group is Bukharian.

Just go to law school if you fail at pre-med. Law schools loooooove bio majors. :P

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