« on: February 11, 2004, 01:50:27 PM »
More and more people are going to law school later in life and I think it's difficult, if not impossible, for a senior in college to have the same attitude toward the law admissions process as us adult students.
In choosing the schools to apply to, I looked first at my numbers to eliminate the schools that would probably laugh at me (top 10 or so). I then went through the list with my husband and we crossed off any place we could not stand to live for three years. I then chose 2 reach school, 2 target schools, and a safety. With a chronically ill spouse, the money wasn't there to apply to more and we've got too much to qualify for fee waivers.
I don't think I want an 80 hour a week job in corporate law. I may change my mind, but I'd rather have a shot at excelling at the school I attend than resigning myself to be a middle of the pack person.
People who make blanket statements about rank meaning everything and personal dissatisfaction meaningless seem to have forgotten that not all prospective law students are after the same goal. Am I willing to have a cranky husband for three years who has to start all over in a new place, get a new job, find new doctors, get licenced in his field in yet another state? Only if I truly love the program, and I've already self-selected cities we have friends/family in or near.
I know people who've gone to the top grad programs and are struggling to pay off loans, and I know people from public schools who are making a good living and are happy. IMHO, it's more about personal preference and knowing the consequences of choices, such as some firms focusing heavily on rank.
I've already been accepted to my safety school, which is middle of tier-2, so I know I'm going to law school someplace next year. It just remains to be seen if I'll climb up that old ranking ladder a bit more before matriculating. Then again, a state school's tuition and aid programs may be too tempting to take advantage of even if I get into a higher ranked school.