« on: July 28, 2003, 07:31:30 AM »
Bah! Law School Confidential sounds like a steaming pile. Be skeptical.
Of course you don't have to be in the "top 14" to get a big salary. That doesn't stand up empirically. There are tons of BUSL grads with big bank accounts. I'm just beginning the job search myself, so maybe I've got blinders on for the sake of my own sanity, but only the top 14? That just can't be!
First of all, top 14 according to whom? U.S. News? Leiter? You probably mean U.S. News -- I tell you what: of the lists out there, U.S. News is the shiniest and the most famous (and the source of all kinds of amusing BUSL neuroses), BUT it's REALLY NOT the be all end all in the legal market. There are just too many variables involved in getting a job: location, personal charm, grit, nepotism, &c.
Also, why the "top 14"? That's pretty arbitrary. It's not like first 14 are teaching law while the rest are teaching VCR repair.
Will you have a better chance finding a job if you go to Harvard? Will you have a better chance if you're in the top 10%? Will you have a better chance getting a summer associate spot if you're dad is a partner at Ropes & Gray? Will you have a better chance of getting a clerkship if you save Souter from a hungry bear? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, DUH.
Are you doomed if all you have is a boring J.D. from BU? Only a little. The painful answer is that a J.D. from ANY school is only a tool. It will help open a few doors. No matter who you are though, you still have to go through the arduous miserable process of selling yourself. You haven't chosen an easy career. Even if you are the Harvard grad with the silver spoon and Souter on a bear-skin rug, it's not easy. You will be tested. You will be ranked. You will compare yourself to your peers. You will doubt yourself. It will never stop.
The job that pays you 125K a year will require you to work 90 hours a week just to keep your head above water. There aren't any secrets to success. There aren't any short cuts. Not only aren't there any people in the top 10 who didn't work hard, there aren't any people in the top HALF who didn't work hard. Guess what. All the kids in the bottom half were working really hard too.
The ethereal fantasy of big money is one of the methods we use to divert ourselves in this grueling lifestyle, but if money is the only thing compelling you to go to lawschool, get out now. Don't do it. There are easier ways to get rich.
I'll stop ranting now . . .
To answer your question more directly, if you go into the private sector with a J.D. from BUSL, the odds are pretty good that you will be able to make a lot of money.