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Messages - bigs5068

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I was in a similar situation when I choose my school and I took the money. At this point I think I made the right choice, but I am only two years in. The rankings are not based on anything so they should not be a huge factor in your decision. The rankings are adamantly disapproved by the ABA, AALS, and LSAC they even wrote a whole article about it on their website. When choosing between tier 2,3,4 schools location is probably the most important thing to consider. The cost is also important and graduating debt free is pretty sweet.

I attend a tier 4 and I know 6 people that transferred to Tier 2 Santa Clara then graduated from there and ended up working with GGU grads, but paid 80k more to end up in the same spot. In my second year law student opinion, which does not mean much it seems like you either go to an ELITE school or you go to an ABA school. You can pay 130,000 more to go to a school in a twelve way tie for 84th place (yes there is currently a twelve way tie for 84th place)  or graduate from the 142nd best. I don't know if that many people care if you went to a school in a twelve way tie for 84th or the 142nd best, but 120 k accruing 8% interest will make a significance difference in your life. I would vote for the tier 4 if it is in a location you can see yourself living in. Below is a detailed explanation of why the rankings are highly suspect.

One thing to look into is the 2.6 G.P.A. requirement though. The school you attend might only allow 50% of the class to get a 2.6 or less and if that is the case then the tier 2 might be better. The conditions in the scholarship are something to be very careful about and you can lose 50-60k if you don't understand them. This article specifically discusses my school, but unlike the people that were "shocked" that a school was not guaranteeing them $50,000 I asked questions.  You should do the same my school told me in the first year only 35% of the class could have a 3.0 and I knew that meant there was a 65% chance I would lose it, but I knew the risks worked hard and kept it. Point being really understand the conditions. Law school GPA's are nothing like undergrad G.P.A's and getting a 3.0 or even 2.6 at some school can be very difficult.

This article published by LSAC does a good job of explaining how the rankings work.

The rankings outside of elite schools i.e. Harvard, Yale, don't mean much. This is literally the system and not a joke. Lawyers and Judges from around the country mark a scantron from 1-5. So a judge in Nebraska checks a box from 1-5 to determine whether University of Miami is a 3 or 4. The Nebraska judge is unlikely to have ever met anyone from Miami and would be unable to give any type of accurate assessment of the school, but the ranking goes in.  Besides not interacting with anyone from 90% of the schools it is pretty difficult to tell whether something is 83rd or 84th best so they just make everything a tie.  There is currently a 12 way tie for 84th place. Besides all the ties etc schools drop and rise upwards of 20 spots in a given year. The reason for this is there is no methodology in place.

As a result of the questionable methodology the ABA and AALS publicly condemn the rankings. It needs to be noted that U.S. News is not officially regulated by anyone and it is a for profit magazine offering their subjective opinion based on questionable methodology. Obviously Harvard, Yale, etc are top schools and you should go, but the 58th or 72nd best school nobody cares especially considering they jump drastically from year to year.

Here are just a few of the biggest jumps from 2010-2011 that I noticed. .

Nebraska went from unranked tier 3 in 2010 to #84 in 2011, but not just any #84 rank a TWELVE way tie for 84th place. I donít even know how you can have a twelve way tie for 84th place, but they managed to do it.

LSU went from 75 into this twelve way tie for 84th place. So it is not clear if LSU went from 75 to the 96th or 84th best school because there is a twelve way tie for the prestigious honor of 84th place.

Kansas went from 65 in 2010 to a 5 way tie for 79th place.

Catholic went from a 4 way tie for 94th place in 2010 up to a 5 way tie for 79th place in 2011.

LMU from 71 in 2010 to 54 in 2011.
Emory from #20 to a 4 way tie to #30.

What changed at any of these schools in one year I donít know if anyone can say. More impressive yet is in the new rankings they just make 4 way ties for everything. In the 2011 ranking the following ties involving four or more schools occurred, 5 way tie for 30th place, 4 way tie for 35th place,  5 way tie for 42nd place, 4 way tie for 50th place, 4 way tie for 56th place.

After 56 the ties get really impressive!  6 way tie for 61st place, 4 way tie for 71st place, 6 way tie for 71st place, 5 way tie for 79th place, then my favorite 12 way tie for 84th place, then they round it up with a 5 way tie for 95th and then wrap up the top 100 with 4 schools tied for 100th best. lists actual salary numbers of each individual school so it has some reliability and is worth taking a look at.

The point of this entire rant is that outside of TOP schools the ranking donít mean much. If you rank in the top 10% at a tier 1 school you will have more doors open to you than if you finish in the top 10% at a tier 4 school, but there is a 90% chance you wonít be in the top 10%. If you can get significant scholarship money at a tier 3 or 4 school in the location you want to live in then it might be the better option. If you can get a full ride at Willamette it might be better than paying full tuition at Lewis & Clark. University of Oregon is also a solid option. They will all open doors, but be careful of the costs. Remember no matter what school you go to whether or not you have a successful legal career depends on YOU.

Sorry for the long rant, but many 0Lís including myself when choosing law schools put WAY to much emphasis on the rankings. I was shocked to learn how horrible the methodology was, but it is not U.S. News' fault they are making money off this and never say it is supposed to be anything other than an opinion. I would do the same thing, but you are the one who is going to be paying 100K plus in tuition along with 3 years of your life so make the decision based on what you want not what this unregulated for-profit magazine thinks.     

Waitlists are awesome I applied to a school in September and I was still on the waitlists when I started my first day of law school somewhere else and 11 months later they rejected me pretty ridiculous. You can look at to see when they start accepting people off waitlists. last person accepted on this site was 3/18/11 with a 148 LSAT 3.59 GPA, but they withdrew. This is not all applicants, but you can get some idea of when the list is moving by checking this site. Good luck to you.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I think schools just look at UGPA. It is all part of the U.S. News scam that has arisen, but schools can't report your MBA or MSFIN GPA to them and a 2.5 UGA is probably not going to cut it for Georgetown. It sucks that something that happened when you were 18 stays with you especially when you are clearly capable of doing well, but that is what U.S. News has done to legal education. Maybe I am wrong, but check out and you can see what schools you are likely to get into with your numbers. You can also see scholarship numbers as well. A 170 LSAT is very impressive though, but I personally don't think a T14 school would allow a 2.5 GPA because of U.S. News, but I am only a second year law student and not an admissions officer so I might be wrong and hopefully I am.

It is strange that it is moving. I could see a school moving to a new building or something, but a cross country move seems a bit odd. The guy does own the city he is moving it to so that might give it some clout, but the whole situation sounds strange. Sometimes strange things work out though and you never know maybe Ave Maria will perform really well out there .

to FalconJimmy I don't think any job is easy to obtain, but I think getting a job in Fresno would be much easier than San Francisco. I don't know what state you are in, but the Po-Dunk towns in California would be big cities elsewhere. The Fresno/Central Valley area contains about 1-2 million people and VERY FEW people want to live there. I am guessing their D.A., P.D, office would love ABA grads. The San Joaquin Valley College of Law a CBA school in that area does quite well and if you look at Fresno firms you will see that school has a lot of grads working the area. I think if you had an ABA degree and wanted to go to that area it would be hard, but it could probably be done. This is all speculation from a second year law student, but that seems to be the setup. Most of the CBA schools in California are setup in small towns by California standards that people don't want to work in. Cal Northern servicing the real Northern California region is another example. If the OP went to Ave Maria or even Barry with an ABA degree they might be welcomed in these areas if they passed the bar. Many job postings in California just want ABA schools. We have 35 million people here and around 150,000 licensed attorneys (this an estimate) in the state so there is work, but in the big cities L.A, S.F, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento it is harder.

Just to add to this you can find pretty high paying jobs in sh***y areas. . Now Fresno is not a top destination for anyone in California, but I imagine they would be thrilled to have any ABA law school graduate. Same with Solano County or any of the other numerous random counties in California Butte, Siskiyou, etc. In these areas there are NO lawyers at all. Hence the CBA accredited schools popped up here. The point of this post is that there are legal jobs for ABA law school grads, but if you want to be a lawyer in New York, San Francisco, L.A., where you are competing with people from Harvard etc it will be very tough to get anything. There are a lot of lawyers, doctors, etc in these areas and if you want a good job in these cities after graduation you need to be in the top 10-20% of your class or go to a TOP school. There are exceptions and if you go to one of these po-dunk towns and really learn how to get sh** done it can transfer back. Point being there are JOBS for lawyers. It will require sacrifice etc. I don't know how many people at my law school talk about working for U.N. or doing international business law at graduation and sadly they are probably going to be disappointed. I don't even know if they hand those jobs out to recent grads and they certainly will not give them to someone with no experience, no fluency in another language, who finished in the bottom half of the class at the 132nd best school. When this common-sense conclusion hits these people they form sites like JDunderground and instead of going to get available jobs they bi*** about how they are not doing EXACTLY what they want to do.

Bottom line there are law jobs out there, but becoming a big law partner, judge, UN director is unlikely. 

There are jobs, but not  all jobs are glamorous. You can be a divorce attorney, dui defense, PI, research attorney, F.B.I. or law enforcement, there are numerous jobs, but you have to look and you CAN get hired even if you don't do well academically. If you perform poorly academically it will be an uphill battle and nobody says others. Even if you finish in the top 10% of your class or graduate from a T14 school nobody is necessarily going to hand you anything.

It is no different than college do you think when I graduated with a bachelors degree from an unknown state school people were knocking down my door to give me a job? No not even close. What I had to do was go out and apply it took 8  frustrating of nothing. I probably sent out 1,000 applications went to numerous interviews, but people don't hand out jobs. I did eventually get a pretty cool job, but it took a  lot of rejection and work. All students need to realize that graduating with J.D, B.A, etc whatever the degree is the bare "MINIMUM" you can do. Once you get that degree you will have to fight to get a job nothing will be handed to you. There are jobs for law school graduates, but they are competitive and hard to get. If you go to Barry, GGU, hell even if you go to a low level tier 1 you are going to get rejected often. You have to keep going though because nobody owes you anything and if you cannot accept rejection then don't go to law school in fact don't ever try to do anything.

I suppose the answer is to graduate from high school then work at McDonald's. There are plenty of jobs and McDonald's and you might  work your way to assistant manager by age 30. Then live in a 1 bedroom apartment until you die and you will have never taken a risk or been rejected your entire life. 

I cannot stand how much law students/grads complain everything is unfair, everything is hard, there are "no" jobs yet people do get hired somehow. It is HARD life is HARD and bottom line is go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. There are jobs, but it is competitive it is hard and you probably won't be doing some glamorous work for the ACLU, or some riveting first amendment litigation. Instead you might file a complaint for a negligence in an auto accident or something less glamorous. The odds of you becoming a judge, big-law partner, etc are very small. There are plenty of jobs for lawyers out there though and those are not the only two options.

So to the OP if you want to be a lawyer go to Barry/Ave Maria if you have the strong religious affiliation. Realize it is a significant financial risk, it is a large time investment, and it might not work out. If you don't want to be a lawyer don't go to law school. The law is not a guarantee and neither is anything else. Again if someone does know of some degree that I can get that guarantees me a cush corner office, 150k a year salary, only requires me to work when I feel like it PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET ME KNOW! I will start down that path, but as far as I can tell life is hard and starting a career is difficult. Going to a less than school doesn't give you any advantages, but you can still succeed. See the list of super lawyers I posted above. This goes to show that it is ultimately up to YOU.

Fair enough law school is a HUGE investment and you are not entitled to nothing even if you attend a T14.

I knew the burdens of going to law school when I enrolled and when I was offered a scholarship I asked questions about the difficulty and they were quite honest with me because I asked. These crybabies did not take the initiative and assumed everything would be gravy and it wasn't. You have to take accountability for yourself and your decisions period.

The law is a difficult and stressful profession and you should know that before enrolling. You are going to take on tremendous debt that you may never pay off. If you want to attend law school and realize that going 100k in debt, 3 years of your life, and no guarantee of employment then you should go for it. This might work out it might not.

I have never indicated going to T4 school for the hell of it is a good idea. Going to any law school for the hell of it is a bad idea. In fact going to any form of higher education for the hell of it is a bad idea. However, if you want to be a lawyer go to law school, but realize it is going to be a difficult and expensive path with no guarantee of any reward. Nothing worth doing in life comes easy and whether you want to be a lawyer, doctor, nurse, NBA player, there will be a lot of sacrifice, hard work, etc with no guarantee of reward at the end.

Yes the lower the tier the harder the burden, but what advantage does the 99th best school give you over the 124th? I honestly have no idea. There is no doubt going to Cooley will present a tougher road than going to Harvard. However, some Cooley grads are more successful than Harvard grads. I would never bet on the Cooley grad having a more successful career than a Harvard grad, but it can and does happen. Cooley Super Lawyers 189 of them.

A tier 1 University of Arizona has 331

Or tier 2 University of Oregon with 335

Tier 3 Drake with 252

Tier 4 GGU with 204

Then an ELITE SCHOOL Harvard 3,619

Basically the low tier 1,2,3,4  you have the same doors open and if you are good then it will get figured out and if your not that will also get figured out. Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but if you go to Barry, GGU,Drake, University of Arizona, University of Oregon or basically any law school period don't expect anything to be handed to you. You will need to fight to find a job then fight to keep it. It is a competitive field and it certainly helps to go to Harvard. However, if you go to Barry, FCSL, Miami, FIU, Nova, whatever school in Florida if you do a good job then things will work out. If you do a shi*** job it won't. You can find something to do somewhere even if it were pro bono work, which certainly sucks if you are 100k in debt, but you have to get experience and there are plenty of ways to do it you just need to look.

I am sure the OP realizes Barry or Ave Maria are not Ivy League Institutions and at graduation there will not be people in the audience fighting to sign Barry Graduates to lucrative associate position contracts. The OP will have to go out and find work themselves because nobody jumps through hoops for a Barry grad, but they can get and do get hired.

Fine.  Med students have it easy and law students have an impossibly horrendous burden to overcome and nothing is more unfair than law school. Every other profession in America & the world results in jobs being handed to them.

Maybe med school is better I don't know I never had any desire to be a doctor. Even if it was a guaranteed job I would not want to do it. My point to the OP was if you want to be a lawyer go to law school and in a few years your competence or incompetence as a lawyer will decide how successful you are.

I even remember your posts from a year ago saying how unfair the system was when you were nearing the end of your judicial clerkship and didn't have anything lined up. Sure enough you kept applying then said you got an awesome job and congratulations on that. It was not an easy road and you were stressed about the whole thing or at least that is what you wrote on the board, but in time it did up working out. This is how it goes in every profession and I am sure even your brother was stressed about obtaining residency, but he ended up with 4 and that is awesome.

Succeeding in life is HARD. The higher up the occupational ladder you go the more difficult it becomes. I don't think it is that hard to get a job at McDonald's, but it is difficult to get a job as a nurse, attorney, doctor, etc. I don't think anything gets handed to you even if you attend Harvard it is a struggle to get started, but the longer you do it the more options open up. If you have 20 years of experience as a lawyer you will be doing alright for yourself. If you got a high school diploma and worked construction for 20 years you won't be much further along then you were 20 years ago and that is why education is a LONG-TERM investment.

I am guessing as a resident he is locked in for 5 years making 50k while his student loan debt of 200k accrues 8% interest at the rate of 16k per year. He will be taxed for making 50k a year bringing home 35k while his student loan accrues 16k so he has 19k to spend on rent, food, etc for the year.

I don't know if those numbers are exactly right, but from the med students I have talked to you are locked in for a average salary for 5 years and you have a hefty student loan bill that is accruing interest. This is all based on hearsay so maybe I am wrong, but it seems like that is not a PERFECT system. Not to mention your brother could f**k up during his residency and lose his license, be sued by a lawyer, or any of the other perils that being a doctor presents.

So being a doctor is not perfect. It is awesome he received the offers and that he is a doctor, but his life is not going to be free of monetary worries or being stressed out at work etc.

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