« on: December 14, 2010, 01:58:33 PM »
I am AA 3L at a Tier one (top 35). I rank in the top 10% of my class and have a federal judicial clerkship lined up. With your credentials and soft factors, assuming you don't blow your personal statement and have a respectable resume, you are a lock for top-14. Actually, as a URM with those numbers, you stand a chance of getting accepted to Yale, Harvard, Stanford, or Columbia.
But I don't think it is advisable to go to one of these schools. In terms of raw intelligence, you will place in the bottom 25% of the student body. Although law school is a little different than taking a test, I can assure that you will find it daunting to land a spot in the top quarter of your class, let alone the top 10%. As a rule of thumb, I think you should go to a school where you will be above the median LSAT/GPA (espeically LSAT) cutoff. Provided that you work super hard, you will find it much easier to make top 5 or 10%. What you have to appreciate is that top 5 to 10% at a top-35 Tier 1 is more conducive to getting a good job than attending a top-5 and ranking in the top 50%.
Are you willing to travel? There are some Midwestern lawschools that you should look into. Post back if you want more info.