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Messages - TTom

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81
For the record, without knowing what schools are being discussed here or what your situation is exactly, I would tend to say go to the tier 1. My points were only in response  to 'T Tom' who seems to think despite reasonable evidence that virtually all students at T3s are notably worse than virtually all students in T1s.

SamE397,

Most students at ttt schools ARE worse than students at tier 1s. This is not hyperbole; this is fact. Compare GPAs, LSAT scores, and the rigor of undergraduate education for incoming students. There is no reasonable evidence to the contrary.



82
Going to a ttt school with the intent of transferring is a mistake. Very few people will every have the grades necessary to transfer and, even if you're number 1 in your class from a ttt or tttt school, you're still not guaranteed a transfer spot at a tier 1 school.

One thing I have to disagree with is that people in the top 5% at a tier 3 have a harder work ethic than people in the top 25% at a tier 1. That's nonsense. Pura mierda.
1. I agree that's not the discussion though. The discussion was as to whether or not someone is in a better position ranking at the 25% at a school around 50 versus ranking in the top 5% of their class at a TTT school. In comparing the two, you have to account for transfer prospects.

2. As for the work ethic question, well I don't think that someone who went to say Chapman and ranked in the top 5% is necessarily a harder work than someone who went to UChicago and ranked around the 25% in fact they're probably not. We are talking about someone at a school ranked around 50 like University of Florida, and yes generally I do think assuming that both students reasonably matched the qualifications of the school they went to that a student in the top 5% at Chapman is probably a harder worker than a student at the 25% at Florida. 

Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Personally, I think anyone in the top 25% at a tier 1 school probably works as hard as you possibly can. Further, if you could get into a tier 1 school, and chose Chapman (whereas 99% of your cohorts at Chapman couldn't get into a tier 1 school), than it really wouldn't take an incredible effort to be top 5%. Quite frankly, you'd be competing against people who just don't have the same smarts.

A few things, you're making the assumption that you will be the only person (or you say about 1%) at Chapman who had the opportunity to go T1. 

- A lot more people than you'd imagine take the money and run.  People are debt adverse.  This is not as rare as you'd imagine.

- Some of these low scorers didn't study for the LSAT, had a bad day, dyslexic, or whatever.  You'll find that a few of them are smarter than their numbers would suggest.

- Some kids don't need to go to a good school.  With their parents' connections, all they need is a JD.  I know a couple really smart kids who went T4 for free because the quality of their JD didn't matter very much to them.  Their job is there upon a decent finish in their class.

- You could get sick.  If you get mono during the middle or the end of your semester, a lot of schools will give you NO leeway and your grades will suffer.  No coming back from this. You could also have varying personal crises that will destract.

- You may not be as good as you thought you were.  This, of course, is not necessarily directed as much as you, as it is to all of us.  I know a girl with a 162/4.0 who went to Ole Miss knowing she was going to clean up.  She didn't.  She's still not sure why.  But she wishes she would have stuck out Vandy's WL.


Basically, it's a lot harder to predict where you're going to finish in a class.  You think Top 5% at Chapman will be easy.  It WON'T be.  You might be able to do it, but if any of the above occurs, you will REGRET it.


I don't think top 5% would be easy. But it would be much easier than if the same person, working just as hard, went to a tier 1 school. Of that there is no doubt.

But to your larger point...

Very very few people who got into tier 1 schools will go to Chapman. If they got into tier 1 schools, it means that they probably also got into several tier 2 schools with money. Also, you seem far too quick to name the exceptions. The overwhelming majority of students at Chapman could not get into a tier 1 school and, if they someone were let in, would not finish above the bottom 25%.



83
Going to a ttt school with the intent of transferring is a mistake. Very few people will every have the grades necessary to transfer and, even if you're number 1 in your class from a ttt or tttt school, you're still not guaranteed a transfer spot at a tier 1 school.

One thing I have to disagree with is that people in the top 5% at a tier 3 have a harder work ethic than people in the top 25% at a tier 1. That's nonsense. Pura mierda.
1. I agree that's not the discussion though. The discussion was as to whether or not someone is in a better position ranking at the 25% at a school around 50 versus ranking in the top 5% of their class at a TTT school. In comparing the two, you have to account for transfer prospects.

2. As for the work ethic question, well I don't think that someone who went to say Chapman and ranked in the top 5% is necessarily a harder work than someone who went to UChicago and ranked around the 25% in fact they're probably not. We are talking about someone at a school ranked around 50 like University of Florida, and yes generally I do think assuming that both students reasonably matched the qualifications of the school they went to that a student in the top 5% at Chapman is probably a harder worker than a student at the 25% at Florida. 

Well, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Personally, I think anyone in the top 25% at a tier 1 school probably works as hard as you possibly can. Further, if you could get into a tier 1 school, and chose Chapman (whereas 99% of your cohorts at Chapman couldn't get into a tier 1 school), than it really wouldn't take an incredible effort to be top 5%. Quite frankly, you'd be competing against people who just don't have the same smarts.

84
Going to a ttt school with the intent of transferring is a mistake. Very few people will every have the grades necessary to transfer and, even if you're number 1 in your class from a ttt or tttt school, you're still not guaranteed a transfer spot at a tier 1 school.

One thing I have to disagree with is that people in the top 5% at a tier 3 have a harder work ethic than people in the top 25% at a tier 1. That's nonsense. Pura mierda.

85


You just described how you had a hard time getting a job out of undergrad because nobody had heard of your small liberal arts college. It's the same thing in law. Why in the world would somebody hire you from a law school that they've never heard from, has ZERO alumni representing the school in the firm, and has a bad reputation?

People will continue to ask the tier 1 or tttt for $$ question. Of those that go tttt, some will make it. Some. I'm talking a very small percentage.
Please allow me to turn the assumption on its head.  I certainly wouldn't want to go to a school that has terrible long-term job prospects over one that has good ones if I could afford the better one (which, frankly, is an issue itself).  What I am wondering is whether the better school really has the recruiting pull that everyone seems to think it does, and if so, does that extend to people who are not in the top 5% or so?  By all rights, my undergraduate school should have had people beating the door down to hire all the smart and mature people going there, but it didn't.  If the recruiting really isn't all it's cracked up to be, all I'll have accomplished is acquiring a zillion dollars of debt.  People on this board seem pretty sure that higher rank always equals better prospects, but experience has made me wary.  I'm sure that folks at, say, Harvard have firms lining up around the block to hire them for high-paying jobs, but what about Tulane, Wake Forest, or Temple?  Looking at some average salary data and hiring prospects between schools in lower T2 and T4 hasn't been reassuring.
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When I say tier 1, I'm referring to the 1-50 schools.  Job prospects at those tier 1 schools are better than job prospects at tier 2 schools, which are better than job prospects at tier 3 schools and so on.

Why is it so hard to believe that a higher ranking would lead to better job prospects? Put yourself in the shoes of an employer: you're a mid-size firm for your market (15-50 attorneys), paying 80k a year, with two schools in your region, one is ranked 47th and the other is ranked TTT (anywhere from 101 to 150). In this economy you have one position to fill for the summer. Do you choose the student that is in the top 25% of his class at the tier 1 school, or the student in the top 5% of his class at the tier 3 school? The tier 1 student has competed against MUCH tougher competition and is more valuable to you, as an employer, because clients are more likely to hire a firm with attorneys that attended more prestigious schools. Also, given that the criteria to get into the tier 1 school is much higher, the tier 1 student is likely more accomplished and, flat out, smarter.

Going to a ttt school when you could go to a tier 1 is a huge mistake. I would only recommend it if someone absolutely could not get into a better school and felt that it was the only way they could achieve fulfillment. That, or they've been guaranteed a cush job upon passing the bar regardless of where they went (i.e., working for daddy).

TTom
 

86
I've been accepted to a few (30's & 40's) Tier 1 and high Tier 2 schools, which I'm thrilled about, as well as to some Tier 4 schools.  I have not received any scholarships to the Tier 1 & 2 places, but I have some nice offers from the Tier 4 schools.  I would have to take on a lot of debt to pay for the better schools.  I know the conventional answer is "the better schools will be worth it in the long run," but I'm really not so sure.
One, I'm older and I won't have as long of a career to make up for the debt.  Two, my undergraduate experience has left a bad taste in my mouth.  I went to a small, fairly expensive liberal arts school on the assumption that the school's reputation would trump larger public universities. The school was highly ranked in the press (#1 for our region), but it wasn't Ivy League.  When I graduated, I (as well as almost all of my friends) had a terrible time finding a job.  People outside of my area had never heard of it, and simply assumed it was a party school.  Worse, the college's recruiting help was nonexistent.  I would've been much better off going someplace cheap that at least had some name recognition, if only for its sports team.
Advice, anyone, preferably based on real-world hiring?

This is not directed at you, but at this question in general, which is constantly being asked on LSD. Going to a tttt school is a mistake. Going to a tttt over a tier 1 is a stupid mistake.

You just described how you had a hard time getting a job out of undergrad because nobody had heard of your small liberal arts college. It's the same thing in law. Why in the world would somebody hire you from a law school that they've never heard from, has ZERO alumni representing the school in the firm, and has a bad reputation?

People will continue to ask the tier 1 or tttt for $$ question. Of those that go tttt, some will make it. Some. I'm talking a very small percentage.

87
Why is it ranked so low? Is is really that bad?

I'm interested in attending, the academic course offering seems fairly good, but don't understand why MSU is ranked in the 3rd tier? Is it due to economic reasons or is the school just not that great?

Any info would be helpful.

I hate to say the school isn't very good because I hate to say ANY school isn't very good. MSU probably has very good, dedicated professors. However, it doesn't have the "star" professors and the quality of the students is low. Many people believe, and I share in this belief, that the higher the level of student, the more you'll learn; that your fellow students are also a very big part of your education.



88
Thanks for the answer.  From talking to a few lawyers (with T1 degrees), they seem to think it does not matter as much.  From what I gather, if I work in the same city as the courting potential T3, I'm fine.  With T1, I can work regionally or in a few select cities that these school feeds into.  Does this seem correct.... 

at the very least, i would check the restrictions on the full scholarship. if it's unconditional, it might be worth it. if it requires a 3.0 and the curve is 2.5 or something, i would think twice.

I know the scholarship is tempting but I plead you to speak with other people than those of us on this board. Hop online, find a firm you respect/admire, and email the hiring partner or recruiting director. Be very police and respectful and keep it short. Email a few people and you'll get at least one response.

It's important that potential students realize this is a long term investment. You might save some money in the short run, but you've got your whole career to think about. Flat out, although many ttt/tttt students will do very well in life, they are the minority. Most of them are struggling to find jobs paying at or below 50,000 per year. 

89
I'm sure you guys considered this... but I'll tell you a story.  I had a full ride to a T4 and acceptances from a T1 and some T2s.  I had savings, no debt, and loved the idea of not borrowing.  I have since transferred and am paying full tuition at a T2.

1.  Having experienced OCI, networking, career services, and local job markets at 2 law schools.  I can tell you a few things... It is true the average lawyer could care less (outside of the T-10) where you graduated from.  The problem is the average lawyer isn't out recruiting or hiring in their market.  Also, hiring partners often have resumes screened, it is not unusual for lower ranked schools resumes to never make it to his/her desk after they are picked through.  Finally, initial job prospects, employers that recruit on campus...overall opportunity is far lower at the lower ranked schools, the experience is vastly different.

2.  People lose scholarships at these lower ranked schools all the time.  My school's were randomly pegged at 2.9 or 3.0 gpa.  The school awarded scholarships to half the entering class and then artificially deflated the curve by sections.  Essentially the curve was kept at a 2.7 and all of the students with at least half scholarships are put in an "honors" section.... competing against each other.  End result 60% of those scholarship recipients were full paying tuition students for their final 2 years.  My gpa was 2.96, guess what my scholarship was pegged to?  ***I know what the obvious rebuttal is..".won't happen to me, I have never gotten grades lower than B's etc.  Stuff happens though, like getting a 95% in Legal Writing and finding out after grades are given that a last minute change to the section curve makes it a B+.  Instead of a 3.03, you have a 2.96.

 I'm no math geek, but you'll see most T3/T4 scholarships have statistical odds stacked against them.  Schools just can't hand out that free money to that many people. 

Best of luck in your decisions.




I think you're spot on. Although many lawyers will say that it doesn't matter where you get your JD, the fact is that for those that actually do the hiring, it does. A quick glance at NALP will confirm this.

I personally know of one student, very likeable, who finished number 1 at a ttt and could not find employment. And I stress that there was nothing socially awkward about him that would have prevented him from getting hired. 

90
LSAT horror stories / Re: Need some advice
« on: February 10, 2009, 11:04:58 AM »

I'm with this guy. Saying that TTT and TTTT grads will not find a job as a blanket statement is just ridiculous. SO much depends on where you live or are willing to go to school.

I go to a TTT in a state where there are only two schools and mine is the slightly higher regarded of the two. We have one pretty big market with a handful of firms that pay well into the 6 figures for starting associates. We also have several decent sized markets that you can make good money in with a great quality of life and the states immediately bordering mine hire a lot of people from my schools during 2L summer.

If you are hell bent on being on a coast...maybe I would agree to an extent with the original argument. But those of us that aren't interested in that can do very well coming out of a state school with good grades. Even right now in this poo economy because our firms aren't the ones laying off hundreds of attys...

If you can do well enough on the LSAT to get into a TT I would encourage it. But if all you can muster is a TTT or TTTT, please think carefully before doing it. (You won't.)

BULLCRAP.  Any graduate from any school can get a job in law.  This LSAT is complete crap, and not every school relies on it so heavily.

I work at a law firm that hires interns out of Harvard and Yale and guess what?  All of them have sucked.  They all came to us with a sense of entitlement and they all cheated their way through their internships (by claiming graded credit when they didn't fulfill their obligations to the law firm).  I've witnessed a couple of them (from Yale) flunk the Massachusetts bar.



So scoring high on an LSAT and getting into a top tiered school doesn't mean the student's not an a-hole.  It just means the student's an a-hole with a sense of entitlement.

TTom, I highly encourage you to GO FOR IT.  Study up and take the test a third time in two years.  You seem like a thoughtful person who's discouraged, and don't let the negative blowhards on this site discourage you by saying you're not cut out for it.

If you want it badly enough, then you're cut out for it.  GO FOR IT.  All you really need to practice law is admission to a state bar.  Period.  Build your contacts now, do great in whatever school you attend (on whatever tier you can get into) and GO FOR IT.

I wish you all the best.  And to the blowhards who are negative, I wish all the worst.

Lawless,

My comment wasn't intended as a blanket statement. I know that many students who go to ttt and tttt schools will become very good lawyers and will have very good jobs. Those that end up with good jobs, however, are in the minority.

If anyone has to be a lawyer, then yes, go to any school you can get into. But please be fully aware of the economics involved. That's all I'm saying.

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