JasonTaylor Dr. Balsenchaft is right there will be some doors closed to you if you are a T-2, T-3, T-4 student. People that get into Harvard, Yale, Standford are brilliant and more than likely the worst student at Harvard would probably be near the top of the class at the T-4 I attend. However, this board often seems to make T-4, T-3 schools as a place where crackheads reside getting into any ABA school is an accomplishment considering you essentially have to get above a 3.0 in undergrad, which for people considering law school does not seem that difficult, but the majority of undergraduate students do not achieve that. Even after doing well in undergrad to have a realistic shot at getting into an ABA school you need to get 150 or above on the LSAT, which requires you to do better than 50% of LSAT test takers. So getting into an ABA school is an accomplishment, but people that make it to Harvard or Yale are smarter, more motivated, or have amazing connections. Therefore, they will have more options than those that attend lower schools. If you want to practice Big Law and make some serious money then I would not recommend going to a T-4 go look at the big firms like White & Case or O'Melveny & Myers and you can see where the attorneys went to school. The majority went to top tier schools, you will find a handful of T-4 and T-3 grads, but click on attorneys that attended Harvard Law School and you will see about 100 attorneys pop up. Click on Golden Gate or Southwestern and maybe one will appear.
Now if you go to a lower ranked school you are not going to be destitute there are plenty of opportunities in smaller firms or government, but the money is not going to be great and you will likely be more than 100,000 in debt. I think the real reason lower ranked schools get a bad wrap is that the media portrays lawyers as jet-setting millionaires, but that is not the case even for a lot of Harvard Grads. No lower ranked school is going to tell you that the red-carpet is going to be rolled out for you upon graduation, but people considering law school take the LSAT and don't break 160 and think they will go a lower ranked school and be the exception and be handed a 100,000 a year job at graduation. Instead what happens is that law school graduates from lower ranked schools wind up 100,000 in debt and look for a few months for employment after graduation and get a job paying 40 to 60k and it is more likely they could have spent the last 3 years of their life making money doing something else and not paying 100,000 for the education. If you wen to law school to make money then you would not be happy, if on the other hand you went in wanting to be a lawyer, because you find the profession interesting then you will be satisfied. The main point of this post is that a T-4 or lower ranked school won't leave you homeless and be proud of your accomplishment for getting in, but don't be naive to think you are going to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court if you went to a T-4 school. Be sure that you can be happy with the legal profession and I would recommend being a paralegal and you will see the long hours that lawyers put in and you will see lawyers are not exorbitantly rich they are living upper-middle class or middle class lifestyles and have to pay down their student loans for years. JasonTaylor you should be excited about making it into an ABA school, but you do need to realize that a Harvard Grad and the other T-14 grads who go into the market when you graduate will have more career options and that attending a lower ranked school will close some doors, going to a T-4 I am pretty confident I will not be the next President of the United States or sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, or even be work in Big Law right after graduation. However, a current Harvard student can believe they have a chance at those opportunities.
Your overall tone is absolutly depressing.Though, you'd probably argue that its realistic.
And perhaps it is, but the reasoning to me is a little off. It appeared to me that you were putting
Ivy Leaguers on somewhat of a pedestal, and telling yourself that they are in some way better
than you. Because of their prestige the world might see it that way, but personally I could
not accept that as a truth, and I don't see why you would be willing to.
While I will not deny that some are truly geniuses, I believe it may be foolish to say that
all are inherently "smarter" than students at lower ranked schools.
A teacher once told me that college is more a test of endurance,than a test of smarts.
I believe that alot of them just made more responsible choices than the average college kid.
They endured regular study schedules opposed to cramming for exams.
Maybe they began work on term papers when they were assigned, instead of a week prior to.
Perhaps they sacraficed getting wasted on college night, to do assigned readings.
Maybe they chose to expand their quest for knowledge outside of the classroom, and instead
of sitting in the desk like a lemming waiting to be spoon fed, they contributed knowledgably to
discussions. Perhaps they went the extra mile to forge relationships with professors.
In that sense perhaps they are smarter. But these are things that all of us could do. Most of us
just choose not to. In doing such we choose our own path. My point is a lot of the Ivy Leaguers
aren't anymore capable than most students at a state school, they were probably just more
motivated in undergrad. Thus, the rest of us were lazy! Anything less than a 3.o is lazy!
Your post makes me wonder, which is more difficult, to become smarter or to become more motivated?
This is, mind you, someone who's always struggled with motivation.