Law School Discussion

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31
Look back at previous cycles. Look at schools other than BU. Look at a "range" of numbers close to yours. A 2.8-2.9 with a 170+ may be "rare" but is not rare if you're talking about splitters. A 2.0 with a 180 is a different story.

Here is an example from a few years back when I was first deciding whether or not to apply to law school:

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/burghblast


32
Forget about those index calculators. They don't really tell you much and they're basically useless for splitters. Look at LSN. That will give you clues about what schools are splitter friendly and which ones are not. There are also many threads on this board about splitters.

33
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Schools in Boston
« on: October 13, 2009, 06:32:48 PM »
Well not exactly. There are groupings within even the top schools. And students from schools like Yale and Stanford tend to funnel into prestigious judicial clerkships.

For example, you're going to need roughly the same percentile rank to get a biglaw job from Michigan and Virginia even though one might be ranked higher than the other in any given year.

Plus firms like diversity in their classes, Biglaw firm X in NYC might rather hire, say 5 students each from UM, UVA, and Penn, even though UM has a larger class and there are more students sitting at X percentile rank that Biglaw firm X requires than at the other two schools. And students from say, Berkeley might prefer to take a job at a firm that pays biglaw money, but only has west coast offices, which means those students don't fit the definition of what many people think is biglaw.

I think once you get past UCLA/USC/Vandy/Texas, the rankings become pretty mushy. For example, does WashU really place better than GW? I doubt it, but in recent years WashU has been higher ranked. Schools like W&L, W&M, Minnesota, etc. have never had great biglaw placement. Yet those are so-called top 30 schools. Ranking doesn't equate with placement.

Check this out for a very rough idea of how biglaw placement works. Note that when the data the legal job market was in a boom. Or at least the tail end of a boom.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/04/law-school-rank.html

Here is another interesting link. Note that this is for the class of 2005.

http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/20080414employment_trends.pdf

Basically, in a good economy, if you want a very good chance at a biglaw job, you're best shot is to attend a top 10 school, or preferably, a top 5 school.

Just keep in mind that right now all bets are off for biglaw no matter where you go unless the economy substantially improves. And outside of biglaw, salaries drop off considerably. Depending on what state or region you are in, $30-50K at a small firm might be considered "good" if you can find a legal job at all. For the next few years, you are going to see a lot of fresh law grads doing quasi-legal or non-legal work for low pay. Many will be lucky to have health insurance and a salaried position. That's even students from top 20 schools.

34
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Schools in Boston
« on: October 13, 2009, 03:09:19 PM »
Even if Northeastern had traditional grades and the economy was good, you'd still need to be near the top of the class to get a biglaw job. Biglaw rarely recruits below the top 10% at the schools ranked in the 50-100 range. Biglaw from these schools doesn't become an "option" until you make the grades, plain and simple.

If you're at a school below the top 25 or so, you're going to need high grades and probably law review as well. Right now, even students at the top 10-15 schools are having trouble getting biglaw jobs. I doubt the situation is going to improve in the next couple of years.

What I'm trying to say is, if you're looking at non-top schools and comparing them with Northeastern I doubt attending one of those other schools is going to confer any advantage. Unless you can get in-state residency and in-state tuition to save money. Other than that, attending Northeastern and living at home to save $$$ on living expenses seems like a pretty good idea.

Personally, I don't think the co-op program is a gimmick, but I don't attend Northeastern so I don't know if it's any good. I wish more schools (including my t14) would make more of an effort for students to gain a substantial amount of school credit through similar programs.

35
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Need Some Advice
« on: October 13, 2009, 09:05:20 AM »
Definitely research the residency requirements. It may turn out that you can get residency in one state but not the other...or that you have to jump through extra hoops to get residency. Residency may also differ from one Ohio university to the next.

Also, keep in mind that even these schools, like UBalt, Akron, Toledo, Cleveland State, etc are still going to want a decent LSAT for schools of their ilk.

You might want to check their stats, but I think it safe to say that if you score below 150, you're going to have trouble getting admitted to even the part-time programs at these schools.

Remember that even with in-state tuition, you are still looking at $90K or more to go to any of these schools for 3 years, and you will be lucky to find a secure job that pays $40K / per year with health insurance out of any of these schools. And if the economy doesn't improve you will be lucky to find any paying legal job at all.

Lastly, you should check your state bar rules before stepping foot in law school. Get a lawyer that specializes in bar admission issues. You want to be sure that you're not going to have any character and fitness problems with the bar before stepping foot in law school due to your health issues.

36
Transferring / Re: Transfer to Masters
« on: October 13, 2009, 08:45:07 AM »
You need to talk to your school(s). I know of one student who was in a dual degree JD/MBA program who quit law school after one year. The student decided to finish the MBA part of the dual degree and was able to still get some of the law school credits to count towards the MBA.

It all depends on the school(s) and I wouldn't bank on having anything count towards a Master's degree until you ask the right people at your school(s).

37
Tax LLM programs will care most about grades in Tax classes, not LLM classes in global basketweaving law or anything else.

I'm not even sure if it's possible to get another LLM if you've already got one. Check with the schools. Even if they let you do it, why on earth would you think it would be a good idea? I hope you aren't planning to take out loans for it.

Let me guess, you did an LLM and it didn't help you get a job and now you think by doing a tax LLM from a top school will help break you into some kind of high paying job?

I'm afraid that isn't likely. Even tax LLMs from the top schools have been having a hard time finding jobs for the last few years. Even JD grads from top schools who came out in the last couple years are having a hard time finding any decent work.

38
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Need Some Advice
« on: October 10, 2009, 01:37:16 PM »
What kind of lawyer do you envision yourself? Is personal injury OK, or is it Mergers & Acquisitions or bust?

This is the big question right here.

I'd also add that if you are coming straight from undergrad, you probably don't really know what lawyers do or what it is like to be an attorney. Consider getting a job as a paralegal after college is over. Do that for a year or so and see what happens. You may decide being a lawyer isn't really what you want to do after all. If you decide to attend a state t3/t4 law school, you can continue working there while you attend classes at night.

39
Law School Applications / Re: Legal Issues
« on: October 09, 2009, 04:55:12 PM »
I agree with Matthies. Apply now if you absolutely must, but don't get your hopes up. I would start making plans for something to do for the next 1-2 years just in case law school doesn't work out this cycle. Definitely get into a program. Last thing you want to do is get another DUI or other legal problem once you are in school.

40
I HIGHLY doubt it will help your job prospects. Grads of such specialized Master's programs usually have a tough time finding work in their fields anyway. I don't see how combining that with a law degree in going to enhance your prospects. Taking into account the additional debt and it doesn't seem like a good idea at all. Joint degrees are generally a bad idea.

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