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Messages - Dixon

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My brother is a respected attorney on the partner track at a prominent law firm in the area where I eventually want to practice and I asked him about rankings and tiers and how  they effect employment opportunities. He knew how it worked at his firm but he called other lawyers around town to see how they saw the whole thing and gave me the general pecking order for hiring new attorneys.

Now this applies only to my neck of the woods (a mid-sized city in the deep South) and certainly does not represent how other markets operate but I think that it's a good illustration of how little rankings can matter in certain areas and how important it is to do research before passing up scholarship opportunities or paying thousands and thousands of dollars more to go to a slightly higher ranked school.

First in line are the guys with the family names regardless of the school they attended or their ability. Nepotism and the good ole boy system is alive and well in the south and it's hard to compete with guys from old families.

Next are the guys who have family members or friends that have pull in the legal community and can introduce them around town to other lawyers, vouch for them, and call in favors.

After that are the people with the best credentials (top of their class, Law review, etc) regardless of the national rank of their school.

Then come the guys that graduated from the dominant law school in the area- again regardless of how it ranks nationally.

Last is everyone else.

He also mentioned that some firms prefer to hire the boys from the area because firms invest a lot of resources in new attorneys and don't want them leaving town after a few years.

I see people on this board posting thing like "School A might jump from Tier 3 to Tier 2 and that will mean a HUGE increase in prestige and better job opportunities" or "School X is ranked 8 places higher than school Y so I would be stupid to go to attend a such a lower ranked school" when this may or may not matter in the market where they want to practice.

I'm not trying to start a debate or advocate anything. I just wanted to point out that it is important to evaluate your individual situation and the market where you want to practice and not rely completley on rankings and the conventional wisdom of this message board.

For Tennessee schools I belive that there are three ways:

1. Work full time and go to school part time,

2. Be married to someone that works full time in Tennessee, or

3. Own a house (not property like an acre of undeveloped land). You don't have to be the only owner but your name needs to be on the deed.

I called and talked to the admisssions people at Memphis and this is what I got out of the conversation. There could be more to it but it's not like some other states where you register to vote, get a state drivers license, etc etc.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Thoughts on Mercer
« on: March 08, 2005, 09:37:49 AM »
I'm in the same boat. I would love to go to Mercer but I don't want to go $120,000 into debt to do it. I've been trying to convince myself that it is worth it but I can't seem to do it.

I wish somebody would say something that would make going there seem reasonable...

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Georgia State!!
« on: February 14, 2005, 01:44:04 PM »

In the Samford acceptance package I got they sent along information about a free relocation service. You might want to call the admissions office if you did not get it.

At the very least they could send you some maps of the area and may give you some price ranges.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Samford
« on: February 09, 2005, 11:15:55 AM »
Is it true that Samford used to be known as Howard? I was watching an interview with Bobby Bowden several months ago and he mentioned that he used to play ball for Howard, which I thought was strange because Howard is a black college. Then I think I heard that Samford used to be known as Howard.
It's been in the back of my mind for months.

     They lost my dean's cert- twice. They finaly told me to faxt it to them and then gave me the wrong fax number (I found out because I called the next day to verify the number before I had my school send the fax).
     I got accepted today but won't be attending.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Fourth Tier Vs. Non- ABA
« on: February 04, 2005, 09:32:17 PM »
The Charleston School of Law (in SC) just opened this year and will not be accredited for a couple of years (in time for the graduation of the first class). While it is still a risk some very powerful people in the state have staked their reputations on it. I'm from the area and from the talk around town it is going to be a "real" law school in the next few years. (By "real" I mean it's not going to languish in the fouth tier).
You might want to look them up, although with your numbers you are by no means a lock.

My brother talks about people that pulled crap like hiding books back when he was in law school. The problem with doing that is after a while people can pretty much figure out who is behind those shinanigans and they get bad reputations.

He's now a successful attorney and has actually kept people from getting jobs by badmouthing them about dirty tricks they pulled way back when...

So even if they are bigger and can kick your ass you can get them back later on down the road.

Lord Bartha is 100% right. Don't mentions your addiction in your PS.
In recovery I am sure that you have learned a lot about yourself and the way you view others. Talk about that rather than your disease. Mention how you have grown spiritually blah blah blah. But don't give them any reason to turn you down.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Arkansas-Fayetteville
« on: January 10, 2005, 08:56:14 PM »
Same thing happened to me. I got an email from the dean asking for a resume and personal statement and 20 minutes after I sent it he emailed me back telling me I was accepted.

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