« on: December 15, 2010, 10:50:53 AM »
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.
That is truly some of the worst advice I have seen on this board ever and should be summarily disregarded.
OP sure, you could go to a lower ranked school, bust your butt (knowing of course that there's not a perfect correlation between GPA/LSAT, so you won't want to sleep on any of your classmates' intellectual ability), and then cross your fingers about getting a job after law school. Orrrrrr, you could go to a T14 school and have a much easier time getting to the job point. Sure, with this economy it's anything but a sure thing, but you'd have a better chance coming from the top schools. At H, for example, an AA female didn't need to be Top 10%, 25%, or anything else to get a job this year. Even below median had success finding employment. The same can't be said about lower ranked schools.
To the point about LSAT/GPA, there were plenty of people in my section last year who thought they'd be styling on everyone with the curve because of their LSAT/GPA. I came in with a good LSAT (though not really as high as most people at school) and a pretty meh GPA, yet I managed to do decently well first year. Again, don't rely on scores to be predictive of your first year grades.