Law School Discussion

Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?

Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« on: April 09, 2005, 12:27:58 PM »
Initially I was happy about getting into a bunch of 4th tiers in sunny southern CA(CA Western, Whittier, TJSL, still waiting on Chapman), but some extensive reading on this site has dampened my mood. As of now I'm leaning heavily towards CA Western, but I keep reading about how these are sub-par schools with terrible reputations. If 3rd tier toilets are bad, then what are these? After I'm done, will I be able to find a good job? Will I have a degree that invokes as much laughter as respect?

The newest USNWR numbers for CA Western specifically are directly comparable to many third tiers: 152-157 25th & 75th LSAT, 28% acceptance rate, 85.6% 9month employment rate, 55,000 median private starting salary, 61.7% bar passage rate(pretty good for a lower tier CA school it seems). What makes it so much worse than all the rest of the 3 and 4T's? Or is it that everything under 2T is garbage?

I'm keenly interested in the law, but I'm not going to sink 3 years and a bunch of money into breaking even(or less) professionally. I'm not shooting for the stars; I know i won't be getting any 100k offers out of the gate from BIGLAW, but I want to be able to do better than I am now, and I already have a decent job with my Economics and Communications degrees from a top 40 school. Am I overreacting or are my concerns well founded?

ilsox7

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2005, 12:33:25 PM »
You're mostly overreacting.  Take everything on here with a grain of salt.  In fact, ignore most of it.  If you go to school and do well, you'll be fine.  If you don't do well, then yea, you're probly in some trouble when it comes time to look for a job.

Franz

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2005, 12:37:03 PM »
i wouldnt do it. if law is your love and you dont mind carrying a lot of debt and having to hustle for a mediocre law job, then go for it. otherwise, learn how to take the LSAT and try again.

Troy McClure

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 12:39:57 PM »
85.6% 9month employment rate, 55,000 median private starting salary, 61.7% bar passage rate

You're looking at it the right way.  You already know how much you will or won't have to go to school as well as any scholarships.  Add up how much debt you'll have after three years, and ask if you can manage that with the $55k median salary.

You have to ask how bad you want to be a lawyer.  If you can graduate with very little debt, then that $55k isn't too bad.

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2005, 12:41:34 PM »
It might be worth your while to work your ass off first year then transfer up, that's what I would do if I were you.  It isn't worth going though if you aren't willing to kill yourself doing badly at a fourth tier is just a way to get a lot of debt.  But if you're at the top of your class I'd say you'd have some real option and might be able to transfer to like U of Pacific, USF or maybe Santa Clara.  

Troy McClure

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2005, 12:46:39 PM »
It might be worth your while to work your ass off first year then transfer up, that's what I would do if I were you.

Good luck with all that.  That's the plan of 99% of 4th tier students.  Like every 1L, they all assume they'll finish top of their class and will have all kinds of great options.  I say if you're not happy with the prospect of graduating in the middle of the class at a school, don't go there.

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2005, 12:50:19 PM »
many people from 4th tier schools do well. Just work hard over the next three years and you'll be fine.

If you still feel kind of shakey, just do what other people from 4tier schools and 3rd tier toilets do to make themselves feel better: make fun of www.peoplescollegeoflaw.edu

DodgerLaw

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2005, 12:55:02 PM »
Yes, it would be nice to go to a more prestigious law school. Nevetheless, law school is ultimately what you make of it. My dad graduated from Pepperdine (but let's not kid ourselves it was the Orange School of Law when he started and was accredited by the ABA and bought by Pepperdine while he was there) circa 1971. By 1974 he owned a house that would cost well over $1 million in 2005 dollars.

You have to ask yourself a few questions:

Do you have the ability to kick butt in law school, and as a lawyer? (To be honest about this you have to come to terms with the reasons you could not get into a higher-ranked school, whatever they may be)

Will you work your a$$ off in law school?


If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, then there is no reason you cannot do well in law school and as a lawyer.

twarga

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Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2005, 01:02:33 PM »
Amen!

Re: Is going to a 4th tier even worth it?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2005, 02:41:31 PM »
Contrary to what some say on this board as well as xoxo (which I cannot stand), with rare exceptions, if you get into an ABA approved Law School, you still did pretty damn well.  There are many fabulous graduates who come out of lower ranked law schools.  If you pass the bar out of CA Western, you are still more employable to law firms than someone from Stanford who cannot pass the bar.  In deciding if you should wait or go this year, there are some factors you need to consider.  First, is any weakness on your application correctable?  For example, did you just have a bad day on your LSAT.  If true, that is something that can be changed.  You are not going to change stuff like your UGPA.  Do any schools in your local area have part time programs?  That way you can work and attend Law School.  If you want to do that, maybe you can speak with a boss who likes you and inquire about future job opportunities at your current place of employment after you graduate.  Some of the best paid graduates are those who use Law School as a stepping stone to better things at their company because the company trusts the employee and they seem to be more willing to pay to keep someone they have already trained and who knows exactly what the company does