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Author Topic: Where to go  (Read 2316 times)

lakersalltheway

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Where to go
« on: April 17, 2004, 11:22:54 PM »
I recently got accepted to Chicago Kent Law School.  However I was planning on practicing Law in the Bay Area following Law School.  I am still waiting to here from Santa Clara.  I was wondering if anyone could suggest which school might be the better choice.  According to US News, Chicago Kent is ranked high tier 2 whereas Santa Clara is ranked very low tier 2.  Thanks

thechoson

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2004, 11:27:39 PM »
If money is not an issue, I'd say go to Santa Clara, cause you want to practice in the Bay Area.

little_old_lady

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2004, 11:28:16 PM »
I agree with the conventional wisdom to go to the higher ranked school over the local school when the higher ranked school has a more national reputation and is ranked #30 (or so - including Fordham) or lower.  If you are sure you want to practice in SF then Kent will not open any doors for you there.  In all likelihood they've never even heard of Kent.  Kent's got a better ranking than Santa Clara but you'll get little to no benefit from it given that no one has heard of Kent.  The advantage to going to the higher ranked school is the presumption on the part of employers that you're smart.  Well they can't have that presumption if they've never heard of the school.

Plus at a 2nd tier school only the very top students get jobs through OCI.  The vast majority get jobs through networking and it is very hard to network where there is not an established alumni base. 


thechoson

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2004, 11:31:06 PM »
Hey little old lady,
I know you are a law student.  Ever heard of UNLV?  Would you think it's a bad idea to go to a new school with fewer alumni to network?

lakersalltheway

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2004, 12:14:54 AM »
Do you really think no one has heard of Kent in SF

zpops

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2004, 12:24:03 AM »
Do you really think no one has heard of Kent in SF

The best way to answer that question is by looking at their placement statistics, and/or contacting their career services office.  If they place a good number of people in CA, then it's probably known. 
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lakersalltheway

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2004, 12:43:41 AM »
They do not place a great amount of people in Ca.  But Im assuming thats the case because alot of individuals in that area prefer to practice around that area.  Could you suggest another way to find out?

thechoson

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2004, 12:48:11 AM »
Do you really think no one has heard of Kent in SF

The best way to answer that question is by looking at their placement statistics, and/or contacting their career services office.  If they place a good number of people in CA, then it's probably known. 

Ok, here's what I've been wondering.  I've looked at 2 state schools (ASU and UNLV) out of state.  I am looking to see if they place students into California, which is where I want to practice.  And obviously the number is low, although these schools share a border with California.  ASU is pretty established with a bunch of alumni, yet seem to have some issues placing in California. 

Some questions regarding this though.  Obviously national schools are limited to the top 14.  AS far as state schools like ASU not being able to place out of state, how much of it is inability rather than unwillingness?  These schools draw the majority of students from in-state, so they already have roots there so they don't want to move out of the state.  Seems like it's a self-perpetuation cycle.  I am wondering if you try really hard, not go through the career office cause they probably won't help you, but actually do the legwork yourself, you can get placed in another state from a 2nd tier school- or if this is pretty much impossible anyways.

zpops

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2004, 12:49:28 AM »
This would take a lot of legwork on your part, but you could research sf firms you're interested in, then look at their employee rosters and see if anyone is from Kent.  Thevault.com might be a good place to start, but you need to pay to register. 
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little_old_lady

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Re: Where to go
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2004, 01:22:05 AM »
I have a good friend (not a lawyer) who was born and raised in Chicago who had never heard of Kent. 

To give you a feel for how those of us not in the application process are not as familiar with all the schools, today I was ranking law journals.  I'm writing an article and am ranking journals so I can figure out where I'm going to submit my article.  Conventional wisdom is that the rank of the law review is the rank of the school and the rank of the specialty journal is the school's rank plus 25 or 30.  I had a list from Washington & Lee of all legal journals.  I had USNews ranking.  I was really surprised at how some of the schools were ranked and I'm in law school. 

As for the question about familiarity with UNLV, since it's a state school with good sports teams most people will be familiar with the university.  There's a general assumption that most big universities have law schools.  I think there's also the general presumption that the really bad law schools are private schools and that the state schools are at least 'acceptable.'  In a lot of places the private school is for people who can't get into the state school because who in their right mind would give up in-state tuition?  Plus people always understand why students chose state schools.  For example, I was really surprised to discover that Maine law school was in the 4th tier.  I just assumed that since it was a state school that it was at least 2nd tier.  Look at how many state schools are in the second tier.  Then look at how many private schools are in the 3rd and 4th tiers. 

About placement out of state, I would say that it would not be impossible to find a CA job coming from either ASU or UNLV.  It will be difficult and you'll have to do a lot more leg work but it's possible.  It's also more likely that you won't have a job until you're licensed.  As I've written before non top 14 grads overwhelmingly get jobs with small or mid-sized firms through networking.  From my experience, it's a lot easier to network when your school has a decent number of alums.  Coming from either ASU or UNLV you'll have to make your own contacts.  You'll have to go the informational interview route and join the local bar association and perhaps attend some functions.