Law School Discussion

Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools

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Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« on: January 21, 2005, 10:25:06 PM »
I think people place too much importance on where they go to school. Although important, it is in no way the key determinant of your success as a lawyer. In this thread, please post examples of successful legal professionals who came from 4th tier (as measured by the US News rankings) or unaccredited schools.


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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2005, 10:26:41 PM »
University of West Los Angeles School of Law

The University of West Los Angeles School of Law is proud to report that 70 sitting judges are among the 7000 alumni. To point out just a few, Judge Lloyd Nash, who is presiding over the Robert Blake trial, is an alumnus. Another member of the bench, Judge Frederick Horn is the presiding Superior Court Judge for Orange County. Two alumnae have been appointed by the Governor, one as the Real Estate Commissioner for the State of California and the other as the former Medicaid Director for California's State Department of Health Services. We have alumni in the District Attorney's Office, the City Attorney's Office, and in the Public Defender's Office. Another outstanding graduate is Gary Dordick, who, at the age of 39, won the CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. The list goes on and on.

UWLA is not even accredited.

http://www.uwla.edu/law/index.html
http://www.uwla.edu/campus/accreditation-statement.html

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2005, 10:42:23 PM »
Western New England College School of Law

The School of Law’s more than 6,000 alumni are truly one of its greatest assets. Our outstanding legal education provides the foundation for graduates to build rewarding and meaningful careers in legal practice, the judiciary, business, communications, criminal justice, finance, government, insurance, journalism, medicine, social work and numerous other fields. Many alumni support the School of Law through mentoring and internship participation, service as a moot court judge, recruiting at alumni functions, membership on Alumni Association committees or boards, and through financial donation.

From http://www1.law.wnec.edu/prospective/index.cfm?selection=doc.298

The school also highlights successful alumni in their publications: http://www1.law.wnec.edu/alumni/index.cfm?selection=doc.186

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2005, 10:43:05 PM »
The vast majority of Orange County, CA judges are from Western State which is also unaccredited. The rest are pretty much made up of Whittier graduates.

Also, the foremost bankruptcy analyst and lawyer at my firm went to Whittier. He is successful, happy and making big money without working psychotic hours.

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2005, 10:56:53 PM »
Western State University College of Law

Western State is proud of its more than 9,000 graduates who have distinguished themselves as judges, public officials, and lawyers, both in public and private practice and in positions where their law degrees enhance their professional competence.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumni.asp

Nearly 25% of the judges and commissioners on the bench in Orange County are graduates of the school – a far higher representation than that of any other law school.

There are more graduates of the school in practice in Orange County than of any other law school.

(Orange County is possibly the most prosperous suburb in the United States and has a population of 3 million.)

http://www.wsulaw.edu/highlights.asp

Western State's "Hall of Fame" In recognition of distinguished service to the profession and the community.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumnihof.asp

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2005, 10:57:45 PM »
I am not sure where the University of Detriot falls, but my step-father went there and has his own firm. He makes more money in a month than I do in a year. He is very well-known in his field. He got into U. Chicago and UM but went to U. Detriot because of a scholarship. HTH.

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2005, 11:09:24 PM »
Johnnie Cochran  Loyola LA

bobo21

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2005, 12:54:40 AM »
Suspicious.

Western State University College of Law

Western State is proud of its more than 9,000 graduates who have distinguished themselves as judges, public officials, and lawyers, both in public and private practice and in positions where their law degrees enhance their professional competence.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumni.asp

Nearly 25% of the judges and commissioners on the bench in Orange County are graduates of the school – a far higher representation than that of any other law school.

There are more graduates of the school in practice in Orange County than of any other law school.

(Orange County is possibly the most prosperous suburb in the United States and has a population of 3 million.)

http://www.wsulaw.edu/highlights.asp

Western State's "Hall of Fame" In recognition of distinguished service to the profession and the community.

http://www.wsulaw.edu/alumnihof.asp

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2005, 01:27:30 AM »
Much too much emphasis is placed upon The US News and World Report Rankings of the Top 100 Law schools.  It is for good reason; what an individual gets in return for the high cost of attending an Ivy League school besides intellectually stimulating atmospheres, which by the way, can be found at any local bar, is ACCESS!!!  And, at the prices that the top law firms are willing to pay to new Harvard grads (125,000 +), the price is many times worth it!!!  Here is an excerpt from an ivy leaguer...

Is it better to go to an Ivy League school?
What's the difference between a top-rated law school and one that's not so highly rated?
I may be expelled from the secret brotherhood for saying this, but the difference in the education that you would get in a top-tier law school and the one you would get in a second- or third-tier school is minimal. You might get a more stimulating intellectual experience at Harvard or Yale, but you'll probably learn just as much about torts and contracts at Boston College or the Univ. of Connecticut.

The real difference between law schools isn't what happens in the classrooms, it's what happens in the interview rooms. Better law schools attract better law firm recruiters. The big law firms that typically interview at a dozen law schools every year will be focusing on top-tier schools and offering those students the high-paying jobs. Students at lower-ranked schools can still get jobs, but they often have to make contact with the firms directly (rather than waiting for the interviewers to come to campus). With the top-ranked law schools, then, you purchase access to jobs. And, given the competition and rewards, that access is often worth the price.

What do law school rankings mean? Which ones are the most reliable?
Paradoxically, law school rankings mean everything and they mean nothing. They mean everything because, as I pointed out above, students and law firms treat them as if they mean something. But they mean nothing because, ultimately, they offer very little reliable information.

The USNews rankings are perhaps the most famous, but there are others out there (you can find many of them with this search). In general, the USNews rankings are typical in that they take various data into account that look both objective and relevant (such as average entering class LSAT) and put them into a formula that yields a numerical rating. Those ratings are then compared with others to come up with the rankings.

The problem comes with the methodologies used to determine the ratings. How much weight, for instance, should be given to the size of the law library? How does one measure a school's reputation? And how can one control for schools that manipulate admissions systems to boost their ratings? These kinds of problems are highlighted here and here in detail: these merely echo the numerous criticisms that are out there. But despite the criticisms, the rankings games continue. And as long as students and law firms place a great deal of weight on these rankings, they will continue to be important.

 ::)

twarga

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2005, 07:37:23 AM »
Two of my friends, Jodi and Michelle, went to Washburn and Catholic.  Jodi was the editor of law review and graduated at the top of her class.  Michelle was on law review and was in the top 8%.  I've spoken to both of them about what they think I should do, and they say "go where you can get the most $$ and work your butt off to be at the top of the class."  Jodi went to Washburn on a full scholarship, Michelle didn't have a scholarship.  They both now work in large firms (Jodi in Kansas, Michelle in DC--not far from where their respective schools were located) making very good money.  The only difference is Jodi banks her $$ and Michelle sends it off to the student loan corp.  They both told me they work side-by-side with people from T14, and that they got their good jobs based on law school performance, not solely on law school ranking.