Law School Discussion

Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools

Esq

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2005, 08:01:46 AM »
USNWR's rankings were first published in 1987.  The rankings became important only recently in the 1990s. One reason for the rise in the importance of the magazine's rankings had to do with litigation that had been pending against the American Bar Association (ABA).  Historically, the ABA accredited law schools. The ABA-accreditation gave the schools a "brand name". Of course, other schools such as Harvard had reputations due to their histories, but when a law school received ABA-accreditation, it was also conferred a certain status. However, there were charges that the ABA was violating the Sherman Act (antitrust) and withholding ABA-accreditation to control the available supply. In 1995, the ABA settled with the Justice Department. The settlement weakened the ABA's control over the number of schools that could be accredited. More ABA-accredited schools came on line. USNWR became important because it treated prospective law students as consumers. The USNWR's rankings rely on objective data such as LSAT scores and admissions data. Unfortunately, this methodology ignores other factors about law schools. In addition, there have been charges that some schools manipulate their data to "improve" their rankings. The USNWR's rankings are important because prospective students give them importance. The rankings appear to influence decisions about where the students will go to school. The Law schools have to pay attention to this in order to survive.

Unfortunately, the magazine's rankings system has a tendency to turn an intellectual pursuit into just another product on the shelf. On this Board, many people use the term "third tier toliet."  What is the difference between a third tier toliet and a first tier toliet? I am glad they did not call the movie, The Toliet Paper Chase. It just doesn't have the same ring.

twarga

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2005, 08:08:03 AM »
So what you're saying is that law schools are like designer jeans... I get it.  I want to go to Jordache, but I fit in best at JC Penney Plain Pockets.

Esq

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2005, 08:13:02 AM »
Do people still wear Jordache?  I can't remember the last time I saw one of their commercials.

Are we there yet?

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2005, 08:51:14 AM »
Johnnie Cochran  Loyola LA

I assume you're saying it was 4th tier when he attended, since it's second tier now.

twarga

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2005, 12:00:47 PM »
Do people still wear Jordache?  I can't remember the last time I saw one of their commercials.

Hey, cut me some slack (or some slacks  ;)).  I was trying to think of some names, and all that came to mind were Sassoon, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Jordache.  I'm so f*cking OLD! 

Troy McClure

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2005, 12:04:58 PM »
What is the difference between a third tier toliet and a first tier toliet?

Compare the employment stats of a tier one and a TTT.  You'll find your answers.

twarga

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2005, 12:06:46 PM »
I'll also be comparing my post-law school student loan debt ($0) with those of the T14.   ;)

Troy McClure

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2005, 12:12:49 PM »
I'll also be comparing my post-law school student loan debt ($0) with those of the T14.   ;)

Go ahead.  $125k from a T14 even with $120k in debt will come out way ahead in the long run compared to a TTT making $50k with much less debt.

I'm not bagging on TTT schools.  I applied to three myself and one I'd really consider if accepted.  But, I'd be lying if I said I'd pass up a T14 for a TTT.  Yes, TTT grads can and have had great success, but that road is much more difficult. 

twarga

Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2005, 12:26:08 PM »
Oh please, If Harvard takes me I'm gone (that's a once in a lifetime opportunity)!  However, it is most likely that I will go to my 4th Tier paradise.  I'll be 38 when I'm done, and not really geared up to work in a big firm anyway (I'll leave those hellish hours to the kiddies  ;) ).  I just want a rewarding job doing what I already know I love, but with decent pay.  I already have a house, car, husband, and kids... no need for the flashy lifestyle.

Esq

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Re: Successful attorneys from 4th tier schools
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2005, 04:08:28 PM »
I have many friends who graduated from Tier 1 schools. I happen to know that most of my friends are not making more than $100K a year. I have a few friends who do make those salaries. Some of the reasons that some are not making more than $100K a year is because they chose not to pursue jobs with those salaries. But does that make their legal education any less valuable?  They are not making huge salaries, but they received a great education.  There were professors they enjoyed and learned from, just as there were other professors they did not care for. Simply put, they got a lot out of law school. I know of others from Tier 1 schools who decided to live in areas where jobs paying those salaries are scarce indeed. There is no guarantee that someone who wants to make that salary will get it in those areas. They are not making huge salaries, but they don't walk around saying: "I graduated from a First Tier Toliet and I'm proud." My objection is to term "Third Tier Toliet." If it means that Tier 1 graduates are guaranteed jobs paying $100K a year and other schools are not, the term is a load of ****.

Employment statistics for all law schools are affected by the job market. Before the downturn, many firms were paying large salaries to first-year associates. After the downturn, that story changed dramatically. If the economy takes a nose dive, even those in the upper half of their classes feel it.  What's more, most law schools (even most of the Tier 1 law schools) exist within their geographical regions and they rely on local contacts for job placement. If you are at Harvard, yes, you will have many opportunities. I am not arguing that some schools do better nationally. However, any blanket statement asserting that all students in Tier 1 schools land $100K jobs right out of law school does not hold up. 


Here are some 2004 figures for 23 of the 25 largest law firms in Texas (read: likely to pay close to $100K a year or better) and the law school affiliations (with most of the tiers represented) of their 2004 associates. Note that in all cases the graduating class was considerably larger than the number of class representatives working in large law firms in Texas.

University of Houston Law Center 49

Baylor University School of Law 15

South Texas School of Law 12

SMU 42

Texas Tech University School of Law 8