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Author Topic: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad  (Read 8668 times)

Jay the Great

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Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« on: March 12, 2005, 01:15:28 AM »
I don't understand why people look down so much on Third Tier law schools. First of all, I know a lot of people who attend third tier law schools who could have done better, but chose not to for whatever reason (location, cost, etc.) Take the Cecil C Humphrey's School of law at the University of Memphis. Now I think I can talk about this since I am a freshman at this hellhole university. Anyway, the law school isn't that bad but it is considered tier 3. The national placement rate for last year was nearly 99%. That is 10 points above the national average. So tell me why Tier 3 is bad.

I would also like to point out that the U of M's state bar passage rate actually beats Tennessee and Vanderbilt (don't ask me how) And according to this site, it is ranked #25 is highest bar passage rate nation wide.

http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/1/desc/Bar

NJHandyGirl

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2005, 09:38:07 AM »
You know I've often wondered about the same thing.
Last night I was reading the USN&WR Ultimate Guide researching super safety schools. I looked at Widener & Un. of Baltimore. While both are listed as Tier 4, Widener was listed as having the #4 healthcare law program; while Un of Baltimore, was listed as being #23 in clinical training. Same thing with Vermont Law School a Tier 3 school, yet listed as #1 in Environmental law.

I really don't understand the disparity.
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FloridaLaw

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2005, 10:20:16 AM »
People, including students and employers look at ranking, unfortunately, specialty ranking doesn't mean much, at least not nearly as much as the USNews overal ranking.

As much as some of us would like to deny it, ranking and different level of tiers matter. With everything being equal, an employer most likely will choose a tier 1 grad over a tier 2 grad, a tier 2 grad over a tier 3 grad, and a tier 3 grad over a tier 4 grad from schools in the same state.

Most people would love to go to a Tier 1 or Tier 2, but sometimes, you have to settle for a Tier 3, or....even a Tier 4.

With that being said, there are some great Tier 3 and Tier 4 schools, such as Stetson, Texas Tech, and Mississippi College.

HTH
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limonjello

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2005, 12:18:26 PM »
People, including students and employers look at ranking, unfortunately, specialty ranking doesn't mean much, at least not nearly as much as the USNews overal ranking.


That depends on what you want to do.  Yes, a top 20 school degree will likely trump most any specialty from a lower tier school, but if you can't do that and you want to practice health care law, using the specialty rankings is very sensible.  Odds are, most schools with a strong specialty ranking will have a good alumni network within that region and be known within that field. 

That being said, yes, you are going to be more limited in what and where you can hope to be hired, but you can do well within those confines.  As well, 3-5 years down the road, all anyone will care about is what you have done, not where you studied.

kilroy55

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2005, 12:44:20 PM »
The one thing you have to remember about rankings is that they can be easily manipulated by a school.  And increase in apps, more alumni giving and reputation based can all be misleading.  For instance, the University of Memphis has a great reputation within the state of Tennessee.  They have a great bar passing rate and placement rate.  And yet it is ranked lower because it has fewer apps than UTK, since Memphis is a hell hole (in my opinion) and therefore a less selective pool of apps to choose from.  In addition, all judges and lawyers have heard of the big schools.  If a judge or attorney (say from NY) doesn't know much about a regional school, they get a worse reputation score even if the school has a great rep locally.  I was recently talking to an attorney friend of the family, and while he freely admits your Yales and Harvards are great school that will yield you a jobs, the lower "ranked" schools can still yield you fanatastic jobs in life and great opportunities.   He keeps pushing me to rememer that grades, rank and contacts will mean much more than I realize right now.  So go where you feel comfortable, feel happy and affordable...don't get all caught up in rankings.

mxpocc

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2005, 12:49:27 PM »
People, including students and employers look at ranking, unfortunately, specialty ranking doesn't mean much, at least not nearly as much as the USNews overal ranking.

As much as some of us would like to deny it, ranking and different level of tiers matter. With everything being equal, an employer most likely will choose a tier 1 grad over a tier 2 grad, a tier 2 grad over a tier 3 grad, and a tier 3 grad over a tier 4 grad from schools in the same state.

Most people would love to go to a Tier 1 or Tier 2, but sometimes, you have to settle for a Tier 3, or....even a Tier 4.

With that being said, there are some great Tier 3 and Tier 4 schools, such as Stetson, Texas Tech, and Mississippi College.

HTH
FloridaLaw.  8)


Says who? Are you an employer who matters?
Fact of the matter is, whether you prestige whores like it or not, it's your INDIVIDUAL qualities, strengths, presentation and skills that a lot of employers will look to first(yes, you have to have social skills, too). Hopefully, it's those same qualities that got you into a tier 1 school in the first place. Unless you have family connections, if you're a total f-ing doosh, a tier 1 degree isn't going to be very useful--besides looking pretty on the wall in your home office. With that said, the very cream-of-the-crop students, like those from HYS, I imagine are pretty much auto-selected for certain positions.

Regional schools (even tier 3 regionals) can outplace tier 1 schools in their specific regions. Montana is a prime example; the alumni in this state have a deep network, and they go to UMT Law first to recruit. Of course, not many HYS people come this way looking for jobs, but even if they did, this is the wild west  ;)

Shoes

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2005, 01:21:24 AM »
I think networking and the career services office are more important than rankings.  I also think it depends on the alumni's loyalty to the school.  I have spoken with a number of alums who said they come looking to the school when they want to hire before ever posting the position anywhere else. 

menses1

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2005, 10:08:56 PM »
If you intern after your first year for a big law firm that hires 1st or 2d tier law school students you make $2,000 a week, while if you whore yourself to a judge in a circuit court that hires interns from 3d tier law schools you make $12 an hour. That's the difference. It's ingenious, though.
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mallie

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2005, 06:15:35 PM »
Quote
f you intern after your first year for a big law firm that hires 1st or 2d tier law school students you make $2,000 a week, while if you whore yourself to a judge in a circuit court that hires interns from 3d tier law schools you make $12 an hour. That's the difference. It's ingenious, though.

Well, is it not that even the judge himself is probably not making $2,000 a week?

Tristana

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Re: Third Tier Law schools aren't bad
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2005, 07:30:45 PM »


I would also like to point out that the U of M's state bar passage rate actually beats Tennessee and Vanderbilt (don't ask me how) And according to this site, it is ranked #25 is highest bar passage rate nation wide.

http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/1/desc/Bar

I asked an attorney a similar question about bar passage rates. He told me that sometimes schools "teach the bar" to make their students have higher rates and thus make their schools look better. This is definitely not a good thing to the people doing the hiring. I didn't ask which schools had a reputation for doing this.