Law School Discussion

Is it worth it?

Re: Is it worth it?
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2006, 06:23:21 AM »
*Hands Erapitt some prozac*

Come on Erapitt, you know you don't mean most of the things you're saying to other people on these boards about their schools (I hope). Many posters, including me, agree with your assessment that at higher schools, the majority of professors come from the t14, t10, or sometimes even the t5. I think that while most people are agreeing that 80 percent (random, arbitrary number) of profs come from those elite schools, there are also still options for people from other good schools (tier 1/2) to try to become a professor.

I think if the OP doesn't transfer to a top 100, it's going to be almost impossible to get a job teaching at a top 100 school. But if he transfer to tier 1/2, then he stands a chance. No one (I think) is denying that his odds would be better if he was at a t10, but it doesn't seem like that's one of his options at the moment. From school listings people have put up, it looks like he could still have decent odds if he transferred high, did well, and got some strong experience.

So, in short, I get the feeling most people are generally agreed that it won't be EASY for him - but they do think it's possible if he really wants it.

Now stop knocking people's schools, you know you don't mean it, and getting into ANY ABA approved school is an awesome, lifetime achievement. The only thing that a tier 1 has over a tier 3 is some arbitrary factors that really don't have anything immediately to do with quality of education. It's my personal belief that a legal education returns as much as you invest, I would wager many tier 4 grads could outperform many tier 1 grads - not because of their school, but because of their personal investment and study.

Play nice!

tenth8sphere = Budlaw


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Re: Is it worth it?
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2006, 08:23:02 AM »
This is what I've learned from talking to profs this week...

These are the factors, the more you have the better your chances

1) Rank and your school (Top 5%)
2) Reputation of Law School you from which you graduate (T10 best, T1 ok, T2 stretching it)
3) Federal Clerkship (Based alot on 1 and 2)
4) Being on Law Review or Journal
5) LLM from a Top School

Also, I've learned that LLM programs are not that difficult to get into.  According to my sources, they are basically a money maker for the school.

Thanks for the input all; transferring seems like my best bet, no matter what the current school offers me.

I didn't read all of this thread, so I apologize in advance if my advice is redundant.  But coming from someone who is also trying to crack into academia, I don't think this list is complete.  Certainly all of the things you listed are important, but probably the most important factor is your publication record.

As far as transferring, I think it's a tough call.  To begin with, as others have pointed out, most law profs come from a very small number of schools, namely Yale, Harvard, Chicago, etc.  Becoming a prof from a T4 or even a T2/low T1 is very unlikely -- not impossible, but unlikely.  But you will also HAVE to be at the very top of your class and on law review.  And if you transfer and end up w/median grades or worse and no law review, becoming a prof will be virtually impossible.  Now, becoming a prof may be virtually impossible from your current school, and so the risk may be the same. 

Edit: I also wanted to add that I don't think LLMs are all that important, and while they're probably more important for students who attend lower ranked schools, an LLM from, say Columbia, is not going to make you marketable if you werent remotely marketable before.  A phd however may make you considerably more marketable, especially given that the trend in academia is towards interdisciplinary scholarship.

Speaking as a law professor, the original list along with this one listing publication record are right on point.  If you want to become a law professor, you must set yourself up for it years before you actually intend to begin.  Best of luck.