Law School Discussion

How important is the name really?

tenth8sphere

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2006, 05:11:40 PM »
I can see the choice of a tier 2. Not necessarily the pick I would have made, but a full ride tier 2 is a nice option, even against some tier 1's.

But if Hofstra is a tier 3 then I'm at a loss as to why the OP would choose it, even at a full ride. With her stats she had to have gotten at least decent scholarships at some of those tier 1's. I had a tier 3 full ride option as well, but went with a 2/3 scholarship at a tier 1 instead. I've been very happy with my choice, especially given the unpredictable nature of class ranking.

Taking a tier 3 will almost certainly affect job choices more adversely than taking a tier 2 or a tier 1.

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2006, 08:24:45 PM »
The name is VERY important. Hofstra is a decent school, don't get me wrong, but go with the highest ranked school you get into. Play it safe now, you can't predict where you're going to place in your law school class.

The name is VERY important. Hofstra is a decent school, don't get me wrong, but go with the highest ranked school you get into. Play it safe now, you can't predict where you're going to place in your law school class.

I think its too late for the OP.  She already chose Hofstra over a top 5 school according to her post.

Oh yeah, I was in class at the time and OP's post is pretty long.

In that case, ouch, I hate to say you made a mistake, but . . . well, unless you do very very well, you probably did.

Good luck.

dsnutter

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2006, 11:16:53 PM »
You know, I have heard too much for too long how important the name of the law school is on your diploma.  I have heard that the name can sometimes be more important than the ranking within your class.  But why?  I know some people say that it's because behind the name and the reputation comes excellent education, and even if it doesn't things are how they are and it's not I who will change it.  But I wonder if firms will really turn me down because I didn't go to a top 50 school.  I got a 169 on my LSAT, I had a 3.5 cum. GPA in my undergraduate school, I got in all but one out of 10 schools I applied to, 3 of them in the top 50 and one in the top 5...yeah...but I chose a school ranked 87 by the infamous US News and World Report for the full ride.  I thought it was an honor that a school bet so highly in my success that they said I don't have to pay to go there, that it is my name that may help build theirs up and not the other way around.  You know, I think that there is a lot more going for lawyers than a fancy law school.  I think that if you have additional, relevant attributes you are much better off than the stereotype anti-social Ivy-Leaguer.  I speak five languages, hold dual citizenship and American Residency, have traveled the world, volunteered abroad, worked at the Maryland General Assembly, was a crucial help on the passage of a really important child-welfare bill, I am outgoing, smart, persevering, persuasive, diligent, and yet somehow I hear that because I chose to go to Hofstra, and emphasis on the word "chose", I am doomed as far as jobs.  So my question to you, who have the experience required to answer my question, is whether it is really true that going to Hofstra Law is going to affect my job choices negatively.  I am not sure whether it is relevant, but my field of choice so far is M&A and other types of business law.  Thanks in advance for the replies. 

You forgot to mention how cute you are  ;)  that has to count towards something?!

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2006, 07:57:39 AM »
Look, first of all, when I was looking at Hofstra for the first time it was ranked #87, and I am sure it will go up far above that in the next few years because it is their objective and they are working hard towards achieving their goal. 

I can't predict how well I will do, but I have gotten A's on my memos, on my midterm for civ pro, I am the SBA 1L rep for my section, I am in the Deans Academic Advisory Committee and I feel like I have settled well within the school so far. 

My point with my post is not to be modest or a show off, it is to state the facts so I can get an objective analytical opinion.  I guess if some of you are lawyers already that point should not have been so hard to grasp. 

It is not the first time I made a choice that is questioned and frowned upon by others.  I went to the University of Maryland over two Ivy League schools in undergrad because I wanted to be close to home.  Still I again got into highly ranked schools when I applied to Law School.  I just think big law firms know better than to shun people from a chance only because of where they went to school without taking into account their class ranking and without an interview. 

So to make my question narrower, let's assume I graduate in the top 3% of my class.  What would my chances be then?

tenth8sphere

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2006, 09:40:38 AM »
Look, first of all, when I was looking at Hofstra for the first time it was ranked #87, and I am sure it will go up far above that in the next few years because it is their objective and they are working hard towards achieving their goal. 

I can't predict how well I will do, but I have gotten A's on my memos, on my midterm for civ pro, I am the SBA 1L rep for my section, I am in the Deans Academic Advisory Committee and I feel like I have settled well within the school so far. 

My point with my post is not to be modest or a show off, it is to state the facts so I can get an objective analytical opinion.  I guess if some of you are lawyers already that point should not have been so hard to grasp. 

It is not the first time I made a choice that is questioned and frowned upon by others.  I went to the University of Maryland over two Ivy League schools in undergrad because I wanted to be close to home.  Still I again got into highly ranked schools when I applied to Law School.  I just think big law firms know better than to shun people from a chance only because of where they went to school without taking into account their class ranking and without an interview. 

So to make my question narrower, let's assume I graduate in the top 3% of my class.  What would my chances be then?

Everyone makes choices for different reasons. I don't think anyone is intending to say you made the 'wrong' choice - just that you may not have made the best choice from a utilitarian aspect of the benefits and costs.

As for Hofstra rising, it's certainly possible. But keep in mind that 'rising in the ranks' is pretty much the goal of every school, and Hofstra is not unique in making it their goal or by investing resources to that end.

In regard to your undergrad decision, you're right, it didn't hurt you - but only because of what you wanted to do, which was go to law school. There are many limited graduate positions and appointments in which your choice would have limited you. It's sort of the exact same thing with your law school choice. Whether it limits you depends a lot on what you want to do.

The bottom line is, many positions (especially big firms) just will NOT hire outside a certain range. For some it's the top 10 schools, for some top 30, some tier 1, etc. Whether you are last in your class or first will probably not make a difference to those type of positions. The candidate pool is competitive enough that they can take the top 1/3 of classes from only the tier 1 schools and have more than enough options without ever looking at lower ranked schools. The system probably isn't fair, but that's how it's structured.

On the other end of the coin though - you are not going to have any (or much) debt when you graduate, which means you're going to have options many people who 'borrow' their way through a tier 1 won't have. You can choose to take a lower paying job with better experience. Or one with less hours for less pay, etc. Not to mention, outside the top positions in law, your ranking will help you a great deal.

So you made a decision which is only good or bad based on your goals. But I think you're being disingenous with yourself if you pretend you can still snag a top 50 firm or supreme court clerkship. There are enough excellent candidates at tier 1 (or even top 10) schools that those type of jobs simply don't NEED to look at anything outside a set range.

I hope that helps.

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2006, 10:00:53 AM »
It does help, but of course my goal is not to take a low paying job...at all.  In fact, I want to go into M&A Law, Securities, basically business law in general.  I also wouldn't mind being part of a corporation that is just starting and growing with them.  But it is not at all my goal to work for the government, and getting a clerkship hasn't yet crossed my mind.  I won't have any debt when I leave, but I am not going to take any job that pays less than 75K just because I am debt free.  The only reason I ask is that I have a great possibility of transfering, but I want to make sure that would be a good choice.  I only got a good scholarship to Brooklyn Law (besides Hofstra of course), and the best schools I got into simply did not offer any money at all.  I just am not sure that the reason why I would be turned down is where I went to school.  And in terms of every school wanting to improve their rankings, of course that it true.  BUT Hofstra has a brand new Dean (who is in fact my Torts prof) and he has already started the improvement process.  I actually am a part of it, because I among many of my classmates, are the recruits he wanted to get so much.  My class is filled with Ivy Leaguers and people who scored within the 160's range.  They are there for the scholarships.  Hofstra had been a top 100 school for a long time until last year's report, which was heavily criticized by the ABA by the way. 

Thanks for your replies.  I really appreciate it.

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2006, 10:21:35 AM »
I currently work @ Jones Day, which is the definition of big corporate law.  We handle M & A, Toxic Tort, Securities, you name it.  The firm is very big, and we hire tons of attorneys each year.  This year, all of our associates were hired from; Georgetown, UCLA, USC, NYU, Chicago.  Get the picture? 

TDJD84

  • ****
  • 205
    • View Profile
Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2006, 10:24:37 AM »
Push comes to shove, the OP can just try and transfer to a top school next semester.

tenth8sphere

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2006, 12:13:50 PM »
The only unfortunate part is that (to my knowledge) schools don't offer scholarships for transfers - so this may end up costing her more in the long run, depending on the money being originally offered to her.

Also, transferring to a top five is going to be nearly impossible, considering all the top students at tier 1's will already be fighting tooth and nail for them.

If she placed in the top of her class though, she could probably easily move into a top 20.

Re: How important is the name really?
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2006, 02:20:29 AM »
i'm soooo sick of this elitism bull.  i'm so tired of hearing such inside the box thinking.  to the OP: don't let these guys get you down! everyone has their reasons why they  chose a lower ranked school over t20.  a full ride is great, and maybe its close to home.  whatever the reasons, you felt you made the right choice.  if you feel that the right choice for you now is to transfer up, then great...do it.  by graduating from a t3/4 you might not get a strong offer your first year, but that in no way means you won't be successful in the future.  my advice - work as hard as you can and learn as much as you can now.  just because these people go to better schools, does not mean they're smarter than you...believe me.  and plus, it sounds as if you enjoy going to your school.

my brother graduated berkeley law 6 years ago, and now he's not even in the field! (he's in investment banking earning a shitload of money) he told me that a name doesn't matter, it helps but it can only take you so far.  he's met many people from prestigious schools that couldn't cut it in the work force because they don't have what it takes.  if you're clueless then there's always a glass ceiling.  if you're driven, then no matter where you go you'll succeed. 

i apologize for going off but i'm just sick of hearing people say that a NAME will make or break you.