Law School Discussion

Degree from top school needed for a successful private practice?

My mother is a lawyer who went to a low ranked school due to being an immigrant and them working with her academic degrees from her native country. She is extremely successful now with her general private practice, regardless of not coming from a great school.  However, she is located in a smaller city area.

I am looking to possibly get into intellectual property more specifically to work within the legal areas of the fashion industry. Ideally I would want to open a private practice in NYC or in LA.

I have a gpa of 3.3 and an LSAT score of 161. I know this puts me in a lower tier school. Is it possible for  me to have a successful private practice in such large cities with my background?

Re: Degree from top school needed for a successful private practice?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 10:44:09 PM »
i have EXACTLY the same numbers as you do- but it comes down to this- what do you want to do-  sure, u'll get into a top 50 school, but its what you do when you are there that matters.  there is no way to tell what you'll do or how you'll do until u get into school and graduate and work. 
i'm probably not going to do big law cause i hate coroporate.  in fact, i might not practice law at all, esp after this 1st year- its rough and i hate it.  anyways good luck

Re: Degree from top school needed for a successful private practice?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 01:29:46 PM »
If you go into business for yourself, your degree won't stop you from hiring yourself, will it?

It may be harder to attract clients who may want the prestige of a "Hahvahd" trained lawyer at their beck and call.
I think that a good general rule of thumb is to think about it this way.  How are you going to stand out and be attractive?  A prestige degree does that for you automatically.  If you pass up the prestige (like I did), then you need to have a solid plan for getting to where you want to go.  In my case, I am doing very well at my regional T4 school, and don't plan on leaving the city, and have enough legal experience as a paralegal to know the right people to help land a job in public interest (which is what I've always wanted to do).  So for me, with all of the factors, taking the money at a T4 was better than going up the road to the Top100 school for less financial help.

But again, if you don't have a solid plan to make yourself attractive regardless of where your degree is from, then you might want to consider taking the best school you get into.