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Author Topic: Another Tier 3/4 question  (Read 6939 times)

k.

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2008, 08:23:26 PM »
For the record, I do not know a single person at my law school (or at any other "T14", for that matter) who got his or her law firm job through personal connections that existed prior to law school.  And yes, I know a large number of people at my school.

And in case anybody wonders why I put "T14" in quotation marks, it's because I think the category is stupid.

C'mon, you can't tell me that there are not sizeable numbers in each class who go to those schools only because their daddy went there. Please!

If you pay $43k per year to attend an elite law school, that's on you. If mommy and daddy pay for it, great! Yet, if you incur that debt all on your own and gamble with your future, you are either far braver than I. Why let your debt load dictate your job options?



Im at one of these "T14s" and have yet to meet anyone who has mommy and daddy paying for everything.  I also haven't met anyone who has a parent that is a big shot lawyer.  So yes, I am willing to say that there is not a sizeable number of people coming to Penn just because someone in their family did.  

stateofbeasley

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2008, 08:35:52 PM »
That is exactly the problem. 99% of law students have no idea how to find a job, take away OCI and they have no clue what to do to find a job (see student side of this board for plenty of examples).

...
And that says something about the student and the future type of lawyer they will be. You don't make partner sitting around waiting for your school to hand you a new client.  You either make things happen or you sit around and wait for things to happen to you. The later is the default option for most people, as itís the easiest path.

What people fail to understand going into law school is that law is a business.  Most of my classmates just wanted a job.  Go to work, go home, read to the children and put them to bed.  What they didn't understand is that outside of the big firms, corporations, and government, you've got to make rain, even if you are the lowest person on the totem pole.

I'd say if you're not entrepreneurial or government oriented, a lower tier law school is an utter waste of time and money.  You are basically getting a degree so you can sit for a licensing exam so that you can start your own business.  If that's not what you want, forget law school unless you want to be a doc reviewer or ID toileteer.  It's useless.

Matthies

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2008, 09:17:13 PM »
That is exactly the problem. 99% of law students have no idea how to find a job, take away OCI and they have no clue what to do to find a job (see student side of this board for plenty of examples).

...
And that says something about the student and the future type of lawyer they will be. You don't make partner sitting around waiting for your school to hand you a new client.  You either make things happen or you sit around and wait for things to happen to you. The later is the default option for most people, as itís the easiest path.

What people fail to understand going into law school is that law is a business.  Most of my classmates just wanted a job.  Go to work, go home, read to the children and put them to bed.  What they didn't understand is that outside of the big firms, corporations, and government, you've got to make rain, even if you are the lowest person on the totem pole.

I'd say if you're not entrepreneurial or government oriented, a lower tier law school is an utter waste of time and money.  You are basically getting a degree so you can sit for a licensing exam so that you can start your own business.  If that's not what you want, forget law school unless you want to be a doc reviewer or ID toileteer.  It's useless.

Yea people go to law school wanting a cubical job where you go in get work assigned to you do your work well and the firm pats you on the head for doing a good job and that's all you have to do to keep employed. Like youíre an MBA or something. Law is a sales, your selling a service, you need to sell yourself and your firm and you need to make rain, even at big law. Its more business than law. The law is just the product you give the customer. If you want a cubical job get an MBA, that's not law.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

kenpostudent

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2008, 02:32:59 AM »
For the record, I do not know a single person at my law school (or at any other "T14", for that matter) who got his or her law firm job through personal connections that existed prior to law school.  And yes, I know a large number of people at my school.

And in case anybody wonders why I put "T14" in quotation marks, it's because I think the category is stupid.

C'mon, you can't tell me that there are not sizeable numbers in each class who go to those schools only because their daddy went there. Please!

Legacy admissions are almost nonexistent in law school.  Aside from AA, law school admissions are incredibly meritocratic/numbers-driven, if only by necessity.


If you pay $43k per year to attend an elite law school, that's on you. If mommy and daddy pay for it, great! Yet, if you incur that debt all on your own and gamble with your future, you are either far braver than I. Why let your debt load dictate your job options?

Here's the problem:

1.  Most law schools cost about the same amount. 
2.  At an elite school, you're pretty much guaranteed a high-paying job.
3.  At a non-elite school, you're clearly not.
4.  The non-elite school is therefore much more of a gamble, generally speaking.
5.  Even if you get a full-ride, you're investing 3 years of your life, lost earning opportunities, etc.  There's no guarantee you'll make law review.  So there's no guarantee you'll get a respectable job.

Either way, it's a gamble.  Even if you go T14, you may hate the work, and quit after a year.  But that's generally a more secure gamble than attending a lower-ranked school, which could handicap your entire career, depending on what you want to do.

Put another way:  Why let your pedigree/short-sightedness dictate/limit your job options?

A non-elite law school may be a gamble for you. I, however, have 200 clients that I can call for work. Of those 200, I bet one puts me in contact with someone that leads to a decent job. I've also met several attorneys, from associate to partner, at several firms in conferences and various training sessions over the last two years. If you didn't, that's not my problem. I've also built relationships with regulators at both the SEC and the IRS. If you didn't, again, that's not my problem. So, while an elite school might matter to some, to me education is worthless. I've worked with attorneys on both sides of the spectrum: Harvard and T4. Honestly, I can't see a difference in competence levels.

I spent the last week at SEC training with 400 accountants and about 50 attorneys. Of the 50 attorneys, less than half came from "elite" schools. I doubt where they went to school made much of a difference in their career. I can tell you what nearly all of them had in common... a background in accounting, finance, or business before entering law school. So, I don't know about every specialty, but securities attorneys seem to come from a variety of schools.

kenpostudent

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2008, 02:45:28 AM »
That is exactly the problem. 99% of law students have no idea how to find a job, take away OCI and they have no clue what to do to find a job (see student side of this board for plenty of examples).

...
And that says something about the student and the future type of lawyer they will be. You don't make partner sitting around waiting for your school to hand you a new client.  You either make things happen or you sit around and wait for things to happen to you. The later is the default option for most people, as itís the easiest path.

What people fail to understand going into law school is that law is a business.  Most of my classmates just wanted a job.  Go to work, go home, read to the children and put them to bed.  What they didn't understand is that outside of the big firms, corporations, and government, you've got to make rain, even if you are the lowest person on the totem pole.

I'd say if you're not entrepreneurial or government oriented, a lower tier law school is an utter waste of time and money.  You are basically getting a degree so you can sit for a licensing exam so that you can start your own business.  If that's not what you want, forget law school unless you want to be a doc reviewer or ID toileteer.  It's useless.

Yea people go to law school wanting a cubical job where you go in get work assigned to you do your work well and the firm pats you on the head for doing a good job and that's all you have to do to keep employed. Like youíre an MBA or something. Law is a sales, your selling a service, you need to sell yourself and your firm and you need to make rain, even at big law. Its more business than law. The law is just the product you give the customer. If you want a cubical job get an MBA, that's not law.


I would agree with that, but this is true for most professions today. Even the MBA is not guarantee for the cubicle job anymore. Business is becoming highly specialized to the point that the MBA is now what a bachelor's used to be. To get the cubicle job now, you almost need an MBA and a PhD or some other form of specific experience or expertise to set you apart from the crowd.

Yet there are some types of law that are more employable than others. Tax law will always be a good specialization because the IRS doesn't even know what its own damn regulations specify. Ask 10 IRS agents or even attorneys the same question and you'll probably get 10 different answers. For much the same reason, but to much less of a degree, securities law is similar. The SEC regularly flip flops on the interpretation of its own regulations. So, for those with the interest and aptitude for that type of law, there will be work.

The forthcoming convergence of US GAAP and IFRS will probably create a ton of work for corporate and securities lawyers. There's work for those with the right skill set. I'm sure hundreds of others could name specialties with similar opportunities. It's  just a matter of getting the right skill set and learning who the players are in that field. The degree is only a tool. A degree from an elite school is an over-priced tool, unless it gives you some sort of access that you couldn't get otherwise. I have built relationships with a few partners at various firms and hope to build more before I attend law school and during. To me, that is worth more than an Ivy League degree.

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2008, 08:37:47 AM »
A non-elite law school may be a gamble for you. I, however, have 200 clients that I can call for work. Of those 200, I bet one puts me in contact with someone that leads to a decent job. I've also met several attorneys, from associate to partner, at several firms in conferences and various training sessions over the last two years. If you didn't, that's not my problem. I've also built relationships with regulators at both the SEC and the IRS. If you didn't, again, that's not my problem. So, while an elite school might matter to some, to me education is worthless. I've worked with attorneys on both sides of the spectrum: Harvard and T4. Honestly, I can't see a difference in competence levels.

I spent the last week at SEC training with 400 accountants and about 50 attorneys. Of the 50 attorneys, less than half came from "elite" schools. I doubt where they went to school made much of a difference in their career. I can tell you what nearly all of them had in common... a background in accounting, finance, or business before entering law school. So, I don't know about every specialty, but securities attorneys seem to come from a variety of schools.

With regard to all this stuff you're saying about yourself, more power to you.  But do you see how your situation might be somewhat atypical?

kenpostudent

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2008, 10:28:34 AM »
Yes, I see that. But my point it to illustrate that those who want to find work can if they make the right choices. I'm NOT attempting to toot my own horn. I think the core issues of employment prospects after law school is work experience and business sense. Prospective law students can acquire both before they start law school and give themselves the best chances for success.

Furthermore, I am skeptical of the so called "caste system" of elite law schools. I've heard so many posters say that it is difficult to find work in many markets if you don't come from this or that school. However, I've conversed with more attorneys that I can count regarding career mentoring and advice. Not once has any attorney even intimated that where I attend school is remotely important other than for where I intend to practice. Why is that? If going to the elite school is so important, how come no one but posters on admissions blogs offer such counsel?

I suppose there is some truth to the notion that the top 14, 10, 25, or whatever schools give some sort of employment advantage in some markets. There are plenty of larger firms where you will be hard pressed to find even a handful of attorneys from anything less than the best schools. Yet, there are other firms in the same markets that virtually no attorneys from the elite schools.

As to T3/T4 schools, the analysis depends on the school. No one will convince me that someone who wants to practice in Alabama, Mississippi, or Wyoming would be materially disadvantaged if they attended Samford, Ole Miss, or U of Wyoming over larger schools in the region. Now, if you want to practice law in DC, Georgetown is probably a better choice than Howard. Whatever choice is made, though, a graduate makes his own future after law school. His school, at that point, is a very expensive line item on his resume.

tony_rocky_horror

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #47 on: October 02, 2008, 10:42:54 AM »
Yes, I see that. But my point it to illustrate that those who want to find work can if they make the right choices. I'm NOT attempting to toot my own horn. I think the core issues of employment prospects after law school is work experience and business sense. Prospective law students can acquire both before they start law school and give themselves the best chances for success.

Furthermore, I am skeptical of the so called "caste system" of elite law schools. I've heard so many posters say that it is difficult to find work in many markets if you don't come from this or that school. However, I've conversed with more attorneys that I can count regarding career mentoring and advice. Not once has any attorney even intimated that where I attend school is remotely important other than for where I intend to practice. Why is that? If going to the elite school is so important, how come no one but posters on admissions blogs offer such counsel?

I suppose there is some truth to the notion that the top 14, 10, 25, or whatever schools give some sort of employment advantage in some markets. There are plenty of larger firms where you will be hard pressed to find even a handful of attorneys from anything less than the best schools. Yet, there are other firms in the same markets that virtually no attorneys from the elite schools.

As to T3/T4 schools, the analysis depends on the school. No one will convince me that someone who wants to practice in Alabama, Mississippi, or Wyoming would be materially disadvantaged if they attended Samford, Ole Miss, or U of Wyoming over larger schools in the region. Now, if you want to practice law in DC, Georgetown is probably a better choice than Howard. Whatever choice is made, though, a graduate makes his own future after law school. His school, at that point, is a very expensive line item on his resume.

Good points on several fronts:
1. I am in process of completing my CPA and will be complted prior to entering law school. Between that and my work experience I should have a major advantage over my classmates no matter what school I attend
2. My cubile mate went to Gtown, passed the bar, decided law was not for her and is now settling bodily injury claims for prob less than 50k (claims adjuster). At the end of the day it's just a degree and what you make/want out of it.

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #48 on: October 02, 2008, 11:06:35 AM »
I think the core issues of employment prospects after law school is work experience and business sense.

No one disputes that work experience and business sense help in terms of employment prospects.  I'm not really clear on what makes you think those are the core issues after law school.

I would agree that business sense is probably a core issue in terms of long-term success, but not so much right out of law school.

Contract2008

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Re: Another Tier 3/4 question
« Reply #49 on: October 02, 2008, 01:04:03 PM »
the problem is that a "decent income" working for a small firm is not going to be $70,000 a year in most cases. biglaw pays around $100-160K....the next step down is often to $35,000-50,000 a year. so if you're comfortable earning that salary out of law school, tier 3/4 without loans should be fine.

I don't think this is entirely accurate. The next step down from big law is not making 35-50,000 a year. This may be true for a small firm (10 or less attorneys) because they simply don't have the money for the high salaries. But midsize firms you can easily make between 50-80,000 and still have a life.

I agree with what people are saying for the most part. If you are in a legal market that is not flooded with higher ranked schools AND your school has a good local rep and you want to stay there, take the money and run. Make sure your school has a good rep though. I would not go anywhere that is consistently trashed by others.

It seems that you wrote what you've written above to make yourself feel better.  The reality is, there are very few jobs (especially entry level) out there at mid-size firm.  The hours are very similiar to big law without the high pay.  That's exactly what mid-law is and expect fierce competition from top 10% graduates and law review members. 

Go ask around, there are tons of Tier1 graduates from 2007 and 2006 still looking for jobs that pays less than $50K and some of them have great credentials too such as journals, moot court, etc.