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Author Topic: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!  (Read 14268 times)

cpierce11

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2009, 10:10:41 PM »
 IDK I think lots of tier 3 and 4 law schools get a bad reputation that is worst then it actually is. You have some people that go to law schools in some states that are not ABA approved and it allows them to only practice in the state that they went to law school. Or states like CA in which you can go to school online and practice law in CA. Yea I understand these are bad schools that I would not attend. Also some other ABA approved law school that are getting put on ABA probation I would not go to either. I think the number one factor that is going to land you a job after school is the legal market in which your school is located and how you network with it while your in school. The best way to get any job is through networking. Also I totally agree after graduating from law school you may be making $40,000-$55,000 after law school. That is just starting off. You have to prove your self first for lots of companies before they give your desired salary and that goes for law firms too. I am by no means a lawyer just undergrad earning my bachelors in Business with a minor in political science that is highly considering going to law school. I plan on taking the LSAT this summers and I imagine I be applying to some Tier 2,3, and 4 law schools. I do agree lots of people it seems to have an unrealistic vision of salaries that can earn after graduation.

Denny Shore

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 02:32:30 PM »
Seems that people have trouble understanding how things actually work.
First of all, you can ask your lender to reduce your payments for financial need.  Most not only will, but do.  Secondly, many students at said T3/4/5 schools have another option you seem to be ignoring - public service law, which allows (in many cases) for debt repayment/forgiveness.  Also it should be noted that the debtloads vary from student to student.  Not every student uses loans to pay for all of law school.  I'm lucky in that money was put away for me from various gifts I've received specifically for my education.  Instead of driving a new car in high school, I drove the family car and money was socked away - just in case.  The lesson there is simple: if you have kids, put cash away in case they want to go to expensive graduate school.  Many students will be burdened by heavy debt-loads after law school.  There are ways to make it manageable.  Though I agree that the debt for most will be high, I don't agree with the doomsday scenarios presented.  There are plenty of options out there for all, even if the best you could do was go to a lower ranked school.
It should be said that some low ranked schools have excellent local reputations that often result in better paying jobs than expected.
Stay optimistic.  I know a graduate of a T4 that, after graduating and working in a low paying gov't job, started her own business handling JUST expungements.  She makes around $175 k now and has no trouble paying her debt. I know another who went to a T5 and specializes now (in his own practice) in landlord-tenant cases.  He drives a new BMW 7 series and has no trouble making the bills anymore.  I know another lawyer who graduated from JMLS 8 years ago.  For 6 years he worked for the state's attorney's office (who helped pay down his debt) and took that experience to land himself a cush job in a criminal defense firm making a base of $125,000 per year plus health insurance, cell phone, car insurance, and auto allowance.  He's almost done paying down his debt.
The first few years are sure to be tough, but the longer you do it, the better money you make.  Patience.  A JD is not a golden ticket guaranteeing a 6 figure salary anymore.  It hasn't been for decades.  It takes time to build a reputation and the necessary skills to justify that monster salary.  If you went to law school expecting to be instantly rich, you've made a terrible mistake!
Keep your head up.  It isn't that bad out there.

nealric

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2009, 02:38:06 PM »
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

jack24

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2009, 02:43:09 PM »
What are the alternative choices for these history/political science majors who are not in demand at all in today's job market? 

I'm assuming you are being sarcastic.  At least in part.  But anyway
They could just get another bachelor's degree.  It would be cheaper and only take 2-3 years.

Go get a bachelors in visual technologies or photography.  Go to diesel mechanic school.  Go to hair school, massage therapy, dental hygiene, or nursing school.

Denny Shore

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2009, 11:47:50 AM »
I realize my anecdotes don't hold much water amongst the naysayers, but the truth is there are plenty of stories of people "beating the odds".
It also depends on what you want to do with your life.  You can either go into things expecting the worst or you can remain optimistic and plug away.  I choose to remain optimistic and plug away. I know far too many people who went to low ranked schools who make a terrific living, just like I know too many people who went to high ranked schools who landed six figure jobs out of law school, worked 80 hours a week, and burned out.  I've heard LOADS of stories about people who burned out within 2 years of leaving law school and left the profession.
Also, it might be helpful to remember that the boomers are starting to retire.  As they leave the work force, there will be openings and someone will have to fill in the gaps.
It might also behoove people to think about this:  people have been trashing low ranked schools for decades and insisting that people who graduate from them will never find work and drown in debt.  Oddly enough, they were mostly wrong then and I believe are mostly wrong now.
At my low ranked law school, we have a wall of fame of sorts.  Graduates include current and former State's Attorney's, politicians, judges, principals at major law firms, prominent businessmen and women, and a surprising number of US Attorney's.  All from a law school that most posters claim leaves graduates destitute and without job prospects.
Sure, folks who graduate from high ranked schools have some great opportunities, but don't count out those of us who go to lower ranked schools either.  I've literally witnessed lawyers with degrees from "TTT" schools wipe the courtroom floors with lawyers from UCLA, Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale (admittedly, I've also seen the reverse).
My dear old dad always says: "You know what they call the guy who graduated at the bottom of his class from the worst ranked law school in the country?  Attorney at law."

nealric

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2009, 12:19:22 PM »
Quote
"You know what they call the guy who graduated at the bottom of his class from the worst ranked law school in the country?  Attorney at law."

No, you call him a career paralegal after his 3rd time failing the bar.  ;)
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

jack24

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2009, 01:46:17 PM »
I realize my anecdotes don't hold much water amongst the naysayers, but the truth is there are plenty of stories of people "beating the odds".
It also depends on what you want to do with your life.  You can either go into things expecting the worst or you can remain optimistic and plug away.  I choose to remain optimistic and plug away. I know far too many people who went to low ranked schools who make a terrific living, just like I know too many people who went to high ranked schools who landed six figure jobs out of law school, worked 80 hours a week, and burned out.  I've heard LOADS of stories about people who burned out within 2 years of leaving law school and left the profession.
Also, it might be helpful to remember that the boomers are starting to retire.  As they leave the work force, there will be openings and someone will have to fill in the gaps.
It might also behoove people to think about this:  people have been trashing low ranked schools for decades and insisting that people who graduate from them will never find work and drown in debt.  Oddly enough, they were mostly wrong then and I believe are mostly wrong now.
At my low ranked law school, we have a wall of fame of sorts.  Graduates include current and former State's Attorney's, politicians, judges, principals at major law firms, prominent businessmen and women, and a surprising number of US Attorney's.  All from a law school that most posters claim leaves graduates destitute and without job prospects.
Sure, folks who graduate from high ranked schools have some great opportunities, but don't count out those of us who go to lower ranked schools either.  I've literally witnessed lawyers with degrees from "TTT" schools wipe the courtroom floors with lawyers from UCLA, Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale (admittedly, I've also seen the reverse).
My dear old dad always says: "You know what they call the guy who graduated at the bottom of his class from the worst ranked law school in the country?  Attorney at law."


This response is full of goodness AFTER someone has started law school.
Once your are in the thick of it, you should be optimistic and fight for those spots that lead to great lifestyles.  I'm sure many students from low-ranked schools go on to have satisfying and successful careers.
However, the decision to go to law school should be made with all of the statistics in mind.

The most simple statistic seems to be commonly forgotten.
Half of the students at a T4 are in the bottom-half of the class.  I know right... groundbreaking.
Before you have any idea of what law school is about, you just have to figure that you only have a 50/50 shot of getting in the top half.   Likewise, you only have a 1/10 shot of getting in the top ten percent, which is where many of the best success stories come from.

Now I know that everyone thinks they are special.  Everyone thinks that they are the exception. 

I got into a decent school.  My LSAT score was below the median, and my GPA was below the bottom 25th percentile.  I'm currently in the top quarter.
It's not totally unreasonable to infer that people with LSATs and GPAs higher than mine are below me in the class.

Go to a T14 if you get in and you'll work hard.
Go to a Top 50 if you get in, you'll work hard, and you have a reasonable belief that you'll like the law.
Go to a T2 (50-100) if you get in, you'll work hard, you'll like the law, and it's in a region you want to work.
Go to a T3 if it's in the region you want to work or if you have a job lined up (and all of the above)
Go to a T4 if you get a full scholarship (good for three years) and if it's in a region you want to work in.

Derekj032

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2011, 02:52:09 PM »
This is the greatest time to open new firms, lots of people need attorneys and many are going to use local, low cost attorneys over big firms. I know SEVERAL people who have rented small buildings and started their own firms and all are doing very well for themselves. These people all went to tier 3 schools and made 75-80k net their first year out working for themselves. Now two of these same people are so busy from word of mouth and small amounts of advertising that they have actually hired another attorneys to work for them. Also, when you run your own business you are able to form a llc and pay yourself a very small salary which will allow you to pay the minimum amount on student loans. Eventually the debt will be forgiven and all will be good.

the white rabbit

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2011, 06:40:29 AM »
This is the greatest time to open new firms, lots of people need attorneys and many are going to use local, low cost attorneys over big firms. I know SEVERAL people who have rented small buildings and started their own firms and all are doing very well for themselves. These people all went to tier 3 schools and made 75-80k net their first year out working for themselves. Now two of these same people are so busy from word of mouth and small amounts of advertising that they have actually hired another attorneys to work for them. Also, when you run your own business you are able to form a llc and pay yourself a very small salary which will allow you to pay the minimum amount on student loans. Eventually the debt will be forgiven and all will be good.

Almost all wrong.  A few points:

- Big firms have never competed for things like divorce actions, probate, criminal defense, etc. (except when the parties involved were particularly rich), so people needing local, low-cost lawyers is nothing new
- A new business involves start-up costs (rent, malpractice insurance), which most recent grads can't pay out of pocket and will have a hard time borrowing with student loans already hanging over their heads
- Even if you manage to start up a new law firm, you'll still have to compete with existing small firms that have actual experience in legal practice
- You can pay the minimum on your loans regardless of how much you make, so no benefit there
- Any assumptions about impending loan forgiveness are speculative at best

Which is not to say starting one's own firm can't be done, just that it's not as easy as you make it sound, and that there's no reason why now is a better time than any other.
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

BigFudge

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Re: Avoid Tier 3/4, and 5 Law Schools- End of a Golden Era!
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2011, 02:23:05 PM »
OP made a generalization out of a few instances, or maybe out of his own case..rookie move.