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Author Topic: Better Law school or law review?  (Read 2043 times)

skc20

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Better Law school or law review?
« on: July 23, 2009, 09:55:16 AM »
I go to a 4T law school with a top tier law review.  I have been invited to be on the review.  I have also applied to transfer to a better school.  I am at the top of the class at my school.
My question is "What is more important to employers,  top school or law review?

scoop333

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2009, 10:03:15 AM »
It depends n what school you got into.  If you were able to make the jump to a T1 you should go as you have better chances to land a job through OCI (even though the economy is weak) and the prestige of the school will help you as to networking for the future.  However, if you really like the city your current law school is in, you should be able to find work being at the top from a local law school.  Take a look at the book The Art of the Law School Transfer, as it speaks directly to the question and probably other concerns you have.  hope this helps a little.


big - fat - box

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2009, 11:02:27 AM »
Much easier to give advice if you tell us what schools you are talking about.

Keep in mind that we're also late in the game at this point and if you only applied to one school you may just be stuck at your current school.

Do you have a scholarship at your current school?

Scoop, by the time he gets ahold of your book it will likely be too late to be of any use because he will probably need to decide soon.

RandyJ51

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 06:56:36 PM »
I am in a similar situation minus law review/top 15%. The T4 school recently awarded me with a 5k scholarship. I got into Washington University in St. Louis and WASH U will cost about 10k more.

(1) I like the T4's city; (2) I made a few good friends/plus a GF; (3) I could live in the T4 city for a couple years. I don't really care for big law but I hate having to explain my current school and am interested in clerking. I went to a unknown name school for undergrad.

My dad is an attorney and I could work for him as a backup plan. My dad thinks I should stay at the T4 because "[your] doing so well there and you have good friends." He also said that "after a couple years, no one cares what law school you went to." I would have to agree that your performance is what matters. My dad went to a different T4 school and he has hired people from T1s.

I just visited Wash U and I like it, but I am torn between the two. Any suggestions?

big - fat - box

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009, 07:19:07 PM »
Randy, is your dad paying for school?

If you want to stay where you are, I would try to milk a full ride or close to it out of the tier 4. Tell them you're thinking of transferring and that money is an issue. See what they say.

Biglaw is no guarantee if you move to WashU, but I'm sure you already know that. Clerking probably depends a lot on how well you do at WashU or if you stay, how well you continue to do at your current school. Not being on law review at the tier 4 will probably hurt a bit for clerking prospects if you stay there.

No matter what you do, working for your dad is a nice backup to have. The job market is really bad and it's nice to have that option open.

Are you considering any other schools? Is your GF in law school. If so, she might be able to move closer to you if you go to WashU as a visiting student in your third year. Making friends as a transfer isn't a big deal, but your friends will likely be other transfers b/c you don't have a 1L section bond when you come in as a transfer.

While what your dad said about no one caring where you went to school after a few years is true to an extent, having a name brand school on your resume has benefits even when you have established yourself as an atty. Particularly if you want to move into certain types of jobs down the line, like federal government.


I am in a similar situation minus law review/top 15%. The T4 school recently awarded me with a 5k scholarship. I got into Washington University in St. Louis and WASH U will cost about 10k more.

(1) I like the T4's city; (2) I made a few good friends/plus a GF; (3) I could live in the T4 city for a couple years. I don't really care for big law but I hate having to explain my current school and am interested in clerking. I went to a unknown name school for undergrad.

My dad is an attorney and I could work for him as a backup plan. My dad thinks I should stay at the T4 because "[your] doing so well there and you have good friends." He also said that "after a couple years, no one cares what law school you went to." I would have to agree that your performance is what matters. My dad went to a different T4 school and he has hired people from T1s.

I just visited Wash U and I like it, but I am torn between the two. Any suggestions?

SASS

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2009, 07:24:45 PM »
I go to a 4T law school with a top tier law review.  I have been invited to be on the review.  I have also applied to transfer to a better school.  I am at the top of the class at my school.
My question is "What is more important to employers,  top school or law review?


There is no such thing as a T4 law school with a top tier law review.  I transferred from my T4 to a T1 and I can tell you I would not have the career opportunities I have now if I had not transferred. Also, I was able to write on to my transfer school's Law Review.  So I have the best of both worlds. If you transfer, you can put on your resume that you were invited to join your former school's law review, so you can still use that and hope to write on at your new school.

RandyJ51

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2009, 07:58:33 PM »
Randy, is your dad paying for school?

If you want to stay where you are, I would try to milk a full ride or close to it out of the tier 4. Tell them you're thinking of transferring and that money is an issue. See what they say.

Biglaw is no guarantee if you move to WashU, but I'm sure you already know that. Clerking probably depends a lot on how well you do at WashU or if you stay, how well you continue to do at your current school. Not being on law review at the tier 4 will probably hurt a bit for clerking prospects if you stay there.

No matter what you do, working for your dad is a nice backup to have. The job market is really bad and it's nice to have that option open.

Are you considering any other schools? Is your GF in law school. If so, she might be able to move closer to you if you go to WashU as a visiting student in your third year. Making friends as a transfer isn't a big deal, but your friends will likely be other transfers b/c you don't have a 1L section bond when you come in as a transfer.

While what your dad said about no one caring where you went to school after a few years is true to an extent, having a name brand school on your resume has benefits even when you have established yourself as an atty. Particularly if you want to move into certain types of jobs down the line, like federal government.


I am in a similar situation minus law review/top 15%. The T4 school recently awarded me with a 5k scholarship. I got into Washington University in St. Louis and WASH U will cost about 10k more.

(1) I like the T4's city; (2) I made a few good friends/plus a GF; (3) I could live in the T4 city for a couple years. I don't really care for big law but I hate having to explain my current school and am interested in clerking. I went to a unknown name school for undergrad.

My dad is an attorney and I could work for him as a backup plan. My dad thinks I should stay at the T4 because "[your] doing so well there and you have good friends." He also said that "after a couple years, no one cares what law school you went to." I would have to agree that your performance is what matters. My dad went to a different T4 school and he has hired people from T1s.

I just visited Wash U and I like it, but I am torn between the two. Any suggestions?

Yes, my dad is paying for school. Wash U would be around 15K more, which is one of his reasons why I should not transfer. I am trying to justify the 15k increase, but he continues to say what I mentioned before.

I plan to speak to the T4's Dean next week about more scholarship money.

Working for my dad is a good backup and I am lucky to have that option, but I would like to create my own path and success without him. He does family and personal bankrupcty law, with family law being what I want to avoid.

I am still waiting to hear from 2 other law schools: (1) Emory; and (2) T2 state school (in-state cost).

My girlfriend is in law school and she was/is in all of my classes. She could become a visiting student for the third year.

You made some good points about longterm job prospects along with the different types of law.

My Wash U deposit is due Aug. 1st so I have a little time to decide. I recently just visited Wash U and was impressed overall. 

If I do decide to attend Wash U, I would try out for a journal.

Once again, thank you.

lawtransfer22

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2009, 08:59:52 PM »
Becoming a visiting student is not as easy as it would appear. First off, you need to make sure your school allows students to visit for a full year and will approve the visit and give equal credit for the work completed (the school i am transferring from only allows 1 semester absent compelling and extraordinary circumstances, which BF/GF issues are not).

The choice hands down is WUSL. Staying at your T4 without law review and not in the top 10% will not open many doors for you and if you graduate outside of the top 10% at a T4 that fact will follow you forever (even if it is lessened over the years it will still be an obstacle that you will have to continually over come) and effectively eliminate any worthwhile clerkships. WUSL is a great school and the extra 30K in tuition will likely be made up in the first 2 years of salary anyhow (more likely during teh first year), even in this economy jobs coming out of wash u will pay substantially ore than jobs for those out of T4's w/o journal or top 10 on their resume.


big - fat - box

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Re: Better Law school or law review?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2009, 10:41:39 PM »
Lawtransfer is right about checking the visiting policies. One thing I will say is that it's much easier to get admitted at a school as a visiting student compared to transferring in.

As far as making "substantially more" right out of WashU, that is doubtful if you don't land biglaw. The reason for that is the huge drop off in salaries outside of biglaw.

See this graph:

http://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib

You will probably have a better chance of making more money over time, and more job options over the long run though. As far as your T4 being an albatross around your neck for the rest of your career, that depends. What kind of work experience you've amassed 10-15 years into your career will make a greater difference. BUT a t4 degree WILL foreclose some options no matter what.

Bottom line, do not go to WashU thinking a big bucks job is going to land in your lap. It might, but it might not. The economy is really bad. It will likely stay bad for a few years. I'm at a t14 and a lot of students here are going to be fighting over jobs after graduation b/c biglaw didn't work out. Same story at other t14s and top 25 type schools.

For a little perspective, look what Harvard is telling their students:

http://www.abajournal.com/news/harvard_law_to_job-hunting_students_dont_panic/#comments