Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?  (Read 8948 times)

French Fry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« on: August 12, 2009, 08:38:52 PM »
I am completely nervous about applying to law school... I live in Ohio so I have limited choices on where I can go. My GPA is not the best; I messed up my 2nd year and it ruined my GPA (and ever since being on the Dean's List barely raised it). And I got in the low 150's on my LSAT. So given this, I pretty much should decide between Dayton and Capital. But I know both are ranked very low. I wanted so much to go to Case Western, but my 2nd year ruined that chance. Any advice on what I should do, or any other schools that I should consider (and that I have a chance of getting into)? Also, does applying for early decision help your chances? Someone told me that applying to Case as an early decision may increase my chances... And I am retaking my LSAT in Sep.

Illini Boy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2009, 09:53:07 PM »
Depends what you're looking for. It's not that the education is going to be that horrible per se, but you're going to have a real tough time finding employment after school. To be fair, that'd probably be true at Case Western as well, but not to the same degree.

If you improve your LSAT next time out you'll be in a much better position, but you need to ask yourself whether 6 figures of debt is worth it for the job prospects you'll have coming out of school. If studying law for its own sake is that important for you, it might be worth it. But don't go because it's something to do after undergrad; student loan debt is some of the worst you can take on because it can't be discharged.

big - fat - box

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 800
    • View Profile
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2009, 10:15:59 PM »
If you live in Ohio, you need to do whatever it takes to get into one of the public law schools and get in-state tuition. Case, Dayton, and Capital are flat out not worth the money. What is your GPA and LSAT?.

If you need to, study hard and retake the LSAT before you apply. It shouldn't be that hard to get into at least ONE of the public Ohio law schools even if you have a bad GPA. I would look hard at the law schools at Cleveland State, Akron, and Toledo. OSU and Cinci are probably out if your GPA is really bad but you should get into at least one of the others if you can raise your LSAT by a few points, depending on just how bad your GPA is.

stebro

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2009, 12:02:16 PM »
I agree that, in the job market, it's important to attend the best law school you can get into.  You can get a decent legal education at a lower ranked school, but law can be a snobbish profession--particularly if you want to work for a big firm. One alternative that hasn't been mentioned:  Go to the best law school you can get into now with your GPA and LSAT.  Study hard and try to make law review.  Then look into transferring to a higher ranked school for your second and third years.

My undergrad. grades also were not spectacular.  I attended Wayne in Detroit for the first year and was at the top of my class.  I was able to transfer to Michigan, which was my dream school.  This was quite a while ago and I don't know what the policies are today on second year transfers, but it's worth checking out.

big - fat - box

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 800
    • View Profile
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2009, 01:46:26 PM »
I was a transfer too. tier 2/3 to t14. Problem is, there is no way to predict the OP's 1L grades and the odds are that he will be stuck at whatever school he starts at for 3 years. That is why I told him to try one of the OH state schools if he is an OH resident.

stebro

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2009, 01:59:28 PM »
You're absolutely right, BFB.  Transferring to a higher ranked school is a long shot. First, you have to get the grades.  Then, you have to be accepted.  At the time I transferred, Michigan was only accepting 2 or 3 second year transfers and you had to be at the very top of your class.  But I was determined to get high grades in my first year and transfer. I worked harder than ever before and it paid off, but you can't count on it.

Ninja1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3089
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2009, 12:37:17 AM »
Why stay in Ohio? Depending on your GPA, I can think of several reasonably prestigious Southern schools that you'd have a shot at.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

Alchemy Prep

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2009, 01:54:15 PM »
The postings above make good points.  In this economy you need to go to a solid law school or not go at all.  Too many people are ending up $150K in debt and without jobs.  When they do get a job, it's paying them $50K which is less than many were making before going to law school.

For school comparison purposes, check out www.nalpdirectory.com and click on "advanced search".  There is a table you can look into that will provide the list of firms interviewing at each school. Compare schools and factor in the number of students at the schools you're comparing in order to see how difficult the job market is for each schools' students.  Most students will not get a job through OCI, however, looking at the number of firms visiting will show you how "in-demand" students from a particular school are in their region.

Best,

Kris
Modified to remove spam- nealric

Ninja1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3089
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 08:35:34 PM »
...

Most students will not get a job through OCI, however, looking at the number of firms visiting will show you how "in-demand" students from a particular school are in their region.

...

Exactly right.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

mooms

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Is going to a lower ranked school really that bad?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 03:29:46 AM »
How people cannot see through the transparent money-making venture that is the Newsweek law school rankings is BEYOND me.  Aren't we supposed to be skilled at higher reasoning?  Ever heard of medical school rankings?  Why not? 

WE ALL TAKE THE SAME LICENSING TEST!  I bang my head thinking of the idiots who live and die on this website trying to figure out an artificial ranking system.  FOOLS!  I hope the publishers at Newsweek make loads of money off the idiots who buy their crap, and have a good laugh while they're at it.  Anyone who is duped by such stupidity is the author of their own demise.

Now, if you're a socially inept moron who cannot sell himself in an interview, perhaps securing your future by way of school reputation isn't such a bad idea.  For the rest of us socially well adjusted folks who can nail every interview we have, we'll be laughing when we see you in court.  Too bad your school jacket won't be allowed in the room.  Boo hoo!

I am completely nervous about applying to law school... I live in Ohio so I have limited choices on where I can go. My GPA is not the best; I messed up my 2nd year and it ruined my GPA (and ever since being on the Dean's List barely raised it). And I got in the low 150's on my LSAT. So given this, I pretty much should decide between Dayton and Capital. But I know both are ranked very low. I wanted so much to go to Case Western, but my 2nd year ruined that chance. Any advice on what I should do, or any other schools that I should consider (and that I have a chance of getting into)? Also, does applying for early decision help your chances? Someone told me that applying to Case as an early decision may increase my chances... And I am retaking my LSAT in Sep.