Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

When choosing law schools what are most important to you?

Name and Rep of school
 2 (40%)
Location
 3 (60%)
Diversity
 0 (0%)
Cost
 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 5

Voting closed: August 26, 2010, 02:40:39 PM

Author Topic: Prestige and power or stay practical  (Read 920 times)

smartandunique

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Prestige and power or stay practical
« on: August 21, 2010, 02:40:39 PM »
Hi everyone. I wwas just wondering how everyone is deciding where to apply.I've visited schools that I thought i wanted to attend and based on that expierence I was so turned off I didn't even apply.I've also been impressed by schools that I never really considered attending.

Morten Lund

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2010, 05:04:44 PM »
It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. What kind of job are you looking for after school?  If you are planning on BigLaw in a major market, then you absolutely need to go to a highly ranked law school - anything else will functionally disqualify you (subject to regional issues, etc.).

If you are going to law school as a hobby, then personal experience, and presumably cost, might be bigger factors.

... and so forth, for other objectives.

It all depends on what your purpose is.

REALITY

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2010, 05:41:05 PM »
Just apply to as many as you can, including your "I'd never make it, but I wish I could" schools and your "safety schools"
Of those that accept your application, go from there.

marcus-aurelius

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2010, 06:45:17 PM »
<~~~~~~~big law path = T14

smartandunique

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 01:02:03 PM »
Thanks. i want to be a legal aid attorney. I'd love to work for our Legal Aid organization but I've also considered opening my own practice and specializing in public benefits,if that's possible.
I'm applying to Univ of Iowa and Drake,I'm an Iowa resident. I'm also applying to schools in Mo, IL and Mn. I want to stay in Iowa.
Thanks for ur input.

Morten Lund

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 02:40:47 PM »
Thanks. i want to be a legal aid attorney. I'd love to work for our Legal Aid organization but I've also considered opening my own practice and specializing in public benefits,if that's possible.
I'm applying to Univ of Iowa and Drake,I'm an Iowa resident. I'm also applying to schools in Mo, IL and Mn. I want to stay in Iowa.
Thanks for ur input.

In that case, I suggest talking to some folks at organizations you would like to work for.  Ask them about their hiring criteria and job opportunities.  I suspect you will find that they vary significantly from group to group.  "Legal aid" is a broad term.  As to opening your own practice in public benefits - that will be challenging.  "Public benefits" work (another broad term) is mostly non-profit/pro-bono, and legal aid organizations get by mostly on government/charity support.

... which leads to the law school issue.  If you plan a career in legal aid/public benefits, you are unlikely to make much more money than your clients.  As a result (unless you have other sources of money), you will need to attend a law school that either (a) is very inexpensive, or (b) offers excellent financial aid/loan forgiveness for public benefit careers.

But do be sure that public benefits work is what you want to do.  A law school choice that might serve you well at the Des Moines legal aid society could drastically limit your career options should you change your mind.

Either way, good luck.  The world needs public-minded attorneys.

REALITY

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 03:57:45 PM »
Public work is admirable and I respect that, but ZERO point in trying to go for "prestige" then.
Big Firms may care if you went to "highterT" school, but civil service and public works don't even care if it was only state approved or online lawschools, as long as you are licensed in that state. If that is your true goal, just try to avoid debt. Nothing wrong with that goal, but its a fact.

nealric

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2010, 10:39:54 AM »
Quote
Public work is admirable and I respect that, but ZERO point in trying to go for "prestige" then. 

Not necessarily true. Some public interest work is very prestige oriented. The ACLU, for example, mainly looks to HYS for hiring. For legal aid, U Iowa will be fine though.
Georgetown Law Graduate

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

REALITY

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Re: Prestige and power or stay practical
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2010, 06:23:22 PM »
Great. So you can be the most "prestigeous" peeon in the bucket. ACLU, awsome. Right up there with NAACP and all the other billioniares.
Is it a good thing to do to help people? Yes. Could you help people with the same pisspoor paycheck staying at the local freelegal clinic? Yes.If you want to help people, then help people. If you want "prestige" make sure it has a paycheck to justify it.

Quote
Public work is admirable and I respect that, but ZERO point in trying to go for "prestige" then. 

Not necessarily true. Some public interest work is very prestige oriented. The ACLU, for example, mainly looks to HYS for hiring. For legal aid, U Iowa will be fine though.