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Author Topic: top law school vs national law school  (Read 2751 times)

smartandunique

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top law school vs national law school
« on: October 03, 2010, 09:29:46 PM »
I would like some clarification-what is the difference between a top law school and a national law school? I know about the tier system but I read somewhere that some schools cater to a niche market and that makes them a national law school. (HBCU,schools that have a religious connection like Ava Marie) Does that really make a difference or are these schools really still just regional?

bigs5068

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2010, 09:44:26 PM »
I think it basically means the same thing. A top law school is nationally known. Everybody knows top schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc. They can get you a job anywhere since everybody has heard of them. A school like Gonzaga for example is not nationally known, but people in Washington know about it. At least that is what I think the difference is.

marcus-aurelius

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2010, 09:46:21 AM »
I would gather a top law school could mean regional. 

MeganEW

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2010, 11:23:40 AM »
I would gather a top law school could mean regional.
Exactly. 

As I understand it, Top Law School refers to any well regarded school (i.e. T1).  However National Law Schools are those whose brand extends beyond the region.  For example, Washington & Lee is a fairly well ranked law school, but hardly anyone outside the greater Lexington, VA region has heard of it.  It would, imo, be a Top Law School but not a National Law School. 
National Law Schools would include H/Y/S, Columbia, NYU, Michigan, Chicago, Georgetown, UCLA, Penn, Northwestern, etc.  Some might consider IU-Bloomington to be more of a National Law School than NYU because most IU grads do NOT ultimately practice in Bloomington whereas many (a majority of?) NYU Law grads stay in NYC.  Make sense?

I would consider all national law schools to be top law schools but not all top law schools to be national law schools.  However, I think that depends on how strict the definition of "top" is.  I don't believe Ave Maria would be considered a national law school because it's not highly regarded.  Notre Dame would be, but because of its strong brand, not because it's a Catholic school.  HBCU... not sure.  Howard has a good brand, and firms like to boast diversity, but I haven't really looked into it b/c I'm white. :) 
...k, just checked website of the BigLaw firm I used to work for.  There are a handful of Howard alumni working as attorneys, at least half of whom summer'ed there.  All but one are in the DC office, though, so it's hard to say how much is regional.  Still, Howard fares better than other T3 schools at my old firm.  For example, the only NYC law schools they recruit from are NYU, Columbia and Fordham (all T1).  They used to recruit from Cardozo (ranked around 50th) but not so much now.
Which other HBCU have law schools?
Acceptances: UIUC, IUB, Fordham, W&L, OSU
WL: Notre Dame
Rejections: NYU, Northwestern

smartandunique

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2010, 11:30:50 AM »
southern, texas southern and nccu. Howard is by far the most respected HBCU.
Thanks Megan EW-ur explanation makes a lot of sense.

louiebstef

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 12:04:30 AM »
Don't leave my home state of Florida out.

FAMU: Go Rattlers!

LOL.  FAMU (Florida A & M) is indeed a HBCU, but FAMU law has a simply horrible reputation.  They let in folks that really shouldn't GO to law school (i.e. 130 LSATs/2.0 GPAs), have a monstrous attrition rate (go figure!), and a downright terrible Bar passage rate. They should invent Tier 6 just for A&M.

Howard is indeed highly respectable.  Although, were I a sharp AA guy or gal, the hell with a HBCU.  I'd ride the URM train to Cambridge or New Haven.

Just my two cents.
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

bigs5068

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 02:09:32 AM »
It is not that bad of a school and you made a very common mistake that I myself made when looking at LSAC info. Attrition has two categories one for academic the other called well other. This other category includes transfer, people who do not like school, family issues, a million different things. You will notice on Florida A&M's LSAC info that 23 students were dismissed for academics while 64 were a result of OTHER attrition. 24 of this 64 were transfers, which indicates they did quite well and are not out on the streets. So although Florida A&M's attrition rate is technically 38% for 1L's in reality only about 10% of students actually failed out. Generally the other category is most attributable to transfers and A&M has a lot more unexplained people leaving, but the transfers are something to consider. The reason for high attrition at many tier 4's is not that students failed out, but instead that they performed very well and transferred. It is just something that all future students should be aware of when looking at attrition statistics. LSAC could make it more clear, but they do categorize an other box and include transfers out. I did not piece that together when looking at a lot of schools and believed all the b.s. rumors that some schools are required to kick out 25% of their class. That as far as I know is completely false and if you look at any tier 4 there will not be 25% academic attrition at any ABA school. 

louiebstef

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 02:15:39 AM »
Bigs,

I respectfully disagree with you.  I live here in Florida and work within the legal community.  A&M's rep is pretty bad.  The key is to realize that it is what it is.  I think you are correct in that many folks get into A&M on less than stellar stats, do well, then transfer.  I know if I were AA and attending A&M, I would shoot for admission to Howard.
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

smartandunique

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 08:00:15 AM »
I forgot about FAMU-sorry. Honestly I don't know anyone who goes there and even applied.
There are sharp URM at all law schools. A lot of AA want to be part of the Howard legacy.It's a diamond in the black community. It's not Yale or Harvard but it is a close second and more attainable.

bigs5068

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Re: top law school vs national law school
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2010, 10:21:24 AM »
Bigs,

I respectfully disagree with you.  I live here in Florida and work within the legal community.  A&M's rep is pretty bad.  The key is to realize that it is what it is.  I think you are correct in that many folks get into A&M on less than stellar stats, do well, then transfer.  I know if I were AA and attending A&M, I would shoot for admission to Howard.

It might not be a great school, but the 38% attrition statistic is wrong. That is all I was trying to say many people look at tier 4's attrition rates and the way LSAC presents the statistics are misleading unless you understand the difference between other and academic. I know nothing about Florida A&M maybe it is awful or maybe it is great, I have never been to Florida so I have no idea. The only thing I was trying to point out with my post is that attrition statistics are misleading and I don't think any school has failed out 25% of their class academically. I know many schools have 25% attrition rates, but that is generally due to transfers or personal reasons. It is not based on a school setting a mandatory kick out rate.