Deciding Where to Go > Law School Rankings

Tier Rankings?

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bigs5068:
There is some difference between tier 1 & tier 4 certainly. I think particularly if the tier 1 school or even tier 2 school is the best in a given market then it is a good idea to go. I am not sure what University of Nebraska is ranked, but I imagine in Nebraska University of Nebraska reigns Supreme. In Washington University of Washington probably dominates the market. However, when you get to places like New York, San Francisco, Miami, L.A , Chicago a tier 1 school could be 4th place in it's own market. So anything impressive about a low level tier 1 school in those markets gets knocked out. I know so many unemployed people from Hastings and it is a tier 1 school. However, it is 3rd place in it's own market. Although it is tier 1 nobody is dying to hire people from Hastings. They have Stanford & Berkeley right here. Not to mention UCLA & USC grads can come up a few hours UC Davis Grads another fringe top school can come down a few hours then plenty of Ivy League students Harvard, Yale, etc move out to San Francisco or the Bay Area. So going to Hastings although a tier 1 school does not impress anyone. GGU is certainly not  going to impress anyone, but at least I am aware of that. I know that I have to get a ton of work experience while in school and minimize my debt as much as possible. Many Hastings student or even Santa Clara or USF think going to a tier 2 school will result in people being lined up for them at graduation and it just does not happen. I have said it before and I will say it again I do not know how many lawyers I know that transferred from GGU to Santa Clara, Hastings, and USF. In doing this they up full tuition scholarships and they paid 80k more to go to schools that were 3rd, 4th, and 5th in their own market. Most regret the decision and many ended up in jobs with people from GGU. The only thing they got from this transfer was 80k more in debt and the right to say they went to the 83rd best school opposed to the 112th. No transferring to Berkeley or Stanford from GGU or from any of the other Bay Area schools makes sense. This is because Stanford and Berkeley are nationally known and give you almost instant credibility. Hastings, Santa Clara, USF, GGU do not have that same effect and you are either going to be a good attorney or you will not be. Instead of paying 80k more to get to the same spot you might as well save yourself some money.

Framboise:
The most important thing to pay attention to is the hierarchy in the area you want to work.  If you want to work in the Twin Cities area, it goes like this: UMinnesota > William Mitchell > St. Thomas > Hamline

If you want to work in Philly it's Penn >>>Temple/Villanova>Rutgers-Camden>>Widener

You run into more problems when you get to markets like San Francisco that have heaps of law schools and where the market is something like Stanford> Berkeley> UC Davis > UC Hastings, etc.  and you're still in the 1st tier.

So your main concern is what potential the law school in question has at getting you a job where you actually want to work.  Don't go halfway across the country to some random Tier 2 school just because it's the highest ranked one (according to US News) to accept you.

MikePing:

--- Quote from: Framboise on February 19, 2011, 04:05:09 AM ---The most important thing to pay attention to is the hierarchy in the area you want to work.  If you want to work in the Twin Cities area, it goes like this: UMinnesota > William Mitchell > St. Thomas > Hamline

If you want to work in Philly it's Penn >>>Temple/Villanova>Rutgers-Camden>>Widener

You run into more problems when you get to markets like San Francisco that have heaps of law schools and where the market is something like Stanford> Berkeley> UC Davis > UC Hastings, etc.  and you're still in the 1st tier.

So your main concern is what potential the law school in question has at getting you a job where you actually want to work.  Don't go halfway across the country to some random Tier 2 school just because it's the highest ranked one (according to US News) to accept you.

--- End quote ---

This is exactly on point. 

To choose between BU and Buffalo, you need to determine where you will be practicing.  Making the top 10% in Buffalo (which will be easier than BU) may put you in a better position where you want to practice than doing reasonably well at BU.  Maybe it won't.  But you need to know the answer before you decide. 

The job market isn't bad for top 10% and Law Review at most schools.  Work your butt off.

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