Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?  (Read 4549 times)

un3que

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« on: April 13, 2011, 10:25:43 PM »
I'm a 1L at a T3 school, but I'm in the top 15% and I'm gauranteed a spot on Moot court AND most likely Law Review for my second year (my school allows you to do both concurrently).  My dilemm
a....If I have the possibility to transfer to UofA, should I? Hurts my chances of ever being on Law Review and/or moot court.  Money is not an issue at this point. 

Only issue is whether someone is better off graduating from a T1 school (let's just say still in the top 1/3 of the class) OR if they are better off staying at a T3 school and having done both law review and moot court????

HELP! 

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 06:50:04 PM »
In my opinion it would be better to be a star at a T-3 school then a normal person from a mid-level school which is what Arizona is. The rankings make no sense see this  article from LSAC http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf. The system is judges from across the country marking a scantron rating schools from 1 to 5. Some judge in Maine marks a box for Arizona or the tier 3 school you are attending. Odds are the guy in Maine has never been to Arizona or the tier 3 school and their 1-5 markings change every year. This is how a school like University of San Francisco can go from 76th to tier 3 to 86th to a 14 way tie for 96th place in a period of 4 years when absolutely nothing changed at the school.

Arizona could end up being a low tier 2 school or rise to number 30 or something at best. The tier 3 could easily rise to tier 2. The bottom line is neither school is impressive Arizona is not a state people are fascinated by and other than Arizona having a good basketball team not many people would say Arizona Law School how impressive. Maybe in Tucscon or Arizona, but if you went to Arizona law school and showed up in New York, L.A, etc nobody would really care about it. Nobody would really care about a tier 3 school either. However, if you are on moot court, law review, top 5% of your class at any law school it is pretty impressive. If you have nothing special about you and you are the 102nd best student and the 48th best law school I find it unlikely anybody will be that impressed. That is just my two cents though.


like_lasagna

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 01:08:24 AM »
I would transfer and add that bigs5068 has no idea what he's talking about. I wrote out a long post explaining why he has no idea what he's talking about, but rest assured: he doesn't.

The key question for you is where you want to practice. If you want to practice in the area where you are living now, you should probably stay. If you want to practice in the southwest (mostly Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, with an outside shot at Los Angeles), then transfer.

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 09:42:23 AM »
I would transfer and add that bigs5068 has no idea what he's talking about. I wrote out a long post explaining why he has no idea what he's talking about, but rest assured: he doesn't.

The key question for you is where you want to practice. If you want to practice in the area where you are living now, you should probably stay. If you want to practice in the southwest (mostly Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, with an outside shot at Los Angeles), then transfer.

Agree.  Your choice of quality firms will significantly expand at Arizona.

Hamilton

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
    • View Profile
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2011, 12:15:34 PM »
If you can do top 15% at a T3, you can do it at a T1.  T1 trumps T3 w/moot court and law review ANY day wrt interview opportunity.  Not sure most employers really care about moot court and law review too much anyway.  Key factors: what school you went to, what grades you got, and how well you come off in the interview... everything else is window dressing.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2011, 12:18:55 PM »
It is pretty funny that someone who hasn't even taken the LSAT yet or attended one day of law school seems to know everything about the legal profession. Since she goes on the internet with literally no experience even less than me a second year law student her posts just attack people. Maybe while putting the LSAT off she figured out how the whole system works, but as a general rule of thumb don't listen to anybody that has not even taken the LSAT. For that matter don't take anything anyone on the internet says to seriously. Whatever law school you choose is a highly personal decision that random people on the internet cannot help with much.  Now ilikelasagna said exactly what I said in my prior post that your decision to transfer should be significantly based on the location you want to end up in. So as we both said the location you want to end up in should a play a significant role in your decision. So great addition to the thread ilikelasanga attack someone and then say exactly what they said. Great Job!

John4040 took the LSAT, went to law school, graduated, and was a federal clerk. As a result of this his opinion makes some sense on other issues and he said what everybody else did. If you want to live in Arizona then Arizona is a great choice. I have no idea what tier 3 you are attending, but if you are attending New York Law School for example and you want to practice in New York then transferring to Arizona will do nothing for you. If you want to live in Phoenix or anywhere in Arizona then Arizona makes perfect sense. Arizona is not an ELITE school, but it is the top school in Arizona and will open a lot of doors in Arizona. However, if you want to live on the east coast after graduation then transferring to Arizona is probably not worth it. Arizona is a regional school more or less that could very easily become tier 2 by the time you graduate because the formula makes no sense. Look back at previous rankings and you will see that schools jump or down 20-30 spots any given year.


This article written by the Law School Admissions Council sums it up pretty well. http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf. They state that Stanford, Harvard, Yale etc are elite schools and will definitely open doors, but I cannot imagine anyone in Chicago for example much more impressed by an Arizona J.D. than a Tier 3 J.D. However, if you  want to live in Arizona then it is definitely worth transferring to Arizona. In my opinion when ELITE schools are not in the equation location and cost are the most important considerations. Remember me and everyone that posted is just a random person on the internet and should not be taken very seriously.

Again using actual facts look at University of Arizona's salary numbers on lawschooltransparency. http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=arizona only 30% of the class has a reportable salary. I imagine your tier 3 school has similar employment stats on lawschooltransparency. Remember U.S. News salary info is based on nothing.

Page 13 Fn 22 ]http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf.
Many are suspicious, however, about the accuracy of the placement numbers produced by some career services departments. While these numbers are also produced for the ABA as well as USN, there is currently no procedure for auditing these numbers. Such an audit would be difficult because it would be very time-intensive ::)"when publishing a study I thought you should take your time, but that is just me"—auditors would virtually have to duplicate the work of the career services personnel to confirm a school’s employment score.

Read all of Page 13 to understand how schools manipulate and lie about their numbers and U.S. News fails to check any of it. They do let a lawyer in Nebraska rate a school in New York from 1-5 page 4 of the article. Reputation decides 40% of a school’s overall score and is determined according to responses to surveys that are sent to academics and practitioners. Respondents are asked to rank each of the approximately 185 accredited law schools in the United States according to a 5-point scale. The ratings of academics are weighted more heavily in the overall score (25%) than are the ratings of practitioners (15%).

Page 7. (173 of 181 deans of accredited law schools in 2005—a typical proportion in the 4 years we have kept track of these numbers) signed a letter publicly condemning the rankings. This reason for this overall disrespect is remember it is not accredited or regulated and they engage in Gaming Strategies described below.

Gaming Strategies
Attempts to manipulate or “game” the numbers to maximize one’s rank is a different, but consequential, form of
resource redistribution. The distinction between gaming and other strategic behavior is not always clear. We define
gaming as an effort to manipulate numbers in ways that are unconnected to or even undermine what the measures are
intended to measure. Efforts to game rankings involve improving rankings factors without improving the characteristics
those factors are designed to measure. Administrators in this study consistently mentioned that these gaming strategies
were a serious concern,21 and the former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) publicly
identified them as a problem in need of redress (Wellen, 2005; Whitman, 2002).

Administrators described a wide range of gaming strategies in which law schools engage, although—because of the
ethically questionable nature of these strategies—few admitted to their own school’s participation in these activities.
Because some of the strategies described by deans may be very uncommon or possibly even apocryphal, our discussion
here focuses only on strategies that have been publicly documented, that interviewees have described at their own
schools, or of which we were provided multiple specific examples; all of these strategies also received mention in
Whitman’s letter to AALS members (Whitman, 2002).

An early and particularly naked illustration of this type of manipulation of the numbers used by USN to calculate
ranks was when schools reported higher median LSAT scores to USN than they did to the ABA. The 1995 USN rankings
issue identified 29 schools with this discrepancy, and USN responded by publicly embarrassing the offending schools by
listing their names along with the discrepancies in scores, which ranged from 1 to 4 points (U.S. News & World Report,
March 20, 1995). This strategy was effective: Only 13 schools were listed for the same discrepancy in the following
year’s issue (U.S. News & World Report, March 18, 1996) and none thereafter. Moreover, because USN now gets its
LSAT data directly from the ABA, and because schools are very unlikely to purposefully misrepresent their data to their
accrediting body for fear of losing their accreditation, this strategy is no longer feasible for schools.22

Although less blatantly misleading, schools employ a wide variety of gaming strategies with an intent that is similar
to that of schools that had reported higher LSAT scores to USN than to the ABA. One example of this type of strategy is
reclassifying some admitted students as “part-time” or “probationary” so that they are not included in the calculation of
median LSAT scores for the school.23 These uncounted students are those who have low LSAT scores or GPAs, but who
have other qualities or characteristics that are desirable to the school (e.g., minority students, older students returning to
school, or students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds). As one administrator informed us:

I know for a fact that [School X] and [School Y] have created these artificial probation programs where students
with low scores come in and they don’t have to count them as part of their LSAT. That’s complete nonsense. …
They have huge numbers of people on probation and it’s only in the first year, and it all disappears in the second
year. And they do it by taking one fewer course in the first year and then they take a makeup course in the
summer. That’s the rankings. We suffer because they do that and we don’t.

I apologize for the long rant, but do not base a life altering decision on what this unregulated magazine says. If you want to live in Arizona then attending Arizona is a great choice. If you want to live in New York then attend law school in New York unless you are going to a top school wherever you attend will be subject to the ridiculousness described above. If you look at schools on lawschooltransparency you will see schools from tier 1 to tier 4 never have more than 50% of their students with a reported salary. This is because no firm is going to rush the graduation stage at Arizona, New York Law School, Arizona State, Santa Clara, to sign someone up from a mid-level school. They might at a school like Harvard, Yale, Stanford because that is something impressive, but I attended the 49th best school and was the 137th best student there doesn't have the same ring as I graduated from Harvard.

vap

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1310
  • Attorney
    • View Profile
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2011, 09:10:39 PM »
Difficult to give advice because we don't know (1) the name of the T3 school, (2) where you want to work, (3) what you want to do for work.

like_lasagna

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 08:56:07 PM »
It is pretty funny that someone who hasn't even taken the LSAT yet or attended one day of law school seems to know everything about the legal profession.

What are you talking about?

like_lasagna

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 09:04:19 PM »
It is pretty funny that someone who hasn't even taken the LSAT yet or attended one day of law school seems to know everything about the legal profession. Since she goes on the internet with literally no experience even less than me a second year law student her posts just attack people. Maybe while putting the LSAT off she figured out how the whole system works, but as a general rule of thumb don't listen to anybody that has not even taken the LSAT.

I honestly have no idea where you got the notion that I haven't taken the LSAT. I'm in law school, bro.

Quote
However, if you want to live on the east coast after graduation then transferring to Arizona is probably not worth it. Arizona is a regional school more or less that could very easily become tier 2 by the time you graduate because the formula makes no sense. Look back at previous rankings and you will see that schools jump or down 20-30 spots any given year.

No school jumped up or down 20-30 spots, and, in any case, it doesn't matter much. It doesn't take USNWR to tell you that your job prospects are better coming out of Arizona than out of xyz T3.

Quote
In my opinion when ELITE schools are not in the equation location and cost are the most important considerations.

This is at least a little silly. Say, for example, you wanted to work in Florida. It would be a huge mistake to go to Ave Maria on a full ride if you could get into Florida. Huge.


My main point is that, really, you don't know what you're talking about w/r/t job placement numbers. Arizona will, as I said, likely get you into Vegas, New Mexico, Phoenix/Tucson, and maybe Los Angeles/San Diego. You specifically said:

Quote
but if you went to Arizona law school and showed up in New York, L.A, etc nobody would really care about it.

which is objectively false. In L.A., Arizona will go much farther than random T3 (and I'd guess the same is true in NYC, but I'm not going to say that w/ anywhere near the same amount of confidence).

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: HELP! T3 to University of Arizona ...worth it?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 01:41:50 AM »
No school jumped up or down 20-30 spots, and, in any case, it doesn't matter much.


Here is a quick sample from 2010 to 2011 of schools that did just this again. See Below.

Nebraska went from unranked tier 3 in 2010 to #84 in 2011, but not just any #84 rank a TWELEVE way tie for 84th place. I don’t even know how you can have a twelve way tie for 84th place, but they managed to do it. 

LSU went from 75 into this twelve way tie for 84th place. So it is not quite clear if LSU went from 75 to the 96th or 84th school because there is a twelve way tie for the prestigious honor of 84th place.

Kansas went from 65 in 2010 to a simple 5 way tie for 79th place.

Catholic went from a 4 way tie for 94th place in 2010 up to a 5 way tie for 79th place in 2011.

LMU from 71 in 2010 to 54 in 2011.
 
Emory from #20 to a 4 way tie to #30 yes a five way tie for 30th place. Emory, Fordham, UNC, University of Washington. 

What changed at any of these schools in one year I don’t know if anyone can say. More impressive yet is in the new rankings they just make 4 way ties for everything. In the 2011 ranking the following ties involving four or more schools occurred a, 5 way tie for 30th place, 4 way tie for 35th place, , 5 way tie for 42nd place, , 4 way tie for 50th place, 4 way tie for 56th place.

After 56 the ties get really impressive!  6 way tie for 61st place, 4 way tie for 71st place, 6 way tie for 71st place, 5 way tie for 79th place, then may favorite 12 way tie for 84th place, then they round it up with a 5 way tie for 95th and then wrap up the top 100 with 4 schools tied for 100th best.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+5


-Arizona probably will not impress in L.A. for example. UCLA, USC, are already there not to mention Pepperdine, LMU, Southwestern, also already in L.A. Then add the Stanford, Harvard, Yale etc grads that show up in L.A and a J.D. from Arizona will not do much there in my opinion. I am some random person on the internet that is only a student so I could be wrong. It is a online thread and I offered my personal opinion and you can agree or disagree with it. In my opinion the OP should only transfer to Arizona if they want to live in Arizona. However, what law school a person chooses is highly subjective and personal.

It should also be noted that employers have vastly different hiring criteria and subjective beliefs. I am sure there are lawyers out there that would rather hire a tier 3/4 grad than someone from a tier 1 school. Obviously the minority, but it does exist. The reality is no matter what school you go to at the end of day how you perform will be what matters.