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Author Topic: Question about scholarship and job after graduation from law school  (Read 1363 times)

Kelly Li

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1.If I want to apply for scholarship, am I supposed to apply for it at the same time while applying for the law school or after admitted? I am just wondering if all law schools work in the same way.

2. My friend told me that if you want to get a job after graduation from law school, you'd better go to a really good law school. If I went to a law school with a low ranking, like 67, does it mean I can't get a job in a law firm after graduation? Coz U of San Diego Law School ranks at 67 and I like to work in San Diego or CA area. So I am wondering if I went to U of San Diego Law School could help me get a job in San Diego after graduation.

Thank you so much if you give me some suggestions.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Question about scholarship and job after graduation from law school
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2011, 05:57:22 PM »
<<If I went to a law school with a low ranking, like 67, does it mean I can't get a job in a law firm after graduation? >>

67 is pretty good, especially if it's the highest ranked school in the immediate geographical area.  Yes, you can get a job from a 67th ranked school.  Just make sure you do your best and try to get a good class rank.

<<I am wondering if I went to U of San Diego Law School could help me get a job in San Diego after graduation>>

If you want to work in a city, your best bet is to go to the best law school in that city, if you ask me.  If you can't get into the best, then going to any school in that city is a better idea than going to a comparably ranked or slightly-higher-ranked school in another city. 


MikePing

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Re: Question about scholarship and job after graduation from law school
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 12:21:19 PM »
1.  Scholarships are offered when you apply to a law school, you don't have to do anything special other than being an applicant that the school really wants.  How do you do this?  Have a high LSAT and great GPA.  Typically, you will get good scholarship offers from schools that are ranked lower than the highest-ranked schools you qualify for. 

2.  Getting a job, regardless of which law school you go to (except the very top schools), will depend as much on how you rank within the class as which school you go to.  For instance, a student at a top-25 law school who is in the bottom-half of the class will often have more trouble finding a job than a student at a tier-4 law school who is in the top 5% of the class. 

You are also thinking correctly that you should pick your law school by where you want to live.  Each city where you want to live/practice will have its own law school ranking that doesn't always match USN.  The challenge is figuring the rank out because it's not published anywhere (based on local opinion). 

bigs5068

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Re: Question about scholarship and job after graduation from law school
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 09:22:53 PM »
1. As MikePing said schools will generate scholarships based on your UGPA/LSAT you can see how much to expect from individual schools by looking lawschoolnumbers.com you can see how much money applicants with your numbers received and it is a helpful website.

2. Getting a job at graduation. Well there are no guarantees here if you go to Harvard you are pretty much guaranteed a job, but outside of that whether or not you succeed in the legal profession depends a lot more on you than the name of your school. Again as MikePing said if you rank highly the job prospects open up where you rank is pretty dependent on YOU. Even if you do not rank highly you can find internships etc. At my school there are people that have excellent grades that have put no work into finding a job and have gained no legal experience in school. There are people with mediocre to subpar grades that have applied for jobs and received them. Unless you go to Harvard people are not going to be tracking you down the burden is going to be on you to find employment and you can, but you need to put the work in. Law school is pretty much like anything else in life the amount of time, effort, work, you put in will determine how successful you are.

3. MikePing was is also correct that you should go to a law school in the location you want to live in. It is not rocket science, but when I was choosing law schools this did not occur to me until a few weeks before choosing schools. When I was a 0L I was heavily focused on the rankings as you seem to be and I almost moved to Michigan as a result of them. I have no desire to live in Michigan, I don't know anyone in Michigan, but Michigan State is the 95th best school so that was obviously going to open a ton of doors. That is not true though 95th, 112th 68th, 48th, whatever it may be does not matter. Especially considering U.S. News law school ranking is not approved by the ABA, AALS, LSAC it is a for-profit magazine offering their subjective opinion about schools based on judges nationwide filling out a scantron rating schools from 1-5.

Here is a rant I have posted regarding the rankings before. You can see the rankings are a very imperfect system and in my opinion they are a blatant scam, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Schools drop and rise 20-30 spots any given year based on this formula. It needs to be noted that U.S. News is not an official publication it is a for profit magazine offering their subjective opinion about law schools. The methodology makes no sense and as a result the ABA, AALS, and LSAC publicly condemn them.

Rankings
This article published by LSAC does a good job of explaining how the rankings work. http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf

The rankings outside of elite schools i.e. Harvard, Yale, don't mean much. This is literally the system and not a joke. Lawyers and Judges from around the country mark a scantron from 1-5. So a judge in Nebraska checks a box from 1-5 to determine whether University of Miami is a 3 or 4. The Nebraska judge is unlikely to have ever met anyone from Miami and would be unable to give any type of accurate assessment of the school, but the ranking goes in.  Besides not interacting with anyone from 90% of the schools it is pretty difficult to tell whether something is 83rd or 84th best so they just make everything a tie.  There is currently a 12 way tie for 84th place. Besides all the ties etc schools drop and rise upwards of 20 spots in a given year. The reason for this is there is no methodology in place.

As a result of the questionable methodology the ABA and AALS publicly condemn the rankings. It needs to be noted that U.S. News is not officially regulated by anyone and it is a for profit magazine offering their subjective opinion based on questionable methodology. Obviously Harvard, Yale, etc are top schools and you should go, but the 58th or 72nd best school nobody cares especially considering they jump drastically from year to year.

Here are just a few of the biggest jumps from 2010-2011 that I noticed. .

Nebraska went from unranked tier 3 in 2010 to #84 in 2011, but not just any #84 rank a TWELVE way tie for 84th place. I donít 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 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 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.

What changed at any of these schools in one year I donít 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, 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 my 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

You can also look at lawschooltransparency.com to see some actual salary numbers from schools. This is far more in depth coverage of salaries at school than U.S. News or the ABA provides, because by their standards flipping burgers at Mcdonald's with a J.D. or making 200k at graduation are considered employment by their standards.


Zeratul

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Re: Question about scholarship and job after graduation from law school
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 01:57:09 AM »
Skies the limit for scholarship money with that 4.0. Approximate LSAT needed to be in the running for full ride schollies:

Columbia 175
NYU/Chicago 174
Michigan/Virginia/Duke 172
Georgetown/UCLA/UTA/Vandie 170

If possible, do anything you can to reach 170. You will be accepted to a number of the best schools and if you really do well on the LSAT, you will get schollie money. The only seperate schollie app you need is for NYU's fellowships

FWIW, 3.85 / 172 ~> 40k Columbia, 30k NYU, 75k UCLA for me this cycle

Morten Lund

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Re: Question about scholarship and job after graduation from law school
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:35:59 AM »
USD isn't a bad school, and it does play well in San Diego.

BUT.  If you manage an LSAT score to match your GPA, you should be in the running for the higher end of the t14, and any of those schools will play far better in San Diego than USD.  And, of course, if there should come a time when you want to leave SD, then a t14 serve you a whole lot better than USD.  If you were to get into any of the really good schools, I would very strongly advise against choosing USD.

The earlier posters are correct that only so much weight should be given to rankings.  If choosing between school #67 and school #50, I wouldn't worry about the ranking.  If choosing between school #67 and school #5, on the other hand - that's another matter entirely.  A diploma from a really good school is the gift that keeps on giving, and you should not forgo such an opportunity lightly.  Of course, that assumes you score very well on the LSAT, so hopefully you have been studying hard...  :)

On the scholarship front, you may have discovered the dynamic that low-ranked schools offer plenty of merit scholarships, while highly-ranked schools do not.  Highly-ranked schools, on the other hand, will usually offer better needs-based aid.  Don't give up on going to a top school just because you won't get a merit scholarship.

Either way, good luck.