Law School Discussion

Advice from A State Bar Director - 30 yr practitioner

Advice from A State Bar Director - 30 yr practitioner
« on: September 07, 2011, 02:41:21 PM »
I'm an elected state bar director in Texas. Texas has a mandatory bar that is part of state govt. Ok that's out of the way.

I was clueless when I applied for law school. I didn't know what kind of practice I would have or where I would go to practice. As I had never been in the midwest - I looked there ( I graduated from Cal -Berkeley). I picked Indiana because it was best in its state ( at that time it had 3x the library of Notre Dame and in a much nicer place),  as well as it being a fairly small school. I am a college basketball fan and yes they were #1 when I went and that was a factor.

If you're in private practice and you do family or criminal law - it makes no difference where you go to school.  Less than once a year I get the question of where I went to school and its usually just to for conversation.

If you want to network with other attorneys it may be best to go to school in the state you're plan to practice in. I looked at my choice as a vacation but the University of Texas Law School was huge and I didn't like that.

Top firms do care about your school- so the better the school the better your chances.

One thing I had noticed at the time and it was a while back is that it seemed like the better schools had the least amount of hours necessary to graduate.  Check out your school catalog.  I remember  Cal Berkeley, Indiana, Texas and Michigan required about 81 hrs to graduate, while other not so prestigious schools wanted near 95 hrs.  When applying to school it might not seem a factor , but the extra time and money is important.

Would I recommend Indiana University Bloomington again.  Yes, it was a nice place and the professors were super. Cal Berkeley? Yes but not if you went there undergrad -its best to expand and try somewhere new.  The University of Texas-  yes but its a big school in a crowded ( but fun town).

PS Why do they ask such tough verification questions. I practice in Texas why would I know the highest court in the US?  LOL