Law School Discussion

Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school

SkullTatt

Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2005, 06:17:47 AM »
Right -- I was merely passing on a comment I got from a person who can speak from real-world experience -- as opposed to you.

Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2005, 06:23:37 AM »
My Northwestern interviewer, who is also a recruiter for his biglaw firm, gave me some unsolicited career advice: go to the best school you can. It really does matter. If you can get into a top 20 school, you should go.


Again, anyone who doesn't know this by now is simply not paying attention, and probably never will. (Or has other reasons for claiming otherwise.)

The possible excpetion is if you get a full ride at a strong regional program, and are happy staying in that region. 

Also, some schools on the edge of the top 20 (notre dame, minnesota) are not really as national as some higher ranked schools, and even UCLA/USC/Vandy are more regional in their dominance.  Fordham, for example, is probably better than UCLA/USC for NYC.  But when you're talking about the top 10 / top 15, they generally have an edge in pretty much every market over every school outside the top 20.


Exactly - the ranks collapse as you drop below the top schools - the question is at what point.  For example, I think that if you can get into Northwestern, god bless, but if not and you wanted to work in Boston you'd be crazy to go to 2nd tier Mercer or Nebrasca over 4th Tier Suffolk.

The question that haunts us all is WHERE the national v. regional divide is on that USNews list we've all spent so much time with.  This has been discussed a lot on this board already, but I think it's somewhere around the high 20's low 30's, with some notable exceptions.  

werbz

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Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2005, 06:28:28 AM »
*yawn*

tacojohn

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Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2005, 10:33:11 AM »
The thing about the rankings is becuase reputation is such a huge factor, and reputation is only measured by surveying the biggest firms and most prominent judges, it can almost safely be assumed that the lower the ranking, the more regional the school.  I don't think there's some sharp drop off, like a cut-off point that some people suggest.  Blanket statements like"If you don't go to a T14, you're going to be working the region where the school is" are simply not true.  A T14 degree is much more portable than just about any other.  But even T14's have big regional preferences.  The New England schools primarly place in New England, the mid-Atlantic schools place a lot in DC, Midwest schools in Chicago, and West Coast schools in LA/SF.  On the flip side, a law review student at a lower first tier school can be fairly competitive anywhere they go, and all of the first tier has prominent alumni around the country, so the possibilty of getting a job outside of the state/region that the school is located is there.

mcleod13

Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2005, 10:52:54 AM »
My main problem is that many seem to think that you will not be able to get a good job unless you attend a Top Tier School. Obviously if you want the BEST jobs you will have to attend these jobs, but you will also be working 80 hour weeks. If you want a job where you can live comfortably, pay back your loans, then you DO NOT have to attend a top tier school.

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Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2005, 12:02:28 PM »
The loans is a big thing.  I think many people don't understand the limits they impose on you.  Yes, there are ways to get out from under them, but if you went to a highly ranked school and went $200,000 in to debt, you're ability to work in private practice for less than $100,000 a year is severly limited.

wrmusgro

Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2005, 12:12:38 PM »
My main problem is that many seem to think that you will not be able to get a good job unless you attend a Top Tier School. Obviously if you want the BEST jobs you will have to attend these jobs, but you will also be working 80 hour weeks. If you want a job where you can live comfortably, pay back your loans, then you DO NOT have to attend a top tier school.

I feel so old now. I've been on this board for so long now, and I've heard these same arguments over and over again. These are the things I've gathered since I've been in school this semester (and I'm wierd because I've been to two schools so far):

Basically, the only thing that the law school you attend determines is your first job. But even more important than that is your class rank (top 25 law schools aside). If you graduate in the top 10 percent in your class or have Law Review on your resume you'll be fine....no matter what school you go to. (Cooley aside). Other than that, rankings mean nothing. Of course to some people, numbers are everything. But those people seem to be lacking in other areas of their life, and need to use the ranking of their school to overcompensate for that deficiency.

Oh yeah...Hey Hugh Jass....I'm a former Marine too.

-Semper Fi.

SkullTatt

Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2005, 01:15:57 PM »
Actually, I can also speak from real-world experience, but your ignorant sarcasm is certainly appreciated.   :)

No sarcasm was intended. If you are a recruiter for law firms, then I suppose you do have the kind of real-world experience of which I speak, and I was mistaken in my comment. If you are merely someone who is trying to get into law school like the rest of us, then you do not.

SkullTatt

Re: Myth: It doesn't matter where you go to law school
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2005, 10:27:05 PM »
I don't recall issuing an apology. You might want to work on your reading comprehension sometime before you start at Cooley.