Law School Discussion

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Author Topic: Schools like BU/BC vs. UPENN/Cornell/Georgetown...does it really matter??  (Read 2742 times)

TheNewGuy

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I'll admit it...I'm nearly obsessed with making it into the top 14. It's kept me up at night, and it invades my thoughts countless times during the day. However, I was thinking of something tonight (while drunk), in the long run, how much does it really matter if someone went to a "mediocre" top 14 school (ie: Penn, Georgetown, Cornell etc) vs. going to a school like BU, BC etc?? Obviously going to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU etc puts you in a different realm, but I mean, if you do fairly well at a place like BU, you can expect to have a pretty good career right?? If you did well, you could expect to make close to 6 figures, or over 6 figures directly out of schcool right??

Let me give you a realistic scenario, and you guys tell me where you think I would end up. Ok, I don't make it into my dream school Columbia, but I do get into Boston Univsersity. I work hard, but I also go to "bar reviews", enjoy the night life in Boston every once in awhile, head out to Foxwoods casino in Conn. on special ocassions, but for the most part I hit the books hard. I'm no genious, and I'm not willing to give up my social life just yet, so I'm not able to make it past the top 25%...in fact, I only make it into the top 25-30%. How do you think my career prospects look at this point?? top 25-30% at BU?? Sorry for this weird post...I'm still kinda drunk, and just started freaking out...you guys know how it is...

Andrew

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It depends what the job economy is like at the start of your second year.  The economy was so bad for my class (BU 2004) that you had to be in the top 1/3 to 1/4 to get interviews at big firms.  I suspect that the next level up (Cornell, Georgetown, etc.) had an easier time.

Things are recovering now, but don't underestimate the difference between schools like BU and schools like Georgetown for getting big law jobs.  The line can be right there in a poor economy (like the line between a B+ and an A-, it can make all the difference).

Finally, don't assume anything about where you'll be in the class.  I give you (or anyone) a 1 in 4 chance of being in the top 25%.  "But I'm not like everyone else..."  Heard it all before...

In the end, I'd say take what you can get.  Take into account the location and (most importantly between these schools) the amount of aid you can get.  For example, a better chance at a job might not be worth $40k in scholarship money.

jdiv8

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From what I understand, a law school's reputation is still regional, sans the the top 10 or 14 (although I think the "top 14" so arbitrary). BU and BC have excellent reputations in Boston and in the Northeast and NYC. However, I am attneding law school in NC, and BUs and BCs reputation down here don't carry nearly as much weight as does UPenn, Cornell and Georgetown. I'd venture a guess and say that it's fairly indicative as to BU/BCs rep. outside of the NE.

With that said, there are many factors which you should consider that have less to do with overall US News rankings. For instance, where do you want to practice? Is BU/BC offering you any financial packages not matched by the other higher ranked schools? Another big one is alumni networking and concentration. There are many factors other than school's rankings that contribute to career options etc. 
UNC Chapel Hill