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Author Topic: why so import to go to "top" school?  (Read 1163 times)

pgcc

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why so import to go to "top" school?
« on: February 05, 2006, 09:22:58 AM »
Every time I read about a top lawyer and find out where he/she went to school they are usually from lower ranked schools. What does this prove? I really don't know, maybe all the Yale and Harvard grads are slaving away in huge firms while these lawyers, such as the lawyer who defended Micheal Jackson(who went to UC Hastings), get all the glory. Maybe all of us trying so hard to get into a "top" law school are wasting a lot of time and energy. It seems to me if your focused and determined it does not matter where you go to law school. The cream rises to the top, isn't that the saying?

rider06

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2006, 10:27:56 AM »
Ultimately, it depends on the person.  Some people can do really well on  standardized tests and are brilliant, but have no people skills.  Ever watch that show boston legal?  While the show far from non-fiction, it does have a character that is brilliant, who the partners always ask for advice.  and while he graduated harvard law and is a genius, he was not the most socially graceful person and didn't know how to deal with people, and so he was never chosen to be partner.

as you get older, less emphasis is placed on your law school and more on your experience

Vainglory

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2006, 11:18:44 AM »
How many people go to the top schools combined?  How many people go to law school combined?  The ratio above will always be very low, and the number of high-level offices available will always be more plentiful than what the top schools can turn out. 

I'm a believer in the idea that the best lawyers will be successful no matter where they went to school, but the few hundred who come out of the top few schools will always have to share the top spots will the tens of thousands who come out of the rest.  It's simple math.
Takin the checkered: Minnesota, UIUC, Florida, FSU, Wake Forest, Duke
In the pits: Notre Dame, Northwestern
Crashed out: UCLA, Michigan, GULC, Chicago, UVA

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drama gal

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2006, 11:31:27 AM »
The importance of a "top school" is for greater chances of national job placement, better starting salary's, the national alumni connection, and most importantly, if you want to practice big law.  Upon graduation and even for internships, employers, just as law schools, will want to know not only what your class ranking was, but what institution you graduated from.

After you get your first job, what law school you went to won't be as important anymore and then the shift will be to what work experience you have.  If you don't plan on practicing big law, and you don't plan on working for a large firm in a major city upon graduation, going to a top law school is not as important.

However, if you don't go to a top law school, then one should attend a school where they plan on working upon graduation.  Local reputation can sometimes be as good as going to a top law school in those circumstances.


The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.

Sir James Matthew Barrie

bass

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2006, 11:33:12 AM »
Dont employ top harvard students, they may threaten to kill senior partners.

getinsomewhere

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006, 03:09:44 PM »
This thread is posted often enough.  Some observations.

Top Law Schools Advantages:

1. Recognizeable name for lamen (useful if you will be practicing in such a way that requires 'door traffic')
2. Possibilities for academia/clerkships (the vast, if not almost complete majority of top professors and supreme court clerks come from top schools)
3. First job (example: 2/3 of Columbia's class gets their first pick job (from their brochure) - I doubt highly even the top 20% of a school half as good can claim this)
4. National job market (it makes it exponentially easier to be hired in far away region)
5. Ego (you want to go a place with history, a reputation for brilliant students and superstar professors)

Regional/Lower School Advantages:

1. Regional name recognition (very important for some local firms, political office, etc)
2. Big fish (probably easier to stand out, though I have some doubts because a lot of people will be working their asses off to be top 10% while people at Harvard, though competative, don't have be be to secure a good, 125k job where they want even if they are in the bottom half of the class)
3. $$$ (more likely to get more of it, though big schools offer money too)

With all this said, a few things should be granted:
1. Law is meritocratic and great lawyers will rise above their education, no matter where its from
2. Many top trial lawyers came from obscure schools (though many top trial lawyers also came from great schools)
3. I've heard over and over again, that if you think Berkeley or Penn is competative (where most people are guranteed a good job), try the bloodbath that is tier II school where classrank=survival

Summary:

Top schools provide, consistant top opportunities and a great place to learn.  They also give your grandparents more bragging rights.  Lower ranked schools can also be excellent and you can succeed from them, but be prepared to, by necessity, work harder, stand out more and scrap for jobs that, regardless of anecdote or exception, are just much harder to get from the American Law than from Duke Law.

Hopefully this was gentle.

Rudy Huckleberry

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 03:26:55 PM »
This thread is posted often enough.  Some observations.

Top Law Schools Advantages:

1. Recognizeable name for lamen (useful if you will be practicing in such a way that requires 'door traffic')
2. Possibilities for academia/clerkships (the vast, if not almost complete majority of top professors and supreme court clerks come from top schools)
3. First job (example: 2/3 of Columbia's class gets their first pick job (from their brochure) - I doubt highly even the top 20% of a school half as good can claim this)
4. National job market (it makes it exponentially easier to be hired in far away region)
5. Ego (you want to go a place with history, a reputation for brilliant students and superstar professors)

Regional/Lower School Advantages:

1. Regional name recognition (very important for some local firms, political office, etc)
2. Big fish (probably easier to stand out, though I have some doubts because a lot of people will be working their asses off to be top 10% while people at Harvard, though competative, don't have be be to secure a good, 125k job where they want even if they are in the bottom half of the class)
3. $$$ (more likely to get more of it, though big schools offer money too)

With all this said, a few things should be granted:
1. Law is meritocratic and great lawyers will rise above their education, no matter where its from
2. Many top trial lawyers came from obscure schools (though many top trial lawyers also came from great schools)
3. I've heard over and over again, that if you think Berkeley or Penn is competative (where most people are guranteed a good job), try the bloodbath that is tier II school where classrank=survival

Summary:

Top schools provide, consistant top opportunities and a great place to learn.  They also give your grandparents more bragging rights.  Lower ranked schools can also be excellent and you can succeed from them, but be prepared to, by necessity, work harder, stand out more and scrap for jobs that, regardless of anecdote or exception, are just much harder to get from the American Law than from Duke Law.

Hopefully this was gentle.

TITCR

Rudy Huckleberry

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2006, 04:42:34 PM »

1. Regional name recognition (very important for some local firms, political office, etc)

I have always been curious about choosing a law school to open up future political options.  For example, I am considering some sort of state/local political office down the road.  While the best school in my state is a T50, it is not exactly a national powerhouse.  However, it is highlyregarded in the state (the school's graduates dominate the state) and most of the state's politicians are alumni.

In this case it might be better to go to the local school than to go to some highly-ranked out-of-state school.  What do you guys think?

My answer depends on two things: 1) What state? If your state tends to be more suspicious of "outsiders," this could matter; 2) Where'd you go to undergrad? If you went to an in-state UG, it's probably fine to venture outside for three years even in more suspicious states.

team mvp

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 04:48:19 PM »
Must a thread asking this question pop up like every other day??

jsia

EDIT:  All I'm saying is this is a silly thing to even discuss because every individual should and will make the decision that they feel is right for them.  Beyond that it doesn't even matter.

redbottlecap

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Re: why so import to go to "top" school?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2006, 08:32:17 PM »
In this case it might be better to go to the local school than to go to some highly-ranked out-of-state school.  What do you guys think?

I think that in the history of American politics, no election has ever been won or lost based on what law school a candidate went to.  What you do with your degree after you graduate is infinitely more important than where you got it from.