Law School Discussion

(1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study

(1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« on: March 09, 2006, 06:51:46 PM »
Hi -- first post.  Nice board.

Background:

I'm thinking about applying to law school next year and would like to work in a location with a large Japanese population following graduation.  I'm interested in practicing law for a large corporation, preferably one with business ties to Japan.  I think that puts me in New York, California, or the Washington (state) area, but if you can think of any other good locations please let me know.  Ideally I'd like to work in some capacity in Japan itself, but from what I understand Japan isn't an easy place to find employment as a lawyer.

Questions:

1. What do you think is more important -- school rank or proximity to where you want to work/live following graduation?

2. Considering my career goals, what aspect of law should I focus on?

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have to offer!

Jaustin

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Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2006, 07:13:27 PM »
Have you considered Hawaii?  They have strong ties to Japan/Asia.  Take a look at their website.

Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006, 07:38:05 PM »
Hi -- first post.  Nice board.

Background:

I'm thinking about applying to law school next year and would like to work in a location with a large Japanese population following graduation.  I'm interested in practicing law for a large corporation, preferably one with business ties to Japan.  I think that puts me in New York, California, or the Washington (state) area, but if you can think of any other good locations please let me know.  Ideally I'd like to work in some capacity in Japan itself, but from what I understand Japan isn't an easy place to find employment as a lawyer.

Questions:

1. What do you think is more important -- school rank or proximity to where you want to work/live following graduation?

2. Considering my career goals, what aspect of law should I focus on?

Thanks in advance for any advice you might have to offer!

1.  That depends -- if you can get into a top-tier law school, go for it!  As unreliable as it is, USNWR's rankings DO give you a good idea of how far a degree should take you.  Most people suggest top 14, but I think you'd be fine if you can get into a top 20 or 25 school.  If that's not possible, then yes, consider proximity to where you want to live following graduation, but if you can get into a top law school you'll be able to get a job almost anywhere.

2.  Probably international law.  I'm assuming you already have a good background in Japanese?

As for schools to consider -- I've heard that the University of Washington has a good program in Asian law, and of course there's Hawaii as the previous poster suggested.

RockyMarciano

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Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2006, 08:12:15 PM »
I heard that the University of Hawaii is hard to get into. Secondly, you would want to look at a balance of international law clinics or journals and school rank. A lot of your decision making will be narrowed down by your LSAT and GPA. I am interested in International Law as well and I want to work in Mexico as a result I am interested in Cornell, Univ. of Texas, and Nortwestern. By process of elimination that leaves me with Cornell unless NW takes me off their waitlist or Texas admits me. 

Have you called Japanese law firms or US law firms with branches in Japan to see where they hire from?

check out this link: http://lawyers.martindale.com/xp/Martindale/Lawyer_Locator/Search_Lawyer_Locator/search_result.xml?PG=0&STYPE=F&FN=&CN=&CTY=&STS=&CRY=101&FSZ=

It has a couple law firms in Japan. It gives some details as to where their lawyers went. I saw a few that went to NYU, Northwestern, and WUSTL. Best of luck.

Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2006, 08:31:35 PM »
Thanks for the quick responses.

Hawaii or Washington would be ideal locations.  I worry about the low USNews ranking for the University of Hawaii, though.  I imagine the competition for legal jobs in Hawaii is pretty steep due to its limited geographic size.  I'll contact some Hawaii firms and see what they have to say.  I'll also contact some Japanese firms and if they provide any useful information I'll post it here.

My Japanese is good but I'm by no means a native speaker.  I should have business-level proficiency by the time I potentially enroll in law school, though.

Would love to hear more opinions, especially with regards to the "rank vs. location" topic.

Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2006, 08:37:57 PM »
Neither is as big of a deal as you would think, IMO.  Most law schools tend to place a lot of graduates in their general region, but I'd say that a lot of that has to do with the fact that a lot of law students go to law school close to home because they want to stay, or they go somewhere specifically because they want to practice in that area.  From everything I've heard, most law schools (at least those in the top 50 or so) will allow you to get a job anywhere; you might just have to do a little extra legwork if you want to practice outside the area.

In your case, though, since your particular field is highly specialized, I'd obviously suggest that you find a law school that's strong in that area.

Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2006, 09:03:46 PM »
While Im prolly bias in this post, RockyMarciano, did you consider UMiami as well?  Pretty well linked with Mexico and S. America

RockyMarciano

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Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2006, 11:49:08 AM »
While Im prolly bias in this post, RockyMarciano, did you consider UMiami as well?  Pretty well linked with Mexico and S. America

I was considering Univ. of Miami but the programs and clinics at Cornell, Univ. of Texas, and Northwestern blow them out of the water. Are you interested in international law as well?

Re: (1) school rank vs. location (2) suggested areas of study
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2006, 01:53:55 PM »
Im more so undecided.  Ive looked into the biz/corp things and naturally international law comes into play with that nowadays.

You obviously have better numbers than me if yorue considering those other schools, but I just threw miami out there as another (safety) option.  Its where im strongly considering and I like the area, so itll prolly work out for me esp if i do well there.  Plus, i couldnt take attending school in colder weather, so my list of schools is fairly limited.