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Author Topic: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?  (Read 30772 times)

blocke123

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2006, 08:00:18 AM »
Burghbuh;

Given a choice of Kent Law and Uof Iowa for Chicago jobs (I would like to go into Biglaw)... which one would you choose?  I've posted this question before and get mixed reviews.  I'm not sure if these people have attempted to get jobs in Chicago and actually know the market but perhaps you have some experiance or know those who have had some experiance finding work in Chicago...

I am purely interested in my ability to find a good paying (80K+) after graduation.
Wants to meet me under the bleachers: DePaul ($$$), John Marshall ($$$ withdrawn), American, Miami (withdrawn), IOWA, Kent ($$)
Wants to meet me by the bike rack: Indiana
Told me they need to wash their hair: Loyola

WinnieCooper

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #41 on: April 20, 2006, 10:10:55 AM »
What about for family law - does it matter as much where you went to school? I was looking at the findlaw.com lawyer location & it seems that many of the top family law firms in San Diego & Orange County are partnered by people who went to Tier 4s. Does anyone have any insight on this? Does where you went to school severly impact your job opportunities in family law?

Any insight would be great.  :)

Family law is an area that will always have some national demand.  You will probably not make tons and tons of money doing it- in fact, most biglaw firms don't offer family practice because there's not as much money in it as there is in M&A, corporate, litigation, etc.  If you are sure that's what you want to do, decide where you want to live when you are done with law school and go to the best school you can afford (which could be a tier 1 or tier 4).  It's not necessary to go to the best school you can get into if you want to do family law.

yiplong

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #42 on: April 20, 2006, 10:59:43 AM »
Burghbuh;

Given a choice of Kent Law and Uof Iowa for Chicago jobs (I would like to go into Biglaw)... which one would you choose?  I've posted this question before and get mixed reviews.  I'm not sure if these people have attempted to get jobs in Chicago and actually know the market but perhaps you have some experiance or know those who have had some experiance finding work in Chicago...

I am purely interested in my ability to find a good paying (80K+) after graduation.

Biglaws are simply not very interested in hiring someone from Kent.  You chance will be a lot better coming from Iowa.  For medium to small laws though, Kent might be better.

burghblast

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #43 on: April 20, 2006, 12:55:02 PM »
Burgh, this anecdote you gave about people not finding work coming out of Kent or Loyola: do you think it applies to people who want to do IP as well? I've always felt that people going into IP law are a little bit less affected by the whole rankings thing.

I know you were EE so I'm wondering if you know about this. Are you looking to do IP as well?

Thanks.

I can only speak to my intuition about this.  I don't really have any hard empirical evidence to support a conclusion since I don't know anyone doing IP at Kent or Loyola.

I assume that no matter where you go to school, it will be easier to find a job if you have an engineering degree and are interested in doing IP.  I had over half a dozen interviews for firm jobs this summer, which is a lot for a 1L.  But more than half of those were places that only appeared interested in my EE degree for patent/IP law, despite the fact I'm not interested in patent/IP and made no mention of it in my cover letters.  And the stereotype sticks to me like stank on a fat chick - as soon as anyone hears I have an engineering degree, they assuume the reason I came to law school was to do patent/IP stuff, and when they find out I'm not interested in that field they act all disappointed like I'm missing out on some huge, incredible opportunity. 

I was talking to the woman at NU who coordinates our clerkship program and when I mentioned my background she exclaimed, "Oh, yes a clerkship on the federal circuit doing patent/IP stuff will be perfect for you!  The IP firms will love that!"  To which I replied, "Um... I have no interest in doing IP law."  To which she replied, with a stunned, sad look on her face, "Oh, that's ashame... you could have really written your own ticket!"  To which I replied again, "Gee, thanks a lot... I hope to be able to write my own ticket in whatever field of law I choose, that's why I'm paying $38,000 for an NU degree."

So yeah, I think your odds will be improved with an EE degree in IP law.


burghblast

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2006, 12:59:37 PM »
Burghbuh;

Given a choice of Kent Law and Uof Iowa for Chicago jobs (I would like to go into Biglaw)... which one would you choose?  I've posted this question before and get mixed reviews.  I'm not sure if these people have attempted to get jobs in Chicago and actually know the market but perhaps you have some experiance or know those who have had some experiance finding work in Chicago...

I am purely interested in my ability to find a good paying (80K+) after graduation.

I would have said Kent, but the other poster replied with the exact opposite response.  I guess Iowa is a very good regional school, and it's in the midwest.  So it wouldn't surprise me if a lot (even most) of their grads ended up in Chicago.  I'd recommend looking at USNWR's detailed stats for Iowa and finding out where most of their grads go.  If 75% of them take the IL bar exam, then it's a good bet you won't have any trouble getting into Chicago Biglaw with an Iowa degree.

As far as Biglaw firms here in Chi-town not hiring from Kent, I can't speak one way or the other on that.  My assumption was that other than NU and UoC, all other Chicago schools probably competed pretty equally for jobs here.  But I'm not familiar with their rankings - is Kent a T4 school, and are DePaul, Loyola, and John Marshall T2 schools?  Maybe that makes a difference, I don't know.  At the very least, I'll say that if you want a Biglaw job coming out of any of those lower ranked schools, you better be in the top 10 or 15% of your class to make the interview cutoff.  And if, for whatever reason, Biglaw firms don't interview at your school at all, then you might be totally SOL.

blocke123

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2006, 03:25:18 PM »
Burghbuh;

Given a choice of Kent Law and Uof Iowa for Chicago jobs (I would like to go into Biglaw)... which one would you choose?  I've posted this question before and get mixed reviews.  I'm not sure if these people have attempted to get jobs in Chicago and actually know the market but perhaps you have some experiance or know those who have had some experiance finding work in Chicago...

I am purely interested in my ability to find a good paying (80K+) after graduation.

I would have said Kent, but the other poster replied with the exact opposite response.  I guess Iowa is a very good regional school, and it's in the midwest.  So it wouldn't surprise me if a lot (even most) of their grads ended up in Chicago.  I'd recommend looking at USNWR's detailed stats for Iowa and finding out where most of their grads go.  If 75% of them take the IL bar exam, then it's a good bet you won't have any trouble getting into Chicago Biglaw with an Iowa degree.

As far as Biglaw firms here in Chi-town not hiring from Kent, I can't speak one way or the other on that.  My assumption was that other than NU and UoC, all other Chicago schools probably competed pretty equally for jobs here.  But I'm not familiar with their rankings - is Kent a T4 school, and are DePaul, Loyola, and John Marshall T2 schools?  Maybe that makes a difference, I don't know.  At the very least, I'll say that if you want a Biglaw job coming out of any of those lower ranked schools, you better be in the top 10 or 15% of your class to make the interview cutoff.  And if, for whatever reason, Biglaw firms don't interview at your school at all, then you might be totally SOL.
School/USnews ranking...
Iowa 22
Kent 60
Loyola 74
DePaul 80

However, I'm not sure if this ranking holds true for Chicago.
Wants to meet me under the bleachers: DePaul ($$$), John Marshall ($$$ withdrawn), American, Miami (withdrawn), IOWA, Kent ($$)
Wants to meet me by the bike rack: Indiana
Told me they need to wash their hair: Loyola

guyminuslife

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2006, 03:00:23 AM »
It does if you're Harriet Miers.

/obligatory

SouthSide

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2006, 03:35:23 AM »
It does if you're Harriet Miers.

/obligatory

I don't get this.

My thread has been seriously jacked.
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SouthSide

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2006, 04:42:24 AM »
Ah, the Harriet Miers comment was actually a reply to my original post, rather than all the "let's compare middle-range Chicago-area schools" discussion.

In which case, it's actually a good point. I thought a lot about this when her nomination came up. I think a lot of people would have been much more willing to support her had she graduated from an elite school. The supreme Court is pretty dominated by recognizable schools. However, if she had had better qualifications, such as having ever been a judge before, a lot of people would have been more willing to overlook her school. So I would say that, if you are going to be nominated to one of the most publicly scrutinized offices in the country, the school you went to does matter.

Harriet Miers can also prove the contrapositive, however. She is a great example of someone who has had an amazing career depsite not being from an "elite school." It was probably a harder path for her at the beginning, but she ultimately became managing partner at a large firm, president of a large state bar, and counsel to the White House. I think most of us would be pretty happy with those accomplishments. (I've commented on this elsewhere on this board)

I think there are a lot of factors over the course of your career, and the school you went to is only one of them. Ultimately, in the "school versus individual" balance, I would just put a lot more weight on the individual.
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trogdor

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2006, 03:31:10 PM »
Harriet Miers can also prove the contrapositive, however. She is a great example of someone who has had an amazing career depsite not being from an "elite school." It was probably a harder path for her at the beginning, but she ultimately became managing partner at a large firm, president of a large state bar, and counsel to the White House. I think most of us would be pretty happy with those accomplishments. (I've commented on this elsewhere on this board)

a lot of this was luck... she got in with the right people who just happened to gain some power and give her a little kickback.  hard work or her being incredibly brilliant doesn't necessarily factor in.  i'm not saying she's stupid or totally unqualified, just that much of her success can be attributed to fortunate circumstances.
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