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Author Topic: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?  (Read 30036 times)

Alamo

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #50 on: April 21, 2006, 03:59:21 PM »
It does if you're Harriet Miers.

/obligatory

No, the reason we opposed her nomination was not because she went to a not great school, but because she had no qualifications for the Supreme Court.

Wasn't the fact that her JD was from SMU instead of Harvard a perceived disqualification?

No, it was the fact that not only had she never been a judge, but that she had no experience in Constitutional law, and was far from a scholar. 


True.  Here's what I think happened: Bush, being a simple man, thought that simplicity of thought was underrepresented on the court, so he picked one of his trusted simplistic associates.  Complex thinkers in the media and in congress shot him down. 
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

Dunson II

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2006, 06:06:09 PM »
LSD is so silly.  To take commonsense/obvious and debate it for pages and pages.

TO OP: YES IT MATTERS WHERE YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL!

Not a 1:1 correlation to 'success' but pretty close.  Failure to recognize this as obvious = stupidiTTTy.

HTH.

This is my biggest beef with both xoxo and lsd.

I suggest more thread hijacks and less substantive discussion.

The latter part of your post is spot on though.

SouthSide

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #52 on: April 23, 2006, 06:21:48 PM »
LSD is so silly.  To take commonsense/obvious and debate it for pages and pages.

TO OP: YES IT MATTERS WHERE YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL!

Not a 1:1 correlation to 'success' but pretty close.  Failure to recognize this as obvious = stupidiTTTy.

HTH.

Unfortunately, much of what people think is "common sense obvious" is actually wrong. For example, most people think it makes a tremendous difference where you go to college, but the best research indicates that it actually does not (see original post). I wonder how much the same applies to law school, and would love to see someone do a study of it. I think it is clear that your shool makes a great deal of difference right after you graduate, but that it matters less and less as time goes on. Also, even if it matters, the question of how much it matters is hugely important. If it counted for 75% of your future career, that would make a big differnce compared to if it counted for 5% of your future. This discussion matters a lot to people deciding where they want to go to law school, as virtually everyone on this board is.


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ACK!

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #53 on: April 28, 2006, 11:40:49 AM »
LSD is so silly.  To take commonsense/obvious and debate it for pages and pages.

TO OP: YES IT MATTERS WHERE YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL!

Not a 1:1 correlation to 'success' but pretty close.  Failure to recognize this as obvious = stupidiTTTy.

HTH.

Unfortunately, much of what people think is "common sense obvious" is actually wrong. For example, most people think it makes a tremendous difference where you go to college, but the best research indicates that it actually does not (see original post). I wonder how much the same applies to law school, and would love to see someone do a study of it. I think it is clear that your shool makes a great deal of difference right after you graduate, but that it matters less and less as time goes on. Also, even if it matters, the question of how much it matters is hugely important. If it counted for 75% of your future career, that would make a big differnce compared to if it counted for 5% of your future. This discussion matters a lot to people deciding where they want to go to law school, as virtually everyone on this board is.


Agreed.
U Chi '09

nekko

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2006, 10:20:57 PM »
How are we defining success?
If you want to be an academic then where you went to school is of overwhelming importance.

If you want a job in corporate law then where you want to school is extremely significant.

Want to do family law, criminal defense, certain areas of state/local gov't, mid-size to small firms then where you went to school is very helpful but not of overwhelming value particularly when you talk about specialized areas where it's more important that you know about X topic with Y connections than where you went to school.

If we're talking pure money terms then school is very important but I think you're most likely to find people on the extreme money end from lesser schools since the lawyers who make the most are often plaintiff attorneys but being a successful plaintiff attorney on that type of scale is essentially like being a major league baseball player, i.e. one success out of thousands of failures.

Also the comparison to undergraduate schools isn't useful since a lot of those studies showing the value of school do it from a monetary perspective. This makes sense to a degree but people don't tell teenagers that majoring in medieval literature at Princeton is vastly important for them to make money instead of getting an accounting degree at Rice or something.

blocke123

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2006, 09:17:12 AM »
How are we defining success?
If you want to be an academic then where you went to school is of overwhelming importance.

If you want a job in corporate law then where you want to school is extremely significant.

Want to do family law, criminal defense, certain areas of state/local gov't, mid-size to small firms then where you went to school is very helpful but not of overwhelming value particularly when you talk about specialized areas where it's more important that you know about X topic with Y connections than where you went to school.

If we're talking pure money terms then school is very important but I think you're most likely to find people on the extreme money end from lesser schools since the lawyers who make the most are often plaintiff attorneys but being a successful plaintiff attorney on that type of scale is essentially like being a major league baseball player, i.e. one success out of thousands of failures.

Also the comparison to undergraduate schools isn't useful since a lot of those studies showing the value of school do it from a monetary perspective. This makes sense to a degree but people don't tell teenagers that majoring in medieval literature at Princeton is vastly important for them to make money instead of getting an accounting degree at Rice or something.

What school you attend makes a huge difference when you first graduate law school.  I can't imagine a law firm thinking that they would rather hire a University of Idaho grad over Yale.  However, after your first job that "where you went to school" question gets thrown out.  Your school will put you in a position (through OCI) and prestige to get you in the door but your skills and work ethic will allow you to succeed.

FYI- for college, this applies to undergraduate as well.  Its very hard to get a job when you haven't been able to interview on campus unless you have connections or you have had a few years of experiance.  I got hired is 2002 so maybe the recession made me more cynical.
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kmpnj

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2006, 09:53:48 AM »
Interestingly enough, I had this same conversation with one of my professors when I was trying to decide where to go.  Her opinion was especially valuable because of her background.  She was lead co-counsel for Planned Parenthood in Planned Parenthood v Casey.  For the last year, she's been kind of a mentor.  She highly recommended Widener.  She said that Widener places its graduates very well and has a pretty good reputation in Philly, South Jersey and Delaware.  She also said that she knows, personally, of three Widener students that have clerked for the 3rd circuit court, as they were former students of hers.

So, if I had to choose to accept adivce, I think I'm going to take the advice of a lawyer who has won a case in front of the Supreme Court over all of you.  Please don't take offense to that, but she's been in the field, so her opinion is an informed one.

So, for those going to a lower ranked school, her advice is to keep the nose to the proverbial grindstone and do really well.  Will it be harder for you, not going to a "top" school?  Yes.  Is it impossible?  Hell no.  Just as a little added note, the Attorney General of New Jersey...Widener Grad.  Sen. DeWine...Ohio Northern Grad.  Gov. Vilsack...Albany Grad.  Sen. Biden...Syracuse Grad.

Good luck and go get 'em

jiggedyjared

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2006, 10:44:42 AM »
I've heard the same study about undergrad school not really affecting your future success.  However, Law school (any grad school) changes your future career potential in a way that is uncomparable to your undergraduate school.  Just about all undergraduate educations are equal.  However, graduate and professional schools are different.  Also, those hiring from graduate/professional schools are different kinds of people. 

Alamo

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2006, 10:49:34 AM »
Just about all undergraduate educations are equal.

Although we can all have only 1 undergraduate education, so we can never REALLY know, I'm gonna call shenanigans.  Personally, I think I would've gotten a very different education if I'd gone to Swarthmore as opposed to UVA, and those are recognized as somewhat comparable schools.  When you compare Yale to Southeast Podunk State, I don't think you get an equal education.
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

Erapitt

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Re: Does it Matter Where you go to Law School?
« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2006, 10:51:58 AM »
Just about all undergraduate educations are equal.

Although we can all have only 1 undergraduate education, so we can never REALLY know, I'm gonna call shenanigans.  Personally, I think I would've gotten a very different education if I'd gone to Swarthmore as opposed to UVA, and those are recognized as somewhat comparable schools.  When you compare Yale to Southeast Podunk State, I don't think you get an equal education.


I went to a state school for undergrad and got a great job after graduation as well as being admitted to a T20 law school. 

I have met and spoken to Harvard grads. that are going to 2nd tier law schools.  It doesn't matter where you went, just your GPA and LSAT score.

One thing I have learned throughout my growth process as a person is I will do whatever it takes to get my children to go to a state school.  It simply does not make sense to end up $50-100K in debt for undergrad.
Attending GW in Fall '06