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Author Topic: Law school for the rest of us: Advice/questions for/from T2/3/4 students:  (Read 35855 times)

jsbowen

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with a 156 LSAT I got a 47% scholarship. After retaking it I got a 164 and they emailed me offering 85% scholarship and I made it clear that with my new score I had some decisions to make. Can I ask for a full ride (and walk otherwise, applying to other schools for the next year?)

Seems that is somewhat expected according to this article (thanks, of course, to sites like LSD) - http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/07/11/lets-make-a-deal-dickering-down-your-law-school-tuition/
WVU 2010

Astro

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Eternal bump.
J, if you didn't bring enough penis for everyone, you shouldn't have brought any penis at all. 

vap

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Bumping for those who have made their decision this year.

sethayates

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I must say as a new person to this site I read all 33 pages of this post and I am impressed. The mix of serious questions and unintentional comedy (and sometimes intentional) kep me going all the way to page 33 (yes I can admit I read the whole thing). 

It looks like this thread died a little at the end but I will ask my question like the poster above.  I am considering going to Law School. I am a recently seperated veteran with full GI Bill benefits. I am one of the few who also bothered to take advantage of the free money while I was still in to nearly compleet my degree even around all the constant deployments and other BS that is the military.

I have a 3.8 GPA and I am majoring in accounting (that was my job in the military so I fell into it).  I havent sat yet for the LSAT but I typically do well on standardized tests.  The big issue I see is the Law school in my area is 4th tier.  Im thinking with my GPA and a decent LSAT I could easily come away with a scholarship and use my GI Bill to pay the rest.

My Questions is mostly aimed at the 3rd and 4th tier students.  What has your experience been like?  Would you make the same decision again? I could assumably do this with little or no risk but its obviously a huge time investment as I am 27 years old now and would be 30 before I even graduated.

FalconJimmy

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I must say as a new person to this site I read all 33 pages of this post and I am impressed. The mix of serious questions and unintentional comedy (and sometimes intentional) kep me going all the way to page 33 (yes I can admit I read the whole thing). 

It looks like this thread died a little at the end but I will ask my question like the poster above.  I am considering going to Law School. I am a recently seperated veteran with full GI Bill benefits. I am one of the few who also bothered to take advantage of the free money while I was still in to nearly compleet my degree even around all the constant deployments and other BS that is the military.

I have a 3.8 GPA and I am majoring in accounting (that was my job in the military so I fell into it).  I havent sat yet for the LSAT but I typically do well on standardized tests.  The big issue I see is the Law school in my area is 4th tier.  Im thinking with my GPA and a decent LSAT I could easily come away with a scholarship and use my GI Bill to pay the rest.

My Questions is mostly aimed at the 3rd and 4th tier students.  What has your experience been like?  Would you make the same decision again? I could assumably do this with little or no risk but its obviously a huge time investment as I am 27 years old now and would be 30 before I even graduated.

I'm a 0L, so, I can't address your question, but I have one for you:  with the type of GPA you have, and with the potential to have a really good LSAT, why do you feel you have to go to a law school that's in one area?  Why not go national?  I guess I'd just say that regardless of your circumstances (maybe you have wife and kids, who knows), you have more options than you may think.  The school you pick will have huge implications on your career in the law, forever. 

A friend of mine who got an LLM in Tax from SMU says that it still didn't matter:  most job interviews, they were still asking about his undergrad school.

Law isn't like business.  In business, 3 years after college, nobody cares where you went.  Other than a very, very select few fields (wall street investment bankers, some high prestiege consulting firms), you'll see a smatterring of people from the best schools, but also people from the "worst" schools.  The CEOs of most fortune 500 companies didn't necessarily go to ivy league schools.  In fact, a lot of them went to schools that weren't very hard to get into at all.

In law, 30 years after college, people will still care where you went.  This decision is huge.  The rules seem to be pretty straightforward:  get into the best school you can, then get the best grades you can. 

Why not see if you can get into a top school somewhere?

jack24

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sethayates:

Your question is difficult to answer. I go to a T2 that competes for the market with a few T3s.  Our school doesn't dominate those other schools, but we have a significant advantage (especially as a tiebreaker).
I don't know why you are tied down to a particular area (maybe you own a house or something), but it's really difficult to predict your job chances out of a T3 or T4 school.  Lets say you go to the University of Montana (T3) Or the University of South Dakota (T4 I think?).  If you rank in the top 10%, you are almost guaranteed a good job at a mid-sized firm (especially if you want to do tax law).  If you go to a decent T2, like the University of New Mexico (which also dominates it's local market), and you rank right around the middle, you might be struggling to find a job at all when you graduate.
The problem is there's no guarantee you'll do any better at a T3 than you would at a T2.  Ranking in the top 10% is really hard no matter what school you go to.
If you get in the top third at your T3/T4, bust your butt your 2l Year to get a good summer job, and network all three years, (all difficult to do) you will probably be alright.  It just might be easier at a "better" school.
   

sethayates

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Thank you for the answers.  The reason I am considering staying in the area is exactly what you mentioned. I own a house here.  I do not have a wife or any kids so I could presumeably leave.  WIth all of the research I have done it seems like it would be a big risk to pick up and leave to go to law school.

A lot of people would probably think I am crazy for turning down accouting jobs which generally pay about the same as most low end law jobs just to waste 3 years of my life and a lot of money for a degree from a 4th tier law school.

Your comments are definitly noted though.  It seems kind of odd to me that so much in the law world is based strictly on where you went and not what you know. I am starting to grasp the concept though and I will continue to research.  Thank you for the input.

bigs5068

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Basically everything Jack said is true. I attend a Tier 4 school in a crowded market San Francisco and it works out for some and not for others. Law school is really no different from anything else in life how it turns out depends largely on YOU. If you finish in the top 10% at any ABA school you are going to be alright, but as Jack said it is very difficult to do and there is a 90% chance you won't be in the top 10% at any ABA school.

Even if you do not rank highly if you get a lot of legal experience you can probably find a job. There are just a million different things that can happen and law school like any other educational investment is a risk. However, if you want to be a lawyer then go to law school because there is a 0% chance you will be a lawyer without attending law school. Also remember law school is a LONG-TERM investment. You will have the ability to be a lawyer for the rest of your life if you get a J.D. and if you practice law for 10-15 years no matter what school you went if you practice law for 15 years or do anything for 15 years you are going to be pretty good at it. Law is a demanding profession with high stakes and if you can handle it then you will be alright. Harvard Lawyers screw up as do Cooley Grads and if you watch any court proceeding you will notice what law school the attorneys went to never comes up. If you are good then you will get the result your client wants and you will get more clients which means more money and so on. If you are terrible then you will not get good results your client will be pissed and you will not get more clients and you won't make money and sh** will hit the fan.

All the negative stuff you read on ridiculous websites like JD underground etc are b.s. If someone sits around on a website complaining about how unfair everything is you have to question the person spending all their time female dog*** instead of getting something done. Whining and complaining doesn't get it done in any aspect of life and law school is no different. People that go out and get sh** done succeed in life no matter what school they went to and people that sit around and bi*** sit around and bi*** no matter what school they went to.

If you want to be a lawyer then go to law school and do the best you can. If you work hard, are respectful to others, and can handle a few rejections along the way you will probably be alright.

MikePing

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While the difference in ranking will follow you for a long time, some tier 4s are much better than others.  Great example is in the Houston market:  South Texas v. Texas Southern.  South Texas graduates have a huge advantage over TSU--even the top 10%.  The right law school for you will depend on too many factors for any list to give you the answer.   

You are still very young, I wouldn't worry too much about the time commitment.  The real question is whether you would enjoy being a lawyer or not.  If you would, go to the best law school for you. 

Your concern about what people would think if you sold your house and moved to go to law school should not be an issue.  The fact you mention it signals that you probably need further consideration on whether being a lawyer is the right move for you.   Law school for the sake of extra options = a bad idea. 

vap

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My Questions is mostly aimed at the 3rd and 4th tier students.  What has your experience been like?  Would you make the same decision again?

I recently graduated from Mercer.  I had a full ride + living stipend and graduated without debt.  I would make the same decision given my options (mediocre first tier schools with $120,000 debt).  I got a job in my preferred state clerking for a judge--the type of job I wanted before school.