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Author Topic: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take  (Read 3160 times)

The F-cktard Express

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Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« on: June 27, 2007, 09:52:17 PM »
So yeah I know this topic has been beat to death, but here is a thought I had, and I'd like other views.

So I really have no desire to work biglaw, but at the same time I really don't know what I want to do. I want to work in my home state, and there is only one T3 school here that places well. I can get in and out for probably 40K, assuming I keep the scholarship.

Conventional wisdom is that you take the best school because you want the best options coming out of school.  I also got into a few T1 schools  (22-35), no significant money, and can't get out of them for under 100K. They place well in my state, especially in biglaw, but also in other places. But again, I'm pretty sure I don't want to do biglaw, and as such I'll be taking a much lower paying job, perhaps PI, perhaps not even law related, and the debt would be crippling and force me into certain jobs I might not want.

So the classic dilemma: T1 vs. T3 w/$$$.

However, here's my thought. If I don't do well at T3 I probably wouldn't do well at T1, and if I don't do well at T1 I probably couldn't take advantage of the oppurtunities it presented anyway. So it may be better to take the local connections and the lesser debt and go to the state school in this scenario. However if I do well at the T3, and had a change of heart and decided I wanted a biglaw job or whatever, I could probably transfer to a T1 anyway.

So wouldn't it be smarter just to take T3 w/ $$$ for my 1L year, and see what happens?

Roman815

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 01:26:37 AM »
So wouldn't it be smarter just to take T3 w/ $$$ for my 1L year, and see what happens?

No, it would be smarter to not sell yourself short.
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sno

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 02:57:48 AM »
i think everything you said is accurate...except where you assume doing well at a T3 = transferring to a T1...

honestly, i think most people have an aversion to biglaw because of the hours...normally, i say say don't assume you know what you want to do before you go to law school...but i think it's different with people who don't think they want to do biglaw...i mean, i fail to see how any amount of schooling will suddenly make you willing/want to work 70 hours a week...assuming that's why you didn't want biglaw in the first place...

in your case, if you're certain you want to be in the state and don't want biglaw, then go ahead and take the money...just my .02
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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 07:27:00 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

Roman815

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 08:05:35 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

In that case, I'm very lucky to have received my biggest scholarship from my best acceptance in my region of the country. In any event, as someone once put it on this site or another; if you choose the school with more prestige you'll be kicking yourself for the next ten years every time you write out that check for the student loans but if you choose the lesser school, you'll be kicking yourself for the rest of your life for passing up an excellent opportunity. I'm not saying that this will always occur but it most likely will and it does seem worthwhile to sacrifice ten years of pay for a lifetime of rewards. Right now you may be thinking about saving a few thousand dollars over the next three years but over the life of your career you're going to lose money if you attend that T3. You stated yourself that this T1 in another state does well in your state. Why do you think that's the case? It's probably not because the T3 in your state isn't producing enough attorneys. Think on that.
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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 09:30:46 AM »
I think most people on this board are going to tell you take on all of the debt for the "prestige." The less debt you have, the easier it would be to take a job which might pay less, but may be a better situation for you. I think if you are looking at only staying in your home state, the outside opportunities the T1 schools offer don't really present and advantage. I wouldn't think you are making the wrong choice by taking the money at the T3, provided it is regarded highly in the state you want to practice.

In either case, since you are interested in staying in your local area, I would absolutely try to network, A LOT, when you are in law school. At the end of the day, that is going to make more difference than what school you went to.

john jacob

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 10:33:11 AM »
typically, the elite law schools have much better LRAP programs for those going into public interest. Research those. I know for one that NYU's is extremely generous...

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 11:56:44 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

In that case, I'm very lucky to have received my biggest scholarship from my best acceptance in my region of the country. In any event, as someone once put it on this site or another; if you choose the school with more prestige you'll be kicking yourself for the next ten years every time you write out that check for the student loans but if you choose the lesser school, you'll be kicking yourself for the rest of your life for passing up an excellent opportunity. I'm not saying that this will always occur but it most likely will and it does seem worthwhile to sacrifice ten years of pay for a lifetime of rewards. Right now you may be thinking about saving a few thousand dollars over the next three years but over the life of your career you're going to lose money if you attend that T3. You stated yourself that this T1 in another state does well in your state. Why do you think that's the case? It's probably not because the T3 in your state isn't producing enough attorneys. Think on that.

actually, imo, what school you go to really only affects your income for your first job or 2...you can come from harvard but if you don't win a single case before you take on subsequent jobs, you'll probably have a hard time getting these subsequent jobs...if you win most of your cases and you went to cooley, you'll likely have an easier time getting subsequent jobs than the guy who went to harvard that can't win a case if their life depended on it...after the first couple of jobs, work experience is probably a lot more important than where you went to school...remember, even TJ grads become judges...
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sno

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2007, 11:58:06 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

excellent post
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Jolie Was Here

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Re: Lesser ranked school w/ money vs. T1: a different take
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2007, 11:59:25 AM »
The less prestigious degree and the big debt load both do the same thing: they reduce the number of opportunities you have.  Both close some doors, while the lack of debt or the prestigious degree open a lot of other ones.  Law students just need to be cognizant of that.  I think a lot of people have preconceived notions about this, and don't recognize that it's always going to be a trade off.

This is excellent advice. 

OP, it sounds to me as though you're thinking this through in the right fashion and I don't see any obvious holes in your logic.  If I were in your shoes, I'd just smile, thank LSD for its advice, and trust myself to make the right decision for myself.  But that's me. :D
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

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