Law School Discussion

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TNGA60

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« on: September 02, 2007, 06:07:32 PM »
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Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 07:22:46 AM »
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Would the benefits of going to a tier 3 law school out weigh the costs and stress?

No.  Going to a TTT law school is making a $150,000 gamble that you will be able to make the top 10%  (sometimes top 5%) of your class.  If you aren't tops at a TTT, your job prospects will be very poor indeed. 

vap

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Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2007, 11:16:22 AM »
I am somewhat surprised by the responses, I thought tier 3 was a viable option. Hope fully I can pull at least a 160 on the LSAT and a 1300 on the GRE so I can have options.

T3 is a viable option for many people.  It's definitely better to go to a top school if you perform well on the LSAT.  If you don't do well on the LSAT, you shouldn't completely discount Memphis.  $11K tuition a year is very reasonable.  If you have a little saved up, your total tuition + living expenses could end up being lower than median starting private sector salary (which is $55K from Memphis, according to ILRG.com). 

Certainly UT-Knoxville would be much better, and it requires only a slightly better LSAT score (Memphis 25/75 range is 153-158, UT-K is 155-161).  $10K tuition with median starting private sector salary at $70K.

Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2007, 11:35:47 AM »
I like the idea of a new challenge, I am pretty bored with undergrad now. If I go to grad school and it is similar to undergrad in that regard I could never take 5-7 more years of it.


I'm a law school graduate, and I can tell you that for the vast majority of people, law school is neither fun nor exciting.  The Socratic Method gets old quickly.  Reading hundreds of pages to glean a couple black letter rules is exhausting and pointless when Legal lines can do it for you in 5% of the time.  Grading is so subjective that the most thrilling part of law school will be wondering if you won the grades lottery or not.  And law review is generally a bunch of people who pretend they really care about advancing the law (some really do care, most just want a credential).

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I am somewhat surprised by the responses, I thought tier 3 was a viable option. Hope fully I can pull at least a 160 on the LSAT and a 1300 on the GRE so I can have options.

A third tier school can be viable if it is a public university offering you competitive instate tuition.  The job opportunities will not be that great, but low instate tuition gives you a lot more job options.  You can take that 39k/year clerkship and still pay the bills.  Having 150k in loans really restricts your career options. 

Hannibal

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Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2007, 12:12:42 PM »
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Would the benefits of going to a tier 3 law school out weigh the costs and stress?

No.  Going to a TTT law school is making a $150,000 gamble that you will be able to make the top 10%  (sometimes top 5%) of your class.  If you aren't tops at a TTT, your job prospects will be very poor indeed. 

This is a question similiar to "should I pursue an aggresive investment strategy."  You have to weigh your known costs against future risk.  If you do very well at an expensive TTT, then the tradeoff may be worth it.  You have to be in the top 10% of your 1L class, which is not directly correlated with how hard you work or how smart you are, but rather how you fair in the grading lottery of final exams.  Think of it more as a 90% chance of graduating with $100k of debt and only qualifying for a small number of $40k jobs.  Like aggressive investments, you may see a payoff that is worthwhile over many years in this scenario, but only after some sleepless nights wondering how you'll pay the bills.

If you can favorably adjust the variables a little, you can weigh the risk a little differently.  If instate tuition is low, if you can live with your parents for a while, if you don't need a car, if you have money saved up, you might see the 90% risk of a low paying job become more managable.

This question is asked over and over on this board, and the answer is always the same:  Figure out your costs, understand the 90% risk, and decide if you can handle it.  The only rule is this:  (1) if you gamble and lose after three years, you are forever banned from posting threads about how horrible your life is as an attorney making no money with huge loan payments and everyone should think twice about entering the profession, and (2) if you gamble and win after three years, you are forever banned from posting threads offering you story as evidence that TTT's are a viable option for anyone that has always wanted to be a lawyer.

Pesonally, I'd get the international relations PhD and get a tech company to pay for your MBA (go at night to Berkeley).  That's the safest bet if you want the money...

ě

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Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2007, 12:49:35 PM »
I have not taken the GRE or the LSAT yet so that could help my decision.

I will graduate in Dec with a 4.0(fingers crossed)in Political Science from Tenn. Tech University.

Is this a joke/flame, or is it possible for people this dumb to get 4.0 GPAs?

Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2007, 03:03:45 PM »
I have not taken the GRE or the LSAT yet so that could help my decision.

I will graduate in Dec with a 4.0(fingers crossed)in Political Science from Tenn. Tech University.

Is this a joke/flame, or is it possible for people this dumb to get 4.0 GPAs?

Fair question, even with a decent LSAT you'll be looking at schools much better than Tier 3.

To me Tier 3 or lower schools are only worth it in select regions where they place very well. Example, Creighton and if you wanted to work in Omaha and only Omaha.

Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 11:18:21 PM »
I have not taken the GRE or the LSAT yet so that could help my decision.

I will graduate in Dec with a 4.0(fingers crossed)in Political Science from Tenn. Tech University.

Is this a joke/flame, or is it possible for people this dumb to get 4.0 GPAs?

Let us never forget that there is not always a strong correlation between GPA and intelligence. Many dumb people get high GPAs. Many smart people get low GPAs.

Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 10:40:48 AM »
I have not taken the GRE or the LSAT yet so that could help my decision.

I will graduate in Dec with a 4.0(fingers crossed)in Political Science from Tenn. Tech University.

Is this a joke/flame, or is it possible for people this dumb to get 4.0 GPAs?

Let us never forget that there is not always a strong correlation between GPA and intelligence. Many dumb people get high GPAs. Many smart people get low GPAs.

I agree that smart (lazy) people can get low GPA's.  It's much harder for a dumb person to get a very high GPA.

True.

Re: Are Tier 3 schools worth the investment?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2007, 05:44:16 PM »
Thanks to everyone.
I like the idea of a new challenge, I am pretty bored with undergrad now. If I go to grad school and it is similar to undergrad in that regard I could never take 5-7 more years of it.

I was recently in a PhD program for Political Science, but decided to opt out and just get my MA instead. When I entered the program, I had no idea what I was in for. A PhD program is NOTHING like undergrad. There are mostly small seminar classes, the majority of students have to TA (meaning teach - I hated this), and much of the instruction focuses on quantitative methods (in other words, statistics). There are many things I liked about grad school, but just be prepared if you decide to go that route. It is nothing like undergrad - and that can be a good or bad thing, depending on your mindset.