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Author Topic: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???  (Read 1466 times)

ExpLo

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Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« on: October 20, 2007, 10:20:55 PM »
At what point does the importance of the national rankings over take the importance of regional networking?


I have aspirations to practice at a small law firm setting in Chicago, and I'm trying to assess would it be wise to settle for a T4 law school close by based on its large network in the area or should I go to a T2 that is out of the region.  Obviously there are T2 schools in the Chicago area, but I'm trying to plan ahead in the event I do not get into any of the Chicago T2 schools. Any ideas would help. Thanks! 

apieceofpoop

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2007, 10:34:15 PM »
i think conventional wisdom is to go to the best school you can get into in the region you want to work in.

ExpLo

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 10:53:15 PM »
Thanks for the input!   :)  Do others agree with this logic as well? 

muharulz

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007, 01:02:47 AM »
its tough in certain areas i would guess.

depends really...

heres two examples.


i would think that if you went to american university (tier 1) and wanted to practice in toledo ohio, chances are youd probably have a better shot getting a job with a toledo degree because of the networking and what not even though american is ranked higher than toledo.

where this becomes murky is here and its my situation.

if you wanted to practice in pittsburgh, pennsylvania... your best bets are pittsburgh or duquesne. however, if you could only get into duquesne... better ranked schools in that region (eastern OH, western PA, or WV) may give you just as good career opportunities in pittsburgh plus the area where the school is located. for that situation, i would look at cleveland state, akron, penn state-dickinson, and west virginia university).

it all depends on the region youre interested in and what schools are in that region.

a good place to start researching would be martindale or NALP. you could see what law firms in the city/region you are interested in practicing and see which schools they do OCI or what not.

then again, if you are accepted to a national school like the T14, you could pretty much move anywhere in the country.

ExpLo

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 01:52:53 AM »
Hehe, T14 is definitely out of my reach...lol.  But I will follow your advice and do some research with the sources you pointed out.  Thanks!

Betty_Crocker

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 03:06:55 AM »
Definitely go the local law school route, especially since you are interested in working in small local firms. Most small firms in the Chicago area will be run by partners/attorneys that went to the local schools. There is also a greater possibility for you to work part-time in your 2L or 3L year and get a leg up on the competition.

While NALP is probably the best place to look if you want to know which big law firm recruits at which school, you should contact the schools you are interested in and either get a copy or weblink to their OCI firm list. Generally, law schools do not openly publish all the firms that recruit, but some schools will provide lists to prospective students.

joyce615

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 04:25:23 AM »
"then again, if you are accepted to a national school like the T14, you could pretty much move anywhere in the country."

Hmm...what about the rest of the t20 schools from UCLA down to BU? I haven't seen anyone talk about job prospects for those schools outside that school's region and I'm very curious. I'm from Cali and would like to work there after school but I don't know if going to a school like Vanderbilt will really help me with that (assuming I don't get into USC/UCLA).

Any one?


bamf

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 11:00:18 AM »
"then again, if you are accepted to a national school like the T14, you could pretty much move anywhere in the country."

Hmm...what about the rest of the t20 schools from UCLA down to BU? I haven't seen anyone talk about job prospects for those schools outside that school's region and I'm very curious. I'm from Cali and would like to work there after school but I don't know if going to a school like Vanderbilt will really help me with that (assuming I don't get into USC/UCLA).

Any one?


The T14 are generally seen as the most national.  Obviously the higher-ranked schools are going to move a little easier than Cornell or GULC or those on the lower end.  Beyond that there is a certain amount of mobility in UCLA, UT, USC and Vandy, but your grades have to be better to move from, say, Nashville to the Bay Area. Within the 15-30 schools anywhere from the top 1/4 to the top 1/3 will be able to swing a market-paying job in the big markets - NYC, DC, LA, Chicago.  But if you take a hard look at placement data you see that outside the top 30 it is absolutely in your best interest to go to a school in your desired region.
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ExpLo

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 01:21:20 PM »
This might be a question with no concrete answer, but I'm going to shoot anyways.  When people use the term "region" is there any general definition of how big of an area that covers?  Are people using the term as in the Great Lakes Region, Northeast, Northwest, etc.?  Some law school websites say you should stay in-state. 

bamf

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Re: Regional Law School Vs. Ranks???
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 02:06:12 PM »
Again the size of the "region" will vary depending on the region and the reputation of the school.  A school like Vandy could still be considered "regional" ... as in it does really well in the major East Coast markets but not quite as well out west our in the Mid-west (that example, however, is pushing it).

But generally the term "regional" school is used to mean a state, a part of a state, or a city.  These schools will have a fairly obvious home territory/ legal market, and won't have much pull or name recognition elsewhere.
2L, Boston College Law

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Around from time to time.  Always willing to answer any Qs about BC, my '06/'07 cycle or law school in general ... PMs work better ...