Law School Discussion

Do I have a chance? I have no hope...

Do I have a chance? I have no hope...
« on: October 06, 2013, 04:55:05 PM »

I WAS in a T4 law school and I took a year off due to financial reasons. I'm now ready to go back to law school but I am wondering if I should go back to T4 or transfer to a different school. I am from MI so, I am hoping to go back to MI (along with many reasons) and I'd like to get your advice.

My 1L record indicates that i'm around Top 31%.
I don't have many soft factors..I was two professor's research assistant..which one of them was the Dean.

I did work in one of the biggest companies while I took a break from school.. but nothing special.

I am not expecting to transfer to a top law school.

T2 or T3 is my reach, but I am not sure...
any advice is appreciated.

Thank you.

Re: Do I have a chance? I have no hope...
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 10:59:30 PM »
First off realize anyone on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster and take anything you hear on this board or others with a grain of salt my advice included.

With that said reading your post it appears you are taking rankings far to seriously remember that U.S. News is nothing more than a for profit magazine offering an opinion and they rank more than law schools. New Mexico is the #1 place to live citation here should make the life altering decision to move to New Mexico, because U.S. News said it was #1? I imagine you would think that is crazy and so is deciding where to spend three years of your life, 100k of your money, and your legal education it is a magazine nothing more.

When choosing a school you really need to consider (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the School. (4) Understanding the reality of legal education (5) If all else fails then use U.S. News as a tiebreaker, but it is LAST not first.

1. Location
This is most important aspect in your law school decision and it sounds like your common sense is kicking in because you want to return to Michigan. If Michigan is where you want to be then attend law school in Michigan. You will be in law school for 3 years maybe 2 in your case depending if a school acknowledges your 1L year. So at a minimum you will living wherever you attend law school for two years and during that time you will get an apartment, internships, make friends, etc in that location then you will likely take the State Bar your school is located in and once you take one bar you will not be eager to take another one.

Keep it simple if you want to be in Michigan attend law school in Michigan there are plenty of schools Cooley, Detroit Mercy, Wayne State, and Michigan State are all ABA accredited schools that do not have tremendously high admission standards, but will provide you with a solid legal education.

2. Cost
If financial reasons resulted in you leaving the first time make sure it doesn't happen again try to get a scholarship from schools in Michigan or try to find a school that offer's in-state tuition in an area you want to live in.

3. Personal Feelings About the School

Having gone through 1 year of law school I imagine you came to like some things at the school you attended and disliked others. Every school will have their pros and cons if your first school was a good fit then try going back, but also visit other schools and see what they have to offer

4. Reality of Legal Education
Remember the education at every ABA school is exactly the same the Supreme Court does not write different opinions for each law school. I imagine I did not attend your law school, but I am sure you took Civil Procedure and read Pennoyver v. Neff and International Shoe to learn personal jurisdiction then in Torts you read Palsgraf to learn proximate cause and you also took Contracts and read the hairy hand case, Property, and Crim Pro/Crim Law.

No matter what school you attend the law doesn't change.

5. U.S. News

Do not make a life altering choice based on this magazine and just to show you how ridiclous this magazine is there no longer is T1, T2, T3, T4 schools they changed the rankings so they go up to 150 and the rest is tier 2.

So if you attend an ABA school you will attend a Tier 2 school now the T4 does not exist anymore so no worries. As an additional factor look at this chart and you can see how much schools change ranking year by year and is all based on nothing. obivously Harvard, Stanford and Yale are in the top, but a school like NorthEastern had the following rankings between 2009-2013 86*    76*    71*    86*    94* the stars also indicate "ties" and I know in 2011 there was an 11 way tie for 84th place so the rankings mean very little and should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

Use it as a tiebreaker nothing more.

Good luck on restarting your legal education and please do not fall into the trap of taking U.S. News seriously and use your common sense when making the life altering decision of where to attend law school.