Choosing outside of the T14

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decisiontime
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Choosing outside of the T14

Postby decisiontime » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:37 pm

I have been following these forums for a while, and being that the time is coming to make my own decision, I'd like to hear everyone's opinions on this issue. I know T14 degrees are considered nationally "portable," and that is why people aim to go T14, but would going to a school in the T15-20 really limit you to that school's regional market? I have received some scholarships to T15-20 schools that I like, and I would love to avoid as much debt as possible, but I'd prefer not to get "locked" in to one specific city or regional market if I can help it. I can definitely understand working in my school's regional market for a couple of years after school, but is transferring offices/going to a new firm/getting a new job entirely in a new state really that impossible?

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Aeon
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby Aeon » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:21 am

decisiontime wrote:I have been following these forums for a while, and being that the time is coming to make my own decision, I'd like to hear everyone's opinions on this issue. I know T14 degrees are considered nationally "portable," and that is why people aim to go T14, but would going to a school in the T15-20 really limit you to that school's regional market? I have received some scholarships to T15-20 schools that I like, and I would love to avoid as much debt as possible, but I'd prefer not to get "locked" in to one specific city or regional market if I can help it. I can definitely understand working in my school's regional market for a couple of years after school, but is transferring offices/going to a new firm/getting a new job entirely in a new state really that impossible?

Not at all. There are plenty of young attorneys who do have good mobility across the nation, but the importance of contacts and connections cannot be understated. Attending a great school gives a good boost in the initial job search, but the progressively farther removed in time you get from law school, the greater the impact your actual legal work experience and book of business (if you're in the private sector) have. If you work for a large firm, then transferring offices is a possibility, too.

With the T20 schools, UT-Austin, Vanderbilt, and WashU do offer national mobility (UCLA and USC graduates tend to work in southern California, but can break into other markets). It's important to note, too, that LA and Texas (especially the Dallas and Houston markets) are home to law offices of countless firms.

In short, nothing is impossible, and even attending a school outside of the T20 can still give you great job prospects; you'd just have to do more legwork. The biggest advantage of attending a T10 school or so is that many firms from everywhere in the country do on-campus interviews there, whereas lower-ranked schools tend to have fewer and smaller, regional firms present at OCI.

TLS does tend to have a strong bias toward weighing prestige and rankings heavily, and there is certainly something in saying that the law is a prestige-intensive profession; attending a better school does open more doors from the get-go. But there are other factors at play that might make a, say, T20 school a better personal choice than a T10.

Best of luck with your decision!
Last edited by Aeon on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Space_Cowboy
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby Space_Cowboy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:27 am

WashU has national mobility?

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Aeon
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby Aeon » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:30 am

Space_Cowboy wrote:WashU has national mobility?

Not necessarily the same mobility as a T10, certainly, but it places well in the Midwest and you can break into other markets (admittedly not without a bit of legwork). I would grant that its national placement isn't as great as that of either Texas or Vandy, though.

Pearalegal
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby Pearalegal » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:32 am

Aeon wrote:
Space_Cowboy wrote:WashU has national mobility?

Not necessarily the same mobility as a T10, certainly, but it places well in the Midwest and you can break into other markets (admittedly not without a bit of legwork). I would grant that its national placement isn't as great as that of either Texas or Vandy, though.


Neither WashU nor Vandy have real national mobility. Vandy places well in TN, Atlanta and sort of Florida. WashU in St. Louis and a few of the smaller midwest cities.

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Space_Cowboy
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby Space_Cowboy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:34 am

Pearalegal wrote:
Aeon wrote:
Space_Cowboy wrote:WashU has national mobility?

Not necessarily the same mobility as a T10, certainly, but it places well in the Midwest and you can break into other markets (admittedly not without a bit of legwork). I would grant that its national placement isn't as great as that of either Texas or Vandy, though.


Neither WashU nor Vandy have real national mobility. Vandy places well in TN, Atlanta and sort of Florida. WashU in St. Louis and a few of the smaller midwest cities.


So I'm guessing the answer to OP's question is a ""yes." TX and CA aren't exactly the worst markets to be stuck in.

Pearalegal
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby Pearalegal » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:36 am

Sorry, should have stuck to the actual question.

OP, you seem to have a very realistic hold on the whole thing, I think you'll be fine with your plan.

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84Sunbird2000
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby 84Sunbird2000 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:09 am

Notre Dame has a bit of national reach, and it seems like BU and BC have a bit, too. If I'm not mistaken, which I may be, since I am one of the blind attempting to lead the blind.

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im_blue
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Re: Choosing outside of the T14

Postby im_blue » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:42 am

Texas is a somewhat national school outside the T14.




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