Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

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sandy10
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Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby sandy10 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:44 am

Can those of you attending a top 14 (or getting ready to attend one) who don't plan on working in one of NYC/DC/Cali/Chicago explain your reasoning? Have you been told by people in the legal market where you want to work that this will help you greatly? Do you have "ties" to said market? Are you worried that going to the top 14 at a higher price than the local regional school will not be worth it in the end? I'm particularly interested in hearing from people aiming for Texas and the rest of the south.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby thickfreakness » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:53 am

I'm intrigued about this as well. I have no aspirations for a large market, but want to remain in the south after graduation. However, I'd like to have clerkships and academia as an option, so I feel like T14/T10 is worth it. Still, I'm not making the jump without a decent scholarship package, as I don't feel like attending one of these schools is necessary to achieve my goals. However, I'm curious as to the advantage that a T14 would have over a T30 regional school in its primary secondary market.

chizUFL
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby chizUFL » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:30 am

I am not really interested in NY, LA, or Chicago. DC would be of minor interest, but I think I'd probably be happier in the south, most likely Texas, Atlanta, or Tampa Bay. My problem is that I'm not sure which one of those I will prefer in 3 years, in 10 years, or in 20 years. So in my case, it's mostly about portability.

I currently live in Dallas, so that SMU degree would be great (assuming SMU picks up most of the tab) if I wanted to stay in Dallas forever. A UF degree would be fine if I knew for sure I was going to Tampa. Emory in Atlanta, etc. But since I don't know, I'd rather go to the school that will open doors everywhere.

I did apply to UF and SMU, but those are really just safeties if I don't get anything decent from the higher ranking schools. Since I am focused on the secondary markets in the south, I'm not really interested in paying sticker for CCN (and I don't have the stats for HYS), but UVA, Duke, Vandy, and Texas are all strong draws for me.

sandy10
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby sandy10 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:36 am

chizUFL wrote:I am not really interested in NY, LA, or Chicago. DC would be of minor interest, but I think I'd probably be happier in the south, most likely Texas, Atlanta, or Tampa Bay. My problem is that I'm not sure which one of those I will prefer in 3 years, in 10 years, or in 20 years. So in my case, it's mostly about portability.

I currently live in Dallas, so that SMU degree would be great (assuming SMU picks up most of the tab) if I wanted to stay in Dallas forever. A UF degree would be fine if I knew for sure I was going to Tampa. Emory in Atlanta, etc. But since I don't know, I'd rather go to the school that will open doors everywhere.

I did apply to UF and SMU, but those are really just safeties if I don't get anything decent from the higher ranking schools. Since I am focused on the secondary markets in the south, I'm not really interested in paying sticker for CCN (and I don't have the stats for HYS), but UVA, Duke, Vandy, and Texas are all strong draws for me.



Have you heard anything about what UVA and Duke will do in Texas that UT won't? Anything that they will do in Atlanta that Vandy won't?

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JetstoRJC
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby JetstoRJC » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:44 am

I am not particularly interested in any of the major markets. More interested in some of the secondary markets out west (Salt Lake, Phoenix, Portland, Denver....).

I am most familiar with Salt Lake market, and have been told by a few lawyers there that a T14 would give me a much better chance of getting hired there than would Utah or BYU. Have looked into some of the other secondary markets and have found for the most part that T14 + ties to the area > regional school.

Probably would only pay sticker at HYS and maybe Columbia, but with a scholarship anywhere else in the T14 I think it is more than worth it as opposed to a free ride at a regional school.

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Aeon
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby Aeon » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:19 am

Even secondary markets have some prestigious firms at which one can work that pay at or near the market rate for BigLaw. Combine that with what is in most cases a considerably lower cost of living, and the opportunities don't look bad at all. If you have a degree from a top school, as well as ties to the area where you would like to work, then you become an exceedingly attractive candidate to some of these top firms. And, of course, if you would like to pursue a clerkship for a year or two prior to starting work at the firm, a prestigious degree will greatly aid in this.

If your T10 school also happens to be in the area where you would like to work, then this gives you all the more advantage (think Harvard -> Massachusetts; UMich -> Michigan; UVA -> non-DC-area Virginia). For example, only about 10% of UMich law grads remain in the state. If you graduate from there and want to practice in Michigan, since the school is by far considered the best in the state, you will have excellent opportunities in finding employment.

chizUFL
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby chizUFL » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:35 am

Aeon wrote:Even secondary markets have some prestigious firms at which one can work that pay at or near the market rate for BigLaw. Combine that with what is in most cases a considerably lower cost of living, and the opportunities don't look bad at all. If you have a degree from a top school, as well as ties to the area where you would like to work, then you become an exceedingly attractive candidate to some of these top firms. And, of course, if you would like to pursue a clerkship for a year or two prior to starting work at the firm, a prestigious degree will greatly aid in this.

If your T10 school also happens to be in the area where you would like to work, then this gives you all the more advantage (think Harvard -> Massachusetts; UMich -> Michigan; UVA -> non-DC-area Virginia). For example, only about 10% of UMich law grads remain in the state. If you graduate from there and want to practice in Michigan, since the school is by far considered the best in the state, you will have excellent opportunities in finding employment.


I think this a great point. To further draw on it, the state in which most graduates took the bar exam for Duke is NY, for Vanderbilt it is TN, for UVA it is currently VA, but in 2006 was NY. Job placement maps also bear this out. Fewer Duke and UVA students self select to stay in the south, since many have opportunities in NYC, DC, and California that Vandy, Emory, and uga students don't. Only 28% of Duke grads from 2006 - 2008 stayed in the south/south-Atlantic. UVA grads top job destinations for 2007-2009 were DC and NYC and then there was a big leap down in numbers to Atlanta next.

So, IMHO, if there are two candidates for the same job in Atlanta, Nashville, or Florida for example, with all other things being equal (i.e. the Duke/UVA grad is antisocial who doesn't interview well, the Vandy/Emory grad does, similar grades/class rank, etc.), I would assume the Duke/UVA gradgets the job over the Vandy/Emory grad, since the firm has many Vandy or Emory grads to choose from, but not as many UVA or Duke grads to choose from. A bottom 25% grad from Duke/UVA might not get the job over a top 25% grad from Vandy though.

Texas could be a whole different case, since it's Texas. Some Texas firms might actually prefer UT grads over anyone else just because they're Texans. If I knew 100% I wanted to stay in Texas long term I would probably choose UT over everything except maybe HYS (which as I mentioned, isn't a decision I'll have to make), even CCN would be hard to pick over UT, especially at sticker (I'm a Texas resident, so UT is in state). So for me, this one comes down to portability, the fact that if I decide I want to move to Atlanta or Florida, I would think the UVA/Duke degree trumps UT there. In Atlanta I have no idea how a UT degree would hold up against UGA or Emory though.

OP asked if it would be worth it in the end to choose T14 over the regional schools and for me I think the money will talk. I am definitely waiting for scholarship offers to come in before making any decisions and I'm not sure how hard that decision is going to be. A full ride at Vandy, UT, Emory, etc. would be hard to pass up over sticker at any T14. If you start getting into partial money at a T14, the decision gets a lot more complicated. I hope I'm in a position to have to make this decision in a month or two!

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someones alt
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby someones alt » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:55 pm

I live in Texas now and have been accepted to one of CCN so far, and some of the T-14 on down with some others pending and UT. I plan on working in Texas after I graduate, and I'm leaning towards Duke.

I have a family friend who has worked at one of the big three Texas law firms for 10+ years, and she reaffirmed the TLS conventional wisdom that ties to Texas are an important aspect of hiring. She told me if I was absolutely sure I wanted to work in Texas, to go to UT. I asked her if going to Duke would significantly hurt me when applying to Texas firms and she said with my ties to the area it would be a leg up over a UT grad but she imagined more expensive, so why bother.

I'm not sure if the marginal benefit is worth it to be honest. Even though right now I think I want to work in Texas, I'm not 100%, and Duke offers more flexibility which is why I'm headed in that direction. I'd say if you absolutely, positively want to work in Texas when you graduate then go to UT, because if you get into a T-14, UT will likely be a lot cheaper (especially if you're a Texas resident). Even if you get into HYS, you're probably in the running for a full scholarship to UT.

Also FWIW, when I say I have ties, I mean going to undergrad in a specific city, having most of my family in that city, and living there almost my entire life. If you're from out of state and have no reason to be in Texas but want to work there, I'd take the traditional TLS advice and go to UT.

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Thirteen
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby Thirteen » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:37 pm

I know I want to work in Texas and am a Texas resident, so I would pick UT over any school other than HYS. Unfortunately, UT requires a LSDAS minimum GPA of 2.2 to apply, and my GPA is below that. I have a few years of work experience, so I have a small chance to be admitted to Northwestern or Georgetown. It seems like everyone else is considering a T14 option for portability and flexibility; for me, I'm considering the schools out of necessity.

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los blancos
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:07 am

I want CA first and foremost (SD slightly more than LA slightly more than SF). Beyond that, however, I'm more interested in FL, Atlanta, and TX than anywhere else. I'm planning on going to the school that gives me the best shot at CA and big law in general.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:10 am

boilercat wrote:I want CA first and foremost (SD slightly more than LA slightly more than SF). Beyond that, however, I'm more interested in FL, Atlanta, and TX than anywhere else. I'm planning on going to the school that gives me the best shot at CA and big law in general.

Honestly you should go to the school that gives you the best shot at TX and Atlanta, because unlike CA, there are jobs there right now.

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los blancos
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:19 am

vanwinkle wrote:
boilercat wrote:I want CA first and foremost (SD slightly more than LA slightly more than SF). Beyond that, however, I'm more interested in FL, Atlanta, and TX than anywhere else. I'm planning on going to the school that gives me the best shot at CA and big law in general.

Honestly you should go to the school that gives you the best shot at TX and Atlanta, because unlike CA, there are jobs there right now.


That's why Duke is so high on my list. But I vastly prefer CA to anywhere else. Which is why I need either Berk or one of CC to bite - any of those schools would solve my placement dilemma (Berk for CA and CC nationally). Michigan would also be appealing.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:20 am

boilercat wrote:That's why Duke is so high on my list. But I vastly prefer CA to anywhere else. Which is why I need either Berk or one of CC to bite - any of those schools would solve my placement dilemma (Berk for CA and CC nationally). Michigan would also be appealing.

Go ED at UVA. :D

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los blancos
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:24 am

vanwinkle wrote:
boilercat wrote:That's why Duke is so high on my list. But I vastly prefer CA to anywhere else. Which is why I need either Berk or one of CC to bite - any of those schools would solve my placement dilemma (Berk for CA and CC nationally). Michigan would also be appealing.

Go ED at UVA. :D


This merits a death sentence on TLS, but as of now I think I would prefer Duke. Slightly warmer, smaller class, much better lay prestige, much easier to get to, less fratty, and 3 seasons of games at Cameron Indoor. I would definitely still visit UVa if I got in, though. I figure there has to be some placement advantage. (I think ceteris paribus I would take Michigan and maybe Penn over both)

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vanwinkle
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:26 am

boilercat wrote:This merits a death sentence on TLS, but as of now I think I would prefer Duke. Slightly warmer, smaller class, much better lay prestige, much easier to get to, and 3 seasons of games at Cameron Indoor. I would definitely still visit UVa if I got in, though. I figure there has to be some placement advantage.

Being buried in snow right now, I'll play heretic for a moment and agree with you. However, that said:
boilercat wrote:(I would take Michigan over both)

How can you possibly bring up warmer climates, and then say you'd take Michigan over UVA and expect to be taken seriously? :P

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los blancos
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:33 am

vanwinkle wrote:
boilercat wrote:This merits a death sentence on TLS, but as of now I think I would prefer Duke. Slightly warmer, smaller class, much better lay prestige, much easier to get to, and 3 seasons of games at Cameron Indoor. I would definitely still visit UVa if I got in, though. I figure there has to be some placement advantage.

Being buried in snow right now, I'll play heretic for a moment and agree with you. However, that said:
boilercat wrote:(I would take Michigan over both)

How can you possibly bring up warmer climates, and then say you'd take Michigan over UVA and expect to be taken seriously? :P


It's complicated. I hate the cold, but Ann Arbor is a 3.5-hour drive from home and everyone seems convinced that Mich has a CA placement edge over any other school outside HYSCCB. It also leaves Chicago open as an option, in case I ever want to return home. I also like what I've heard about the atmosphere there and there's a JD/MA program I'm interested in.

I just hoping my crazy Berkeley de facto ED works and none of this matters. :mrgreen:

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vanwinkle
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:36 am

boilercat wrote:I just hoping my crazy de facto ED works at Berk

"de facto ED"? Are we talking "I intend to attend your school if accepted", or "since you don't have an ED contract, I took another school's, replaced their name with yours, signed and enclosed it"? You always have to be careful, too much enthusiasm can backfire. :mrgreen:

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los blancos
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby los blancos » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:40 am

vanwinkle wrote:
boilercat wrote:I just hoping my crazy de facto ED works at Berk

"de facto ED"? Are we talking "I intend to attend your school if accepted", or "since you don't have an ED contract, I took another school's, replaced their name with yours, signed and enclosed it"? You always have to be careful, too much enthusiasm can backfire. :mrgreen:


I used much stronger language than 'intend'. :mrgreen:

Since they allow a four-page PS I spent the last two pages writing a 'Why Berkeley' type thing and made it abundantly and explicitly clear that they were my top choice and that I would promptly withdraw everywhere else and enroll if I got in. I'm hoping that this tactic will be especially useful this year since they might be a little worried about their yield due to the tuition hikes. I'm just over the 75th LSAT and just under the 25th GPA though, so it's a complete black box. Some are saying that they seem to be concentrating less on GPA this cycle... I sure hope that's true, though I do have a pretty good trend.

heyguys
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby heyguys » Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:31 am

I'm going to a secondary market that still pays 'market' salary--I think my biggest motivator for going to a T14 instead of the local school was just the risk mitigation in terms of not needing to face the pressure of needing to be at the top of my class.

harvey2L
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby harvey2L » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:52 am

Right now, most people at T14s (exc. perhaps T6) will only be able to work in secondary markets at best; all the big markets have imploded. Because the big markets have imploded, the secondary markets are now flooded with people who would otherwise have gone to big markets. So if you're not in the top 1/4 of your class at a T14, start looking at tertiary and quaternary markets like Portland, ME or East Jesus, MS.

fortissimo
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby fortissimo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:42 am

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thesealocust
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:51 am

edit: never mind
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fortissimo
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby fortissimo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:19 pm

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thesealocust
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:27 pm

edit: never mind
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heyguys
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Re: Attending a top 14 aiming for a secondary market

Postby heyguys » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:47 am

I want to work in TX after law school and I'm attending a T14. I justify it to myself by saying that it will make the Austin market more open to me and that it will make up for my lack of distinct TX ties (I'm from the southwest, but not TX); ultimately though, it was probably just a stupid decision. It's really hard to turn down HYS when they come knocking as a 0L.




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