Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
makaf2000
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby makaf2000 » Fri May 28, 2010 5:57 pm

I want to start a separate thread for T4 and T3 schools discussion to make it easier for everyone to get info without searching through all threads.

Currently interested in job prospects v. price sticker for following:

Northern Illinois - employment prospects, etc, etc.

Also,
Akron
Toledo
U Baltimore
Marquette University

If you don't like this post - don't spam here with reasons why T4/T3 is inferior to T1/T1 - there are other threads for that.

User avatar
Notor
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 11:32 am

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby Notor » Fri May 28, 2010 6:05 pm

If you are interested in T3 and T4 schools, look for schools in areas where they are the only option i.e. U Idaho, U Maine, U Montana.

It doesn't make any sense to pay sticker to a school like Akron in Ohio when tOSU, Case, and Cincinnati are all far superior and there are a bevy of other T3 and T4 options competing.

User avatar
trialjunky
Posts: 928
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:41 am

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby trialjunky » Fri May 28, 2010 6:13 pm

Notor, I <3 your tar :wink: :D

User avatar
Notor
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 11:32 am

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby Notor » Fri May 28, 2010 6:16 pm

trialjunky wrote:Notor, I <3 your tar :wink: :D

TY!

trkmantis2
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:38 am

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby trkmantis2 » Fri May 28, 2010 6:22 pm

Notor's right, if you want to attend law school and won't retake the LSAT, then you must be flexible and willing to permanently relocate. That is, you need to pick a school that dominates its state and/or region like West Virginia or South Carolina and plan to practice there.

NYVA311
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:15 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby NYVA311 » Fri May 28, 2010 6:25 pm

U of Baltimore does well in its region and doesn't have much competition besides U of Maryland (and a lot of Maryland grads are also looking for work in D.C.). It's a T3 but seems to be on its way to the lower T2.

User avatar
Notor
Posts: 391
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 11:32 am

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby Notor » Fri May 28, 2010 6:29 pm

NYVA311 wrote:U of Baltimore does well in its region and doesn't have much competition besides U of Maryland (and a lot of Maryland grads are also looking for work in D.C.). It's a T3 but seems to be on its way to the lower T2.

If there are market paying jobs in Baltimore, they are going to go to people from really good schools in the area. GULC grads who can't secure D.C. placement might look to Baltimore, and they are going to be infinitely more desirable than UBaltimore grads. You might be able to get a job out of there in Baltimore, but odds would dictate that it's not going to be a high-paying biglaw job. If you want a really solid shot at employment from a lower-tier school, you need to go to where they are the #1 game in town. The region around Baltimore is absolutely saturated with law schools, the vast majority of which are better than UBaltimore.

makaf2000
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby makaf2000 » Fri May 28, 2010 6:41 pm

Well, for example, Southern Illinois, and Northern Illinois are T4 regional/local schools. However, there are a few of appellate judges (state level) in IL who are graduates form that school, or associates and few (yes, only few) parners in top 100 firms based in Chicago. Southern Illinois grads are also quite welcome in St. Louis, MO, which is 200 miles away. Both those T4 schools face stiff competition from top schools like Northwestern, Chicago, UI, and other schools like Loyola, DePaul, Kent, John Marshal, nevertherless some few grads made it there. Is U Baltimore comparable in terms of prospects?



I want to remind that the "call of the question" is why other top schools are better than t4 (because this matter is settled), but which of T3/4 are decent locally/regionally to get a job (Chicago, DC, Philly, Denver, SF, Seattle, Dallaus/Austin?Houston).

makaf2000
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby makaf2000 » Fri May 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Well, for example, Southern Illinois, and Northern Illinois are T4 regional/local schools. However, there are a few of appellate judges (state level) in IL who are graduates form that school, or associates and few (yes, only few) parners in top 100 firms based in Chicago. Southern Illinois grads are also quite welcome in St. Louis, MO, which is 200 miles away. Both those T4 schools face stiff competition from top schools like Northwestern, Chicago, UI, and other schools like Loyola, DePaul, Kent, John Marshal, nevertherless some few grads made it there. Is U Baltimore comparable in terms of prospects?



I want to remind that the "call of the question" is why other top schools are better than t4 (because this matter is settled), but which of T3/4 are decent locally/regionally to get a job (Chicago, DC, Philly, Denver, SF, Seattle, Dallaus/Austin?Houston).

NYVA311
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:15 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby NYVA311 » Fri May 28, 2010 6:45 pm

Notor wrote:
NYVA311 wrote:U of Baltimore does well in its region and doesn't have much competition besides U of Maryland (and a lot of Maryland grads are also looking for work in D.C.). It's a T3 but seems to be on its way to the lower T2.

If there are market paying jobs in Baltimore, they are going to go to people from really good schools in the area. GULC grads who can't secure D.C. placement might look to Baltimore, and they are going to be infinitely more desirable than UBaltimore grads. You might be able to get a job out of there in Baltimore, but odds would dictate that it's not going to be a high-paying biglaw job. If you want a really solid shot at employment from a lower-tier school, you need to go to where they are the #1 game in town. The region around Baltimore is absolutely saturated with law schools, the vast majority of which are better than UBaltimore.


I don't disagree entirely with you, but there are still some $$ jobs for U of Baltimore grades, they have a loyal alumni network in the region. However, you're right, the majority of U of Baltimore grads will not be working in big money/big law jobs -- those will mainly go to Maryland/top D.C. school grads. I do think it's a decent choice if you want to be in that area and can't get in anywhere else -- you can establish MD residency and get a break on tuition since it's a state school.

Unfortunately most people don't want to live/work in remote places like South Dakota, West Virginia, Montana, etc. where there's one school for the whole state and it really doesn't matter where it's ranked, there's no competition.

trkmantis2
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:38 am

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby trkmantis2 » Fri May 28, 2010 6:51 pm

Look, as I'm sure you know, the legal economy has changed drastically. Prospects are just not as fertile as they once were. Hence, no matter what tier program you attend you want it to dominate the largest area possible.

The University of Maryland is in Baltimore and the majority of its grads end up in state especially ITE. Any 'good' Baltimore legal jobs will likely be taken by UM grads or kids from better DC or VA schools.

If you want that DC/MD/VA area and you are a URM, look at Howard, it places remarkably well.

User avatar
yinz
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 8:36 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby yinz » Fri May 28, 2010 7:13 pm

First, if are set upon attending a T4/T3 caliber school, do not pay full tuition. There are a few ways to go about doing this, but the easiest way is to score well above the typical t3/t4 median LSAT score (155-160). So, I disagree with the argument not to retake the LSAT and believe it would behoove you to make the effort and score higher. If you can afford it, purchase the powerscore logic games and a box full of tests (roughly $175) and study for two months until you're confident you won't miss more than 17-19 questions.

Second, like many have said and all should know, the issue isn't "Which is the best T3 or T4?", but rather "Which has the most pull in its immediate market?" That is going to take some digging on your part. While schools which make up an entire state's legal education system (mostly state schools) are attractive for that very reason, it is not a golden ticket by any means. Ask a few USouthCarolina grads how their search in the state is going and dollars to donuts it's not as well as one would think.

With that said, there are a schools out their whose reputation and weight can garner respectable, if not damn good, legal positions. One of the top of my head is Duquesne in Pittsburgh (I have a friend who graduate valedvictorian there). These niche type schools are what you should be researching now so that you can go in with a game plan later.

Most important, so you are aware, at non-100 schools, you'll still need to graduate at least top 10% to interview for a legitimate job.
Last edited by yinz on Fri May 28, 2010 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NYVA311
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:15 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby NYVA311 » Fri May 28, 2010 7:18 pm

People always say you won't get a good/legitimate job out of T3 schools, but people have vastly different concepts of what a "good" job is.

If you mean a 100K+ job, I agree that you have to be in the top 10%, unless you have certain connections.

If you mean 50-60K, I'd argue that most people in the top 50% at a decent T3/T4 (like U of Baltimore) will be fine.

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby 20160810 » Fri May 28, 2010 9:10 pm

NYVA311 wrote:People always say you won't get a good/legitimate job out of T3 schools, but people have vastly different concepts of what a "good" job is.

If you mean a 100K+ job, I agree that you have to be in the top 10%, unless you have certain connections.

If you mean 50-60K, I'd argue that most people in the top 50% at a decent T3/T4 (like U of Baltimore) will be fine.


If you are lucky enough not to be in the ~20% of Baltimore grads with NO JOB WHATSOEVER 9 MONTHS AFTER GRADUATION (NOT EVEN A BURGER-FLIPPING JOB), and you're lucky enough to be among the HALF that passes the MD Bar Exam (seriously - in 2005 their bar passage rate was 56.8%. It basically doesn't get worse than that. You're paying $40,000/yr in tuition for a coin-toss shot at the Bar), then $50,000/yr is probably a good estimate for what you'll be earning, yes.

But remember, that $50,000 is going to be before taxes, expenses, and the $150,000 you borrowed in school loans. In other words, you better have a rich husband or wife, because you'll be about two inches from food stamps earning $50,000... if you're lucky enough to get any kind of job whatsoever.

Also, please disabuse yourself of the notion that the top-10% at these schools are making six figues. Top 1% is a better estimate. I go to a T30, and in this economy it takes top-10% to have a shot at biglaw from my school.

In other words, there's a reason people call non-T100 schools "toilets." It's not just because they're being mean. It's because paying $100,000-200,000 for those job prospects is a downright shitty deal. IF you're dead set on going to a T3/4 school, do this:

1.) Go to CUNY, get in-state, practice public interest. CUNY is a legit non-ripoff T4.

2.) Go to a public school in a small state with a low cost of living where the $50K you're going to earn after graduation takes you pretty far (think North Dakota, Montana, Arkansas, etc.) If you want to work at a firm in Billings, you won't be up against competition from T1 students. In Baltimore, on the other hand, you're going to have kids from GULC, GW, AU, UMD, and about a dozen other better schools in line before you.

User avatar
Matthies
Posts: 1253
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby Matthies » Fri May 28, 2010 9:29 pm

In hindsight this would have been my plan if I was looking at T4 schools: go to the cheapest one I could find (SIU was a consideration as I did a year of UG there but its in BFE). Preferably a state school that allows residency after 1L. Borrow as little as you can, live cheap till 3L, then assuming rates are still low borrow the MAX you can 3L. Bank as much as you can of that for AFTER law school.

Choose a city you want to work in with a good legal market (decent size, but not over saturated) move there the day after graduation. You got six months till loans kick in. Take the bar and network like crazy, I mean every day, take six credits at a community college after your six months is up to defer your loans another six months. This gives you a year before loans come due. Hope the money you banked from 3L year will last you long enough.

Pick up contract work from lawyers you meet networking, if you hit it hard who you know by end of a year in new city should be able to get you a job and bypass the whole "who looks better on paper" thing of competing with grads from better ranked schools.

Key is you need to have a plan for '4L" which is going to be basically your getting your foot in a new market. AND HAVE A PLAN FOR GETTING A JOB FROM DAY ONE. Hpoing for OCI is NOT A PLAN. Anyway that was my plan B. Ending up just moving to the city I wanted to be in and paying more for school and it worked out (because of the networking thing I've never had to compete for jobs) but I have more debt that way.

Good luck.

makaf2000
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 2:20 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby makaf2000 » Sat May 29, 2010 2:51 pm

Well, here is a plan for T4 school, form my experience - choose a school where you want to practice, choose lower tuition or go prt-time, while in school, get as much experience as possible (internships, public interest volonteering, small law firm experience, etc.), try to get a part-time employment BEFORE you graduate, even in a small firm/with solo practitioner, and work your ass off on experience if you can't get into top 10% or get or did not get a law journal. Try various experience - try public defender, state's attorney as externships, try litigation, try civil practice. Even few months in each will do you good and help you choose your career. Good thing to find a mentor and do a good work for someone - can help to get your foot at the door, experience and good references. Don't get discouraged if you go to T4. Not everyone gets first-class tickets on the airplane. Or, you can do 3 years pf practice and get an alternative job somewhere, where legal skills are valued. There is a plenty of info on internet about career choices.

This is why I started this thread - I want opinions as to which T4/3 schools are good at which decent legal market while not breaking your bank. Any opinions on Buffalo in NY (16+K), St. Mary in TX (Pt.Time), John Marshall IL part-time (25K)? Toledo (20K full time), Cleveland State (16K full-time)?

Thanks for mentionning Howard, it does seem to place OK in the local DC market.

taxguy
Posts: 307
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby taxguy » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:07 am

Being in Maryland, I can comment on University of Baltimore. Yes, there is competition in the area for more well known graduates of schools such as GW, MD, Georgetown, American etc . However, University of Baltimore kids who do well ( top 10%) do get jobs here. They also have a surprisingly large number of offerings and is relatively easy to get into. If you establish residence, you can get instate tuition,which makes them very reasonable. In fact, most lawyers here would tell you that University of Baltimore is much better than its rankings provide. HOWEVER, I get the diploma mill feeling from them. You would think that they are a for profit school by the way they act. They do try to pack as many kids into classrooms as possible.

If you want a school with "easier" admission standards because of lower GPA/LSAT, take a hard look at Stetson University in Florida or University of Miami. Miami has the same feel as Baltimore, but they are much better ranked. In addition , Miami is much easier for admission than its ranking would indicate. Another good school that isn't hard to get into, is in the top 100 ranked schools, and is very , very good is Stetson University. They have top ranked programs in trial advocacy, elder law and legal writing. I would take both of these over University of Baltimore unless practicing in Maryland is your goal.

Good luck with your decision.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby Grizz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:20 am

taxguy wrote:[strike]Another good school that isn't hard to get into, is in the top 100 ranked schools, and is very , very good is Stetson University.[/strike]

alllucknotalent
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby alllucknotalent » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:51 pm

Multiple people have referenced SIUC and I actually chose to go there next year with the following thought factoring in below. I will say that most of my research and personaly comparisons involve the Midwest because I have no interest in leaving the area (specifically St. Louis or Chicago)

---my personal opinion is right now in this economy if you aren't t30 or higher you better be minimum top 25%, likely a lot higher, to feel strong about any type of employment. I could be completely wrong but I think top 5-10% of T3/4 > anything below top 20-25% T2, so you have to ask yourself which do you think would be easier for you to personally accomplish (admittely not easy on either account). Also, in the cynical view, what is likely to leave you with a bigger debt if you end up unemployed.---

I will now list some of the many reasons why someone might personally prefer/choose t3/4 over t2 schools

scholarship $$$
cheaper tuition and/or cheaper COL
Location
atmosphere (less cutthroat)
personal connection to school
Specific programs (not something I actually would factor in but I assume some people can make an arguement for it)

luckycurl84
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:10 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby luckycurl84 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:25 pm

I can't say it better than DonnyMost did.

DonnyMost wrote:South Texas is a Tier 4 anomaly.

If I were going to a school out of the top 100, STCL would be high on my list no doubt.

They are kind of like the peanut in a turd, as it were.


STCL is mainly known for its Trial Advocacy program. In good times, it fed V&E's Houston office(definitely only the top grads). But ITE, who knows? It could have reverted back to the turd.

dempsey
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:20 pm

Re: Tier 4/3 law schools discussion

Postby dempsey » Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:34 pm

Taxguy, are you still pretending to be the father of a future law student and a practicing attorney just kind enough to offer an unbiased opinion?




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: carlos_danger and 3 guests