Where you go to law school isn't that important...

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alexonfyre
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby alexonfyre » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:53 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:I like how everyone knows dozens of law students whose schools run the spectrum of all ranked law schools.


Not surprising to me, I know people at Harvard, Duke, UConn, UGA, GSU, Emory, Georgetown, Michigan, Tulane and John Marshall(ATL). You participate in law interest groups in UG (some people I'm sure are pre-law) and you meet people that go to law school, those people tend to run the gamut of ability and ambition, imagine that.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby Fark-o-vision » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:14 am

alexonfyre wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:I like how everyone knows dozens of law students whose schools run the spectrum of all ranked law schools.


Not surprising to me, I know people at Harvard, Duke, UConn, UGA, GSU, Emory, Georgetown, Michigan, Tulane and John Marshall(ATL). You participate in law interest groups in UG (some people I'm sure are pre-law) and you meet people that go to law school, those people tend to run the gamut of ability and ambition, imagine that.


Loser.

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romothesavior
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:12 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:I like how everyone knows dozens of law students whose schools run the spectrum of all ranked law schools.


Not surprising to me, I know people at Harvard, Duke, UConn, UGA, GSU, Emory, Georgetown, Michigan, Tulane and John Marshall(ATL). You participate in law interest groups in UG (some people I'm sure are pre-law) and you meet people that go to law school, those people tend to run the gamut of ability and ambition, imagine that.


Loser.


Oh snap!!! You told that poster off.

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trialjunky
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby trialjunky » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:23 am

romothesavior wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:
alexonfyre wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:I like how everyone knows dozens of law students whose schools run the spectrum of all ranked law schools.


Not surprising to me, I know people at Harvard, Duke, UConn, UGA, GSU, Emory, Georgetown, Michigan, Tulane and John Marshall(ATL). You participate in law interest groups in UG (some people I'm sure are pre-law) and you meet people that go to law school, those people tend to run the gamut of ability and ambition, imagine that.


Loser.


Oh snap!!! You told that poster off.


s/he sure did. Oh snap!

Image

thwalls
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby thwalls » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:34 am

To be honest I think that you can only look at a law school as being the "best" law school for you if said law school gets you a job. If you go to Georgetown and are unemployed it can be just as bad as going to Cooley and being unemployed. And I don't agree with the notion that higher ranked law schools have generally smarter students. I fancy myself as a pretty smart guy, and I'm going to Temple Law. Why? Because it's close to my family, they gave me a nice scholarship, and I love Philadelphia. Also, you can't throw a rock in Philly (at any firm) without hitting a Temple alum.

The same holds true for other regional schools where people, a) want to stay close to family, b) can leave school with a smaller debt load, and c) love the respective region.

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CG614
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby CG614 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:43 am

Cool story, bro.

This was a better thread from the OP.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112382

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KMaine
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby KMaine » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:49 am

Cleareyes wrote:3) Solid regional schools. Schools that can place you in specific areas but don't have a ton of reach. The model for this is often the state school in an area without a huge market. University of Maine Law School might not be highly ranked, but if you want to work in Bangor it makes sense to go there. Don't expect to get to NYC or D.C.


Just like the shout out to Maine.

keg411
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby keg411 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:56 am

I really think that the OP is just saying - "don't go to a school in a part of the country where you have no ties to and don't want to work because of USNWR rank". Which is something that I strongly agree with.

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trialjunky
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby trialjunky » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:03 am

CG614 wrote:Cool story, bro.

This was a better thread from the OP.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112382



Good read, even though it's long as fuck

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x47point6
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby x47point6 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:11 am

For the OP:

Since you're talking about the Philly market specifically, how would you compare students who did comparably well at local schools? E.g., is top 10% at Temple the same as top 10% at Widener for the local market? And what about Penn? Would you ever think of things like "Well, a 3.5 at Villanova is about the same as a 3.7 from Drexel, and roughly as good as someone who's median at Penn"?

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ggocat
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby ggocat » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:14 am

ITT: a worthwhile post by a practicing attorney who is offering his perspective, coupled with an unfortunate title that is an exaggeration of the contents of the post.

romothesavior wrote:Tell someone who finished at median at Michigan and someone who finished at median at Barry that where you went to school doesn't matter. One has a shot at 6 figures straight out of school, the other is almost certainly not going to ever practice law.

further exaggeration.

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Rikkugrrl
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby Rikkugrrl » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:26 am

Posting mostly to say I love Leeroy Jenkins' avatar (featuring the most amazing part of an amazing game).

But also, I'm gonna partially agree and disagree with the OP. I had a mock trial coach who claims that his little brother went to Harvard, came back to his home state expecting to be hailed the conquering hero (the state that John Stewart called "the whoopee cushion of the union") and found that firms weren't all that impressed. He graduated around median and did end up getting a job, but always got the feeling his competitors had an edge on him because they were so well connected. I have no way of knowing if that's true, but I've heard similar stories before from my cousins.

That same coach did give me some advice that I'm pretty sure is credited, and it echoes what a few people are saying here. He told us all universally not to go to the T4 in the state because the T2 will always have better job placement. According to him, that T4 was built for students who couldn't get into the state T2, and employers will usually assume that the T2 students are a higher caliber, as opposed to the T4 students just weren't good enough to get into the T2. But if we wanted to stay in state it'd be a good choice to go to the T2 over a higher ranked, more expensive school. The 3 years of networking and minimal debt from in state tuition, plus the school's reputation in the state, trump the prestige of a higher ranked school. Apparently, this even extends to Harvard, but I'm not sure how much of that I believe.

I want to practice in another state, so this doesn't apply to me, but if I was dead sure I wanted to stay here, I'd probably only apply to my T2 and save some money on application fees.

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romothesavior
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:29 am

ggocat wrote:ITT: a worthwhile post by a practicing attorney who is offering his perspective, coupled with an unfortunate title that is an exaggeration of the contents of the post.

romothesavior wrote:Tell someone who finished at median at Michigan and someone who finished at median at Barry that where you went to school doesn't matter. One has a shot at 6 figures straight out of school, the other is almost certainly not going to ever practice law.

further exaggeration.


Tell someone who finished at median at Michigan and someone who finished at median at Barry that where you went to school doesn't matter. One has a shot at 6 figures straight out of school, the other is unlikey tois almost certainly not going to ever practice law that doesn't involve temporary doc review for $15 an hour


ftfy?

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thexfactor
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby thexfactor » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:36 am

No it matters. Im interning at a "biglaw" firm and one of the associates who graduated from a T3 school told me that if he had the chance to do everything over again, he would of went to a better school and not took the full scholarship and LR. ( he was top 2%) He told me that every itme a conversation comes out about law school, his t3 school name kills the conversation. You cant say "T3" but i was on law review and I was on a full scholarship every single time you meet someone.

He told me that having a big name school is a great way to gain clients.

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thecilent
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby thecilent » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:25 am

romothesavior wrote:
ggocat wrote:ITT: a worthwhile post by a practicing attorney who is offering his perspective, coupled with an unfortunate title that is an exaggeration of the contents of the post.

romothesavior wrote:Tell someone who finished at median at Michigan and someone who finished at median at Barry that where you went to school doesn't matter. One has a shot at 6 figures straight out of school, the other is almost certainly not going to ever practice law.

further exaggeration.


Tell someone who finished at median at Michigan and someone who finished at median at Barry that where you went to school doesn't matter. One has a shot at 6 figures straight out of school, the other is unlikey tois almost certainly not going to ever practice law that doesn't involve temporary doc review for $15 an hour


ftfy?


lol Love this

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thecilent
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby thecilent » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:26 am

Cleareyes wrote:I also like that the title of the post is "Where you go to law school isn't that important" and the content is, partially, "Location of your law school is really important because firms prefer local graduates."

By the by, this generally fits with TLS accepted wisdom which is that there are basically 4 true tiers of law schools

1) Big national schools. Your T14 +- a couple others that people argue over.
2) Semi-nationals. your Notre Dames and BUs that have some reach but are significantly more restricted.
3) Solid regional schools. Schools that can place you in specific areas but don't have a ton of reach. The model for this is often the state school in an area without a huge market. University of Maine Law School might not be highly ranked, but if you want to work in Bangor it makes sense to go there. Don't expect to get to NYC or D.C.
4) Overpriced schools that can't place. These are generally low ranked schools in saturated markets. Many students won't graduate and many grads won't practice. Those who say that Cooley is just as good as Harvard forget, among other things, that Cooley washes out a huge portion of their 1L class each year. No tuition refund.

Your argument seems to be that among group 3 there's no point in taking a higher ranked school over one where you want to practice, and that makes sense. You further argue that in some markets there's not a huge difference between the various regional schools. That may be true. But the first group (and to some degree the second) open opportunities the others simply do not provide, and the fourth group fails most of its students. Saying it doesn't matter which group you go to just seems misleading and false. If you want to practice for a medium sized firm in Hattiesburg then maybe Ole Miss makes sense even over Cornell or Northwestern, but that's a very specific situation, and going to a school where attrition rates top 20% is pretty darned risky.


Also: Great post.

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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby shutterbug » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:40 am

romothesavior wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
AJRESQ wrote:
T-14 makes a difference in some circles, particularly BIGLAW. Outside of BIGLAW, there isn't much difference between T1 and TTTT.


T-14 makes a difference for a bunch of different jobs outside of big law. Prestigious public interest. Fancy government posts. It may not matter in the circle you were in tonight but I spoke to a lot of lawyers before applying to law school and they all said to aim high to keep options open down the road.


Correct. I have heard the same from virtually every lawyer I've talked to, and I've talked to a lot.


+1. But this is too much for the tunnel-visioned, elitist, T14-or-kill-myself gunners that spend all their time on this site to digest.

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romothesavior
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:45 am

shutterbug wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
AJRESQ wrote:
T-14 makes a difference in some circles, particularly BIGLAW. Outside of BIGLAW, there isn't much difference between T1 and TTTT.


T-14 makes a difference for a bunch of different jobs outside of big law. Prestigious public interest. Fancy government posts. It may not matter in the circle you were in tonight but I spoke to a lot of lawyers before applying to law school and they all said to aim high to keep options open down the road.


Correct. I have heard the same from virtually every lawyer I've talked to, and I've talked to a lot.


+1. But this is too much for the tunnel-visioned, elitist, T14-or-kill-myself gunners that spend all their time on this site to digest.


I don't think we agree.

sdv
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby sdv » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:49 am

x47point6 wrote:For the OP:

Since you're talking about the Philly market specifically, how would you compare students who did comparably well at local schools? E.g., is top 10% at Temple the same as top 10% at Widener for the local market? And what about Penn? Would you ever think of things like "Well, a 3.5 at Villanova is about the same as a 3.7 from Drexel, and roughly as good as someone who's median at Penn"?


Couple things here:

you can't really compare GPAs between schools, since they're not necessarily on the same curve. With Philly specifically (and with similar giant cities with "secondary" legal markets), I don't know that you're going to find a definable distinction between schools like you want. Every firm has different preferences; one might have had good luck with Temple grads in the past, and so favor Temple, another's hiring partner might have gone to Widener, or 'Nova, or Dickinson, or Rutgers (which places a ton of people in Philly, certainly more than Penn), and so those schools are well represented. Unlike other areas of the country where there seems to be a definite school hierarchy, I don't think Philly has one, as all the schools that feed "primarily" there are vaguely similar. Finally, it's impossible to gauge how Penn fits in, because it doesn't necessarily feed into Philly the way one might expect - more Penn grads want to go to ny than stay in Philly, as far as I can tell, so you can't really look at raw numbers or percentiles, because there's no statistic that I know of that states "of the graduates who wanted to practice in Philly, how many were able to secure employment there?" I would guess, however, that pretty much any Penn grad who was able to demonstrate ties to the region and a true desire to work in Philly (as opposed to a stepping stone to ny) would have a better chance than a graduate at a regional school.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:49 am

The title of this thread directly contradicts the original poster's position. I do, however, agree with the basic premise that attending law school in a geographic region where one has close ties & intends to practice can open up employment opportunities with small firms in the area.
Interesting that the OP doesn't mention Penn State's Dickinson School of Law.

shutterbug
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby shutterbug » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:58 am

[quote="romothesavior]

I don't think we agree.[/quote]

Actually, I DO believe where you go is important. But I just like getting a rise from gunners like you.

sdv
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby sdv » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:00 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The title of this thread directly contradicts the original poster's position. I do, however, agree with the basic premise that attending law school in a geographic region where one has close ties & intends to practice can open up employment opportunities with small firms in the area.
Interesting that the OP doesn't mention Penn State's Dickinson School of Law.


Probably just an oversight, but I do think this particular argument is incredibly regionally specific. Off the top of my head I can't think of another region featuring 5 or 6 T2-or-below regional schools competing with no discernable hierarchy. In Philly I definitely agree that whichever school happens to be higher rated from year to year isn't necessarily the right choice, but its a very unique market (and one of the ones most devastated by the recession, btw).

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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby AJRESQ » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:01 am

Well, I think everyone has made up their mind on this issue, so I'll leave it at this...

Yes, you will get better opportunities at a T-14 while in law school. More firms come there to recruit, there will be more federal clerkships, etc. That kind of thing can open doors for you, particularly in terms of getting into more complex and sophisticated practice areas.

A few years out, what will matter are your practice areas and your portables. Not where you went to law school or that prestigious federal clerkship. Prestige doesn't pay the bills or generate cash flow. In a small firm, I don't even know what schools are considered T-14 anymore. I know all of the local schools, generally, and Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, etc. I have no idea where Iowa, Ohio State, and Casewestern are ranked. I don't think many BIGLAW partners do either, nor do they have the time to closely follow the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Also keep this in mind -- you might go into BIGLAW for 5 years. If you're not "partnership material", are you going to leave with clients? If you don't have any clients, and you're 5 or 6 years out, who is going to hire you? That federal clerkship is prestigious, but it doesn't generate cash. Would you rather hire someone who is profitable or someone who is prestigious? Prestige can help you be more profitable, but it certainly won't guarantee it.

In my own experience, we've never considered where you went to law school important. You have no competitive advantage coming from the local TTTT from the local TT state schools. You would be at a disadvantage coming from an out of state T1, because why would someone from Washington D.C. or New York want to come to Philadelphia without a good reason?

That's my two cents. Big picture. Also, for what it's worth, I started out at a TTTT and transferred to a TT. Transferring to the TT didn't open any new doors. A few years out, I think I would have been better off taking the scholarship at the TTTT rather than transferring to the TT. At this stage, where I went to law school is a footnote on my resume. Where you went to law school is just one of many factors that will dictate your success. It's certainly not the biggest one.
Last edited by AJRESQ on Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:02 am

Egregious Georgetown trolling.

theantiscalia
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Re: Where you go to law school isn't that important...

Postby theantiscalia » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:03 am

Cilent21 wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:I also like that the title of the post is "Where you go to law school isn't that important" and the content is, partially, "Location of your law school is really important because firms prefer local graduates."

By the by, this generally fits with TLS accepted wisdom which is that there are basically 4 true tiers of law schools

1) Big national schools. Your T14 +- a couple others that people argue over.
2) Semi-nationals. your Notre Dames and BUs that have some reach but are significantly more restricted.
3) Solid regional schools. Schools that can place you in specific areas but don't have a ton of reach. The model for this is often the state school in an area without a huge market. University of Maine Law School might not be highly ranked, but if you want to work in Bangor it makes sense to go there. Don't expect to get to NYC or D.C.
4) Overpriced schools that can't place. These are generally low ranked schools in saturated markets. Many students won't graduate and many grads won't practice. Those who say that Cooley is just as good as Harvard forget, among other things, that Cooley washes out a huge portion of their 1L class each year. No tuition refund.

Your argument seems to be that among group 3 there's no point in taking a higher ranked school over one where you want to practice, and that makes sense. You further argue that in some markets there's not a huge difference between the various regional schools. That may be true. But the first group (and to some degree the second) open opportunities the others simply do not provide, and the fourth group fails most of its students. Saying it doesn't matter which group you go to just seems misleading and false. If you want to practice for a medium sized firm in Hattiesburg then maybe Ole Miss makes sense even over Cornell or Northwestern, but that's a very specific situation, and going to a school where attrition rates top 20% is pretty darned risky.


Also: Great post.


I agree it was a great post... probably the most reasonable of this thread.

I also really like this thread (although it is dated):

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=339




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