Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

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jparsenal87
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:11 pm

Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

Postby jparsenal87 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:27 pm

I'm really struggling with this, and I'm sure I won't come across as really eloquent, but I was hoping someone might help me with a question I have. Basically, I took the LSAT last year and got a score in the 170's (with a 3.9 gpa), did the usual thing, blanketed most of the Top 14. However, because of my financial situation, my close connection to DC, and just my plain desire to NOT go into debt, I also applied to the GW early decision/full ride program. So long story short, I got into the program, and am headed to GW in the fall.

So I have been reading alot of the "t14 or bust" language here and on other sites. The top school I got into was columbia (but realistically there was no way i could afford to pay full tuition and live in NYC), and i got good offers to go to schools like UVA/Mich/Penn with ~20k scolarships. My question is, how big a hole did I put myself in by committing to the GW program and not attending a T10 school?

I do not believe I want to do BigLaw (although, to be totally honest, I cannot say for certain that I want/do not want to do ANYTHING really), but I am very interested in litigation (although, again, I admit not knowing what exact specialty I'll wind up in).

Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I know that for BigLaw and academia, etc, it's a huge hit not coming from a T10, but what if I do well at GW (I won't play the % game, because I know there are just as many intelligent motivated students at GW as there are at Columbia), what would my job prospects look like coming back? Do you think I made a really poor decision, or its justifiable considering the finances and my comfort level with the city?

Thanks in advance!

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blerg
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Re: Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

Postby blerg » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:31 pm

I think you picked a good school for you based on priorities. If you love DC and you're debt adverse, GW is the right choice for you.

mah2012
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Re: Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

Postby mah2012 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:37 pm

Justifiable. I'd probably do it. The only way I'd turn that down is for HYS. But I'm debt adverse, and I think the T14 or bust hype isn't really true. I'd say its more T1 or bust. All of the attorneys I've spoken to about this say the same thing, and yet none of them sugar coat the crappiness of the legal market.

Not 250k in debt and a good shot at a job > 250k in debt and an only slightly better shot at a job.

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manbearwig
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Re: Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

Postby manbearwig » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:44 pm

mah2012 wrote:Justifiable. I'd probably do it. The only way I'd turn that down is for HYS. But I'm debt adverse, and I think the T14 or bust hype isn't really true. I'd say its more T1 top regional school or bust. All of the attorneys I've spoken to about this say the same thing, and yet none of them sugar coat the crappiness of the legal market.


FTFY.

sumus romani
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Re: Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

Postby sumus romani » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:54 pm

First of all, if your financial situation was so bad that you did not qualify for federal loans, then you absolutely made the right choice in GW.

Let us say however, that you would have qualified for federal loans. You are still in a good spot. You are going to the 20th ranked law school with a full scholarship. Other people with your stats have chosen to go to somewhere in the T14 to end up with $220,000 in debt. They gambled and you played it safe. What is wrong with that?

flcath
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Re: Limited Chances at a T20 from a T10?

Postby flcath » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:41 am

sumus romani wrote:First of all, if your financial situation was so bad that you did not qualify for federal loans, then you absolutely made the right choice in GW.

Let us say however, that you would have qualified for federal loans. You are still in a good spot. You are going to the 20th ranked law school with a full scholarship. Other people with your stats have chosen to go to somewhere in the T14 to end up with $220,000 in debt. They gambled and you played it safe. What is wrong with that?

Yeah. I'd have probably done differently, but your choice was far from wrong, and--far more importantly that the rightness or wrongness of the choice--you'll still be competitive (i.e., able to reasonably compete) for everything you might want, including academia.

Edit: Academia being the least likely, obv., but given the modern focus on scholarly productivity (this starts now), still doable. Look at young profs below below the T13 level and you'll find a much higher proportion of them are not from HY.




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