Rating or Specialty

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
bklynav
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Rating or Specialty

Postby bklynav » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:33 pm

Would you rather go to a law school with a better rank, or one that focuses on a specialty area you are interested in?

Also, when you attend law school, must you choose a concentration/ join an 'academic center?'

ARTfulDodger
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby ARTfulDodger » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:43 pm

Better rank, by far. If you attend a law school based on specialty and change your specialty later on, you're screwed.

Also, you don't need to choose a concentration.

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kalvano
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby kalvano » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:47 pm

Specialty rankings are, by and large, worthless. You won't get hired or get any prestige from them.

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Bosque
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby Bosque » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:34 am

Better rank. And then the exact opposite is true when picking firms.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:37 am

Bosque wrote:Better rank. And then the exact opposite is true when picking firms.

You want the lowest ranked firm?

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Rocketman11
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby Rocketman11 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:11 am

kalvano wrote:Specialty rankings are, by and large, worthless. You won't get hired or get any prestige from them.


USNews ranking is more important, however there's a point at which you can attend a better specialty school to your advantage. For example, Vermont has a great Enviro law program. Might be worth it to go there instead of something like Gonzaga - especially if you can get $ from VT

Now if we're talking American U v. VT that's a different story.

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gdane
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby gdane » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:16 am

Rocketman11 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Specialty rankings are, by and large, worthless. You won't get hired or get any prestige from them.


USNews ranking is more important, however there's a point at which you can attend a better specialty school to your advantage. For example, Vermont has a great Enviro law program. Might be worth it to go there instead of something like Gonzaga - especially if you can get $ from VT

Now if we're talking American U v. VT that's a different story.


Elaborate please.

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Rocketman11
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby Rocketman11 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:27 am

gdane5 wrote:
Rocketman11 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Specialty rankings are, by and large, worthless. You won't get hired or get any prestige from them.


USNews ranking is more important, however there's a point at which you can attend a better specialty school to your advantage. For example, Vermont has a great Enviro law program. Might be worth it to go there instead of something like Gonzaga - especially if you can get $ from VT

Now if we're talking American U v. VT that's a different story.


Elaborate please.


Gonzaga and VT are more or less equally ranked. Gonzaga is what like 98 and VT is T3. A "worse" school technically but your job prospects will be similar so may as well get the boost from the specialty. American is 45 or something, so that's quite a leap to a T3 just for a specialty.

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gdane
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby gdane » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:42 am

Rocketman11 wrote:
Gonzaga and VT are more or less equally ranked. Gonzaga is what like 98 and VT is T3. A "worse" school technically but your job prospects will be similar so may as well get the boost from the specialty. American is 45 or something, so that's quite a leap to a T3 just for a specialty.


Thats what I thought you meant.

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Bosque
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby Bosque » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:10 pm

JazzOne wrote:
Bosque wrote:Better rank. And then the exact opposite is true when picking firms.

You want the lowest ranked firm?


No. The choice presented by the OP was "a law school with a better rank" or "one that focuses on a specialty area you are interested in". So in this case, the opposite of a better ranked firm would be a firm that is strong in your specialty.

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Bosque
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby Bosque » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:13 pm

Rocketman11 wrote:
gdane5 wrote:
Rocketman11 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Specialty rankings are, by and large, worthless. You won't get hired or get any prestige from them.


USNews ranking is more important, however there's a point at which you can attend a better specialty school to your advantage. For example, Vermont has a great Enviro law program. Might be worth it to go there instead of something like Gonzaga - especially if you can get $ from VT

Now if we're talking American U v. VT that's a different story.


Elaborate please.


Gonzaga and VT are more or less equally ranked. Gonzaga is what like 98 and VT is T3. A "worse" school technically but your job prospects will be similar so may as well get the boost from the specialty. American is 45 or something, so that's quite a leap to a T3 just for a specialty.


I agree in principle, but I think American is a bad example. American is in an incredibly saturated market with a lot of competition above it. If I knew I wanted environmental law, and I did not want to practice in DC, I would probably pick Vermont over American.

JOThompson
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby JOThompson » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:14 pm

Rank, no question. Specialties will almost never improve your odds of landing a job in that niche of law.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:24 pm

Bosque wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
Bosque wrote:Better rank. And then the exact opposite is true when picking firms.

You want the lowest ranked firm?


No. The choice presented by the OP was "a law school with a better rank" or "one that focuses on a specialty area you are interested in". So in this case, the opposite of a better ranked firm would be a firm that is strong in your specialty.

I know. I was just razzing you.

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vamedic03
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:33 pm

Like everyone else here, I'll throw in my two cents and say RANKINGS matter, specialties don't.

But, an aside - at least from my perspective as a 2L, I don't understand why specialty 'rankings' have any meaning.

Suppose you want to do 'Environmental Law.' How many classes in environmental law are you really going to take? I'll give a following example to make my point.

Your 1st year, you'll have required classes, maybe an elective or 2. Second year - yes, you'll take a couple of environmental law classes, but you'll still be taking a lot of general classes. Why? If you want to do Environmental law - it'd probably be helpful to have: Evidence, Federal Courts, Administrative Law, Corporations, Statutory Interpretation among others. You'll also want to have some general legal background courses: Income Tax, Trusts & Estates, etc. Plus, you'll have some sort of Ethics or Professional Responsibility class.

My point is this - you're probably not going to take but some many classes in your 'specialty' area.

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Bosque
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Re: Rating or Specialty

Postby Bosque » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:00 pm

JazzOne wrote:
Bosque wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
Bosque wrote:Better rank. And then the exact opposite is true when picking firms.

You want the lowest ranked firm?


No. The choice presented by the OP was "a law school with a better rank" or "one that focuses on a specialty area you are interested in". So in this case, the opposite of a better ranked firm would be a firm that is strong in your specialty.

I know. I was just razzing you.


I know. I was just being a humorless jerk. :P




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