legalkitty wrote:First, this may blow some of your mind's, but not everyone who goes to law school is intending on practicing law. There are many people who already have jobs such as in accounting, the police force, public administration, lobbying, and even the medical field, who are going to law school to advance the career they already have or to become learned. Thus why would you spend over $100K to keep the same job? that would be illogical, hence the reason for going to a lower tier school where in some cases the tuition may be significantly lower (in many but not all).
Second, something else that may blow your minds. Not everyone can pick up and moved to a city at the drop of a hat. Many people have family obligations such as their own children or caring for an elderly parent. Therefore, going to their local law school or an online law school is their only option.
Third, although many of you are betting that you will make enough money upon exiting law school to pay off your student loans - not everyone is of the gambling type. There are only so many top firm positions and getting a top firm position also requires that you have received top grades. Further, not everyone wants a big firm job. Instead they already know what kind of lawyer they want to be such as a public defender, legal aid, or work with a non profit. Therefore, going to a top tier school with all the debt that comes with it, is not a smart choice.
Thus, I think if you are having a hard time understanding why people go to lower tier schools then you might want to think about all the arguments out there.
Being a condescending jerk is not the best way to win an argument.
(1) Going to law school with the goal of never becoming a lawyer and maintaining your current career represents probably <5% of law students. FWIW, it's probably not a good idea - law school is professional training that, if you're not going to practice and actually become/stay current on a particular area of the law, gives you just enough information to be dangerous. Maybe it would help you recognize when you need to consult a lawyer, but it won't help you actually answer any legal issues (unless you're paying for a Westlaw account and have the time to research every time a legal issue comes up). But, if you just want to have a JD, power to you.
(2) If someone has family obligations that keeps them from moving, that's fine. But, they should really reconsider going to law school if their only options are low ranked schools. There is a serious of incurring significant debt and having minimal job prospects. And no one should even consider 'attending' an 'online' law school — these simply are not real law schools. (after all, would you go to a doctor who attended an 'online' med school?)
(3) A lot of people who want to work in public interest recognize that one of the great things about the top law schools is that they all have loan repayment programs for public interest/public service. Sure, going to a T-14 might incur 200k of debt, but if you work in public interest you'll never have to pay a cent of that debt.
Look, not everyone can get into a top law school - whether it's because of a grades, scores, or family obligations. That's fine. But, people should be honest with themselves and recognize (a) the risk that is incurred by going to some of these law schools and (b) that they shouldn't have a chip on their shoulder about the 'superiority' of non-top law schools.
Finally, this board is called TLS because it is oriented towards the top law schools.