All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

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Kilpatrick
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:17 pm

WVUguy11 wrote:Top schools provide the paper necessary to obtain a decent job right out of school. 5 years out of school your competence is weighted more heavily than what your piece of paper says. That is why working hard and being charismatic is more beneficial, in the long run, than where you go/went to school.


But if 5 years out of law school you've never had a legal job nobody is going to hire you just because you've been working hard at the Cheesecake factory

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johnnyutah
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby johnnyutah » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:30 pm

Veyron wrote:Most T-14s tends not to play such games regarding LRAP. Also, our clinicals are just as good if not better for PI, check them out on some T-14's website sometime. In light of these benefits and the better career opportunities within the field of PI, I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who has actually chosen a TTT over a T-14 absent a full ride or massive geographic preference (e.g. wife has a job in the city, caring for sick family, etc.) This sort of sour grapes is just silly.

As a 3L at a t-14 currently searching for a PI job, I feel like I can actually speak to this pretty effectively.

Veyron is right when he says that PI jobs are as competitive as BigLaw, if not moreso. Like he says, there are a surfeit of law graduates who would love to make 40k saving the world. However, I don't think the t-14 name opens nearly as many doors as it can in the private sector. Outside some certain select PI organizations like the ACLU, employers seem to care much less about what school you're coming from than what kind of experience you have, how committed you seem to PI work, and (most importantly) how connected you are to the organization and the PI community generally.

I've been looking at and applying to public defender's offices all over the country, and I've found that my school's name seems to mean very little. I have been able to get some interviews and opportunities, but it's all been through the strength of the work I did over the previous two summers or through personal connections (in at least one case, through someone I went to high school with). I've been doing a pretty fucking thorough job search, and for this reason I think my experience probably is fairly representative of hiring in the field. I frankly think that, all other things being equal, a TTT grad and a t-14 grad have almost equal chances at most public defender's offices in the US.

Because PI (especially PD's office) hiring is based so substantially off factors other than school prestige, I think it's totally reasonable to take a TTT over a t-14 if you know you want to do that kind of work - provided, at least, that you'll graduate from the TTT with a substantially lower debt load. If I could do it over knowing what I know now, there's a good chance I would have done this (although I would have gotten a full ride, which Veyron notes above).

Long story short - there are at least some career tracks for which it really might make sense to take TTT with $ (even if not a full ride) over t-14.

r6_philly
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:52 pm

johnnyutah wrote:


I agree with the difficulty in getting PI jobs. There is one train of thought that if you are the most qualified, you would be able to get PI positions. There is another - one that I believe in more - that you need to show a proven track record of public service especially if you are highly qualified. The particular T14's prestige may actually hurt johnnyutah. Maybe PI orgs may think, without the proven track record, that he will bolt the moment he can get the lucrative job that he doesn't have now. Going to a T2/3/4 school with little or no debt may actually help to convince that you took the least amount of debt knowing the lower-paying PI job was your goal.

You can of course help your case going to T14 but you would have to be PI focus from the start to get the best boost. Being competitive as it is, taking on a whole lot of debt, even with LRAP is still risky.

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johnnyutah
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby johnnyutah » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:57 pm

r6_philly wrote:You can of course help your case going to T14 but you would have to be PI focus from the start to get the best boost. Being competitive as it is, taking on a whole lot of debt, even with LRAP is still risky.

Agreed.

I also want to amend my post by noting that in larger cities - especially NYC and DC - t-14 will be a huge boost to you because these markets are used to high-powered degree holders wanting to come work for peanuts. In fact, in NYC specifically, PI organizations are so used to t-14 grads that it can be hard to break in out of a lower ranked school. My experience is probably much more generalizable to non-premier markets because, for personal reasons, that's where I've been focusing my job search.

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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:00 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
r6_philly wrote:You can of course help your case going to T14 but you would have to be PI focus from the start to get the best boost. Being competitive as it is, taking on a whole lot of debt, even with LRAP is still risky.

Agreed.

I also want to amend my post by noting that in larger cities - especially NYC and DC - t-14 will be a huge boost to you because these markets are used to high-powered degree holders wanting to come work for peanuts. In fact, in NYC specifically, PI organizations are so used to t-14 grads that it can be hard to break in out of a lower ranked school. My experience is probably much more generalizable to non-premier markets because, for personal reasons, that's where I've been focusing my job search.


You might want to stay in the big markets for a while a lateral to where you want to end up. Building up a bit of experience and establishing a network can probably help you quite a bit. Although I have no idea where you want to go. But getting a job at the school's home market should be easier than anywhere else, obviously.

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dr123
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby dr123 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:02 pm

This is purely anecdotal, but a few of the people I work with are here on a rather prestigious fellowship and they all had years of public interest work before they even started LS

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johnnyutah
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby johnnyutah » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:06 pm

r6_philly wrote:You might want to stay in the big markets for a while a lateral to where you want to end up. Building up a bit of experience and establishing a network can probably help you quite a bit. Although I have no idea where you want to go. But getting a job at the school's home market should be easier than anywhere else, obviously.

In general, I think you're right. There are specific circumstances in my area related to funding problems and hiring practices that are making it pretty hard to find PI litigation or PD gigs right now, so I've been looking elsewhere, and I'm staying away from NYC and DC just because I don't think I can bring myself to live in either of those places :mrgreen: But yeah, for the most past, it's much easier to start in a larger market and lateral out to a smaller market than the reverse.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby joemoviebuff » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:07 pm

What if you have an interest in both PI and biglaw and want to keep as many doors open as possible? I've gotten the idea from browsing TLS that big firms really only seems to care about your grades, regardless of what classes they are in. Is that true? If so, wouldn't it be to your advantage to gear your classes and clinics and such towards PI, even if you have an interest in biglaw too? I hope this makes sense.

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johnnyutah
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby johnnyutah » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:16 pm

joemoviebuff wrote:What if you have an interest in both PI and biglaw and want to keep as many doors open as possible?

Go to t-14.

joemoviebuff wrote:I've gotten the idea from browsing TLS that big firms really only seems to care about your grades, regardless of what classes they are in. Is that true? If so, wouldn't it be to your advantage to gear your classes and clinics and such towards PI, even if you have an interest in biglaw too?

To an extent it would. BigLaw employers will question you if your resume and coursework reflects too much of an interest in PI, though, and you'd better have a good response ready. They're not going to want to hire summer associates they don't think would actually accept an offer at the end of the summer, and they may suspect you'll take your 30k summer associate salary and go off to save the world afterward.

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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:24 pm

johnnyutah wrote:They're not going to want to hire summer associates they don't think would actually accept an offer at the end of the summer, and they may suspect you'll take your 30k summer associate salary and go off to save the world afterward.


This funny.

What if you split your summers between PI and Firm?

I would probably stick to firm job only. I figure I have enough PI on my resume to convince anyone, should I decide to get involved.

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johnnyutah
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby johnnyutah » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:27 pm

r6_philly wrote:
johnnyutah wrote:They're not going to want to hire summer associates they don't think would actually accept an offer at the end of the summer, and they may suspect you'll take your 30k summer associate salary and go off to save the world afterward.


This funny.

What if you split your summers between PI and Firm?

I would probably stick to firm job only. I figure I have enough PI on my resume to convince anyone, should I decide to get involved.

A lot of people split, or do PI first summer and firm second. From what I can tell from friends and classmates, the issue seems to come up only when someone's resume shows that they have been exclusively committed to PI for a long time - for example, a former social worker who worked for a DV shelter her first summer of law school got grilled pretty intensely about why she wanted to work for a firm.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby joemoviebuff » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:27 pm

r6_philly wrote:
johnnyutah wrote:They're not going to want to hire summer associates they don't think would actually accept an offer at the end of the summer, and they may suspect you'll take your 30k summer associate salary and go off to save the world afterward.


This funny.

What if you split your summers between PI and Firm?

I would probably stick to firm job only. I figure I have enough PI on my resume to convince anyone, should I decide to get involved.


What have you done if you don't mind my asking? PM if you don't want it here.

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MTal
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby MTal » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:34 pm

It doesn't matter where you go to school. You are all doomed.

r6_philly
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:35 pm

johnnyutah wrote:A lot of people split, or do PI first summer and firm second. From what I can tell from friends and classmates, the issue seems to come up only when someone's resume shows that they have been exclusively committed to PI for a long time - for example, a former social worker who worked for a DV shelter her first summer of law school got grilled pretty intensely about why she wanted to work for a firm.


Haha I better not do it then. My WE is split half corp half PI, I should probably try not to confuse employers.

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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:36 pm

MTal wrote:It doesn't matter where you go to school. You are all doomed.


It's funny you still come on here, just lacking your previous intensity.

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romothesavior
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:38 pm

The Rise and Fall of a Law Student
1. Takes LSAT, does not study despite the test being the most important test they will ever take (save for maybe the bar, but that's debatable), gets 155
2. Looks into schools; YAY! There are some that will take me!
3. Finds TLS, is told how terrible the market and their school of choice is, accuses everyone of being an elitist, and blames jobless grads for "not networking/working hard enough"
4. Rationalizes their choice of law school:
-"I don't want to go into biglaw. I want to go into PI" (stupidly assumes that PI gigs are plentiful and easy to get, and that no tier 1 students want them)
-"Where you go to school doesn't matter, it is all about NETWORKING!"
-"I will work super duper hard!"
-"It is all just the economy, but it will get better!"
5. Crosses fingers that their 180k, 3-year investment at a TTT will pan out

*fast forward three years*

Oh shit...
Last edited by romothesavior on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ATR
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby ATR » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:39 pm

romothesavior wrote:The Rise and Fall of a Law Student
1. Takes LSAT, does not study despite the test being the most important test they will ever take (save for maybe the bar, but that's debatable), gets 155
2. Looks into schools; YAY! There are some that will take me!
3. Finds TLS, is told how terrible the market and their school of choice is, accuses everyone of being an elitist, and blames jobless grads for "not networking/working hard enough"
4. Rationalizes their choice of law school:
-"I don't want to go into biglaw. I want to go into PI" (stupidly assumes that PI gigs are plentiful and easy to get, and that no tier 1 students want them)
-"Where you go to school doesn't matter, it is all about NETWORKING!"
-"I will work super duper hard!"
-"It is all just the economy, but it will get better!"
5. Crosses fingers that their 180k, 3-year investment at a TTT will pan out

*fast forward three years*

Oh shit...

177

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johnnyutah
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby johnnyutah » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:41 pm

r6_philly wrote:
johnnyutah wrote:A lot of people split, or do PI first summer and firm second. From what I can tell from friends and classmates, the issue seems to come up only when someone's resume shows that they have been exclusively committed to PI for a long time - for example, a former social worker who worked for a DV shelter her first summer of law school got grilled pretty intensely about why she wanted to work for a firm.


Haha I better not do it then. My WE is split half corp half PI, I should probably try not to confuse employers.

Nah, I bet if you have some corp stuff on your resume you'll just look like a civic-minded guy and not a dyed-in-the-wool PI crusader just out to take one summer's worth of their money :mrgreen:

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MTal
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby MTal » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:42 pm

MTal wrote:It doesn't matter where you go to school. You are all doomed.


Intensity is no longer necessary...the answer is obvious to anyone who is capable of looking at the situation with eyes wide open.

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joemoviebuff
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby joemoviebuff » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:42 pm

Every time I see romo's tar it takes me a sec to realize it's not my own.

Schope 'tars FTW 8)

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romothesavior
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:42 pm

ect88 wrote: I'm sorry if we do not share the same values or reasoning, but it will not stop me from sharing my view on the subject.

Share it all you want, but your view on the subject is utterly and pathetically wrong. And don't be surprised when people call you out for it.

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Veyron
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby Veyron » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:43 pm

johnnyutah wrote:
Veyron wrote:
ran12 wrote:The only true advantage to going to a T14 is that you're pretty much guaranteed connections and an easy foot in the door. Honestly, anyone who knows how to network the right way and doesn't screw up in law school will get a good law job. The academic quality of the schools in the top 100 or so schools doesn't vary so much that someone at the lower ranked schools is at a severe academic disadvantage.


Well, kinda. The other true advantage is that you are guaranteed 20-30 BIGLAW interviews just for having a pulse.

Is that how many your class was getting? Holy shit. Even the luckiest folks with the best bid strategies in class of 2011 weren't getting more than 20 or so. I'm glad things are turning around.


Not my class, I hear this based on 2012. I mean, even if you only got 20 thru OCI, you could easily rack up another 6 "free" regional interviews. Add to that interviews that are given away through the exchange. . .
Last edited by Veyron on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:44 pm

Also, for Christ's sake... some of you have been on TLS over a year and still can't quote to save your life. I wish I was a mod so I could tempban people for their lack of forum etiquette.

r6_philly
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:45 pm

MTal wrote:
MTal wrote:It doesn't matter where you go to school. You are all doomed.


Intensity is no longer necessary...the answer is obvious to anyone who is capable of looking at the situation with eyes wide open.


Are you accusing me of something? :shock:

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kswiss
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Re: All non tier 1 people, why are you going to law school?

Postby kswiss » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:10 pm

TLS loves distinctions like T14/T50/T1/etc. But there are a lot of factors between those distinctions. Outside of the extreme elite schools, people should really be choosing based on market and debt load. Going to a school ranked 49 would be idiotic if a school ranked 90 is #1 in your preferred market.

If you get into the T14, by all means go. Outside of those, the tier distinctions mean very little. There is a large disparity btw ranks of "#1 in market schools", but you shouldn't choose based on overall rank, rather you should choose based on the employment opportunities that will be available to you as a student from a certain school.

BTW, 0Ls have very little idea how it is on the ground. I was the same way as an 0L. You can't read TLS all day and get a feel for how the legal market is. I'm a 1L at a T2. I'm going to be just fine, but I'm the minority. I have a great resume and a class rank well into the top 5%. My school has a OCI program, but there aren't many employers, and very few that have high salaries (120k+). So the top 20 or so people in the class will have a legit shot at these jobs, and the rest of the people have to get jobs out of OCI.

So that is the primary risk of a T2 (and T3/T4 i'd imagine, but even worse.) There is a very good chance that the first couple weeks of 2L, you'll look around the room and see a few people you know with great jobs from OCI, and you and the rest of your classmates will have to get jobs outside of OCI. This is easy for some people, and really hard for others. Some places care about grades, some don't. And there are far more students than there are jobs.

That's not to say its hopeless. I know very few actual law students (even 2 & 3Ls) that regret their decision to go to law school. This might be partly based on the school I go to, since it is #1 in a market and cheap.




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