Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

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cool of law
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Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby cool of law » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:19 pm

How true is this? I have heard it a lot from many credible sources, on this site and else where. Yet when someone is choosing between a school ranked 35 vs. 80 there is a swarm of "rankings don't matter outside T14"

shed some let?

is it the best college you get into that you can afford?

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dr123
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby dr123 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:21 pm

Go to the best school in the region you want to practice in.

ex if you wanted to practice in Arizona, it would be pretty foolish to go to Iowa over ASU, even though Iowa is higher ranked

Crazy4lawzzz
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby Crazy4lawzzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:22 pm

which region are you interested in?

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Justathought
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby Justathought » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:23 pm

cool of law wrote:How true is this? I have heard it a lot from many credible sources, on this site and else where. Yet when someone is choosing between a school ranked 35 vs. 80 there is a swarm of "rankings don't matter outside T14"

shed some let?

is it the best college you get into that you can afford?


Well I'm a poster boy for this discussion. I'm basically choosing between SMU-PT, Rutgers, and Miami. With Iowa in the mix if I get in off the wait list.

I think it has to come down to job prospects and finances. Miami is ranked 20 spots higher than Rutgers, but the cost and job prospects both seem tilted to Rutgers. Especially the cost.

So yeah, I think you have to do what works best for your situation and largely disregard the rankings.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:25 pm

dr123 wrote:Go to the best school in the region you want to practice in.

ex if you wanted to practice in Arizona, it would be pretty foolish to go to Iowa over ASU, even though Iowa is higher ranked

+1. As an example of lower ranked schools, U of Maine is the only law school in the state. Therefore, if you want to practice in Maine, who cares about its low ranking?

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northwood
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:25 pm

Figure out where you want tolive and work. Research the schools in taht region- and see how your application compares. Apply broadly and go to the best school in the region. Make sure your criteria ismore than just the USNWR rankings.

Crazy4lawzzz
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby Crazy4lawzzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:26 pm

Now the question is...what if you want to practice in say NYC...should you go to a tier 2 in the city or somewhere else?

dakatz
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby dakatz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:26 pm

I think the motto "go to the best school you get into" is highly misleading and stops prospective students from looking into their options in a rational and sensible manner. Your circumstances play such a big part in the equation that such a generic piece of advice should almost never be superimposed on a highly individualized situation.

It is absolutely essential that consider:

--The debt situation you will have if you graduate from X school
--The location of the school
--Its relative prestige/reputation, etc (all the things that one normally associates with ranking, though not completely overlapping because some schools have greater prestige that outweighs their relatively low rankings in certain areas. An example would be Rutgers in NJ).
--The range of options you are looking at. If you are talking about a T14 vs. a TTT, then it may be wise to go to the best school you get into. But a T14 at sticker vs. a big scholarship from a T30 school? The choice is no longer so easy. And you are right that ranking shouldn't be too big a factor when looking at schools outside of the top 30 or so. Schools fluctuate much more wildly outside of the top 30, and region/location should be your guiding factor, not rank.

I've always been one to stress a balanced approach. If I had to sum up my philosophy in picking a school, it would be, "Go to the best school you can get into that will give you both a solid chance to achieve your goals without leaving you with crushing debt". Balance is never a bad thing.

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northwood
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:29 pm

I would say it depends on figures. NYC is very expensive to live in. Law school in itself is very expensive. I would go to the school that offers you the best financial package for its prospects. A t2 with a good scholarship may be a good option. Remember a lot of people want to try to get into the big markets, so you will have a lot of competition. THe further in debt you get- the more difficult it will be to get a job that allows you to have a high quality of life.

cool of law
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby cool of law » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:30 pm

SW/Nor Cal ... but I am also interested in being in the best position to secure employment postgrad (duh?) i.e. if going to U of A gives me a better chance of getting a job I would rather go there, than go to school at an LA school that won;t get me a job anywhere.

did that make sense?

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:30 pm

Crazy4lawzzz wrote:Now the question is...what if you want to practice in say NYC...should you go to a tier 2 in the city or somewhere else?

Not to be an echo of the sentiments discussed ad nauseam on this board, but a Tier 2 in the city (e.g. St. John's, Hofstra) will be very difficult to get the top jobs in NYC. Not impossible, but more difficult than if you went to NYU, CLS or Cornell. Generally though, if you want to practice in NYC and are willing to take meager job prospects going into school, take the T2 in the city. I doubt that many of the T2 schools have national reach to NYC.

sullidop
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby sullidop » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:31 pm

Better ranked law schools present more opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Many of the top government agencies take a disproportionately large number of ppl from top-ranked schools. The same is true of biglaw firms, however here the disparity can be more pronounced.

Thinking of a school by its ranking is necessary only to establish which band or peer group it falls into: 1-3, 4-6, 7-10, 11-14...etc. As you go down the scale the bands get larger making the individual ranking less dispositive of prestige. In each band, students tend to get the same types of jobs as their peers (function of class rank/journal/work experience/etc) at peer schools.

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northwood
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:36 pm

This is why i strongly advocate taking some time off after UG. You need tofigure out what you need and want in life. YOu also need to know yourself, what type of living environment works for you, as well as areas you are willing to compromise on. I also think its important to take time to do you research and visit the schools. A lot of schools have open houses and admitted days in the spring. However, depending no the school and when you apply, you may or may not be eligible to go to an admitted student day. Once you get that done- visit and see how it compares to your requirements list. You need some sort of balance and sensibilities in this process, and it cannot be rushed. Remember that its very hard to transfer out, and more thanlikely you will be graduating at the median of the class. A lot of scholarships have stipulations on them that may put extra pressure on you to do well or you will lose it and have to pay sticker( or drop out).

Tier 2 schools have very slim national reach/prestigue. if you want NYC- but your school is outside NYC metro area than you will have to do a lot more leg work. Your school will set you up with its own network to help you. Its not a handout for a job, but more than likely you will get a nice base of contacts int hte city/ region of the school. It will be more difficult to travel, and if you are NYC or bust a lot of places may take a pass on you b/c of your flight potential.

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IamAskier
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby IamAskier » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:40 pm

I understand the extreme "regionality" (made up word, I know) of schools, but besides the obvious markets such as NYC, Chicago, DC, and California, what exactly constitutes a region? For example, would it be fair to classify Denver and SLC in the same region due to their proximity? Does the whole Pacific Northwest make up one single employment region, or is it more practical to narrow it down to individual cities, such as Seattle and Portland?

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northwood
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:42 pm

personally i make each regions boundaries as to distance you can drive in one day. Its not scientific, but it works for me.

cool of law
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby cool of law » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:43 pm

Does anyone have any input between U of Arizona and U of San Diego. They are relatively close in rankings although SD is more fluctuating (heading in a positive direction) while Arizona has been highly (high 30s, low 40s) ranked for a while now. USD seems more flashy, but I can't ignore the small class sizes at U of A and emphasis on collegiality. I went to a large, cut throat-esque UG and I think I need something small for LS

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northwood
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:44 pm

from your post- sounds like you like Zona

question- do you prefer one area over the other?

cool of law
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby cool of law » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:47 pm

northwood wrote:from your post- sounds like you like Zona

question- do you prefer one area over the other?


Thats really what I need to figure out. I know I like sunshine tho :lol:

anyone know if arizona has LRAP?

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IamAskier
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby IamAskier » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:50 pm

northwood wrote:personally i make each regions boundaries as to distance you can drive in one day. Its not scientific, but it works for me.

I guess I should phrase it this way: Would it a L&C grad have a good chance at work in Seattle, or a CU/DU grad be able to use their degree in Utah or New Mexico? I'm really just wondering about the effective reach of regional schools; essentially how broad of area a regional degrees encompass.

cool of law
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby cool of law » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:54 pm

IamAskier wrote:
northwood wrote:personally i make each regions boundaries as to distance you can drive in one day. Its not scientific, but it works for me.

I guess I should phrase it this way: Would it a L&C grad have a good chance at work in Seattle, or a CU/DU grad be able to use their degree in Utah or New Mexico? I'm really just wondering about the effective reach of regional schools; essentially how broad of area a regional degrees encompass.



I like this question.

Crazy4lawzzz
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby Crazy4lawzzz » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:00 pm

I think if its outside of your immediate region, probably your state (unless its CA)...then you have to see how much general name recognition the school has in the area. (undergrad or grad)

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androstan
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Re: Go to the Best Law School You Get Into

Postby androstan » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:04 pm

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