Bottom of the class

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droges
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Bottom of the class

Postby droges » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:05 pm

What opportunities exist, if any, for those who graduate from a top 20-30 school in the bottom half of their class? Just interested because this is the ranking range I am looking at. Hoping this question isnt a concern in three years but figured I would ask.

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Wholigan
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby Wholigan » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:07 pm

IB McDonald's pic

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bk1
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:09 pm

droges wrote:What opportunities exist, if any, for those who graduate from a top 20-30 school in the bottom half of their class? Just interested because this is the ranking range I am looking at. Hoping this question isnt a concern in three years but figured I would ask.


You will likely be hustling your ass off to work for a small firm.

The worst case legal job scenario is ending up doing doc review or being a contract attorney where you aren't actually working full time and are not salaried. The actual worst case scenarios are being unemployed or not finding any legal job.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:10 pm

The answer to this varies greatly depending on where the school is located, what job opportunities exist in that region, what specific legal interests you have, and how much you build up connections and experience in that particular interest during your time in law school.

For example, someone who does PI work (and specifically, let's say, family law) for three years of law school may be able to find work for a family law PI organization when they graduate. That may come from connections to a local PI org that they developed while interning there, from another PI org impressed by their substantial resume and dedication, or from a fellowship dedicated to promoting family law issues that pays the equivalent of 1-2 years' salary for someone to do family law PI work. (The latter option is temporary, but also builds post-LS work experience and establishes them as an experienced attorney who could find paying work elsewhere at the end of the fellowship.)

But these are far from guaranteed things, and the worse your grades are, the more you'll need to compensate to increase your chances of finding work.

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dpk711
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby dpk711 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:11 pm

Just don't end up in the bottom of the class. It's as simple as that.

crit_racer
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby crit_racer » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:12 pm

the school may hire you back for a few months so they can report better employment#s to USNWR, but after that you're on your own.

Just mention the name of your school and then mumble something when they ask about your grades. Mass mailing will be necessary. If you don't graduate with much debt, you could consider opening your own small firm or trying to partner up with a solo practicioner who likes you. It would definitely be tough.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:12 pm

dpk711 wrote:Just don't end up in the bottom of the class. It's as simple as that.

Unfortunately, 50% of people fail to do this every year, despite warnings.

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bk1
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:14 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
dpk711 wrote:Just don't end up in the bottom of the class. It's as simple as that.

Unfortunately, 50% of people fail to do this every year, despite warnings.


If only they had heeded the good advice...

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dpk711
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby dpk711 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:19 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
dpk711 wrote:Just don't end up in the bottom of the class. It's as simple as that.

Unfortunately, 50% of people fail to do this every year, despite warnings.

I guess that 50% graduate at the lower half of their class is a mathematical certainty.

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Fred_McGriff
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby Fred_McGriff » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:23 pm

It varies greatly. The student right below median at Yale is going to have vastly different opportunities than the lowest GPA to walk on graduation day at Florida Coastal.

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DubPoker
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby DubPoker » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:26 pm

Fred_McGriff wrote:It varies greatly. The student right below median at Yale is going to have vastly different opportunities than the lowest GPA to walk on graduation day at Florida Coastal.


OP states 20-30 not 1-185 or whatever

droges wrote:What opportunities exist, if any, for those who graduate from a top 20-30 school in the bottom half of their class? Just interested because this is the ranking range I am looking at. Hoping this question isnt a concern in three years but figured I would ask.

crit_racer
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby crit_racer » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:28 pm

DubPoker wrote:
Fred_McGriff wrote:It varies greatly. The student right below median at Yale is going to have vastly different opportunities than the lowest GPA to walk on graduation day at Florida Coastal.


OP states 20-30 not 1-185 or whatever

droges wrote:What opportunities exist, if any, for those who graduate from a top 20-30 school in the bottom half of their class? Just interested because this is the ranking range I am looking at. Hoping this question isnt a concern in three years but figured I would ask.


Still, coming out of the bottom of the class at GW is a lot different than coming out of the bottom of the class at HYS.

And, for that matter, coming out of the bottom of GW is diff. than coming out of the bottom of Iowa, which at least has a home state with (I presume) small firms that may be doable w/ shity grades.
Last edited by crit_racer on Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:29 pm

crit_racer wrote:Still, coming out of the bottom of the class at GW is a lot different than coming out of the bottom of the class at HYS.

Congratulations, you've reaffirmed a point that is not only uncontested but already proven irrelevant to the current thread.

crit_racer
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby crit_racer » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:32 pm

Fair enough. I edited to add an example that is, IMO, relevant and novel to this thread. I wouldn't want to come out of a 20-30range school at the bottom of the class. Especially when that 20-30 school is in a saturated market.

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bk1
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:34 pm

crit_racer wrote:Still, coming out of the bottom of the class at GW is a lot different than coming out of the bottom of the class at HYS.

And, for that matter, coming out of the bottom of GW is diff. than coming out of the bottom of Iowa, which at least has a home state with (I presume) small firms that may be doable w/ shity grades.


When people say T20 or T30 you really think they mean anything other than the schools ranked about 15-20 (if T20) or 25-30 (if T30)?

Also, size of the market matters and that Iowa's market is really small which hurts it (whereas GW's is hurt by its competitiveness and impactedness, but is far larger than Iowa's). So you can't necessarily call it a win for Iowa (though it might be).

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reasonable_man
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:49 pm

If you're lucky:

Image

At least they are given health insurance. If you aren't so lucky:

Image

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:58 pm

crit_racer wrote:Still, coming out of the bottom of the class at GW is a lot different than coming out of the bottom of the class at HYS.

And, for that matter, coming out of the bottom of GW is diff. than coming out of the bottom of Iowa, which at least has a home state with (I presume) small firms that may be doable w/ shity grades.

Yes, it's "different", but unlike the HYS/GW divide, the GW/Iowa divide isn't one where one choice is clearly better than the other in terms of employment opportunities. GW and Iowa have different employment opportunities, with different positives and drawbacks, and which is better will depend on your own personal circumstances and how they relate to those positives and drawbacks of each school.

Eco
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby Eco » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:00 pm

Sounds a little extreme to label the entire bottom 50% as people who will never find a job or who will have a crappy one (no, I'm not in the bottom 50%, just saying).

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vanwinkle
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:02 pm

Eco wrote:Sounds a little extreme to label the entire bottom 50% as people who will never find a job or who will have a crappy one (no, I'm not in the bottom 50%, just saying).

You're right. It implies that those in the top 50% will find work. That's a mistake.

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bk1
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:04 pm

Eco wrote:Sounds a little extreme to label the entire bottom 50% as people who will never find a job or who will have a crappy one (no, I'm not in the bottom 50%, just saying).


Depends on the school.

At some schools, the bottom 50% would be lucky to find work doing doc review part time and would happily slurp that up over being employed. At other schools the bottom 50% is gunning for small firm jobs. At other schools the bottom 50% is still living the life of models and bottles.

droges
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby droges » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:57 pm

I was thinking of a school in the Mid 20's like BU, BC, GW, Notre Dame, etc.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:27 pm

droges wrote:I was thinking of a school in the Mid 20's like BU, BC, GW, Notre Dame, etc.


I hope you aren't thinking that this information will change any of the above responses.

droges
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby droges » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:29 pm

No I know this wouldnt change anything, there was debate over what was even implied by my question, just letting other posters know of what I meant by T20-30.

Emma1
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby Emma1 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:34 pm

I always heard that alot of very successful trial attorneys were bottom of their class. Don't know if it is true ( it could be an urban legend).

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Bottom of the class

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:43 pm

droges wrote:What opportunities exist, if any, for those who graduate from a top 20-30 school in the bottom half of their class? Just interested because this is the ranking range I am looking at. Hoping this question isnt a concern in three years but figured I would ask.


It depends - like everything in the legal world.

It depends on your:
1. personality
2. legal work experience
3. grades (even after being in the bottom half; schools with curves above 3.0 FTW)
4. pre-law school connections (including family connections)
5. pre-law school work experience
6. undergrad major
7. connections made in law school
8. the exact state of the legal market you are trying to get into
9. how the market(s) you want view your school in comparison to competing schools

The point is, there are a lot of factors that go into this and thus it is impossible to generalize about what would happen to a theoretical student.




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