Importance of a Ranking?

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cardsfan04
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Importance of a Ranking?

Postby cardsfan04 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:24 pm

I am from St. Louis and would like to live in St. Louis when I am out of law school. Ideally, I would like to be a prosecutor when I graduate, but I could always change my mind.

Anyway, I toured both SLU and WashU recently, but liked SLU MUCH more. Simply put, I could very easily see myself at SLU, but not as easily at WashU. But, its stats are considerably worse than WashU's. Off the top of my head, 16th vs 94th overall and median starting salary in the private sector of 65K vs 150K. How important is that ranking? When I was an undergrad (I'm 3 years removed at this point), I was told that it's only important to go to a top 10 law school if you plan to work for a big firm. Otherwise, just go where you want to practice. Is this true?

Also, is it better to finish really high in a class at SLU or middle of the pack at WashU?

justhockey31
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby justhockey31 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:26 pm

Did you get money from SLU? If you got a significant scholarship from SLU and you are sure you want to practice in St. Louis then the ranking should not matter to you. However, if the money is even close to similar you should definitely go to WUSTL because it will give the a better chance at jobs.

BlueDiamond
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby BlueDiamond » Tue May 17, 2011 2:28 pm

cardsfan04 wrote:I am from St. Louis and would like to live in St. Louis when I am out of law school. Ideally, I would like to be a prosecutor when I graduate, but I could always change my mind.

Anyway, I toured both SLU and WashU recently, but liked SLU MUCH more. Simply put, I could very easily see myself at SLU, but not as easily at WashU. But, its stats are considerably worse than WashU's. Off the top of my head, 16th vs 94th overall and median starting salary in the private sector of 65K vs 150K. How important is that ranking? When I was an undergrad (I'm 3 years removed at this point), I was told that it's only important to go to a top 10 law school if you plan to work for a big firm. Otherwise, just go where you want to practice. Is this true?

Also, is it better to finish really high in a class at SLU or middle of the pack at WashU?


If you like SLU, want St. Louis, and don't want a high-paying firm job, then SLU is fine. However, that could all change depending on the amount you'd be paying to attend.

Salary data is inaccurate and should not be considered.

For your goals, I would say that ranking is unimportant and that location is more important.

With this said, if you can go to WUSTL with limited debt I'd do that over SLU.

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bk1
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby bk1 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:40 pm

1. You can't be sure that you will necessarily do better at SLU than at WUSTL.

2. The salary numbers are fudged and meaningless. Take a look at http://www.lawschooltransparency.com to see what the data actually means.

3. There is a huge difference between SLU and WUSTL in terms of quality and even small firms know that. Since you're a STL native, STL firms won't be skeptical of you jumping ship to another place if you went to WUSTL (which is what scares them about most WUSTL kids since they are not natives).

4. In 2009, 60% of SLU grads got full time jobs as lawyers compared to 80% from WUSTL. That is a big difference.

5. You can't guarantee that you will do well at SLU just because you have better numbers so don't plan on that.

6. So yes, WUSTL is a much better school than SLU even for smaller firms. However cost is also a factor. It would be foolish to take out a lot of money to go to WUSTL versus a scholarship at SLU to work at a small firm (depending how much SLU gave you and assuming there were no stipulations on the SLU scholly).

mrwarre85
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby mrwarre85 » Wed May 18, 2011 4:07 pm

I would think WUSTL would be worth 100k more or so than SLU. By the way what did you like better about SLU? WUSTL has a terrific campus... I admit I've never been to the campus at SLU.

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Grizz
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby Grizz » Wed May 18, 2011 4:40 pm

bk1 wrote:1. You can't be sure that you will necessarily do better at SLU than at WUSTL.

2. The salary numbers are fudged and meaningless. Take a look at http://www.lawschooltransparency.com to see what the data actually means.

3. There is a huge difference between SLU and WUSTL in terms of quality and even small firms know that. Since you're a STL native, STL firms won't be skeptical of you jumping ship to another place if you went to WUSTL (which is what scares them about most WUSTL kids since they are not natives).

4. In 2009, 60% of SLU grads got full time jobs as lawyers compared to 80% from WUSTL. That is a big difference.

5. You can't guarantee that you will do well at SLU just because you have better numbers so don't plan on that.

6. So yes, WUSTL is a much better school than SLU even for smaller firms. However cost is also a factor. It would be foolish to take out a lot of money to go to WUSTL versus a scholarship at SLU to work at a small firm (depending how much SLU gave you and assuming there were no stipulations on the SLU scholly).


Pretty much all of this is TCR.

cardsfan04
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby cardsfan04 » Sat May 21, 2011 3:41 pm

Thanks for the replies. That's kind of what I was thinking, but not sure. I still have awhile to decide as I don't even take the LSAT for 2 more weeks, much less apply and get accepted/rejected. But, they are by far my top 2 schools. And, I wanted to ask while the visits were fresh in my head still.

Both have great campuses. WUSTL is probably even a little better than SLU. I don't know exactly how to describe why I liked SLU more. I definitely felt more important to SLU than I did to WUSTL, but that could be chalked up to getting a tour from an admissions counselor at SLU vs a graduating senior at WUSTL. I wasn't even offered the opportunity to meet with an admissions counselor for any questions at WUSTL, but that could be a fluke and not the norm.

And, I know I can't say I will do better at SLU than WUSTL. I figure if the admissions requirements are a little lower though, it is, at least in theory, more likely to be ranked higher in the class if I work equally hard at either place.

BTW, what is TCR?

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dr123
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby dr123 » Sat May 21, 2011 3:43 pm

Depends.

SLU for Free > Wustl at sticker, IMO

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dpk711
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Re: Importance of a Ranking?

Postby dpk711 » Sat May 21, 2011 3:44 pm

dr123 wrote:Depends.

SLU for Free > Wustl at sticker, IMO

I agree, especially if OP is looking to stay and work in SL long term.




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