How critical are T1 rankings?

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KJG
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How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby KJG » Fri May 27, 2011 7:55 am

So I've made the decision to go with law. I have a 3.91 UGPA and a 3.83 GGPA (MA History). I have not taken the LSAT yet but have success on other graduate exams. Not saying I will destroy it but I think I will achieve a decent score. I have enough g.i. bill funding to cover a year and a half including CoL. As far as softs go I have a military background and I worked full time while I earned my degrees. I am hoping to score well enough to get into a 30 ranked school but go for scholly at a 50ish.

I am in state at FL and thinking FSU. Also considering Georgia which is ranked around 20 pts higher. Are there significant differences between these schools or others around the same numbers? Is it worth out of state tuition? Biglaw is not really my goal. I will graduate with less than 20K debt and would be thrilled to make 70K starting out. Even 50K would be great. For my style of life that is a lot of money. There is no particular field of law that interests me more than another. Any opinions are more than welcome.

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ahduth
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby ahduth » Fri May 27, 2011 8:12 am

Alright. Normally I try my hardest to be a douchebag around here, but I just woke up.

You need to take the LSAT.

Everything is just... speculation until you do that. You have a 3.91 UGPA. This is very good. If you score over 170 on the LSAT, looking at schools in FL or GA makes little sense unless you have to stick around for some reason, because you'll easily crack the T14. If you can't top 150 on the LSAT... I can't really speak to your odds, but they're obviously quite different.

So you can see the difficulty we'll have giving you advice. Generally I understand is the value of the rankings to fall quickly once you get outside HYS, faster once you're outside the T6, and once you're outside the T14+ (we'll call that T14 plus Vandy and UT), you should primarily be looking at the region in which you want to work.

Long story short, come back with an LSAT score.

blsingindisguise
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri May 27, 2011 8:13 am

Thread is meaningless without an LSAT score.

KJG
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby KJG » Fri May 27, 2011 8:30 am

I understand your position. I realize that LSAT scores are necessary to chance me for admissions. My concern was not over my chances of hitting t14 or even chances of admission anywhere. I have no intention of looking at t14 schools. One reason that helps FL out is my wife is certified to teach in the state and it would be easier for me to move my wife and kid three hours to Tallahasee than eight to ten hours somewhere T14, not to mention the increased CoL. All I wanted to know was what people thought of T30 vs. T50 schools, not me as an applicant. I just included personal information to show I wasn't a totally hopeless candidate. I am not scheduled for the LSAT until October so at that point I will have already applied.

I appreciate your advice that the rankings matter less the further down the ladder you go. This was really what I was trying to ascertain.

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TommyK
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby TommyK » Fri May 27, 2011 9:00 am

The collective wisdom of TLS is that most schools have regional reaches and the sphere of influence and likelihood you'll get a meaningful job increases nearby. So go to a school you'd like to be near and not worry too much about to relative ranking (i.e., making sure you go to Indiana because it's ranked higher than OSU is silly)

There may be a couple of exceptions to the whole "rank does't matter much outside of t14". though since Florida is heavily saturated - Nova, Barry, and Ave are all in Florida - and the general consensus is to be wary of those three schools in particular.

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Cupidity
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby Cupidity » Fri May 27, 2011 9:32 am

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the south-east legal market, but UF is your best bet. Regardless of Georgia's rank, UF is a better school and has much stronger regional reputation, especially if you want to practice in Florida. Furthermore, the COL in Gainesville is dirt cheap, you can find a solid apartment for $500.00/mo, and tuition is low. Be aware, that you will not get scholarship money from UF, it's just not their style. There is a possibility FSU will give you full ride, which you might consider... but UF is a better school, and it is damn cheap.

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Bill Cosby
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby Bill Cosby » Fri May 27, 2011 9:44 am

Cupidity wrote:I'm not sure how familiar you are with the south-east legal market, but UF is your best bet. Regardless of Georgia's rank, UF is a better school and has much stronger regional reputation, especially if you want to practice in Florida. Furthermore, the COL in Gainesville is dirt cheap, you can find a solid apartment for $500.00/mo, and tuition is low. Be aware, that you will not get scholarship money from UF, it's just not their style. There is a possibility FSU will give you full ride, which you might consider... but UF is a better school, and it is damn cheap.


Agree, with caveats. UF is a great deal and you should definitely choose it over UGA if you want to practice in Florida, but it's not going to place well outside the state (UGA will place better in Georgia, they're interchangeable anywhere else) and UF v FSU is basically a toss-up. UF tends to get more attention around here, but the reality is that the two are peer schools at this point. That wasn't the case a decade ago, but take a look at the employment stats today and you'll see two schools that are pretty much the same (I will note that I chose FSU with scholarship over UF at sticker).

duckmoney
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby duckmoney » Fri May 27, 2011 9:52 am

Schools are regional in the T1, but the rankings still give you some idea of how good those schools are relative to each other. Higher ranking schools have real benefits over lower ranking schools, but they are confined to that region.

For instance, a Florida degree is better for practice in Florida. But if your intention is just to get a legal job regardless of location, then UGA is a better bet. It had much better employment stats than Florida last year. Florida's stats were terrible. But those that did go to Florida had a much easier time finding a job in Florida than UGA grads, even though UGA grads were more likely to land a job overall.

The best way to get a job in a small market is to go to a more respected school than the go to regional school and then come back to a place you have ties to. For instance, if you grew up in Florida of have family there, you're best off going to Vanderbilt, Texas, or a T14 school and then applying to Florida firms. These firms would love a grad of that caliber and would be much more forgiving of mediocre grades and other strikes against you than they would of, say, a Florida grad.

Hope that helps.

Also, none of this will help you until you get an LSAT score. Aim high.

bdubs
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby bdubs » Fri May 27, 2011 10:46 am

Other posters on here have indicated that the GI bill goes a long way toward paying for law school (I don't know the details since it doesn't apply to me). You might be doing yourself a disservice by seeking out scholarships at lower ranked schools if you already have a large portion of your costs paid for through military benefits.

In addition, your military veteran status and high GPA should give you a good shot at very well ranked schools. Work hard to prepare for the LSAT and then come back for more targeted advice.

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Perch
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby Perch » Fri May 27, 2011 10:56 am

duckmoney wrote:Schools are regional in the T1, but the rankings still give you some idea of how good those schools are relative to each other. Higher ranking schools have real benefits over lower ranking schools, but they are confined to that region.

For instance, a Florida degree is better for practice in Florida. But if your intention is just to get a legal job regardless of location, then UGA is a better bet. It had much better employment stats than Florida last year. Florida's stats were terrible. But those that did go to Florida had a much easier time finding a job in Florida than UGA grads, even though UGA grads were more likely to land a job overall.

The best way to get a job in a small market is to go to a more respected school than the go to regional school and then come back to a place you have ties to. For instance, if you grew up in Florida of have family there, you're best off going to Vanderbilt, Texas, or a T14 school and then applying to Florida firms. These firms would love a grad of that caliber and would be much more forgiving of mediocre grades and other strikes against you than they would of, say, a Florida grad.

Hope that helps.

Also, none of this will help you until you get an LSAT score. Aim high.


blatant anti-Texas trolling

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ahduth
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby ahduth » Fri May 27, 2011 11:34 am

Perch wrote:
duckmoney wrote:Schools are regional in the T1, but the rankings still give you some idea of how good those schools are relative to each other. Higher ranking schools have real benefits over lower ranking schools, but they are confined to that region.

For instance, a Florida degree is better for practice in Florida. But if your intention is just to get a legal job regardless of location, then UGA is a better bet. It had much better employment stats than Florida last year. Florida's stats were terrible. But those that did go to Florida had a much easier time finding a job in Florida than UGA grads, even though UGA grads were more likely to land a job overall.

The best way to get a job in a small market is to go to a more respected school than the go to regional school and then come back to a place you have ties to. For instance, if you grew up in Florida of have family there, you're best off going to Vanderbilt, Texas, or a T14 school and then applying to Florida firms. These firms would love a grad of that caliber and would be much more forgiving of mediocre grades and other strikes against you than they would of, say, a Florida grad.

Hope that helps.

Also, none of this will help you until you get an LSAT score. Aim high.


blatant anti-Texas trolling


I don't think this thread is the appropriate place to get into why Texas may or may not be T14. Suffice it to say... there's plenty of room to argue. It's the interwebs, after all.

duckmoney
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby duckmoney » Fri May 27, 2011 11:37 am

Perch wrote:
duckmoney wrote:Schools are regional in the T1, but the rankings still give you some idea of how good those schools are relative to each other. Higher ranking schools have real benefits over lower ranking schools, but they are confined to that region.

For instance, a Florida degree is better for practice in Florida. But if your intention is just to get a legal job regardless of location, then UGA is a better bet. It had much better employment stats than Florida last year. Florida's stats were terrible. But those that did go to Florida had a much easier time finding a job in Florida than UGA grads, even though UGA grads were more likely to land a job overall.

The best way to get a job in a small market is to go to a more respected school than the go to regional school and then come back to a place you have ties to. For instance, if you grew up in Florida of have family there, you're best off going to Vanderbilt, Texas, or a T14 school and then applying to Florida firms. These firms would love a grad of that caliber and would be much more forgiving of mediocre grades and other strikes against you than they would of, say, a Florida grad.

Hope that helps.

Also, none of this will help you until you get an LSAT score. Aim high.


blatant anti-Texas trolling


I should have said "Texas or a T13" school.

OP, please for the love of everything holy don't go to GULC.

protein
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby protein » Fri May 27, 2011 3:40 pm

duckmoney wrote:
Perch wrote:
duckmoney wrote:Schools are regional in the T1, but the rankings still give you some idea of how good those schools are relative to each other. Higher ranking schools have real benefits over lower ranking schools, but they are confined to that region.

For instance, a Florida degree is better for practice in Florida. But if your intention is just to get a legal job regardless of location, then UGA is a better bet. It had much better employment stats than Florida last year. Florida's stats were terrible. But those that did go to Florida had a much easier time finding a job in Florida than UGA grads, even though UGA grads were more likely to land a job overall.

The best way to get a job in a small market is to go to a more respected school than the go to regional school and then come back to a place you have ties to. For instance, if you grew up in Florida of have family there, you're best off going to Vanderbilt, Texas, or a T14 school and then applying to Florida firms. These firms would love a grad of that caliber and would be much more forgiving of mediocre grades and other strikes against you than they would of, say, a Florida grad.

Hope that helps.

Also, none of this will help you until you get an LSAT score. Aim high.


blatant anti-Texas trolling


I should have said "Texas or a T13" school.

OP, please for the love of everything holy don't go to GULC.

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arvcondor
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby arvcondor » Mon May 30, 2011 11:42 am

I don't understand all the GULC = TTT hate on TLS.

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NYC Law
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby NYC Law » Mon May 30, 2011 11:58 am

OP-

It's only useful to look at the rankings if you're considering:
A) Top 14 schools
B) Schools within the same state

It wouldn't make any sense to go to UGA if you want to work in Florida, rankings in that sense are meaningless.

UF and FSU are very similarly regarded in the state of Florida. However, if you'd prefer to work in government, FSU would be ideal since you're in the capital and it places slightly better in government.
For anything else, try for UF if possible.

The only other Florida schools worth considering, with a very large scholarship, are Miami (if you want to work in Miami) and Stetson (if you want to work in Tampa).

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ahduth
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby ahduth » Mon May 30, 2011 4:05 pm

arvcondor wrote:I don't understand all the GULC = TTT hate on TLS.


The board is filled with elitist douchenozzles, who are terrified by the idea of managing their careers on their own. To be fair, that sentence describes Americans generally, but this being the interwebs, people are allowed to front pretty heavily.

GULC probably does belong with UT, Vandy and UCLA however. Which makes it... a pretty good school, for the most part.

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kapital98
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby kapital98 » Mon May 30, 2011 4:20 pm

Cupidity wrote:I'm not sure how familiar you are with the south-east legal market, but UF is your best bet. Regardless of Georgia's rank, UF is a better school and has much stronger regional reputation, especially if you want to practice in Florida. Furthermore, the COL in Gainesville is dirt cheap, you can find a solid apartment for $500.00/mo, and tuition is low. Be aware, that you will not get scholarship money from UF, it's just not their style. There is a possibility FSU will give you full ride, which you might consider... but UF is a better school, and it is damn cheap.


The good news is his G.I. bill will cover the first 3 semesters for a state school. By then he should have the JAW DROPPING LOW TUITION of ~$15,000. His tuition bill will end up being ~$23,000+COL= ~$40-50,000!!!!

That's an amazing deal. Good suggestion Cupidity :D


P.S. If he went to a private school the G.I. only covers $17,500 of tuition per year. This provides a very strong incentive to go to a state law school if possible or one that will give him at least a 1/2 scholarship.

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Fred_McGriff
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby Fred_McGriff » Mon May 30, 2011 5:09 pm

If you kill the LSAT, go to a T14. If you do well on the LSAT, go to a strong T1 or T2 in the state you want to practice. If you don't do well, and retake but still can't do well, don't go to law school.

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SemperLegal
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby SemperLegal » Mon May 30, 2011 5:21 pm

kapital98 wrote:
The good news is his G.I. bill will cover the first 3 semesters for a state school. By then he should have the JAW DROPPING LOW TUITION of ~$15,000. His tuition bill will end up being ~$23,000+COL= ~$40-50,000!!!!

That's an amazing deal. Good suggestion Cupidity :D


P.S. If he went to a private school the G.I. only covers $17,500 of tuition per year. This provides a very strong incentive to go to a state law school if possible or one that will give him at least a 1/2 scholarship.



Few points:
1. GI Bill covers 4 years of schooling regardless of the level. However, if one has previously used Chapter 30 or 31, one year of that does not count if you switch over to Chapter 33, a much more generous programs. (Note: the VA measures years weirdly on a partial monthly basis, so you may actually get a few free months or a few lost months, depending on how your school bills.)

2. If you qualify for 100% of Chapter 33 (either 3 years of active service or are medically disabled) you can normally get Yellow Ribbon Programs that pay full tuition (the VA pays $17,500, and than the remaining tuition is split equally between the school and the VA).

3. There's a decent number of private scholarships open to continuing law school veterans from the VFW and American Legion, however you can only apply for 2L and 3L.


OP: Take the LSATs, you will probally break into the T14 if you get a 166+

Sandro
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Re: How critical are T1 rankings?

Postby Sandro » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:55 pm

Cupidity wrote:I'm not sure how familiar you are with the south-east legal market, but UF is your best bet. Regardless of Georgia's rank, UF is a better school and has much stronger regional reputation, especially if you want to practice in Florida. Furthermore, the COL in Gainesville is dirt cheap, you can find a solid apartment for $500.00/mo, and tuition is low. Be aware, that you will not get scholarship money from UF, it's just not their style. There is a possibility FSU will give you full ride, which you might consider... but UF is a better school, and it is damn cheap.



Wut? Despite them both being regional aka state schools, explain to me how UF>UGA when UGA places more in biglawls and clerkships than UF year in year out and as someone else mentioned has had better employment stats recently. If anything I would raise a small eyebrow to someone saying UGA=UF but its not as out there as saying UF is categorically better than UGA.

blah




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