Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

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congomodel
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Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby congomodel » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:24 am

I will preface this by stating that I realize these 3 schools are all Tier 4 (possibly low tier 3), and I know some will tell me to retake the LSAT, etc., but I would really appreciate constructive advice concerning these individual schools. The schools are as follow: John Marshall in Chicago, St. Thomas in Miami, and Charleston School of Law.

Reputation wise, I believe St. Thomas is the weakest of the 3, however, I really like Miami, and if I decide to practice there, this school would probably be the best bet. Also, during the third year, students interested in criminal defense get to work in a public defender's office, which I would like to participate in.

Reputation wise, JM in Chicago is probably the best, but Chicago is loaded with excellent schools, making employment from here very difficult, maybe? However, JM is ranked # 13 in trial advocacy, which is exactly what I want to do.

Charleston law seems decent, considering the city in which it is located, and that it really only competes against one other school in the state (USC). They seem to place very well in the state (not really sure about out of state, I would guess not).

Both Charleston law and John Marshall placed grads in the DOJ Honors program, which is saying something, at least in regards to advocacy or prosecutorial preparation.

I received money from all of these schools, but a full-ride from none. Charleston will wind up being the most expensive.

If I do well enough in my first year, I will more than likely attempt to transfer, but I am not completely banking on being able to do so. However, with that said, does anyone know if it is easier to transfer from one of these than the others? For instance, I've heard that some schools obviously allow one to transfer (as if they have a choice), but they make it VERY hard to do so, while others pose no problem. Do any of these 3 schools fall into either category? Would John Marshall's proximity to Northwestern and U of Chicago make it easier to transfer to these institutions?

Any replies are appreciated.

psamp1024
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby psamp1024 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:39 am

All I will say is, do not make your decision on potential to transfer or on trial advocacy rankings. Transferring into a school like Chicago/Northwestern is incredibly unlikely from all of these options -- geography plays no role. Also, the trial advocacy ranking is meaningless, really. No one will ever cite it except for schools trying to make up for a poor overall ranking.

Edit: Charleston doesn't seem to be fully accredited yet. Ouch.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:32 am

There is work in South Carolina for new grads of non-elite law schools. The question is whether this work can pay enough for it to make any economic sense for you to attend such a school. I don't know what the market is like in Florida or Chicago these days but major population centers generally have lots of law grads every year from T1 schools so competiton will be somewhere between stiff and impenetrable for the bottom ranked grad.

My estimation would be, therefore, that Charleston might be the least awful choice IF you are willing to make your career in South Carolina. Otherwise? Well...don't go. Find something else to do with your life and student loan credit.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:52 am

Please, please, please do not attend any of these schools.

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YankeesFan
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby YankeesFan » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:57 am

If you like Miami why isnt FIU (another Tier 4 school) on the list? It has a better rep and is much, much cheaper.

ran12
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby ran12 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:58 am

Of these choices, John Marshall is the best option. Charleston is iffy as another poster mentioned and St. Thomas is not a good option at all for its market. Miami legal market is not something that's easy to break into out of St. Thomas and while there are a lot of good law schools in Chicago, you'll at least have some chance to get employed out of John Marshall.

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cinephile
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby cinephile » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:02 pm

The best thing you could do for yourself is retake the LSAT and aim higher. But if you're picking between these schools, pick which ever gives you the best scholarship offer with the lowest stipulations.

flexityflex86
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:08 pm

the way i see it you have 3 options here:

1.) Retake the LSAT and actually study this time - get a tutor if you need to, work your ass off.
2.) Retake the LSAT, and actually study this time but fail to do well. You figure out your odds of becoming a working lawyer are low, and decide not to attend law school.
3.) You go to one of these schools then complain how Obama is a retard because you're poor.

flexityflex86
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:11 pm

cinephile wrote:The best thing you could do for yourself is retake the LSAT and aim higher. But if you're picking between these schools, pick which ever gives you the best scholarship offer with the lowest stipulations.

+1 i seriously believe everyone can do better on the LSAT.

Not everyone can break a 170 - it just takes a certain baseline of intelligence.

But I think everyone can break a 160, particularly if they've already broken the 145 developmentally disabled hump. When you know how important school ranking is and how bad the economy is it makes no sense why you can't lock yourself in a room and not come out till you do it.

Maybe it's because I viewed doing well on the LSAT as one step on a chain to changing my family's social class, but I have always had a certain confusion for why people settle for these schools when they know all of the risks. Is it overconfidence? A sense of entitlement (It doesn't matter, because it's my destiny, blah, blah, blah.)

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ahduth
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby ahduth » Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:02 pm


pacers3177
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby pacers3177 » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:10 am

The only t4s worth attending are the ones that are the only law school offered in their market/state. Schools like Widener, the Dakotas, Dayton and maybe Duquesne are the only ones I think would be acceptable options. The rest are not very respected and dont have the alumni base to carry current students.

Charleston isn't accredited. I know some people who live in SC and practically every lawyer in the state went to USC. They tend to only hire each other.

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Grizz
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby Grizz » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:14 am

Don't go to any of those for the reasons people already mentioned.

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Wade LeBosh
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby Wade LeBosh » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:17 am

Jose Baez went to St. Thomas, FWIT.

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buckilaw
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby buckilaw » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:36 am

Add Thomas Jefferson to your list. When the class action is certified you'll be able to cash in, meaning you will loose slightly less tuition than you would attending other TTTs.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby BuckinghamB » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:14 am

buckilaw wrote:Add Thomas Jefferson to your list. When the class action is certified you'll be able to cash in, meaning you will loose slightly less tuition than you would attending other TTTs.


+1

While I fully realize you prefaced this thread with no comments regarding retakes/reconsiderations, etc. I'm going to say what everyone else has....don't go to any of these schools. Anyone who tells you that going to tier 3/4 is a viable choice is either misinformed or misleading you (of course, there are exceptions to this, but you never want to count on being an exception). I'm not sure which one is worse, but regardless, each one doesn't bode well for you....retake or don't pursue a J.D. It's that simple. Sorry if this comes off as abrasive/offensive in any way, but it's the truth...I'm just trying to give you sound advice.

MrAnon
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby MrAnon » Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:38 pm

Don't attend these schools. You are already thinking about transferring. The odds are heavily against that happening. The odds may be higher that you are forcibly dismissed from one of these schools than the odds are for transferring. You have to understand that lower ranked schools generally fail out a certain number of students per year to thin out the class and make the rest of the class more competitive. Go to a law school you would be happy to graduate from. If you can't find one then don't go to law school.

GatorStudent
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby GatorStudent » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:04 pm

YankeesFan wrote:If you like Miami why isnt FIU (another Tier 4 school) on the list? It has a better rep and is much, much cheaper.


Very good point. IF the OP is considering going to a T4 school (and I'm not saying the OP should), FIU is the better option in Miami.

imbored25
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby imbored25 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:04 pm

9
Last edited by imbored25 on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ach24
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby ach24 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:38 pm

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Last edited by ach24 on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:07 am

psamp1024 wrote:All I will say is, do not make your decision on potential to transfer or on trial advocacy rankings. Transferring into a school like Chicago/Northwestern is incredibly unlikely from all of these options -- geography plays no role. Also, the trial advocacy ranking is meaningless, really. No one will ever cite it except for schools trying to make up for a poor overall ranking.

Edit: Charleston doesn't seem to be fully accredited yet. Ouch.


Geography does play a role... Pretty sure Northwestern/UChicago take a JM transfer once in every great while. Pretty much going to need to be #1, though, and it's still going to take a lot of luck. Obviously, planning on transferring from JM -> UChi/NU is idiotic.

ran12 wrote:Of these choices, John Marshall is the best option.


You know the other options are pretty fucking terrible anytime you hear that :lol:

ran12 wrote:you'll at least have some chance to get employed out of John Marshall.


Lol. What a terrible plan - spend money and 3 years of your life to get some chance of finding a job upon graduation

ensign3066
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby ensign3066 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:03 am

It doesn't matter which seat you choose on a crashing plane.

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kapital98
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:48 am

Charleston Law School.

The primary reason is market saturation. You will have far less competition for local, small-firm, jobs than in Chicago or Miami. South Carolina is a growing economy in the 'Sun Belt' and will continue to have strong growth in the coming decades.

If you want to practice in the public sector debt is much less of a factor. Use IBR assistance to pay off your high debt. This takes 10 years to complete. You only have to pay a portion of your monthly loans payments until, after 10 years, your loans are cancelled. It's a great deal IF you know you want to work in the public sector (DA's/PD's office, etc...)

DO NOT go to John Marshall. That's just asking for being immersed in debt and not finding a public sector job. Paying $100,000+ in debt with a $45,000 salary is not really possible...

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kapital98
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:00 am

ach24 wrote:
congomodel wrote:Also, during the third year, students interested in criminal defense get to work in a public defender's office, which I would like to participate in.


This is not a selling point. PD offices will take any free help they can get from ANY law school. You will have this opportunity at any school you attend.


PD's office will take any help they can get. However, getting your foot in the door is a great way to make contacts and show your ability. It's also a way for the PD's office to get a feel of who they want to hire. They are much more likely to hire a lower ranked student who everyone knows can produce than a higher ranked student who they don't know.

I've worked at a PD's office. The older and most prestigious lawyers don't even know the difference between a low and high ranked school.


ach24 wrote:
congomodel wrote:If I do well enough in my first year, I will more than likely attempt to transfer, but I am not completely banking on being able to do so.


Bad idea. Every other student going into these schools is going to have the same attitude, making the curve even more difficult.


Every other student will not be looking for a transfer. The students at T4's are not going to be nearly as competitive as a T1. How many people, relative to a T1, at a T4 will have taken LEEWS, GtM, and similar material before exams? How many will be gunning throughout the semester? Very few. The curve could be greater but it's easier to succeed in a lower ranked school (not that it's a cakewalk -- just easier due to your competition.)

ach24 wrote:
congomodel wrote:Would John Marshall's proximity to Northwestern and U of Chicago make it easier to transfer to these institutions?


I doubt that proximity will do you any favors. You can, however, call the admissions office for each of these schools and ask them what their stats are for transfer students (what class ranking they take, how many have transferred from JM, etc.).


Good Advice. Your chances of getting a T14 are practically nonexistent. Even if you finish in the top 5% they probably won't take you. Maybe even the top 1%... That's practically impossible to pull off. However, you could transfer into some T2/T3 schools if you place well after your first year. You will then have to decide if you want to transfer or receive all the benefits higher grades earn you (larger grants, law review, maintaining a class rank that will get you a job...)

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Grizz
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby Grizz » Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:09 am

kapital98 wrote:Charleston Law School.

The primary reason is market saturation. You will have far less competition for local, small-firm, jobs than in Chicago or Miami. South Carolina is a growing economy in the 'Sun Belt' and will continue to have strong growth in the coming decades.

If you want to practice in the public sector debt is much less of a factor. Use IBR assistance to pay off your high debt. This takes 10 years to complete. You only have to pay a portion of your monthly loans payments until, after 10 years, your loans are cancelled. It's a great deal IF you know you want to work in the public sector (DA's/PD's office, etc...)

DO NOT go to John Marshall. That's just asking for being immersed in debt and not finding a public sector job. Paying $100,000+ in debt with a $45,000 salary is not really possible...


You must not be familiar with Charleston or SC.

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kapital98
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Re: Which tier 4 law school should I attend?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:21 am

rad law wrote:
kapital98 wrote:Charleston Law School.

The primary reason is market saturation. You will have far less competition for local, small-firm, jobs than in Chicago or Miami. South Carolina is a growing economy in the 'Sun Belt' and will continue to have strong growth in the coming decades.

If you want to practice in the public sector debt is much less of a factor. Use IBR assistance to pay off your high debt. This takes 10 years to complete. You only have to pay a portion of your monthly loans payments until, after 10 years, your loans are cancelled. It's a great deal IF you know you want to work in the public sector (DA's/PD's office, etc...)

DO NOT go to John Marshall. That's just asking for being immersed in debt and not finding a public sector job. Paying $100,000+ in debt with a $45,000 salary is not really possible...


You must not be familiar with Charleston or SC.


http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/ ... -by-state/

South Carolina is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to a "lawyer surplus." This article is ommitting the relative growth rates of each state. South Carolina is growing at a much faster pace than other comparable states. This can be seen in the relative decline of the Rust Belt vs. the Sun Belt.

You must not be familiar with economics.




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