Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
broct
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:28 am

Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby broct » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:17 am

Firstly, let me state what I hope to accomplish by going to law school. A meaningful career that can comfortably support one person (I do not intend to have children or any dependents). I would like to be a public servant for a bit, probably. I also want a career that has upward mobility with time. I know that studying law is what I want to do, I just would like some feedback on going to a Southern state school. I want to stay in the South for law school to be near my family and I want to practice down here because this region need intelligent, good-intentioned people working for it.

I go to a respected liberal arts school in Memphis, have decent grades, and am pretty sure I'll have well above the median to get into Ole Miss. I highly doubt, however, that I would be able to even get into a top Southern law school like Vandy or Emory. Maybe Tulane.

Anyway, I think Ole Miss is somewhere right around 100 in the rankings? But regardless you would have no idea it ranked so low if you live down here. I heard Southern state schools have particularly strong alumni connections. I feel like if I wanted to practice in MS or Memphis that going to Ole Miss would be better than taking on a ton of debt going to Tulane or something. I have in state tuition in TN and MS, btw.

User avatar
FeelTheHeat
Posts: 5203
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:32 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:20 am

If you're not going to a T14 school, don't concern yourself too much with the rankings. I myself would have no objection to someone attending Ole Miss (unlike many here) if you had no problem practicing in that area alone for the foreseeable future. IIRC the school isn't particularly expensive, either.

User avatar
ndirish2010
Posts: 2951
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:41 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby ndirish2010 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:11 am

Go ahead, if it is cheap. I would love to go to Ole Miss for 3 years.

User avatar
mpj_3050
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby mpj_3050 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:16 am

I'm starting Ole Miss in two weeks. My tuition is 6k with scholarships that have no stipulations. They are giving out a decent amount of money and cost of living is cheap so it could be a smart investment. However, the legal and general job markets are abysmal and you have less room for error at Ole Miss. But the debt level certainly is tremendously helpful.

thedive
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:07 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby thedive » Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:31 pm

I had the same thinking when I chose Montana, which is in-state for me. I had numbers well above median for the school, but not T14 numbers. I thought long and hard about retaking but just said screw it since I want to practice in the area. If you want MS I would say go for it.

LoyalRebel
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby LoyalRebel » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:05 pm

Ole Miss is a bargain. It doesn't offer the biglaw prospects of a top tier school, but then tuition costs only about 25% of many of those schools. It places well within the state at in surrounding states (to a degree) so it shouldn't be unbearably more difficult to find a job than a large school for the simple fact that there's not as much competition to live in Mississippi.

Great new law building, nice town, fun football games, beautiful girls. Gotta love it.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:21 pm

For your goals, Ole Miss would be the better than pursuing a higher ranked school.

However, if you wanted to be hired in private practice after graduation (even in MS), I would change my recommendation.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:32 pm

For the budget conscious student looking for work in the South and wanting to go to school in the South, my opinion is as follows:

Ole Miss: Good school for a Mississippi resident or person with strong Mississippi ties who wants to work in the state. Marginal reach in Alabama.

LSU: Good school for a Louisiana resident or person with strong Louisiana ties who wants to work in the state. Marginal reach and Alumni connections in Texas as well.

Loyola: Low admissions standards usually means hefty scholarships for candidates at 75th's or higher. Good with a big scholarship if you know for certain that you want to work in New Orleans.

Tennessee: Good school for a TN resident or person with strong TN ties who wants to work in the state.

Alabama: Good school for Alabama residents or people with strong ties who want to work in the state. Growing amount of reach into Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee and Mid-Atlantic states.

UGA: Great school for GA residents interested in staying in the state. Some reach into FL and Alabama, though if those states are your targets, you're better off going to the respective flagship.

Cumberland: Similar to what Loyola is in Louisiana. If you know for sure that Birmingham is where you want to be, Cumberland with a large scholarship is a good bet (although, if you get a large scholarship to Cumberland, you'll probably get into Bama, and if you're in state, tuition is dirt cheap).

Miss College: No

Southern: No, even though tuition is ridiculously low.

Florida: Doesn't count as the South.

UNC: Flagship instate school. Somewhat reasonable tuition, and does well in the state despite presence of DOOK because DOOKIES are annoying and generally skip town. Top 10% traditionally has a small shot at NY big law.

p.s. I wouldn't pay sticker at any of the major private schools in the South. That's my personal opinion though...

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:11 pm

The University of Mississippi law school is an excellent choice for those wishing to practice in Mississippi or Memphis. If, however, you were dead set on NYC biglaw, then my recommendation would change.

broct
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:28 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby broct » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:17 am

Thanks everyone! No, no NYC for me. I like to visit but I'd be overwhelmed at living there. I have MS residency and at least a few connections, although most of mine are in the impoverished Delta region.

There is definitely a chance that I would like to practice in Memphis - I love the city and my experiences here. I'd imagine a J.D. from Ole Miss would be fairly good there. The only other place I'd be interested in working outside of MS/Memphis would be New Orleans. I expect it would be difficult to get a job there because I'd be competing against LSU, Tulane, and Loyola.

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby deadpanic » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:47 am

Ole miss is pretty good for memphis. outside of the university of memphis, ole miss law alums are probably the second biggest in memphis (or slightly even with UT).

The only big law firm that comes to OCI from memphis (Baker Donelson) will require about top 10% and even then, I don't know how many they will actually hire. we have another larger memphis law firm with offices in southhaven & memphis that is coming for OCI this fall. basically, you will have to do your own leg work and use your own connections rather than rely on OCI, but ole miss is well known and respected in memphis.

User avatar
mpj_3050
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby mpj_3050 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:22 pm

One positive about Ole Miss is that they are giving out more money than in years past. I have OOS waiver and 5k a year with good-standing - with a 3.5/160.

Unfortunately, I have no connections here and nepotism appears to be no fucking joke around here. It's good that you have realistic goals because I've already meet some incomings who have crack smokingly hilarious expectations. Like I better make 80k starting or I want to work with such and such firm.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Yeah most mid law or larger firms are looking for top 5% of the class from Ole Miss.

Also, don't go there expecting to make more than $40,000 and/or be comfortable with the idea of starting your own firm.

But other than that, it is worth every cent that instate people pay.

User avatar
jwaters
Posts: 224
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:02 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby jwaters » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:29 pm

What about UT Knoxville? In state tuition is cheap and it will place well anywhere in TN. Also look at bama and uga.

User avatar
northwood
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby northwood » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:49 pm

now- with the idea about sticer Does in state resident tuition count as sticker- or does that mean out of state resident tuition? I ask this as a clarification, because at some state schools in state rates are very reasonable, while out of state is expensive

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby deadpanic » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:56 pm

northwood wrote:now- with the idea about sticer Does in state resident tuition count as sticker- or does that mean out of state resident tuition? I ask this as a clarification, because at some state schools in state rates are very reasonable, while out of state is expensive


I take it to mean in-state all 3 years, or at the very worst, out of state 1 year, in-state for the remaining 2. At ole miss, everyone gets in-state after year 1, making it pretty cheap.

Paying out of state for all 3 years at most every state school is probably a bad idea.

broct
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:28 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby broct » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:43 am

mpj_3050 wrote:Unfortunately, I have no connections here and nepotism appears to be no fucking joke around here. It's good that you have realistic goals because I've already meet some incomings who have crack smokingly hilarious expectations. Like I better make 80k starting or I want to work with such and such firm.


Blargh, the "good ol' boys" thing needs to go away.

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Also, don't go there expecting to make more than $40,000 and/or be comfortable with the idea of starting your own firm.


Well, I would like to make more than $40,000, but I guess it's good to know what I should expect before making a decision. $40,000 is alright in MS, but I do have some student loans to repay and I expect I'll have to take out more. I am definitely not comfortable with the idea of starting my own firm. I saw this mentioned somewhere else also. Why would this be expected?

jwaters wrote:What about UT Knoxville? In state tuition is cheap and it will place well anywhere in TN. Also look at bama and uga.


I'd go to the University of Memphis's law school over UTK. Not that UofM is better than UTK; it's just a better fit for me. I do like Tuscaloosa but it's not in-state for me.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:31 am

It should be reasonably anticipated as Mississippi doesn't have ttthhhaaattt many legal employers.

Think about the following:

1. There aren't that many high paying jobs in Mississippi
2. The only "large" legal market in Mississippi is Jackson, where Mississippi College is located. While historically this wasn't really a problem, Mississippi College has become a direct competitor to Ole Miss. NALP indicates that Mississippi College has more people recruiting on campus than Ole Miss, and this likely means that MC's location in Jackson makes it more attractive to employers than Ole Miss.
3. Most mid-law+ firms in Jackson that visit schools visit out of state schools. These schools frequently include Vanderbilt, Tulane, Duke, Virginia, and other members in the T50 or so ( UTennessee, UAlabama, Wash & Lee, etc.)
4. The mid-law+ firms that don't visit schools have really small classes. By small, I mean really small. This leads to extreme competition among instate schools and out of state schools for a few spots.
5. Non NLJ southern firms in the deep south are still reeling from the economy. Many firms are either not recruiting (canceled summer programs), or decreasing the size of their classes. Yes, even now.
6. Southern law firms, on top of everything else, have low offer rates naturally. In fact, you should not work at a non-V100 southern firm with the expectation of receiving an offer even in a good economy (vault firms care because they are ranked and directly compared to each other because of it). This means that even after the competition for a summer spot is over, you are still not in the clear as you could perform perfectly over the summer and still not receive an offer.
7. I worked with a 3L at Ole Miss last summer and he told me that firms were only interested in the top 10 people in the class. Butler Snow actually came and told them they weren't going to recruit anyone from there for the summer (although I know they got someone from Tulane for the summer). I reasoned that this was a result of 1-6 above.

Don't get me wrong, Ole Miss is worth every cent you pay. However, you should be comfortable with starting your own firm or working for a relatively low salary.

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby deadpanic » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:25 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:7. I worked with a 3L at Ole Miss last summer and he told me that firms were only interested in the top 10 people in the class. Butler Snow actually came and told them they weren't going to recruit anyone from there for the summer (although I know they got someone from Tulane for the summer). I reasoned that this was a result of 1-6 above.


This is true for OCI. If you are not in the top 10 of students you are probably not getting an offer. I know people for 1L OCI that were and they worked for mid-to larger firms in Birmingham & Gulfport...but they were literally #1 & #2 in the whole class. To even get an interview with them, you need top 15% at the very worst and if you are near this cutoff line, forget about having any realistic chance. 2L OCI has more firms, but the same credentials are needed. Bigger firm employers are able to come to Ole Miss and cherry pick the top couple of students and move on to other schools and go deeper in the class in this economy.

I want to clarify that Butler Snow does hire from Ole Miss. The majority of their attorneys are Ole Miss Law alums. They only have 1 attorney from Tulane and he is in the gulf coast office (not sure how many they took for SA positions). With that being said, again, you will need to be at the very very top to have any shot whatsoever. Basically, I'm agreeing with what Aberzombie said - expect a realistic salary of $35-45K or go solo.

User avatar
mpj_3050
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby mpj_3050 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:38 pm

Aberzombie and Deadpanic are right on from everyone I've talked to in terms of starting salaries. Ole Miss is a better bet than most other 3rd tier schools and most people on here would say better than a lot of 2nd tier money sinks. Problem is that Ole Miss has a really small market to work with.

The people I know who have made it in this economy (not from Ole Miss) from non-elite schools have all started around said salary range. If you have, say, 60k total debt or less you are okay at least on that front. But most people I know have 6 figures plus whatever undergrad they have. Also, a few had to work for free before parlaying it in to a full-time offer. Others work non-legal jobs. The thing that keeps coming up is debt vs. pre-law school employment expectations.

I hope Ole Miss is a good bet but time will tell.

User avatar
TrojanHopeful
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:37 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby TrojanHopeful » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:56 pm

I recently read a book (The Fall of the House of Zeus) that was about a handful of class action attorneys from Ole Miss. These guys cleaned up with settlements against tobacco and insurance (dealing w/ Katrina) companies. I was amazed how strongly connected the alumni was and how connected this group of attorneys was with southern politics and Washington politics. Some very influential (and behind the scenes) individuals came out of that school. Good book if someone wants an interesting read (the attorney eventually went to jail for allegedly bribing a judge).

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby deadpanic » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:04 pm

TrojanHopeful wrote:I recently read a book (The Fall of the House of Zeus) that was about a handful of class action attorneys from Ole Miss. These guys cleaned up with settlements against tobacco and insurance (dealing w/ Katrina) companies. I was amazed how strongly connected the alumni was and how connected this group of attorneys was with southern politics and Washington politics. Some very influential (and behind the scenes) individuals came out of that school. Good book if someone wants an interesting read (the attorney eventually went to jail for allegedly bribing a judge).


Good book. Scruggs graduated bottom of his class but had connections, don't let the book fool you otherwise (him & Wilkie are buddies). Scruggs just had the political connections and hired the right lawyers that could write and present good floor arguments.

The book also shows how much nepotism runs rampant here. I know two people that were in Biden Patterson Balducci and they just knew the right people (both graduated median to low @ Ole Miss) - and their salaries obviously did not reflect a realistic earning here (they were earning around 160K/year in Oxford as associates).

broct
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:28 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby broct » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:13 am

Alright, well that all makes sense. Living comfortably off of 40-50k is not that hard in MS or Memphis tbh, unless you're trying to support someone other than yourself.

Does your undergraduate institution have any influence in getting hired?

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1172
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby deadpanic » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:06 am

broct wrote:Does your undergraduate institution have any influence in getting hired?


No. Only difference it may make is if it is Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, but even then, not really. All that matters is your performance in law school.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: Southern law schools such as Ole Miss. Thoughts?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:35 am

Well last year was the first time Butler Snow was NLJ250 (and the first time it OCI'd here), and I believe that increased both awareness and interest in the firm from out of state schools. It's good for the state and the firm, but not so much for the instate schools.

Ole Miss has its class of 2010 employment stats listed on its website. About 1/3 of the class received full time private practice jobs 52/162. If you take time out to look at the salaries, they appear high. But remember, 1) they are averages and 2) they account for 47/162 (or 29% of the class, which is near 33% - where latin honors range normally stops).

My whole point in posting on this site is to help people make informed decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. Ole Miss is a good return on investment compared to many other schools - It's cheap and does okay with the few jobs instate. However, if the idea of starting your own shop or having to struggle some terrifies you, make sure you consider all of your options.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: doyleoil and 4 guests