At what point to specializations matter?

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mattviphky
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At what point to specializations matter?

Postby mattviphky » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:41 pm

I was just curious at what point the specializations that schools offer begin to matter? I know TLS wisdom says that they don't matter, and that going to a higher ranked school is far more important for hiring. But I'm not going to a T14, or a T25 for that matter. I was actually looking at Tulane or Wake Forest, or something else. Tulane claims to have a strong Maritime/Admirality program with a journal. Will being a part of these things help? I get that HYS, T14, etc. will matter more than these specializations, but at a certain point will it help to go to a school based on these programs? If, for instance, I need to choose between Tulane or WF, will the job prospects be less dismal by attending Tulane and gunning for Admirality/Maritime. This is just an example, but if you want to address this scenario specifically you are more than welcome to. But I've heard different schools have different strengths, like Kent with IP, and UCONN (or is it Vermont?) with Environment. After being closed out of T25, is TCR going to a higher ranked school over a school with specific program you like. I know there are variables, like home market, but I'm just curious.

lawschoolgrapedme
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby lawschoolgrapedme » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:54 pm

I'm of the opinion that "specializations" don't matter at all. However, if that is what you are looking to do, I would find out what employers have hired students from each school you are looking at, and then identify which school has the bigger basket of employers that you would want to work for.

Going back to specializations don't matter, I would imagine the results of the search will be roughly equal between the two schools, though there may be some adjustments due to self-selection (i.e. you went there because of the specialization reputation and you want to do x).

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Grizz
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby Grizz » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:56 pm

Market >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> specialty

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eandy
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby eandy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:57 pm

A certain school may have a program you think is cool, but realize finding a job relevant to said cool program may be difficult. The only specialization I can think of off the top of my head that can matter is IP if you have a science/engineering background. Even then not that big of a deal. If your grades are good, you're interviewing for jobs before you ever even begin that special program.

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mrtoren
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby mrtoren » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:59 pm

The first thing you need to look at is how practical the specialty is. Like it or not, there are very few jobs in "maritime/admirality" law. The same holds true "international aviation" law, "international/human rights" law, and many other programs. These specializations, however groundbreaking they may be, do not provide the graduate with much of a footing after law school. To get into those kinds of fields you have to have connections or you have to happen to fall into it. Its just not practical to assume that you'll break into it after graduation.

IP law, like one of the posters above mentioned, is perhaps the only specialty that carries any weight at all. But it still won't save you if you're up against T14 applicants with the same training. So, to put it bluntly, specializations don't matter at all. They're simply the 9th place trophy for law schools that want to be able to claim some last vestige of prestige.

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mattviphky
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby mattviphky » Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:16 pm

mrtoren wrote:The first thing you need to look at is how practical the specialty is. Like it or not, there are very few jobs in "maritime/admirality" law. The same holds true "international aviation" law, "international/human rights" law, and many other programs. These specializations, however groundbreaking they may be, do not provide the graduate with much of a footing after law school. To get into those kinds of fields you have to have connections or you have to happen to fall into it. Its just not practical to assume that you'll break into it after graduation.

IP law, like one of the posters above mentioned, is perhaps the only specialty that carries any weight at all. But it still won't save you if you're up against T14 applicants with the same training. So, to put it bluntly, specializations don't matter at all. They're simply the 9th place trophy for law schools that want to be able to claim some last vestige of prestige.


Ah this seems really obvious now. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm not necessarily interested in the maritime, but it has its own journal and clinic, so I just had to ask.

vulpixie
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby vulpixie » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:42 pm

I was recently told by a legal associate at a well-known medical center (a parent of a friend) that he would hire someone from BU over someone from UCLA -- provided both had similar grades -- because of how impressive/well-regarded BU's healthcare law program is.

Take that for whatever its worth.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: At what point to specializations matter?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:43 pm

Grizz wrote:Market >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> specialty

This. basically outside the T14, or T20 or whatever, the only thing that matters is going to a school with a strong market presence




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