$$$ vs. ranking

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kitkat450
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$$$ vs. ranking

Postby kitkat450 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:04 am

Anyone seriously considering choosing a lower T14, UT/UCLA/VANDY/USC etc. with $$$ over a higher ranked school for either financial or personal reasons?

I'm struggling with this decision and would be interested in talking to other TLSers that are struggling with similar decisions.

Also interested in hearing from any 1L, 2L, 3L's that made this decision. Regret talking $$$ over ranking, vice versa? Happy with decision?

Please, don't comment if your just going to say its stupid to turn down a school bc its highly ranked : )

PMan99
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby PMan99 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:09 am

It depends greatly on what school you're turning down and for how much $$. Also where you want to live after school and what ties you have to various areas.

Turning down Chicago for a full ride at Northwestern? You'd be pretty hard pressed to find anyone who didn't support that.

Turning down Harvard for 10k a year at UCLA? Not so much.

bobbyh1919
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby bobbyh1919 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:10 am

Ummm yea, plenty of people take scholarships over higher ranked schools. Basically anyone who goes to a school with $$$ is turning down a higher ranked offer. You need to get specific to get any real help here.

ACROOS170
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby ACROOS170 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:29 am

I've been wrestling with this myself. Wash U offered a full ride. Texas (In-State) with $9.5k/year. Penn at sticker. My gut reaction is Penn but everyone I talk to seems to say that the order in which I consider them should be Texas, Penn, then Wash U...

Here is a thread discussing my predicament.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=179072

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JustE
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby JustE » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:34 am

I want Atlanta biglaw. Full tuition at Texas. Two years of tuition at Emory. In state tuition at UGA. Sticker (so far) at NU, NYU, Michigan... Went to an event at Jones Day today and discovered the Atlanta office recruits at U Texas...

what to do...

tennisking88
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby tennisking88 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:40 am

JustE wrote:I want Atlanta biglaw. Full tuition at Texas. Two years of tuition at Emory. In state tuition at UGA. Sticker (so far) at NU, NYU, Michigan... Went to an event at Jones Day today and discovered the Atlanta office recruits at U Texas...

what to do...


You got into NYU and a full ride at TX but got no aid from UGA??

I would go take Texas free over NYU sticker..

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:02 am

tennisking88 wrote:
JustE wrote:I want Atlanta biglaw. Full tuition at Texas. Two years of tuition at Emory. In state tuition at UGA. Sticker (so far) at NU, NYU, Michigan... Went to an event at Jones Day today and discovered the Atlanta office recruits at U Texas...

what to do...

You got into NYU and a full ride at TX but got no aid from UGA??

I would go take Texas free over NYU sticker..

It's not that unusual - I only got $5k per year from UGA, and I'm in at 3 of the T6. In-state is very cheap, though.

Whatever you do, don't go to Emory. I would probably also take a free ride at Texas over sticker at NYU for a job in the South, but you should try to negotiate some money from the T14 before making a commitment anywhere. imo.

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JustE
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby JustE » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:34 am

I mentioned I must have Big Law, right? Give me Big Law or give me death...

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:36 am

kitkat450 wrote:Anyone seriously considering choosing a lower T14, UT/UCLA/VANDY/USC etc. with $$$ over a higher ranked school for either financial or personal reasons?

I'm struggling with this decision and would be interested in talking to other TLSers that are struggling with similar decisions.

Also interested in hearing from any 1L, 2L, 3L's that made this decision. Regret talking $$$ over ranking, vice versa? Happy with decision?

Please, don't comment if your just going to say its stupid to turn down a school bc its highly ranked : )


I'm super bored this week so I have nothing else to do, hope no one minds the long read =).

Pretty much everyone on TLS has this "problem," since a good chunk of the members are the T14 type. The answer you're going to get is: it depends. And it depends primarily on the following:

-Current financial situation (e.g. any undergraduate debt? rich parents? any money saved up?)
-What do you want to do with your law degree? (Do you want to work in a big law firm? Do you want to do something in the public sector? Maybe you want to go into academia)

You can see how different answers to those questions can change the answer to the ones you asked.

With that said, I would tell you the following: In my humble opinion, 80% of the people who are facing this question are pretty much in the same boat: they don't have any significant amount of money saved up (meaning, debt will be an issue), and most of them want to have at least the OPTION of going into biglaw.

In general: public interest/public sector/academia = low paying/at least initially. If you have $120k+ of debt, you might not have the luxury of doing this. In any event, only a few of the most highly ranked schools have generous enough loan repayment/forgiveness programs (or, in academia's case, enough prestige/clout) to make this a feasible option. Therefore, if you wanted/could do this, you wouldn't have the above mentioned dilemma in the first place. Others are more knowledgable on this, but that seems to be the general view on TLS and it seems to make sense.


If you want to do something else, however, then...

You can go to a lower ranked school (e.g. Cooley) and graduate with little to no debt, but you run the risk of significantly hurting your future job prospects, not only immediately after graduation but perhaps beyond that point too (the job you have after graduation will probably have an impact on your future jobs--you do the math). Of course, the top 5-10% of a lower ranked school might still have really good jobs lining up, but since you can't really predict how well you will do in any given law school, I believe this is, for 80% of the people asking, not the better option. No debt is fun. But why did you just put yourself through three years of hell to end up with no job (or a job with a salary you could have gotten without putting yourself through hell)? Do you really want to be an attorney THAT bad that you don't care? (Let's be honest, you won't know what it's like until you actually do it--you might end up HATING the day to day of being a lawyer. Besides, the type of law you think you will enjoy might not be a realistic option).

Of course, most of our decisions don't boil down to full ride at Cooley vs. sticker at Harvard. In my humble opinion, I think if you go to one of the T14, in the long run, you'll probably be ok, especially if the economy picks up. As a general rule, the higher the school is ranked, the easier it will be at any given class rank to get into biglaw. However, that doesn't mean the school ranked #6 is better than #7. Instead, #4 is probably better than #10 or #14. And even if #6 IS better than #7 by some objective measures, it still might not be the right choice for you. This is where things like scholarship money, cost of living, and other personal preferences should be given a second thought. Also, where you want to WORK is important (the closer the school is to where you want to work, the easier it'll be for you to get a job there compared to its peer schools).

For example, if one school (School A) places better in a market you want to work in (usually because it's closer to that area), then it would make sense to give up the opportunity to go to a better ranked school (School B) and go there instead. Usually, if you've gained acceptance to a higher ranked school than School A, you will probably have the added benefit of getting a scholarship from there too, thus further easing your debt burden upon graduation. As a general rule, however, the T14s are "national schools," meaning they can place graduates at just about any given market. You should do some research and check to see if going to a non-T14, local school will still give you a reasonable shot in that market to make the trade-off between less debt/inferior chance at getting a job vs. more debt/better chance of getting a job worth it. In fact, even within the T14, that advice should hold true as well.

A lot of people on TLS have rules of thumb like (1) if you get into HYS, go there no matter what (and only reconsider for a full ride to a T6). Or (2) Go to a T6 unless any of the other T10s give you a substantial enough of a scholarship to cushion the "pain" of having to go to a lower ranked school. I try to ignore these rules of thumb because they are based on the advice I gave in the preceding paragraph, which is simple enough so as to not reduce to a "rule of thumb." Also, the rankings can change. Picking NYU (#6) over Penn (#7) just because it's in the "Top 6" will look stupid if Penn replaces NYU in next year's ranking (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did either).*


*I recognize that terms like "T6" or "T3" exist because the schools that have been in the top six/three have been the same six/three schools for a long time, suggesting that there's something inevitable about their future status. Even still, I think my advice is appropriate.

Anyway, I did enjoy typing this up. Hope someone finds it useful =).

These questions gets asked EVERY single cycle. Why don't we have a sticky for this? Or do we?

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smaug_
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby smaug_ » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:09 am

I recognize that terms like "T6" or "T3" exist because the schools that have been in the top six/three have been the same six/three schools for a long time, suggesting that there's something inevitable about their future status. Even still, I think my advice is appropriate.


Another 0L here but unless I'm mistaken, the T6/T10 divide is mainly based on the 'prestige'/Vault rankings of the firms you would have the opportunity to work at rather than just the employment numbers alone. If NYU drops (I kinda doubt that it will) you might have a point, but I think the more valid statement might be that there is a gap between HYS and CC and there is another gap between CC and MV. NYU and Penn are a little more gray so it is harder to boil it down to a simple division.

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WhiteGuy5
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby WhiteGuy5 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:15 am

hibiki wrote:
I recognize that terms like "T6" or "T3" exist because the schools that have been in the top six/three have been the same six/three schools for a long time, suggesting that there's something inevitable about their future status. Even still, I think my advice is appropriate.


Another 0L here but unless I'm mistaken, the T6/T10 divide is mainly based on the 'prestige'/Vault rankings of the firms you would have the opportunity to work at rather than just the employment numbers alone. If NYU drops (I kinda doubt that it will) you might have a point, but I think the more valid statement might be that there is a gap between HYS and CC and there is another gap between CC and MV. NYU and Penn are a little more gray so it is harder to boil it down to a simple division.


No, the USNWR Rankings do not take any of that into consideration, and in any event, I think the relationship you've outlined may in fact be reversed.

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smaug_
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby smaug_ » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:30 am

WhiteGuy5 wrote:No, the USNWR Rankings do not take any of that into consideration, and in any event, I think the relationship you've outlined may in fact be reversed.


I wasn't talking about the USNWR Rankings. T6 as a category is a creation of the people on the Internet. But, I'd love for someone who isn't a 0L to chip in on this.

lutcf2021
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby lutcf2021 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:28 am

I'm super bored this week so I have nothing else to do, hope no one minds the long read =).

Pretty much everyone on TLS has this "problem," since a good chunk of the members are the T14 type. The answer you're going to get is: it depends. And it depends primarily on the following:

-Current financial situation (e.g. any undergraduate debt? rich parents? any money saved up?)
-What do you want to do with your law degree? (Do you want to work in a big law firm? Do you want to do something in the public sector? Maybe you want to go into academia)

You can see how different answers to those questions can change the answer to the ones you asked.

With that said, I would tell you the following: In my humble opinion, 80% of the people who are facing this question are pretty much in the same boat: they don't have any significant amount of money saved up (meaning, debt will be an issue), and most of them want to have at least the OPTION of going into biglaw.

In general: public interest/public sector/academia = low paying/at least initially. If you have $120k+ of debt, you might not have the luxury of doing this. In any event, only a few of the most highly ranked schools have generous enough loan repayment/forgiveness programs (or, in academia's case, enough prestige/clout) to make this a feasible option. Therefore, if you wanted/could do this, you wouldn't have the above mentioned dilemma in the first place. Others are more knowledgable on this, but that seems to be the general view on TLS and it seems to make sense.


If you want to do something else, however, then...

You can go to a lower ranked school (e.g. Cooley) and graduate with little to no debt, but you run the risk of significantly hurting your future job prospects, not only immediately after graduation but perhaps beyond that point too (the job you have after graduation will probably have an impact on your future jobs--you do the math). Of course, the top 5-10% of a lower ranked school might still have really good jobs lining up, but since you can't really predict how well you will do in any given law school, I believe this is, for 80% of the people asking, not the better option. No debt is fun. But why did you just put yourself through three years of hell to end up with no job (or a job with a salary you could have gotten without putting yourself through hell)? Do you really want to be an attorney THAT bad that you don't care? (Let's be honest, you won't know what it's like until you actually do it--you might end up HATING the day to day of being a lawyer. Besides, the type of law you think you will enjoy might not be a realistic option).

Of course, most of our decisions don't boil down to full ride at Cooley vs. sticker at Harvard. In my humble opinion, I think if you go to one of the T14, in the long run, you'll probably be ok, especially if the economy picks up. As a general rule, the higher the school is ranked, the easier it will be at any given class rank to get into biglaw. However, that doesn't mean the school ranked #6 is better than #7. Instead, #4 is probably better than #10 or #14. And even if #6 IS better than #7 by some objective measures, it still might not be the right choice for you. This is where things like scholarship money, cost of living, and other personal preferences should be given a second thought. Also, where you want to WORK is important (the closer the school is to where you want to work, the easier it'll be for you to get a job there compared to its peer schools).

For example, if one school (School A) places better in a market you want to work in (usually because it's closer to that area), then it would make sense to give up the opportunity to go to a better ranked school (School B) and go there instead. Usually, if you've gained acceptance to a higher ranked school than School A, you will probably have the added benefit of getting a scholarship from there too, thus further easing your debt burden upon graduation. As a general rule, however, the T14s are "national schools," meaning they can place graduates at just about any given market. You should do some research and check to see if going to a non-T14, local school will still give you a reasonable shot in that market to make the trade-off between less debt/inferior chance at getting a job vs. more debt/better chance of getting a job worth it. In fact, even within the T14, that advice should hold true as well.

A lot of people on TLS have rules of thumb like (1) if you get into HYS, go there no matter what (and only reconsider for a full ride to a T6). Or (2) Go to a T6 unless any of the other T10s give you a substantial enough of a scholarship to cushion the "pain" of having to go to a lower ranked school. I try to ignore these rules of thumb because they are based on the advice I gave in the preceding paragraph, which is simple enough so as to not reduce to a "rule of thumb." Also, the rankings can change. Picking NYU (#6) over Penn (#7) just because it's in the "Top 6" will look stupid if Penn replaces NYU in next year's ranking (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did either).*


*I recognize that terms like "T6" or "T3" exist because the schools that have been in the top six/three have been the same six/three schools for a long time, suggesting that there's something inevitable about their future status. Even still, I think my advice is appropriate.

Anyway, I did enjoy typing this up. Hope someone finds it useful =).

These questions gets asked EVERY single cycle. Why don't we have a sticky for this? Or do we?



I think it would be a great disservice if this were NOT to be stickyied (spelling?) somehow.


"These questions gets asked EVERY single cycle."
So.
True.

duckmoney
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby duckmoney » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:43 am

Going to a lower ranked school with money is sort of like buying insurance on your career. You substantially reduce the risk of graduating without a job and a mountain of debt, but you pay for by reducing the chance that you will get a top-paying biglaw job. By paying sticker at a T6 school, for instance, you might have an 85% chance of getting biglaw, but there's a 15% chance you will strike out and end up with 200k debt and no way to pay it off (making up numbers here). If you take a full ride at a T30, there's only a 15% chance you will end up with a biglaw job and a 0% chance you will end up with a mountain a debt. More realistically you'll find a job at a small firm making 50k.

Question is: how risk averse are you?

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traehekat
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby traehekat » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:56 am

A lot of these questions can be answered by simply asking what your target market is and where your ties are. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have ties to a market when recruiting rolls around. Unless you are targeting NYC, almost every market is going to want to see some sort of connection. Now, if you are a top 5-10% or student, it might take less convincing. But the further you go down in class rank, the more convincing firms are going to need to take a risk on you. I'm not saying it is impossible by any means, but it makes an initial risky decision in even going to law school in the first place even more risky by targeting a market you have no ties to. I just wouldn't do it.

keg411
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby keg411 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:57 am

JustE wrote:I mentioned I must have Big Law, right? Give me Big Law or give me death...


Then go to NYU. Texas seems to like taking T14 people lately rather than just UT people; especially Texas people with ties.

Also, the YHS - CCN - MVPB - DCNG thing isn't just an internet creation. It was also in this old Susan Estrich book about getting into law school (the book was published I think in like 2005/06/07 or something like that and it was definitely that old edition).

benburns214
Posts: 263
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby benburns214 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:58 am

WhiteGuy5 wrote:
kitkat450 wrote:Anyone seriously considering choosing a lower T14, UT/UCLA/VANDY/USC etc. with $$$ over a higher ranked school for either financial or personal reasons?

I'm struggling with this decision and would be interested in talking to other TLSers that are struggling with similar decisions.

Also interested in hearing from any 1L, 2L, 3L's that made this decision. Regret talking $$$ over ranking, vice versa? Happy with decision?

Please, don't comment if your just going to say its stupid to turn down a school bc its highly ranked : )


I'm super bored this week so I have nothing else to do, hope no one minds the long read =).

Pretty much everyone on TLS has this "problem," since a good chunk of the members are the T14 type. The answer you're going to get is: it depends. And it depends primarily on the following:

-Current financial situation (e.g. any undergraduate debt? rich parents? any money saved up?)
-What do you want to do with your law degree? (Do you want to work in a big law firm? Do you want to do something in the public sector? Maybe you want to go into academia)

You can see how different answers to those questions can change the answer to the ones you asked.

With that said, I would tell you the following: In my humble opinion, 80% of the people who are facing this question are pretty much in the same boat: they don't have any significant amount of money saved up (meaning, debt will be an issue), and most of them want to have at least the OPTION of going into biglaw.

In general: public interest/public sector/academia = low paying/at least initially. If you have $120k+ of debt, you might not have the luxury of doing this. In any event, only a few of the most highly ranked schools have generous enough loan repayment/forgiveness programs (or, in academia's case, enough prestige/clout) to make this a feasible option. Therefore, if you wanted/could do this, you wouldn't have the above mentioned dilemma in the first place. Others are more knowledgable on this, but that seems to be the general view on TLS and it seems to make sense.


If you want to do something else, however, then...

You can go to a lower ranked school (e.g. Cooley) and graduate with little to no debt, but you run the risk of significantly hurting your future job prospects, not only immediately after graduation but perhaps beyond that point too (the job you have after graduation will probably have an impact on your future jobs--you do the math). Of course, the top 5-10% of a lower ranked school might still have really good jobs lining up, but since you can't really predict how well you will do in any given law school, I believe this is, for 80% of the people asking, not the better option. No debt is fun. But why did you just put yourself through three years of hell to end up with no job (or a job with a salary you could have gotten without putting yourself through hell)? Do you really want to be an attorney THAT bad that you don't care? (Let's be honest, you won't know what it's like until you actually do it--you might end up HATING the day to day of being a lawyer. Besides, the type of law you think you will enjoy might not be a realistic option).

Of course, most of our decisions don't boil down to full ride at Cooley vs. sticker at Harvard. In my humble opinion, I think if you go to one of the T14, in the long run, you'll probably be ok, especially if the economy picks up. As a general rule, the higher the school is ranked, the easier it will be at any given class rank to get into biglaw. However, that doesn't mean the school ranked #6 is better than #7. Instead, #4 is probably better than #10 or #14. And even if #6 IS better than #7 by some objective measures, it still might not be the right choice for you. This is where things like scholarship money, cost of living, and other personal preferences should be given a second thought. Also, where you want to WORK is important (the closer the school is to where you want to work, the easier it'll be for you to get a job there compared to its peer schools).

For example, if one school (School A) places better in a market you want to work in (usually because it's closer to that area), then it would make sense to give up the opportunity to go to a better ranked school (School B) and go there instead. Usually, if you've gained acceptance to a higher ranked school than School A, you will probably have the added benefit of getting a scholarship from there too, thus further easing your debt burden upon graduation. As a general rule, however, the T14s are "national schools," meaning they can place graduates at just about any given market. You should do some research and check to see if going to a non-T14, local school will still give you a reasonable shot in that market to make the trade-off between less debt/inferior chance at getting a job vs. more debt/better chance of getting a job worth it. In fact, even within the T14, that advice should hold true as well.

A lot of people on TLS have rules of thumb like (1) if you get into HYS, go there no matter what (and only reconsider for a full ride to a T6). Or (2) Go to a T6 unless any of the other T10s give you a substantial enough of a scholarship to cushion the "pain" of having to go to a lower ranked school. I try to ignore these rules of thumb because they are based on the advice I gave in the preceding paragraph, which is simple enough so as to not reduce to a "rule of thumb." Also, the rankings can change. Picking NYU (#6) over Penn (#7) just because it's in the "Top 6" will look stupid if Penn replaces NYU in next year's ranking (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did either).*


*I recognize that terms like "T6" or "T3" exist because the schools that have been in the top six/three have been the same six/three schools for a long time, suggesting that there's something inevitable about their future status. Even still, I think my advice is appropriate.

Anyway, I did enjoy typing this up. Hope someone finds it useful =).

These questions gets asked EVERY single cycle. Why don't we have a sticky for this? Or do we?


Dude nice work... There are very few helpful posts on this site, but this is one of them.

benburns214
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby benburns214 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:00 pm

traehekat wrote:A lot of these questions can be answered by simply asking what your target market is and where your ties are. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have ties to a market when recruiting rolls around. Unless you are targeting NYC, almost every market is going to want to see some sort of connection. Now, if you are a top 5-10% or student, it might take less convincing. But the further you go down in class rank, the more convincing firms are going to need to take a risk on you. I'm not saying it is impossible by any means, but it makes an initial risky decision in even going to law school in the first place even more risky by targeting a market you have no ties to. I just wouldn't do it.


Ok your going to have to explain "ties" to me... because, from what I understand, Ties are a reason you'll stay in the area... which is fairly subjective, considering I could always say "My family moved down here and this is where I would like to stay and raise a family" and it would be considered "ties".

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traehekat
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby traehekat » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:08 pm

benburns214 wrote:
traehekat wrote:A lot of these questions can be answered by simply asking what your target market is and where your ties are. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have ties to a market when recruiting rolls around. Unless you are targeting NYC, almost every market is going to want to see some sort of connection. Now, if you are a top 5-10% or student, it might take less convincing. But the further you go down in class rank, the more convincing firms are going to need to take a risk on you. I'm not saying it is impossible by any means, but it makes an initial risky decision in even going to law school in the first place even more risky by targeting a market you have no ties to. I just wouldn't do it.


Ok your going to have to explain "ties" to me... because, from what I understand, Ties are a reason you'll stay in the area... which is fairly subjective, considering I could always say "My family moved down here and this is where I would like to stay and raise a family" and it would be considered "ties".



Ties can come in varying forms, and some are better than others. Among the best is going to be, "I was born and raised here, went undergrad here, and now I'm in law school here." Doesn't get much stronger than that. Generally living in or near the target market for an extended period of time is always going to be pretty strong. Another common and relatively strong "tie" is your spouse lives in a market or now works there and you can honestly say that is where you want to settle down. A firm is obviously going to believe that you want to be near your spouse, and if your spouse has to work in the market where the firm is, they aren't going to worry about you jumping ship (especially true if your spouse him/herself has his/her own ties to the market). Notice, I said SPOUSE, not girlfriend/boyfriend. That isn't going to cut it. Beyond that, any other "ties" are going to be pretty weak, e.g. vacationing there a couple times, "I've always loved warm weather," "I grew up a big Rangers fan," having extended family there, etc.

For the situation you presented, if you relocated your whole family to attend law school in a new city, and you have your kids enrolled in school there and your spouse has a job there and you can be convincing with your enthusiasm for the new city, then I think firms in that market aren't going to worry much about you taking off. Notice that I still think there is some convincing you will have to do, and so it isn't just a "given" that you would like to work in that market, but I don't think it would take as much convincing as it would if hadn't relocated your family or had no family to relocate.

Basically, a firm is just going to look at how much of your life is rooted in this market. The more rooted you are, the less convincing it takes.
Last edited by traehekat on Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

benburns214
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby benburns214 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:18 pm

traehekat wrote:
benburns214 wrote:
traehekat wrote:


Ok your going to have to explain "ties" to me... because, from what I understand, Ties are a reason you'll stay in the area... which is fairly subjective, considering I could always say "My family moved down here and this is where I would like to stay and raise a family" and it would be considered "ties".



Ties can come in varying forms, and some are better than others. Among the best is going to be, "I was born and raised here, went undergrad here, and now I'm in law school here." Doesn't get much stronger than that. Generally living in or near the target market for an extended period of time is always going to be pretty strong. Another common and relatively strong "tie" is your spouse lives in a market or now works there and you can honestly say that is where you want to settle down. A firm is obviously going to believe that you want to be near your spouse, and if your spouse has to work in the market where the firm is, they aren't going to worry about you jumping ship (especially true if your spouse him/herself has his/her own ties to the market). Notice, I said SPOUSE, not girlfriend/boyfriend. That isn't going to cut it. Beyond that, any other "ties" are going to be pretty weak, e.g. vacationing there a couple times, "I've always loved warm weather," "I grew up a big Rangers fan," having extended family there, etc.


It suprises me that your last sentence was even necessary, because it seems fairly obvious that "being a Rangers fan" doesnt give you ties to an area. However, I do understand the point your making. Arent' "ties" supposed to be an indicator that you will remain in an area? and if so, im not sure how "going to undergrad in a area" give you ties to it, considering the probability of leaving is just as high as if you hadn't attended UG in that area.

If i had to guess, I would say that having immediate family in the area would be a stronger tie to that area than attending UG in that area, but again I cant say for sure, considering im just an ignorant 0L.

Am i wrong?

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traehekat
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby traehekat » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:22 pm

benburns214 wrote:
traehekat wrote:
benburns214 wrote:
traehekat wrote:


Ok your going to have to explain "ties" to me... because, from what I understand, Ties are a reason you'll stay in the area... which is fairly subjective, considering I could always say "My family moved down here and this is where I would like to stay and raise a family" and it would be considered "ties".



Ties can come in varying forms, and some are better than others. Among the best is going to be, "I was born and raised here, went undergrad here, and now I'm in law school here." Doesn't get much stronger than that. Generally living in or near the target market for an extended period of time is always going to be pretty strong. Another common and relatively strong "tie" is your spouse lives in a market or now works there and you can honestly say that is where you want to settle down. A firm is obviously going to believe that you want to be near your spouse, and if your spouse has to work in the market where the firm is, they aren't going to worry about you jumping ship (especially true if your spouse him/herself has his/her own ties to the market). Notice, I said SPOUSE, not girlfriend/boyfriend. That isn't going to cut it. Beyond that, any other "ties" are going to be pretty weak, e.g. vacationing there a couple times, "I've always loved warm weather," "I grew up a big Rangers fan," having extended family there, etc.


It suprises me that your last sentence was even necessary, because it seems fairly obvious that "being a Rangers fan" doesnt give you ties to an area. However, I do understand the point your making. Arent' "ties" supposed to be an indicator that you will remain in an area? and if so, im not sure how "going to undergrad in a area" give you ties to it, considering the probability of leaving is just as high as if you hadn't attended UG in that area.

If i had to guess, I would say that having immediate family in the area would be a stronger tie to that area than attending UG in that area, but again I cant say for sure, considering im just an ignorant 0L.

Am i wrong?


Along the spectrum of possible ties, yeah I would agree that having immediate family in the area is stronger than just attending UG there. Attending UG in the market IS a tie, though - you presumably spent 4 years there, made friendships and connections, infused yourself within the community, etc.

Re: "being a Rangers fan," you would be surprised what some people will say when they are interviewing with a firm in a market they have never been to, lol.

benburns214
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby benburns214 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:29 pm

traehekat wrote:
benburns214 wrote:
traehekat wrote:
benburns214 wrote:[quote="traehekat

It suprises me that your last sentence was even necessary, because it seems fairly obvious that "being a Rangers fan" doesnt give you ties to an area. However, I do understand the point your making. Arent' "ties" supposed to be an indicator that you will remain in an area? and if so, im not sure how "going to undergrad in a area" give you ties to it, considering the probability of leaving is just as high as if you hadn't attended UG in that area.

If i had to guess, I would say that having immediate family in the area would be a stronger tie to that area than attending UG in that area, but again I cant say for sure, considering im just an ignorant 0L.

Am i wrong?


Along the spectrum of possible ties, yeah I would agree that having immediate family in the area is stronger than just attending UG there. Attending UG in the market IS a tie, though - you presumably spent 4 years there, made friendships and connections, infused yourself within the community, etc.

Re: "being a Rangers fan," you would be surprised what some people will say when they are interviewing with a firm in a market they have never been to, lol.


Gotcha... thanks for the advice. Also, David Stern is an evil dictator, you should change your avatar.

rad lulz
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby rad lulz » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:31 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bmore
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby bmore » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:32 pm

WhiteGuy5 wrote:
kitkat450 wrote:Anyone seriously considering choosing a lower T14, UT/UCLA/VANDY/USC etc. with $$$ over a higher ranked school for either financial or personal reasons?

I'm struggling with this decision and would be interested in talking to other TLSers that are struggling with similar decisions.

Also interested in hearing from any 1L, 2L, 3L's that made this decision. Regret talking $$$ over ranking, vice versa? Happy with decision?

Please, don't comment if your just going to say its stupid to turn down a school bc its highly ranked : )


I'm super bored this week so I have nothing else to do, hope no one minds the long read =).

Pretty much everyone on TLS has this "problem," since a good chunk of the members are the T14 type. The answer you're going to get is: it depends. And it depends primarily on the following:

-Current financial situation (e.g. any undergraduate debt? rich parents? any money saved up?)
-What do you want to do with your law degree? (Do you want to work in a big law firm? Do you want to do something in the public sector? Maybe you want to go into academia)

You can see how different answers to those questions can change the answer to the ones you asked.

With that said, I would tell you the following: In my humble opinion, 80% of the people who are facing this question are pretty much in the same boat: they don't have any significant amount of money saved up (meaning, debt will be an issue), and most of them want to have at least the OPTION of going into biglaw.

In general: public interest/public sector/academia = low paying/at least initially. If you have $120k+ of debt, you might not have the luxury of doing this. In any event, only a few of the most highly ranked schools have generous enough loan repayment/forgiveness programs (or, in academia's case, enough prestige/clout) to make this a feasible option. Therefore, if you wanted/could do this, you wouldn't have the above mentioned dilemma in the first place. Others are more knowledgable on this, but that seems to be the general view on TLS and it seems to make sense.


If you want to do something else, however, then...

You can go to a lower ranked school (e.g. Cooley) and graduate with little to no debt, but you run the risk of significantly hurting your future job prospects, not only immediately after graduation but perhaps beyond that point too (the job you have after graduation will probably have an impact on your future jobs--you do the math). Of course, the top 5-10% of a lower ranked school might still have really good jobs lining up, but since you can't really predict how well you will do in any given law school, I believe this is, for 80% of the people asking, not the better option. No debt is fun. But why did you just put yourself through three years of hell to end up with no job (or a job with a salary you could have gotten without putting yourself through hell)? Do you really want to be an attorney THAT bad that you don't care? (Let's be honest, you won't know what it's like until you actually do it--you might end up HATING the day to day of being a lawyer. Besides, the type of law you think you will enjoy might not be a realistic option).

Of course, most of our decisions don't boil down to full ride at Cooley vs. sticker at Harvard. In my humble opinion, I think if you go to one of the T14, in the long run, you'll probably be ok, especially if the economy picks up. As a general rule, the higher the school is ranked, the easier it will be at any given class rank to get into biglaw. However, that doesn't mean the school ranked #6 is better than #7. Instead, #4 is probably better than #10 or #14. And even if #6 IS better than #7 by some objective measures, it still might not be the right choice for you. This is where things like scholarship money, cost of living, and other personal preferences should be given a second thought. Also, where you want to WORK is important (the closer the school is to where you want to work, the easier it'll be for you to get a job there compared to its peer schools).

For example, if one school (School A) places better in a market you want to work in (usually because it's closer to that area), then it would make sense to give up the opportunity to go to a better ranked school (School B) and go there instead. Usually, if you've gained acceptance to a higher ranked school than School A, you will probably have the added benefit of getting a scholarship from there too, thus further easing your debt burden upon graduation. As a general rule, however, the T14s are "national schools," meaning they can place graduates at just about any given market. You should do some research and check to see if going to a non-T14, local school will still give you a reasonable shot in that market to make the trade-off between less debt/inferior chance at getting a job vs. more debt/better chance of getting a job worth it. In fact, even within the T14, that advice should hold true as well.

A lot of people on TLS have rules of thumb like (1) if you get into HYS, go there no matter what (and only reconsider for a full ride to a T6). Or (2) Go to a T6 unless any of the other T10s give you a substantial enough of a scholarship to cushion the "pain" of having to go to a lower ranked school. I try to ignore these rules of thumb because they are based on the advice I gave in the preceding paragraph, which is simple enough so as to not reduce to a "rule of thumb." Also, the rankings can change. Picking NYU (#6) over Penn (#7) just because it's in the "Top 6" will look stupid if Penn replaces NYU in next year's ranking (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did either).*


*I recognize that terms like "T6" or "T3" exist because the schools that have been in the top six/three have been the same six/three schools for a long time, suggesting that there's something inevitable about their future status. Even still, I think my advice is appropriate.

Anyway, I did enjoy typing this up. Hope someone finds it useful =).

These questions gets asked EVERY single cycle. Why don't we have a sticky for this? Or do we?


Picked Penn with $ over NYU. New stats just a bonus. :)

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glitter178
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Re: $$$ vs. ranking

Postby glitter178 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:34 pm

If you're dead set for BigLaw, maybe this is useful:

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... slreturn=1




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