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zsu
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Postby zsu » Mon May 28, 2012 7:46 pm

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thanks for the responses everyone
Last edited by zsu on Tue May 29, 2012 4:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

chasgoose
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby chasgoose » Mon May 28, 2012 7:55 pm

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Last edited by chasgoose on Tue May 29, 2012 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 28, 2012 9:14 pm

You're making this decision so difficult because you want the prestige & adventure of Duke, but you know the correct choice is Texas.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Tue May 29, 2012 1:16 am

Chose Duke because it will pretty easily get you back to Texas but will also open up many other potential markets that Texas simply won't.

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Br3v
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby Br3v » Tue May 29, 2012 1:29 am

I'd go Duke

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roaringeagle
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby roaringeagle » Tue May 29, 2012 1:33 am

It's not a really tough decision...Duke's offer is nice, and I think you'll like it there. The guy who said Texas is better for texas biglaw...I doubt that. Duke places around twice as well as Texas in the NLJ 250...also I like their Director of Admissions. He was very courteous.

chasgoose
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby chasgoose » Tue May 29, 2012 2:15 am

roaringeagle wrote:It's not a really tough decision...Duke's offer is nice, and I think you'll like it there. The guy who said Texas is better for texas biglaw...I doubt that. Duke places around twice as well as Texas in the NLJ 250...also I like their Director of Admissions. He was very courteous.


Duke might be better for biglaw in general, but Texas is definitely better for Texas biglaw. Unless I'm mistaken, OP has no ties to Texas, getting Texas biglaw from Duke is going to be very hard.

zsu
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby zsu » Tue May 29, 2012 2:40 am

pm me for details
Last edited by zsu on Tue May 29, 2012 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

de5igual
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby de5igual » Tue May 29, 2012 9:16 am

zsu wrote:redacted.


Knowing so-and-so at the office isn't really a geographic tie, esp when it's not even at the firm you're interviewing.

zsu wrote:redacted.


Given your lack of ties to TX, you might have a better shot getting TX biglaw from UT. That said, the risk of you striking out from biglaw from UT is also much greater. Since you're not deadset on working in TX, but are open to other areas (e.g., NY, DC --west coast isn't really happening from Duke either absent ties or high grades), Duke makes more sense esp. given only the slightly higher cost.

zsu wrote:redacted.


showing commitment usually involves some form of tie to the area, this could range from strong (e.g., lived there all my life, family still there) to weak (e.g., went to ugrad there; went to law school there). can you get it still without ties? sure, but the odds are heavily stacked against you.
Last edited by de5igual on Tue May 29, 2012 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zsu
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby zsu » Tue May 29, 2012 9:44 am

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Last edited by zsu on Tue May 29, 2012 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue May 29, 2012 10:09 am

Oh jeez Duke. UT will only get you Biglaw in Texas, and maybe not even (their placement isn't great and you don't have any ties). The Duke name can still be carried back to Texas if you're all gung-ho about working there, but also offers you the flexibility of working elsewhere that UT doesn't.

utlaw2007
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 29, 2012 11:57 am

I just have to say that any comment that says Duke places better into Texas biglaw than Texas is an absolutely uniformed comment. That's all I will say about that. UT Law is the gold standard down here in Texas. You guys act as though the national prestige that other schools have nationally have that same prestige here in Texas. I'm here to say, no they don't. Unless you are going to top 6 law school and have REAL ties to Texas, any other school is not going to have better placement for Texas biglaw than Texas. You can choose not to believe me. You can quote incomplete statistics that don't account for self selection. Guess what? The cost of living is so cheap here in Texas, you don't have to have a biglaw salary to live large and pay off your debt at the same time, provided that debt was incurred because of attendance to UT Law. So many UT Law grads choose a smaller firm that allows for more personal/family time. I know because I was one of them.

If you are median at Texas, you have an excellent chance for Texas biglaw if you want it. Many Texas grads choose midlaw or smaller firms over biglaw firms because they allow you to have a personal life outside of work. Those stats don't bear that out. And if you make high enough grades (and your grades don't have to be ridiculously high), you can go anywhere you want to in the country coming out of Texas. So if you really want to work in Texas, you better choose Texas over Duke. Otherwise, be prepared to work somewhere else.

In addition to Texas' cost of living being so cheap, Texas grads self select to stay in Texas regardless of the firm size more so than grads of other top law schools. What I mean by that is that Texas grads are more tethered to the state than grads of other schools being tethered to the region of their law school because most Texas Law grads are Texas residents. And those grads prefer Texas over anywhere else in the country because the cost of living is SO CHEAP down here. The state legislature mandates that 65% of Texas seats be reserved for Texas residents. And that number used to be 80%. So those stats cited on this site don't account for the fact that many UT Law grads choose to stay in state no matter the firm size, even if it means turning down a biglaw offer out of state. Texas grads tend stay in Texas no matter the firm size because they are Texas residents and love it here. $100,000 in Houston, Texas will go further than $160,000 in New York. Duke is a private school that doesn't have a big backyard. So a much larger percentage of their grads are looking to go all over the country.

But I just went to school there and I have lived in Texas all of my life. So what the hell do I know?

It's fine to care about national prestige. But it is foolish to assume a school's national prestige exists in a certain region of the country when you know absolutely nothing about that region. Another thing that really perplexes me about this site, so many people care about debt and finances to attend school. Those are all important considerations. However, no one seems to care about the cost of living that makes one salary that is superficially higher not as high as another superficially lower salary because of cost of living.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue May 29, 2012 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue May 29, 2012 12:59 pm

utlaw2007 wrote: Another thing that really perplexes me about this site, so many people care about debt and finances to attend school. Those are all important considerations. However, no one seems to care about the cost of living that makes one salary that is superficially higher, not as high as another superficially lower salary in practical terms because of cost of living.


Those factors aren't ignored, but cost of living adjustments don't help much when you have big debt to pay off. That 3K a month you owe when paying back sticker debt doesn't go down because you live in a secondary market. With a 160K salary in New York you have the flexibility to live somewhere shitty and pay down debt quickly. That flexibility doesn't exist on a 100K salary in a cheaper area.

Ignoring debt concerns, many people would love to get a 100-120K job in a low cost of living area working comfortable hours. But those jobs just don't exist in any kind of meaningful numbers for new grads.

All that said there is nothing wrong with choosing UT here as the debt would be quite a bit lower than sticker and the OP seems to be looking forward to working in Texas.

utlaw2007
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 29, 2012 1:07 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote: Another thing that really perplexes me about this site, so many people care about debt and finances to attend school. Those are all important considerations. However, no one seems to care about the cost of living that makes one salary that is superficially higher, not as high as another superficially lower salary in practical terms because of cost of living.


Those factors aren't ignored, but cost of living adjustments don't help much when you have big debt to pay off. That 3K a month you owe when paying back sticker debt doesn't go down because you live in a secondary market. With a 160K salary in New York you have the flexibility to live somewhere shitty and pay down debt quickly. That flexibility doesn't exist on a 100K salary in a cheaper area.

Ignoring debt concerns, many people would love to get a 100-120K job in a low cost of living area working comfortable hours. But those jobs just don't exist in any kind of meaningful numbers for new grads.

All that said there is nothing wrong with choosing UT here as the debt would be quite a bit lower than sticker and the OP seems to be looking forward to working in Texas.


I have to disagree with you there because Texas does not have income tax. That fact alone would help you deal with a 3k a month payment. I understand what you are saying. I don't know about New York's cheaper areas. I can say that Houston has cheaper areas to live, too. And they are not crappy areas. Throw in the crappy areas, and now you're looking at some dirt cheap areas. Plus, you factor in the fact we have no state income tax. I don't think there are any big markets in the country that have living areas as cheap as Houston's living areas. So while you could live in a less desirable area in New York to help you pay down your debt, you could do the same thing in Houston and it would still be cheaper. The cheaper your living expenses, the more money you can save to pay off a big debt, even at a 100k in Houston.

So the flexibility does exist because you can just live in a really dirt cheap area in Houston and pay down your debt quicker off of a 100k salary. I don't think people on this site understand JUST HOW CHEAPER the cost of living is here in Texas, especially Houston. I would never live in New York or California because of it. To me, it's like flushing money down the toilet. But that's just me.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue May 29, 2012 1:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 29, 2012 1:11 pm

Easily Texas. How many Duke grads end up in Houston or Dallas ? Probably an insignificant number especiaaly if compared to UTexas Law. Plus for one with a strong interest in oil & gas related law, Texas is the obvious answer.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue May 29, 2012 1:27 pm

utlaw2007 wrote:I have to disagree with you there because Texas does not have income tax. That fact alone would help you deal with a 3k a month payment. I understand what you are saying. I don't know about New York's cheaper areas. I can say that Houston has cheaper areas to live, too. And they are not crappy areas. Throw in the crappy areas, and now you're looking at some dirt cheap areas. Plus, you factor in the fact we have no state income tax. I don't think there are any big markets in the country that have living areas as cheap as Houston's living areas. So while you could live in a less desirable area in New York to help you pay down your debt, you could do the same thing in Houston and it would still be cheaper.

So the flexibility does exist because you can just live in a really dirt cheap area and pay down your debt quicker off of a 100k salary. I don't think people on this site understand JUST HOW CHEAPER the cost of living is here in Texas, especially Houston. I would never live in New York or California because of it. To me, it's like flushing money down the toilet. But that's just me.


I get what you are saying but Federal taxes eat up a substantial portion of salary in either job. After taxes the monthly take home is about 9K in NYC vs. 6K on a 100K salary in Texas. Say you could live cheaply in TX on $1,000 a month but need $2,000 to do the same in New York. That leaves you with an extra $2,000 a month in New York to pay down those debts. Since raises are bigger in NYC the differences become even more stark in year 2 and beyond.

But I do realize just how much cheaper TX is compared to NYC when the debt is paid off. We all really should be gunning for the 160K BigLaw jobs in Houston and Dallas.

utlaw2007
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 29, 2012 1:36 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:I have to disagree with you there because Texas does not have income tax. That fact alone would help you deal with a 3k a month payment. I understand what you are saying. I don't know about New York's cheaper areas. I can say that Houston has cheaper areas to live, too. And they are not crappy areas. Throw in the crappy areas, and now you're looking at some dirt cheap areas. Plus, you factor in the fact we have no state income tax. I don't think there are any big markets in the country that have living areas as cheap as Houston's living areas. So while you could live in a less desirable area in New York to help you pay down your debt, you could do the same thing in Houston and it would still be cheaper.

So the flexibility does exist because you can just live in a really dirt cheap area and pay down your debt quicker off of a 100k salary. I don't think people on this site understand JUST HOW CHEAPER the cost of living is here in Texas, especially Houston. I would never live in New York or California because of it. To me, it's like flushing money down the toilet. But that's just me.


I get what you are saying but Federal taxes eat up a substantial portion of salary in either job. After taxes the monthly take home is about 9K in NYC vs. 6K on a 100K salary in Texas. Say you could live cheaply in TX on $1,000 a month but need $2,000 to do the same in New York. That leaves you with an extra $2,000 a month in New York to pay down those debts. Since raises are bigger in NYC the differences become even more stark in year 2 and beyond.

But I do realize just how much cheaper TX is compared to NYC when the debt is paid off. We all really should be gunning for the 160K BigLaw jobs in Houston and Dallas.


These are good points. But a $1000 a month for a mortgage in Houston is not cheap. It's not expensive, but it's not cheap. Try 400 dollars for crappy area cheap in Houston. And you would save on your car note since you would be forced to have a crappy car, otherwise, it's just a matter of time before you are jacked. But you do make a good point since we're only talking about an additional 600 bucks. So you won't not be able to pay the loan off much quicker, but your quality of life would be better since there would be more things for you to do. But at this point, it is just a matter of opinion as to what kind of lifestyle the person wants. Paying debts off quicker would enable you to get mortgages for houses easier. But then mortgages wouldn't have to be much in Texas since houses are so cheap here. So it just comes down to tastes, I guess.

I do agree with Batman's comment below. He made great points , as well.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue May 29, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 29, 2012 1:37 pm

But I do realize just how much cheaper TX is compared to NYC when the debt is paid off. We all really should be gunning for the 160K BigLaw jobs in Houston and Dallas.


This is the best statement ever made on this site.

zsu
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby zsu » Tue May 29, 2012 1:39 pm

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BruceWayne
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby BruceWayne » Tue May 29, 2012 1:40 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
utlaw2007 wrote:I have to disagree with you there because Texas does not have income tax. That fact alone would help you deal with a 3k a month payment. I understand what you are saying. I don't know about New York's cheaper areas. I can say that Houston has cheaper areas to live, too. And they are not crappy areas. Throw in the crappy areas, and now you're looking at some dirt cheap areas. Plus, you factor in the fact we have no state income tax. I don't think there are any big markets in the country that have living areas as cheap as Houston's living areas. So while you could live in a less desirable area in New York to help you pay down your debt, you could do the same thing in Houston and it would still be cheaper.

So the flexibility does exist because you can just live in a really dirt cheap area and pay down your debt quicker off of a 100k salary. I don't think people on this site understand JUST HOW CHEAPER the cost of living is here in Texas, especially Houston. I would never live in New York or California because of it. To me, it's like flushing money down the toilet. But that's just me.


I get what you are saying but Federal taxes eat up a substantial portion of salary in either job. After taxes the monthly take home is about 9K in NYC vs. 6K on a 100K salary in Texas. Say you could live cheaply in TX on $1,000 a month but need $2,000 to do the same in New York. That leaves you with an extra $2,000 a month in New York to pay down those debts. Since raises are bigger in NYC the differences become even more stark in year 2 and beyond.

But I do realize just how much cheaper TX is compared to NYC when the debt is paid off. We all really should be gunning for the 160K BigLaw jobs in Houston and Dallas.


The cost of living difference is so stark that the math doesn't work out like this. It will end up being more akin to needing only 700-900 for rent in the secondary market vs. needing 2800+ in NYC for comparalbe living. That's an additional $2000. Further, the NYC state taxes are going to be much higher than the state taxes in secondary markets. The COL difference gap is so wide that, even with a lower nominal salary, it's still much easier to pay back the debt in a secondary market. People really don't realize how much more sense secondary market work makes when you have big debt. The other huge factor is that while you will likely be forced out of NYC biglaw in 3-4 years you can often stay at a firm in a secondary market much longer. I know that the average tenure at a lot firms in my market is over 7 years.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue May 29, 2012 1:53 pm

BruceWayne wrote:The cost of living difference is so stark that the math doesn't work out like this. It will end up being more akin to needing only 700-900 for rent in the secondary market vs. needing 2800+ in NYC for comparalbe living. That's an additional $2000.


I said $1000 per month for all expenses combined in TX vs. $2000 for all expenses in NYC. Neither of these scenarios is likely nor easy to accomplish but both are possible if paying down debt is truly priority number one.

I also said nothing about comparable living. My whole point was that you can severely reduce your lifestyle in NYC and pay off debt. This isn't possible to the same extent in a secondary market paying a far lower salary. No one has to pay $2800 in NYC because you don't have to live as well as you would on $700 in Houston. Instead, you can pay $1000 a month to share a place in Jersey. So you can save serious money on living costs in NYC by moving further away from Manhattan and having roommates. You can't downgrade to save much in Houston because you aren't paying much to begin with.

I do agree that if you want to live the same lifestyle the cost differences are magnified. But living by yourself in a 1200 square foot condo near the office just isn't possible in NYC like it would be elsewhere, so you adjust.

utlaw2007
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Re: Texas ($$$) vs. Duke ($$)

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 29, 2012 2:37 pm

It's hard to say that going to Duke would hurt your chances for biglaw in Texas because it doesn't sound quite right. But a Duke grad compared to a Texas grad at median is going to lose most of the time. Primarily, because most partners are from Texas Law. Whether that school be Duke, Northwestern, Georgetown, or Cornell, those schools grads are at a disadvantage if matched up against a UT Law grad at median. Those schools reputations are a bit of an afterthought here in Texas. Okay, afterthought is too harsh. Those schools have great reputations here in Texas. It's just that UT Law has a better rep here in Texas. It's the Harvard Law School of Texas. But the main reason why those schools don't compare favorably to a UT Law grad is because dang near all the biglaw partners are from UT Law. If they aren't from UT, they are from Houston or SMU. Duke is in the south, but that doesn't really matter since we are talking about Texas. It's all about Texas down here.

There is a ton of Texas love down here for anything UT based. Outsiders in all areas are welcome, but they are hardly held in high esteem here. Texans are very mindful of the east and west coast bias. They resent it to some degree. And as a result, Texas marches to the beat of it's own drum.

Duke is more national than Texas. But don't let the people on this site fool you into thinking that Texas is not national at all. We are. We're just not as national as t14 schools. Just keep in mind that our students are 65% Texas residents. So our employment placement numbers illustrate that fact. The cutoff for getting out of state biglaw interviews was 25 to 33% when I was there. I know California was the out of state market that was easiest to place into when I was there. At the time I was there, you had to be just median. I imagine it's harder now. I have no idea of what it's like now. All I can say is that Texas Law has more of a southwest thing going on than a southern thing. 60% of our OCI is composed of firms from out of state. These firms are a mix of all sizes from biglaw to midlaw and maybe a few really big small law firms. So while our school is not as national as t14's, it's more national or just as national as any school outside the t14. It's just that Texas grads are Texas residents and unlike a few unsavory states, there is no mass exodus to leave the state. And because our COL is so cheap and our COA is so cheap, it isn't imperative that Texas grads put up with the stresses of working biglaw to pay off their debt.

If you go to Duke, your chances for Texas biglaw won't be shot, but it is fair to say that you will have to wait in line behind most Texas grads that are at median. Going to Duke is not like going to Chicago or Harvard if you were trying to enter into the Texas biglaw market. Maybe Michigan and UVA along with the T6 have some clout for Texas biglaw. I would say that NYU, Columbia and Chicago are on even footing with Texas in Texas biglaw, not Texas median, but Texas top quarter. Harvard, Yale, and Stanford are just flat out better than any class rank at UT. Michigan and UVA appear to be even with UT Law median for Texas biglaw. But Penn and the rest of the T14 just don't place better than UT Law at median. Again, this is not scientific by any means. These are conclusions based on my experiences with talking to partners and my classmates, and viewing attorney rosters at the biggest or most prestigious law firms in Texas. The boutiques seem easier to place into for out of state elite law schools. Those attorney rosters are not dominated as much by UT Law grads. They have a fair amount of grads from T6 schools. But the rest of the T14 is absent from their ranks from my observations. But when looking at the largest Texas firms, those rosters are DOMINATED by Texas grads with a good deal of Houston and SMU grads thrown in.

And I should inform you that many firms (if not most) that practice oil & gas in Texas are either midlaw or really big small firms (30ish attorneys). So the grade/prestige criteria is not that high on their list of priorities. That's because you have a million oil, gas, and energy companies in Houston. Sure you have the big ones like Exxon and Shell, but you also have many small ones. And those small company owners don't seem like they can relate to outsiders from elite private schools outside of Texas. Oil and Gas in Texas is good ole boy all the way, save for the Texas biglaw firms that practice it. And good ole boy doesn't include schools like Duke or Northwestern.
Last edited by utlaw2007 on Tue May 29, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

utlaw2007
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Re: .

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 29, 2012 4:24 pm

And I'm assuming that someone is median or a little below median at those other law schools I mentioned. Being at the bottom of the class at any school other than Yale (since they don't rank) will not make you better than a UT Law grad who is at median or higher.




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