Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

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josemnz83
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Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby josemnz83 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:26 am

Are there any good reasons to go to a low ranking law school if your goal is to practice solo? Would that still be a problem?

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flem
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby flem » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:27 am

josemnz83 wrote:Would that still be a problem?


yes

CanadianWolf
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:37 am

The problem is paying back student loans after law school. If you intend to open a solo practice, then it's best to attend law school on a full tuition scholarship since you're likely to incur substantial start-up costs during years of low income. In short, it's okay if you receive substantial grant money to pay your tuition & fees.

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flem
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby flem » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:39 am

CanadianWolf wrote:The problem is paying back student loans after law school. If you intend to open a solo practice, then it's best to attend law school on a full tuition scholarship since you're likely to incur substantial start-up costs during years of low income. In short, it's okay if you receive substantial grant money to pay your tuition & fees.


Also ignoring the fact that you're going to need things like a client base and resources to be successful, all while knowing fuckall about anything related to the actual practice of law.

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swc65
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby swc65 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:42 am

Depends on your practice. If your point of competition is going to be price, then school ranking probably doesn't matter as much. If you plan to try to break into something that is more prestige sensitive then name recognition might matter more (though i cannot think of anything in this category that would be open to a new graduate). As with anything, as time goes on, reputation will matter more than school rank.

timbs4339
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:49 am

1) Full ride + stipend is preferable. Do not do this if you are taking on loans. Nobody is going to give you a small business loan if they are standing behind 150K in debt.

2) Stipulations need to be very low. If you are trying to go solo you will basically need to work PT/network/unpaid intern/clinic for the entirety of law school. It is the only way you might have a shot at getting substantive experience and a network of practitioners to refer you clients. That is obviously going to cut into class time.

Other than that, yeah, it's fine. All you need is the JD so you can sit for the bar.

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Nova
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby Nova » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:52 am

From what I have read, for nearly all grads, going solo right away is not a good idea. LS teaches very little about the practical nature of day to day practice. It seems best to learn under someone else at first.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:57 am

You may be asking for a malpractice suit.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:01 am

Some states' CLE offices offer almost idiot-proof practice guides and manuals. It would be wise to have a mentor or office sharing arrangement so that your work receives a second look before being filed.

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dingbat
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby dingbat » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Tom Joad wrote:You may be asking for a malpractice suit.

There's insurance for that

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby RedBirds2011 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:27 pm

Nova wrote:From what I have read, for nearly all grads, going solo right away is not a good idea. LS teaches very little about the practical nature of day to day practice. It seems best to learn under someone else at first.




Yes OP, going solo right out of school cam be a huge challenge. With that said, i know people who have done this and came out ok. They all had mentors during and after law school. They also had huge hustle ability and a talent for building a client base (you need to be very active in your community, etc)

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jas1503
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby jas1503 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:03 pm

When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.

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Titleist
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby Titleist » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:51 pm

jas1503 wrote:When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.


Then don't hang it on the wall?

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fatduck
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:58 pm

Wormfather wrote:
jas1503 wrote:When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.


Not sure about this. I've been meaning to look at my doctors degree for years. I keep forgetting...then again I'm busy turning, coughing, bending over, and relaxing.

you must be new here. med schools have incredibly stringent admissions standards and admit only the most brilliant medical minds.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby RedBirds2011 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:38 pm

jas1503 wrote:When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.




This is complete nonsense. It matters for bigger firms and corporate work. Everyday people dont usually give a shit. They care about experience and reputation of the lawyer...or use whomever their friends/colleagues recommend.

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Pate
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby Pate » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:55 pm

The only logical reason I can think of for going to a TTT is if you already have a job lined up and all you need is to pass the bar. Just make sure the gig is solid. . . joining your family law firm, in house council for your family owned biz, etc. Like someone noted above, since LS teaches you so little, you may not know what you are doing.

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jas1503
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby jas1503 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:08 am

RedBirds2011 wrote:
jas1503 wrote:When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.




This is complete nonsense. It matters for bigger firms and corporate work. Everyday people dont usually give a shit. They care about experience and reputation of the lawyer...or use whomever their friends/colleagues recommend.

Oooh, come on! It's not COMPLETE nonsense..

Let's say that I suddenly feel like assuming that OP will start his solo practice with experience or friends/colleagues whom will be responsible for recommending several of his/her first set of clients fresh out of TT, it still doesn't eliminate the chance that 1 or more 'everyday people' won't ask him where he went to Law school$.

Even when their degree wasn't visible, I have asked lawyers about where they went to school during casual smalltalk , It's not that big of a reach to assume that someone who has a lot of money riding on a case might care enough to ask and consider the answer relevant.

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ben4847
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:15 am

jas1503 wrote:When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.


Assuming the potential client knows the difference between (Nova) Southeastern and Northwestern.

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ben4847
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:18 am

fatduck wrote:
Wormfather wrote:
jas1503 wrote:When someone walks into your solo practice and notices your lawl degree from XXXXSouthern, they may not think that you're able to successfully represent them--I would imagine.


Not sure about this. I've been meaning to look at my doctors degree for years. I keep forgetting...then again I'm busy turning, coughing, bending over, and relaxing.

you must be new here. med schools have incredibly stringent admissions standards and admit only the most brilliant medical minds.


I've met doctors who were duller than a #2 pencil after 3 straight PT's.

AEIOU
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby AEIOU » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:29 am

I would think this depends upon whether you want to go solo immediately or after a few years of experience. My guess is that immediate solo practice depends more upon your entrepreneurial skills rather than legal skills, thus mitigating quality of legal education. Whereas, if your objective is to have a successful solo practice and be a semi-decent lawyer, not just a shit-bag dui-mill hustler who fucks over clients, you should probably go to a school that would give you access to a network of good lawyers willing to mentor.

lobolawyer
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby lobolawyer » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:41 am

The advice you get on TLS is a mixed bag. Most of the ppl here don't know jack$hit about solo practice - evident from comments like you can't get a line of credit with LS debt and low stakes clients will give a damn where you went to skool (I'm not trying to single anyone out, just telling it like it is)- so take the stuff here with a grain of salt.

The majority of graduates at my school end of at firms with fewer than 4 attorneys and many go solo. I can honestly say that the people I know who did it, and admittedly I don't know everyone, are doing well. Our school has appx. 40 hours of practical course work available, and it does a good job of preparing students to practice law upon graduation. The state bar here also has a meaningful referral system, and I know four grads from last year who went solo and were able to comfortably survive with 6 mos. worth of business from that system.

Is going solo a big risk? Yes. Would I do it? No. However, to answer OP's question it can be done. And if that's your goal it's probably best that you attend a T2 state school with low tuition/big scholly rather than amass 150k in debt for the unquantifiable "presftige" of a degree from a higher ranked school.

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jas1503
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby jas1503 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:34 am

Didn't suggest that OP couldn't open a successful solo practice, but I did suggest that several clients might care where he went to law school--If OP has no experience/a client has a high-risk case that's not requiring him to perform minimally-skilled tasks.

timbs4339
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:07 am

jas1503 wrote:Didn't suggest that OP couldn't open a successful solo practice, but I did suggest that several clients might care where he went to law school--If OP has no experience/a client has a high-risk case that's not requiring him to perform minimally-skilled tasks.


OP is never going to be in contention to represent the kinds of clients who will care where he went to law school. The kinds of clients OP will represent are the kinds of people you meet every day, i.e., the people who ask you for legal advice when you are still a 1L.

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Pate
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby Pate » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:25 am

There are MANY big name schools that are thought of more highly by the general public than many of the USNWR top 20 law schools. Aside from HYS, do you really think the average guy knows Ohio State, Miami, LSU, USC, etc., are considered less prestigious than Virginia or Northwestern? If you have the $$ to start up and know business owners, and/or you are active in the chamber, etc., why not go solo?

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flem
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Re: Ok to go to low ranking school if going solo?

Postby flem » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:45 am

Yeah dude, lay people are impressed with a JD, festering TTT or not. The issue with going solo out of law school has little to do with lay prestige of your school and more to do with the fact that you have no clients and no clue what in the actual technicolored fuck you're doing.




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