Want to end up in Kansas/KC

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Unoriginalist
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Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby Unoriginalist » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:35 am

Hello everyone,

I'm applying this cycle, and have applied to a few schools throughout the midwest, but am unsure as to what's the best strategy for one to end up in a secondary market like KC. Should I be applying to schools within the market (i.e. KU, UMKC, etc), and try to leverage as much of a scholarship as possible, or should I aim for relatively prestigious schools in the region (WUSTL, Iowa?), or what would be your suggestion? My ultimate aspiration would be to work in a mid-sized firm or in government.

I'm applying with a 3.7 and a 166. I've only taken the LSAT once - perhaps retaking is TCR? If so, thoughts as to which schools I would want to target would still be helpful.

Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks!

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2014
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby 2014 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:16 am

Is your priority:

Big Firm KC > Any law KC > Big firm elsewhere
or
Big Firm KC > Big Firm elsewhere > Any law KC

If the former, your best bet is probably KU or UMKC at as close to a full ride as possible. There is some controversy over which is better, the answer is that you have to do really well at either. LST gives UMKC an edge but my personal opinion is that KU being one of the cheapest state schools in the country leads to a substantial amount of out of state people matriculating who end up not getting jobs since no out of state employer is gunning for KU grads. Either way, the answer is basically whichever is cheapest. Since 166 is well above both medians, a retake isn't necessary.

If the latter, you should retake and shoot for the best school you can get into. KU or UMKC will basically rule out every market other than KC unless you hustle or have significant connections. If you could push that up to a 171 or 172 you could get some money at UChi and probably have a solid shot at KC while having NYC as a reliable backup.

Eta: I can't see any circumstance where WUSTL, Iowa, ND, Minnesota etc makes sense. You are paying significantly more for basically no better of a shot at KC and only a trivially better shot at a second market. I made the exact same decision a year ago and ruled out the midwestern T30s for that reason.

Let me know if I can clarify anything.

zschmitz
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby zschmitz » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:55 am

You should also consider MU as an option. A lot of firms in KC pull from there as well.

Also, since there is not really a dominant law school which KC firms pull from, find firms in KC that meet the specifications you want, and then figure out where the attorneys that currently work there went to law school. You will notice that attorneys who work for the big firms in KC (Lathrop, Shook, etc) come from other schools besides UMKC or KU.

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soccerfreak
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby soccerfreak » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:16 am

I go to one of said T25's, and despite there being relatively little interest in KC here, I know at least as many people with KC biglaw offers here as all of UMKC (and from what I understand no one from UMKC has one in any other city). If you can get a good scholarship to a T25 (you should now, and definitely retake), that's a legitimate option.

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Pumpkin_Pie
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby Pumpkin_Pie » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:04 am

LST says the University of Missouri KC places best in KC, followed by Kansas, then Washburn.

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soccerfreak
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby soccerfreak » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:24 am

By "best," do you mean "the highest percentage of their class end up there"?

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Unoriginalist
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby Unoriginalist » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:02 pm

These answers have been very helpful, thank you all!

2014, thank you especially for your perspective- I would say the former is invariably closer to my goals. I'm thinking going for a cheap, local option might, indeed, be the best choice. Any idea how successful one would need to be at, say, KU to be a relatively "strong" candidate in KC?

soccerfreak, what you said has me curious, would you say that at your T25 it's fairly easy for students to walk in (for want of a better phrase) into the KC market? Or is it reserved more for students who have ties/offers everywhere? Or is there even a sample size big enough to guess?

Thanks again, all!

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2014
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby 2014 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:16 pm

I'd say at either KU or UMKC you would want to be top 10-20% with law review, but the proximity could allow you to network and dip that a little lower. It's definitely not rosy though, you need to do really well. On the bright side, at 166 you statistically have a better than even shot at doing well at either of those schools but it is by no means a guarantee.

Also to clarify, I didn't mean to say that no one from WUSTL for example, where soccer is at, can get KC. I'm sure they can and I bet there is another few percent of leeway in the requisite class rank since it's a better school. The issue is that you will be paying tens of thousands more dollars and competing against a brighter student body so in my opinion your true odds are worse.

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soccerfreak
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby soccerfreak » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:08 pm

Oh no, it's definitely not "easy" to get KC biglaw from my school by any means. What I'm saying is that there's definitely more leeway, and more than just a few percent. And ties are always important. I can give more details about this stuff over pm though.

Going back to your original post, though, retaking is the absolute, bottom line, best response. If you get that LSAT up just 2 points or so, you're going from about 40k at WUSTL to about full tuition. At that point it's an easy decision IMO. Also, with a 169-170 you'll be competitive at T14 as well. Retake in December, then apply everywhere in the Midwest, and re-evaluate.

Wile E.
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby Wile E. » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:36 pm

2014 wrote:I'd say at either KU or UMKC you would want to be top 10-20% with law review, but the proximity could allow you to network and dip that a little lower. It's definitely not rosy though, you need to do really well. On the bright side, at 166 you statistically have a better than even shot at doing well at either of those schools but it is by no means a guarantee.

Also to clarify, I didn't mean to say that no one from WUSTL for example, where soccer is at, can get KC. I'm sure they can and I bet there is another few percent of leeway in the requisite class rank since it's a better school. The issue is that you will be paying tens of thousands more dollars and competing against a brighter student body so in my opinion your true odds are worse.


TITCR. I am at one of these schools now with a biglaw offer, and can confirm that generally Top 20% is the cutoff for OCI with big firms. The people who have offers are also on law review. On the other hand, I am hearing that lots of other students are getting jobs outside of OCI, which says a lot about the networking opportunities here. These are not biglaw jobs, but they are with well-respected local firms.

Also, with those numbers and maybe an interesting thing or two on your resume I can tell you that you will get substantial scholarship money at either of UMKC/KU. And little to no debt with a law degree in KC is a very good place to be. Then again, so is being at a T14 school.

Edit: Also agree with SoccerFreak. There is more leeway as far as class ranking for biglaw when going to a T25 school.

crawleytown
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby crawleytown » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:20 pm

are you from kansas

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patrickd139
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby patrickd139 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:15 pm

I posted this in another thread, but it's applicable here as an anecdotal data point: I went to OU Law, and went 0-4 with CBs in KCMO biglaw. Ties were tenuous to the city begin with, which likely was the main reason for getting shut out. All of this is to say, don't bank on being able to make it to KC just because you went to OU. I would expect similar results with STL, but have no evidence to back this up. The rest of Kansas is an abject shithole, especially Topeka.

letsdoit
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Re: Want to end up in Kansas/KC

Postby letsdoit » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:52 pm

Vandy places quite well in KC, FWIW. This is from personal experience and anecdotes from colleagues.




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