lower ranked schools

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plausibledeniability
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lower ranked schools

Postby plausibledeniability » Sun Nov 11, 2012 5:58 am

I want to be an ADA - always been my dream job.

So since I am not interested in private firms or "biglaw", does it matter if I attend a lower ranked or unranked law school?

Debt is not a factor.

Brassica7
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby Brassica7 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:16 am

Yes, it still matters where you go. It is hard to get any legal job from low ranked/unranked schools. At these places, most graduates will never be real attorneys. You are correct in that prosecutors care less than big firms about your school/grades and more about demonstrated interest, but demonstrating interest (internships, clinics, evidence/trial advocacy/criminal procedure classes) and going to a good school give you your best chance at an ADA job. These jobs are hard to get; you should try to optimize your chances of getting one by attending a good school.

Incubateus
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby Incubateus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:53 am

It depends...

1. What city are you in? Some cities are more competitive than others. Some cities prefer certain schools.
2. What do you mean by "debt is not a factor?" Is someone paying for you? Do you not care how long you have to extend your loan repayments? or have you already saved the money?

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JO 14
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby JO 14 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:33 am

plausibledeniability wrote:I want to be an ADA - always been my dream job.

So since I am not interested in private firms or "biglaw", does it matter if I attend a lower ranked or unranked law school?

Debt is not a factor.

Keep in mind that you will be competing against those (not from lower ranked schools) seeking employment. ITE, nearly every opening is prized.

plausibledeniability
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby plausibledeniability » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:33 am

Very good points made by all I appreciate it.

I want to work in a smaller city hopefully in either Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, or North Carolina. I am not a big city person.

And debt is not a factor because everything is already paid for. I'm not taking out any loans.

llachans
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby llachans » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:38 am

plausibledeniability wrote:Very good points made by all I appreciate it.

I want to work in a smaller city hopefully in either Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, or North Carolina. I am not a big city person.

And debt is not a factor because everything is already paid for. I'm not taking out any loans.


It definitely depends on geography. If it's a TTT in a state that only has one other state school or is the only law school, you might be fine if you minimize debt. (Marquette, Drake, Idaho, South Dakota come to mind). I'm not too familiar with your area of the country, but of your choices, I believe that Kentucky and West Virginia would be the least risky.

rad lulz
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby rad lulz » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:21 pm

plausibledeniability wrote:Very good points made by all I appreciate it.

I want to work in a smaller city hopefully in either Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, or North Carolina. I am not a big city person.

And debt is not a factor because everything is already paid for. I'm not taking out any loans.

Check to make sure ADA offices in those states are hiring. Some are not. Srsly.

CanadianWolf
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:31 pm

Also consider what if your career goals change ?

In an earlier post, you shared your numbers & a list of law schools to which you intend to apply. With a few more LSAT points, you should be able to garner significant scholarship money from those law schools which would reduce the investment risk of attending a non-Tier One (top 50) law school.

Incubateus
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby Incubateus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:58 pm

Whether or not they're hiring seems a bit irrelevant because you're talking about something 4 years away. That being said, I'm from your neck of the woods roughly, and most ADA jobs seem easy to come by if you go to a local school. I know one WVU grad who ended up in Pittsburgh as an ADA graduating only near median. WV is a very similar market. If you went to a nearby school you have a very solid shot at one of those positions. That being said, if say the WV offices aren't hiring, you're going to have a harder time getting into a Virginia office if you went to WVU. The better the school you go to, the stronger your chances of securing a more regional job are. I'd say you only need to break into a Tier 1 school and graduate median to essentially guarantee an ADA job in one of those states.

rad lulz
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby rad lulz » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:11 pm

Incubateus wrote:Whether or not they're hiring seems a bit irrelevant because you're talking about something 4 years away.

It's pretty relevant unless you assume 1) the economy is gonna pick up a ton, 2) the recovery leads to increased funding for DA hiring, and 3) the DA is willing to hire new grads.

All three of these assumptions are varying degrees of suspect. Quite a few of these offices don't have the high turnover rates we once saw as people cling to these jobs for dear life thanks to an uncertain private sectior and PSLF IBR. I mean shit, I know some offices where people are working for free on a waiting list in the hopes of being hired. So yes, it is not irrelevant.

I'd say you only need to break into a Tier 1 school and graduate median to essentially guarantee an ADA job in one of those states


The 45% of people who went to Wake in 2011 who would LOVE to have a real legal job disagree with you.

plausibledeniability
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby plausibledeniability » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:24 pm

True. There is no telling what hiring will look like in three years.

I have interned at the local and federal level and had multiple interactions with the DA's office as well as the US Attorney's office and at least in my area they were trying to fill prosecutor positions in 4 different locations of the state within this past year. They informed me that in some areas they have very little turnover but in others it seems like there is always a spot open. But they also said there is always a possibility of graduating at the same time they have no positions available. I am aware that it will pretty much be a gamble. We will see what happens with the economy within the next few years I guess...

But I am going to retake the LSAT as well I just wanted to apply to a couple of the lower ranked schools that I live nearby to at least ensure that I can get accepted somewhere before I go applying to the other ranked schools on my list. I would definitely prefer going to a ranked school but I am still trying to get a plan together just in case I happen to do worse on the next test.

And I have seen quite a few posts on here about the dangers of lower ranked schools in regard to piling on debt then only securing a job that pulls in $40k a year and never being able to get out of that financial hole. That makes total sense. But my situation is a little unique I guess because I have no debt from my undergrad and will not acquire any throughout law school either. So I would pretty much be ecstatic with a starting salary of $40k.

But thanks a lot for the input guys.

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IAFG
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Even for free, when you have the option of re-taking and improving your chances of actually landing your dream job while opening up "back up plans" of other gigs, it seems sort of silly to put all your eggs in the ADA basket.

With so many new grads desperate for work, I would be highly skeptical of anyone who claimed that any LRAP-eligible job is easy to get from a lower tier school without a couple years of relevant experience. It just doesn't facially make sense.

Paul Campos
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby Paul Campos » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:21 pm

IAFG wrote:Even for free, when you have the option of re-taking and improving your chances of actually landing your dream job while opening up "back up plans" of other gigs, it seems sort of silly to put all your eggs in the ADA basket.

With so many new grads desperate for work, I would be highly skeptical of anyone who claimed that any LRAP-eligible job is easy to get from a lower tier school without a couple years of relevant experience. It just doesn't facially make sense.


It's an absurd claim. Here's how a recent job search went for an entry-level ADA position in a suburb of Denver (this is for a $48K job, that was explicitly advertised as entry-level): The office received 115 applications for the spot. The job ended up going to somebody who had been an ADA for six years in another state. Yes that's an anecdote, but with state and local governments everywhere suffering severe budgetary crunches, half of all new law grads not getting lawyer jobs of any kind, and huge numbers of experienced attorneys either out of work or looking to switch jobs, the notion that there are government lawyer jobs that remain fairly easy to get is ridiculous.

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IAFG
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby IAFG » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:07 pm

Paul Campos wrote:
IAFG wrote:Even for free, when you have the option of re-taking and improving your chances of actually landing your dream job while opening up "back up plans" of other gigs, it seems sort of silly to put all your eggs in the ADA basket.

With so many new grads desperate for work, I would be highly skeptical of anyone who claimed that any LRAP-eligible job is easy to get from a lower tier school without a couple years of relevant experience. It just doesn't facially make sense.


It's an absurd claim. Here's how a recent job search went for an entry-level ADA position in a suburb of Denver (this is for a $48K job, that was explicitly advertised as entry-level): The office received 115 applications for the spot. The job ended up going to somebody who had been an ADA for six years in another state. Yes that's an anecdote, but with state and local governments everywhere suffering severe budgetary crunches, half of all new law grads not getting lawyer jobs of any kind, and huge numbers of experienced attorneys either out of work or looking to switch jobs, the notion that there are government lawyer jobs that remain fairly easy to get is ridiculous.

TBF suburbs of Denver is a lot more appealing than West Virginia, but yeah. The fact that an office has trouble filling a position isn't very meaningful either. They could just be dinging everyone.

plausibledeniability
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Re: lower ranked schools

Postby plausibledeniability » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:19 pm

I never said it would be easy.

And 115 applicants for one spot is bad but it doesn't really surprise me too much. Things are bad out there I know that. I just finished the application process for a government job with 297 applicants for 5 positions, starting salary was $38,000. I started the process in August and was officially offered the job last week. I am going to turn it down though because I want to go to law school. I'll always have a job like that waiting for me but it really isn't what I want to do.

But before that I was denied a another government job with over 5,000 applicants. I know its tough.

I don't know if anyone will consider it absurd or not but I would rather go to law school now when the job market is bad and hopefully in three years things will look a little different. Either way though I would be in the exact same boat I am now except with a law degree.

Plus I already said I was going to retake the LSAT.




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