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PatriotP74
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Mick Haller
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby Mick Haller » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:59 am

T14 and midrange schools also give a lot of money

I'd try to get 170+ and big money at some place like Wustl

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dowu
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby dowu » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:43 am

The misspelled you're in the title just bothers the shit out of me.

badaboom61
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby badaboom61 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:42 am

Assuming not flame even though most people who manage a 159 on the LSAT know how to spell basic words correctly...

What do you mean by you don't want biglaw? What other jobs are you looking for? Government and PI jobs are more competitive than biglaw, and small firm hiring is a very random process that often leads to jobs that require biglaw hours for 1/4 the pay.

To answer the question, if you don't do biglaw, either because you don't want it or you can't get it, you'll have a very difficult time paying off 200k worth of loans. Schools' LRAP plans generally suck and the jobs that qualify for them are more competitive than biglaw.

Instead, if biglaw doesn't look like a very viable option, go somewhere where you will actually graduate on a reasonable amount of debt, something you could pay off if you don't find a legal job at all (my guess would be in the 30-40k total debt range, but that would vary by individual). If the only schools where this is possible are terrible, don't go to law school.

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IAFG
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:45 am

Adding on to PP's post, just don't go to law school.

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Samara
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby Samara » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:25 am

Why do you think starting your own practice would be less stressful than biglaw?

timbs4339
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:32 am

You want, in order:

1-10) Cost. Preferably full scholarship. No more than 75K of debt (counting COL). Your salary is going to be in the range of 40-60K, hopefully on the high end.

11) Location. Where do you have ties? Where do you want to work after graduation? If you want to work in TX, it's not going to help you to go to a school in NYC or Boston, since you'll have few opportunities to work during the year.

12) Major metro area. Somewhere where there are a ton of small firms and legal offices who might need part-time or internship help. Look, these firms don't care how well you did in Corporations your 2L year, they care about what experience you can bring to the table so they don't have to handhold you and you can start turning a profit right away.

Now, some caveats:

Why don't you want to work biglaw? Is it the work-life balance? Because small firms can be just as bad and work you just as many or more hours. Do you know what kind of work you're going to do? Because there aren't very many small firms that do work for F500 corporations. Do you know what the salaries and career potential are going to be? Because there are some avenues in the law that are essentially closed to you if you go this route.

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twenty
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby twenty » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:27 pm

As miserable as you think biglaw is going to be, I promise you that starting your own firm right out of law school will be significantly worse. Not only will you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, your salary will entirely depend on you. With biglaw, if you show up to work, do your job, and come in the next morning, you're probably pretty okay. When you start your own firm, you pretty much take your life/livelihood into your hands. And if you decide that the small firm life isn't for you, your only real choice is to team up with another small practice.

That doesn't even take into account that you'll be making a 3-4x lower salary, and that you'll likely be working about the same hours as your biglaw peers. The only real mitigating factor is that hopefully you'll have virtually no debt.

If I were interested in working "fewer hours" in law, probably attend the best T14 you can and then try and pick up a federal attorney honors program/top state clerkship to lateral into a city attorney position. The LRAP will be substantially better, and you might actually be able to achieve a 40-hour/week work schedule in law some day.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:36 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:As miserable as you think biglaw is going to be, I promise you that starting your own firm right out of law school will be significantly worse. Not only will you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, your salary will entirely depend on you. With biglaw, if you show up to work, do your job, and come in the next morning, you're probably pretty okay. When you start your own firm, you pretty much take your life/livelihood into your hands. And if you decide that the small firm life isn't for you, your only real choice is to team up with another small practice.

That doesn't even take into account that you'll be making a 3-4x lower salary, and that you'll likely be working about the same hours as your biglaw peers. The only real mitigating factor is that hopefully you'll have virtually no debt.

If I were interested in working "fewer hours" in law, probably attend the best T14 you can and then try and pick up a federal attorney honors program/top state clerkship to lateral into a city attorney position. The LRAP will be substantially better, and you might actually be able to achieve a 40-hour/week work schedule in law some day.


At least in Orange County and LA, attorneys at the DA's office work max 40 hrs unless there's some extenuating circumstance. The work can be grueling and a little depressive with some of the characters involved, but yea, if you're looking for a solid work/life balance that is the way to go. To achieve it, lower T14 + solid LRAP or strong regional with $$$$ is TCR

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what your looking for?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:03 pm

badaboom61 wrote:Government and PI jobs are more competitive than biglaw, and small firm hiring is a very random process that often leads to jobs that require biglaw hours for 1/4 the pay.

This (about government/PI) comes up a lot, and I don't think it's strictly true. It is for national-level things like fed gov or the ACLU. But I don't think it's strictly true for working as a DA/PD or state government (like the city attorney job mentioned). I don't mean to say these jobs are easy to get and falling from the trees into the laps of all below-T14 grads. But I think if you go to school in the region where you want to practice, and you use your time in law school to intern (or work for pay) and make connections, these jobs are attainable and don't require going to the best T14 you can get into. (I mean, I don't think going to the T14 hurts, especially if it's local to where you want to work, but I don't think it's necessary and going to a more regional school on a full ride might make more sense. Of course, T14 on full ride works is always lovely, if you can swing it.) The hard part about these jobs is that you tend to have to work towards them from the start of school - it's harder to use them as a backup if you find yourself in 3L unemployed after having gunned for biglaw, because others will have been laying the foundation for these jobs from the time they started school.

Again, not to say that these jobs are guaranteed or easy to get (because these days nothing is easy to get), but I wanted to throw that out there. (Kind of expanding on what jbagelboy said.)

(I also think small firm hiring is slightly less random in that I know a number of people working for the small firms they clerked for during law school - so again, being local can help for this kind of hiring. But it's true it's nowhere near predictable like the biglaw 2L OCI -> SA -> permanent job model, and big law hours with way less pay is definitely a thing, too.)

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PatriotP74
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Scotusnerd
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:48 pm

PatriotP74 wrote:I don't doubt starting my own firm right out of school would be stressful, and I'm not necessarily saying that's what id want to do, but it doesn't scare me either, i know a lot of people go to law school to work in law not have to do finance, accounting, and law. But being in control of my own life and livelihood that's ideal stress to me!


Be warned. There are companies out there that will eat solo lawyers alive so they can get shoddy legal work done and leave you holding the shitstick. If you're serious about going the solo route, you really, really, REALLY need to find a solid contact network of attorneys who can help you and give you advice. I don't think a lot of people understand the difficult choices a solo has to make when it comes to ethics versus business.

I'd try for a state trial clerkship in an area you want to practice in and do everything in your power to establish a network with existing attorneys. As for law schools, I'd go for something that has a good regional influence, that you can attend with minimal debt, and that you can meet a lot of lawyers in. Grades are a secondary concern for a solo.

I've heard plenty of horror stories of how lawyers and other companies will mess up rookie lawyers. I really, really reccommend you spend some time working for someone else before you try and jump in the shark pool.

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IAFG
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:51 pm

Being a solo to control your own livelihood is like choosing homelessness so you don't have to deal with a landlord.

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hichvichwoh
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby hichvichwoh » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:55 pm

IAFG wrote:Being a solo to control your own livelihood is like choosing homelessness so you don't have to deal with a landlord.


Lawl, I like this.

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DrStudMuffin
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby DrStudMuffin » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:00 pm

IAFG wrote:Being a solo to control your own livelihood is like choosing homelessness so you don't have to deal with a landlord.


I agree that immediately out of law school this is true, but there's no reason an enterprising individual can't be successful at this with a little experience, some start-up capital, and a solid network. I personally know someone who started a successful solo after two years of firm experience.

However, I'll also agree that for most law students this isn't the case. Just wanted to point out that starting a solo isn't always quite as bleak as you make it appear.

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PatriotP74
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IAFG
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:25 pm

You are INSANE if you think as a young solo you meaningfully control the work you take on. Unless that means you choose to do "nothing" instead of "whatever comes through the door."

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PatriotP74
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IAFG
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:43 pm

Listen. Being a small business owner AND lawyer is going to be stressful as fuck, combined with huge hours, doing networking, marketing and developing actual lawyering competence. Compare to working at a firm, where you can go into a certain practice area, focus primarily on lawyering and becoming a good lawyer. Very small firms aren't going to so much to alleviate the pressure to bring in clients.

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moonman157
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby moonman157 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:02 pm

The options in the poll aren't exhaustive and don't include correct responses like regional powerhouses with little to no debt

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PatriotP74
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PatriotP74
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mr. wednesday
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:14 pm

If you have family money and connections, you could minimize debt, spend three years of law school making connections, and borrow money from your family to start up a solo firm.

If you aren't coming from that place, your best bet is probably biglaw anyway. You can spend a few years paying off debt, saving for start-up money for your own firm, making connections and learning how to be a lawyer. If, when you're a 3rd or 4th year, you still want to go solo, you'll be more prepared for it and more capable of doing the work.

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PatriotP74
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twenty
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Re: Choosing schools if biglaw isn't what you're looking for?

Postby twenty » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:21 pm

Is there anyone on here that has gone to those low unranked schools that so many on here hate, or you know someone who has, like where are they and how are they doing? 100's graduate from them so they have to be somewhere!


Yeah, many of them are unemployed/underemployed. TTT/TTTT schools are notorious for turning out 30%-40% completely unemployed graduates. Regent University, which is actually on the upper end of TTT schools, is still god-awful.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=regent

EDIT> On top of this, a lot of "full rides" at TTT/TTTT schools are contingent on remaining above a certain cut off. That means, for example, if you're at median while your scholarship stipulates you need to be in the top 1/3, you can say goodbye to your "full ride."




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