Goal(s): Biglaw, PI, etc.
Regional Ties: Any ties that are substantial enough to sell in an interview, especially if they show up on your resume
School(s): Name of school and total cost to attend (NOT the total scholarship award) after scholarships and cost of living
Other pertinent information: Undergrad loans, GI bill, spouse who covers COA, etc.
I thought we might be able to condense some of the chatter about why you shouldn't attend most schools outside the T14 without a substantial scholarship, especially if it isn't a state flagship that places well in a market that is not oversaturated.
I know that a number of practicing attorneys, such as reasonable man, rad lulz, me, etc. are raring for chances to break down why your top choice is bad, backed with loads of stats as well as anecdotal data. So tell us any school that you are seriously considering outside the T14, and we'll tell you why it's bad. I'll try to keep a running tally of bad schools, and if this takes off, I'll include links to the start of a discussion about why that school is a profit mongering degree mill.
Just to keep the advice as practical as possible, please limit advice posts to post-grads (although jobless 3Ls may have some input).
Practicing attorneys ready to pounce:
Do not go under any circumstances
UC Irvine (employment numbers are good, but there are too many unknowns, and the bottom could fall out at any time)
Might be worth it for free/near free (assuming you have ties or the region doesn't require ties)
Chicago-Kent (borderline with don't go; market is really saturated, Kent is low on the totem pole)
Emory (COL alone is enough to incur $75k debt, less than 70% tuition isn't worth it)
Reasonable alternative for half or better scholarship
BC/BU ($75k-$100k total cost; >50% scholly)
UNC(in-state or half)/Wake
ND (50% is borderline, maybe more like 75% scholly)
Might be worth it at sticker (lol)
Jury still out (discussion ongoing):
Paul Campos wrote:I've made this suggestion a couple of times before and will make it again, as it seems especially germane to this excellent conversation:
Discussions of this type need to take into account as explicitly as possible the likely opportunity cost which will be incurred by the prospective law student. I get emails on a regular basis from people who are making $60K or more in stable jobs featuring good benefits, who are thinking about going to law school. Such people are in a radically different position than people with non-marketable undergrad degrees, working ten dollar an hour retail jobs with no benefits and zero job security.
This is an obvious point, but it's not one of the pieces of information people are asked to provide by the message stickied at the top of the forum.