ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:34 am

C0NFUSED0L wrote:one of these posts I will figure out how to quote, haha.

While on a black/white scale it seems obvious to retake, I wish I had known that in September or even December. At this point, though, I am resigned to going to school this fall. I just can't push off going to school for a year, as I will be almost 24 when I start.

Consdering I would be in on a full scholarship though, doesn't that seem to set me up for success and make me way more likely to be one of the 2/10 grads getting good job or 6/10 getting any job? (less pressure due to no stips/no debt, and good #'s compared to classmates)

Additionally, due to the fact that I would have 'minimal debt' (i'd venture to say 20-25k TOTAL if i went to dozo), wouldn't I have a lot of options within and outside of the law world? I am confident in my intellect and abilities, but the real kicker for me is that I would be in as much debt as the average undergrad, yet with a JD.

I know this wouldn't compare with a 173 > Harvard > world is my oyster, but considering my situation (S.O., family/friends in NYC area, strong desire to attend in fall '14) is it really THAT bad?


Actually, dude, you can take the June LSAT. Law schools are desperate these days, and almost all will waive their admission deadlines for someone with a GPA like yours and an LSAT above median. Even if you MUST go to law school this year, you owe it to yourself to do this.

With that said, with you're numbers, you're in full-ride territory for WUSTL even if you don't retake. They are generous, and have a low COL. The disclaimer is that I went there, and I'll be honest, it's got placement problems of its own, but going there on a full ride would be a lot better than the options you have currently listed.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:49 am

Bedsole wrote:
C0NFUSED0L wrote:Great points all.

Is it unreasonable to go into Cardozo with the mindset of:

"I am highly confident that I can finish in the top 20 percent, while being aware that everyone thinks this way.

But if I don't, my life isn't over debt-wise, and I hope to get lucky (by means of a connection/current employer/find a different job that i have the freedom to take due to minor financial constraints)"

as opposed to re-taking, getting a 168, and being in a similar position next year with maybe slightly different offers but an equally difficult decision.

my current job is low-paying. it's not enough to live on in NYC. i'm out of my parents house regardless after this year, and I don't know if the rent will be taken care of if I'm not in school...i know it's hard to go case-by-case like this...

You are statistically unlikely to be much above median, and no amount of hard work can guarantee you anything. It may be hard to conceptualizer that, but this is not a case where effort is rewarded by success. You are curved against your classmates. Some people just get it and some just don't, and there's no way of knowing which you are until it is too late. I might also add that grades give you a shot at a job, they don't guarantee one.


Yup. Law school exams are nothing like college exams or standardized tests. In fact, the development and grading of law school exams is about as unstandardized as it gets. There's a lot of randomness and subjectivity to your grades, and no matter how much you study and understand the law, it's no guarantee that your law professor will grade you highly. In fact, it wouldn't shock me if a law professor that authored a treatise in one area of law took a law exam in that area of law with the rest of a T14 class (and had it blindly graded) ended up getting a below median grade just for phrasing things differently than the grading professor wanted.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:58 am

blink wrote:JC, while you're at it, mind tossing your opinions my way? I posted on the last page. Thanks for this thread all.


Honestly, I know next to nothing about JAG hiring. One person I know from my T20 school is doing it right now. I think she got pretty good grades, as in top 15% or so. At least. That's all I can tell you.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby NYstate » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:06 am

worldtraveler wrote:PAYE is a great thing but I think people are being overly reliant on it. 10 years of your life is a long, long time. You are really trapped in just the public sector because your loan balance will have grown so much while you're making tiny payments.

I'm on IBR with LRAP and my loans will be gone in 10 years or so. But wow it's still stressful whenever I get a loan statement and I always have a nagging thought that if I change careers or just get a dream job offer that is not PAYE eligible, I can't take it without serious financial consequences.

PAYE is more of a chain than an easy way out. My expensive degree is worth it for me because my field is ultra competitive, but if you just want basic PI at a DA or PD office or legal aid in a small city I really don't know if it's worth the stress.


PAYE is 20 years with a tax bomb at the end. It is available to everyone unless they had loans before Oct. 2007. It is not job dependent.

LRAP is job dependent and is 10 years.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby redsoxfan1989 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:27 am

JC, I asked this at the beginning of the thread but what do you think off $165k for Michigan versus $45k for BU or BC for someone looking to work in Boston, shooting for BigLaw, but would be happy with a state government position in Mass. Assume that I can pay for the first year's tuition and expenses out of savings (or my entire career at BU/BC). Does your opinion change if BU/BC offers a full ride?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Winston1984 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:40 am

JC and other folks answering questions, I know this isn't exactly the right forum to ask about ties, but I wanted to clarify something with people actually practicing/people who have been through the job search. I have strong ties to a southern state (don't want to say which one to keep some anonymity), but there are several other southern states I would love to be in. So for example, if I have lived in TN for 15 years, went to college there, etc, would it hurt to take a school like Wake/UNC at a severe discount if I'd rather be in NC? Basically are ties relegated to a state unless it's a major market for that area (for the south I would assume Atlanta is the only major market)?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby mi-chan17 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:12 am

How did I miss this thread? Anyway, attorney checking in.

I'm not hardcore like JC, so I probably won't go back and comment on all of the previous ones, but I wanted to offer something to this dude:
blink wrote:Goals: JAG/USAO
Ties: Ohio
Schools: Lower T-14 sticker, Vandy WashU OSU (no word on $$$), UCLA Minnesota (30k/yr scholarships)
Other info: no spouse, will need to loan COA.


In terms of JAG, which branches in particular are you targeting? Some are easier to get than others (but note that's a comparison - they're all tough as fuck to get).

In terms of which school to go to, it's hard to say without knowing what kind of money you'd be looking at from Vandy, WashU, and OSU.

JAG, in my experience, is less concerned with your school's preftige and not overly concerned with your grades (though good grades certainly don't hurt). If I were you, I'd go to whichever school of those listed gave you lowest COA. Just know, though, that you want to go somewhere you won't mind trying to find a non-JAG job from. JAG is extremely competitive, and most people typically have to apply through multiple cycles to finally get an interview. So be prepared for that.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:24 am

mi-chan17 wrote:
JAG, in my experience, is less concerned with your school's preftige and not overly concerned with your grades (though good grades certainly don't hurt). If I were you, I'd go to whichever school of those listed gave you lowest COA. Just know, though, that you want to go somewhere you won't mind trying to find a non-JAG job from. JAG is extremely competitive, and most people typically have to apply through multiple cycles to finally get an interview. So be prepared for that.


From my conversations with a JAG recruiter, the big thing they're trying to suss out when they read your application is A) does this person actually WANT to be a JAG officer, or did they just strike out at OCI and now they're sending out applications everywhere in a panic and B) will this person adjust well/fit in/be able to handle the military? Do they understand the implications of it?

Stuff that helps includes: military experience (this is a big one...it proves you get the military, can handle it, and that you're basically medically qualified for military service. A ton of applicants get bounced for medical reasons they were totally unaware of.) and public service experience (demonstrates that you're not just looking for a fall back or planning on leaving the military at the first opportunity to chase a private sector paycheck.)

They're not super school preftige/grades conscious, although obviously it helps. If it's between a guy from a T14 and a guy from a TTTT, all other things being equal, of course they're going to take the T14er.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby kemosabe » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:06 pm

I'm not sure that I necessarily fit the parameters of this thread, but thought I'd give this a shot:

Goal(s): Clerkship, Biglaw, Fed Gov, Academia (pipedream)
Regional Ties: Boston and New York (strong preference for any smaller city, but would settle)
School(s): BC, UPenn, UVA, UMich, NU AJD, Cornell, GULC (all sticker so far)

Other pertinent information:

185k in non-retirement savings, criminal and immigration law background, but not opposed to a pivot into corporate work (transactional, employment, consulting or finance related, maybe litigation). I want to maximize the odds of achieving any of my goals, but don't want to be pigeon-holed into one area of law either. Is this possible and would employers be skeptical if tried to broaden my experiences rather than specialize based on past ones?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby jk148706 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:08 pm

kemosabe wrote:I'm not sure that I necessarily fit the parameters of this thread, but thought I'd give this a shot:



Yeah, I think this thread was for non-t14s mostly. You sound like you will be OK

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby bombaysippin » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:42 pm

JCougar wrote:
cron1834 wrote:JC, what level of scholarship would you need to extract in order to justify a lower-half T14, if sticker is too high? Well, excluding GULC, obvs.


I generally think total debt for a bottom half T14 should be not too far from $100K. So at worst, you should look for about a $15K/year scholarship in a low COL area, or a $25K/year scholarship in a high COL area. But I have a lower opinion of Biglaw than most. 75% of the people I know that went into it either hate(ed) it or didn't last very long in it--but they're forced into it because of their debt. I think keeping your debt around $90K from anywhere other than HYS (where you can get a PI job of your choosing and therefore take advantage of 10-year IBR) is optimal. And yes, good PI jobs are either a) harder to get than biglaw, or 2) don't care much about your school/rank. Try getting a position at the Southern Poverty Law Center or ACLU from a school outside of the T5. It's hard.


Shortened the quote. I was wondering when you say total debt for bottom half of T14 shouldn't be too far from 100k, is that just tuition debt or you mean like COL included. I think I'm confused because with your worst case scenario scholarships, wouldn't total debt be more near 130-150k?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby blink » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:09 pm

mi-chan17 wrote:How did I miss this thread? Anyway, attorney checking in.

I'm not hardcore like JC, so I probably won't go back and comment on all of the previous ones, but I wanted to offer something to this dude:
blink wrote:Goals: JAG/USAO
Ties: Ohio
Schools: Lower T-14 sticker, Vandy WashU OSU (no word on $$$), UCLA Minnesota (30k/yr scholarships)
Other info: no spouse, will need to loan COA.


In terms of JAG, which branches in particular are you targeting? Some are easier to get than others (but note that's a comparison - they're all tough as fuck to get).

In terms of which school to go to, it's hard to say without knowing what kind of money you'd be looking at from Vandy, WashU, and OSU.

JAG, in my experience, is less concerned with your school's preftige and not overly concerned with your grades (though good grades certainly don't hurt). If I were you, I'd go to whichever school of those listed gave you lowest COA. Just know, though, that you want to go somewhere you won't mind trying to find a non-JAG job from. JAG is extremely competitive, and most people typically have to apply through multiple cycles to finally get an interview. So be prepared for that.


I'd be happy in any branch, in any location. I am prepared to aim for the Marine Corps due to the fact that since it's the hardest one to get (physically, at least) that there might be a little less overall competition. I'm not sure if that's sound logic or not at this point though. I just want to be a JAG Officer; I don't care how or where.

I agree, the scholarship decisions from those schools will help immensely, but for now, since I was trying to keep in mind what happens if I DON'T get JAG, I want to maximize my employment outcomes. Does it make sense to aim for a clerkship if JAG doesn't happen right away? That way I could do a clerkship for a year and keep reapplying to JAG.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby blink » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:14 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
mi-chan17 wrote:
JAG, in my experience, is less concerned with your school's preftige and not overly concerned with your grades (though good grades certainly don't hurt). If I were you, I'd go to whichever school of those listed gave you lowest COA. Just know, though, that you want to go somewhere you won't mind trying to find a non-JAG job from. JAG is extremely competitive, and most people typically have to apply through multiple cycles to finally get an interview. So be prepared for that.


From my conversations with a JAG recruiter, the big thing they're trying to suss out when they read your application is A) does this person actually WANT to be a JAG officer, or did they just strike out at OCI and now they're sending out applications everywhere in a panic and B) will this person adjust well/fit in/be able to handle the military? Do they understand the implications of it?

Stuff that helps includes: military experience (this is a big one...it proves you get the military, can handle it, and that you're basically medically qualified for military service. A ton of applicants get bounced for medical reasons they were totally unaware of.) and public service experience (demonstrates that you're not just looking for a fall back or planning on leaving the military at the first opportunity to chase a private sector paycheck.)

They're not super school preftige/grades conscious, although obviously it helps. If it's between a guy from a T14 and a guy from a TTTT, all other things being equal, of course they're going to take the T14er.


I don't have military experience and won't before I attend law school. How can I tailor my resume to scream JAG from the beginning? I have some significant post-undergrad leadership/service experience and a state government job during undergrad on my resume already. Is there any point in making contact with a JAG recruiter before law school? Someone already mentioned that I should email admissions offices and ask to be put in touch with JAG alums, which I'm going to do.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby mi-chan17 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:20 pm

blink wrote:I don't have military experience and won't before I attend law school. How can I tailor my resume to scream JAG from the beginning? I have some significant post-undergrad leadership/service experience and a state government job during undergrad on my resume already. Is there any point in making contact with a JAG recruiter before law school? Someone already mentioned that I should email admissions offices and ask to be put in touch with JAG alums, which I'm going to do.


Everything SpanishMain said squares with my experience.

I'd definitely be sure to email the local recruiter for whatever branches you're considering (this is especially true for USMC and USN). I'd also, straight off whenever you get to where you're going, join the relevant student groups - Military Law, National Security Law, whichever related student groups your law school has. (It's true that generally student groups mean very little, but when you're targeting something specific, it doesn't hurt to have them on there to demonstrate some interest.) Other than that, prepare your story as to why you want military.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:43 pm

redsoxfan1989 wrote:JC, I asked this at the beginning of the thread but what do you think off $165k for Michigan versus $45k for BU or BC for someone looking to work in Boston, shooting for BigLaw, but would be happy with a state government position in Mass. Assume that I can pay for the first year's tuition and expenses out of savings (or my entire career at BU/BC). Does your opinion change if BU/BC offers a full ride?


It's close as it is, but $165K for Michigan is steep. Do you have undergrad debt? K-JD? At those respective prices, it's probably a personal decision about risk and how much you think you could handle Biglaw. Do you want to work in Biglaw just to pay down the extra debt you'd take on to get Biglaw? Having a Biglaw stint on your resume may help you get another good job, but it's no guarantee. If you really think state government in Mass. is your long-term goal, I'd take BC/BU. Sure you could do this with Michigan debt and just rely on 10-year IBR, but that has its own risks, and government jobs aren't a sure thing in an era of budget cuts. I had a good government job put on hold because of the bickering going on in Washington (sequester), but it seems like they've temporarily got their shit together, so maybe that will end soon. Government jobs are one area where networking does you really well, so if you want Mass. government, BC/BU would allow you to network while you're in school and not just when you're home for break.

Also, I'd take BC/BU if either offer full rides in your case...hands down.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:53 pm

kemosabe wrote:I'm not sure that I necessarily fit the parameters of this thread, but thought I'd give this a shot:

Goal(s): Clerkship, Biglaw, Fed Gov, Academia (pipedream)
Regional Ties: Boston and New York (strong preference for any smaller city, but would settle)
School(s): BC, UPenn, UVA, UMich, NU AJD, Cornell, GULC (all sticker so far)

Other pertinent information:

185k in non-retirement savings, criminal and immigration law background, but not opposed to a pivot into corporate work (transactional, employment, consulting or finance related, maybe litigation). I want to maximize the odds of achieving any of my goals, but don't want to be pigeon-holed into one area of law either. Is this possible and would employers be skeptical if tried to broaden my experiences rather than specialize based on past ones?



How'd you get into both BC and UPenn at sticker? What's your LSAT & GPA? Assuming great numbers for both, you need to start playing the schools against one another for scholarship money. Only one worth close to sticker for your goals is UPenn.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:59 pm

Winston1984 wrote:JC and other folks answering questions, I know this isn't exactly the right forum to ask about ties, but I wanted to clarify something with people actually practicing/people who have been through the job search. I have strong ties to a southern state (don't want to say which one to keep some anonymity), but there are several other southern states I would love to be in. So for example, if I have lived in TN for 15 years, went to college there, etc, would it hurt to take a school like Wake/UNC at a severe discount if I'd rather be in NC? Basically are ties relegated to a state unless it's a major market for that area (for the south I would assume Atlanta is the only major market)?


There's two types of ties: you're school's ties and your own ties. Personally, I think your own ties matter more. Unless you're talking about HYS, the schools that place "nationally" are mostly just schools that attract a national base of students who end up going back home for a job. However, I haven't been looking for a job in the South, but I'm pretty sure that going to school within the South is somewhat kosher re: the entire South. I'd go in the state you want to practice in first, though, especially if you don't already have ties there. Just beware that your best bet at finding a job may be networking in your home state.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Winston1984 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:07 pm

JCougar wrote:
Winston1984 wrote:JC and other folks answering questions, I know this isn't exactly the right forum to ask about ties, but I wanted to clarify something with people actually practicing/people who have been through the job search. I have strong ties to a southern state (don't want to say which one to keep some anonymity), but there are several other southern states I would love to be in. So for example, if I have lived in TN for 15 years, went to college there, etc, would it hurt to take a school like Wake/UNC at a severe discount if I'd rather be in NC? Basically are ties relegated to a state unless it's a major market for that area (for the south I would assume Atlanta is the only major market)?


There's two types of ties: you're school's ties and your own ties. Personally, I think your own ties matter more. Unless you're talking about HYS, the schools that place "nationally" are mostly just schools that attract a national base of students who end up going back home for a job. However, I haven't been looking for a job in the South, but I'm pretty sure that going to school within the South is somewhat kosher re: the entire South. I'd go in the state you want to practice in first, though, especially if you don't already have ties there. Just beware that your best bet at finding a job may be networking in your home state.


This is what I figured. Thanks again for your help!

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:09 pm

Bajam wrote:
JCougar wrote:
cron1834 wrote:JC, what level of scholarship would you need to extract in order to justify a lower-half T14, if sticker is too high? Well, excluding GULC, obvs.


I generally think total debt for a bottom half T14 should be not too far from $100K. So at worst, you should look for about a $15K/year scholarship in a low COL area, or a $25K/year scholarship in a high COL area. But I have a lower opinion of Biglaw than most. 75% of the people I know that went into it either hate(ed) it or didn't last very long in it--but they're forced into it because of their debt. I think keeping your debt around $90K from anywhere other than HYS (where you can get a PI job of your choosing and therefore take advantage of 10-year IBR) is optimal. And yes, good PI jobs are either a) harder to get than biglaw, or 2) don't care much about your school/rank. Try getting a position at the Southern Poverty Law Center or ACLU from a school outside of the T5. It's hard.


Shortened the quote. I was wondering when you say total debt for bottom half of T14 shouldn't be too far from 100k, is that just tuition debt or you mean like COL included. I think I'm confused because with your worst case scenario scholarships, wouldn't total debt be more near 130-150k?


I guess I would qualify $130K as not "too far." Going to a bottom-half T14 for $130K including COL would be a borderline risk for me. I would take it depending on whether it was a market I'd want to practice in. I'd prefer to go to a school just outside the T14 that gave me close to a full ride, but that's just my personal preference.

Just remember, we're dealing with rough estimates here, because a lot really does depend on that person's situation, including 1) their other job options before law school, 2) undergrad debt, 3) COL expenses and are they covered by spouse/SO/family, 4) your personal preference for working Biglaw-type hours simply to pay off the debt you took on just to get Biglaw, etc.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:12 pm

Winston1984 wrote:JC and other folks answering questions, I know this isn't exactly the right forum to ask about ties, but I wanted to clarify something with people actually practicing/people who have been through the job search. I have strong ties to a southern state (don't want to say which one to keep some anonymity), but there are several other southern states I would love to be in. So for example, if I have lived in TN for 15 years, went to college there, etc, would it hurt to take a school like Wake/UNC at a severe discount if I'd rather be in NC? Basically are ties relegated to a state unless it's a major market for that area (for the south I would assume Atlanta is the only major market)?

I think the ties thing is all sort of a sliding scale - you having lived in (for ex.) TN for 15 years makes you less of a flight risk/a better fit for NC than, say, someone who's lived in Chicago or California, but more of a flight risk/worse fit than someone who lived those 15 years in NC, if that makes sense. And there will probably be plenty of the NC bros running around.

But I do believe you can develop ties to a particular place by going to their regional flagship. In fact, I think that someone without ties to a region who goes to the regional flagship probably has a better shot at that region than someone without ties who goes to a national school (say, roughly T14), all other things being equal (obviously if the T14er has hotshot grades and the local flagship person is median, for a lot of jobs - though not all - that will be more definitive).

So if you know you want to be in (for example) NC after you finish, go to UNC or Wake for free/with a great discount, and network your ass off all through school - intern/extern every semester you can and work locally for the summers so you can meet as many local attorneys as possible. I'd argue that working and making connections and getting your name out there is, for many kinds of jobs, are maybe even more important than grades in such a context (though good grades always help).

There are a couple of caveats to this - I think it's much less the case for biglaw than for other kinds of jobs, because biglaw is so grade/pedigree conscious; basically, if you want biglaw, you're still going to have to be in the top 10% or whatever statistic makes biglaw accessible from UNC/Wake; if you don't have that, ties/going to the regional school won't make a difference. (If you do make it up into the very very top of the class, then being local could give an edge, but not before.)

It also works better for a region that doesn't have its own T14/other top schools, so NC might be an issue because of Duke, compared to, say, FL.

And I'd say it works even better if you can move to the region and work for even just a year before starting law school there.

(This is based on my own experience moving to a small fairly insular market where I had no ties and moving around in the region, as well as that of my classmates who weren't from the region. And let's put it this way - if there's somewhere you can/want to be where you do have ties, that's something to strongly consider. But if you know for sure that you want to move to a region where you don't have ties, going to the flagship can be a way to start manufacturing them.) (Though usually if you know enough about a region to know you want to be there long-term, there's going to be something you can spin as ties.)

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby NYstate » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:27 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Someone making 40k can probably save about 5-10k a year, and that's a reasonable opportunity cost to use. You have to ignore taxes and money they'd spend to live whether in law school or not.

It's fine to err on the high side of that estimate given the intangible benefits of working and developing a career.

I think it is worth reminding 0Ls that $160,000 is about $95,000 or so after tax in NYC. The taxes are important to keep earning power in perspective.

0l from Harvard with a high paying job and others on similar circumstances, start your own thread. It isn't a sure thing that Harvard is worth sticker without knowing your goals and current jobs. I wouldn't assume you will be fine no matter what happens. This may not be the correct thread, but at least put the numbers out there so you can get some perspectives. I would never pay sticker at Harvard but I was able to go T6 for free by living at home, money my Dad had left for my education and scholarships. Sticker is a huge chain around your neck. It depends on many factors.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby NYstate » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:36 pm

mi-chan17 wrote:
blink wrote:I don't have military experience and won't before I attend law school. How can I tailor my resume to scream JAG from the beginning? I have some significant post-undergrad leadership/service experience and a state government job during undergrad on my resume already. Is there any point in making contact with a JAG recruiter before law school? Someone already mentioned that I should email admissions offices and ask to be put in touch with JAG alums, which I'm going to do.


Everything SpanishMain said squares with my experience.

I'd definitely be sure to email the local recruiter for whatever branches you're considering (this is especially true for USMC and USN). I'd also, straight off whenever you get to where you're going, join the relevant student groups - Military Law, National Security Law, whichever related student groups your law school has. (It's true that generally student groups mean very little, but when you're targeting something specific, it doesn't hurt to have them on there to demonstrate some interest.) Other than that, prepare your story as to why you want military.


You could also look at other threads here. I know there are people who have gone through the JAg process. Physical fitness and needing waivers can hinder you even if you are the best candidate otherwise. Also, if you aren't military, how do you know you want JAG or can handle it?

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kemosabe
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby kemosabe » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:50 pm

Bikeflip wrote:
kemosabe wrote:I'm not sure that I necessarily fit the parameters of this thread, but thought I'd give this a shot:

Goal(s): Clerkship, Biglaw, Fed Gov, Academia (pipedream)
Regional Ties: Boston and New York (strong preference for any smaller city, but would settle)
School(s): BC, UPenn, UVA, UMich, NU AJD, Cornell, GULC (all sticker so far)

Other pertinent information:

185k in non-retirement savings, criminal and immigration law background, but not opposed to a pivot into corporate work (transactional, employment, consulting or finance related, maybe litigation). I want to maximize the odds of achieving any of my goals, but don't want to be pigeon-holed into one area of law either. Is this possible and would employers be skeptical if tried to broaden my experiences rather than specialize based on past ones?



How'd you get into both BC and UPenn at sticker? What's your LSAT & GPA? Assuming great numbers for both, you need to start playing the schools against one another for scholarship money. Only one worth close to sticker for your goals is UPenn.


Ha not sure. I'm going to give it a month before I really head into decision making/negotiation mode. I did get an invite to apply for scholarships from GULC, so that's a good sign. I suppose there's still time for circumstances to change. I'm a splitter for most of the T14 and non-traditional, which I've heard makes for unpredictable cycles.

At this point, I'm mostly wondering about employment prospects for someone with my background and goals. I suppose I may have to focus on the non-scholarship factors affecting total COA and weigh that against the job placement numbers. I'm leaning towards UPenn based on the info I have at the moment, but it's tough knowing that it can all change quickly, and possibly at the last minute. It seems like the trick is to stay flexible for as long as possible. I will say that even with savings, sticker feels like quite a leap of faith anywhere.

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:21 pm

kemosabe wrote:
Bikeflip wrote:
kemosabe wrote:I'm not sure that I necessarily fit the parameters of this thread, but thought I'd give this a shot:

Goal(s): Clerkship, Biglaw, Fed Gov, Academia (pipedream)
Regional Ties: Boston and New York (strong preference for any smaller city, but would settle)
School(s): BC, UPenn, UVA, UMich, NU AJD, Cornell, GULC (all sticker so far)

Other pertinent information:

185k in non-retirement savings, criminal and immigration law background, but not opposed to a pivot into corporate work (transactional, employment, consulting or finance related, maybe litigation). I want to maximize the odds of achieving any of my goals, but don't want to be pigeon-holed into one area of law either. Is this possible and would employers be skeptical if tried to broaden my experiences rather than specialize based on past ones?



How'd you get into both BC and UPenn at sticker? What's your LSAT & GPA? Assuming great numbers for both, you need to start playing the schools against one another for scholarship money. Only one worth close to sticker for your goals is UPenn.


Ha not sure. I'm going to give it a month before I really head into decision making/negotiation mode. I did get an invite to apply for scholarships from GULC, so that's a good sign. I suppose there's still time for circumstances to change. I'm a splitter for most of the T14 and non-traditional, which I've heard makes for unpredictable cycles.

At this point, I'm mostly wondering about employment prospects for someone with my background and goals. I suppose I may have to focus on the non-scholarship factors affecting total COA and weigh that against the job placement numbers. I'm leaning towards UPenn based on the info I have at the moment, but it's tough knowing that it can all change quickly, and possibly at the last minute. It seems like the trick is to stay flexible for as long as possible. I will say that even with savings, sticker feels like quite a leap of faith anywhere.


It can be quite the leap of faith, but if you're going to make it, make the best leap. After factoring $185K in savings, if you really want to spend it on law school, UPenn will give you a far better shot at big law and other good starting points for a legal career for about the same amount of money as your other T14 options, to say nothing of BC. Your total loans, after the $185K savings discount, should be under $100K, which is great for UPenn, assuming you want to go to law school.

Also, why are you waiting to negotiate? If you need info, we've got a whole megathread that many of us used/lurked on as 0Ls. It should be helpful for splitters, especially when law schools know that a 170+ scorer will be harder to come by. Many schools want to keep that 170+ median, and they may be willing to look beyond a mediocre GPA, assuming you're a normal splitter of course.

As for the not wanting to be pigeonholed into 1 area of law, that's a post law school thing to worry about. First you need a job. Then you also need to ensure you get varied work.

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wsparker
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby wsparker » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:19 pm

JCougar wrote:
deadpanic wrote:Did you not get any money at Vandy, Duke, or UVA?

Those would be better options for your goals.


Yeah, this is actually better advice.


JC, I was wait listed at UVA and duke, and am not banking on much money from vandy. Would you still say Chicago sticker or a small discount from vandy?

Thanks!!




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