Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby dogmatic slumber » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:04 pm

lebroniousjames wrote:*assumption "BigLaw=NLJ250

T20 schools like BC/BU/GW/Fordham placed +30% in BigLaw in 2009. After that the drop off becomes fairly steep, but I don't think a "10% or bust" generalization fits for certain T20 schools. That figure is probably more accurate in the 40-60 range


Yeah and Vandy was at 47%, USC 41%, UCLA 36% (link). But as someone pointed out to me in another thread, the Class of 2009 interviewed for summer associate positions in 2007, and those SA's received their offers in 2008. Since then, big firms have slashed their SA slots and laid off a bunch of lawyers. It's anyone's guess as to what T20 Biglaw placement looks like right now percentage-wise, but I think we can safely assume things have taken a sharp turn for the worse. I certainly hope "top-10% or bust" is an exaggeration, but ITE I wouldn't be completely surprised if it's not.

Also, echoing mallard, BC/BU/Fordham are not T20, for what it's worth (ITE, probably not much).

270910
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby 270910 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:07 pm

God fucking damn it, the NLJ 250 vs. Big Law question has been settled for a long time now.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=80439

Voyager
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby Voyager » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:10 pm

disco_barred wrote:God fucking damn it, the NLJ 250 vs. Big Law question has been settled for a long time now.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=80439


Now we can say with some degree of confidence that in 2007 roughly 54% of the total spots in the NLJ 250 went to graduates of the top 14 law schools.


YAY! Now, all we need is your time machine and we are aaaallllll set.....

Never mind the fact that even in 2007 your point missed a key little fact. Number of schools in the top14? Um... 14. Number of the rest? 186 (or so).... so.... kind of proves what we are saying. Even back then, those 46% of NLJ250 slots going to non-t14 were spread out among a huge number of schools.

bigben
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Re:

Postby bigben » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:16 pm

chris0805 wrote:I think the point about learning from your other students is an important point to consider. I am currently getting a master's at public institution which I won't name. When I came to visit, it was apparent that my scores were "overqualified" and that I was an attractive candidate. It feels good to be at or close to the top in your class/department, but it gets unchallenging and dull very very fast. I'd rather have student rip apart my argument than tell me how smart I am to think of an answer.

Bright students are often even more important to a class dynamic than bright professors. This does not mean that you can't get bright students at a top 50, but I think it's realistic to assume that the best and the brightest will often be found and the top ranked schools.

I also question how indicative the stories of top school kids not getting jobs are to the larger trends. I know a lot of schools boast employment rates close to or over 97 or 98 %. From my understanding that represents full time legal employment though I could be mistaken.

Lol. I'm confident that your grad school experience doesn't compare to law school at all.

EDIT: Doh! Two year old post.

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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby bigben » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:23 pm

bk1 wrote:
El_Gallo wrote:I notice that this thread has been dead for a few years. Anybody want to weigh in if WesternLawGirl's advice is still applicable in the current economy?


While you should have just started a new thread (a few months old is fine, necroing after years is ridic), I will respond.

I only read the OP, but the problem with her reasoning is that she assumes finishing at the top of a lower school is equal in chance to finishing median at a top school, which it is not.


This point seems somewhat debatable. I realize your position is the conventional wisdom on the matter and I know the arguments in support of that. Nonetheless, I'm not entirely convinced that (a) the difference in probabilities is all that great, or that (b) playing the probabilities game is all that useful.

What I mean by (b) is that other considerations overcome the probabilities game, for example, just knowing that you will graduate with no debt probably would actually make you do better in law school because the pressure is off. Factoring in some risk. Maybe you'll be more comfortable geographically. Etc.
Last edited by bigben on Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sell Manilla
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby Sell Manilla » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:31 pm

Voyager wrote: Betting you will be in the top 10% of the class seems foolhardy

Undergradut wrote:If you just pick an incoming T-50 1L at random, then it'd be foolhardy to bet he/she will be in the top 10%.
Is it foolhardy, though, to make the bet when you know the incoming 1L has a track record (GPA, LSAT, etc..) that is just as good as that of a Columbia incoming 1L? This is the relevant question.


Aside from bk1's point that these factors aren't very good predictors, you'd have to know what % of the class is composed of overqualified, numbers-boosting, scholarship-snagging students. If it's over 10%, which I've heard it tends to be, and your goal is to get top 10%, you're not really that overqualified.

Granted, it's arguably still easier to hit top 10% at a lower ranked school, 'cause your "equals" might only be 20%, rather than 75%, but I'd assume not as simple as OP made it sound: "Take the money, work your ass off, auto top of class".

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A'nold
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby A'nold » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:42 pm

It has been my experience talking to tons of people through the years that LSAT score is an especially good predictor of 1L success when you are talking about t2 and lower schools. Once a school has LSAT medians closer to 165 and up though, you are looking at less of a correllation.

For example, at my school, peeps with a 160+ have averaged like top 1/3 to top 1/4 for the last few years.

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Sell Manilla
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby Sell Manilla » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:44 pm

^ Thanks.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby dogmatic slumber » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:45 pm

bigben wrote:other considerations overcome the probabilities game, for example, just knowing that you will graduate with no debt probably would actually make you do better in law school because the pressure is off.


I would expect the opposite, all else being equal. Seems to me a looming mountain of debt should light a fire under your ass.

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bk1
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:50 pm

bigben wrote:This point seems somewhat debatable. I realize your position is the conventional wisdom on the matter and I know the arguments in support of that. Nonetheless, I'm not entirely convinced that (a) the difference in probabilities is all that great, or that (b) playing the probabilities game is all that useful.

What I mean by (b) is that other considerations overcome the probabilities game, for example, just knowing that you will graduate with no debt probably would actually make you do better in law school because the pressure is off. Factoring in some risk. Maybe you'll be more comfortable geographically. Etc.


Honestly though, you really think that people would do better on exams when they don't have debt (by a significant margin enough to justify sacrificing rank)? That seems highly contentious.

By comfortable geographically I assume you mean things like being okay with winters in Chicago or being in a big city. Though for some people this may seriously affect them, I would assume the vast major of law students can get over these sorts of things and buckle down to get done what needs to be done.

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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby bigben » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:23 am

dogmatic slumber wrote:
bigben wrote:other considerations overcome the probabilities game, for example, just knowing that you will graduate with no debt probably would actually make you do better in law school because the pressure is off.


I would expect the opposite, all else being equal. Seems to me a looming mountain of debt should light a fire under your ass.

Could affect different people differently. It is certainly necessary to have a fire under your ass, but I'd personally get enough of that just from the challenge of law school and the prospect of reward. The added pressure of debt doesn't add anything, and it can detract from the experience.

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A'nold
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby A'nold » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:27 am

Also: It really depends on what you want to do. Regardless of what all of the t14 or busters on here will tell you, you really don't need a high ranked school for a lot of legal jobs. My chosen industry, personal injury (it is a great field, also contrary to popular opinion) couldn't give a crap where you go, as the attorneys I work for tell me constantly.

bigben
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby bigben » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:36 am

bk1 wrote:
bigben wrote:This point seems somewhat debatable. I realize your position is the conventional wisdom on the matter and I know the arguments in support of that. Nonetheless, I'm not entirely convinced that (a) the difference in probabilities is all that great, or that (b) playing the probabilities game is all that useful.

What I mean by (b) is that other considerations overcome the probabilities game, for example, just knowing that you will graduate with no debt probably would actually make you do better in law school because the pressure is off. Factoring in some risk. Maybe you'll be more comfortable geographically. Etc.


Honestly though, you really think that people would do better on exams when they don't have debt (by a significant margin enough to justify sacrificing rank)? That seems highly contentious.

I do think it's debatable. Does the carrot or the stick work better? And what is the carrot anyway? I'd say it's not just the six figure job but also just a sense of achievement and opportunity to find a job you love that still pays the bills...the latter two things are great reasons to excel in law school but they are obfuscated by the pressure of debt.

By comfortable geographically I assume you mean things like being okay with winters in Chicago or being in a big city. Though for some people this may seriously affect them, I would assume the vast major of law students can get over these sorts of things and buckle down to get done what needs to be done.

I was thinking more about friends and family being nearby.

lebroniousjames
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby lebroniousjames » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:46 pm

mallard wrote:lebronius, can you link us?

Also, none of the schools you listed (well, maybe GW?) are in the T20.




lol. I think I was referring to the rankings for NLJ placement (which would seem to be better than US News after T-14 once you take into account % federal clerkships/academia but w/e)

here is the link for NLJ 2010:

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... hbxlogin=1

there is another graph that shows NLJ+clerkships, but I don't remember where I found it.
Last edited by lebroniousjames on Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby lebroniousjames » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:55 pm

I know people are bugged out but unless the numbers from last year drastically change this upcoming cycle, it appears some of the consternation may be overblown. The pitfall, however, could be in the available opportunities after you hit the BigLaw threshold going down. But based on the stats, it doesn't look like T-14 (and even going down to T-20 NLJ rank) are hurting (that) badly compared to what is being portrayed by the doomsayers. I highly doubt going to Harvard is going to be a risky decision any time soon. Perhaps the Harvard alumnus delivery boy just cannot tear him/herself away from the smell of pizza...perfectly good explanation, you can't put a value on quality of life :)

acdisagod
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby acdisagod » Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:13 pm

In no way did this post demonstrate that a top 50 school is not worth it. Proving that doing well at a top 50 is worth it does not mean going to a top 10 is not worth it.

As for your example of people at your school doing better than Yale graduates, two or three exceptions are not the rule. Sure you could hope you are in the top 5 percent of your class, but the truth of the matter is 95% will not be in the top 5%. The vast majority of students at Harvard and Yale will receive better job offers than students at a top 50. Even at half scholarship, you can really only save 75k by going to a lower ranked school. Over a 40 year career, that 75k, even with interest, is negligble. Not to mention, it is hard to put a price on happiness and you are much mroe likely to get a job you desire coming out of Harvard than you are coming out of brooklyn.

Informative
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby Informative » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:04 pm

lebroniousjames wrote:
dogmatic slumber wrote:
Undergradut wrote:
Betting you will be in the top 10% of the class seems foolhardy


If you just pick an incoming T-50 1L at random, then it'd be foolhardy to bet he/she will be in the top 10%.

Is it foolhardy, though, to make the bet when you know the incoming 1L has a track record (GPA, LSAT, etc..) that is just as good as that of a Columbia incoming 1L? This is the relevant question.


I'm sure in extreme cases (like the basketball analogy above--LeBron preparing to square off against first-graders--or someone with CLS stats going to Cooley) there's some predictive value there. But what I'm struck by is how WesternLawGirl's sentiments *ITE* seem more applicable to schools just outside the T14 (UCLA, Vandy, USC, etc.), and there's not that much statistical difference between the average T20 student and the average CLS student. The GPAs are close, and the LSAT gap is what, 5-7 points? Maybe the CLS-quality student would have a slight leg up on exams all else being equal, but I wouldn't bet on it. That's why taking the money at a T20 right now is arguably an even bigger gamble than paying sticker at CLS: regardless of how much smaller your debt load will be, it's basically top-10% or bust if you want Biglaw, and I think it would be quite foolhardy to assume that CLS-worthy stats make a student significantly more likely to get that ranking.

As for whatever school WesternLawGirl went to, probably safe to say it's not generating comparable success stories ITE. More like top-1% or bust.



*assumption "BigLaw=NLJ250

T20 schools like BC/BU/GW/Fordham placed +30% in BigLaw in 2009. After that the drop off becomes fairly steep, but I don't think a "10% or bust" generalization fits for certain T20 schools. That figure is probably more accurate in the 40-60 range


BC, BU, GW and Fordham are not your typical Top tier schools. They will consistently place better than the most of the other T1 schools outside of the T14.

nycparalegal
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:10 pm

I know this is only a hunch, but I feel like Western Girl would be singing a different tune ITE.

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:11 pm

nycparalegal wrote:I know this is only a hunch, but I feel like Western Girl would be singing a different tune ITE.


ROFL @ posts from 2005. esp. posts like this.

lebroniousjames
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby lebroniousjames » Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:28 pm

T20 schools like BC/BU/GW/Fordham placed +30% in BigLaw in 2009. After that the drop off becomes fairly steep, but I don't think a "10% or bust" generalization fits for certain T20 schools. That figure is probably more accurate in the 40-60 range[/quote]



"BC, BU, GW and Fordham are not your typical Top tier schools. They will consistently place better than the most of the other T1 schools outside of the T14.[/quote]"


---how is that different from what I said?

Nacirema
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby Nacirema » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:14 am

wow there are no jobs

blsingindisguise
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:22 am

Undergradut wrote:
Betting you will be in the top 10% of the class seems foolhardy


If you just pick an incoming T-50 1L at random, then it'd be foolhardy to bet he/she will be in the top 10%.

Is it foolhardy, though, to make the bet when you know the incoming 1L has a track record (GPA, LSAT, etc..) that is just as good as that of a Columbia incoming 1L? This is the relevant question.


YES!

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K.R.I.T.
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby K.R.I.T. » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:39 pm

Shit. Should have gone to business school.

mcdoc
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Re:

Postby mcdoc » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:04 pm

.

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Verity
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Re: Save Your Money: Top Ranked Schools Aren't Worth It

Postby Verity » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:19 pm

I could still try my hand at cardiology.....?




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