People probably shouldn't go to a lower-ranked school with the hopes of finding some "big fish/small pond" situation. They should go to a lower-ranked school if they believe the environment/community/location offers something they need that the higher-ranked school doesn't.
UVAIce wrote:nyu2019maybeplease wrote:You and I disagree about this consistently.
Once you're in the band of schools that feed kids to Biglaw, personal performance is by a mile the most important factor in hiring. A typical kid in the top 20% at Georgetown is going to do better than a kid in the bottom half of Michigan, or even Columbia. If you know how you work, act on that information.
I say this not for purposes of making myself seem awesome: I had a pretty successful recruiting season. I feel confident it would not have gone as well had i been at NYU or Columbia, because i don't think I would have had the same grades.cavalier1138 wrote:nyu2019maybeplease wrote: If, on the other hand, you need the energy of a big city to keep you going, I wouldn't say pick Michigan over Northwestern or even Georgetown, because it doesn't have that.
Given Georgetown's employment outcomes in the private sector, I definitely wouldn't endorse this line of thinking for anyone who wants to end up at a big firm.
OP: this is why ratings bands aren't your best source of information. Look at employment numbers, debt at graduation, and what you want to do with your degree.
So I hear people make this kind of comment fairly often, but it's been my experience that students who are at the top of the class at one law school tend to do fine, if not just as well, a at higher rated law schools. As much as branding tries to state otherwise, the difference in quality of students between a Georgetown and a Columbia is pretty small. Do not pick UVA or Michigan over a Harvard because you think that you'll get better grades at a lower T-14 school. You could be in for a rude awakening - I personally know many people who picked lower-T-14 schools over a HYS or CCN and they did not blow it out of the water grade wise (they did, however, all have good outcomes).