I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

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Hordfest

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I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby Hordfest » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:13 pm

Just wanted to get people's thoughts on the schools 15-20. I see a lot on T14 and 21-50, but not a lot shed on 15-20 as a "group" of schools. Currently that would be UT-Austin, Vandy, UCLA, WU-SL, USC, and Boston. Are they closer to the T14 in placement and in education quality? Or basically more like 21-50 where you are limited to the same state and adjacent states for the most part with regards to job placements?

Basically is there anything setting them apart from the rest of the Top 50 or should I basically be approaching them the same way I look at the rest of the non-T14 T1 schools? Thanks for your thoughts!

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:40 pm

T20 schools are kind of "super-regional" schools. They still kind of lock you down to a region, but less so than, for example, a school like Indiana University. So if you go to Wash U, that doesn't mean you have to work in St. Louis, but unless you have high grades, you're going to mostly be competitive for jobs in the Midwest and any markets you have pre-existing ties to. Same for Vanderbilt, but in the South.

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby AJordan » Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:53 pm

I also think there's some viability, admittedly tenuous, that each one of the 14-20 (including GULC here) has some kind of pull in some major market(s). This can be due to location (Texas being a big dog in both Dallas and Houston, UCLA/USC having pull in LA, BU in Boston) or just via some sort of reputation that pulls weight in a major market (Vandy touts an ability to place in NY, WashU is constantly aiming at both Chicago and NY). Therefore, those schools offer RELATIVELY more pull nationally than the schools behind them. GULC is its own interesting case because it lives on a mound of prestige IN a major market but it's so big that it still graduates hundreds of students every year that aren't competitive for BL/FC placement.

The scary thing about these schools, especially if you're paying, is their ability to hold up BL/FC numbers during a nationwide drop in job openings. If schools lose 10% of their placement next year across the board, a school like WashU starts to lose opportunities for the median student whereas a school like Cornell still holds them. More specifically, if a school places at 50% and drops to 35% that's a tougher loss for the average student than a school that places at 85% dropping to 70%, obviously. If there was some marked drop-off in the quality of students at these institutions it may be more palatable. Color me skeptical that such a drop exists between, say, a Cornell and a USC even though their placement numbers suggest it would.

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby Hordfest » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:45 pm

AJordan wrote:I also think there's some viability, admittedly tenuous, that each one of the 14-20 (including GULC here) has some kind of pull in some major market(s). This can be due to location (Texas being a big dog in both Dallas and Houston, UCLA/USC having pull in LA, BU in Boston) or just via some sort of reputation that pulls weight in a major market (Vandy touts an ability to place in NY, WashU is constantly aiming at both Chicago and NY). Therefore, those schools offer RELATIVELY more pull nationally than the schools behind them. GULC is its own interesting case because it lives on a mound of prestige IN a major market but it's so big that it still graduates hundreds of students every year that aren't competitive for BL/FC placement.

The scary thing about these schools, especially if you're paying, is their ability to hold up BL/FC numbers during a nationwide drop in job openings. If schools lose 10% of their placement next year across the board, a school like WashU starts to lose opportunities for the median student whereas a school like Cornell still holds them. More specifically, if a school places at 50% and drops to 35% that's a tougher loss for the average student than a school that places at 85% dropping to 70%, obviously. If there was some marked drop-off in the quality of students at these institutions it may be more palatable. Color me skeptical that such a drop exists between, say, a Cornell and a USC even though their placement numbers suggest it would.


cavalier1138 wrote:T20 schools are kind of "super-regional" schools. They still kind of lock you down to a region, but less so than, for example, a school like Indiana University. So if you go to Wash U, that doesn't mean you have to work in St. Louis, but unless you have high grades, you're going to mostly be competitive for jobs in the Midwest and any markets you have pre-existing ties to. Same for Vanderbilt, but in the South.


Thanks for your thoughts. As somebody with a 3.4 undergraduate GPA, (granted I'm seven years removed from that), when I run the numbers, even a very high quality LSAT score makes it very unlikely I will get accepted at a T14 at least with any scholarship money, and minimizing my debt is a goal. So it is definitely directly relevant for me to understand what the deal is with these "super-regionals" as cavalier called them since they seem much more forgiving of lower GPAs if your LSAT is still awesome.

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby Wild Card » Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:55 pm

I've seen T25 and T50.

T25 is more of an idea than a hard-and-fast cutoff.

Among the T25, I'd include the T14, plus

15. Vandy
16. WUSTL
17. Texas
18. UCLA
19. Fordham
20. USC
21. BC
22. Illinois
23. Notre Dame
24. BU
25. GWU

All these schools have 35%+ BigLaw+FedClerk. (The next best school, Emory, has 30%)

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby AJordan » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:42 am

Hordfest wrote:
AJordan wrote:I also think there's some viability, admittedly tenuous, that each one of the 14-20 (including GULC here) has some kind of pull in some major market(s). This can be due to location (Texas being a big dog in both Dallas and Houston, UCLA/USC having pull in LA, BU in Boston) or just via some sort of reputation that pulls weight in a major market (Vandy touts an ability to place in NY, WashU is constantly aiming at both Chicago and NY). Therefore, those schools offer RELATIVELY more pull nationally than the schools behind them. GULC is its own interesting case because it lives on a mound of prestige IN a major market but it's so big that it still graduates hundreds of students every year that aren't competitive for BL/FC placement.

The scary thing about these schools, especially if you're paying, is their ability to hold up BL/FC numbers during a nationwide drop in job openings. If schools lose 10% of their placement next year across the board, a school like WashU starts to lose opportunities for the median student whereas a school like Cornell still holds them. More specifically, if a school places at 50% and drops to 35% that's a tougher loss for the average student than a school that places at 85% dropping to 70%, obviously. If there was some marked drop-off in the quality of students at these institutions it may be more palatable. Color me skeptical that such a drop exists between, say, a Cornell and a USC even though their placement numbers suggest it would.


cavalier1138 wrote:T20 schools are kind of "super-regional" schools. They still kind of lock you down to a region, but less so than, for example, a school like Indiana University. So if you go to Wash U, that doesn't mean you have to work in St. Louis, but unless you have high grades, you're going to mostly be competitive for jobs in the Midwest and any markets you have pre-existing ties to. Same for Vanderbilt, but in the South.


Thanks for your thoughts. As somebody with a 3.4 undergraduate GPA, (granted I'm seven years removed from that), when I run the numbers, even a very high quality LSAT score makes it very unlikely I will get accepted at a T14 at least with any scholarship money, and minimizing my debt is a goal. So it is definitely directly relevant for me to understand what the deal is with these "super-regionals" as cavalier called them since they seem much more forgiving of lower GPAs if your LSAT is still awesome.


Kudos for asking the right questions. If you do break 170 you should probably blanket every school from 4-20 and add a few regionals where your numbers make you a shoe-in and you would like to stay and have a career. Splitter apps are notoriously difficult to predict, but with the appropriate attention and leveraging you should get a good outcome with an LSAT score above median.

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby nealric » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:24 pm

AJordan wrote:I also think there's some viability, admittedly tenuous, that each one of the 14-20 (including GULC here) has some kind of pull in some major market(s). This can be due to location (Texas being a big dog in both Dallas and Houston, UCLA/USC having pull in LA, BU in Boston) or just via some sort of reputation that pulls weight in a major market (Vandy touts an ability to place in NY, WashU is constantly aiming at both Chicago and NY). Therefore, those schools offer RELATIVELY more pull nationally than the schools behind them. GULC is its own interesting case because it lives on a mound of prestige IN a major market but it's so big that it still graduates hundreds of students every year that aren't competitive for BL/FC placement.



I know I'm biased, but I think GULC gets a somewhat bad placement rap due to the heavy federal government emphasis (which is largely self selection). If you look at LST, its Biglaw + Clerk numbers are only around 58%, but its public service number is around 17% (among the highest out there). A substantial portion of the "public service" is going to be federal government jobs at GULC. Compare to Texas, which is 35% Biglaw, 9% fed clerk, and 9% public service.

So if you include public service as a "good" outcome: GULC comes out to 75.6%, while Texas comes out to 47%. WUSTL comes out to 61.8%. GULC's numbers then look much more like Northwestern (75.9% total including public service) or UMichigan (81.1%) than they do UT or WUSTL.

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Re: I get T14 and 21-50 but what about 15-20?

Postby Hordfest » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:31 pm

nealric wrote:
AJordan wrote:I also think there's some viability, admittedly tenuous, that each one of the 14-20 (including GULC here) has some kind of pull in some major market(s). This can be due to location (Texas being a big dog in both Dallas and Houston, UCLA/USC having pull in LA, BU in Boston) or just via some sort of reputation that pulls weight in a major market (Vandy touts an ability to place in NY, WashU is constantly aiming at both Chicago and NY). Therefore, those schools offer RELATIVELY more pull nationally than the schools behind them. GULC is its own interesting case because it lives on a mound of prestige IN a major market but it's so big that it still graduates hundreds of students every year that aren't competitive for BL/FC placement.



I know I'm biased, but I think GULC gets a somewhat bad placement rap due to the heavy federal government emphasis (which is largely self selection). If you look at LST, its Biglaw + Clerk numbers are only around 58%, but its public service number is around 17% (among the highest out there). A substantial portion of the "public service" is going to be federal government jobs at GULC. Compare to Texas, which is 35% Biglaw, 9% fed clerk, and 9% public service.

So if you include public service as a "good" outcome: GULC comes out to 75.6%, while Texas comes out to 47%. WUSTL comes out to 61.8%. GULC's numbers then look much more like Northwestern (75.9% total including public service) or UMichigan (81.1%) than they do UT or WSTL.


My main interests, whether immediately following law school or long term, are working within the government or for an NGO preferably in some of capacity that is involved with environmental issues. Not necessarily a dream spot like EPA or Earthjustice, but just something along those lines whether it's Energy, Land Use, Natural Resources, Toxic Tort, etc. so that is an interesting point to consider with GULC, thanks for sharing.



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