Taking regional

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r1tlv50
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Taking regional

Postby r1tlv50 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:27 pm

Hi TLS, long-time lurker/first-time poster here...

Are there any forums or users here that have taken $ at a regional school, crushed grades, and landed mid/big law? I am in something of a jam as my numbers (165/3.9) put me on the fringe of the T14 and I'm pretty debt-averse, so for those reasons I'm looking at lower-ranked schools. There are several schools in my area (Philadelphia) that still place ~20% in BigLaw, and I was wondering if anyone had experience in making a similar decision.

Yes, I am considering retaking the LSAT, just not sure how much higher I can reasonably get it.

BigZuck
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Re: Taking regional

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:33 pm

Of course it happens to lots of people. But you can't really predict how you will do going in and grades, while important, aren't the only factor when it comes to big law hiring.

Retake if you want big law.

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r1tlv50
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Re: Taking regional

Postby r1tlv50 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:47 pm

hmmm...that does seem to be more or less the consensus on TLS. My issue is that realistically most of us aren't going to score well into the 170s and short of that you're looking at a ton of debt at higher-ranked schools. Flagship with COL to attend for three years and ~20% shot doesn't seem all that much worse to me than sticker at lower t14 and a 60(ish)% shot at biglaw, and regional schools are more doable if OCI doesn't pan out

BigZuck
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Re: Taking regional

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 01, 2015 3:57 pm

Then readjust your goals/expectations if you can't/won't do what you need to do

Also, not everyone gets to be a BIG LAWYER. There are certain things you have to do/hoops you have to jump through. If you can't/won't do that stuff you probably can't/won't be a BIG LAWYER. Which is fine, just gotta make your peace with that.

Looking at percentages (which sometimes change a lot year to year BTW) isn't the greatest way to think about your individual chances. They can be much better or worse than that depending on lots of factors. I do think the chances of most run of the mill T14ers to get big law is probably a solid clip above 60% while a generic person just barely in the top 20% at the types of schools you're thinking of is probably on the outside looking in.

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r1tlv50
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Re: Taking regional

Postby r1tlv50 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:15 pm

Good perspective, little different than I was thinking.

I pulled the 60% number from the BigLaw + FedClerk percentages posted a while back. That is not perfect because some grads undoubtedly choose to go into public interest or gov. over a Biglaw job, but it's a ballpark.

I've actually been a little luckier than I'd thought and am hitting 1-for-1 this cycle (in at Northwestern). I'm not holding my breath for significant $, though, LSAT just ain't there. I will likely have to consider what you mentioned on realistic job expectations at a regional school and employment outside Biglaw

Btw if anyone has links for TLS posts or outside articles from people who have chosen a lower-ranked school for $$$$$, I'd be appreciative. I've found some stuff but would welcome more

NonTradLawHopeful
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Re: Taking regional

Postby NonTradLawHopeful » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:20 pm

Most people would kill to have your GPA. Bumping your LSAT just a few points higher and applying early next cycle would really open a lot of doors for you.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Taking regional

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:25 pm

r1tlv50 wrote:My issue is that realistically most of us aren't going to score well into the 170s and short of that you're looking at a ton of debt at higher-ranked schools.

I understand the desire to avoid a retake at all costs as I was in your shoes several years ago, only without the killer GPA. But the truth is that just another 2-3 points can get you pretty close to a full ride within the T-14. At the very least hang in there with Northwestern until you get your June retake score back; it's very possible that with a 168 (their current median) they'd give you another 100k or so in the summer.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Taking regional

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:46 pm

Agree with the above about retaking
With your GPA you will be getting sick full rides with 168+
But yes, there are people on here who took a full ride at a regional, killed it, and now have big law

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r1tlv50
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Re: Taking regional

Postby r1tlv50 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:01 pm

Huh..that's funny. I may have been being a little too pessimistic. 168 was my preptest high and also my mode (got it on 3 or 4 tests), but I definitely wasn't counting on that as being a full ride in the T14-T20. Honestly, I'd be stoked to go to NU (Justice Stevens, baby!) or comparable schools with $$$$. Just not down with the 300k in the hole business

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bearsfan23
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Re: Taking regional

Postby bearsfan23 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:12 pm

I'm not sure what advice you're looking for here. Looking for individual anecdotes of success is an incredibly dumb way to make a decision about the rest of your life. You have 2 pretty clear options:

1. Go to a lower T14, most likely without any $. Probably around a 50-70% chance of BigLaw (impossible to know without knowing anything about you), but huge debt.

2. Go to a regional school with full $$$$ and plan for a legal career outside of BigLaw, because there's a greater than 80% chance you won't get it.

If you're not comfortable with either of those options, either re-take or don't go

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r1tlv50
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Re: Taking regional

Postby r1tlv50 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:26 pm

I'm not sure what advice you're looking for here. Looking for individual anecdotes of success is an incredibly dumb way to make a decision about the rest of your life. You have 2 pretty clear options:

1. Go to a lower T14, most likely without any $. Probably around a 50-70% chance of BigLaw (impossible to know without knowing anything about you), but huge debt.

2. Go to a regional school with full $$$$ and plan for a legal career outside of BigLaw, because there's a greater than 80% chance you won't get it.

If you're not comfortable with either of those options, either re-take or don't go


Dude - tone it down. TLS does not regularly acknowledge that 15-20% of regional schools still make it into bigger firms; asking if there's anyone that has made it is not 'incredibly dumb,' as they don't really have a high profile on this site

Finally, I wouldn't make any important decision based exclusively on what an internet forum says

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RareExports
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Re: Taking regional

Postby RareExports » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:55 pm

r1tlv50 wrote:
I'm not sure what advice you're looking for here. Looking for individual anecdotes of success is an incredibly dumb way to make a decision about the rest of your life. You have 2 pretty clear options:

1. Go to a lower T14, most likely without any $. Probably around a 50-70% chance of BigLaw (impossible to know without knowing anything about you), but huge debt.

2. Go to a regional school with full $$$$ and plan for a legal career outside of BigLaw, because there's a greater than 80% chance you won't get it.

If you're not comfortable with either of those options, either re-take or don't go


Dude - tone it down. TLS does not regularly acknowledge that 15-20% of regional schools still make it into bigger firms; asking if there's anyone that has made it is not 'incredibly dumb,' as they don't really have a high profile on this site

Finally, I wouldn't make any important decision based exclusively on what an internet forum says

I think he just means that you can't make plans based on a 15-20% likelihood. It does happen, and it's not rare, but it's really risky to spend three years pursuing something that most people in that situation do not get. If you're okay with fallback options, it's not as risky.

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r1tlv50
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Re: Taking regional

Postby r1tlv50 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:15 pm

I think he just means that you can't make plans based on a 15-20% likelihood. It does happen, and it's not rare, but it's really risky to spend three years pursuing something that most people in that situation do not get. If you're okay with fallback options, it's not as risky.


That's a better way to put it and I appreciate your input. However, even if I were only trying to work at a big firm (I'm not - other legal work interests me as well) I'm not sure I see a 15-20% chance when I'd probably be looking at COL to attend as being all that risky relative to the lower T14 at sticker and a 50-70% shot. At the end of the day, I really don't see attending regional schools, trying to kill it, and either landing an SA spot or dropping out as being an "incredibly dumb" way to approach law school (still a little salty on that one :? )

Even Campos alluded to the fact that it could make more sense to go to a regional school for some (the part where he discussed the Michigan State student transferring to G-town -- in that hypo I believe he was looking at larger firm jobs).




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