"For the rest of your life"

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
isaiah6v8
Posts: 367
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:02 pm

"For the rest of your life"

Postby isaiah6v8 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:02 pm

Okay, obviously this does not apply to the T14s out there, but how many of you have heard this statement, "you can go to X Law School, so long as you want to practice in X for the rest of your life." Does this strike any of the rest of you as a load of bull? Sure, I can see that your first job out, if you go to a regional or state school, will have to be somewhere within the schools reach, but after practicing for several years, wouldn't you think that your reputation and experience would ultimately determine if you wanted to go somewhere else? My step-mother practiced in 3 different states as I was growing up, and fortunately for her they all had reciprocity, so no extra bar exams for her, but she was a Michigan grad. Do you know of examples of lawyers who have moved without having attended a T-14? My sister graduated from Tennessee but only practiced in Colorado Springs, CO. She wrote for McGraw-Hill, not even sure where she took the bar, but she did graduate at the top of her class. So my only two anecdotes would indicate more portability than most would have you believe, but again, they are both kind of extraordinary cases. I would like to hear what you think.

User avatar
MURPH
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby MURPH » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:17 pm

There is a bit of herd mentality on TLS: better ranked schools are always better, better paying law firms are always better. If you are a good lawyer and you want to make your own way you can do it anywhere.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11718
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby kalvano » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:04 pm

Every practicing lawyer I have spoken with has all said the same thing. Your law school will open doors for you, and the better known, the more doors. But after 4 or 5 years out of school, it won't matter as much. It will be on you and on how good you are.

lawman335
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:15 pm

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby lawman335 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:30 pm

There is always a heard slogan,better is always better, better ranked schools are always better as well as better paying law firms.
i think u must make your own way.

Sean Bateman
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:45 pm

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby Sean Bateman » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:33 pm

Yea I know a grad of Minnesota who practiced in Jersey, Connecticut, and now Florida. just sayin

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Feb 07, 2010 2:36 pm

lawman335 wrote:There is always a heard slogan,better is always better, better ranked schools are always better as well as better paying law firms.
i think u must make your own way.

Do you do anything other than repeat and mangle advice other people have given on here?

OP, I think the "for the rest of your life" thing is a bit of an exaggeration, but from everything I've gathered about legal employment, they really care where you went to law school for at least you first 5-10 years. You can make your own way and move somewhere else, but that's likely to take you a long time, and since lower-ranked regional schools have few alumni in other parts of the country, it can be hard to make the connections that let you move around.

It is an overstatement, but it reflects the reality that regional schools' degrees are really only recognized in their home region, and in order to make a lateral move based just on your work experience, you're going to need quite a bit of it.

So, you may not be there for the rest of your life, but you'll at least be there for the 3 years you attended law school and the first 5-10 years of your legal career. And by then, you've probably built up so many local connections that it's easier to stay, so a lot of people do...

Scurredsitless1
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:47 pm

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:15 pm

It's a bad idea to go to a school and plan to work elsewhere. Although the concept that you're doomed to the town in which you went to school may not be 100% accurate, it's a pretty good rule of thumb.

User avatar
TheSharklord
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby TheSharklord » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:25 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
lawman335 wrote:There is always a heard slogan,better is always better, better ranked schools are always better as well as better paying law firms.
i think u must make your own way.

Do you do anything other than repeat and mangle advice other people have given on here?

OP, I think the "for the rest of your life" thing is a bit of an exaggeration, but from everything I've gathered about legal employment, they really care where you went to law school for at least you first 5-10 years. You can make your own way and move somewhere else, but that's likely to take you a long time, and since lower-ranked regional schools have few alumni in other parts of the country, it can be hard to make the connections that let you move around.

It is an overstatement, but it reflects the reality that regional schools' degrees are really only recognized in their home region, and in order to make a lateral move based just on your work experience, you're going to need quite a bit of it.

So, you may not be there for the rest of your life, but you'll at least be there for the 3 years you attended law school and the first 5-10 years of your legal career. And by then, you've probably built up so many local connections that it's easier to stay, so a lot of people do...


Concur. I think what matters too is that if you go to a more regional school your firm placement may not be as strong as perhaps otherwise. If you intend to lateral, you'd be most likely looking at firms that would consider themselves peers with where ever you started work, which means that where ever you want to ultimately go will need to have a firm that's interested in receiving your lateral. An overly stupid example would be trying to move from South Dakota (no offense any SD'ers out there) to NYC or something.

I think the legal world is such a connection driven place that what also might give a suggestion that the better school you go to the better off you'll be credence is that at the stronger schools, you get to make connections with people who have other connections everywhere else, so it's easier to move (say, if you wanted to go from east cost to west coast, you might have a buddy who UG'ed at Stanford or something).

Just my two cents, though...

User avatar
MURPH
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: "For the rest of your life"

Postby MURPH » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:45 am

As a professional you can always hang a shingle in any town in any state where you've passed the bar. Making your own way in life is not easy but for some people it is very appealing.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], xn3345 and 7 guests