Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

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flyingpanda
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby flyingpanda » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:06 am

itsfine wrote:I'm surprised you had the audacity to post something this bad


Well... that's not even his worst post. This one takes the cake:

farewelltoarms wrote:I've been thinking about this, but I just don't see it. If a school has x minorities, what proof is there that those people got in partially due to some unknowable boost? I'm positive no school has ever formally announced the existence of such a boost, and if they did, it would actually further their aim to promote diversity. If a school had a reputation for providing admission boosts to minorities, then it would most likely increase the overall number of minorities applying to that school thus giving them a greater selection to choose from. If a URM boost did exist, it would be the school's advantage to come out and say it.

Just because the school says they promote ''diversity'' it doesn't mean they're looking for URM's. Diversity could be age, location, life experiences, and plenty of other factors separate from ethnicity.

I honestly think the URM boost idea is just an internet phenomena, created by angry white people who didn't get into certain schools and overly optimistic minorities who want to ease their admission anxiety.

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Grizz
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby Grizz » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:30 am

flhealth wrote:FIU = 11K per year in one of the nations top 10 legal markets...for a Florida resident who wants to practice in South Florida it is an inexpensive option...is Miami a better option? probably, but not if you dont want to spend 40K per year in tuition


Going to FIU is a great way to become marginally employed.

r6_philly
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:51 am

I would think that many graduates end up passing the bar at some point and end up in solo practice. Open up a yellow pages and see how many personal injury, traffic, divorce, bankrupcy, workers' comp, general practice, etc... solo practitioners are there. There is always going to be a huge demand for cheap lawyers (like $500-1000 to represent a DUI, or disorderly conduct, or any other misdemeanor charges). Small business needs contract laywers who won't bill a whole lot. I doubt that anyone from T14 is going to touch that kind of jobs if they have any choice.

Consumer public need, and will alway need affordable lawyers. I think T3/T4 grads satisfy that demand. Maybe they charge too much for providing their education, maybe not. Kids who score 150 or less on LSAT probably have problem finding good employment with their BA's anyway, so maybe getting a T3/T4 JD actually helps them a lot. The price is what they are willing to pay.

I see solo practice everywhere in working class neighborhoods around here, I know quite a few of them. They are not living large but I know they have a better career than what they would have if they didn't go to Widner. So maybe T4 isn't so useless to their students and grads.

watwat
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby watwat » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:36 am

sudoku wrote:Some schools are prevalent in their region.

Texas Tech = vast opportunities in West Texas



see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Mark_La ... gal_career

miamiman
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby miamiman » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:57 am

I see solo practice everywhere in working class neighborhoods around here, I know quite a few of them. They are not living large but I know they have a better career than what they would have if they didn't go to Widner. So maybe T4 isn't so useless to their students and grads.


What ppl don't realize - or don't care to realize - is that these types of shitlaw gigs are not even going to exist for much longer. Or, at the very least, in far fewer #. ATL ran a story on solopractitonering and shitlaw more broadly a month or so ago.

Also, the small firms that would absorb these kids are hurting too. I live in SoFla and am friends with at least 12 or 15 3Ls at nova southeastern. In yesteryear, some of these kids got offers from big firms and midlaw. Most got small firm, pd, or other shitlaw gigs. Now? Not one has a job moving towards graduation.

I asked them, as we were all getting drinks one day, what their plans were in the absence of a job. One of them (inadvertently or intentionally, I don't know) raised his glass as if on cue and drank. None of them said anything different.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:48 am

So that kids like me who bombed the LSAT (before they let you get away with not averaging your scores), can come along, attend a school that no one on TLS has even heard of, use connections gained while working in a largish firm while in college to obtain a good SA job at a nice midlaw, prove himself to be a valuable asset to that said midlaw-firm, get offered a job before LS even ends and enjoy a well-paying job in a midlaw in NYC, while gradutes of the T100 are offering hand-jobs to plaintiff's personal injury partners in exchange for informational interviews.

That is the sole purpose of T3 and T4 law schools.

One of these days, it will finally become obvious to most of the arrogant kids on this site attending a school ranked 30 -100 that the distinction between USNWR-41 and USNWR-T4 is practically non-existent for all but the top 10% of the graduates from USNWR-41.

sibley
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby sibley » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:01 am

A Harvard grad told me I should only go to a tier 2 school if I wanted to practice in the region, and I should go to the best school I can get into because my clients need to recognize the name on my diploma.

She assumed that 1) I have unlimited funds, 2) I'm not interested in working for an institution, and 3) that I want to have my own practice... though the validity of the last two are questionable if you see my final paragraph.

Some people do just want to sue traffic incidents, for whatever reason. They probably choose their schools for one of several reasons: they don't have the money to go to a better one (assuming that t3, t4 is by nature less expensive and also more likely to give them aid), they don't have the grades to get into a better school, or they're located in a region that simply doesn't have that many great law schools and they're already established/working in that area and don't want to move/lose their jobs/etc. And there's definitely a lot more to the regional argument than I believe some people realize.

I have a friend who's planning on going to a t3/t4 school in Kansas City. She's very bright, educated, and well-cultured, not just some 'hick' who wants to practice in a two bit hole in the wall, etc... she just can't seem to break 150 on her LSAT. basically she sucks at standardized tests. Luckily, she's from KC and wants to stay there. They have a few law schools but none that outshines the others by leaps and bounds. She can't get into the top school, but it's not a 'top' school anyway. In fact, I think the best option nearby is U Kansas, which is ranked 65th, and is 45 miles from KC.

And my situation... if I wanted to stay in my city I'd have a hell of a time too. I can get into some pretty good schools. But I'd have to drive an hour to an hour and a half to get to a law school (85th and t3 respectively). 3 hours to Cornell. There are no law schools at all in my city so I'd have to make the commute. And I suspect being able to pick a school less than 3 hours away and probably get a scholarship there would thrill me, should I be in that boat. Unless you can do correspondence law school? In which case I would do that. As it stands, I'm moving.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:41 am

njskatchmo wrote:Where do you think divorce lawyers and traffic lawyers come from?


BC?

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homestyle28
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:43 am

Where do you think most small county prosecutors and public defenders went to school? At least where I live it's only t3/t4 grads in those jobs. The only Tier-1 folks around here are the judges.

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pjo
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby pjo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:58 am

farewelltoarms wrote:A person graduating from the top law schools in his or her state will always have good job prospects in the future.


For the most part I agree with your argument...but, looking at this statement above, what if the top school in your state IS a T3/4. Just off hand I'm thinking of WVU. Furthermore, there are some (emphasis on some) T3/4's that place better than some T2's because they have a better storng hold on their market (though admitedly it is probably a very small market)--I'm thinking U of Akron in Akron or Duquesne for Pittsburgh

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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby sibley » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:59 am

pjo wrote:
farewelltoarms wrote:A person graduating from the top law schools in his or her state will always have good job prospects in the future.


For the most part I agree with your argument...but, looking at this statement above, what if the top school in your state IS a T3/4. Just off hand I'm thinking of WVU. Furthermore, there are some (emphasis on some) T3/4's that place better than some T2's because they have a better storng hold on their market (though admitedly it is probably a very small market)--I'm thinking U of Akron in Akron or Duquesne for Pittsburgh



wvu = party school???....

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:00 am

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unemployed
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby Unemployed » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:02 am

Information asymmetry.

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pjo
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby pjo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:06 am

sibley wrote:
pjo wrote:
farewelltoarms wrote:A person graduating from the top law schools in his or her state will always have good job prospects in the future.


For the most part I agree with your argument...but, looking at this statement above, what if the top school in your state IS a T3/4. Just off hand I'm thinking of WVU. Furthermore, there are some (emphasis on some) T3/4's that place better than some T2's because they have a better storng hold on their market (though admitedly it is probably a very small market)--I'm thinking U of Akron in Akron or Duquesne for Pittsburgh



wvu = party school???....


haha point taken. But when you're the only law school in the state I guess that makes you the best in the state lol

too old for this sh*
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby too old for this sh* » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:25 am

sibley wrote:A Harvard grad told me I should only go to a tier 2 school if I wanted to practice in the region, and I should go to the best school I can get into because my clients need to recognize the name on my diploma.


Maybe that is true for some areas of law, but it is not something I have seen in post-conviction work. However, in the time that I have worked with solo practitioners or a small firm (more than a decade), I can count on one hand the number of times a prospective client even ASKED about pedigree. The sole practitioner I worked with did not even HAVE the degree framed and on the wall, and he attended a T14.

I know the income that both offices generated. The sole practitioner was routinely between $750K and $1M per year. The firm I am with has more overhead but each partner is regularly over $500K pre-tax. None of the partners in the current firm went to a T14 and all went to what some would likely view as a TTT.

And I suspect being able to pick a school less than 3 hours away and probably get a scholarship there would thrill me, should I be in that boat. Unless you can do correspondence law school? In which case I would do that. As it stands, I'm moving.


And I would suspect that you are in the majority if you remove the small percentage of prospective applicants posting here that have some dream of BigLaw and the hours that it potentially entails. I'll be in an area where pedigree does not matter to most people, where most prospective clients have the funds to pay the fee and where I can make a very comfortable living. As a result, I am not picky about where I go and WILL make a decision that is based on what the program costs me. The three years are time where I am losing money (I have to give up a chunk of the income I presently have due to the 20-hour rule) and where the JD is merely a means to an end, specifically sitting for the Bar.

makingasnack
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby makingasnack » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:34 am

Before someone retorts, why does any law school outside of the top 14 exist har har, lets be reasonable. A person graduating from the top law schools in his or her state will always have good job prospects in the future. As a Floridian, I would include UF FSU and even UM in this category. However, certain schools, like Nova, FIU, FAMU have no purpose. Even if you graduated from these schools who would hire you over a UF or FSU grad? It just seems like people are throwing 3 years of their life down the drain. These people need to realize that if you can't muster above a 155 or so on the LSAT maybe law just isn't their thing.


Let me go ask the attorney I work for who went to a "TTT" who drives a Bentley, or I could another attorney (also graduated from "TTT") who works in my office... but he is out on his $2.5mn yacht...

Not to be too snappy, but contrary to the opinions of all the brilliant young scholars on TLS, going to a "TTT" does not doom you to a life of failure, eating at soup kitchens and sleeping at the local homeless shelter.

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oberlin08
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby oberlin08 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:40 am

What if I were from Akron, Ohio, really wanted to be a lawyer, but couldn't leave my family behind?

Tons of people choose lower ranked schools for reasons like that.

ChrisC
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby ChrisC » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:48 am

Real answer: Because the ABA lacks the foresight of the AMA.


Politically correct answer: Everyone should have the opportunity to be whatever they want! It doesn't matter if you score in the 40th percentile on the aptitude test for entrance, come on in! *Insert your kindergarten teacher's "you can be anything you want" speech here*.

Can you imagine what would happen if the American Medical Association adopted that mentality?




TTT schools do not doom you to a life of desperation. There are success stories in almost all fields of legal practice (minus SCOTUS) from every 'rank' of school. But at TTT schools, they are the exception, and not the rule. It's irresponsible for the ABA to keep accrediting schools. They are constantly increasing the SUPPLY of legal services, while the demand is SHRINKING. The smart thing to do is limit the supply. They should put a 15 year moratorium on accrediting schools and review the accreditation of all others, with the aim of removing a few.

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JCougar
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby JCougar » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:55 am

Not all people who go to T4 schools end up miserable. I actually know two Cooley grads practicing in Michigan. One is a DA, and the other is a solo practitioner who does divorce, etc. Both got partial scholarships there and both enjoy their jobs. They had no illusions about getting a Biglaw job out of there, but they didn't care. They have stable, middle-class jobs that they love, and not too much debt.

People on TLS are being ridiculous if they think that most T3-T4 grads hate their lives. Starting out at $40-55K really isn't that bad for most people even after law school. People who think it's horrible to start out at that salary are people who have never been out in the work world and held a real job themselves.

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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby sibley » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:04 pm

too old for this sh* wrote: As a result, I am not picky about where I go and WILL make a decision that is based on what the program costs me. The three years are time where I am losing money (I have to give up a chunk of the income I presently have due to the 20-hour rule) and where the JD is merely a means to an end, specifically sitting for the Bar.


Have you considered studying independently for the bar? I'm not sure if it's allowed everywhere but I'm pretty sure NY lets people do so. I have a cousin who was considering law school after she graduated from NYU...but then she worked in a big firm where everyone was miserable and changed her mind. But still has the bar floating around in her head.

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j.wellington
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby j.wellington » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:09 pm

I'm consistently amazed by the bubble mentality and condescension that permeates these forums. Some people can't seem to fathom that a law student might not have any interest in wearing Armani suits and working in an NYC skyscraper.

I'm sure there plenty of legal career paths that are inaccessible to those without top-law-school degrees, but there are many more careers for which a lower-ranked school might actually be preferable. If you work in local government in central Washington and want to advance, Gonzaga is probably a pretty good option. If you want to do family law in Colorado, DU will do nicely. Believe it or not, there are people who actually want these jobs for good reasons, not just because they couldn't make it in the fast lane. Pathetic as it may seem to you, it's a lifestyle they prefer. If someone can advance their career goals at these schools at a lower cost without having to move their lives halfway across the country, why is that something to look down on?

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JCougar
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby JCougar » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:14 pm

Plus, with a law degree, there's far less of a glass ceiling in terms of salary, even if you do go to a T4. Once you get out into the work world, if you're really good at being a lawyer, you can go places. It beats being a corporate lackey where if you are good, you are looked at as a threat to your managers because they think you're going to take their job.

too old for this sh*
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby too old for this sh* » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:17 pm

sibley wrote:
too old for this sh* wrote: As a result, I am not picky about where I go and WILL make a decision that is based on what the program costs me. The three years are time where I am losing money (I have to give up a chunk of the income I presently have due to the 20-hour rule) and where the JD is merely a means to an end, specifically sitting for the Bar.


Have you considered studying independently for the bar? I'm not sure if it's allowed everywhere but I'm pretty sure NY lets people do so. I have a cousin who was considering law school after she graduated from NYU...but then she worked in a big firm where everyone was miserable and changed her mind. But still has the bar floating around in her head.


MOST jurisdictions require the piece of paper from an ABA-accredited school...otherwise I would have sat for the Texas Bar MANY years ago...

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raperez129
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby raperez129 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:28 pm

makingasnack wrote:
Before someone retorts, why does any law school outside of the top 14 exist har har, lets be reasonable. A person graduating from the top law schools in his or her state will always have good job prospects in the future. As a Floridian, I would include UF FSU and even UM in this category. However, certain schools, like Nova, FIU, FAMU have no purpose. Even if you graduated from these schools who would hire you over a UF or FSU grad? It just seems like people are throwing 3 years of their life down the drain. These people need to realize that if you can't muster above a 155 or so on the LSAT maybe law just isn't their thing.


Let me go ask the attorney I work for who went to a "TTT" who drives a Bentley, or I could another attorney (also graduated from "TTT") who works in my office... but he is out on his $2.5mn yacht...

Not to be too snappy, but contrary to the opinions of all the brilliant young scholars on TLS, going to a "TTT" does not doom you to a life of failure, eating at soup kitchens and sleeping at the local homeless shelter.


+1
Working in "Biglaw" for 10 years, I can tell you there is a healthy combination of T14, and *gasp* TTT/4T PARTNERS.


Know what? It's easy to make a buck, it's a lot toughter to make a difference.

joshlyman
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Re: Why do Third Tier and Fourth Tier Law Schools even exist?

Postby joshlyman » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:35 pm

i agree with a lot of posts here and don't expect to contribute something groundbreaking, however, my take on the existence of these
schools goes as such: I think it is extremely hard for us on this forum, those striving for the "top law schools" to really contemplate the
enormous (and arguably grossly inflated) legal profession. I am not commenting on "shitlaw" or whatever, and to be honest its pretty condescending;
its like criticizing the med student who wants to move back to his small town to be a solo general practitioner versus chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. What I am trying to say is that the enormity of the legal profession means that there are thousands upon thousands of legal jobs on the lower end of the spectrum that do not necessitate a t-14 education, t-50 education, nor a t-100 education. Now it might be a chicken or the egg type question; do the TTT and TTTT schools beget the "shit" jobs or is it vice versa? So why do the schools exist? Because the bloated legal profession in this country allows them to exist.




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