deadpanic wrote: rad law wrote:
GettingReady2010 wrote:True it is not the best school in state, but I'm sorry rad, this is kind of ridiculous. If you have in-state tuition (or a significant scholarship), can't get in Vandy (w/$), don't care about BigLaw, and want to practice in TN, UT is a good option. Tennessee loves their Vols.
I'll give you that most of the Vanderbilt people who did stay in TN stayed in Nashville (about 30 IIRC). So perhaps I am overstating this.
If I had lower numbers and wanted to stay down South, I'd still try Ole Miss, Bama, South Carolina, and a couple others before TN though (if I could pay in-state, obviously).
Bama is much harder to get into than TN. I think I have a secure admission from TN but not even a prayer so much at Bama.
TN is a good school and I assume they have a big alumni network.
Actually, I would recommend Memphis over UTenn despite the rankings. The school has a good relationship with Baker, Donelson so you have a shot at a job in both the memphis and nashville ofices. Also, there are quite a few smaller firms in Memphis that take in a few alumni. Also, may have a shot at a few of the decent Little Rock firms(Mitchell Williams, Rose) but not really 100% sure there.
In the interest of sharing what little information we have currently on the job market in Tennessee and coming out of the TN schools, I wanted to share a few highlights from last week's Tennessee Judicial Conference. I sat on a panel with two senior state judges, the new Dean of Belmont law, and Dean Loser from Nashville school of law. I also spoke with the director of Memphis' trial advocacy clinic afterward. All very nice people, all very concerned about the number of lawyers trying to practice in TN and how it's hurting not only new but current attorneys (particularly those with high debt loads). My single strongest piece of advice is that anyone considering these schools do what they can to seek out information on current job placement so that you can accurately figure out what sort of debt you should be taking on.
-Nashville School of Law estimates that about half their grads have 'something' lined up for this year. That's very low for a school where most of the students are already working full-time. I like Nashville SOL as a choice for people who want to practice in Tennessee, in that most grads are older (and therefore more likely to have families and commit to working locally), have strong business networks to help them navigate their way into jobs, and have managed to keep their debt low thanks to low tuition and the fact that they work for school. That said, this is not a great year for jobs in TN. As one panelist remarked, the Bench and Bar would never have even considered hosting a panel on whether or not there are too many lawyers if you were looking at the general opinion of the bar for any year starting from the existence of lawyers and going up through 2008. What I guess the panelist was getting at is that it's crazy to see lawyers actually admitting that there are too many lawyers, to which I agree. That said, it was a great experience and I'm glad to have gotten the chance to relate some of the concerns to the people who will hopefully be hiring all of you in a few years. Hopefully they don't just respond to the crisis by taking protectionist measures (e.g. making the bar exam more difficult so that fewer JDs can actually practice in the state, which ends up screwing over additional ranks of law grads).
-Of the 12 3L students enrolled in Memphis' Trial Advocacy course this year, this is the first time that none of them were able to find jobs by graduation. As I was telling their director, Memphis actually does a good job at reporting median salary statistics that aren't hugely exaggerated (eg six-figure salaries), which helps prospective students plan accordingly. For those of you wishing to see how Memphis was placing when things were good, you can go to our website and check out the new data released by USNews. The most useful columns in the spreadsheet IMO are the median reported salaries combined with the % who reported salaries for each sector. If nothing else it allows you to see what the placement data looks like for a certain subset (probably top performers) of the class. And you can sort the state column to see all the TN schools and then compare the data they reported. Just keep in mind it's for the Class of '08, so things are probably between 20%-50% worse now.
-Belmont School Of Law, in promoting their new program opening up next year, is continuing to focus on stats showing a disproportionately high number of people sitting for the TN bar who attended law school outside the state. This supposedly indicates a high demand from consumers of JDs (you) who want to stay in Tennessee, but end up leaving the state because you 1. can't get in or can't afford or don't want to go to Vanderbilt; and 2. want to go to a more competitive program than the other offerings in the state. Enter Belmont, who plan on offering a competitive program that's going to pursue a number of innovative measures to help their students network with employers and secure jobs in an increasingly competitive market. You can check out their website to get a better idea of what they're planning to do. The main criticisms coming from the judges and attorneys in the room last week is that demand for JDs does not justify opening up another law school unless there are actually jobs for those people to take afterward.
This last point is really important for those of you considering law school in TN and/or wanting to practice here. You have to focus on output components when looking at the strength of a program; it may very well be true that going part-time to Nashville School of Law makes more sense than full-tuition at Ole Miss, even though Nashville may be only giving you a 50/50 shot at a job right now. I urge you to contact the schools that have accepted you and request employment information on this year's graduating class. We are getting ready to make our official request to all 200 ABA-approved law schools, but we won't be asking schools to commit until next February. By that time you will be one semester down looking for your 1L summer jobs.
G'luck to those still trying to make a decision, and rad law it's good to see you being such a strong advocate for Vandy. The Recruitment Handbook should be published sometime in the next month or so, and I encourage you to try and get your hands on a copy so you can see where the Class of 2011 and 2012 are spending their summers.