msusha15 wrote:you go to a top 14? and if its not like top 50, forget about it.....
How true is this? Why do people even go to the lower tier law schools if you can't get a job and it looks terrible? Or is this blown wildly out of proportion? Surely there is a payoff, what am I missing here?
Cliff notes answer: it's wildly blown out of proportion.
Long answer: The more highly regarded the law school you go to, the better your prospects of landing the premium entry-level law positions--federal clerkships, biglaw, federal agencies. No matter where you start your career, it is possible through some combination of work and luck to reach the salary or career level of those that start off in the top schools; however, a degree from a T14 can get you there much faster. In some cases, being unable to get your foot in the door right out of law school means that you're locked out for life. Oh, you can find jobs coming out of a T2 or T3, but you won't be living in a NYC penthouse surrounded by models and bottles. Hence arises part of the TLS neurosis.
The rest of the TLS neurosis comes from a desire to have a "guarantee" in life. For years and years law school, especially the T14, has been an almost sure-fire guarantee of attaining a good job with a large salary. Offer rates for T14 schools were hovering around 95%, and everyone was making six figures coming out of school. (This may or may not actually reflect reality as it was, but certainly reflects reality as many on TLS believe it to have been.) The financial downturn, combined with a steady increase in the number of law schools entering the market and a larger pool of applicants who realized that their liberal arts degrees don't mean shit, have put cracks in the facade. Now only 50% of the T14 students are getting jobs making $160,000 a year right out of law school, and some people are even having to face the ignominy of applying for jobs and sending out résumés.
Now there is no longer the perception of "making it" simply by getting accepted to law school. That perception trickles down from the top. It's only reasonable. If Harvard grads are getting no-offered, then Nova grads and Notre Dame grads must be having a rough time, and the Oregon and Houston grads must be taking it in the ass. And many of them are. But a large number of them are the same people who came into law school with the assumption that simply getting there was a guarantee.