jaestro wrote:Incoherent rambling
Don't let the door hit you on the way out, and just remember that if it weren't for the "pessimists", you'd probably have no idea WTF was up with law school or legal market.
And +1 to doublechecks. There are very few people who are T14 or bust, so called "elitists" on TLS. But when people want to see what they want to see, they'll convince themselves of anything.
I think the problem people fail to understand is that the legal community itself is elitist. It's certainly not the students that make it this way; if I had my choice of what to do, I'd go to the cheapest law school in the country and use good grades and prior work experience to get me a job. But it doesn't work that way at all. In good times there were enough jobs that a number of T3/T4 students (though not all) could still find some
kind of work, but we're not in good times now. We're coming off a recession that spawned over 20,000 legal layoffs in two years, while law schools kept graduating students at a total rate of 40,000 per year. Simple math says there aren't enough jobs to go around, and while there's always some hiring going on to overcome movement and attrition, it's not nearly enough to soak up all or even most of the current grads each year.
Given that, you have to look in advance at how those that are hiring do hire. Almost universally, degree prestige plays a role. Even places that traditionally hired T3/T4 students would often rather fill their ranks with students from top schools; they didn't before because those students weren't interested in those kind of jobs then. Grads from top schools are interested now, because shit jobs are better than no jobs. So they get those jobs right now, even though the T3/T4 grads used to. Treating those kind of jobs as though they're reserved for grads from the bottom schools is naive, because like anywhere else in the world, the employers would take better if they could get better. And thanks to the economic climate, now they can.
That's the thing people often don't get. We're not elitists, we're repeating what legal employees themselves do. Most legal employers consider grads from higher-tier schools to be "better" than grads from lower-tier schools when hiring.
It's not the only factor, and someone with top grades from a T3 still might beat out a T1 or T2 grad with mediocre grades, but let's face it, most T3 grads don't have top grades at their school either. If only the top 30% or 20% or 10% is getting hired, that means going in you have a 70% or 80% or 90% chance of being unemployed.
Going, "oh, TLS is elitist" doesn't make this problem go away. It doesn't change how legal hiring is done or the fact that every employer will judge you based on where you got your JD, and that in a depressed hiring market you're competing with so many grads from better schools that you're practically unemployable. Unless you have personal connections to an employer or you're in a market so obscure that nobody from better schools would even think to seek work there, you're screwed right now, and that's true whether a bunch of people on the Internet are "elitists" or not.