T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Real Madrid
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Real Madrid » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:10 am

I'm sure it varies from school to school, but I also think there's at least some percentage of any given class that you can outperform with hard work. Some people are natural slackers and just won't work hard. Others may have taken advantage of URM status or extraordinary softs to gain admission to a school where their numbers are significantly below median, and these people may genuinely be less academically talented than their school peers.

User avatar
fanmingrui
Posts: 194
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:59 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby fanmingrui » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:38 am

Real Madrid wrote:I'm sure it varies from school to school, but I also think there's at least some percentage of any given class that you can outperform with hard work. Some people are natural slackers and just won't work hard. Others may have taken advantage of URM status or extraordinary softs to gain admission to a school where their numbers are significantly below median, and these people may genuinely be less academically talented than their school peers.

GL finding a whole lot of slackers in the T14

Real Madrid
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Real Madrid » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:48 am

fanmingrui wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:I'm sure it varies from school to school, but I also think there's at least some percentage of any given class that you can outperform with hard work. Some people are natural slackers and just won't work hard. Others may have taken advantage of URM status or extraordinary softs to gain admission to a school where their numbers are significantly below median, and these people may genuinely be less academically talented than their school peers.

GL finding a whole lot of slackers in the T14


Um, where did I say "a whole lot"? Nowhere. I said some. Some could mean 2 in a class of 600 at GULC. I don't know, and I don't profess to. But please don't put words in my mouth.

User avatar
fanmingrui
Posts: 194
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:59 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby fanmingrui » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:57 am

Real Madrid wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:I'm sure it varies from school to school, but I also think there's at least some percentage of any given class that you can outperform with hard work. Some people are natural slackers and just won't work hard. Others may have taken advantage of URM status or extraordinary softs to gain admission to a school where their numbers are significantly below median, and these people may genuinely be less academically talented than their school peers.

GL finding a whole lot of slackers in the T14


Um, where did I say "a whole lot"? Nowhere. I said some. Some could mean 2 in a class of 600 at GULC. I don't know, and I don't profess to. But please don't put words in my mouth.

Umadbro? Also, if by "some" you mean 2 out of 600 your post is fairly pointless. Maybe I should have said, "good luck finding a statistically significant population of slackers at a T14." Pedantic enough for you?

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby firemed » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:03 am

WhatSarahSaid wrote:
Corwin wrote:
  • If you absolutely could never work in biglaw you go T25 /w $$, unless you are willing to LARP it for 20 years.


/shudder



If you went PI wouldn't you only have to LARP it for 10 years?

Real Madrid
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Real Madrid » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:28 am

fanmingrui wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:I'm sure it varies from school to school, but I also think there's at least some percentage of any given class that you can outperform with hard work. Some people are natural slackers and just won't work hard. Others may have taken advantage of URM status or extraordinary softs to gain admission to a school where their numbers are significantly below median, and these people may genuinely be less academically talented than their school peers.

GL finding a whole lot of slackers in the T14


Um, where did I say "a whole lot"? Nowhere. I said some. Some could mean 2 in a class of 600 at GULC. I don't know, and I don't profess to. But please don't put words in my mouth.


Umadbro? Also, if by "some" you mean 2 out of 600 your post is fairly pointless. Maybe I should have said, "good luck finding a statistically significant population of slackers at a T14." Pedantic enough for you?


Ironic post is ironic.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby ahduth » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:54 am

Real Madrid wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:
Real Madrid wrote:
fanmingrui wrote:GL finding a whole lot of slackers in the T14


Um, where did I say "a whole lot"? Nowhere. I said some. Some could mean 2 in a class of 600 at GULC. I don't know, and I don't profess to. But please don't put words in my mouth.


Umadbro? Also, if by "some" you mean 2 out of 600 your post is fairly pointless. Maybe I should have said, "good luck finding a statistically significant population of slackers at a T14." Pedantic enough for you?


Ironic post is ironic.


Dunno what you chumps are on about. I'm going to be slackin'.

terriers
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby terriers » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:12 pm

While I know law school is obviously much tougher and more competitive than UG, I don't see why finishing in the top-25% is some kind of insurmountable goal where I'd be better off just going to Vegas. "Pretty comfortably" was definitely an overstatement, so my bad on that one. But I screwed around way too much in college, once I got serious, stuff started going a lot better and with a couple of years in the work world, I think I've finally developed the work ethic I need at a T14.

I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?

firemed
Posts: 1195
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:36 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby firemed » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:27 pm

terriers wrote:While I know law school is obviously much tougher and more competitive than UG, I don't see why finishing in the top-25% is some kind of insurmountable goal where I'd be better off just going to Vegas. "Pretty comfortably" was definitely an overstatement, so my bad on that one. But I screwed around way too much in college, once I got serious, stuff started going a lot better and with a couple of years in the work world, I think I've finally developed the work ethic I need at a T14.

I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?


Because LSAT=/=law school final exam, and because it is curved against people who are probably about as smart as you. Oh, and a single mistake on an exam which frequent consists of only a few questions, that you can no way prep for like you can for the LSAT, will definitely result in you dropping to median or below.

Oh, and yeah, I have been told a lot of people go into "work-warp" mode because their entire future rests on those exams, just like yours will.

Lawyerhead
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Lawyerhead » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:28 am

terriers wrote:While I know law school is obviously much tougher and more competitive than UG, I don't see why finishing in the top-25% is some kind of insurmountable goal where I'd be better off just going to Vegas. "Pretty comfortably" was definitely an overstatement, so my bad on that one. But I screwed around way too much in college, once I got serious, stuff started going a lot better and with a couple of years in the work world, I think I've finally developed the work ethic I need at a T14.

I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?


The main reason is because law school exam grading is such a crapshoot. Trust me, EVERYONE will know the right answer and spot most of the issues on your exam at the top schools. It comes down to how you write your answer, your professor's mood, etc. Some people are great at taking law school exams, others are not. You have no idea if you are or are not. If you go to a top school, pretty much everyone will be coming in with a great LSAT and great grades, just like you. I'm not saying you can't do it; what I'm saying is that it's not something that I would bet on, personally. There's just a lot of factors out of your control. The difference between a 171 on the LSAT and a 165 is, what, a handful of questions? I wouldn't place a bet on something like that.

Anyway, OP, take the better school. Sorry to say, but your school follows you around for the next 30 years. Even when you lateral, your school will matter.

User avatar
Corwin
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 1:12 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Corwin » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:38 am

terriers wrote:While I know law school is obviously much tougher and more competitive than UG, I don't see why finishing in the top-25% is some kind of insurmountable goal where I'd be better off just going to Vegas. "Pretty comfortably" was definitely an overstatement, so my bad on that one. But I screwed around way too much in college, once I got serious, stuff started going a lot better and with a couple of years in the work world, I think I've finally developed the work ethic I need at a T14.

I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?

You don't need a good class rank at the T14 to pay off sticker, you just need to be top 50% (maybe top 40% at Georgetown). That's why there is so much push on this forum to go to the T14. As for what it takes to get good grades in law school, you should read this. You have good numbers and good savings, going to a T14 is a pretty responsible choice for you. If you really want to lock up the T14, you should ED to NU or UVA depending on your geographic preference. You're close to a lock for both (unless someone the LSAT medians moved over the course of a year).

PNW Noob
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:15 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby PNW Noob » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:11 am

Lawyerhead wrote:
terriers wrote:While I know law school is obviously much tougher and more competitive than UG, I don't see why finishing in the top-25% is some kind of insurmountable goal where I'd be better off just going to Vegas. "Pretty comfortably" was definitely an overstatement, so my bad on that one. But I screwed around way too much in college, once I got serious, stuff started going a lot better and with a couple of years in the work world, I think I've finally developed the work ethic I need at a T14.

I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?


The main reason is because law school exam grading is such a crapshoot. Trust me, EVERYONE will know the right answer and spot most of the issues on your exam at the top schools. It comes down to how you write your answer, your professor's mood, etc. Some people are great at taking law school exams, others are not. You have no idea if you are or are not. If you go to a top school, pretty much everyone will be coming in with a great LSAT and great grades, just like you. I'm not saying you can't do it; what I'm saying is that it's not something that I would bet on, personally. There's just a lot of factors out of your control. The difference between a 171 on the LSAT and a 165 is, what, a handful of questions? I wouldn't place a bet on something like that.

Anyway, OP, take the better school. Sorry to say, but your school follows you around for the next 30 years. Even when you lateral, your school will matter.


I am particularly interested in this concept. Is this true? Most of what I've read suggests that the selection of law school matters most for your first legal job. From there on out, other factors matter. Please expand on this.

Lawyerhead
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Lawyerhead » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:53 am

PNW Noob wrote:
I am particularly interested in this concept. Is this true? Most of what I've read suggests that the selection of law school matters most for your first legal job. From there on out, other factors matter. Please expand on this.


Well, other factors do matter. But just think about it: if Wachtell didn't interview at your school during OCI, do you think they are going to want attorneys from that school as a 3rd year lateral? There's a reason the firm didn't interview at a particular school and that reason is just as true when you lateral as a 3rd year. It's pretty easy to survive at a firm for 2 or 3 years, even doing crappy work, unless you are a total jerk, so Wachtell won't treat all 3rd year laterals the same.

Of course, the more experience you get, the less it matters, to an extent. One of my oldest friends is a legal recruiter for firms in NYC. She says that she separates laterals by school until the partner level, and that certain firms will only hire from certain piles, absent a specific need. Okay, before anyone says something to the contrary, I readily admit that this is just one recruiter and that the rest may do things differently

Law is a prestige-driven field, simple as that. If a firm or company is faced with hiring two people, who are about equal in all but one went to Harvard and another went to Cooley, I'm pretty sure the Harvard guy is walking out with the job.

User avatar
JoeFish
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:43 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby JoeFish » Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:58 pm

terriers wrote:I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?


YOU CAN get out of there with a good class rank. Definitely. But you have no way of knowing. If your LSAT is in the top quarter, your odds of getting top quarter in your class are probably a bit over 25%, but not much. If your LSAT is in the bottom quarter, your odds of getting top quarter in your class are probably a bit under 25%, but not much.

I think the point is that, even ignoring the fact that whether or not a given person can succeed at law school exams is an enormous unknown, there's just no telling how different effort/ability/efficiency groupings will stack up. Who the hell knows if the person who got a 165 and sneaked into a T14 will work insanely hard, and find a really good method, and be better or worse than someone who's very proud that they got their LSAT score without using an insane tutor? And who knows if the guy who got a 173 on his cold diagnostic and is just really freaking smart will work hard enough or smart enough to beat either of you? And which person will draw the section with the teachers who will fit right into that person's preference to maximize his or her score, and who will get the teachers at odds with the student's style?

The point is that listing all the variables in the whole process would take up a ton of pages (might be a good warm-up for a LS exam). You do have control over it, as does everybody, but the amount you control is swamped in such a sea of variables that TL;DR: the only prudent choice is to go in assuming median.

terriers
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby terriers » Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:13 pm

JoeFish wrote:
terriers wrote:I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?


YOU CAN get out of there with a good class rank. Definitely. But you have no way of knowing. If your LSAT is in the top quarter, your odds of getting top quarter in your class are probably a bit over 25%, but not much. If your LSAT is in the bottom quarter, your odds of getting top quarter in your class are probably a bit under 25%, but not much.

I think the point is that, even ignoring the fact that whether or not a given person can succeed at law school exams is an enormous unknown, there's just no telling how different effort/ability/efficiency groupings will stack up. Who the hell knows if the person who got a 165 and sneaked into a T14 will work insanely hard, and find a really good method, and be better or worse than someone who's very proud that they got their LSAT score without using an insane tutor? And who knows if the guy who got a 173 on his cold diagnostic and is just really freaking smart will work hard enough or smart enough to beat either of you? And which person will draw the section with the teachers who will fit right into that person's preference to maximize his or her score, and who will get the teachers at odds with the student's style?

The point is that listing all the variables in the whole process would take up a ton of pages (might be a good warm-up for a LS exam). You do have control over it, as does everybody, but the amount you control is swamped in such a sea of variables that TL;DR: the only prudent choice is to go in assuming median.


Thanks for the info, that definitely makes a ton of sense when I think about it. I had been previously thinking, maybe drop down into the 20s, get some money and try to finish top-5%. But with those kinds of variables, sounds safer to just go to a top school.

PNW Noob
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:15 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby PNW Noob » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:18 pm

Lawyerhead wrote:
PNW Noob wrote:
I am particularly interested in this concept. Is this true? Most of what I've read suggests that the selection of law school matters most for your first legal job. From there on out, other factors matter. Please expand on this.


Well, other factors do matter. But just think about it: if Wachtell didn't interview at your school during OCI, do you think they are going to want attorneys from that school as a 3rd year lateral? There's a reason the firm didn't interview at a particular school and that reason is just as true when you lateral as a 3rd year. It's pretty easy to survive at a firm for 2 or 3 years, even doing crappy work, unless you are a total jerk, so Wachtell won't treat all 3rd year laterals the same.

Of course, the more experience you get, the less it matters, to an extent. One of my oldest friends is a legal recruiter for firms in NYC. She says that she separates laterals by school until the partner level, and that certain firms will only hire from certain piles, absent a specific need. Okay, before anyone says something to the contrary, I readily admit that this is just one recruiter and that the rest may do things differently

Law is a prestige-driven field, simple as that. If a firm or company is faced with hiring two people, who are about equal in all but one went to Harvard and another went to Cooley, I'm pretty sure the Harvard guy is walking out with the job.


This seems reasonable. I would assume it's possible to distinguish yourself after law school to the point where your degree wouldn't matter as much, but barring anything spectacular I'd guess you're right on.

User avatar
Tom Joad
Posts: 4542
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby Tom Joad » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:01 am

terriers wrote:
JoeFish wrote:
terriers wrote:I think my LSAT puts me roughly in the top-25% of most incoming classes at the lower half of the T14. Also took it while I was working, so no time/money for an insane tutor, just 6-8 hardcore weekends and a section every day after work. If I work hard and smart, why can't I get out of there with a good class rank? I'm honestly curious about the reasoning, it is because everyone in law school goes into work-warp mode?


YOU CAN get out of there with a good class rank. Definitely. But you have no way of knowing. If your LSAT is in the top quarter, your odds of getting top quarter in your class are probably a bit over 25%, but not much. If your LSAT is in the bottom quarter, your odds of getting top quarter in your class are probably a bit under 25%, but not much.

I think the point is that, even ignoring the fact that whether or not a given person can succeed at law school exams is an enormous unknown, there's just no telling how different effort/ability/efficiency groupings will stack up. Who the hell knows if the person who got a 165 and sneaked into a T14 will work insanely hard, and find a really good method, and be better or worse than someone who's very proud that they got their LSAT score without using an insane tutor? And who knows if the guy who got a 173 on his cold diagnostic and is just really freaking smart will work hard enough or smart enough to beat either of you? And which person will draw the section with the teachers who will fit right into that person's preference to maximize his or her score, and who will get the teachers at odds with the student's style?

The point is that listing all the variables in the whole process would take up a ton of pages (might be a good warm-up for a LS exam). You do have control over it, as does everybody, but the amount you control is swamped in such a sea of variables that TL;DR: the only prudent choice is to go in assuming median.


Thanks for the info, that definitely makes a ton of sense when I think about it. I had been previously thinking, maybe drop down into the 20s, get some money and try to finish top-5%. But with those kinds of variables, sounds safer to just go to a top school.


But if you have a good scholarship, near a full ride, then you don't need to finish in the top 5% to get a biglaw job to pay off your debt. That is if you aren't deadset on biglaw.

iamlife1001
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:46 pm

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby iamlife1001 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:25 am

T14 is so 2008: md > mba top 5 > T6 with $ > HYS sticker > full ride t14 > sticker t6 > T1 full ride > cg sticker ~= money @T1.

Cornell v. Fordham: For NYC: Cornell = top 33% for biglaw Fordham = top 15%.

How much is the double chance @ biglaw worth, considering the unlikelihood from each etc.

If not biglaw then Fordham if cheaper-- closer (easier to get to interviews) and outside of biglaw no one will care in NY.

Outside NY. Cornell unless (see above) Fordham full ride, But no chance of this happening

midwestls
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:46 am

Re: T-14 vs. Big Money at lesser schools

Postby midwestls » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:45 am

When I was on callbacks and now that I practice (lower NLJ 250ish firm) one of the things that struck me most was the difference in perspective between how law students view the debt/ranking question and how practicing firm attorneys view the debt/ranking question. In my experience, attorneys - especially attorneys who paid sticker Tier 1 schools - will strongly encourage you to emphasize lower debt over law school rankings. Among this group, there were universal stories of dragging debt around like an anchor for years, and how even with six-figure salaries, the debt really impacted their financial state.

But this perspective has to be taken with a grain of salt, because these are successful firm attorneys. They have a job. Their Tier 1 school probably played a role in that, but I'm not sure they see that. They just figured they would have succeeded wherever they went. Would they have? I'm sure some would have, but I also suspect some wouldn't have.

I took the full TTT scholarship over attending a top 20-30 school. It worked out for me, but I consider myself very, very fortunate. I saw it not work out for a lot of people. I would never have picked my TTT over Georgetown. Would I have taken, say, a half ride at Notre Dame over sticker at Georgetown? Probably. Over sticker at Michigan? Very tough call. A full ride at Notre Dame over sticker at Michigan? Again, Probably. It's a sliding scale and it all depends what kind of money and what kind of schools you're comparing.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 4 guests