Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
jflader59
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:51 pm

Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

Postby jflader59 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:15 am

I live in St. Louis Missouri and there aren't a lot of law schools near me (SLU, Washington University, University of Missouri, and UMKC). It seems like the bulk of schools in Illinois are well ranked and I'm not sure if I could get accepted there.

I've been looking at schools in Florida as an alternative. Granted I will miss out on possible networking opportunities, however, the academics at the schools I'm looking at in Florida are higher ranked and the lifestyle seems to be more enjoyable.

Would receiving a degree from a school out of the state I want to practice in be that much of a hindrance?

The Duck
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:14 am

Re: Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

Postby The Duck » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:20 am

jflader59 wrote:I live in St. Louis Missouri and there aren't a lot of law schools near me (SLU, Washington University, University of Missouri, and UMKC). It seems like the bulk of schools in Illinois are well ranked and I'm not sure if I could get accepted there.

I've been looking at schools in Florida as an alternative. Granted I will miss out on possible networking opportunities, however, the academics at the schools I'm looking at in Florida are higher ranked and the lifestyle seems to be more enjoyable.

Would receiving a degree from a school out of the state I want to practice in be that much of a hindrance?


Yes. Outside the T14, most schools are regional and it will be a huge hindrance if not an absolute bar. There are some notable exceptions but none of them are in Florida. Most firms hire from the schools they are familiar with.

User avatar
JusticeHarlan
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:22 am

Legal hiring, for the most part, is surprisingly local. If you want to work in St. Louis, go to a school in or near St. Louis that places well there. Rankings are meaningless when comparing schools like SLU and FSU: people in St. Louis will prefer the SLU degree, people in Florida will prefer the FSU degree.

You seem to think higher rankings = better "academics." This is both untrue (pretty much nothing in the rankings correlates to a student's academic experience) and the wrong way to look at law school selection. It's all about 1) keeping your debt down and 2) maximizing job prospects in the area you want to work in after graduation.

d00d
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:30 am

Re: Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

Postby d00d » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:37 am

JusticeHarlan wrote:Legal hiring, for the most part, is surprisingly local. If you want to work in St. Louis, go to a school in or near St. Louis that places well there. Rankings are meaningless when comparing schools like SLU and FSU: people in St. Louis will prefer the SLU degree, people in Florida will prefer the FSU degree.

You seem to think higher rankings = better "academics." This is both untrue (pretty much nothing in the rankings correlates to a student's academic experience) and the wrong way to look at law school selection. It's all about 1) keeping your debt down and 2) maximizing job prospects in the area you want to work in after graduation.


Pretty spot on. I work in Florida, and if you choose to go to a law school here, be prepared to to have your only job prospects in FL. Even the top schools here (UF/FSU) are not particularly known for sending graduates out of state. Keep in mind how bad the economy sucks and how over-saturated the legal market is down here.

If you have local ties in St. Louis which will help you get a job, where you go to law school matters significantly less.

PJENNEWE
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:02 pm

Re: Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

Postby PJENNEWE » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:34 pm

Living in St. Louis, Missouri as well, I have heard from MANY lawyers here that they prefer a SLU J.D. over any of those. Perhaps this is because WashU grads end up leaving St. Louis for places like Chicago (in many cases that I have heard). If it were me, I'd try to get a 168 on the LSAT and get into WashU. However, I am just a 0L with little real experience outside of simply what I have heard.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Importance of graduating where you want to practice?

Postby Br3v » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:56 pm

Outside t14, grad where you want to practice




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dannyswo and 7 guests