Am I being unrealistic?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
attackpizza
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:48 pm

Am I being unrealistic?

Postby attackpizza » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:38 pm

Hi there. I am currently studying for the October 2013 LSAT seven years after not making the curve at a TTTT (long story short: went to law school straight out of undergrad for no good reason and totally was not ready).

I have been working as a legal assistant since 2006, with the past three years in Big Law. I have a 3.3 undergrad GPA and I'm hoping for a 168-170 LSAT. I live in San Francisco, am married and have a baby, so there is no way we can swing law school if we stay here as cost of living and child care is just too high if we eliminate my income. The prospect of getting any sort of useful scholarship from Hastings is nil, I have no shot at Boalt or Stanford and USF just doesn't seem worth it.

My mother-in-law lives in Indianapolis and has offered to help out with COL/child care and some tuition costs if I can make it in to IU-Bloomington. She would prefer IU-Indy as it would be convenient based solely on location; but as SF natives, my husband and I would be far more comfortable in Bloomington, not to mention that I have a shot at doing better than IU-Indy.

We're pretty sure we do not want to stay in Indiana, but we also are definitely done with San Francisco. We'd consider Chicago, Detroit and New York as places to re-settle as my husband is in the fine dining industry and we kind of need to go where the jobs are for him, but will I stand any chance getting into a major market (or Detroit) with a Bloomington JD?

My office's summer associate this year is a rising 3L at Bloomington and is from the Bay Area. He wrangled the summer position (and the subsequent offer) by cold-emailing one of our partners who is a Bloomington alum. He has had a wondeful experience at Bloomington and has said (and demonstrated) that finding employment outside of Indiana can be possible, as long as you're willing to put the time and effort in, as career services is focused almost exclusively on placement in Indiana. Do I have a step up in that I have Big Law connections or am I being completely ridiculous?

TIA

User avatar
jkpolk
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:44 am

Re: Am I being unrealistic?

Postby jkpolk » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:56 pm

I don't think you are being "ridiculous" if you get a good scholarship offer from IU. But there will be a lot of luck/uncertainty in the process. It's VERY LIKELY that you won't land biglaw (>75%) from IU. If you dont land biglaw, what then? Would you think about Northwestern/Michigan/UVA/Cornell/etc? (Biglaw is still NOT EASY to land, but I think your experiences will help you in interviews- and you're guaranteed to have more interview opportunities at those schools)

User avatar
attackpizza
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: Am I being unrealistic?

Postby attackpizza » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:18 pm

polkij333 wrote:I don't think you are being "ridiculous" if you get a good scholarship offer from IU. But there will be a lot of luck/uncertainty in the process. It's VERY LIKELY that you won't land biglaw (>75%) from IU. If you dont land biglaw, what then? Would you think about Northwestern/Michigan/UVA/Cornell/etc? (Biglaw is still NOT EASY to land, but I think your experiences will help you in interviews- and you're guaranteed to have more interview opportunities at those schools)


Northwestern or Michigan would be, frankly, awesome. I just don't know how I'd fare in admissions with my GPA. I've run a lot of different LSAT score scenarios on myLSN and my chances consistently came up pretty slim. However, I've done some research on Northwestern and they pretty much require students have prior work experience, so I'm hoping to leverage my eight years as a legal staffer to increase my chances there.

For what it's worth, I don't want to focus on litigation and would much rather do transactional work. I know a lot of big firms, including mine, are seeing a slow down in their business and commercial litigation practice groups. I'd be totally OK with a mid-size firm in a major market -- I'm not Biglaw or bust. I just don't want to be stuck in Indiana.

californiauser
Posts: 1184
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:10 am

Re: Am I being unrealistic?

Postby californiauser » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:39 pm

You're going to uproot your family from SF to (possibly) Indiana and then move again in 3 years after you graduate? What if you get a SA away from your family?

Seems like a huge burden for your family. Just my 2 cents. It doesn't seem to make too much sense to go to a regional law school located in a city you don't want to live in.

User avatar
danquayle
Posts: 1108
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 am

Re: Am I being unrealistic?

Postby danquayle » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:42 am

It's realistic to get a job in a large market if you have the grades, but unfortunately many of the markets around IUB are a little parochial. It's not like you go from striking out in Chicago to getting a job in Toledo. It's more like you strike out in Chicago and get a job in Elkhart. Law hiring has a bimodal distribution and no where is this truer than at T1s. I know a firm in Detroit would be just as likely to hire a Wayne grad as you. In fact, maybe more likely. You're not going to get a bump over the good locals from Indiana like you might get from a T-14.

In my personal experience (IUB alum), people seemed to do better returning to their home markets than trying to break into a market like Detroit where they weren't native. I know a few that returned to places like Seattle, Tennesse or Silicon Valley. Several years out, I can tell you that I'm surprised by how well my class has done as compared to how it looked at graduation. But I'm not going to lie, I also know several who have left the legal field entirely, and some only had success by later pairing the degree with a LLM in tax or a Masters in Accounting (which I think its an astonishingly unused avenue) or by building their resumes in small crap towns.

It seems that generic T1s all have a similar "meh" effect on national recruiting. They're not going to by themselves get you anywhere, but they won't be prejudice your search in the way I honestly think a lot of TTTs might. I know plenty of peers that talked themselves into decent jobs out of T1s. Not so many from TTTs.

If you're really intent on going cheap in Indiana, you better be prepared to start working some angles immediately. Career services won't get you where you want to go. The numbers don't lie.

On the bright, Bloomington has itself a nice little culinary scene. So there's that.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BobBoblaw, nathjf and 2 guests