Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

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pollywolly88
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Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby pollywolly88 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:13 pm

Do you need to attend a top 20 law school to get a good-paying job as a lawyer? Also can students from lower-ranked schools get good jobs in art/civil/employment or comparative family law? Or do you need to be top of the class? I've always had an interest in law but the high unemployment rate is scaring me.

Thanks!

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Winston1984
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Winston1984 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:24 pm

If you want biglaw, you should go to a T14. Other students will have opportunities, but obviously class rank will become much more important.

Wingtip88
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Wingtip88 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:33 pm

Define "good paying".

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KMart
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby KMart » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:34 pm

Wingtip88 wrote:Define "good paying".

It depends on what jobs you're specifically looking for and the relative schools. Some schools outside of the T20 have decent employment numbers. Whether or not they are high paying or good jobs is subjective based on what you think.

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Doritos
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Doritos » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:36 pm

Wingtip88 wrote:Define "good paying".


Also define "art law"

lawstudent_87
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby lawstudent_87 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:47 pm

It's necessary to go to a top 20 school if you wish to understand the finer intricacies of bird law.

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butlerraider1
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby butlerraider1 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:49 pm

Winston1984 wrote:If you want biglaw, you should go to a T14. Other students will have opportunities, but obviously class rank will become much more important.


"High paying jobs" are possible at virtually any law school. Like the above poster said, however, you need to be higher in the class (in some cases top of the class) to get one of these jobs from the lower ranked schools.

Patent2014
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Patent2014 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:59 pm

The correct response is no. I go to a school outside the T20 and I received multiple biglaw summer associate offers for my 1L summer from forms that all pay $160k to new associates. T14 increases your chances but there will still be many T14s who wont get biglaw and many non-T14s who will. It's not dispositive.

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georgej
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby georgej » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:55 pm

I think T40 is the cutoff for art and comparative family law practice areas, actually. As for civil, you can dip as low as T70.

Wingtip88
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Wingtip88 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:41 pm

OP - you need to approach this from the perspective of debt versus job accessibility. It boils down to picking a law school based on whether there is a large likelihood of attaining a job that will allow you to pay off your debt. Big firms can pay large six-figure salaries but small firms and "small government", to put it one way, will probably only come with salaries between $40-60k. Nothing wrong with that unless you're drowning in debt or in a very high COL region.

If you're going to be drowning in debt from a given school and with a small likelihood of getting Biglaw, you've most likely made a large financial mistake. Similarly, if you are going to have little to no debt from a school with strong job placement, you can probably survive financially with any kind of lawyer job out there, depending on your other spending habits.

There are more schools than just the "top 20", which isn't a real distinction by any measure, that have respectable job placement and if you go to one that makes financial sense to attend, you might end up alright.

Also, and I'm not being rude, you might want to spend more time researching what areas of the practice of law actually have work opportunities and whether jobs that you're interested in are actually reasonably attainable.

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Helioze
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Helioze » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:45 pm

T21 4 lyfe

BigZuck
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:41 pm

Checking in for the definition of "comparative family law"

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JCougar
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby JCougar » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:25 pm

I'd be hesitant to attend all but maybe the top 7 or so schools right now. HYSCCNP for biglaw or HYSCCNB for public interest. Unless I had like a 75% scholarship or higher.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:33 pm

pollywolly88 wrote:Do you need to attend a top 20 law school to get a good-paying job as a lawyer? No, you don't need to but it helps. Also can students from lower-ranked schools get good jobs in art/civil/employment or comparative family law? Sometimes.Or do you need to be top of the class? IME, lower school success is more based on networking. The top of the top get some biglaw, but as far the other good jobs, it's pretty random and about networking as much if not more than grades.I've always had an interest in law but the high unemployment rate is scaring me.

Thanks!

Nomo
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Nomo » Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:37 pm

I really don't think anyone should even apply to law school until they've had sufficient time to research potential careers and likely outcomes. You're question tells me that you haven't.

Art law and comparative family law aren't practice areas. Though there are many lawyers who work in trusts, estates, copyright, litigation, commercial transactions, etc. that sometimes deal with clients or opposing parties who work in the art industry. And there are many family lawyers who occasionally handle cases that become cross-jurisdictional messes.

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rungoodinc
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby rungoodinc » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:23 am

If you don't get at least top 20, and you will be going into a significant amount of debt to fund your education, you should not go to law school.

Moneytrees
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Moneytrees » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:40 pm

Top 20 is such arbitrary number. Good regionals outside the top 30 like UNC, Boston College or University of Georgia can be good choices if debt is kept low. Rankings don't really matter much outside of the very top schools; the region where you want to live and practice after school should be a much more important factor in your decision making.

There is little difference in perceived prestige between a top 20 school like GW/Emory and Boston College, to give one example, if you want to practice in New England. If you don't get into the very best schools (top 14), pick the school with the best employment numbers in the region where you want to practice and try to get a good scholarship.

mvp99
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby mvp99 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:45 pm

art/comparative family law ?nice trolling...

ilikebaseball
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby ilikebaseball » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:07 pm

rungoodinc wrote:If you don't get at least top 20, and you will be going into a significant amount of debt to fund your education, you should not go to law school.

lol

BigZuck
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:16 pm

ilikebaseball wrote:
rungoodinc wrote:If you don't get at least top 20, and you will be going into a significant amount of debt to fund your education, you should not go to law school.

lol

Top 20 is an arbitrary/meaningless distinction, is that why you're laughing?

Apate19
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby Apate19 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:22 pm

Honestly, no.

Does it make a difference on your STARTING pay? Yeah.

But I've had experience here where people tell me if I can't get into a top 20 or don't have the numbers to, I should drop law. So what like other schools not in top 20 are full of ghosts? Obviously students go to schools outside of to 20 and graduate and get decent jobs. That's why those schools are still running. You might start out more mediocre from a non top20 school. But if you have great grades and are an actual good lawyer you can always work your way up to a big salary.

The brand of the degree does matter to a certain point. But after that it depends on your performance as a lawyer that decides your future.

BigZuck
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:36 pm

Apate19 wrote:Honestly, no.

Does it make a difference on your STARTING pay? Yeah.

But I've had experience here where people tell me if I can't get into a top 20 or don't have the numbers to, I should drop law. So what like other schools not in top 20 are full of ghosts? Obviously students go to schools outside of to 20 and graduate and get decent jobs. That's why those schools are still running. You might start out more mediocre from a non top20 school. But if you have great grades and are an actual good lawyer you can always work your way up to a big salary.

The brand of the degree does matter to a certain point. But after that it depends on your performance as a lawyer that decides your future.

I said if you don't have the numbers to get into a "T30" then you probably shouldn't go because even schools in that range should only be attended for cheap. It's about average/expected outcomes, whereas you want to look towards more exceptional cases. There are probably grads with great outcomes from every single law school in this country. But how many grads with great outcomes are coming from each school? That's what you have to consider.

Also, everyone likes to think they are special and will buck the odds. And, with the benefit of hindsight, some of us will be right. But if we are all special then are any of us actually special?

I don't think you're thinking about things very critically. Or, honestly, very clearly. You're misinterpreting a lot of the words that you're reading.

What evidence do you have for your claim that you can always work your way up to a great salary?

TY22
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby TY22 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:36 pm

Apate19 wrote:Honestly, no.

Does it make a difference on your STARTING pay? Yeah.

But I've had experience here where people tell me if I can't get into a top 20 or don't have the numbers to, I should drop law. So what like other schools not in top 20 are full of ghosts? Obviously students go to schools outside of to 20 and graduate and get decent jobs. That's why those schools are still running. You might start out more mediocre from a non top20 school. But if you have great grades and are an actual good lawyer you can always work your way up to a big salary.

The brand of the degree does matter to a certain point. But after that it depends on your performance as a lawyer that decides your future.


There are two parts of the above reasoning that might be questionable. First, from what I've read it really isn't a different starting point but can reach the same goal eventually sort of situation. Instead, biglaw is a really different tier entirely, and even if you do very well at a small non-elite law firm you aren't likely to ever be able to transfer between.

Second, from what I've read, the survival of many law schools is based less on the ultimate success of their graduates and more on the free-flowing federal loans and the manipulated ignorance and unrealistic expectations of many law school applicants. So that these schools are still running does not really prove anything about the wisdom of going to them.

That's not saying the top 20 are the only law schools worth going to, it's just that I think the argument is more complicated and situation dependent than what you are saying here.

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rpupkin
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:52 pm

Apate19 wrote:Obviously students go to schools outside of to 20 and graduate and get decent jobs. That's why those schools are still running.

Can you really not see how absurdly circular your logic is here? In order to run, the law schools don't need students to get decent jobs. The schools just need enough students to pay tuition.

Now, if the schools (instead of the federal government) gave out loans, then there would be a connection between the viability of the school and the number of graduates who get decent jobs. If the school was stuck with a bunch of former students who could not pay off their loan obligations because of poor employment outcomes, then you would see many, many schools shutting down. But, alas, that's not the system.

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bjsesq
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Re: Do you need to attend a top 20 law school?

Postby bjsesq » Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:57 pm

Comparative artistic family of birds law has gotten a serious bump in importance due to the passage of the ACA and Emory is uniquely positioned to capitalize on it. Go to Emory.




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