lowest ranked school you would settle for?

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ReasonableNprudent
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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:35 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:I get it and I don't. It's not quite that the stink of a non-t14 won't wash off, it's that a non-t14 holder will never have the allure of a t14 degree. It matters to those that care, and the ones that care are predominately t14 holders and not all t14 holders will care. The vast majority of attornnys aren't concerned with t14 v. non-t14. There might be a distinction, but I dont think the line is clear. And the accomplishments of an attorney quickly become more important than the degree, but some degrees will get more opportunities than others.


It should matter to anyone considering law school, and these are the people who read this particular forum. Job prospects should be your primary consideration when considering which law school to go to and prospects at the T14 are undeniably better than at non-T14 schools.

I agree with you that most attorneys do not care where other practicing attorneys went to law school. They do care, however, where law students who want to work at their firms are going to law school. Biglaw firms only interview at a handful of schools, primarily the T14 in addition to a handful of other schools that are cherry-picked based on the location of the firm's main office(s).


Two anectodes:

1) I have a friend that's PD. He would rather represent joe criminal and fight the gov any day of the week than go biglaw. You literally could not pay him enough to go to an office with you every day, but I'd love to see it as it would be hilarious. I'm not at all convinced you're sharper than he is. He's not t14 and it will never matter to anyone.

2) Another very close friend was on a board interviewing candidates for a GC position at a large organization. Pay would be around 200k, I imagine, but don't know for sure. One of the interviewees was HYS, and my friend told me how impressed everyone was. The HYS didn't get the job. You want to know who did? It was an alumn from the local regional leader, about 6-8 years in, with experience in the industry. And it will never matter that his degree is not t14 to anyone.

You seem to like stats, and they are telling. Have you checked out the turnover for biglaw after 5 years? Your biglaw background might help leverage you as well, but I wouldn't bank on riding on your t14 degree forever.

Alan Grant
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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby Alan Grant » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:42 pm

JCougar wrote:
Alan Grant wrote:You don't think UVA or Cornell or Michigan are worth it––not even with a very generous scholarship?


Not for me--not anymore. It's just not worth the time. I had a semi-decent career before law school. I hated my employer and it was the depth of the great recession, and try as I might, I couldn't lateral anywhere else. I suppose I was lucky not to have been laid off--as I got hired less than a year before the crash. Unfortunately, I made a poor decision as to whether to go to law school that I would have never made now.

Even the lower T14 give you a non-negligible risk of crashing and burning--and all law schools take away your earning potential for three years. And, of course, what is often overlooked is that Biglaw itself is an unstable job, so the people from these lower T14s that get Biglaw jobs are nowhere near guaranteed to keep them long enough to pay back their school debt.

Like I said, only at the absolute worst medical schools do they have problems putting grads in any job at all. Bottom-half T14 schools still have problems putting like 15-25% of their class into a legit law job. So perhaps your odds of success are good, but the downside of failure is still terrible.


What if you could go to Cornell, UVA, or Michigan and graduate debt free? Would that, in your experience, change the calculus of the decision, or is it still a risky endeavor?

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:50 pm

Probably Georgetown, but at less than 100k total debt.

I took out a lot of loans (way more than 100k) and paid them off in 3 years, but I also sacrificed a TON - commuted to work, had roommates, etc. Most people can't pay off their loans within 5 years (and these are people who graduated years ago before school got so expensive). I'm still grinding it in biglaw, but a lot of people burn out by year 5 and many of them quit for NO JOB. I don't think 0Ls realize the level of burn out that occurs in law.

There are weeks where I pull 16+ hour days straight in a row. My friend slept 2-3 hours a night for months.....so biglaw can be terrible. I was the type in law school to do nothing all semester, then pull 2-3 all nighters in a row though - so I am okay with getting less sleep than most. You have to be like this to grind it out for years in a lot of firms.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:57 pm

Alan Grant wrote:
JCougar wrote:
Alan Grant wrote:You don't think UVA or Cornell or Michigan are worth it––not even with a very generous scholarship?


Not for me--not anymore. It's just not worth the time. I had a semi-decent career before law school. I hated my employer and it was the depth of the great recession, and try as I might, I couldn't lateral anywhere else. I suppose I was lucky not to have been laid off--as I got hired less than a year before the crash. Unfortunately, I made a poor decision as to whether to go to law school that I would have never made now.

Even the lower T14 give you a non-negligible risk of crashing and burning--and all law schools take away your earning potential for three years. And, of course, what is often overlooked is that Biglaw itself is an unstable job, so the people from these lower T14s that get Biglaw jobs are nowhere near guaranteed to keep them long enough to pay back their school debt.

Like I said, only at the absolute worst medical schools do they have problems putting grads in any job at all. Bottom-half T14 schools still have problems putting like 15-25% of their class into a legit law job. So perhaps your odds of success are good, but the downside of failure is still terrible.


What if you could go to Cornell, UVA, or Michigan and graduate debt free? Would that, in your experience, change the calculus of the decision, or is it still a risky endeavor?


You're not asking me, but as a practicing lawyer who LOVED school (even law school), I think that's a perfectly fine and reasonable choice.

School is fantastic. Practicing makes you realize that even medical school sounds like awesome fun. (I've thought about going to medical school if I can for free just to stay in school for more years.... :lol: )

Worst thing that happens there is that you "waste" 3 years - but school is a good escape from reality/working. Plus you will likely get a better job than biglaw if you can afford not to do biglaw (my friends who aren't in biglaw are generally much happier). The problem with biglaw is that it makes people burn out of the profession a lot faster than other career paths in law - a lot of people don't even bother trying government, etc. because they just end up hating practicing.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:16 am

ReasonableNprudent wrote:You seem to like stats, and they are telling. Have you checked out the turnover for biglaw after 5 years? Your biglaw background might help leverage you as well, but I wouldn't bank on riding on your t14 degree forever.


Hahahahaha... I've already made it out of biglaw into a better job, and you don't need to lecture me on riding my T14 degree. I have a skill set that is many times more valuable than my degree at this point.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:24 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:You seem to like stats, and they are telling. Have you checked out the turnover for biglaw after 5 years? Your biglaw background might help leverage you as well, but I wouldn't bank on riding on your t14 degree forever.


Hahahahaha... I've already made it out of biglaw into a better job, and you don't need to lecture me on riding my T14 degree. I have a skill set that is many times more valuable than my degree at this point.


No need to puff your chest. We all know you think very highly of yourself. :lol:

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby JCougar » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:31 am

Alan Grant wrote:What if you could go to Cornell, UVA, or Michigan and graduate debt free? Would that, in your experience, change the calculus of the decision, or is it still a risky endeavor?


Not having any loan debt will always change the calculus, but money isn't the only factor. Like the biglaw associate posting in this thread says, biglaw is very stressful. It would probably be nicer if you didn't have tons of school debt hanging over your head, and you could plow your first 2-3 years of salary into buying a nice house, etc. instead of just getting back to square one.

But that calculus varies I suppose with whatever other options you gave up to spend 3 years grinding it out in law school, and another three years grinding it out in Biglaw.

I do know some Biglaw attorneys that seem to be happy, but the vast majority of lawyers who are happy with their jobs are in government and public interest. They're there because they like the work--not because they need the money. Going to Cornell, UVA, or Michigan makes it easier to get these types of jobs, but they are highly competitive no matter what school you go to because there's simply not that many positions available in the first place. That's the thing that a lot of people don't realize about law: the insane competition for every. single. position. No matter where you go to school, there's always someone better than you that might apply. No matter how obscure the practice area, some guy/gal with 20 years of work experience and crazy connections might have an existential crisis and decide he wants to put a cherry on top of his career and apply for one of these few jobs that are actually available to near-entry-level attorneys.

This nation could easily survive with no more than 50 law schools. One for each state basline, but maybe one for MT/ID/WY combined, another one for ND/SD/IA combined, none in AK. Put an extra one in CA, NY, TX and FL so that these states have two. That's all the law schools that are necessary.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby Alan Grant » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:38 am

BiglawAssociate wrote:
Alan Grant wrote:
JCougar wrote:
Alan Grant wrote:You don't think UVA or Cornell or Michigan are worth it––not even with a very generous scholarship?


Not for me--not anymore. It's just not worth the time. I had a semi-decent career before law school. I hated my employer and it was the depth of the great recession, and try as I might, I couldn't lateral anywhere else. I suppose I was lucky not to have been laid off--as I got hired less than a year before the crash. Unfortunately, I made a poor decision as to whether to go to law school that I would have never made now.

Even the lower T14 give you a non-negligible risk of crashing and burning--and all law schools take away your earning potential for three years. And, of course, what is often overlooked is that Biglaw itself is an unstable job, so the people from these lower T14s that get Biglaw jobs are nowhere near guaranteed to keep them long enough to pay back their school debt.

Like I said, only at the absolute worst medical schools do they have problems putting grads in any job at all. Bottom-half T14 schools still have problems putting like 15-25% of their class into a legit law job. So perhaps your odds of success are good, but the downside of failure is still terrible.


What if you could go to Cornell, UVA, or Michigan and graduate debt free? Would that, in your experience, change the calculus of the decision, or is it still a risky endeavor?


You're not asking me, but as a practicing lawyer who LOVED school (even law school), I think that's a perfectly fine and reasonable choice.

School is fantastic. Practicing makes you realize that even medical school sounds like awesome fun. (I've thought about going to medical school if I can for free just to stay in school for more years.... :lol: )

Worst thing that happens there is that you "waste" 3 years - but school is a good escape from reality/working. Plus you will likely get a better job than biglaw if you can afford not to do biglaw (my friends who aren't in biglaw are generally much happier). The problem with biglaw is that it makes people burn out of the profession a lot faster than other career paths in law - a lot of people don't even bother trying government, etc. because they just end up hating practicing.


How difficult/competitive is it to get a non-big law job from UVA or Cornell that actually does not suck?

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:45 am

ReasonableNprudent wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:You seem to like stats, and they are telling. Have you checked out the turnover for biglaw after 5 years? Your biglaw background might help leverage you as well, but I wouldn't bank on riding on your t14 degree forever.


Hahahahaha... I've already made it out of biglaw into a better job, and you don't need to lecture me on riding my T14 degree. I have a skill set that is many times more valuable than my degree at this point.


No need to puff your chest. We all know you think very highly of yourself. :lol:


Just a heads up: If you are bothered by arrogant people, this is definitely NOT the profession for you.

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dabigchina
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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby dabigchina » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:02 am

JCougar wrote:
This nation could easily survive with no more than 50 law schools. One for each state basline, but maybe one for MT/ID/WY combined, another one for ND/SD/IA combined, none in AK. Put an extra one in CA, NY, TX and FL so that these states have two. That's all the law schools that are necessary.


i guess cornell is a TTT that needs to close down. also i guess chicago isn't a big legal market at all. but yeah, i agree that we dont need like 200 aba accredited schools or whatever we have now.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ReasonableNprudent » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:06 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:You seem to like stats, and they are telling. Have you checked out the turnover for biglaw after 5 years? Your biglaw background might help leverage you as well, but I wouldn't bank on riding on your t14 degree forever.


Hahahahaha... I've already made it out of biglaw into a better job, and you don't need to lecture me on riding my T14 degree. I have a skill set that is many times more valuable than my degree at this point.


No need to puff your chest. We all know you think very highly of yourself. :lol:


Just a heads up: If you are bothered by arrogant people, this is definitely NOT the profession for you.


Thanks for the warning, but I think I'm OK.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby JCougar » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:17 am

dabigchina wrote:
JCougar wrote:
This nation could easily survive with no more than 50 law schools. One for each state basline, but maybe one for MT/ID/WY combined, another one for ND/SD/IA combined, none in AK. Put an extra one in CA, NY, TX and FL so that these states have two. That's all the law schools that are necessary.


i guess cornell is a TTT that needs to close down. also i guess chicago isn't a big legal market at all. but yeah, i agree that we dont need like 200 aba accredited schools or whatever we have now.


You could probably go with three schools in NY and CA, and maybe 2 in Illinois since U. Chicago has such a small class size. But Chicago is going to get plenty of extra attorneys fed to it by the already over-sized Big Ten schools in neighboring states with insanely small legal markets--even if all the other TTTs in Illinois and elsewhere are simply closed down.

For example, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana-Maurer already graduate alone probably more attorneys than each state needs every year. Drake, Marquette, St. Thomas, Hamline/William Mitchell, Indiana Tech, Indianapolis, and Valpo could all basically close down instantly, and in each state, the flagship school that is left will still generate enough excess attorneys to fill any Illinois/Chicago positions that are open beyond 1-2 schools.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:31 am

Alan Grant wrote:
How difficult/competitive is it to get a non-big law job from UVA or Cornell that actually does not suck?


Government/public interest is less prestige conscious about your degree than biglaw, but it's competitive in that you need to know the right people (especially for public interest). A lot of it is about connections and who you know. Plus, you may have to work for free for awhile to get your foot in the door since they want you to show dedication to public interest, etc.

As for government, I went to a mid to lower T-14 and my friends who got government straight out were around median - nothing special. It depends on the agency though. For DOJ/SEC, they take a lot of former clerks/biglawyers with great grades.
Last edited by BiglawAssociate on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby Moneytrees » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:29 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
ReasonableNprudent wrote:You seem to like stats, and they are telling. Have you checked out the turnover for biglaw after 5 years? Your biglaw background might help leverage you as well, but I wouldn't bank on riding on your t14 degree forever.


Hahahahaha... I've already made it out of biglaw into a better job, and you don't need to lecture me on riding my T14 degree. I have a skill set that is many times more valuable than my degree at this point.


No need to puff your chest. We all know you think very highly of yourself. :lol:


Just a heads up: If you are bothered by arrogant people, this is definitely NOT the profession for you.


I'm not bothered by arrogant people, I'm bothered by horrible logic and wishy washy arguments. Once again, some non-T14 schools are harder to get into some non T14 schools. Just like at the numbers, they're out there. Also, a point or two on the LSAT doesn't connote a huge disparity in intelligence.

Nobody would have a problem with your views if you stuck with employment outcomes. That is the area where the T14 has a clear advantage over any other school. And you know what, it may very well be the case that Biglaw firms look down at non-T14 grads. But that doesn't mean all T14 schools have smarter student bodies than all non-T14 schools.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:03 pm

Moneytrees wrote:I'm not bothered by arrogant people, I'm bothered by horrible logic and wishy washy arguments. Once again, some non-T14 schools are harder to get into some non T14 schools. Just like at the numbers, they're out there. Also, a point or two on the LSAT doesn't connote a huge disparity in intelligence.

Nobody would have a problem with your views if you stuck with employment outcomes. That is the area where the T14 has a clear advantage over any other school. And you know what, it may very well be the case that Biglaw firms look down at non-T14 grads. But that doesn't mean all T14 schools have smarter student bodies than all non-T14 schools.


*sigh*

The fact that some non-T14s are harder to get into than some T14s (and I think this is only true in certain years and generally only for a couple of T14s like Cornell and Georgetown) is completely irrelevant to how I personally would feel about going to a non-T14. That's the logic that you and others are having a hard time grasping. As I stated numerous times, my goal was biglaw and/or other prestigious jobs. I am not the only one with these goals: many other people make decisions based on how biglaw firms perceive law schools. It doesn't matter that certain non-T14s are sometimes harder to get into than T14s because the PERCEPTION among biglaw firms and other highly sought after employers does not change based on whether UCLA students have an average GPA that is a few hundredths of a point higher than Cornell's students. The perception is that students at UCLA are dumber. Period. That's all the matters.

The fact that UCLA grads have a much harder time getting biglaw jobs (33% vs. Cornell's 57% or something like that) only tells me that UCLA grads are not acting rationally (assuming the same number want biglaw at both schools, which I have no reason to doubt). The fact of the matter is that you can go to Cornell, get a job in New York at a big NYC firm and then lateral very easily to California. I have seen it done many times at my firm, so the people with higher stats who go to UCLA are the true dummies. They could have ended up in California and still gotten biglaw at a school where it is much more likely to get biglaw (in fact, it is almost twice as likely to get biglaw coming out of Cornell, so we're not talking about a trivial difference in outcomes).

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby Moneytrees » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:32 pm

Your thinking lacks nuance. If you want so cal Biglaw, you probably wouldn't go to Cornell or Georgetown. You go to UCLA on a scholarship.

Perceived prestige is also very contingent on region. You sound like you haven't really thought through your arguments and are kinda just spewing random statements to fuel self-promotion.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:37 pm

Moneytrees wrote:Your thinking lacks nuance. If you want so cal Biglaw, you probably wouldn't go to Cornell or Georgetown. You go to UCLA on a scholarship.

Perceived prestige is also very contingent on region. You sound like you haven't really thought through your arguments and are kinda just spewing random statements to fuel self-promotion.


You have no evidence that people accepted at Cornell and Georgetown, and no other T14s, would get scholarships at UCLA.

I'm not sure what kind of "nuance" you need to look at aggregate statistics and understand that UCLA gives you shitty outcomes compared to Cornell and Georgetown. The implications of this fact should be clear: the vast majority of high-profile employers do not view UCLA on equal footing as T14s. Whether or not this it borne out in GPA and/or LSAT statistics is irrelevant.

I have already addressed the regional preferences point earlier in this thread. I am sorry that you are incapable of basic reading comprehension.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby Moneytrees » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:47 pm

Once again, whether or not your outcomes out of UCLA/UT/Vandy are shitty compared to Georgetown (they're not, they are basically peers) has no relation to your statement that T14 students are smarter than non T14 students. Also of no importance to that argument is whether people perceive T14 students to be smarter. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but that doesn't affect the fact that they are objectively not, based on the numbers. Even perennial top 10 schools like Michigan and UCB have virtually identical medians as UCLA/UT/Vandy (USC and Wash U are not too far behind either).

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby BigZuck » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:15 pm

Moneytrees wrote:Once again, whether or not your outcomes out of UCLA/UT/Vandy are shitty compared to Georgetown (they're not, they are basically peers) has no relation to your statement that T14 students are smarter than non T14 students. Also of no importance to that argument is whether people perceive T14 students to be smarter. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but that doesn't affect the fact that they are objectively not, based on the numbers. Even perennial top 10 schools like Michigan and UCB have virtually identical medians as UCLA/UT/Vandy (USC and Wash U are not too far behind either).

UCLA/UT/Vandy are not peers of GULC, or even basically peers

And I'm sure most employers would rather have a GULC grad, all things being equal. Maybe they don't perceive them to be smarter but they perceive them to be greater than for some reason at least (prestigiouser maybe?)

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby Moneytrees » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:57 pm

GULC has the edge, I'll give you that. Vandy had better placement last year, though. They are close to being peers. That's not an outlandish claim.

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Re: lowest ranked school you would settle for?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:59 pm

Moneytrees wrote:Once again, whether or not your outcomes out of UCLA/UT/Vandy are shitty compared to Georgetown (they're not, they are basically peers) has no relation to your statement that T14 students are smarter than non T14 students. Also of no importance to that argument is whether people perceive T14 students to be smarter. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but that doesn't affect the fact that they are objectively not, based on the numbers. Even perennial top 10 schools like Michigan and UCB have virtually identical medians as UCLA/UT/Vandy (USC and Wash U are not too far behind either).


Look, it's obviously a sliding scale and there is not much of a difference in terms of UG academic performance and LSAT scores between UCLA/UT/Vandy and the lower T14 schools. To the extent that I said anything about T14 students being smarter than non-T14 students, I was including students from ALL of the T14 schools (on average) as compared with students from ALL of the non-T14 schools. And to the extent you or others interpreted (incorrectly) that I was making some kind of statement about GULC/Cornell vs. UCLA/UT/Vandy, that was not the main point I intended to make. The main point is that biglaw firms and others have drawn the line at the T14, and that's really all that matters to me (and, therefore, really all that matters in the context of this thread about what we each individually think).




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