jebsterb wrote:If you want to be even a little competitive nationally I'd attend the highest ranked public Big10 school that offers you a full ride.
Thing is, even with this, most of these Big 10 schools don't even offer that great of a chance of being a lawyer at all. Even with a full ride, you go into debt for living expenses and put a big black hole on your resume for 3 years (including lost salary above law student living expenses). Plus all the insane stress that law school brings. And you probably have to pay for a bar study course and the bar exam itself. And then you're limited to only one state, and it's impossible to find work in a different state because nobody wants to take the risk of hiring you before you actually pass the bar in their state, and you don't want to take the risk of actually spending the money/time to take another bar if you don't have a guaranteed job lined up. You'll likely be volunteering/too poor to afford another bar exam anyway.
States like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan are some of the most overcrowded states out there--the last three of which are among the Top 10 most overcrowded states for lawyers. And the big cities in these states are even more overcrowded than the small towns and rural areas. And if you think you're going to waltz in from out of state and convince a small-town law firm to hire you without ties, you're in for a sad future. These firms are not stupid. They know that after 1-2 years of experience, you're going to be off to a bigger city.
The oversupply of lawyers is understated even by the newer, more transparent statistics that are out there. It's still not a good time to go to law school.
You can witness this if you ever did any temp-work for a shitlaw firm. I did some brief work for a place like that over a year ago. The guy normally refused to hire from my school because it was too highly ranked and everyone he normally hired from there left immediately. But I talked him into taking me on while I was waiting for my bar results, because he just had two people quit. It was in the suburbs of a medium-sized Midwestern city. The pay was $40K/year and it was an unstable small firm with only one partner in a run-down office with like three associates to a room. He even stuffed an associate into a small hovel that served as a supply closet and snack room as well as this associate's office. When I went in there to microwave my tea, I practically had to elbow the guy in the head to get the microwave door open. Average associate tenure there was about 6 months. Out of 6 associates that were working there when I was there, only one is left. The rest quit/got fired. And this was just over a year ago. And the people that quit didn't do so because they found another job. I follow them on LinkedIn, and only one that I know of is employed elsewhere in law. The rest probably figured they'd rather kill themselves than work another day in this profession after that experience.
Yet in this guy's office, he had a stack of resumes at least 6 inches tall. Whenever someone quit, he would simply pull another resume out of the pile and give them a call. I think it was random. The only way to get his attention for an interview was to call him or try and network with him. Or be one of the random 500 resumes he pulled out of the pile.
At least one of the associates that was working there got his job after two years of volunteering. He is the only guy still there from when I worked there. I doubt he makes much more than $50K at this point. I have no idea what his debt load is, but imagine your average law school debt load, and then tack on 2 years of accumulated interest. And then a shitlaw salary for the rest of your life. And you're one of the lucky ones pulled out of the pile of 500 desperate strivers that would do anything just to work there because it's better than working at Starbucks/living with their parents.
That's what happens if you strike out at OCI--which for most schools is almost 90% of the class.