Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

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Kayre14

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Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby Kayre14 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:28 pm

I have been offered a scholarship from both a tier 2 and a tier 3.

The tier 2 being UTK and Tier 3 is Mercer.

I could attend Mercer for about half the cost as UTK, and it is in GA where I hope to practice law after graduation.

However, I am in love with Knoxville and the school. Is it a bad choice to go to a more expensive school not in my state? Even if it is higher ranked.

I am in a current fight between heart and brain, so any advice helps.

20170322

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby 20170322 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:03 pm

Kayre14 wrote:I have been offered a scholarship from both a tier 2 and a tier 3.

The tier 2 being UTK and Tier 3 is Mercer.

I could attend Mercer for about half the cost as UTK, and it is in GA where I hope to practice law after graduation.

However, I am in love with Knoxville and the school. Is it a bad choice to go to a more expensive school not in my state? Even if it is higher ranked.

I am in a current fight between heart and brain, so any advice helps.


Yes.

cavalier1138

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:24 pm

What are your career goals, and where do you want to work?

But yes, in general, it's a bad idea to go to a non-T14 school outside your desired region because it has a higher USNWR ranking.

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emkay625

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby emkay625 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:26 pm

You should go to UTK if you want to work in Tennessee when you graduate. If you want to work in Georgia, go to Mercer.

You can compare the school's employment prospects here:
https://www.lstreports.com/compare/mercer/tennessee/

That being said, it is not a great idea to pay sticker price to attend either one of these schools. What does your financial package look like? I know you said Mercer is half the cost, but what amount is that?

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bmathers

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby bmathers » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:36 pm

If you want to work in ATL/GA -- Mercer, hands down. Have you applied to Georgia State, as well? They have good placement in Georgia, and the sticker price for in-state is only $16k/yr

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tncats

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby tncats » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:11 pm

I don't think it's an outright bad idea. UTK is going to be respected in Georgia as well since they are so close. It would probably be helpful to know what type of job you are hoping to pursue after graduation and then do some more in-depth research about that type of employment.

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pancakes3

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:33 pm

0Ls should not give employment advice

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Johann

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby Johann » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:47 pm

It's hard for me to fathom an employer preferring Mercer over Tennessee. as a T3 grad myself, I recommend going wherever you will be happiest and work hardest for 3 years. The rest will sort itself out. There are great repayment plans to help with the debt if debt is your concern - PAYE. I'm cheap so I'd probably go with the cheaper option, but if you're going to wonder "what if" for years, I don't think you can really put a price on that.

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zot1

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby zot1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:51 pm

pancakes3 wrote:0Ls should not give employment advice

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bmathers

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby bmathers » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:19 pm

zot1 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:0Ls should not give employment advice

I'll take your advice and stop, but looking at the reports they have equivalent employment %, but the vast majority of Mercer's employment (86.7%) is in the state of GA. https://www.lstreports.com/schools/mercer/ https://www.lstreports.com/schools/tennessee/

My end of it all right now, I suppose, is looking at law schools to attend. In that respect, I echo my Georgia State sentiment from earlier. It's the cheapest of the three options and probably gives you the best shot at work in ATL (hence it being located in the ATL). If you can get into UTK, you can get into GSU, and it may fit his/her goals the best.

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zot1

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby zot1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:35 pm

Statistics only give you so much of the story. For example, they don't tell you if some of those jobs were achieved through connections. Are you familiar with the Atlanta market? Anyone can look at the numbers and make an educated guess. That's a little different from "hands down, go there."

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby BigZuck » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:23 pm

zot1 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:0Ls and Johanns should not give employment advice

nick417

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby nick417 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:24 pm

I will echo the responses on here. It is always best to go to the school in the region you want to work in. Law schools have become very local and degrees don't transfer as much (unless you are at a top law school).

But I wouldn't shut the door on Tennessee. You never know if you will love Tennessee and want to work/live there. Also, Nashville is a decent sized city so I have to image the legal market is respectable there.

Also, law school is long, stressful, miserable, and boring. So you want to be somewhere that is at least enjoyable and you can meet fun/interesting people. I don't know how I would have made it without the friends I developed at school.

Cost and employment prospects should be top priority. But you shouldn't forget soft factors too.

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zot1

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby zot1 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:40 pm

I would not go to a school with no ties, competing with Vandy grads, in the hopes I might like it.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby Mr. Archer » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:54 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:It's hard for me to fathom an employer preferring Mercer over Tennessee.


In GA, I would say employers would prefer Mercer over Tennessee, especially the Mercer alums in Atlanta where I presume OP wants to practice (if OP wants to practice in the north GA mountains, then Tennessee might make more sense). Mercer has a good school reputation overall in GA, although more for undergrad. I've lived in GA my entire life and practice in Atlanta, and I've never heard anyone say anything good about a Tennessee degree, but maybe that has something to do with football . . .

GA state should also be under consideration, because it's cheap and in Atlanta.

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:58 am

BigZuck wrote:
zot1 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:0Ls and Johanns should not give employment advice


Johann is better situated than most to give advice regarding Tier 3 schools, even if you don't agree with him.

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zot1

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby zot1 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:52 pm

One person with a favorable outcome from a low tiered school =/= favorable outcome is available to all who attend a low tiered school.

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northwood

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby northwood » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:27 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:It's hard for me to fathom an employer preferring Mercer over Tennessee. as a T3 grad myself, I recommend going wherever you will be happiest and work hardest for 3 years. The rest will sort itself out. There are great repayment plans to help with the debt if debt is your concern - PAYE. I'm cheap so I'd probably go with the cheaper option, but if you're going to wonder "what if" for years, I don't think you can really put a price on that.



I agree with this and add, go to whatever school is cheaper for you. IF you are offered a scholarship look at the requirements to maintain the scholarship and then look at the schools grade distribution to see how difficult it is to meet those requirements. I will also add that it is better to go to a school in the state where you want to practice.

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby BigZuck » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:21 pm

lawman84 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
zot1 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:0Ls and Johanns should not give employment advice


Johann is better situated than most to give advice regarding Tier 3 schools, even if you don't agree with him.

Nah

I mean "better situated than most" is probably literally true. That's not the problem though.

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Johann

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby Johann » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:24 pm

zot1 wrote:One person with a favorable outcome from a low tiered school =/= favorable outcome is available to all who attend a low tiered school.


I know. I made 35k in a big city after graduating from law school despite doing well. My friends also spanned a wide spectrum of doc review to shitty unsalaried jobs. I'm several years out, and keep all of that in perspective when giving advice.

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:41 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
zot1 wrote:One person with a favorable outcome from a low tiered school =/= favorable outcome is available to all who attend a low tiered school.


I know. I made 35k in a big city after graduating from law school despite doing well. My friends also spanned a wide spectrum of doc review to shitty unsalaried jobs. I'm several years out, and keep all of that in perspective when giving advice.


And this is why Johann is better situated than most. When I see him responding to threads like this, he isn't selling dreams. He's realistic with people. He gives advice that some of y'all may disagree with. If you disagree, all you have to do is point out that disagreement. But he has a perspective that people from t14s don't. And that can be valuable to people considering making the same decision he made.

Johann doesn't hide the ball. Frankly, I wouldn't take the sort of risks with debt that he sometimes advocates for, but he's upfront with people about it.

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zot1

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby zot1 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:10 pm

Don't get me wrong, I didn't actually say the Johann bit. It was added. But all that he said to OP at first was problematic if that person didn't know the rest that was added later. See below.

JohannDeMann wrote:It's hard for me to fathom an employer preferring Mercer over Tennessee. as a T3 grad myself, I recommend going wherever you will be happiest and work hardest for 3 years. The rest will sort itself out. There are great repayment plans to help with the debt if debt is your concern - PAYE. I'm cheap so I'd probably go with the cheaper option, but if you're going to wonder "what if" for years, I don't think you can really put a price on that.


1. Chances are that many employers in GA prefer Mercer over TN because the south can be an insular market within same state. Also, partners who went to mercer (which are likely more in GA than those who went to TN) will want Mercer grads.
2. Going wherever you'll be happier and work the hardest is TCR. But someone's gotta ask, can OP get into better schools next cycle? Would she be happier at Emory? Vandy?
3. The rest could sort itself out. But we don't know a lot about OP. Would OP be happy getting stuck in TN if s/he has no other employment options?
4. Repayment plans are not a sure thing at the moment.
5. Going to the cheapest school is sound advice.
6. Going to the school you want to go the most is solid. I paid more to go where I went and would do it the same all over again if I had to.

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zot1

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Re: Deciding between Tier 2 and tier 3.

Postby zot1 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:11 pm

I'm not trying to pick on J, by the way. I just remember what it's like to have very little knowledge about stuff. And although you're right that J doesn't hide the ball, his original post didn't tell his whole story. Now of course OP can go through his post history and what not. Anyway, I'm out now.



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