Applying to a lower tier school?

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Applying to a lower tier school?

Postby inmybeginning » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:31 pm

So, I'm really not sure what schools I should apply to.

I'm in the SF bay area and have no interest in leaving due to husband's job, family, etc. My mom and grandpa have a practice that I would most likely be taking over. It's just the two of them but it is a large practice in the field of estate planning, trusts and wills. I would like to possibly, eventually grow the practice larger since I enjoy management (current job). I would like to go to a better law school because of the networking possibilities post-graduation if I'm looking to grow the practice. We have two T14 law schools within commuting distance (Stanford, UC Berkeley) plus a few top 50 schools (UC Davis and UC Hastings) plus a smattering of not so great law schools (Santa Clara, USF, Golden Gate, John F Kennedy University). But the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking it might not be the best thing to go to a T14 school because graduates from those schools are looking for bigger jobs than the small practice my family has. I have a 3.98 GPA w/ attending an honors program, I took the LSAT in Dec. and will most likely get low 160s (was PTing high 160s, but nerves were bad and I had little sleep), so T14 is possible, especially if I waited out a cycle and retook the LSAT (only studied for about 3 months with a FT job). But I'm not sure that's the best decision.

Any thoughts or input?

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Re: Applying to a lower tier school?

Postby dietcoke1 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:01 pm

I think there is nothing wrong with going to Stanford or Berkeley if you are planning to work for a small or medium sized firm EXCEPT for the cost. If you already have a job lined up with your family's firm and you know 100% that is what you will be doing then do not go to Stanford or Berkeley and pay a tremendous amount of money. If you are going straight to your family's firm then I would recommend going to the highest ranked law school that gives you the most money.

UC Davis or Hastings on a full ride scholarship are definitely possible for you and if you have a job lined up already then those schools are good options.

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Re: Applying to a lower tier school?

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:41 pm

I think your best option would be to target UC Davis with a really large (close to full at minimum) scholarship, given that you already have a job lined up.

It has a lower CoL than Hastings so you'll take on less debt by attending, it's a good school for the area, and unlike Hastings has decent bar passage rates. I'd be wary of Hastings right now; they seem to have a lot of issues that are exacerbating rather than diminishing.

If you're unsure about taking over the family firm though, you'd be best off shooting for an LSAT over 170 and going to a T14 like Boalt with money. Leaves you with lots of different options that way should you choose to pursue something else. Your GPA is good enough that you can get into pretty much any law school in the country with a strong enough LSAT score.

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