Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

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Toby247

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Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby Toby247 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:13 pm

I’m currently waiting on some applications that I have sumbited but I’ve been told that if you don’t get into a top 15 law school don’t bother going. Just wanted to know what your opinion is on this. As it currently stands I can get into a 75th ranked school.

What I was thinking was taking time off of work and studying to try to get a 165 score. But I would lose a year in the process. Thoughts?

CanadianWolf

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:18 pm

Depends upon your employment goals. If you want biglaw, then you probably need to attend a very highly ranked law school (T-15).

Almost always better to retake the LSAT in order to get more scholarship offers as well as admittance to T-20 law schools.

Yulifus

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby Yulifus » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Unless you go to a law school that will make you unemployable after graduation, then the answer is yes. You don't need a law degree from NYU or Columbia to be a successful attorney.

There are plenty of attorneys with successful careers who went to tier 2, 3, 4 law schools.

AspiringAspirant

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby AspiringAspirant » Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:40 pm

The answer here is nuanced and depends on a variety of factors, including how much financial aid you receive, how flexible you want to be with where you work, how flexible you want to be with what your job is/how much money you make, etc. A blanket statement like "t15 or bust" is not true in all circumstances, but is true in some.

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Bartlet4President

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby Bartlet4President » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:28 pm

Toby247 wrote:I’m currently waiting on some applications that I have sumbited but I’ve been told that if you don’t get into a top 15 law school don’t bother going. Just wanted to know what your opinion is on this. As it currently stands I can get into a 75th ranked school.

What I was thinking was taking time off of work and studying to try to get a 165 score. But I would lose a year in the process. Thoughts?



Don’t pay for law school. What you are getting from “75” isn’t going to be much different than “120” ranked law school; considering the fact that the opportunity is nearly equal, don’t pay for law school. Be a hustler. There is a lot more than big law.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:56 am

Toby247 wrote:I’m currently waiting on some applications that I have sumbited but I’ve been told that if you don’t get into a top 15 law school don’t bother going. Just wanted to know what your opinion is on this. As it currently stands I can get into a 75th ranked school.

What I was thinking was taking time off of work and studying to try to get a 165 score. But I would lose a year in the process. Thoughts?


1) "Losing a year" is something children worry about. Adults don't care if you graduate at 25 or 26 (or 36 for that matter). Focus on the outcome (getting a job as a lawyer), not on the process.

2) Rankings matter until they don't. Rankings matter most when you're taking large financial risk in the hope of getting a large financial reward. If you're going to take out a quarter million in loans to try to get biglaw, don't go to the 75th ranked school. If you're going to cashflow law school and hang your own shingle, the 75th ranked school is fine. You have to understand why rankings matter to understand when rankings matter.

3) There are two metrics that matter for law school: cost and job placement. Everything else is fluff. Most (read: every) schools cost waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much for their job placement statistics. (There are websites out there like Law School Transparency that show job placement stats for most schools) That's why you never pay sticker price for law school. The stats get worse the further down the rankings list you go. Do you want to gamble $250k on a 2% chance of making it into biglaw? Plenty of schools will happily take your student loan money and let you try it.

4) The success or failure of your LSAT studying regimen can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of difference in the offers you get from schools. Treat it like a part-time job. You can find 20 hours per week to study (probably without even quitting your job), and you need to eat, sleep, and breathe LSAT until it starts clicking for you and you get the score you want. Experiment with different study materials, different study methods, different classes. Invest in your LSAT success like $150k is on the line, because it is!

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Bartlet4President

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby Bartlet4President » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:33 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
Toby247 wrote:I’m currently waiting on some applications that I have sumbited but I’ve been told that if you don’t get into a top 15 law school don’t bother going. Just wanted to know what your opinion is on this. As it currently stands I can get into a 75th ranked school.

What I was thinking was taking time off of work and studying to try to get a 165 score. But I would lose a year in the process. Thoughts?


1) "Losing a year" is something children worry about. Adults don't care if you graduate at 25 or 26 (or 36 for that matter). Focus on the outcome (getting a job as a lawyer), not on the process.

2) Rankings matter until they don't. Rankings matter most when you're taking large financial risk in the hope of getting a large financial reward. If you're going to take out a quarter million in loans to try to get biglaw, don't go to the 75th ranked school. If you're going to cashflow law school and hang your own shingle, the 75th ranked school is fine. You have to understand why rankings matter to understand when rankings matter.

3) There are two metrics that matter for law school: cost and job placement. Everything else is fluff. Most (read: every) schools cost waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much for their job placement statistics. (There are websites out there like Law School Transparency that show job placement stats for most schools) That's why you never pay sticker price for law school. The stats get worse the further down the rankings list you go. Do you want to gamble $250k on a 2% chance of making it into biglaw? Plenty of schools will happily take your student loan money and let you try it.

4) The success or failure of your LSAT studying regimen can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of difference in the offers you get from schools. Treat it like a part-time job. You can find 20 hours per week to study (probably without even quitting your job), and you need to eat, sleep, and breathe LSAT until it starts clicking for you and you get the score you want. Experiment with different study materials, different study methods, different classes. Invest in your LSAT success like $150k is on the line, because it is!




This.

LegalBiology

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby LegalBiology » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:31 pm

I have a question bout this.. is it really the case that if you go to a school that's ranked 16, 17 or heck even 20 something that there is a huge drop in employment to big law (or other high salary 160K+ right out of law school)

the employment for schools like Vandy, USC, BC and BU are all on par with Ivy League but those schools are not T15

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Bartlet4President

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby Bartlet4President » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:47 am

Easiest answer. Best opportunity= best school in your location or unicorn schools (HYS). The internet is dope.

Employment numbers are fabricated

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TFALAWL

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby TFALAWL » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:58 pm

I would argue that this post, along with the hundreds of similar ones I've seen over the years (been snooping since '09) would best be reframed as "when does T-14 make sense?"

If your goal is to be a DA in LA, it makes more sense to go to UCLA/USC.

If your goal is big law in a secondary market, a t-14 could make sense, but a strong regional (e.g. UCLA/USC) can still give you a reasonably good shot at a better price.

If your goal is to do M&A in NYC, then yea, t-14 is almost obligatory.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Is it worth it if you don’t go to a T15 (Top 15)

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:23 pm

Generally echoing the above.

My opinion in answer to OP’s original question is to go to the best (or maybe second best in some circumstances) school in the region for minimal or no money. In my view, a full ride to BC for somebody who wants Boston is way better than NYU sticker, and I think arguably even C or C sticker. If you can get a strong enough school in a region you want to live, with only living expenses as debt, you are in a great position to have a relatively (emphasize relatively) low stress experience in LS.

That being said, second to the question of region is the question of goals which are also something that must be considered. Let’s say you live to fedclerk. Then, in my view, the question of BC full ride (5% fedclerk or so) vs C or C sticker because a much harder question.



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