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Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:29 am
by reaisan
Hello,

What has helped you all secure jobs later on in life and career? Was it really the name of the school, or was it networking with colleagues?

I'm interested in two regional T20 schools, and one lower-ranked school with a national alumni network, waving scholarship money my way.

Long-term, would choosing a national school be better, because I'd have the chance to start anew elsewhere?

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:33 am
by Cupidity
Thread is useless without names

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:56 am
by reaisan
I was asking for your experiences, to see what helped you guys, alumni or rank.

As for me though, I originally wanted Emory (I live in ATL) or WUSTL, but I have been considering another school. Ranked lower, but is national-- especially if you're in the top of the class. Not to get a big head, but I have a better chance at topping there than the first two schools I mentioned.

An alumni market in LA, ATL, NYC, DC is catching my attention. Students I talked to are working for A&B in ATL after graduation, clerkships and some in top firms in LA. Granted, all are top of the class.

So, based on your employment experiences, what do you think is more beneficial, alumni or rank?

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:00 am
by Kohinoor
reaisan wrote:I was asking for your experiences, to see what helped you guys, alumni or rank.

As for me though, I originally wanted Emory (I live in ATL) or WUSTL, but I have been considering another school. Ranked lower, but is national-- especially if you're in the top of the class. Not to get a big head, but I have a better chance at topping there than the first two schools I mentioned.

An alumni market in LA, ATL, NYC, DC is catching my attention. Students I talked to are working for A&B in ATL after graduation, clerkships and some in top firms in LA. Granted, all are top of the class.

So, based on your employment experiences, what do you think is more beneficial, alumni or rank?

One of those is probably wrong.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:02 am
by stratocophic
Kohinoor wrote:
reaisan wrote:I was asking for your experiences, to see what helped you guys, alumni or rank.

As for me though, I originally wanted Emory (I live in ATL) or WUSTL, but I have been considering another school. Ranked lower, but is national-- especially if you're in the top of the class. Not to get a big head, but I have a better chance at topping there than the first two schools I mentioned.

An alumni market in LA, ATL, NYC, DC is catching my attention. Students I talked to are working for A&B in ATL after graduation, clerkships and some in top firms in LA. Granted, all are top of the class.

So, based on your employment experiences, what do you think is more beneficial, alumni or rank?

One of those is probably wrong.
It's probably Tulane or something. Noobs have funny ideas about national reach and law schools.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:10 am
by reaisan
So, for you guys its rank over everything.

Do you think if I wanted to leave the Mid-West, I could do that with WUSTL at median? That is my top-choice, but... don't think I'll be in the top 15% there at all.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:19 am
by glewz
would really help if you specified what school that lower ranked one is + scholly #s for the 3 schools you're considering

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:21 am
by Grizz
reaisan wrote:So, for you guys its rank over everything.


No

Do you think if I wanted to leave the Mid-West, I could do that with WUSTL at median?


Depends what regions you have ties to. ATL? Probably. Texas? Maybe not.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:33 am
by Total Litigator
I'm really curious as to what this T1 national law school is...

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:53 am
by 2LLLL
Yeah right now this thread is a fail without more information.

In general, once you get outside the top band of schools (probably T14, but that argument is for another thread), you're going to have the best chance of finding work in the region where your school is. So, for instance, if you wanted to work in Seattle, you're probably better off going to UW than to WUSTL. Likewise if you're gunning for LA, take USC or UCLA over WUSTL. If you want to work in Charlotte, go to UNC, etc....

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:10 pm
by FunkyJD
reaisan wrote:As for me though, I originally wanted Emory (I live in ATL) or WUSTL, but I have been considering another school. Ranked lower, but is national-- especially if you're in the top of the class. Not to get a big head, but I have a better chance at topping there than the first two schools I mentioned.

An alumni market in LA, ATL, NYC, DC is catching my attention. Students I talked to are working for A&B in ATL after graduation, clerkships and some in top firms in LA. Granted, all are top of the class.

Sounds like OP's thinking of Notre Dame, except I don't think they place much in ATL. Would also be a bit much to call it a "national" law school.

Also, lulz at the idea that you have a "better chance" or any good chance of topping out at any law school, for any number of reasons.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:38 pm
by Cavalier
There are no national law schools outside the T14. If you don't want to be in the regions where those two schools are located, retake the LSAT and reapply. Sure, if you're top of the class at a T25 you can probably go to any region you want, but getting top of the class is harder than it sounds, in case you didn't know.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:43 pm
by RVP11
Cavalier wrote:but getting top of the class is harder than it sounds, in case you didn't know.


Surely if I read the E&Es and study a lot I will make Law Review, right? I know it's a bad idea to pay full price at a T2 but I'm planning on working hard.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:35 pm
by Cavalier
RVP11 wrote:
Cavalier wrote:but getting top of the class is harder than it sounds, in case you didn't know.

Surely if I read the E&Es and study a lot I will make Law Review, right? I know it's a bad idea to pay full price at a T2 but I'm planning on working hard.

Oh, well in that case you'll be fine! Very few students know about E&Es, and even fewer actually work hard.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:51 pm
by romothesavior
reaisan wrote: Not to get a big head, but I have a better chance at topping there than the first two schools I mentioned.

No, you definitely do not, unless we're talking about a massive drop in rankings. And even then I don't think you can bank on being in the top of your class.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:52 pm
by NU_Jet55
rad law wrote:
reaisan wrote:Do you think if I wanted to leave the Mid-West, I could do that with WUSTL at median?


Depends what regions you have ties to. ATL? Probably. Texas? Maybe not.


This is not entirely true. It would depend what market in Texas. The Dallas market, for instance, is not as insular as the other markets in Dallas, and there are surprisingly a ton of Wash U Law grads in Dallas.


Cavalier wrote:There are no national law schools outside the T14.


And there are even a couple of schools in the T14 that aren't national...Can't we just be honest on TLS and use T12 for "national" schools and T17 for the regional schools with strong big-law reputations?

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:37 pm
by reaisan
So, everyone thinks they got their job because of alma matter (or rather will get? No one has shared their experiences yet).

Would you say that school rank was even more important than grades at T30 (but under T17)? Or more like a boost on top of strong grades? I guess thats really regional.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:42 pm
by romothesavior
reaisan wrote:So, everyone thinks they got their job because of alma matter (or rather will get? No one has shared their experiences yet).

Would you say that school rank was even more important than grades at T30 (but under T17)? Or more like a boost on top of strong grades? I guess thats really regional.


I'm not sure what you are asking. The schools between 18-30 (I think that is what you are talking about, confused by your use of the word "under") are all very similar. They are regional schools with good but not great job prospects, an okay shot at big law, and offer an opportunity for students to place nationally if they have 1) significant ties to an area and/or 2) great grades. The differences between these schools are negligible.

Someone in the top 10% is at Fordham is going to do better than someone in the top 30% at Minnesota or Emory, regardless of the rank. The rankings mean almost nothing within the range of schools you are talking about.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:50 pm
by FunkyJD
On further review, there are Golden Domers in force at Alston & Bird in Atlanta. Wow. OP's got to be talking about ND, no? Check it out.

To answer your question, OP, going to a school outside of your target region is not optimal, unless that school is, as has been pointed out, T14 (or T12, however you want to delineate it). If you have strong ties to your target region, that can be helpful if you're not going to school in that region. If not, it is going to be very difficult. If there aren't many firms from that region coming to your OCI, how are you going to get on their radar screen? NALP it and see.

Get the best grades that you can, regardless.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:51 pm
by Total Litigator
Also depends on what kind of job you got. Small law firms might actually be somewhat impressed by a T30 grad with unextraordinary grades, while biglaw would not be impressed at all by a T30 school, thus making your grades much more important.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:43 pm
by vamedic03
Cavalier wrote:
RVP11 wrote:
Cavalier wrote:but getting top of the class is harder than it sounds, in case you didn't know.

Surely if I read the E&Es and study a lot I will make Law Review, right? I know it's a bad idea to pay full price at a T2 but I'm planning on working hard.

Oh, well in that case you'll be fine! Very few students know about E&Es, and even fewer actually work hard.


Wait, wait, what's an E&E? Did y'all cover that in contracts?

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:00 am
by RVP11
NU_Jet55 wrote:
Cavalier wrote:There are no national law schools outside the T14.


And there are even a couple of schools in the T14 that aren't national...Can't we just be honest on TLS and use T12 for "national" schools and T17 for the regional schools with strong big-law reputations?


How about we just scrap this unprincipled distinction between "national" and "regional" schools?

There arguably ZERO schools good enough to get you into secondary markets in which you don't have the level of ties they're looking for, and there are very few schools from which you aren't going to be able to get back to your hometown with great grades.

It's really just a bunch of gray. I mean, it's probably not a crazy idea for someone who was born and raised in Las Vegas to go to a school like WUSTL, GW, or BC (even if they're so-called "regional" schools) over UNLV, even if they're planning on working in Vegas.

What the T14 ("national") schools give you are OCI access to firms from all the major national markets (lots of variety! :roll: NY or DC). This makes it a lot easier for you and reduces your mass-mailing load. But it doesn't don't whisk away firms' concerns that you're a flight risk because of your lack of ties.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:19 am
by reaisan
RVP11 wrote:How about we just scrap this unprincipled distinction between "national" and "regional" schools?

There arguably ZERO schools good enough to get you into secondary markets in which you don't have the level of ties they're looking for, and there are very few schools from which you aren't going to be able to get back to your hometown with great grades.

It's really just a bunch of gray. I mean, it's probably not a crazy idea for someone who was born and raised in Las Vegas to go to a school like WUSTL, GW, or BC (even if they're so-called "regional" schools) over UNLV, even if they're planning on working in Vegas.

What the T14 ("national") schools give you are OCI access to firms from all the major national markets (lots of variety! :roll: NY or DC). This makes it a lot easier for you and reduces your mass-mailing load. But it doesn't don't whisk away firms' concerns that you're a flight risk because of your lack of ties.

That's an interesting point. So, I shouldn't feel pinned down to the mid-west with WUSTL. At median, I still hope to eventually move closer to the east coast. I'm from the south, but I wouldn't say I have ties to any firms.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:27 am
by Grizz
reaisan wrote:but I wouldn't say I have ties to any firms.


It's ties to the location we're talking here.

Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:04 am
by reaisan
Would growing up in the south be a strong enough tie?

If so, going to school up north would help me should I fall in love with the area and decide to stay-- and I could always come back home. That would be great.