Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

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180orbust
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Re: Did strong alumni or high rank help in the end?

Postby 180orbust » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:34 am

Don't go to WUSTL if you want to work in the east coast/south. Yeah, its possible, I guess, if you finish median, but an alumni network will help get your resume looked at if your grades don't demand attention. If you're median at WUSTL, you're crossing your fingers for small law firms in the midwest, and reaching out to every alumni you can find.

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

Postby kams » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:42 am

I'm originally from Missouri, and I was considering WUSTL as well but I chose BU. I do know a couple WUSTL grads who seem to be hurting, and whatever they found was pretty much in the midweest.

I do think going with the higher ranked school is always the best option. (I think you are mistaken about whatever school you were talking about that is national but low ranked). I went to BU, and while it's not a top school, I still had a couple offers from the big firms in the midwest.

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

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:44 am

kams wrote:I do think going with the higher ranked school is always the best option.

Not necessarily. In fact, probably not even true the majority of time. A full ride at a T40 in the region you want to work is always better than 6 figures of debt at a T20.

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

Postby kams » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:51 am

romothesavior wrote:
kams wrote:I do think going with the higher ranked school is always the best option.

Not necessarily. In fact, probably not even true the majority of time. A full ride at a T40 in the region you want to work is always better than 6 figures of debt at a T20.


Conceded, but usually students who get a full ride from a T40 also squeeze out change from T20s. I think 25k/year at a T20 is as good a deal as a full ride from a T40, assuming one wants to have a few more options after graduation.

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

Postby ugawarrent » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:57 pm

reaisan wrote: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.


If you're talking about returning to the south years later—with years of experience—then being "from the south" and "coming home" might help them give you a shot. Once you've gotten out and gotten a good job (no easy feat), then the school you went to matters less and less over time. This is a generalization of course because there are firms that would probably never hire me because I didn't go to the law schools they think are superior. But for some jobs, especially with mid-sized and smaller firms, the "school" is not quite as important.

However, the school and alumni, and the firms' tie to them, are much more important for getting the first job. I think your *specific* network is going to be much more valuable than your law school's generic alumni network. The "lower-ranked school with a national alumni network" you mentioned in your original question is just not as likely to "help" you get a job in a far flung location, as your personal network in that location or a more concentrated network of alumni in the region around the school. Again, T14 makes a difference because some of those schools' alumni are much more "exclusive" about giving a leg up to one another. There is a reason there is an "Ivy Only" club in many major cities...

Looking back at your original post, it looks like maybe you are talking about this "later on in life and career" perspective. And in that case, I'd say almost certainly that the further you get away from graduation and the more developed your personal network becomes (and if it doesn't become you have shortchanged yourself), the more you will rely on the latter. That will be your source of employment opportunities, clients, referrals, etc. Not a cold call to a "national alumni network" saying you're looking for a job. That works for summer associates for sure but less for laterals.




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