Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

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Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:41 am

My goal since day one of my education has been to open up a small law office in a small town. I have no interest in law firms and would be satisfied making $40-90K per year. My question here is would the tier of the law school I go to even matter for me? Would the location of the school matter? I find myself in the situation where I can take a free ride at a tier3 out of state school or pay almost sticker price for a tier2 school out of state. As it is early in the cycle I have yet to know if any T2 schools will offer merit or need scholarships (I live below the poverty level and am a non-traditional student who is 36 yrs old).

Any thoughts appreciated.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:43 am

State bar membership should be your primary concern.

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:53 am

CanadianWolf wrote:State bar membership should be your primary concern.


Just to clarify; It is your suggestion that location or tier of the school is unimportant so long as I can pass the bar in the state I intend to practice in?

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:58 am

Which law schools & what are your career plans & goals ? But, to address your question, yes, if you plan to open up your own law office. Nobody will care--or even be interested in--where you attended law school if you are a sole practitioner.

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mpj_3050
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:06 pm

I would be concerned about opening a solo practice right out of school. It has been said repeatedly that schools don't prepare you for the actual practice of law and you have to take into account the startup costs associated with solo practices. With a low debt level you could try to work for a small firm for a few years to get your bearings and build up some relationships. A 40k starting salary doesn't doom you when you have a low debt level so a local tier3 with a sizable scholarship wouldn't be bad. Also, are you factoring in cost of living?

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:34 pm

Opening up a solo practice right out of law school also concerns me. I am not sure if it is feasible. Figuring in my current debt ($20K for undergrad) and the cost of living at a T3 school minus any money my wife will make working as I am in school I would estimate a total debt out of the T3 as around $30-40K. This is on the high end, as over the last few years I've been saving up for the move that I knew was coming - I had always planned on moving my family to whatever law school I got into.

The lower rank schools I have offers at right now are Dayton and University of Oklahoma City. I plan to practice in my home state of Kentucky. I have in-state applications on file now and will pay the sticker at University of Kentucky if offered, its around 16K per year and I will get grants based on my income (Less cost than my undergrad school). Lower rank school applications were a last minute thought for me - most of my applications are in the T2 range. I may have to look over the T3s and see if any really stand out because I have not researched any of them.

My career goals: Open up my own law office, maybe public defender or district attorney at some point, and Judicial aspirations on the long term.

Are law firms completely out of the question from a T3 school perspective? I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.

I have THOUGHT about working with a local attorney for a year or two... Just the thought is as far as I have gotten. I have not inquired at any of the local private offices.

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby jwaters » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:41 pm

I think the name of the school matters in this case. I live in a small town in Ohio, almost all the lawyers here are tier4 grads, but people know the name of the universities associated with their JDs. The locals coming in for a will or a divorce don't know or care about law school rankings, unless it's HYS (names most people know as great schools) go to a school with name recognition. FWIW the most successful solo in this town is a Toledo grad.

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby jwaters » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:54 pm

You just need to be careful about limiting yourself to such narrow options. Its not that easy just to graduate and then throw up your own law firm. All of these small town already have half a dozen solo firms that have been established in the community for decades. A firm is just like any other business. What happens when you fail and have to pay back all your loans and all you have is a law degree from a TTT with hardly any work experience?

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:59 pm

jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?


I put that in there as additional information when considering the law firm question. I know I will be within those percentile ranges because its just in my nature. In other words consider it fact when responding to that question, it is not meant to be arrogance.

Good advice so far - I am going to get into contact with a few local practicing attorneys as well regarding the tier of schools. As of right now I am open minded to the T3 schools where I was very closed to them initially. Keep the advice coming !

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby iwakeboard » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?


I put that in there as additional information when considering the law firm question. I know I will be within those percentile ranges because its just in my nature. In other words consider it fact when responding to that question, it is not meant to be arrogance.

Good advice so far - I am going to get into contact with a few local practicing attorneys as well regarding the tier of schools. As of right now I am open minded to the T3 schools where I was very closed to them initially. Keep the advice coming !


And you are a...0L...right? Yea. You're in for an awesome welcome.

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby OGR3 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:19 pm

iwakeboard wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?


I put that in there as additional information when considering the law firm question. I know I will be within those percentile ranges because its just in my nature. In other words consider it fact when responding to that question, it is not meant to be arrogance.

Good advice so far - I am going to get into contact with a few local practicing attorneys as well regarding the tier of schools. As of right now I am open minded to the T3 schools where I was very closed to them initially. Keep the advice coming !


And you are a...0L...right? Yea. You're in for an awesome welcome.


If you can get into a school ranked in the 90s, then it's a sure thing you'll be top 10% if you go to school at a T3. You're bound to be smarter than 90% of your classmates, right? RIGHT?!?!

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iwakeboard
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby iwakeboard » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:21 pm

OGR3 wrote:
iwakeboard wrote:And you are a...0L...right? Yea. You're in for an awesome welcome.


If you can get into a school ranked in the 90s, then it's a sure thing you'll be top 10% if you go to school at a T3. You're bound to be smarter than 90% of your classmates, right? RIGHT?!?!


Addition by subtraction, something like that has gotta be right.

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jwaters
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby jwaters » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?

I put that in there as additional information when considering the law firm question. I know I will be within those percentile ranges because its just in my nature. In other words consider it fact when responding to that question, it is not meant to be arrogance.


Lol, are you serious? You are being very naive. If it was "in your nature," you wouldn't have to be choosing among TTT's. These schools are filled with people exactly like you who think they are special and that if they just "work hard" they will be the exception....and then reality kicks them in the balls. I'm not trying to be an ass, this is sincere advice. Going to a T3 and thinking that you will be top 10% or that you can just start up your own firm and be successful is a terrible plan.

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iwakeboard
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby iwakeboard » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:37 pm

jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?

I put that in there as additional information when considering the law firm question. I know I will be within those percentile ranges because its just in my nature. In other words consider it fact when responding to that question, it is not meant to be arrogance.


Lol, are you serious? You are being very naive. If it was "in your nature," you wouldn't have to be choosing among TTT's. These schools are filled with people exactly like you who think they are special and that if they just "work hard" they will be the exception....and then reality kicks them in the balls. I'm not trying to be an ass, this is sincere advice. Going to a T3 and thinking that you will be top 10% or that you can just start up your own firm and be successful is a terrible plan.


+1

And because of the financial investment almost everyone works hard, and even if you do really well the whole class probably worked really hard and did comparatively well too. The curve will sort you out. You are completely irrational if you really think you are going to be in the top 10-25% of your class because it's "in your nature."

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:48 pm

jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jwaters wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


And you know this how?

I put that in there as additional information when considering the law firm question. I know I will be within those percentile ranges because its just in my nature. In other words consider it fact when responding to that question, it is not meant to be arrogance.


Lol, are you serious? You are being very naive. If it was "in your nature," you wouldn't have to be choosing among TTT's. These schools are filled with people exactly like you who think they are special and that if they just "work hard" they will be the exception....and then reality kicks them in the balls. I'm not trying to be an ass, this is sincere advice. Going to a T3 and thinking that you will be top 10% or that you can just start up your own firm and be successful is a terrible plan.


Yes I am serious about the top 10-25 percentile. Regardless of the tier of the school. The reason I am choosing between T2 and T3...well never mind that sob story. (I'll just ignore the personal attacks on that statement).

So opening a solo-practice, throw out your name on a shingle, fresh out of law school is unrealistic in your opinion. That is the type of advice I'm looking for. I am assuming my original plan of going to a T2, working at a law firm for 1-2 years to pay back debt, and then opening my own practice is the more reasonable career path. Or would a I have a shot at a decent law firm coming out of a T3 school in the top 10-25% of the class or if we must say coming out at the 50 percentile mark.

To put the question in perspective. I was set on T2 school, but the scholarship offers have me wavering, free ride versus high debt when the school name or tier may or may not make a difference in solo practice. Coming from my economic background (Pretty much poverty level less than 13K family income) the debt is rather scary and influential.

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iwakeboard
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby iwakeboard » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:51 pm

You are a hopeless case.

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby bk1 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes I am serious about the top 10-25 percentile. Regardless of the tier of the school.


Yes, regardless of the tier of the school, your chances of landing in the top 25% are... drumroll please... twenty five percent!

You are being a monumental idiot if you assume otherwise. Everybody thinks they can be in the top 10%, 90% of those people end up being wrong.

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iwakeboard
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby iwakeboard » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:56 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Yes I am serious about the top 10-25 percentile. Regardless of the tier of the school.


Yes, regardless of the tier of the school, your chances of landing in the top 25% are... drumroll please... twenty five percent!

You are being a monumental idiot if you assume otherwise. Everybody thinks they can be in the top 10%, 90% of those people end up being wrong.


+1

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bk1
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby bk1 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:57 pm

iwakeboard wrote:You are a hopeless case.


+1 to this too, but I felt like trying. :|

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iwakeboard
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby iwakeboard » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:58 pm

bk1 wrote:
iwakeboard wrote:You are a hopeless case.


+1 to this too, but I felt like trying. :|


I tried before that post, it failed horribly.

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A'nold
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby A'nold » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:33 am

You have not done enough research concerning choice of school. A t2 sticker vs. t3 full-ride or close to it is not even a real choice. "Rankings" at this level do not matter. I turned down many "t2" schools, even with half tuition or better, for a better financial situation at a state t3 with a crap reputation (generally). At this level of school, you really have to go at it alone. You have like a 97& chance of not landing an OCI job at most schools outside of the top 50 or so. The ones where the number is greater (though likely not by much) results from the school being regionally strong or just in a very large and dilluted market where it is top 5% or bust.

Schools are regional outside of the top 18 to 20 schools or so (some claim that even schools like Vanderbilt are regional schools). Bottom line- NEVER pay more money to go to a school just because it is a "t2" instead of a "t3."

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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby NU_Jet55 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:47 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Nobody will care--or even be interested in--where you attended law school if you are a sole practitioner.


Anonymous User wrote:I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


Wow. These are both gems. TLS doesn't ever fail to make me laugh.

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A'nold
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby A'nold » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:42 pm

NU_Jet55 wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Nobody will care--or even be interested in--where you attended law school if you are a sole practitioner.


Anonymous User wrote:I will be in the top 10-25% of my class at whatever school I go to.


Wow. These are both gems. TLS doesn't ever fail to make me laugh.


Actually, the first line you quoted above will be true about 99% of the time for a small practice. Lay people automatically assume lawyer = prestige and never even think to ask about the school the lawyer got his JD.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Private Office in Small town - Tier of School matter?

Postby NU_Jet55 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:19 pm

A'nold wrote:Lay people automatically assume lawyer = prestige and never even think to ask about the school the lawyer got his JD.


I always thought lay people thought lawyer = dbag.




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