bk1 wrote:But there are two types of flexibility. WUSTL gives you economic flexibility, the ability to take a low paying job and not be crushed by debt. NU gives you job flexibility and regional flexibility, the ability to choose from a wider range of legal jobs that are not really accessible to WUSTL students and be competitive in other markets (e.g. NY, SF, LA, etc) that WUSTL is not.
It seems to me that you're still talking about hiring in a large firm context when you talk about the job/geographic portability of your NU degree versus your WashU degree. Assume you take a NU degree or a WashU degree to a small or mid-sized firm in NY? Or a corporation in SF? Do you really think those employers care that much about USNWR rankings? Quite frankly, these employers will likely have little to no data to evaluate the graduates from either school. Even at large firms, the school/GPA filter is only relevant at the HR/screening interview level. Once you make it to the call-backs, nobody uses where you went to law school as a factor in their evaluation. Which is not to say that USNWR rank doesn't matter, it clearly does, but to illustrate how narrow a sector of the population that truly reads it and cares about it.
Admittedly, if you didn't go to T14, you won't have as great of a shot at clerking or fed honors and so understandably, folks who want to clerk for the SCOTUS will want to obtain the greenest shade of ivy possible under their belt. In you're in those shoes, ok, take the debt, go clerk (then work for a big firm) but understand the commitment that you're making.
This doesn't contradict my message - if you're convinced that debt enables you to do what you want to do, then do it. I am not saying never incur debt but only incur it when you're absolutely convinced that it is necessary and worthwhile because you're making a decision that will really impact your life-choices (from staying at your job to buying a house to having kids) for the next ten years. Most 0Ls are not in that position - most have no idea what they want to practice, where they want to live, what the practice constitutes, etc.
bk1 wrote:I also disagree with the idea that anything can be overcome with "hard work and hustle." That's objectively untrue. Because it's not true, just as there's a risk that down the road you will realize you don't want the golden handcuffs (including the debt taken on to go to a top school to get biglaw) and are fucked because of all your debt, there is also the risk that down the road you will realize you do want the golden handcuffs and are fucked because top 20% at a T20 doesn't get you biglaw no matter how little money you owe.
If you are debt-free, why are you so concerned about getting biglaw? With low debt, the world is your oyster. You can practice law. You can not practice law. You can figure out what you enjoy doing and be good at it. If there is anything that I am convinced of, it is that if you are good at what you do, you will get paid.
bk1 wrote:I also disagree with the idea that anything can be overcome with "hard work and hustle."
I read your posts earlier in this thread so I hear your pain. Keep working at it. Go to networking events. Talk to people. Do informational interviews - people are very happy to talk about themselves, trust me. After you graduate, do pro-bono internships while you're job-searching. You haven't succeeded in finding a job yet but you also haven't even graduated yet. Let's not forget you still have to pass the bar. Just stay positive and keep working. Your route may be a tad longer, and a bit more stressful because of your debt, but things will work out.