Please don't ever leave TLS UT
I'm curious what would you have done given good prospects out of law school and if you had not fallen ill after graduating. Say you finished at the very top of your class at UT, would you have pursued a clerkship? Or any other sort of employment, ie govt, BigLaw, trial lawyer boutique? For reasons of either experience or just building start-up capital...
Similarly, say you had a BigLaw offer (again no sickness etc,) in an outside market. ie Dallas, LA, Atlanta, whatever. Given what you know now, would you take the BigLaw job just to pay off your debt quickly and build capital, knowing that the experience there probably would not be practical experience for a solo trial shop.
thanks in advance
I believe I had forgotten to answer this question. My apologies. I've been pretty busy.
My illness first manifested itself in spurts before law school. It really hit me hard while in law school for some time. It flared up and then went a way until it came back with a vengeance.
I have always been a lazy student that just did enough to get by. I did really like law school so I gave it a pretty good effort at first. Had I not gotten sick in law school, I probably would have been around top third or top quarter. My weakness is my processing speed. It's fast, but not that fast. It takes me awhile to digest complex new information. Once I master it, then I can do wonders with it, apparently. I excel at trial work and mediations because that new info is not complex. You already have acquired a great understanding of it through the litigation process. So my processing speed in regards to that level of new info is lightning fast. But new COMPLEX info? Not so much... Anyway, that rank would have been enough for me to go outside of Texas much easier back then. I would have stayed in my home state, though. That's why UT was my first choice. I did not want to leave Texas. The only schools that would have pulled me away from Texas were the T3. And that's only if I would have gotten significant scholarships. My cousin went to Harvard Law. He actually got into nearly every T6. If he didn't get in, it's because he didn't apply. He ultimately chose Harvard over Stanford because of the name. He didn't apply to Yale for some reason. If he had, he would have easily gotten in there, too. He got admitted into every law school he had applied to. It was crazy. I do remember being surprised that he did not get a full ride to Harvard. He got a full ride everywhere else. He didn't want to borrow any loans for the small amount he had to pay. But Harvard was his dream school so he had to go there over Stanford. He ended up getting his fiance's dad, now his wife, to pay the difference. It's not that I would have chosen against it because of price. It just would have been impossible for me to go based on price. So UT was my perfect choice because the price was right. The market was much better then. Had I not gotten sick, I would have had a stronger urge to go biglaw. I still wanted to be a trial lawyer, first and foremost, but I would have been willing to place it on hold for a biglaw salary for a few years. I've always been really risk averse. And it would have been too hard to turn down that type of automatic salary.
So, essentially, you could say that I was backed into owning my own firm. Based on the conditions at the time, I really had no choice. Once I got well enough to work, the economy had tanked and I couldn't find a job with a small firm or hiring government employer unless I had 2-5 years experience.
As for biglaw offers outside of Texas, I never even considered them. I wasn't leaving Texas no matter what.
Knowing me, I would not have pursued a clerkship unless it was for the US Supreme Court. That's the only clerkship prestigious enough to catch my attention. I'm not the kind of person who is drawn to a lot of prestige. I'm draw to some of it because usually prestige means quality. And I want quality. But other than that, I prefer practical benefit. I think UT offers a great legal education. So I wanted that. But I had no interest, at all, in going to a T14 unless it was T3.
But yes, I would take biglaw in a heartbeat because it makes starting a law firm so much easier. Knowing what I know now, unfortunately, it takes a little bit of money to market to businesses. So biglaw would make it easier to begin. True, you don't learn anything that would help you. But I essentially taught myself that stuff anyway. Nothing about biglaw would prevent you from doing that once you left.