Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

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Nova
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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Nova » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:31 pm

Psingh wrote:So what then is the fetish of "attend only T14 or you will die" that seems to be the consensus among all the forums and the lawyers I've talked to?


Almost no one on TLS says this & no one who knows what theyre talking about on TLS says this

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Gooner91
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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Gooner91 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:34 pm

Psingh wrote:
zhenders wrote:It's true to say that the logic of this hypo is pretty awful, mate. It is pretty much a guarantee that the kind of person who is top 5% at any accredited law school would not be bottom 5% at a T14. Top 5% at any accredited school entails the kind of work ethic to at least put that person in the middle of the more prestigious schools; your logic suggests that you will either be in the bottom 5% of a T14 or the top of a T70(?). If you have the work ethic and dedication to be top 5% in any school, you won't be practically failing at a T14.


Ok fair enough. If this is the situation, it implies that the quality of education you receive at a T70 is pretty closely in line with that of a T14. So the average law student at a GSU has to put in almost the same amount of time and effort studying in law school than the average student at Duke let's say.

So what then is the fetish of "attend only T14 or you will die" that seems to be the consensus among all the forums and the lawyers I've talked to? If the quality of education is almost the same and you might even have to pay less money, why go to Duke over a T70?


Because most people who go to a low ranked school do not get jobs as a lawyer. I think the "fetish" is go to a T14 if you want to be a lawyer. Obviously there are a handful of good regional schools which are an exception.

For LA I think UCLA might be a good choice if you get money, but I am sure others on here know more about that than I do. Check law school transparency.
Last edited by Gooner91 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alexandria
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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Alexandria » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:37 pm

What I've heard from various sources -- people who have taught/visited/been adjuncts at various law schools, people who have transferred law schools, etc. -- is that at basically any law school in the country, the people at the top of the class are top notch. At the lower ranked schools, there is a pretty precipitous drop-off in quality after the top few people. (I have a friend, for example, a YLS grad, who taught a large class at a T4. She got two or three exam answers that she thought were every bit as good as you would expect from someone at YLS. Then another few that were good/decent. Then the rest were barely literate.) At the higher ranked schools, there is a lot more consistency in terms of the quality of students.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby xChiTowNx » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:29 am


Good thing you stumbled upon TLS. Lots of ppl have make this false assumption. You have been saved!


HALLLELUJUAH!

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SouthernMiss
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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby SouthernMiss » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:23 am

This is something that I struggled with in choosing a law school as well.

First, I would ask what you mean by "can barely get into" a T14. I assume this means your stats are well below the bottom 25th percentile for entrance statistics of T14s, but I don't know.

Depending on your stats, you might find a good fit in the middle ground. For example, maybe you could get a 50% scholly at a T25? Whichever school you choose, it should be a school with strong employment statistics for the majority of the graduating class, because you will probably end up somewhere near the median wherever you go (or, to be safe, you should assume this). If you choose a school where you will need to be in the top 5% for your employment goals, that is putting enormous pressure on yourself. If you end up at a T25 where being median will still offer you positive employment prospects, that is a far more manageable goal. Law school is stressful enough. I would not want to lock myself into having to be top 5% anywhere. Say your T70 school has 200 students per class. You are demanding of yourself to be in the top 10 students. I just think that is hard to bet on anywhere, and if I faced your hypo I would pick a middle ground school with enough prestige/regional/alumni strength to give you employment opportunities even if you end up median.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby jarofsoup » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:46 am

If you are the bottom 5% at a Top 14, you are likely to be the bottom 5% at a Top 70. You will be stunned to learn that some people who have a poor admission profile are suprisngly good at writing law school exams and vice versa.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Poopface » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:56 am

You people r freakin ruthless. the poor kid just wants to know if you have a better chance of getting a job out of top 5% at a low ranked school or bottom 5% t14- who cares whether or not it is actually realistic that he will decide to go to the lower school and actually end up in the top 5%

Anyway, top 5% at a lower ranked regional school will put you in a great spot to get big law in the market in which your regional school is located. Don't expect very many opportunities in big law in markets outside your school's location- mostly because the only chances at big law will be through oci, and only local firms will recruit on campus at these lower ranked schools- and they will only be looking at the top 10% of students

No idea what you're looking at if you are in the bottom 5% at t14 though, sorry.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:17 pm

Psingh wrote:
zhenders wrote:It's true to say that the logic of this hypo is pretty awful, mate. It is pretty much a guarantee that the kind of person who is top 5% at any accredited law school would not be bottom 5% at a T14. Top 5% at any accredited school entails the kind of work ethic to at least put that person in the middle of the more prestigious schools; your logic suggests that you will either be in the bottom 5% of a T14 or the top of a T70(?). If you have the work ethic and dedication to be top 5% in any school, you won't be practically failing at a T14.


Ok fair enough. If this is the situation, it implies that the quality of education you receive at a T70 is pretty closely in line with that of a T14. So the average law student at a GSU has to put in almost the same amount of time and effort studying in law school than the average student at Duke let's say.

So what then is the fetish of "attend only T14 or you will die" that seems to be the consensus among all the forums and the lawyers I've talked to? If the quality of education is almost the same and you might even have to pay less money, why go to Duke over a T70?


Because "quality of education" is a flame. The sooner you/your family stop thinking of this as an intellectual/educational opportunity and start treating it properly as an investment (to which you have an objective fiduciary duty), the better for you and your progeny.

The only time the educational experience (profs, clinics, research centers, library, ect) should become a relevant variable is when choosing b/t schools with equivalent employment opportunities for your target region at comparable cost.

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zhenders
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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby zhenders » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:06 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Psingh wrote:
zhenders wrote:It's true to say that the logic of this hypo is pretty awful, mate. It is pretty much a guarantee that the kind of person who is top 5% at any accredited law school would not be bottom 5% at a T14. Top 5% at any accredited school entails the kind of work ethic to at least put that person in the middle of the more prestigious schools; your logic suggests that you will either be in the bottom 5% of a T14 or the top of a T70(?). If you have the work ethic and dedication to be top 5% in any school, you won't be practically failing at a T14.


Ok fair enough. If this is the situation, it implies that the quality of education you receive at a T70 is pretty closely in line with that of a T14. So the average law student at a GSU has to put in almost the same amount of time and effort studying in law school than the average student at Duke let's say.

So what then is the fetish of "attend only T14 or you will die" that seems to be the consensus among all the forums and the lawyers I've talked to? If the quality of education is almost the same and you might even have to pay less money, why go to Duke over a T70?


Because "quality of education" is a flame. The sooner you/your family stop thinking of this as an intellectual/educational opportunity and start treating it properly as an investment (to which you have an objective fiduciary duty), the better for you and your progeny.

The only time the educational experience (profs, clinics, research centers, library, ect) should become a relevant variable is when choosing b/t schools with equivalent employment opportunities for your target region at comparable cost.


This is the truth. The reality is that at the end of the day, choosing to go to law school and spend the kind of money you'll spend MUST be based upon an investment mindset. I doubt there are more than a handful of people on TLS whose financial situations are such that they can attend law school for the experience.

The numbers are just plain as day; if you want to graduate, pay off you loans, and make a substantial (or adequate) living as a lawyer, the first data you should look at are the jobs numbers. Without a doubt, a number of TTTT's have some outstanding professors (at least in terms of teaching) that very well may rival or top some at T14 schools -- but even if every teacher at TTTT were "superior" teachers, if the jobs placement numbers are still what they are, you have to focus on that.

A quarter million dollars is a bit more than I can certainly afford to spend on anything less than something with a very, very high chance of substantial return.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:50 am

I should have noticed this sooner, but OP, this is in the wrong forum; 0Ls are not allowed to post questions in the Legal Employment forum. Because of the amount of discussion I'll move it to the correct forum rather than lock, but don't do it again.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Psingh » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:24 pm

Poopface wrote:You people r freakin ruthless. the poor kid just wants to know if you have a better chance of getting a job out of top 5% at a low ranked school or bottom 5% t14- who cares whether or not it is actually realistic that he will decide to go to the lower school and actually end up in the top 5%

Anyway, top 5% at a lower ranked regional school will put you in a great spot to get big law in the market in which your regional school is located. Don't expect very many opportunities in big law in markets outside your school's location- mostly because the only chances at big law will be through oci, and only local firms will recruit on campus at these lower ranked schools- and they will only be looking at the top 10% of students

No idea what you're looking at if you are in the bottom 5% at t14 though, sorry.


If you decide to take the risk and actually do end up in the top 5-10% at a TT, are you pretty much guaranteed biglaw or is placing in top 5-10% merely a necessary condition? It would suck to spend all that money and 3 years absolutely destroying yourself at a TT, placing in the top 5-10% and STILL not getting a biglaw job.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby smoovgee » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:53 pm

At this point, there is no guarantee with law school unless you're in an exceptional situation (family/friend can get you in at a biglaw firm). What you are buying is opportunity. For me (and probably alot of people) there are other considerations of where to attend. If I had the opportunity to go to H/Y, I'd go, Stanford, no because it's too far. I have family/life considerations that I need to accommadate. What you need to do is look at your options, talk to the family members who will be directly impacted by where you go and decide which school best meets your needs.

There's no way to know how you'll do until you are actually doing it. It's like everything in life, do the best you can and adapt. I know where I want to be and I'm researching what I need to do to get there.

Employment numbers are very important but the new reality is people need to hustle. If you don't have that mentality or don't/can't develop it, you're screwed. It's easy to sit back and say I want a job but are you willing to hustle/fight/create that opportunity for a job? Most people aren't.

TL;DR premature to be talking/worrying about placement/rankings.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:12 pm

Psingh wrote:If you decide to take the risk and actually do end up in the top 5-10% at a TT, are you pretty much guaranteed biglaw or is placing in top 5-10% merely a necessary condition? It would suck to spend all that money and 3 years absolutely destroying yourself at a TT, placing in the top 5-10% and STILL not getting a biglaw job.

You are definitely not guaranteed anything just being inside the top 10%, or even the top 5%, at many TTs. Even if a TT puts 10% into Biglaw, which would represent a great year for many, a significant portion of those 10% will have prior connections or be IPSECURE.

smoovgee wrote:Employment numbers are very important but the new reality is people need to hustle. If you don't have that mentality or don't/can't develop it, you're screwed. It's easy to sit back and say I want a job but are you willing to hustle/fight/create that opportunity for a job? Most people aren't.

This really isn't how it works, in the current economy or in any other. You pay good money for a top law school because they hand out biglaw jobs on a silver platter. There really is no easier way to make 160k if you aren't a hustler.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Summerz » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:58 pm

I asked my brainiac friend what it was like at a t6. She responded that everyone was “so damn smart.” As a (someday) prospective employer, I shall keep that in mind. Given the t6 curve, there may not be a great divide between top 20 and bottom 20. Picking between the slowest dog in the fast dog pack or fastest dog in the (t70) slow dog pack can be a challenging crap shoot.

OTOH: I have a friend that luckily squeaked into a t6. Odds were that she would be fortunate to just hang on. Turns out that she is kicking butt. It is all perplexing. What is obviously crucial regards the accessibility of face time with prospective employers, thus the advantage (clearly probably) goes to the t6/14.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby NYstate » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:57 pm

Psingh wrote:
Poopface wrote:You people r freakin ruthless. the poor kid just wants to know if you have a better chance of getting a job out of top 5% at a low ranked school or bottom 5% t14- who cares whether or not it is actually realistic that he will decide to go to the lower school and actually end up in the top 5%

Anyway, top 5% at a lower ranked regional school will put you in a great spot to get big law in the market in which your regional school is located. Don't expect very many opportunities in big law in markets outside your school's location- mostly because the only chances at big law will be through oci, and only local firms will recruit on campus at these lower ranked schools- and they will only be looking at the top 10% of students

No idea what you're looking at if you are in the bottom 5% at t14 though, sorry.


If you decide to take the risk and actually do end up in the top 5-10% at a TT, are you pretty much guaranteed biglaw or is placing in top 5-10% merely a necessary condition? It would suck to spend all that money and 3 years absolutely destroying yourself at a TT, placing in the top 5-10% and STILL not getting a biglaw job.


Where do you get this stat that top 5% is a lock for regional biglaw? Even if true, which I don't think it is, it is too much of a risk to take if you want biglaw.

I would like to see data backing up that assumption. Pretty much every regional market will have T14 kids with ties trying to return, plus competition from other local schools.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby NYstate » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:59 pm

Nova wrote:
Psingh wrote:So what then is the fetish of "attend only T14 or you will die" that seems to be the consensus among all the forums and the lawyers I've talked to?


Almost no one on TLS says this & no one who knows what theyre talking about on TLS says this


Maybe you hear that because people want biglaw to repay loans or for specific career goals. You need to pay closer attention.

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Amity
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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Amity » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:27 pm

I gave up a T10 (offering peanuts as a tuition discount) for a nearly free ride at a T-30 with a history of strong OCI participation. It was a risk that paid off, but I am certain I would have not taken the gamble with a T70, even if I knew I’d be at the top 5%. The market is still not strong enough to play extremely fast and loose.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby Psingh » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:50 am

NYstate wrote:
Psingh wrote:
Poopface wrote:You people r freakin ruthless. the poor kid just wants to know if you have a better chance of getting a job out of top 5% at a low ranked school or bottom 5% t14- who cares whether or not it is actually realistic that he will decide to go to the lower school and actually end up in the top 5%

Anyway, top 5% at a lower ranked regional school will put you in a great spot to get big law in the market in which your regional school is located. Don't expect very many opportunities in big law in markets outside your school's location- mostly because the only chances at big law will be through oci, and only local firms will recruit on campus at these lower ranked schools- and they will only be looking at the top 10% of students

No idea what you're looking at if you are in the bottom 5% at t14 though, sorry.


If you decide to take the risk and actually do end up in the top 5-10% at a TT, are you pretty much guaranteed biglaw or is placing in top 5-10% merely a necessary condition? It would suck to spend all that money and 3 years absolutely destroying yourself at a TT, placing in the top 5-10% and STILL not getting a biglaw job.


Where do you get this stat that top 5% is a lock for regional biglaw? Even if true, which I don't think it is, it is too much of a risk to take if you want biglaw.

I would like to see data backing up that assumption. Pretty much every regional market will have T14 kids with ties trying to return, plus competition from other local schools.


I got this number from the Law School Transparency website. I get the impression that they use conservative numbers and the entire website errs on the side of caution with their stats. They give Cardozo Law School a Biglaw score of 11.6% if I remember correctly. This number is defined as the percentage of graduates who found a job in a firm of 100+ attorneys, which pays 6 figures. The figure is 5% for a job at a 500+ attorney firm (~160k/year). As some here have mentioned, even these numbers could be inflated because most likely many of those that got these biglaw jobs got them through connections.

Even with a full ride, I'd be extremely hesitant to attend, as their scholarships are conditional upon a high law school GPA, which as you guys have mentioned, there is no way to predict how you will do. So it is very possible that one would go in and just like everybody else think you'll be able to keep your GPA high, but fail to meet the GPA requirement and lose the scholarship. This would result in 200k+ of debt after graduation and on top of that there is no way you'll get a biglaw job if you couldn't even meet your scholarship requirements. So 200k+ in debt in a regional TT in the most glutted market in the US, and a 40k/year "shitlaw" job or doc review for $17/hr would be the best case scenario for you. Same goes for similar schools such as Brooklyn LS.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby NYstate » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:14 am

I don't think LST is conservative at all. Don't they explain their methodology? If anything I think they are too positive.


And I wouldn't compare the employment stats at Cardozo - which is in the largest by far biglaw market - with regional schools and regional hiring. I wouldn't bet that the top 5% of Cardozo get biglaw but possibly it depends on your definition of biglaw. In other regions with smaller market there will be greater competition for jobs and ties are going to be really important. You just can't make a generalization from one school on LST ( or from the NYC market ) about regional hiring.

But more importantly- the idea that grades alone mean you are a lock for biglaw at a regiona school is a flame. Hiring is more complicated than that.

One more point: no one gets a biglaw job at the very top firms through connections. Where did you get this idea? Many firms have anti- nepotism policies. They might give you an interview or job advice based on connections but they won't hire you based on connections alone.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby JCougar » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:05 pm

You'll have better opportunities if you are in the Top 5% at a TT than the anchorman at a T14. If you're below the OCI GPA cutoffs of the firms at a T14, you're in the same boat as everyone else...scratching and clawing for personal injury jobs on monster.com, etc.

With that said, the same student would not be likely to finish in the Top 5% of a TT if he was likely to finish in the Bottom 95% of a T14. Even though Biglaw firms treat school rank and GPA as an exact science, in that you can't even get an interview if you're below their cutoffs even if you have great experience/credentials otherwise, they are not. LSAT score and uGPA only moderately predict law school grades. This is partially because law school exams are a pretty messy and unreliable way to measure your actual grasp of the material due to the subjective nature of the scoring, and partially because the skills you use on law school exams are different than those used on the LSAT. For example, the #1 predictor of law school grades is word count--so whoever types the fastest and produces the most words is more likely to get higher law exam grades. Note that this has little to do with how well you understand or have reviewed the material. Another factor that goes into getting good law school grades is framing your answers in a way that plays to your professors' biases. Listen in class and read their publications to get an idea of how they see the law--it sounds egregious, but you'd be surprised at how many points you can get on an exam by recycling a professor's ideas back to them.

Understanding the material and putting in the effort to prepare well for an exam are also important factors in your grade, but they are overshadowed by other factors, such as the ones I mentioned above. It's simply hard to predict how someone will do in any given law school exam curve since there is so little quality control with how exams are developed, administered, and graded. The smartest person in the world could perform terribly. Some people, though, seem to just have "all of the above" going for them, which enables them to do consistently well. But you'll never know if you're one of those people until after you actually enroll.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby sd5289 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:20 am

Psingh wrote:Even with a full ride, I'd be extremely hesitant to attend, as their scholarships are conditional upon a high law school GPA, which as you guys have mentioned, there is no way to predict how you will do.


Um, my full ride scholly there is stip-free, so I'd love to know the source of your information...

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby PepperJack » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:15 pm

What the person above said is correct.

To answer the basic question - IT'S MUCH, MUCH, MUCH BETTER TO BE TOP 5% AT A T-70 SCHOOL. THIS ISN'T EVEN A QUESTION.

The top 5% at the top 70 schools is likely set, and the bottom 5% or even 10-20% unless there's special traits or circumstances is screwed.

Even at TTTT's, there are always a few people - maybe 1% who would succeed at any law school in the country. That's what makes going to these schools risky. If you could get into a t-14, yes, you're extraordinarily likely to be above median at a t-70 (despite TLS mantra about grade predictions). Data shows that only 10% of people with LSAT's above a school's 75th by at least 5 points are below median.

The issue is that at the top of the class, it's impossible to predict because there are always a few outliers who are just good at law school exams, and weren't accurately measured by LSAT or UGPA. That is why it's ill advised to choose the t-70 unless cost is a major factor. Yes, you'd likely be above median, but are still highly unlikely to be top 5% and you need top 5% to get the job you want.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby PepperJack » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:30 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Psingh wrote:If you decide to take the risk and actually do end up in the top 5-10% at a TT, are you pretty much guaranteed biglaw or is placing in top 5-10% merely a necessary condition? It would suck to spend all that money and 3 years absolutely destroying yourself at a TT, placing in the top 5-10% and STILL not getting a biglaw job.

You are definitely not guaranteed anything just being inside the top 10%, or even the top 5%, at many TTs. Even if a TT puts 10% into Biglaw, which would represent a great year for many, a significant portion of those 10% will have prior connections or be IPSECURE.

smoovgee wrote:Employment numbers are very important but the new reality is people need to hustle. If you don't have that mentality or don't/can't develop it, you're screwed. It's easy to sit back and say I want a job but are you willing to hustle/fight/create that opportunity for a job? Most people aren't.

This really isn't how it works, in the current economy or in any other. You pay good money for a top law school because they hand out biglaw jobs on a silver platter. There really is no easier way to make 160k if you aren't a hustler.

I think you're overrating how important IP is. Yes, there are firms that only hire IP and IP is a plus factor at most firms, but they aren't exactly dropping below median at a TT to get an IP person. The IP person can get away with slightly lower grades.

Your fundamental point is right. It's not like it's a list - 10% of the class gets jobs so it's the top 10%. There are other factors that come in. All that a top 10% student has is greater betting odds. Connections play a huge role, especially at these schools. What people don't understand is it's not just any connection. To go to a TT or TTT and get that kind of job, it doesn't matter if your friend's dad works there or your dad runs a small law firm or even if you were a paralegal at that same firm. It needs to be something like the hiring partner is your mother-in-law or your father is a hiring partner at another firm that has a working relationship with the firm you're interviewing with. Minor connections can help, but they're not extending a high salary because someone vouches you're a good kid. They're doing it because it's in their economic interest.

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby sublime » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:37 pm

..

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Re: Bottom 5% at T14 or Top 5% at ~T70?

Postby sd5289 » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:44 pm

sublime wrote:
sd5289 wrote:
Psingh wrote:Even with a full ride, I'd be extremely hesitant to attend, as their scholarships are conditional upon a high law school GPA, which as you guys have mentioned, there is no way to predict how you will do.


Um, my full ride scholly there is stip-free, so I'd love to know the source of your information...


Yea, most schools in that range have dropped their stips if they had them to begin with. Usually just "good academic standing"


Right. Exactly. I know some people with a "stip," if you can call it that, of remaining in the "top 80%" of the class. IMO, if you can't do that, you shouldn't be in law school.




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