Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

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Malprave
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Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Malprave » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:23 am

Hello all,

I am writing to solicit your opinion on how to weigh a lower-ranked regional school in the region in which you want to live and practice after graduation versus taking a higher-ranked school in the same general region (nationally speaking).

To put some names and specifics to the question, I have applied to, amongst others, William & Mary (28) and Pitt (71). I shot out an application to Pitt considering them as a safety school. I have been RD'd to GWU and believe I can reasonably expect admission to W&M and Pitt.

That said, I am interested in working and living in Pittsburgh after graduation. Is it a relevant consideration that, although Pitt is a weaker school, it may be a prudent choice if I wish to stay in Pittsburgh and given that they will likely chip me money over W&M? Or is W&M still hands-down the better choice, given their ranking, even though it is not in Pittsburgh but southeastern Virginia?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer. 8)

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby amputatedbrain » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:28 am

In my opinion, I would go with the weaker regional school, unless you get into a T14. This is especially true if you can get $$$ from the regional. I'm from the Pacific NW, and I would choose Seattle U (regional T2) over the comparatively well ranked William and Mary if those were the best schools I could get into, since I want to stay in Seattle.

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jack duluoz
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby jack duluoz » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:32 am

I could be wrong, but i was not under the impression W&M was a national school. I bet it is more portable than a school such as Pitt, but i don't think too many Pittsburgh law firms are on the look out for W&M grads. Debt is also huge. It's not like going to W&M will allow you to waltz into a biglaw firm in pittsburgh.

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Malprave
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Malprave » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:40 am

You are quite right in that W&M is not considered national. My reference to it as a regional school with a possible prospect in Pittsburgh was intended more as a general reference to the Mid-Atlantic region, as opposed to a school in Arizona (for instance).

Anyone consider W&M a superior choice over Pitt if I intend to work in Pittsburgh after graduation? Or is the consensus that Pitt is the smarter option?

Thanks for your input :)

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chadwick218
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:49 am

Although this doesn't get to the heart of your question, I have found that with respect to a market like St. Louis one if much better off being in the top 5-10% at a school like St. Louis University of the University of Missouri than the top 10-20% from a T-14 (minus of course HYS, but not law review eligible).

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby amputatedbrain » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:53 am

William and Mary has a bit of lay prestige, so it will sound nicer to tell people you go there, but it doesn't have the portability of a T14, and if you're close to an auto-admit there, I'm sure you can get some money from Pitt. W&M is a solid school, but I'd be surprised if you'd find many people recommending it in this particular situation.

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Malprave
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Malprave » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:00 am

Good points all around. Thanks for the help. This changes my game considerably, as I had tossed in my name to Pitt mostly on a whim and due to the fee waiver, before thinking, "Hey...this is actually the area in which I want to be."

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chadwick218
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:06 am

OP, if Pitt throws a pile of money your way, then I would be very inclined to accept. However, if you attend Pitt (even for free) and don't land in the top 10%, then it is going to be very difficult to land a big-law job in Pittsburgh.

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chadwick218
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:07 am

FWIW, I would take W&M at sticker over GWU at sticker!

rekopter
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby rekopter » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:22 am

Pitt is probably the right choice here without knowing financials.

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Veyron
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:33 am

amputatedbrain wrote:In my opinion, I would go with the weaker regional school, unless you get into a T14.


+ uno

nycparalegal
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby nycparalegal » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:33 am

If you get money thrown at you, and you know you want to work in PITTSBURGH. Go with PITT.

Will you be in-state?

gords329
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby gords329 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:57 am

If you plan to work in a law firm in Pitt, you should look at the web sites of some Pitt firms. They often have a list of schools that they regularly recruit from somewhere in the "careers" section of their site. If none of the Pitt firms recruit from W&M, it's probably safe to say that they don't have an incredibly strong reputation in that region. If that's the case, less money and less competition at U Pitt might be a better option.

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ruleser
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby ruleser » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:09 am

Yeah, you have to ask locals. WM is a regional, but it is a T1 regional that serves that general area. It could be that W and M would be a bigger player/better placement even in Pitt, plus give you more fallback options if for some reason you end up wanting to work somewhere besides Pitt or strike out there. But I can't tell you, someone in Pitt law can pretty easily I would think.

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Veyron
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:12 am

ITT, ridiculous W and M trolling. Trust me, no one cares about any TTT but the local one. The best local TTT usually places best after the T-14, unless you are in Texas, Cali, or the South, in which case it goes T-14 + UCLA/Tex/Vandy, local TTT.

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manbearwig
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby manbearwig » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:49 pm

I'd go with the regional. I'm kinda in your boat, but with Temple in Philly. I got into W&M too, and although both schools gave me $, Temple gave me a lot more and I want to work in Philly.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Stringer Bell » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:59 pm

chadwick218 wrote:Although this doesn't get to the heart of your question, I have found that with respect to a market like St. Louis one if much better off being in the top 5-10% at a school like St. Louis University of the University of Missouri than the top 10-20% from a T-14 (minus of course HYS, but not law review eligible).


I'm not trolling, but I find this somewhat hard to believe. Do you have specific examples for this where someone from St. Louis who went somewhere like Michigan or Chicago and finished around top 15% is losing out on Stl biglaw to folks who finished in the top 8% from SLU? I'm not disputing you, but this would be very surprising.

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chadwick218
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:21 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:Although this doesn't get to the heart of your question, I have found that with respect to a market like St. Louis one if much better off being in the top 5-10% at a school like St. Louis University of the University of Missouri than the top 10-20% from a T-14 (minus of course HYS, but not law review eligible).


I'm not trolling, but I find this somewhat hard to believe. Do you have specific examples for this where someone from St. Louis who went somewhere like Michigan or Chicago and finished around top 15% is losing out on Stl biglaw to folks who finished in the top 8% from SLU? I'm not disputing you, but this would be very surprising.


ME! With the exception of Bryan Cave (and they tried to do every thing they could last fall to cancel their 2010 starting class), many of the firms have set #'s of folks that they'll take from the regional schools. Additionally, they've been burned by T-14 people in the past ... why give a kid an offer and a summer position for him to take something better once it comes along?

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chadwick218
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby chadwick218 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:30 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:Although this doesn't get to the heart of your question, I have found that with respect to a market like St. Louis one if much better off being in the top 5-10% at a school like St. Louis University of the University of Missouri than the top 10-20% from a T-14 (minus of course HYS, but not law review eligible).


I'm not trolling, but I find this somewhat hard to believe. Do you have specific examples for this where someone from St. Louis who went somewhere like Michigan or Chicago and finished around top 15% is losing out on Stl biglaw to folks who finished in the top 8% from SLU? I'm not disputing you, but this would be very surprising.


Keep in mind, there are also typically fewer than 40 (2009) to 60 (good times) biglaw jobs in STL each year.

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Malprave
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby Malprave » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:21 pm

nycparalegal wrote:If you get money thrown at you, and you know you want to work in PITTSBURGH. Go with PITT.

Will you be in-state?


No. I just wrapped up my BA in Buffalo, so I will be out-of-state, at least for the first year.

Sounds like if I am sure Pittsburgh is the place I want to make a career for myself, I should strongly consider taking them over a higher-ranked regional school outside T14.

Thanks for all the commentary 8)

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orangeswarm
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Re: Weaker regional school in desired region versus higher rank?

Postby orangeswarm » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:43 am

Malprave wrote:
nycparalegal wrote:If you get money thrown at you, and you know you want to work in PITTSBURGH. Go with PITT.

Will you be in-state?


No. I just wrapped up my BA in Buffalo, so I will be out-of-state, at least for the first year.

Sounds like if I am sure Pittsburgh is the place I want to make a career for myself, I should strongly consider taking them over a higher-ranked regional school outside T14.

Thanks for all the commentary 8)


I was in a similar situation as you three years ago. I chose the state school with $$ over a few schools in the 15-25 range. It was the best decision I could have made. One thing I would suggest, get on martindale.com and find a few attorneys in Pittsburg that went to each school you are considering. Email them and ask their take on the issue. Sure, they won't all respond back - but some will.




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