Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

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Always Credited
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Always Credited » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:58 pm

I believe it depends in large part why you want to go to law school. If its only for that BigMONEYMONEY, then you're making a terrible decision and, in 3 years or so, will be trolling JDU telling people law school is a fraud.

Its the people (likely the majority these days) who go to law school believing it'll be instant Sex in the City upon graduation that hate the decision/themselves/the school and take it out on everyone else.

For a fair evaluation of law school "worth", one must consider in what context one finds "worth". 90% of TLS advice is purely economical in nature; this is fine, since 90% of law students (a guess, but probably accurate) attend for economic reasons. In this case, the prevailing advice of TTT/TTTT = DEATH is essentially true.

The remaining 10% is an outlier and the "worth" of the decision should be treated as such.

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thusspakebenji
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby thusspakebenji » Mon May 03, 2010 10:46 am

What if your goals are not that of 99% of the posters on this forum? As a New York state resident, would it be wise to attend Buffalo law? I do not want to practice biglaw and would rather work for the state or federal government. Sex in the City dreams and palacial housing does not interest me at all. I want to make a normal living utilizing the skills I have in the area where I live (Upstate NY). Any thoughts? Still worth it? (because I guess Buff is a 3rd tier now)

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MoS
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby MoS » Mon May 03, 2010 10:51 am

thusspakebenji wrote:What if your goals are not that of 99% of the posters on this forum? As a New York state resident, would it be wise to attend Buffalo law? I do not want to practice biglaw and would rather work for the state or federal government. Sex in the City dreams and palacial housing does not interest me at all. I want to make a normal living utilizing the skills I have in the area where I live (Upstate NY). Any thoughts? Still worth it? (because I guess Buff is a 3rd tier now)


Check and see who gets the upstate federal jobs. If buffalo gets the jobs, then go there if that is what you want to do. If it doesn't go to the school who's grads do end up with those jobs. Also try to keep your debt down if know that is what you want to do.

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Grizz
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Grizz » Mon May 03, 2010 1:41 pm

thusspakebenji wrote:What if your goals are not that of 99% of the posters on this forum? As a New York state resident, would it be wise to attend Buffalo law? I do not want to practice biglaw and would rather work for the state or federal government. Sex in the City dreams and palacial housing does not interest me at all. I want to make a normal living utilizing the skills I have in the area where I live (Upstate NY). Any thoughts? Still worth it? (because I guess Buff is a 3rd tier now)


Competition for local and federal government is still incredibly intense. Make sure Buffalo can get you these jobs.

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thusspakebenji
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby thusspakebenji » Mon May 03, 2010 4:16 pm

I have indeed looked at many other schools. The main factors are price and proximity. I do not like the city or 50k per year tuitions but most certainly want to practice law. Buffalo made sense in that respect. Albany may be a slightly better bet due to its proximity to the capitol, but definitely not 20k+ per year better. Are you speaking from your experience in Florida when it comes to competition being so keen for state/local government opportunities or does this hold true everywhere? Here in NY, civil service recruitment of lawyers is constant, even if you haven't passed the bar. Pay isn't that great (~45k) but security and working conditions seems to be a bit better from what I've heard. Any thoughts?

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon May 03, 2010 7:01 pm

thusspakebenji wrote:What if your goals are not that of 99% of the posters on this forum? As a New York state resident, would it be wise to attend Buffalo law? I do not want to practice biglaw and would rather work for the state or federal government. Sex in the City dreams and palacial housing does not interest me at all. I want to make a normal living utilizing the skills I have in the area where I live (Upstate NY). Any thoughts? Still worth it? (because I guess Buff is a 3rd tier now)

The federal government is insanely competitive to work for. All those people going to school in NY hoping to get BigLaw and not getting it when they graduate are probably going to be trying to get the state government jobs too. Folks who want BigLaw and can't get it don't just give up, they tend to keep looking and go where the jobs are. If the jobs are in Buffalo they'll go to Buffalo, especially for state government work because it's stable and has good benefits.

Think about how many law schools there are in the state of New York. Think about how many of the people at those law schools aren't getting BigLaw right now and are eager to find something somewhere in the state. No, it wouldn't be impossible to get a job in Buffalo after going to school there, but the competition right now is going to be a lot harder than you probably realize.

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dresden doll
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby dresden doll » Mon May 03, 2010 7:30 pm

Full ride + location where you'd like to work + decent local placement (preferably the only law school in the given state) + willingness to settle for any legal position = yes.

Absent any of those three factors: no.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 1:47 am

Why do people at top schools pretend to know what it's like at lower tiered schools? This is especially true for a place like Buffalo, where Buffalo is the only game in town.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 04, 2010 8:09 am

Danteshek wrote:Why do people at top schools pretend to know what it's like at lower tiered schools? This is especially true for a place like Buffalo, where Buffalo is the only game in town.

Are you at Buffalo? Do you know what it's like in Buffalo right now? Can you speak to it personally?

I freely admit that I can't, but I have spoken to enough people at lower-ranked schools to have an idea what's going on nationally, and I haven't seen any reason to believe Buffalo would be an exception to that.

Buffalo is the only game in town, but certainly far from the only game in the state of New York, and folks who can't get work in NYC or Albany are going to be looking elsewhere in the state for work. It's not like they're going to give up and go "Oh well, we can't find anything where we wanted to go to school, so we're not going to be lawyers anymore."

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby BenJ » Tue May 04, 2010 2:12 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Why do people at top schools pretend to know what it's like at lower tiered schools? This is especially true for a place like Buffalo, where Buffalo is the only game in town.

Are you at Buffalo? Do you know what it's like in Buffalo right now? Can you speak to it personally?

I freely admit that I can't, but I have spoken to enough people at lower-ranked schools to have an idea what's going on nationally, and I haven't seen any reason to believe Buffalo would be an exception to that.

Buffalo is the only game in town, but certainly far from the only game in the state of New York, and folks who can't get work in NYC or Albany are going to be looking elsewhere in the state for work. It's not like they're going to give up and go "Oh well, we can't find anything where we wanted to go to school, so we're not going to be lawyers anymore."


Buffalo used to be T2, though (as recently as 2007), and Upstate is not exactly a market that people are clamoring to get into. The only "local" competition are Syracuse (basically the same level as Buffalo, but in Syracuse) and Cornell (which sends 95% of its grads elsewhere). Plus, the SUNYs are really cheap ($16k tuition annually in-state, $24k out-of-state), so debt isn't a huge issue. Buffalo is a T3 that is probably worth your money, assuming you're fine with spending the rest of your life in Buffalo.

This isn't true of most T3s, but T3 state schools in states or regions (and Upstate is practically a different state from NYC) without substantial local competition are generally fine ways to spend your money. They're low in cost, usually have a very low CoL, and no T1 graduates want to move there to compete with you for jobs.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 6:29 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Why do people at top schools pretend to know what it's like at lower tiered schools? This is especially true for a place like Buffalo, where Buffalo is the only game in town.

Are you at Buffalo? Do you know what it's like in Buffalo right now? Can you speak to it personally?

I freely admit that I can't, but I have spoken to enough people at lower-ranked schools to have an idea what's going on nationally, and I haven't seen any reason to believe Buffalo would be an exception to that.

Buffalo is the only game in town, but certainly far from the only game in the state of New York, and folks who can't get work in NYC or Albany are going to be looking elsewhere in the state for work. It's not like they're going to give up and go "Oh well, we can't find anything where we wanted to go to school, so we're not going to be lawyers anymore."


Um, when it comes to T3 schools, what matters is not what going on nationally, but what is going on locally. So unless you know what is going on in that particular region of NY, you really don't have any basis for your comments. I don't know what prospects are for Buffalo grads. All I said was that it is the only school in the area. I have spent time in Buffalo though, and I know that the area has been bleeding young people for years. Young people (with or without law degrees) are not flocking to Buffalo in any great numbers. So, I would imagine (again, I don't know) that Buffalo grads are doing fine in Buffalo.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby 270910 » Tue May 04, 2010 6:55 pm

Danteshek wrote:Um, when it comes to T3 schools, what matters is not what going on nationally, but what is going on locally. So unless you know what is going on in that particular region of NY, you really don't have any basis for your comments. I don't know what prospects are for Buffalo grads. All I said was that it is the only school in the area. I have spent time in Buffalo though, and I know that the area has been bleeding young people for years. Young people (with or without law degrees) are not flocking to Buffalo in any great numbers. So, I would imagine (again, I don't know) that Buffalo grads are doing fine in Buffalo.


:shock:

"LOL BUFFALO ECONOMY IN TATTERS, RATS ABANDON SINKING SHIP. BIGBUFFALLOLAWTO190 LET'S GO GUYS!"

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 04, 2010 7:44 pm

Danteshek wrote:Um, when it comes to T3 schools, what matters is not what going on nationally, but what is going on locally. So unless you know what is going on in that particular region of NY, you really don't have any basis for your comments. I don't know what prospects are for Buffalo grads. All I said was that it is the only school in the area.

So what you're saying is, you think everyone going to school elsewhere in New York will choose unemployment over taking a job in Buffalo? If not, then what's going on nationally (or at least in the rest of the state) kind of does matter.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby GATORTIM » Tue May 04, 2010 7:52 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Um, when it comes to T3 schools, what matters is not what going on nationally, but what is going on locally. So unless you know what is going on in that particular region of NY, you really don't have any basis for your comments. I don't know what prospects are for Buffalo grads. All I said was that it is the only school in the area.

So what you're saying is, you think everyone going to school elsewhere in New York will choose unemployment over taking a job in Buffalo? If not, then what's going on nationally (or at least in the rest of the state) kind of does matter.


I would imagine that a hiring partner in Buffalo would give consideration to a local Buffalo grad (one that likely envisioned, for whatever f'n reason, practicing in that area whe they began LS) versus a LS grad from NYU that entered LS with dreams of BigLaw and practicing in the Big Apple and is a flight risk as soon as the economy loosens up.

PS...I'm a 0L, and I have no firsthand knowledge of this particular argument, but it was the first thing that came to mind when I read this. Also, if you would have asked me this morning about the chances of me discussing the legal market in Buffalo I would have said zero.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Lisa7n99 » Tue May 04, 2010 7:58 pm


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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 8:04 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Um, when it comes to T3 schools, what matters is not what going on nationally, but what is going on locally. So unless you know what is going on in that particular region of NY, you really don't have any basis for your comments. I don't know what prospects are for Buffalo grads. All I said was that it is the only school in the area.

So what you're saying is, you think everyone going to school elsewhere in New York will choose unemployment over taking a job in Buffalo? If not, then what's going on nationally (or at least in the rest of the state) kind of does matter.


Most law students in NYC are not going to move to Buffalo for a job, even if it means unemployment. And most employers in Buffalo are not going to take a law student from NYC very seriously (especially if you're talking NYU or Columbia). They are obvious flight risks and most of the time do not have any connection or loyalty to the area.

I can tell you I would never move to Riverside County, even if it meant unemployment. I would look for a job in Los Angeles until I found one.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 04, 2010 8:10 pm

Danteshek wrote:Most law students in NYC are not going to move to Buffalo for a job, even if it means unemployment.

:shock: :? :roll:

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 8:12 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Most law students in NYC are not going to move to Buffalo for a job, even if it means unemployment.

:shock: :? :roll:


Would you?

I would never leave Los Angeles. I am very well connected in this city. It would be a very dumb move for me to move to inland empire for a job.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby yabbadabbado » Tue May 04, 2010 8:17 pm

I don't know about Buffalo specifically, but there is some truth to the concept here. However, that doesn't mean you will be automatically landing the best jobs in Buffalo if you go to Buffalo Law. Your biggest competition will be your classmates, and the ones at the tippy top of the class will take the best jobs. Everyone else will be left hustling for whatever they can find. This is the norm at a lot of lower ranked, regional schools.

As a counterpoint, I've seen some some non-profit legal employers that are located in "unpopular" places recruit at national job fairs in big cities and they have no trouble getting tons of applications from highly qualified individuals at good schools. As an example, there is one place that is located in the same place as a low ranked school. Guess what? No one from that local, low-ranked school is working there. Instead they hire people from higher ranked schools that have no ties to the area. This wasn't the ACLU or SPLC either.


Danteshek wrote:
Most law students in NYC are not going to move to Buffalo for a job, even if it means unemployment. And most employers in Buffalo are not going to take a law student from NYC very seriously (especially if you're talking NYU or Columbia). They are obvious flight risks and most of the time do not have any connection or loyalty to the area.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 04, 2010 8:19 pm

Danteshek wrote:I would never leave Los Angeles. I am very well connected in this city. It would be a very dumb move for me to move to inland empire for a job.

Many people aren't well-connected, and the whole point of a law degree for them is to give them a way to open doors they can't right now. And honestly, most people would prefer to eat, even if it meant living in Buffalo.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby engineer » Tue May 04, 2010 8:26 pm

MurderafterMidnight wrote:I'm asking because honestly i would like to know. I was blessed to have made it through undergrad and not owe anything, i would like to go to law school but the with all the articles and complaints i have been reading from recent graduates about not finding work or very low paying jobs, i am starting to be a bit more concerned. I am a URM and i have a electrical engineering degree and plan on taking the patent bar soon. My main law interest is ip. i am wondering how much this will improve my law career outlook at graduation. Also i would just honestly like to know in your opinions is any third/forth tier school worth attending. Thanks in advance.


Nice to see another EE! If you're planning to do patent law, it really doesn't matter where you go to school. As you know, patent attorneys and patent agents BOTH take the same exam, the only difference being that patent attorneys additionally take their state bar exam, which is the same bar exam every attorney takes. If you look at the top schools for IP law, you'll see all of the expected top schools, but then you'll see Franklin Pierce Law Center, a third-tier school in Concord, NH (it's actually a really beautiful area and approximately 30-40 minutes from Boston). So, while there's fervent opposition to attending third- and fourth-tier schools, generally, Franklin Pierce is a good option for people with IP interests.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 8:34 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:I would never leave Los Angeles. I am very well connected in this city. It would be a very dumb move for me to move to inland empire for a job.

Many people aren't well-connected, and the whole point of a law degree for them is to give them a way to open doors they can't right now. And honestly, most people would prefer to eat, even if it meant living in Buffalo.


I love how you dodged the question. Would you accept a position in Buffalo?

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 04, 2010 8:40 pm

Danteshek wrote:Would you accept a position in Buffalo?

If the choice was between Buffalo and unemployment, hell yes. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, already loaded, or ridiculously stupid.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 8:47 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Would you accept a position in Buffalo?

If the choice was between Buffalo and unemployment, hell yes. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, already loaded, or ridiculously stupid.


I'm guessing you've never been unemployed? Anyway, I think you're full of shit. You would keep looking for a job in your target market until you found one, especially coming from such a fancy school.

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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby GATORTIM » Tue May 04, 2010 8:52 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:I would never leave Los Angeles. I am very well connected in this city. It would be a very dumb move for me to move to inland empire for a job.

Many people aren't well-connected, and the whole point of a law degree for them is to give them a way to open doors they can't right now. And honestly, most people would prefer to eat, even if it meant living in Buffalo.


I wouldnt say in this Buffalo hypo that not moving to B-town leads to starvation. I think what Dante is getting at is that there are a lot of people that may lower expectations or take a lesser or even non-legal job in effort to ride it out rather than moving to Buffalo. If, upon LS graduation, the only offers I have are in Buffalo or Inland Empire I would find some other source of income.




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