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

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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 9:00 pm

Danteshek wrote: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.

I came to law school with realistic expectations, including not having myself set on a single legal market. The reality of wanting to be a lawyer in this economy is that you have to be prepared to go where the jobs are.

I was unemployed for six months after I graduated college. It wasn't long after 9/11, and things weren't great, and the field I studied wasn't hiring at all. I held out in exactly the way you're advocating for a while thinking that I'd just find find the job I wanted if I waited long enough. It wasn't until I was willing to look in places I wouldn't have originally that I found decent work. I ended up in a city I didn't want to live in, working a job that I didn't really want to do. But you know what? It was a roof, and food, and health insurance, and the ability to live.

A fancy school means nothing. A fancy school won't pay rent or feed me. I came to law school to be a lawyer, and that's my goal. The job I get because of my fancy school is all I care about, and if that job ends up being in Buffalo, so be it. I'll take that. I'll take getting to be a lawyer in Buffalo over sitting around hoping I find a job I like somewhere better.

You want to see someone who's full of shit, go look in a mirror, dude.

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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 9:06 pm

To get this thread back on track... See this ATL thread:

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/05/rescission-open-thread-which-firms-are-pulling-offers/

Firms are pulling offers from people. Even if you find a job, you may not get to keep it.

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

Postby Danteshek » Tue May 04, 2010 10:25 pm

vanwinkle wrote:To get this thread back on track... See this ATL thread:

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/05/rescission-open-thread-which-firms-are-pulling-offers/

Firms are pulling offers from people. Even if you find a job, you may not get to keep it.


This actually happened to me in 2008. I was all set to move to Russia for a job in investor relations for a PE firm. The managing partner had a fucking stroke and died. The firm rescinded the offer, after I had left my job at Wachovia, rented out my apartment, sold my car and broken up with my girlfriend. I was unemployed for a year and applied to law school. I got a measly $5,000 settlement.

Vanwinkle: I think you are unduly pessimistic. You should count your lucky stars for being able to attend a school from which these firms (that are apparently rescinding offers) would hire from in the first place. You are in a better position than 97% of law students in this country.

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

Postby GATORTIM » Tue May 04, 2010 10:52 pm

Danteshek wrote:Vanwinkle: I think you are unduly pessimistic. You should count your lucky stars for being able to attend a school from which these firms (that are apparently rescinding offers) would hire from in the first place. You are in a better position than 97% of law students in this country.


for the most part, I like vanwinkle (or at least the majority of his posts), but I think his pessimism is due to some sort of social anxiety or disdain for people (I recall him hinting at such in another thread).

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

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue May 04, 2010 11:06 pm

GATORTIM wrote:
for the most part, I like vanwinkle (or at least the majority of his posts), but I think his pessimism is [strike]due to some sort of social anxiety or disdain for people (I recall him hinting at such in another thread)[/strike] completely realistic and is what a lot of people thinking about going to law school need to come to grips with.


FTFY

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

Postby yabbadabbado » Tue May 04, 2010 11:30 pm

To a tier 2/3/4 student just starting or a 0L vanwinkle may seem pessimistic but if you talk to current 3Ls and recent grads of even "good" schools you'll see that things are not so rosy. Many of the top school grads are in virtually the same position as many grads of lower ranked schools right now.

By that I'm not just talking about people whose biglaw hopes and dreams of big $$$ were crushed. Many of these people, even coming out of top schools, would be happy to take any job that gives them a steady paycheck, pays rent and basic expenses, and offers health insurance.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Wed May 05, 2010 12:17 pm

Danteshek wrote:Vanwinkle: I think you are unduly pessimistic. You should count your lucky stars for being able to attend a school from which these firms (that are apparently rescinding offers) would hire from in the first place. You are in a better position than 97% of law students in this country.

I realize I'm in a better position than maybe 97% of law students in the country. But does that mean I shouldn't try to give that 97% advice based on what I've seen?

Besides (and this is part of my point) it's not just where you go anymore. I'm at a T14 and I've seen some of my classmates struggle to find jobs. Not all of them, mind you, quite a few have been able to do well for themselves, but things are that bad now, that even being at a T14 assures you of nothing. You've still got to earn it even here. One of the things that puts me in a great position here is that I do have a few years' WE between UG and now, and that gives me an edge. But that also means it's an edge at the expense of other T14 kids who don't have WE but think their law school experience will make up for that. It won't, everyone's being extraordinarily picky right now.

I've got a stack of rejection letters for unpaid internships for local DA and PD offices across most of the state. Most of them say things like, and these are actual quotes off of them, "we received a high volume of submissions from many very qualified candidates" and "it was a difficult decision to make in light of your very impressive resume and your enthusiasm for public service". I'm at a T14 which is also the top law school in the state, I have good grades, 5 years' WE, I did more than 60 hours of pro bono work this school year, and I have good grades, and I still got rejected by every local PD and DA in the state. These are the jobs that people keep referring to as the "fallback" jobs that they'll take if they can't get BigLaw. I aimed for these things in the beginning and I still couldn't get anything around here.

You're right that I got lucky, I got really lucky, I got something in New York. That was the only thing I got a job offer (or even an interview) from. If I hadn't gotten that I might still be looking for an internship somewhere right now. It's a trickle-down effect; the 2Ls aren't getting paid jobs from law firms, so they're eating up all the unpaid internships the 1Ls usually take, leaving the 1Ls with very few options. I've heard the school dramatically increased funding to professors to hire summer research assistants in order to make sure 1Ls had something to do this summer.

So, essentially, the only reason everyone has something to do this summer is the school is creating work for them. And this is at a T14!

Based on everything I've heard, this is how bad it is for people graduating, too. Law firms aren't hiring graduates in the numbers they used to, so folks who would've gone for BigLaw are now trying to pile onto all the PI jobs they can find, and you've just got too many people aiming for too few jobs. The law schools are even creating temporary work for graduates, too, setting up temporary fellowship programs to employ them for a year or two at a very low pay once they graduate. That gets the law school their employment-at-graduation numbers, but after that money runs out... what then? They're still left entering a job market that doesn't have room for them.

If things are this bad at a T14, how bad do you really think they are elsewhere? This is why, when I hear people talk about how things are going at their low T1 or T2 schools and they say even top 20% people are struggling to find jobs there, I believe them. And there's been a lot of stories like that, too.

Pessimistic? Yes. Unduly? I will let each person who reads be the judge of that. If all what I'm saying does is encourage people to go look it up and see if it's true or not, then I've done my part. I know there are other people out there saying the same thing I am. They'll see it if they start looking for it.

People have this idea that a JD is a golden ticket, and it's not. Not anymore, not even at a top law school.

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

Postby trialjunky » Wed May 05, 2010 12:39 pm

--ImageRemoved--

Yeah, whatever Van said ??

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

Postby yabbadabbado » Wed May 05, 2010 12:56 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I'm at a T14 which is also the top law school in the state, I have good grades, 5 years' WE, I did more than 60 hours of pro bono work this school year, and I have good grades, and I still got rejected by every local PD and DA in the state. These are the jobs that people keep referring to as the "fallback" jobs that they'll take if they can't get BigLaw. I aimed for these things in the beginning and I still couldn't get anything around here.


Not surprising at all. If you think this sounds bad, you cannot begin to fathom how stiff the competition is for an actual post-graduate job at these types of places.

It's a trickle-down effect; the 2Ls aren't getting paid jobs from law firms, so they're eating up all the unpaid internships the 1Ls usually take, leaving the 1Ls with very few options. I've heard the school dramatically increased funding to professors to hire summer research assistants in order to make sure 1Ls had something to do this summer.
So, essentially, the only reason everyone has something to do this summer is the school is creating work for them. And this is at a T14!


Again, sounds familiar. For proof, look at the t14s that offer summer stipends for students doing unpaid public interest internships. For these schools, they are having to increase summer funding by A LOT because many more students are doing unpaid work.

Based on everything I've heard, this is how bad it is for people graduating, too. Law firms aren't hiring graduates in the numbers they used to, so folks who would've gone for BigLaw are now trying to pile onto all the PI jobs they can find, and you've just got too many people aiming for too few jobs. The law schools are even creating temporary work for graduates, too, setting up temporary fellowship programs to employ them for a year or two at a very low pay once they graduate. That gets the law school their employment-at-graduation numbers, but after that money runs out... what then? They're still left entering a job market that doesn't have room for them.


I am about to graduate from a t14 and I can confirm that it is really this bad. The dearth of PI jobs is a big problem, especially since many places that might normally take a new law school graduate are simply not hiring due to funding issues or because they have an army of deferred big firm associates to get free labor from.

As for the fellowships, this is a growing trend, except people who can get a 1-2 year fellowship are very lucky because there are so few of them. What you are going to see is schools creating "fellowships" that last for 6 months or even less, profs hiring grads as temporary research assistants, and grads being funneled into admin. assistant type office work at the law school/university.

Another trend is law school grads, even from good schools, working for a year or more for FREE at PI orgs and state and federal government positions. I don't mean deferred associates here, but I mean students that have nothing at all lined up. I know for a fact that there are 2009 grads of my school, not to mention other schools, who are doing this now. Usually they have parents that are willing to support them indefinitely because they are working full time and not generating a dime of income. For those that can't take advantage of parental $ you may be at a huge disadvantage in the future. This trend may create an expectation that a new grad must work for free for a year or more in order to be considered for a real, paying job.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Wed May 05, 2010 1:04 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:Another trend is law school grads, even from good schools, working for a year or more for FREE at PI orgs and state and federal government positions. I don't mean deferred associates here, but I mean students that have nothing at all lined up. I know for a fact that there are 2009 grads of my school, not to mention other schools, who are doing this now. Usually they have parents that are willing to support them indefinitely because they are working full time and not generating a dime of income. For those that can't take advantage of parental $ you may be at a huge disadvantage in the future. This trend may create an expectation that a new grad must work for free for a year or more in order to be considered for a real, paying job.

This is something I'm becoming concerned about, and it scares the hell out of me because I don't have any wealthy relatives or anything, I'm entirely on my own. I have savings from working between UG and law school, but probably only enough to support myself for a year at most if I'm extremely frugal.

This is why the "I'd rather be unemployed than move to Buffalo" thing was so goddamn stupid. The only way that could possibly be true is if you have the kind of wealth that makes a job a luxury for you. People who need to work to eat are going to go wherever they can find paying work. I know I will.

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

Postby Danteshek » Wed May 05, 2010 11:50 pm

Well shit. If you were lucky to get that NY job, I must have won the $243M jackpot. I'm headed to DC to work at the SEC this summer, from a TTT in Los Angeles.

Btw, my dad attended UVA law, only to quit practice at age 28 to become an opera singer.

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

Postby sdv » Wed May 05, 2010 11:54 pm

this is only a small example, but Duquesne grads have no trouble getting jobs in Pittsburgh (the most livable city in America), since there are only 2 law schools in the city. Ergo, it all depends on location.

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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 » Wed May 05, 2010 11:54 pm

Danteshek wrote:Well shit. If you were lucky to get that NY job, I must have won the $243M jackpot. I'm headed to DC to work at the SEC this summer, from a TTT in Los Angeles.

Btw, my dad attended UVA law, only to quit practice at age 28 to become an opera singer.


Personal feelings on the discourse of this thread aside, that is badass.

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

Postby Danteshek » Thu May 06, 2010 12:26 am

In those days it was much easier to get into law school. My dad was a B student at Harvard with an average LSAT. The reason he got in was because he was a well known football player (second all time leading rusher), and because he married well.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Thu May 06, 2010 12:27 am

Danteshek wrote:In those days it was much easier to get into law school. My dad was a B student at Harvard with an average LSAT. The reason he got in was because he was a well known football player (second all time leading rusher), and because he married well.

Your dad is a Harvard grad, married well, went to a T14 law school, became a successful opera singer...

No wonder you're not worried about becoming unemployed, dude.

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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 » Thu May 06, 2010 12:39 am

vanwinkle wrote:
Danteshek wrote:In those days it was much easier to get into law school. My dad was a B student at Harvard with an average LSAT. The reason he got in was because he was a well known football player (second all time leading rusher), and because he married well.

Your dad is a Harvard grad, married well, went to a T14 law school, became a successful opera singer...

No wonder you're not worried about becoming unemployed, dude.


Doesn't everyone have connections like those? Or...do other people have to work hard, network, and pray for the best? Good thing the poor aren't real people.

/spit



:lol: :lol:

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

Postby Danteshek » Thu May 06, 2010 12:51 am

I wish I were rich. My family fucked things up in 1978. Hostile bank takeover. Let's just say my grandfather wasn't as sharp as his grandfather. Same story of decline on my mother's side (politics). But yeah. It helps in the confidence department.

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jayn3
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Re: Is a third/forth tier law school even worth going to?

Postby jayn3 » Thu May 06, 2010 12:56 am

if by "hostile bank takeover" you mean "robbed a bank"

...

your family might just have the most badass history ever. yes, that would help in the confidence department.

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

Postby TexasDemocrat » Mon May 10, 2010 3:09 am

Under very unique circumstances, yes.

Otherwise, no.

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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 10, 2010 3:14 am

TexasDemocrat wrote:Under very unique circumstances, yes.

Otherwise, no.


What an incredibly worthless bump.

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

Postby TexasDemocrat » Mon May 10, 2010 3:28 am

rad law wrote:
TexasDemocrat wrote:Under very unique circumstances, yes.

Otherwise, no.


What an incredibly worthless bump.


What a completely unnecessary and rude comment.

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

Postby A'nold » Mon May 10, 2010 3:44 am

TexasDemocrat wrote:
rad law wrote:
TexasDemocrat wrote:Under very unique circumstances, yes.

Otherwise, no.


What an incredibly worthless bump.


What a completely unnecessary and rude comment.


Nah, the other guy had it right.

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

Postby TexasDemocrat » Mon May 10, 2010 4:28 am

A'nold wrote:
TexasDemocrat wrote:
rad law wrote:
TexasDemocrat wrote:Under very unique circumstances, yes.

Otherwise, no.


What an incredibly worthless bump.


What a completely unnecessary and rude comment.


Nah, the other guy had it right.


Of course he did. He's been here longer. This forum is a popularity contest.

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

Postby SwollenMonkey » Tue May 11, 2010 5:57 pm

TexasDemocrat wrote:
What a completely unnecessary and rude comment.



Hi TexasDemocrat! *Blushes

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

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue May 11, 2010 6:01 pm

TexasDemocrat wrote:
Of course he did. He's been here longer. This forum is a popularity contest.


Your new avatar. It needs more cowbell.




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