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Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:24 pm
by PutSumGravyOnIt
I'm thinking about enrolling at Seattle University, I think it's around 86 in the US rankings.

My question is formed after reading several topics and conversation around these forums. There is so much talk about how all these schools have barely any job prospects, are in saturated markets, etc. Still--there are tons of people enrolling in these schools even with all the bad press about them. So can anyone tell me anything good about going to one of these schools, like SU?

I'm sure the sarcasm and doom/gloom alarms are going off in everyone's minds... But seeing as non-T14 schools, let alone non top-50 schools, are berated as being essentially worthless, I'm wondering if there's anything positive people can say about going to a school like Seattle U.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:30 pm
by in2win
if you have connections and can get yourself a job through those connections, then it really wouldn't matter where you went to school

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:48 pm
by Tom Joad
Cheap state schools that dominate their state's market aren't bad for in-state residents. Those =/= Seattle. Just go to UW instead.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:14 pm
by R2-D2
It really depends. For example, if I couldn't get into a top 50 law school, I would seriously be reconsidering going to law school in general, since my aspirations are BigLaw (Corporate). If you want to get into BigLaw, or any law career that pays 6-figures immediately after graduation, top-50 is a must. If you want to just be a lawyer, below top 50 is ok. Also, there are grads from top-50 schools that have enough trouble trying to find employment after graduation, much less non-top-50 grads. So you definitely need to take that into consideration.


However, Seattle Law is #1 for legal writing according to USNWR, so that's not too bad. :)

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:19 pm
by t14fanboy
Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:22 pm
by JoeMo
t14fanboy wrote:Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...


T1 vs. T2, at least it used to be. Now I think T1 goes all the way to 100 at least that's what I heard someone say on here the other day. Not sure if true.

messenger - don't shoot

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:22 pm
by Geetar Man
t14fanboy wrote:Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...



Possibly in the same way 14 is a relevant cutoff?

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:24 pm
by ze2151
there is no good answer to this question unless
1- full scholarship AND
2- truly reliable job prospects

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:24 pm
by Tom Joad
t14fanboy wrote:Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...

Lots of the top 50 (but not all ahem Wake Forest) are the go to schools in their target markets.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:27 pm
by R2-D2
Geetar Man wrote:
t14fanboy wrote:Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...



Possibly in the same way 14 is a relevant cutoff?



Agreed.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:36 pm
by traehekat
Sounds like you are just looking for someone to say something positive about Seattle so you can justify enrolling...

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:52 pm
by PutSumGravyOnIt
traehekat wrote:Sounds like you are just looking for someone to say something positive about Seattle so you can justify enrolling...


It's true, in a way. I really do want to go to law school and be a lawyer, from the people I've talked to and the research I've done into what lawyers actually do every day I think I would be good at it and would find some fulfillment out of it.

Still, I think my question was aimed at trying to find anything good in the oceans of badness that are directed at non-T14 or non-top 50 schools. Is it psychological reassurance of my choice? Yes. Is it also trying to find the other side of the story, the small portions of success that people who go to these schools sometimes find but are never reported on this and other forums? I think so. After all, a "realistic expectation" of law school and the job market has to include some positives.

Thanks to all who replied and are replying!

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:54 pm
by stillwater
in2win wrote:if you have connections and can get yourself a job through those connections, then it really wouldn't matter where you went to school


I'm not sure I agree with this sentiment. I know I have seen it before, but however solid a job connection is today it can change tomorrow.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:00 pm
by R2-D2
stillwater wrote:
in2win wrote:if you have connections and can get yourself a job through those connections, then it really wouldn't matter where you went to school


I'm not sure I agree with this sentiment. I know I have seen it before, but however solid a job connection is today it can change tomorrow.


Agreed. Connections aren't everything, especially in the field of law. Maybe in business school, but definitely not in law school.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:08 pm
by 09042014
Top 50 is a stupid cut off. There are some schools a little above 50 that are better than schools below 50. And there are some pretty high ranked schools that are absolute TTT's like Indiana.

T14, a top regional school for low debt (Seattle doesn't count, U of W does), or any other respectable school for zero debt (like Seattle). Don't go to true TTTs even for free. And if you have a decent career potential without law school, I wouldn't do anything other than T14.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:26 pm
by Geetar Man
R2-D2 wrote:
Geetar Man wrote:
t14fanboy wrote:Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...



Possibly in the same way 14 is a relevant cutoff?



Agreed.


beep bop boop bop beep boop beep beep. agreeeed.

That's all I heard, R2-D2.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:31 pm
by t14fanboy
Geetar Man wrote:
t14fanboy wrote:Just curious...Why is top 50 a relevant cutoff...



Possibly in the same way 14 is a relevant cutoff?


No. Desertfox's post encapsulated my point entirely.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:32 pm
by Cavalier
I wouldn't go to a non-T7 law school.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:37 pm
by 09042014
Cavalier wrote:I wouldn't go to a non-T7 law school.


Rarely seen Boalt trolling by a UVA student.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:37 pm
by t14fanboy
Image

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:58 pm
by bns_77
Desert Fox wrote:Top 50 is a stupid cut off. There are some schools a little above 50 that are better than schools below 50. And there are some pretty high ranked schools that are absolute TTT's like Indiana.

T14, a top regional school for low debt (Seattle doesn't count, U of W does), or any other respectable school for zero debt (like Seattle). Don't go to true TTTs even for free. And if you have a decent career potential without law school, I wouldn't do anything other than T14.


Agreed on all counts, except I'd say if you have decent career potential without law school, I wouldn't do law school! :mrgreen:

To the OP, it depends on what you want and what sort of odds you're comfortable with. Somebody posted above that Top 50 or higher is a "must" for biglaw... well, that's not true. Of course, your odds are better with a better school, but I'm not so sure they're THAT much better between #50 and #89 to make any real difference. But if you're looking for something non-biglaw, I would just suggest not taking on too much debt and have some sort of idea what you want out of law school before you take the plunge.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:59 pm
by Alan
FSU and SMU dropped from T50 all the way down to 51. Does it matter? not really.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:18 pm
by Cavalier
I was actually referring to Penn. Still a great school despite the Sandusky scandal.

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:27 pm
by Crowing
Cavalier wrote:I was actually referring to Penn. Still a great school despite the Sandusky scandal.


:lol:

Re: Why go to a non top-50 law school?

Posted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:35 pm
by rinkrat19
bns_77 wrote:To the OP, it depends on what you want and what sort of odds you're comfortable with. Somebody posted above that Top 50 or higher is a "must" for biglaw... well, that's not true. Of course, your odds are better with a better school, but I'm not so sure they're THAT much better between #50 and #89 to make any real difference.

This is true, because chances at biglaw are close enough to zero at both #50 and #89 to make them both poor choices if biglaw is your aim.