Big Fish or Little Fish?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
KingsCup
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 3:33 am

Big Fish or Little Fish?

Postby KingsCup » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Sorry if this has been posted before, but would you guys say it is better to be a big fish (top 5%) at a lower ranked school located in the city that you want to work in, or a little fish (bottom 50%) at a much better school not in the city you want to work in? I was having this conversation with my sister who is thinking of applying next year and trying to work in chicago, just for context

User avatar
typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: Big Fish or Little Fish?

Postby typ3 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:44 pm

bgoodrick wrote:Sorry if this has been posted before, but would you guys say it is better to be a big fish (top 5%) at a lower ranked school located in the city that you want to work in, or a little fish (bottom 50%) at a much better school not in the city you want to work in? I was having this conversation with my sister who is thinking of applying next year and trying to work in chicago, just for context


Big Fish. No question.

User avatar
BullShitWithBravado
Posts: 245
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:29 pm

Re: Big Fish or Little Fish?

Postby BullShitWithBravado » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:47 pm

It depends. If the little fish attends a T-14 school, then it's probably better than being top 5% at a lower ranked school. To get a more accurate answer, though, you should probably check out Chicago firms' websites to see what law schools most of their attorneys attended. If the firms have a lot of recent law school grads from local schools, then a local school might be OK. However, keep in mind that you can't predict how well you'll do in law school.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Big Fish or Little Fish?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:48 pm

bgoodrick wrote:Sorry if this has been posted before, but would you guys say it is better to be a big fish (top 5%) at a lower ranked school located in the city that you want to work in, or a little fish (bottom 50%) at a much better school not in the city you want to work in? I was having this conversation with my sister who is thinking of applying next year and trying to work in chicago, just for context


For Chicago even Loyola/IIT/DePaul top 5% is better than non HYS-NW/UofC/Michigan T14 from

But below median at Cornell isn't getting top 5% even at a T2. So stop this TTT line of thinking.

User avatar
dextermorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Big Fish or Little Fish?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:51 pm

The problem is that a person is just as likely to end up as the little fish in the little pond. The reason people go to high ranked schools is to hedge their bets because they know they are likely to be median no matter where they go. That being said, you can't underestimate the value of local schools for networking opportunities. Of course a lot of students just join a few student organizations and don't actually get out in the community to network.

User avatar
mqt
Posts: 2145
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:52 pm

Re: Big Fish or Little Fish?

Postby mqt » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:42 am

dextermorgan wrote:The problem is that a person is just as likely to end up as the little fish in the little pond. The reason people go to high ranked schools is to hedge their bets because they know they are likely to be median no matter where they go. That being said, you can't underestimate the value of local schools for networking opportunities. Of course a lot of students just join a few student organizations and don't actually get out in the community to network.


This. Obviously, being top 5% at a strong regional school gives you great opportunities, but there's a roughly 95% chance you won't achieve it. The reason to go to a top school is that if 10-20 students in your class do better than you in your first year, you don't have to panic. Being at the median at a TT or TTT is almost a death sentence if you have $200K in debt. That's something to keep in mind when you are deciding between two options. Once you choose a school, your only goal is to work as hard as you can to be in the top 5% of whatever school you choose.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests