If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

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Lawquacious
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:05 pm

I think this depends in part on where you want to practice. If you want to practice basically where the school is then I think this may not be such a bad idea, but even then there is some real risk that you wouldn't get a legal job if you are in a lower portion of the class. Also, if you have family connections- such as you father has a local law office- I think that could help mitigate the risk considerably.

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david.patel
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby david.patel » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:12 pm

Lawquacious wrote:I think this depends in part on where you want to practice. If you want to practice basically where the school is then I think this may not be such a bad idea, but even then there is some real risk that you wouldn't get a legal job if you are in a lower portion of the class. Also, if you have family connections- such as you father has a local law office- I think that could help mitigate the risk considerably.


Agreed. Retake the LSAT unless you know someone who will let you join their practice when you graduate.

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General Tso
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby General Tso » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:19 pm

afc1910 wrote:
General Tso wrote:Keep in mind that attorneys command higher salaries after some experience. Even if one starts off at around 40k, they could bump that up to the 60-70 range with several years' experience.


This. This is the reason why I get pissed off when people on this board post that getting a law degree is a waste of money. It's an investment. I do not advocate getting into 100k+ debt over it, unless you're going to T20, but still.

Also, I sometimes forget that people who do not live in new york make a lot less money than new yorkers do (since our COL is ridiculously high). The first job I got while in college at the age of 18 paid me 15 bucks an hour, with generous bonuses, overtime and free car service home if I stayed late. I had no work experience whatsoever.


I think the old rule of thumb that you shouldnt borrow more than you expect to earn in your first year is still good advice for law students. Eg - I attend Hastings, expect about 65k debt, and expect about 55-70k salary. I could not justify borrowing 100k+ for any school outside the T20 right now, because the odds of earning 100k+ are so low.

I strongly recommend against NYC-area TTT and TTTT schools. As I said, the job market for tier 3 graduates is possibly worse in NYC than any other market. Even tier 2 schools like Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc. should be very cheap to be worthwhile.

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LawQ5
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby LawQ5 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:33 pm

Ima Scrub wrote:If, for whatever reason, I only got into a T3 school, would it even be worth going? Assuming they grant me a generous if not full ride...will job prospects be insanely bleak (seeing as even those graduating from top law schools are struggling to find a job too) for me to realistically assume I'll be successful after law school?

Thanks.


From my understanding, only go if you receive a generous amount of money or a free ride. Also, only go if you feel you can study hard enough while in school to be at the top of the class (I'm not sure how high, but I'd shoot for top 10% or better). It seems like if you go to a T3 school, your job prospects would primarily be local if you graduate from there. So pick one in an area that you wouldn't mind working in just incase, because you probably wouldn't be able to get a law job in a different area very easily, if at all. But generally, I think the best plan of action if one is forced to attend a T3 would be to take that full ride, work your butt off, become top of the class, and then transfer to a much better school.

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niederbomb
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby niederbomb » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:25 am

Of course!

You can't go wrong with a T3, HYS.

Otherwise, no. If you "only got into a tier 3 school," that means you probably won't be at the top of your class at that tier 3 school, as opposed to people with higher numbers who could have gotten into better schools and chose said tier 3 for scholarships/family/location/whatever. If you're not at the top, enjoy temporary document review!!
Last edited by niederbomb on Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tsispilos
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby Tsispilos » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:32 am

afc1910 wrote:
General Tso wrote:I probably would not, unless it is full ride guaranteed (no GPA stipulations). But it depends...if you can do it in under 30-40k debt and would be happy earning 30-40k salary, then maybe. but most likely it is a bad financial decision in any event.


Where is this 30-40k salary range coming from? Are you guessing completely, or do you actually know people who have JDs (regardless from which school) that are making that money? A starting salary for a postal worker is 35k, and I doubt you need anything more than a high school diploma to qualify for that job.


many legal aid societies, small insurance defense shops, e-discovery sweatshops, and doc-review "staff attorney" positions start in this range. Also, don't forget that some JDs from lower tier schools go on to work in places like the postal service, and this counts as employed within "9 months" for the school's statistics.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:18 pm

General Tso wrote:
afc1910 wrote:
General Tso wrote:Keep in mind that attorneys command higher salaries after some experience. Even if one starts off at around 40k, they could bump that up to the 60-70 range with several years' experience.


This. This is the reason why I get pissed off when people on this board post that getting a law degree is a waste of money. It's an investment. I do not advocate getting into 100k+ debt over it, unless you're going to T20, but still.

Also, I sometimes forget that people who do not live in new york make a lot less money than new yorkers do (since our COL is ridiculously high). The first job I got while in college at the age of 18 paid me 15 bucks an hour, with generous bonuses, overtime and free car service home if I stayed late. I had no work experience whatsoever.


I think the old rule of thumb that you shouldnt borrow more than you expect to earn in your first year is still good advice for law students. Eg - I attend Hastings, expect about 65k debt, and expect about 55-70k salary. I could not justify borrowing 100k+ for any school outside the T20 right now, because the odds of earning 100k+ are so low.

I strongly recommend against NYC-area TTT and TTTT schools. As I said, the job market for tier 3 graduates is possibly worse in NYC than any other market. Even tier 2 schools like Rutgers, Seton Hall, etc. should be very cheap to be worthwhile.

161k+ debt=fail for hys?

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General Tso
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby General Tso » Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:55 pm

Nicholasnickynic wrote:161k+ debt=fail for hys?


no, I think most T14 schools are worth 150k+ debt. we are talking TTTs and TTTTs in this thread.

thedive
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby thedive » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:58 pm

What about T3 schools such as Montana/Idaho/Wyoming? So far im in with money at several T2s and so far in with no word on money at a couple lower T1s, but am pretty close to going with one of the first schools that is T3. For me it is totally worth it, but then again I wouldn't mind/love to live in the region.

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dr123
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby dr123 » Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:59 pm

thedive wrote:What about T3 schools such as Montana/Idaho/Wyoming? So far im in with money at several T2s and so far in with no word on money at a couple lower T1s, but am pretty close to going with one of the first schools that is T3. For me it is totally worth it, but then again I wouldn't mind/love to live in the region.



All worth attending, U of Montana has a stranglehold on the Montana legal market and it's like 27k total instate tuition.

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northwood
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby northwood » Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:00 pm

thedive wrote:What about T3 schools such as Montana/Idaho/Wyoming? So far im in with money at several T2s and so far in with no word on money at a couple lower T1s, but am pretty close to going with one of the first schools that is T3. For me it is totally worth it, but then again I wouldn't mind/love to live in the region.



if said TTT is the only school in the state you want to live in afterwords- then its something to consider. although you should still do some research on the school and its region to double check.

Dino
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby Dino » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:57 pm

Let's say you don't have a genuine passion for studying law, but you like the $ and prestige, then I wouldn't go to a T3 school at all.

Even in the case of your friend, making 40-50k per year hardly warrants 3 years of post secondary education, not to mention the 40k debt.

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PDaddy
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby PDaddy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:18 am

Ima Scrub wrote:If, for whatever reason, I only got into a T3 school, would it even be worth going? Assuming they grant me a generous if not full ride...will job prospects be insanely bleak (seeing as even those graduating from top law schools are struggling to find a job too) for me to realistically assume I'll be successful after law school?

Thanks.


If it's one of the better T3's and located in a region in which you want to work then maybe. It also depends on the $$$ the school offers.

drummerboy
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby drummerboy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:39 am

great postings. im not interested in big law and would love to live in tampa st pete area of fl. hence, im picking stetson over miami, iowa, denver because of it location, some scholly money, and my desire to live in fl not denver and iowa, although these schools are higher ranked than stetson. stetson offers a unique opportunity to its students because it is literally the only law school in those cities. although stetson will ultimately compete for jobs with fsu and uf, the 3 years of law school will allow almost exclusive and comprehensive networking with the local tampa st pete legal community.this of course, wont help me get big law, but i can hopefully evolve by working in local public sector positions, continuing to network. and ultimately open a criminal defense firm. indeed, big law is not a variable.wish me luck

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:45 am

Full ride or close to full ride + dominant school in the region, it's not a bad idea.

drummerboy
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby drummerboy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:01 pm

correct me if im wrong but even if one gets a full ride to a school, and by full ride i believe were referring to full tuition alone, there will always be at least a 20k debt per year for books, room and board. so at the end everyone will have to have at least this degree of debt no matter where they go and no matter what the scholly money is. Is this accurate? furthermore, if the general consensus is not to borrow any amount greater than your first year salary, then a salary less than 60k in year one would be a problem to most especially if big law is not an option. Is this assumption correct?

drummerboy
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby drummerboy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:35 pm

interesting you mean if i tried to come back to florida to practice or in the out of state market? another potentially viable option is fsu. however, im still on hold. and we all know how annoying that is. however, what do you think of my debt theory above? Does it even make sense? These days, making an honest decision requires the manipulation of variables akin to solving a differential equation! lol

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northwood
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby northwood » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:30 pm

drummerboy wrote:correct me if im wrong but even if one gets a full ride to a school, and by full ride i believe were referring to full tuition alone, there will always be at least a 20k debt per year for books, room and board. so at the end everyone will have to have at least this degree of debt no matter where they go and no matter what the scholly money is. Is this accurate? furthermore, if the general consensus is not to borrow any amount greater than your first year salary, then a salary less than 60k in year one would be a problem to most especially if big law is not an option. Is this assumption correct?



i believe that you can get max full tuition. but if they throw in a stipulation for living expenses, then that will count against those costs. Since its hard to work ( and not allowed for 1L), you need some money to live on. If you dont have a lot of savings, then you will have to take a loan. Its up to you, but if you can get your total debt below 100k and you are comfortable wiht the school and its prospects, then go for it, if you think you really want to be a lawyer, and you arent going to law school to get a 100k+ job right afterwords.

drummerboy
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby drummerboy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:08 pm

yes i think i can keep my debt load to about 66k for all three years. i have savings and my college expenses are all paid up via scholarship money and florida bright futures awards. so i think im good to go at either stetson or fsu if i get off the hold status. and dont get wl or dinged. thanks for your response.

Ima Scrub
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby Ima Scrub » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:05 pm

Very interesting replies and comments, I've been reading all of them!

The general consensus seems to be that unless these two criterion are met,

1.) the school offers a full ride, or a SUBSTANTIAL (total debt < first year salary) financial package

AND

2.) the school is regionally located in a favorable location in terms of making connections and getting a decent job


it would not be worth going to a Tier-3 law school. Although I don't know a lot about law, I think I would favor starting my way with a small firm first and then moving my way up instead of trying for the big leagues anyway. Seeing as if I only get into a Tier 3 anyway, I see that as a large possibility (if I can even secure a job in the first place).

ryno8cubs5
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Re: If I only got into a T3 school, would it be worth going?

Postby ryno8cubs5 » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:59 pm

Ima Scrub wrote:Very interesting replies and comments, I've been reading all of them!

The general consensus seems to be that unless these two criterion are met,

1.) the school offers a full ride, or a SUBSTANTIAL (total debt < first year salary) financial package

AND

2.) the school is regionally located in a favorable location in terms of making connections and getting a decent job


it would not be worth going to a Tier-3 law school. Although I don't know a lot about law, I think I would favor starting my way with a small firm first and then moving my way up instead of trying for the big leagues anyway. Seeing as if I only get into a Tier 3 anyway, I see that as a large possibility (if I can even secure a job in the first place).




It is all just what you want to do. If you want to start from the bottom and work your way up then I am sure you can do it at a Tier 3. This isn't the best place to ask advice on the lower ranked schools. My advice is to go to the best school, or best placed school, you can. Work hard, hope for a good internship, and maybe get job prospects before graduating. I am hoping for the "big fish in a little pond" result from my time at UMKC. Not for transfer wise, just graduation rank wise, since I want to practice in KC anyways.

One more thing to consider would be, what would you be doing otherwise? I have a degree in Psychology. I would be putting even more time in than law school in graduate school to make 40k starting out.




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