mctj wrote: Dignan wrote:
Have you been in Irvine during Winter? That's how they keep the standard.
Indeed. The good winter weather will allow Irvine to obtain significant prestige. UCI will dominate the legal world along with the University of Hawaii, Texas Southern University, and Whittier College. Meanwhile, poor Harvard and Yale, both located in areas with tough winters, will toil in TTT territory.
Good winter weather is sort of analogous to applicants' softs in the admissions process. People talk a lot about it, and it surely helps break the occasional tie between two choices, but, when push comes to shove, it usually doesn't have a significant impact on actual decisions.
You underestimate the value of something like good weather to someone who isn't a prestige/rankings whore. Some people appreciate that they'll be spending three years in law school. Professors (and some graduates) will be spending the better part of their life there, and I imagine for them that makes weather an even greater influence.
I used to think this would be the case for faculty, but I don't think so anymore. Faculty are largely concerned with two things: 1) prestige of the institution and funding for their research projects and 2) the quality of their colleagues. The next tier of considerations are 3) student quality and 4) opportunities afforded either prospectively or in terms of conferences and whatnot. Then, education for their children is a big consideration, which way down the line would be followed by climate.
I was considering a CA school and a CT school, and I really like the climate out west (I'm from the western US). I chose the CT school for risk mitigation purposes despite loving the idea of being in CA for 3 years. Ultimately, I think that given the current state of the economy and such, this was almost certainly the right decision for me, not to mention if I were to want to do academia.
When I was making the decision itself, climate was a huge consideration for me, but now that I'm in the northeast and freezing (ha), I probably would make the same decision over again. I'll almost certainly never live in the NE again after this, so the experience is a nice one, and given the state of the economy and the changing nature of biglaw/the legal profession writ large, I would recommend choosing the school which presents the least amount of risk and the best chance of you being able to achieve your goals regardless of where in the class you end up.