Top 14's Level of Importance

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justadude55
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Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby justadude55 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:37 pm

I've been a poster here for a little while now, and have been reading for even longer. Is top 14 really as important as everyone says it is? I know obviously top schools give you the best opportunity at big law, but if one's goal (hypothetically, for argument's sake) is open to practicing anywhere they can find work, are Cornell and Georgetown really so much better than UCLA/Vandy/Texas when these schools are ranked right under them, and off of numbers, you can argue that some of them are harder to be admitted to than CG?

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merichard87
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby merichard87 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:43 pm

When comparing Cornell/Georgetown to Vandy/UT/USC the T-14 ranking becomes less important as long as you are comfortable living and working in Vandy/UT/USC's respective regions. Those schools can and have placed grads outside their markets in significant numbers but the best decision is probably to assume you will remain in the region.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby whymeohgodno » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:43 pm

Probably not if you compare CG vs Vandy/UCLA/UT.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby whymeohgodno » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:43 pm

merichard87 wrote:When comparing Cornell/Georgetown to Vandy/UT/USCUCLA the T-14 ranking becomes less important as long as you are comfortable living and working in Vandy/UT/USC's respective regions. Those schools can and have placed grads outside their markets in significant numbers but the best decision is probably to assume you will remain in the region.

justadude55
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby justadude55 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:51 pm

so verdict is UT/UCLA/Vandy can be better? do they have = portability to cornell/georgetown?

also, is usc really that far down? i read they're 1a 1b in LA with ucla.

i basically don't know where life is going to take me, and i don't want to commit to one city for 40 years.

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tea_drinker
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby tea_drinker » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:52 pm

justadude55 wrote: Is top 14 really as important as everyone says it is? I know obviously top schools give you the best opportunity at big law, but if one's goal (hypothetically, for argument's sake) is open to practicing anywhere they can find work, are Cornell and Georgetown really so much better than UCLA/Vandy/Texas when these schools are ranked right under them, and off of numbers, you can argue that some of them are harder to be admitted to than CG?


I am a debt averse, so I will say this:

If you can get a big scholarship from lower-ranked schools (I'm talking 3/4 to full tuition), T14 would not be important unless you are after prestige. If your numbers, however, would not get you a huge amount of money, attending T14 is important since you will (supposedly) get higher paying job after graduation, and potentially pay off your loan quickly.


You are compare low T14 schools with super regional schools (i.e. UT), so of course the difference is negligible. However, if you bring into the picture schools like WashU, UIUC, BU, etc., there is going to be a noticeable difference.

mst
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby mst » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:59 pm

Rather than continue the USC/UCLA trolling (the difference is not worth bringing up in this thread guys, get over it), allow me to answer your question: no, there is not some magic line between 14 and 15. In fact, if I was comfortable working in Texas, I would pick Texas over Georgetown. But I'm not. What you get with t14 is basically a degree which is a bit more prestigious. And this doesn't even have to matter. But for people who aren't sure WHAT market they'll end up in, a degree from Georgetown will carry a bit more weight in LA or Omaha than a degree from USC will carry in DC or Omaha. So that's about that.

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AreJay711
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:01 pm

My thing is that even if the career prospects are only slightly better out of GULC and Cornell, they are still better so, unless you have a really good reason to go to UCLA/UT/Vandy (like wanting to practice in the deep South or LA), GC are still your best bets minus scholarships.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby whymeohgodno » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:06 pm

AreJay711 wrote:My thing is that even if the career prospects are only slightly better out of GULC and Cornell, they are still better so, unless you have a really good reason to go to UCLA/UT/Vandy (like wanting to practice in the deep South or LA), GC are still your best bets minus scholarships.


Vandy outplaced both Cornell/Georgetown in biglaw I believe.

justadude55
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby justadude55 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:09 pm

right, in my experience, the people i've met from Duke and Georgetown have been lawyers who were out of work where as everyone I've met from Vandy is successful which led to this question. i do not want to generalize from what i am sure is an atypical sample, but it raised the q.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:15 pm

justadude55 wrote:right, in my experience, the people i've met from Duke and Georgetown have been lawyers who were out of work where as everyone I've met from Vandy is successful which led to this question. i do not want to generalize from what i am sure is an atypical sample, but it raised the q.


i think the question has been pretty well answered in this thread

MissLucky
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby MissLucky » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:21 pm

justadude55 wrote:right, in my experience, the people i've met from Duke and Georgetown have been lawyers who were out of work where as everyone I've met from Vandy is successful which led to this question. i do not want to generalize from what i am sure is an atypical sample, but it raised the q.


any ideas on why this is the case?

ran12
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby ran12 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:22 pm

justadude55 wrote:right, in my experience, the people i've met from Duke and Georgetown have been lawyers who were out of work where as everyone I've met from Vandy is successful which led to this question. i do not want to generalize from what i am sure is an atypical sample, but it raised the q.


Vandy seems to have a really good combo of lawyering and dedicated alum on top of the usual courses and clinics that help.

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AreJay711
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:22 pm

justadude55 wrote:right, in my experience, the people i've met from Duke and Georgetown have been lawyers who were out of work where as everyone I've met from Vandy is successful which led to this question. i do not want to generalize from what i am sure is an atypical sample, but it raised the q.


I'm not sure so Vandy could very well out place CG. I do know that my interviewer for Vandy hadn't found a job (6 months later) so that made me a little wary. On the plus side, I know that Vandy will actually give you a stipend if you can't find a job and volunteer at least 20hrs a week so at least you won't be on the streets lol.

justadude55
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby justadude55 » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:31 pm

i know a lot of success is relative. i know NW does better than many schools ranked above it, but they go out of their way to hire people who have already succeeded professionally, which means they're likely well connected. would a smart kid with no WE do better coming out of NW than coming out of Chicago? Probably not.

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im_blue
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby im_blue » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:42 pm

Vandy has placed slightly better than CG for the past 2 years, due to its small class size and semi-national reach. After that I'd say UT (strong TX placement and economy, decent reach to either coast) and then UCLA are the next strongest.

As for the numbers, Cornell has always struggled with medians relative to the rest of the T14, but they're still higher than every non-T14 except Vandy and UCLA.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby whymeohgodno » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:52 pm

im_blue wrote:Vandy has placed slightly better than CG for the past 2 years, due to its small class size and semi-national reach. After that I'd say UT (strong TX placement and economy, decent reach to either coast) and then UCLA are the next strongest.

As for the numbers, Cornell has always struggled with medians relative to the rest of the T14, but they're still higher than every non-T14 except Vandy and UCLA.


Any thoughts on why? Perhaps location?

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im_blue
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby im_blue » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:53 pm

whymeohgodno wrote:
im_blue wrote:Vandy has placed slightly better than CG for the past 2 years, due to its small class size and semi-national reach. After that I'd say UT (strong TX placement and economy, decent reach to either coast) and then UCLA are the next strongest.

As for the numbers, Cornell has always struggled with medians relative to the rest of the T14, but they're still higher than every non-T14 except Vandy and UCLA.


Any thoughts on why? Perhaps location?

Ithaca sucks.

Rawlsian
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby Rawlsian » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:12 am

t14 has kinda became an arbitrary distinction. As mentioned above, Vandy has placed better than CG for a couple years now for art III clerkships and NLJ 250 firms. The reasons? Small class size and a broad geographic disbursement. Vandy does well in the SE, but the majority of grads have been heading to Midwest, NY, and Cal for several years now.

I think GULC--relative to Vandy, Cornell, UCLA, and UT--is the strongest school. It has most selective admissions (compared to those other schools), arguably one of the best faculties in the country, and superb placement for about 40% of its class. The problem is the size. Vandy improved its placement dramatically a couple of years ago by cutting their class size from about 210 to 180. It brought their supply more in line with demand. The market just can't absorb 650 GULC grads each year. If GULC cut their class size in half, say bringing it closer to UVA size, for example, then GULC would quickly emerge as one of the nation's strongest schools.

Cornell benefits form being small, but its location hurts--for attracting students as well as for falculty. Cornell's placement also tends to be volatile; it is heavily dependent on the NY market.

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AreJay711
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:33 am

im_blue wrote:
whymeohgodno wrote:
im_blue wrote:Vandy has placed slightly better than CG for the past 2 years, due to its small class size and semi-national reach. After that I'd say UT (strong TX placement and economy, decent reach to either coast) and then UCLA are the next strongest.

As for the numbers, Cornell has always struggled with medians relative to the rest of the T14, but they're still higher than every non-T14 except Vandy and UCLA.


Any thoughts on why? Perhaps location?

Ithaca sucks.


Idk Ithica wasn't a big turnoff for me (not having visited mind you). Certainly not as cool as DC --since I have family and friends there-- or Nashville but I would have preferred it to NYC if the strengths of the schools were the same. I would get distracted and go broke in NYC very fast.

mst
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby mst » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:17 am

AreJay711 wrote:
im_blue wrote:
whymeohgodno wrote:
im_blue wrote:Vandy has placed slightly better than CG for the past 2 years, due to its small class size and semi-national reach. After that I'd say UT (strong TX placement and economy, decent reach to either coast) and then UCLA are the next strongest.

As for the numbers, Cornell has always struggled with medians relative to the rest of the T14, but they're still higher than every non-T14 except Vandy and UCLA.


Any thoughts on why? Perhaps location?

Ithaca sucks.


Idk Ithica wasn't a big turnoff for me (not having visited mind you). Certainly not as cool as DC --since I have family and friends there-- or Nashville but I would have preferred it to NYC if the strengths of the schools were the same. I would get distracted and go broke in NYC very fast.


I feel the same. Granted, I'm coming from rural, hot, flatland UG so the change in scenery would be welcoming on several accounts.

jarofsoup
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:22 am

I will not be going to a top 14 school unless I can transfer. But I know this to be true of all work related situations. A T 14 on your resume will get you an interview not a job. But an interview is a very very good thing to get.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:28 am

I think GULC's problem is their large class size and having DC as their primary market. If they weren't pushing out 600 grads who were mostly obsessed with finding work in DC when they graduated, I think they'd do better than they do now.

GULC, Vandy, UT, I don't think it matters that much if all other things are equal. If you're from Georgia, any of those will place you well into Atlanta. If you're gunning for NYC BigLaw they'll give you similar opportunities. I think it matters only if the school itself offers something new (like, UT being better for Texas markets if you've never lived in Texas before).

whymeohgodno
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby whymeohgodno » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:18 am

vanwinkle wrote:I think GULC's problem is their large class size and having DC as their primary market. If they weren't pushing out 600 grads who were mostly obsessed with finding work in DC when they graduated, I think they'd do better than they do now.

GULC, Vandy, UT, I don't think it matters that much if all other things are equal. If you're from Georgia, any of those will place you well into Atlanta. If you're gunning for NYC BigLaw they'll give you similar opportunities. I think it matters only if the school itself offers something new (like, UT being better for Texas markets if you've never lived in Texas before).


Georgetown has similar NYC biglaw placement as Vandy/UT?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Top 14's Level of Importance

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:24 am

Some random thoughts on this topic:

It would be interesting to know how many Georgetown part-time law students remain employed throughout law school. Employed students should not be a significant burden on GULC's placement statistics.

While there are strong arguments for referring to a "Top-17" law schools or to a "Top-12" law schools, the main distinguishing factor of the Top 14 is that they are recruited by firms outside of their region & place well nationally. If Vanderbilt is placing well outside of its geographical region, then it may be poised to move up in the USNews rankings.

UCLA & Texas are great law schools that deserve & get national acclaim, but tend to be limited geographically by in-state qualities (tuition & students) in large in-state markets which suggests little need or little desire to go national.




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