northwood -- Are you happy about making the decision to go to Pitt? How are the employment prospects from your perspective? Do a lot of people you know have summer jobs/full-time jobs, or is there a large amount of people wishing they had never stepped through the door?
I am from Pittsburgh, and plan to remain there for my career, so I am hoping my ties to the area will help in finding employment. However, the TLS hysteria has me always questioning whether the amount of debt I am about to amass will lead to gainful employment.
Im very happy that I went to pitt. As of right now, im not sure if I want to stay in pitt, or if I want to go back to NYC after graduation. A lot of people that ive talked to ( keep in mind fellow 1L's) really enjoy it. There have been a few people taht dropped out, and a few more that probably will after the spring grades come out, but only a handful regret going to pitt ( and most of them regret it during exam period)..
I'm not sure about employment stuff- but it was rather easy for me to get multiple summer offers. I ended up taking a position back home- to keep my foot in the door. As long as you dont get caught up on one firm,or one city ( like DC or NY as a summer intern and wait and see) you should be all set. People that ive talked to who did that- are kicking themselves for it now.. but were able to get somethign for this summer.
WOuld i go back to pitt if i could go back in time? Absolutely.
I know nobody asked me, but I'll throw in my opinion here as a rising 3L. The general wisdom (if you can call it that) of TLS is that if you must go to a T2 school, that it places well regionally, and that it is somewhere you hope to practice after law school. Pitt is very well regarded in Western PA, and you've got a great chance at some meaningful summer experiences that are difficult to get elsewhere. I got a federal judicial externship my 1L summer, and while TLS will tell you that it doesn't matter what you do 1L summer, I'll tell you that I got some second looks by firms that shouldn't have given me a first look thanks to that summer gig. Not to mention, I got the job I am working this summer as a direct result of that one. I don't know anyone who isn't working, although I won't lie to you, some of them got their jobs pretty late in the spring. I know people doing pretty much everything for the summer. Fed PD, USAO, fed judicial, state judicial, PD, DA, biglaw SA, mid/small law SA, PI, in-house (my job this summer), working at the USPTO, and yes, some RAs. Hell, I even know people working in DC, one of which is on the hill.
I know a lot of graduating 3Ls who have jobs lined up, more than I know that don't, but I'm also a patent guy, so that may be the difference maker. All in all, I think Pitt does what they say they do. They place very well in the Pittsburgh area, moreso than some really good schools, and they offer a lot of practical skills classes you won't get most other places. Can I go anywhere I want without law review or a great network connection? No. Do I have more mobility than TLS would suggest? Yes. Am I happy I chose Pitt? Yes.