Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

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drummerboy
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby drummerboy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:57 pm

thanks great answer!!

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Cupidity
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Cupidity » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:05 pm

Skyhook wrote:
Cupidity wrote: Culture is why I chose BU over Cornell/BC/Fordham/GWU


Are you talking only about class size, classroom interaction, cutthroat antics, etc?
Can you elaborate a bit on your observations?


BU has a large and connected openly gay population, and people here are more interesting. BU students are also happier, and there is no rank-rage, when I went to Fordham I felt like everyone was about to commit suicide. All the stuff BU rants about its amazing profs is true.

drummerboy
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby drummerboy » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:09 pm

So the culture is important in ones well being. The final decision warrants a visit to each school. Gut feeling has to be worth something.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:04 pm

bk1 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
Curry wrote:Within tiers location should play a role. That being said, choosing a law school in california because its cold in michigan is a really stupid reason.

That might not be the greatest example. If you hate the cold enough to not want to spend 3 years there, it's pretty obvious you'd be miserable spending the rest of your life there. Given that it's often better to go to school in a region you'd want to work...


I think his comparison was something like UMich versus UCD/UCH for working in CA.

I could see that, but if it were between Mich and UCLA, I'd say take UCLA.

It's not a simple answer; each scenario requires weighing the opportunity cost of going to a lower-ranked school. Is the increase in potential happiness and in-school satisfaction worth the diminished prestige and related benefits? If it's a huge difference in culture and a small difference in ranking/prestige/job opportunities, then it could really be worth it. On the other hand, if it's a large difference in ranking, even a large difference in anticipated in-school happiness isn't worth it.

If you can't get into a school you'd be happy attending and would have satisfactory employment opportunities on graduation, you shouldn't go. If you hate the thought of choosing between Cornell and Hastings at sticker (as an extreme example) and you have strong reasons against attending both, then the correct choice is actually "neither".

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Grizz
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:07 pm

drummerboy wrote:all else being equal and wishing to stay in fl, stetson a smaller more congenial school vs miami, a school by TLS standards, not the most pleasant intellectual atmosphere and a very large 1L class. Which would you chosse?


TCR is go to neither; retake LSAT. Unless of course you're cool with a high chance of unemployment or jobs that will not enable you to repay a significant amount of debt.

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bk1
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:12 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I could see that, but if it were between Mich and UCLA, I'd say take UCLA.

It's not a simple answer; each scenario requires weighing the opportunity cost of going to a lower-ranked school. Is the increase in potential happiness and in-school satisfaction worth the diminished prestige and related benefits? If it's a huge difference in culture and a small difference in ranking/prestige/job opportunities, then it could really be worth it. On the other hand, if it's a large difference in ranking, even a large difference in anticipated in-school happiness isn't worth it.

If you can't get into a school you'd be happy attending and would have satisfactory employment opportunities on graduation, you shouldn't go. If you hate the thought of choosing between Cornell and Hastings at sticker (as an extreme example) and you have strong reasons against attending both, then the correct choice is actually "neither".


I agree with all of this.

My only caveat would be if you say wanted to be a lawyer in CA and your choices were between Cornell and Hastings, loathing the former for its location and the latter for its employment prospects, that you should take a good hard look at how much you would really dislike Cornell. If you truly think that you could not stand living there for 3 years while attending school, sure don't attend go. But weigh the options of giving up on law school versus how much you actually would dislike that location (especially when you will be so focused on law school).

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rinkrat19
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:13 pm

drummerboy wrote:visiting the school, sitting on classes, talking to students, 1L, 2L, 3L would be advisable. Not everyone can get into T14 and most successful and currently employed lawyers didnt go to T14 either. Go to the region you would like to live in and look at the rosters of local Law Firms. Youll get a fairly decent chance on who they and when they were hired.Just an idea. What do you think?


Most successful and currently-employed lawyers didn't graduate and try to find their first jobs in this economy.

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Grizz
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Grizz » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:16 pm

drummerboy wrote:So the culture is important in ones well being. The final decision warrants a visit to each school. Gut feeling has to be worth something.


Always go with your HEART.

Hard equations and rational thinking.

sbmr12
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby sbmr12 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:49 pm

drummerboy wrote:So the culture is important in ones well being. The final decision warrants a visit to each school. Gut feeling has to be worth something.


I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I get that almost everyone on TLS thinks that if you're not going to a top 20 law school, it's not worth it, but at the same time, most of the people posting these comments have not started law school, so they could be and probably are wrong.

I've worked at a large law firm for the past year, and all the attorneys I have talked to tell me to go to law school in a place where you want to eventually practice law. That's how you network and that's how you eventually land a job. Go to a school where you can study what you're interested in and make the right connections for your legal future.

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AreJay711
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:52 pm

rad law wrote:
drummerboy wrote:So the culture is important in ones well being. The final decision warrants a visit to each school. Gut feeling has to be worth something.


Always go with your HEART.

Hard equations and rational thinking.

Jumping Johosaphats, Rad Law! Another great post!

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bk1
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby bk1 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:53 pm

sbmr12 wrote:I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I get that almost everyone on TLS thinks that if you're not going to a top 20 law school, it's not worth it, but at the same time, most of the people posting these comments have not started law school, so they could be and probably are wrong.


Actually it's the people in law school who say it more than the 0L's. And they are right.

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atlantisdan
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby atlantisdan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:57 am

I believe culture is an important part of the decision making process. If you are unhappy it is likely that you are not going to perform well.

My original top 5 included U of Tennessee as my number 1(as I had always wanted to graduate from there) Memphis and Samford. When I visited these 3, I quickly discovered that UT was way too big for my comfort level. Memphis was preferrable schoolwise but I hated the city, and just the attempt to force myself there caused some serious depression. Samford, I knew immediatly was not a comfortable place for me to study.

Jst looking at a ranking doesn't tell you the most important thing, How am I going to fit in here. Try to find some place where you want to be and that is comfortable for you.

u

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fltanglab
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby fltanglab » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:25 am

bergg007 wrote:
Curry wrote:Within tiers location should play a role. That being said, choosing a law school in california because its cold in michigan is a really stupid reason.



not if you'll be miserable in the cold/not go to class in the cold, don't want to live in michigan because its effing cold. then it's not a bad reason.


That doesn't really apply to Michigan because you can live less than a minute from your classes in the Law Quad...and seriously all you need is a better jacket.

FiveSermon
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:27 am

It really depends on the person. Personally I'm like a chameleon. I'll adapt to most environments without a sweat.

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fltanglab
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby fltanglab » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:28 am

Rank = first factor

Culture = second factor

Curry

Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Curry » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:32 am

How is this a debate. If the schools are close in rank, then and then only should culture matter. If there is a sizeable difference in rank/employment numbers etc. and you chose the worse school because of rank, you're doing it wrong. I'm from Southern California. I hate weather colder than 60 degrees. If I had to decide between Cornell and UCD, for California, I'd take Cornell and never look back. I'd rather be cold and with a job than comfortable without one. At some point in time you have to realize that you can't always get what you want and you have to maximize your chances based on what you have.

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atlantisdan
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby atlantisdan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:02 am

Curry wrote:How is this a debate. If the schools are close in rank, then and then only should culture matter. If there is a sizable difference in rank/employment numbers etc. and you chose the worse school because of rank, you're doing it wrong. I'm from Southern California. I hate weather colder than 60 degrees. If I had to decide between Cornell and UCD, for California, I'd take Cornell and never look back. I'd rather be cold and with a job than comfortable without one. At some point in time you have to realize that you can't always get what you want and you have to maximize your chances based on what you have.


I disagree. I think if you are going to spend 150k-200k on a school' it should be someplace that you want to go. Ideally the higher ranked school would be the one your happy at, but if it is not, I think you should go to the school that you want to go to.

Rankings are an important factor, a very important factor, but if you hate the school, if you hate the town, and you hate the other students, then chances are you are not going to succeed. And honestly, who wants to spend that kind of money and be miserable in the process?

Different people have different priorities. One thing that is certain, is that there is no one size fits all method to choosing a law school.

Curry

Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Curry » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:09 am

atlantisdan wrote:
Curry wrote:How is this a debate. If the schools are close in rank, then and then only should culture matter. If there is a sizable difference in rank/employment numbers etc. and you chose the worse school because of rank, you're doing it wrong. I'm from Southern California. I hate weather colder than 60 degrees. If I had to decide between Cornell and UCD, for California, I'd take Cornell and never look back. I'd rather be cold and with a job than comfortable without one. At some point in time you have to realize that you can't always get what you want and you have to maximize your chances based on what you have.


I disagree. I think if you are going to spend 150k-200k on a school' it should be someplace that you want to go. Ideally the higher ranked school would be the one your happy at, but if it is not, I think you should go to the school that you want to go to.

Rankings are an important factor, a very important factor, but if you hate the school, if you hate the town, and you hate the other students, then chances are you are not going to succeed. And honestly, who wants to spend that kind of money and be miserable in the process?

Different people have different priorities. One thing that is certain, is that there is no one size fits all method to choosing a law school.

You are spending 150-200k on a means to an end. You should be going to law school to learn law. You should be going to law school to eventually, for most people, work as a lawyer. Thats what your 200k is for. If you are don't have the ability to adapt of an environment that you're not comfortable in, you aren't cut out for the legal field. Life as a lawyer is not glitz and glamor. There are lots of times where you are going to end up doing things you hate, because you have to. If you aren't ready to do that, you are wasting your money and time going to law school. Also, buy a jacket, make new friends, buy some booze. If you can't find a place where you fit in at a law school, chances are its not the culture, its you.

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atlantisdan
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby atlantisdan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:25 am

With nearly 200 law schools out there I'm sure a person could find one they actually enjoyed and fit their overall needs.

Again, not everyone is the same and what each person is looking for is individual to themselves.

I have no desire to work in a law firm, I have no firm or partners to impress. What school I choose and my criteria for deciding on that school are completely different than someone who wants to work in such a firm.

We all have different reasons to want to practice law doesn't mean one motivation is better than any other.

As far as going to the "best" school, my best and your best, or someone else's best are all different. The rankings themselves change yearly. I'm emphasizing that how you like the school should not be dismissed in the decision process. Better to graduate from #55 than flunk out of #30

Curry

Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Curry » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:50 am

atlantisdan wrote:With nearly 200 law schools out there I'm sure a person could find one they actually enjoyed and fit their overall needs.

Again, not everyone is the same and what each person is looking for is individual to themselves.

I have no desire to work in a law firm, I have no firm or partners to impress. What school I choose and my criteria for deciding on that school are completely different than someone who wants to work in such a firm.

We all have different reasons to want to practice law doesn't mean one motivation is better than any other.

As far as going to the "best" school, my best and your best, or someone else's best are all different. The rankings themselves change yearly. I'm emphasizing that how you like the school should not be dismissed in the decision process. Better to graduate from #55 than flunk out of #30


Do you understand how dire the legal market is? Your criteria for deciding on a school should be "I want a job once I graduate." Don't bank on biglaw. Don't bank on PI. Don't bank on midlaw, shitlaw, or whatever else you think you want. You've never taken a law course. You don't know what torts is, you don't know what civil procedure deals with. What you want out of law school now is a crapshoot. Your motivation to practice law is more or less irrelevant. Picking NYU over Chicago because you want to do PI is one thing. What you're implying is lunacy.

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atlantisdan
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby atlantisdan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:06 am

What's lunacy is coming undone because someone disagrees with you.

And yes, I do know what I want to do and it is not irrelevant at this point. I'm 35, not a kid who has never experienced life without the shelter of school. I know what the real world is in its glory and its hell. I don't need to be told what it is like out there, cause I'm willing to bet, I've seen more of it than you.

Its okay if your choice is to follow USNWR rankings to the letter. Doesn't bother me or anyone else. But for you to expect that everyone else should without consequence is, well lunacy.

I'm not going to argue this anymore. Everyone is due their opinion and their own process for selecting a school. I only added my opinion tho the question asked, C v R. I believe both matter, you believe only one does. It is okay to disagree without someone being wrong.

.

Curry

Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Curry » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:14 am

atlantisdan wrote:What's lunacy is coming undone because someone disagrees with you.

And yes, I do know what I want to do and it is not irrelevant at this point. I'm 35, not a kid who has never experienced life without the shelter of school. I know what the real world is in its glory and its hell. I don't need to be told what it is like out there, cause I'm willing to bet, I've seen more of it than you.

Its okay if your choice is to follow USNWR rankings to the letter. Doesn't bother me or anyone else. But for you to expect that everyone else should without consequence is, well lunacy.

I'm not going to argue this anymore. Everyone is due their opinion and their own process for selecting a school. I only added my opinion tho the question asked, C v R. I believe both matter, you believe only one does. It is okay to disagree without someone being wrong.

.


You are completely misrepresenting my point. I don't follow USNWR to the letter. I follow a myriad of things that tell me what school is most likely to get me a job where. Choosing UT over Cornell makes sense if you want a job in texas. Choosing UW for a job in seattle makes sense. Choosing UF for a job in Florida can be rationalized. What you are advocating isn't doing that. For some reason, culture seems to be playing more of a role for you than getting a job (which is determined by rankings). It you want a place thats fun and you feel like you fit in, be my guest. If it isn't the best choice for getting you a job, you're making the wrong call. I'm not coming undone. I'm pointing out that the information you are giving is BAD INFORMATION. This isn't a matter of me simply disagreeing with you. This is a case where you have pointed to the absurd and said its a valid conclusion.

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atlantisdan
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby atlantisdan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:24 am

With that I definately agree, if you choose florida coastal because you want sun an bikinis, then yes, you've made a bad decision.

But there was a private school that I visited, had applied to that was very exclusive. I grew up in the projects. I'm down to earth the other students their appeared stuffy and full of themselves. I eliminated that school exclusively because of the culture.

The two schools that I am down to now, one just barely fell out of the top 100 last year and the other is a TTT public school. The private school is definately the more prestigous school, but If I get into the public school I am going there because I liked the school(only marginally) better.

A lot goes into a decision. I believe the ability of a school to land you employment is at the top of consideration on has to make. I would not ever put culture above job placement, but I would definately recommend someone not to go to a school they are unhappy with.

Curry

Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby Curry » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:28 am

atlantisdan wrote:With that I definately agree, if you choose florida coastal because you want sun an bikinis, then yes, you've made a bad decision.

But there was a private school that I visited, had applied to that was very exclusive. I grew up in the projects. I'm down to earth the other students their appeared stuffy and full of themselves. I eliminated that school exclusively because of the culture.

The two schools that I am down to now, one just barely fell out of the top 100 last year and the other is a TTT public school. The private school is definately the more prestigous school, but If I get into the public school I am going there because I liked the school(only marginally) better.

A lot goes into a decision. I believe the ability of a school to land you employment is at the top of consideration on has to make. I would not ever put culture above job placement, but I would definately recommend someone not to go to a school they are unhappy with.


When you get down to schools ranked that low, culture plays even less of a role. Its going to be incredibly hard to get a job from there. You have to take the cheapest school that maximizes your chances at placing in literally the top 10%.

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atlantisdan
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Re: Culture of school vs Ranking in Decision Process

Postby atlantisdan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:48 am

I'm in the deep south, there aren't a great deal of Harvard's, Yale's, Stanford's here. For the small rural towns, one TTT is just as good as any other TTT, heck even TTTT.

In my town 75% of the lawyers graduated from the Nashville school of Law, it isn't even ABA.

If I were wanting to go to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, then it would be different, but to practice in the Mississippis, Tennessees, Alabamas, it really doesn't make a difference.

Again, it comes down to different needs. I want to practice back home, in that regard the ranking of my school means little.

Different needs...




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