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School Rank VS School in the area I want to work in

TrustingGodTrustingGod Free Trial Member
in General 240 karma

Hey guys, I'm gathering my list of schools I want to apply to and I want it to be very practical. So, is it more important to apply to schools in the area that I want to work in. Or should I be applying to the best ranked schools I think I maybe able to get in (regardless of location). For example, is it better for me to go to a school ranked in the 20's in the midwest, or a school ranked in the 50's that's in the state I want to work in?


  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    "I'm gathering my list of schools I want to apply to and I want it to be very practical"
    I think the application fees are negligible in the long run. Apply broadly and decide later.

    Schools publish employment statistics. Look at where the school places.

    You didn't mention what area you wanted to work in so it's hard to give specific advice. I'd take U Chicago over other schools even if it doesn't place as great in the market I wanted to be in.

  • TrustingGodTrustingGod Free Trial Member
    240 karma

    @10000019 I want to work in the tri-state area (NY,NJ,PA). I really only want to apply to schools in this area (there is a limited number of well ranked schools), but then I don't want to regret not applying to better ranked schools outside the area that may possibly benefit me more. I'm not referring to the top schools, I'm thinking Boston, Emory, George Wash. Would they benefit me more than say Temple, RU, Cardozo. I'm trying to narrow down my list, as I honestly can't afford to apply to as many schools as I would like.

  • studyingandrestudyingstudyingandrestudying Core Member
    5254 karma

    Where do you hope to practice?

  • EAnn8771EAnn8771 Alum Member
    edited November 2018 126 karma

    It sounds like you rationalized your own thought process and are leaning towards one way. I have had friends go to law schools specifically in areas they want to work in. Those law schools are known in the area as the law school to go to, and my friends are constantly networking and talking to future employers because of that reputation (and some local employers just strictly hire from that school). There are some known great law schools in certain areas that are highly looked upon by the local legal profession. But a high ranking law school can get you that as well and have a greater radius of influence. I think it all depends on you, if you are fine with great local law school then go for it! If you want something more renowned I think there are many benefits towards it too, and some benefits might outweigh the benefits of a local law school. Maybe since you want to stay in the NE apply to Boston and George Wash since there are closer to the area then say Emory since you have to be selective in your application process.

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    edited November 2018 3279 karma

    Boston, Emory, George Wash. Would they benefit me more than say Temple, RU, Cardozo

    From the first three schools you listed, GW is the only one I'm familiar with. I'll compare it against Temple and assume you want to end up in PA.

    Median at Temple > Median at GW.

    But I don't know much about how hiring for secondary markets is. So maybe the reason schools in primary markets (e.g. DC) don't place in secondary markets is because their students aren't interested in those areas.

  • LouislepauvreLouislepauvre Alum Member
    edited November 2018 750 karma

    Saying you want to work in NJ/NY/PA is still pretty broad to me. I think if you want to work in NYC, going to Cardozo is an advantage. If you want to work at a firm in Philly, I’m sure Temple would position you just fine. The thing is, if you’re at a mid-tier school, you can get a job in Big Law, you just have to be a top performer at that school with a high GPA. If you’re at a law school in a big city with a high GPA, big opportunities will come your way. I think Rutgers would help only if you want to practice in Jersey. I don’t think it would be easy to get an NYC job from there.

    Other than that, if you want to work in a big market, going to a T-14 would obviously work.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited November 2018 3652 karma

    If you’re interested in living in X, Y or Z state, then apply to schools that place there or are in the region. You’ll probably end up with only one of those states as an option so choose wisely. T20s tend to be regional but some place well in other states. I was looking into schools that could land me in CA and I remember one of the Boston (university or college?) schools stood out to me as placing well in CA.
    I second applying really broadly since you have a few states you might want to work in.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    I think in your case it's kind of a coin flip. I wouldn't say you should go to school in the midwest or west coast hoping to get back to the tri-state area. But going to school somewhere like Boston or DC would probably be good options, along with making sure to spend your summers in the area where you want to work.

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