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Unranked FULL RIDE vs. Top 25-35 sticker price

as5324therapyas5324therapy Legacy Member
in General 175 karma
What would you pick? get a JD comped at a non ranked school or pay sticker at 25-35 ranked school ("brand"). Your end goal is to start your own practice (not) get a "job".

Comments

  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    neither, I'd take a full ride at a ranked. If you are getting accepted to a school in the 20's you should def be able to get full ride at a school that is ranked, under 100. But its an impossible question to answer with just that info. It depends on your goals and the specific schools
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    @jdawg113 said:
    neither, I'd take a full ride at a ranked.
    Agreed!
  • 349 karma
    If you are saying your goal is to start your own practice without first "getting a job" while graduating from an unranked or low ranking school, I think that in itself is a very unrealistic expectation. In terms of employment, going to an unranked school is literally a coin flip in some cases and worse in other cases. I agree with the above poster though, if you can get accepted into a school in the 20s 30s etc you likely can get a full ride from a ranked school which would be your best option by far given the limited info in the post.
  • 2RARE2CARE2RARE2CARE Legacy Member
    248 karma
    That seems like a terrible plan, tbh. Unless you have some serious connects in the legal world, no one is going to want an unexperienced attorney from an unranked school. I'm not hating, just saying. Most lawyers go corporate, work for the DA, or private LLC's for exerpience/connections first. I think your goal is unrealistic tbh
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    Going solo right out of law school is a hideously daunting if not wholly inadvisable undertaking.
  • lsatingslsatings Alum Member
    349 karma
    @as5324therapy said:
    get a JD comped at a non ranked school or pay sticker at 25-35 ranked school ("brand").
    if you even want to have a semi-successful firm, you still need a degree from a ranked school. people who graduate from top 50 schools and start their own practices still struggle with getting a clientele that trusts them and their training. So in the end, get a JD from a top 25-35 school, it helps you both with getting a job, and starting your own practice. unranked schools are almost always a death sentence.
  • lsatingslsatings Alum Member
    349 karma
    @2RARE2CARE said:
    I think your goal is unrealistic tbh
    I completely agree with this.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    Hanging a shingle is not some super easy thing to do. If it was then a lot more people would do it. I don't think you should pay sticker anywhere outside of the T14 and really more like top 6 or so. Even then it's not the best idea depending on your philosophies on (and abilities to deal with) debt.

    I've known attorneys that worked as DAs/public defenders and then joined private practices and when they went to hang their own shingle after 30+ years it is still a whole different beast since you are effectively talking about managing a business and even if you can handle that it can be feast or famine. I would find some solo practitioners in your area and discuss with them the realities of trying to do this.

    Also, do not go to an unranked school regardless. Half of them are diploma mills and the other half just really are not justifiable with very few exceptions.

    Finally, the more debt you have the greater the uphill battle you will face to open your own practice. And you're not likely to attract clients out of nowhere without severely undermining your bottom line by lowering prices and then it is going to present major issues. At a minimum you will need an administrative assistant if not a paralegal or paralegals. A bit more face to face research will better inform you as to what this journey really entails.
  • hlsat180hlsat180 Member
    edited January 2016 362 karma
    Agree with everyone. Frankly I advise against a JD if (1) tuition wasn't at least partially covered and (2) outside T14 - possible exception being a top regional school but only if you 100% intend to work there and nowhere else.

    There is a simple reason why law school applications have dramatically dropped the past 5+ years: the job market is over supplied with lawyers relative to demand. Despite the resultant "flight to quality" even applications to T14 schools have dropped (albeit not nearly as much as the unranked lawyer mills).

    Just look at average salaries of newly minted JDs nine months following graduation - the vast majority of salaries are comparable to bachelor degrees. The opportunity costs are simply excessive compared to, say an MBA from a comparable school (i.e., three years of time plus tuition, vs just two).

    Furthermore, the cost of a JD from a mill is not much different from a T14 school (or the cost of your average house). At least T14 salaries offer a decent chance to pay back the mortgage (er tuition) before before moving on to whatever you really want to do. Neither an MBA nor a JD is required to understand this logic.

    That said, why even bother if shooting so low? Economics aside, if one is willing to endure 2+ years (minus 3LOL?) of rigorous academics, isn't preparing a few months for a decent LSAT score doable?
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    @hlsat180 said:
    Furthermore, the cost of a JD from a mill is not much different from a T14 school (or the cost of your average house). At least T14 salaries offer a decent chance to pay back the mortgage (er tuition) before before moving on to whatever you really want to do.
    I would extend this to T30 schools with high class rank, and regionals with even higher class rank, some basic employability common sense (Is your shirt ironed and tucked in? Do you possess maturity beyond your young age? Do you show up on time? Etc.), and the expected amount of networking for any serious professional job.
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