Follow the money, not the rank

Aspiring1LAspiring1L Alum Member
edited March 2018 in Law School Admissions 159 karma

I've spoken with so many attorneys and they all have said this to me: It doesn't matter what law school you attend. Of course there are law schools out there that may give you an easier access to a certain industry as well as certain firms but it does not guarantee any success in the future. No one cares what school you attended after you pass the Bar. The goal of attending and then graduating law school is passing the Bar and achieving profitability. Hence, you're out of your mind if you take out a loan to go to Harvard instead of taking that 75% grant from Hofstra. I've seen "T-14 or bust". Whoever is giving you that advice you should ignore from now on. These attorneys I've spoken with and have relationships with graduated from Brooklyn, NYLS, Cooley, New England Law, and a few other T3-T4 schools. All are at least 6-digit annual earners, some are multi-millionaires from Cooley and New England Law, and other T3-T4 schools and are mid-age. Someone I know well graduated from UMass Andover Law and if you're aware of that school, you'll know that its NOT ABA-accredited. She paid less than $20K a year in tuition and now has her own firm with a group of associates...multi-millionaire. Follow the money, achieve that profitability!! If you get a huge grant, don't be a schmuck and say "oh it's T4 and the school's graduates go to more mid-size firms than big-law firms, so f*ck that". Good luck to everyone on their LSAT prep; I hope you crush it and get as much money in grants as possible.

Comments

  • LSATcantwinLSATcantwin Alum Member Sage
    13286 karma

    Mmm, take this advice with caution. There are MANY things to take into consideration when picking your law school.

    Things like;

    • Loans/Grants
    • Employment Statistics
    • Bar Passage
    • Job placement

    For instance Hofstra has a 41% employment rate after graduation whereas Harvard has a 91% employment rate.

    I think both "T-14 or bust" and "follow the money" are over simplifying things. I think the best advice is to carefully compare, and weigh, all of your options.

    I also caution people to not rely on anecdotal evidence. You can succeed from a low rank school and fail at a top ranked school. Statistically it is more likely to come out the other way though.

    I guess the crux of what I'm saying is; make informed, educated decisions, based on the totality of your individual situation. Don't just think rank/money should decide the school for you.

  • LastLSATLastLSAT Alum Member
    edited April 2018 1028 karma

    .

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    The hard truth is: Rank does matter.

    The higher up the ranks you go, the greater opportunity there tends to be. You should not enroll in a low-ranked school with the expectation to perform as well as, or better than, your peers at a T14--it is possible but also highly unlikely. Of course there are people who go to Hofstra/Cardozo/every law school who succeed. You miss the point entirely to frame the discussion this way.

  • nathanieljschwartznathanieljschwartz Alum Member
    1723 karma

    Yeah i am inclined to agree with @LSATcantwin i know this is anecdotal but i know 3 lawyers that went to university of Baltimore a couple years ago with full schollys and are still suffering bc of this decision. But i know another lawyer who attended that very same school and is extremely successful.
    My point is that everyone has a slightly different experience and is afforded different opportunities and by attending a top school one can maximize his chances of opportunity and, somewhat minimize the threat.
    But you are definitely correct in that people should not run into schools blindly just bc of their relative ranking

  • LSAT_WreckerLSAT_Wrecker Legacy Member
    4850 karma

    I would echo @LSATcantwin 's comments and add that there may be a sampling error with relying on discussions with successful lawyers from "Insert School". How many people from "Insert School" that don't have legal jobs are you likely to run into / talk with?

    All this to say, be careful about painting with too broad a brush and really get into the details (both the schools' and your own) prior to making a decision. That's what really matters.

  • Aspiring1LAspiring1L Alum Member
    159 karma

    I agree, weigh your options. Of course consider these things however, I would place the most weight on grants/scholarship. @nathanieljschwartz very anecdotal, those lawyers could be suffering for other reasons besides the school they attended (perhaps they're boutique lawyers with no demand, among other things). Fortunately, they're not in law school debt. The biggest threat there is is DEBT. Don't go to a school that you have to take out a huge loan + 8% interest because you think you can get a great high-paying job based on the school's employment numbers.

  • lTexlawzlTexlawz Member
    277 karma

    @Aspiring1L

    Finally, someone who speaks the truth and is very refreshing.

  • Aspiring1LAspiring1L Alum Member
    edited March 2018 159 karma

    Aren't we all looking for that ROI? Of course we are. My point is that it'd be foolish to attend a high rank school that's going to put you $150K+ in debt just because certain reports reflect great employment outcomes and bar passage rates. I consider the reports you refer to however, I also keep in mind the student loan bubble and the interest rates the govt adds to these loans on those that CHOOSE to take the risk of paying off that debt just because they THINK they can get a high paying job in 3 years based on annual issued reports of employment, etc, as oppose to taking that 75% grant from Hofstra and coming out with a $85K annual salary position.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    1532 karma

    This really is an oversimplification. The attorneys you talked to are only a sampling of the graduates from those schools. That's not to say that you can't be successful if you go to a lower ranked school but the top schools are the top schools for a reason. They offer opportunities that lower ranked schools do not for the vast majority of students. To echo what @goingfor99th said, rank absolutely matters. To suggest that one should turn out Harvard for Hofstra is frankly absurd. It's also important to consider that the legal market was a very different place when the lawyers you talked to graduated. The legal market today is oversaturated and there are more lawyers than jobs available. Simply going to any law school is not sufficient for success but back in the day it kind of was. To have the best possible chance of success, one really should consider going to a top school. Be wary of advice from lawyers. They probably have good intentions, but the legal market has changed substantially over the years.

  • nathanieljschwartznathanieljschwartz Alum Member
    1723 karma

    @Aspiring1L i dont see why the attorneys i brought are any more anecdotal than the ones you spoke to. I didnt clarify in my post but none of them work in boutique firms and are all pretty intelligent people (they got full scholarships).
    They became pedigreed by the schools they went to and when they wanted to move firms they could not bc of (the claimed) the school they went to.

    P.s. you could be 100% right, and that they are having a hard time is unrelated to what school they went to. But i have no reason to beleive that they arent being honest with me. And im just trying to look at it objectively

  • Aspiring1LAspiring1L Alum Member
    159 karma

    @emily2122 "to suggest that one should turn out Harvard for Hofstra is frankly absurd". I completely agree with you. However, it's absurd if you go to Harvard and graduate with $150K+ in debt then go to Hofstra with that 75% grant. Your ignorance would get the best of you if you were to do that.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    3072 karma

    One of my law school advisors told me, "Law school is no longer the path to guaranteed wealth, if it ever was, but Yale still is."

    That should give you some perspective on what the ranks actually mean. Going to the highest ranked school you can has everything to do with maximization of opportunity.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    3072 karma

    @Aspiring1L said:
    @emily2122 "to suggest that one should turn out Harvard for Hofstra is frankly absurd". I completely agree with you. However, it's absurd if you go to Harvard and graduate with $150K+ in debt then go to Hofstra with that 75% grant. Your ignorance would get the best of you if you were to do that.

    This is absurd. I would take Harvard sticker over Hofstra full-ride any day. I come from a low-income background, too, so I know all-too-well what it means to be in debt.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    I would respectfully disagree with your assessment. There are of a lot of variables you have to consider, along with job statistics and how they affect what you want to do as a lawyer.

    You are correct in that once you land a job its on you to prove your employer that they made the correct hire. But landing the job is where I diverge. The "T-14" or bust mentality is mainly having a statistically better shot at a great job out of school. Yes, there are plenty of prestige centric people that put down others for not making it there but that is not the majority. I feel though that the genuine people out there that have soul are just putting themselves in better position to obtain their dream job out of school and down the road.

    If you want big law, statistically speaking, your chance of landing a big law gig are very small compared to an upper tier school. Heck it starts to become difficult in the second half of the T-1. Go look at the job information provided by the ABA for each school and the percentage of the class actually landing a big law job. They aren't great unless you are in the very top percentage of the class. Now you can be fortunate and know someone that helps you land a big law job but that isn't the majority. If you looked at the top tier schools, those same percentages rise dramatically.

    At a lower ranked, regional school you are looking at a smaller firm lifestyle to begin with statistically. You probably won't be sniffing 6-figures till well into your career if you are successful, like the attorneys you spoke too. If you want to work at a smaller firm then that's great. Then a T-3 or T-4 may not be a bad option. But to suggest that those will allow me to obtain a big law gig or a job in the federal government easily would be misleading when looking at the job statistics.

    For me, I want big law because it affords me opportunities that small law jobs don't down the road, like General Council for example. The same principle can be used for comparing the T-14 to T-3 and T-4. The top schools have better opportunities to land more lucrative jobs to begin my career. Harvard affords its graduates a plethora of opportunities that outside of HYS, most law grads won't even sniff. It would be hard for me to turn down an acceptance from Harvard at sticker price (and I'm a debt adverse person) because I know being a Harvard graduate holds a lot of weight. Is there a prestige factor when employers look at resumes? You bet. It comes down to the famous question of when loans go from being an investment to golden shackles as I like to call it.

    Your right to a certain extent about no one caring where you graduated from but that is when you are a few years in to your career and you have some work experience and skins on the wall to prove you're a competent attorney.

    Sorry if I'm come off harsh. I don't mean any disrespect or anything to your or anyone's goals but I'm a big propent of being aware of the job statistics for school's and considering how they will affect your personal goals.

    Just my thoughts. Again, not trying to push down your goals or anything and I apologize if I stepped too far or anything.

  • Aspiring1LAspiring1L Alum Member
    159 karma

    I'm going to repeat my point since it got caught in the middle of this thread. @akeegs92 @goingfor99th @nathanieljschwartz @Emily2122 @LSAT_Wrecker @LSATcantwin @LSATSniper "Aren't we all looking for that ROI? Of course we are. My point is that it'd be foolish to attend a high rank school that's going to put you $150K+ in debt just because certain reports reflect great employment outcomes and bar passage rates. I consider the reports you refer to however, I also keep in mind the student loan bubble and the interest rates the govt adds to these loans on those that CHOOSE to take the risk of paying off that debt just because they THINK they can get a high paying job in 3 years based on annual issued reports of employment, etc, as oppose to taking that 75% grant from Hofstra and coming out with a $85K annual salary position."

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    edited March 2018 1723 karma

    @Aspiring1L Depends on what someone's career goal is though. If big law, then statistically speaking, Hofstra over Harvard would not be a good idea. I understand your point on debt and I'm right there but I also know that the job statistics are very clear.

    The statistics are probably the best indicator of a school, even over rank because that is what we all want....a job. If I want a big law job, then I can afford to tack on some more debt because I know I'm aiming to obtain a job paying quite a bit of money out of school. Is anything guaranteed? Nope. But if I go to a higher ranked school then I have a better chance of obtaining said job.

    If I'm forking out $150k when my career goal is a small 1-10 lawyer firm then your assessment is correct. But the issue I'm having is your painting such a broad stroke in your argument that its a dumb idea for everyone to fork out a lot of money.

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    4196 karma

    Although I think it's good to take the money at a school that gives you a great shot at being a lawyer where you want to practice, I am always iffy on taking every piece of advice older lawyers give, as the legal field is so so so much more different now than when they attend school and graduated.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    These cases are incredibly anecdotal as others have mentioned. For the few number of successful lawyers that come out from Tier 3 or Tier 4, there are plenty more in T14. I know this this is hypocritical, but my coworker knows a recent Georgetown graduate who is an in house counsel at a Fortune 500 company. She also spoke with a partner at a law firm who stated that he actively seeks to hire those from high ranking schools because he could tell that the level is training is different. We aren't saying that not going to a T14 will jeopardize your legal career and prevent you from making money. It's just that going to a T14 will give you a good foot in the door, especially if you don't have preexisting connections or ties to a legal market. A cursory look at the NALP and the ABA reports clearly indicate a marked difference between T1 schools vs T2 and T3 schools. There's even a non-negligible difference in employment outcomes between T-14 schools and lower ranking T1 schools.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    edited March 2018 4423 karma

    I have a couple objections here...

    First of all if you face the choice of Hofstra with a 75% grant vs Harvard, you should essentially never take Hofstra.

    Harvard is a great school which will give you employment outcomes worth that amount of debt if you want them or the protection of an LRAP if you don't, but that is not the main reason you shouldn't take Hofstra with a 75% grant over Harvard at sticker.

    The main reason is that if you can get into Harvard you should be able to get scholarship offers in the Top 14 or at the very least a close to full tuition scholarship at a place like WUSTL. So if you are debt adverse enough to pick Hofstra at a 75% scholarship over Harvard at sticker, you still shouldn't because you should be picking at least a full tuition scholarship at a Top 25 over Harvard.

    Aside from this let's question the basis of @Aspiring1L 's conviction we are likely to succeed from Hofstra. @Aspiring1L spoke to successful attorneys from tier 3 and 4 schools. This establishes that it was once possible to succeed from these schools. What it doesn't establish is that it was ever likely to succeed from these schools let alone that it is still likely to succeed from these schools. After all, if @Aspiring1L had instead spoke to several of the many Tier 3 and 4 students who graduated and never found a legal job or worked Document Review we would be hearing a very different story.

  • ShownuffShownuff Alum Member
    222 karma

    Money/prestige aside, what would guys say if the most important thing you wanted after graduation is a degree that travels well? In other words... let's say you could go to a school which ranks 25-30 (with little to no debt) vs a T5 school (with a whole lotta debt), which one would you pick -with respects to feeling like your job prospects nationwide (possibly beyond) would be greatest? Yeah I'm guessing T5, but I'd still like to know what you all think -thanks!

  • TabbyG123TabbyG123 Legacy Member
    711 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    I have a couple objections here...

    First of all if you face the choice of Hofstra with a 75% grant vs Harvard, you should essentially never take Hofstra.

    Harvard is a great school which will give you employment outcomes worth that amount of debt if you want them or the protection of an LRAP if you don't, but that is not the main reason you shouldn't take Hofstra with a 75% grant over Harvard at sticker.

    The main reason is that if you can get into Harvard you should be able to get scholarship offers in the Top 14 or at the very least a close to full tuition scholarship at a place like WUSTL. So if you are debt adverse enough to pick Hofstra at a 75% scholarship over Harvard at sticker, you still shouldn't because you should be picking at least a full tuition scholarship at a Top 25 over Harvard.

    Aside from this let's question the basis of @Aspiring1L 's conviction we are likely to succeed from Hofstra. @Aspiring1L spoke to successful attorneys from tier 3 and 4 schools. This establishes that it was once possible to succeed from these schools. What it doesn't establish is that it was ever likely to succeed from these schools let alone that it is still likely to succeed from these schools. After all, if @Aspiring1L had instead spoke to several of the many Tier 3 and 4 students who graduated and never found a legal job or worked Document Review we would be hearing a very different story.

    Zing!

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @Shownuff said:
    Money/prestige aside, what would guys say if the most important thing you wanted after graduation is a degree that travels well? In other words... let's say you could go to a school which ranks 25-30 (with little to no debt) vs a T5 school (with a whole lotta debt), which one would you pick -with respects to feeling like your job prospects nationwide (possibly beyond) would be greatest? Yeah I'm guessing T5, but I'd still like to know what you all think -thanks!

    The top 5. They are the more national and maybe even international schools in terms of reach. The big names of the Top14 are just more portable. Additionally since most of the really prestigious law firms are in NYC and Chicago, the Top 5 would be more likely to get you work experience which could help get a later job in a dramatically different spot.

    The Top 25 with a few exceptions are usually fairly solid in their region, but not as strong elsewhere.

  • JPJ July2021JPJ July2021 Monthly Member
    1532 karma

    @Shownuff T5 hands down! I would always choose a top school in any situation.

  • tylerdschreur10tylerdschreur10 Alum Member
    1465 karma

    @LSATcantwin said:
    Mmm, take this advice with caution. There are MANY things to take into consideration when picking your law school.

    Things like;

    • Loans/Grants
    • Employment Statistics
    • Bar Passage
    • Job placement

    For instance Hofstra has a 41% employment rate after graduation whereas Harvard has a 91% employment rate.

    I think both "T-14 or bust" and "follow the money" are over simplifying things. I think the best advice is to carefully compare, and weigh, all of your options.

    I also caution people to not rely on anecdotal evidence. You can succeed from a low rank school and fail at a top ranked school. Statistically it is more likely to come out the other way though.

    I guess the crux of what I'm saying is; make informed, educated decisions, based on the totality of your individual situation. Don't just think rank/money should decide the school for you.

    Spot on

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    The title of the post should be. Follow the rank, and the money will follow

  • Brazil020511Brazil020511 Alum Member
    429 karma

    @LSATcantwin said:
    Mmm, take this advice with caution. There are MANY things to take into consideration when picking your law school.

    Things like;

    • Loans/Grants
    • Employment Statistics
    • Bar Passage
    • Job placement

    For instance Hofstra has a 41% employment rate after graduation whereas Harvard has a 91% employment rate.

    I think both "T-14 or bust" and "follow the money" are over simplifying things. I think the best advice is to carefully compare, and weigh, all of your options.

    I also caution people to not rely on anecdotal evidence. You can succeed from a low rank school and fail at a top ranked school. Statistically it is more likely to come out the other way though.

    I guess the crux of what I'm saying is; make informed, educated decisions, based on the totality of your individual situation. Don't just think rank/money should decide the school for you.

    Hello, I'm going to quote this because this accurately sums up my opinion and my advice to anyone who is deciding between schools whatever their ranking is.

  • NeverStopNeverStop Alum Member
    96 karma

    @LSATcantwin said:
    Mmm, take this advice with caution. There are MANY things to take into consideration when picking your law school.

    Things like;

    • Loans/Grants
    • Employment Statistics
    • Bar Passage
    • Job placement

    For instance Hofstra has a 41% employment rate after graduation whereas Harvard has a 91% employment rate.

    I think both "T-14 or bust" and "follow the money" are over simplifying things. I think the best advice is to carefully compare, and weigh, all of your options.

    I also caution people to not rely on anecdotal evidence. You can succeed from a low rank school and fail at a top ranked school. Statistically it is more likely to come out the other way though.

    I guess the crux of what I'm saying is; make informed, educated decisions, based on the totality of your individual situation. Don't just think rank/money should decide the school for you.

    Literally would give this one hundred likes if I could. Of course low ranked schools can get you jobs, but the question still stands: Where would you get hired? Let's not kid ourselves. If two people apply to a white-shoe law firm, and one went to UCLA while the other went to Thomas Jefferson School of Law, I think that the question answers itself.

  • LastLSATLastLSAT Alum Member
    edited April 2018 1028 karma

    .

  • TabbyG123TabbyG123 Legacy Member
    711 karma

    I wanted to weigh in particularly as it relates to public interest folks out there, as people typically say a PI career is the best justification for going to a cheaper, lower-ranked school. However, I'd say that going to an expensive, higher-ranked school is still worth it for those who have high aspirations. If you want to work as an assistant public defender in a rural town your whole life, then you probably won't benefit a whole lot from a higher ranking school (unless you really want to work in a coveted city like NYC or SF). But for those who want to climb the public interest ladder or work in academia:

    1: Competitive PI employers for also consider rank important.

    2: The relationships that T20 schools have to non-profits and government agencies are much more diverse, specific, and can really give you a leg-up in turning those externships/clinics into real jobs post-graduation, particularly if you know the niche you want to work in.

    3: If you're going into PI, then you're obvs not doing it for the money anyway (you're choosing to make 1/2 to 1/3rd you would otherwise). So having manageable debt and living a decent standard of living while paying it off for a while shouldn't be a big concern, particularly if you can use your higher ranking school to get that coveted PI position where you can make the biggest impact and be the happiest.

    Just a few things I've considered. I think it all depends on your aspirations. If you have low aspirations, then rank doesn't matter as much. If you have high aspirations, then go to a great school and pay for it. I think people are afraid that they will have high aspirations early on, pay a ton of money at a school, and then fail at achieving their goals. Sure, going to a cheaper school is safer, but you also reduce your chances of achieving those high aspirations.

  • OverRatedUnderAchieverOverRatedUnderAchiever Legacy Member
    609 karma

    @Aspiring1L said:
    Aren't we all looking for that ROI? Of course we are. My point is that it'd be foolish to attend a high rank school that's going to put you $150K+ in debt just because certain reports reflect great employment outcomes and bar passage rates. I consider the reports you refer to however, I also keep in mind the student loan bubble and the interest rates the govt adds to these loans on those that CHOOSE to take the risk of paying off that debt just because they THINK they can get a high paying job in 3 years based on annual issued reports of employment, etc, as oppose to taking that 75% grant from Hofstra and coming out with a $85K annual salary position.

    I stand by you

  • AllezAllez21AllezAllez21 Legacy Member Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    edited March 2018 1917 karma

    There are two separate issues in this advice.

    There's the consideration of whether the average student at a school like Hofstra and an average student at a school like Harvard face similar outcomes. They simply do not. One in four students at Hofstra fail to find a job as an attorney. One in three students do not pass the bar. One in five students LOSE THEIR SCHOLARSHIP EACH YEAR.

    The other consideration is whether someone who has the qualifications to be accepted to both Harvard and Hofstra should go with Hofstra. It seems pretty reasonable to say that someone capable of going to Harvard is probably going to pass the bar regardless of where they attend. But, unless the person already has a great network or special connections, it seems that the person's job prospects would not be similar.

    Also, @Aspiring1L talks about the 75% grant. First, I'm assuming you mean that 75% of your cost of attendance is covered, not the 75th percentile grant given to Hofstra students (which is $50k, by the way). Adding up the yearly cost of Hofstra combined with that scholarship, upon graduation you'd be looking at about $65,000 before interest. So it's probably accumulated to like $75k.

    Now, moving to job prospects, you claim one could grab a job with 85K in starting salary coming out of Hofstra. I really question that assumption. First, even if you did, you'd be looking at roughly a 1:1 debt/income ratio (~75k vs 85k). If we took the 150k of debt you mentioned with Harvard, and a 180k starting salary in biglaw, you're again looking at a roughly 1:1 debt/income ratio (and it's probably easier to service at 180k than 85k even given the same 1:1 debt ratio because of how living expenses work). So that already makes me think your analysis has gone awry.

    But the 85k assumption is really questionable. Law salaries are bimodal (https://www.nalp.org/salarydistrib). That means that if you're not making the biglaw salary, there are very few jobs until you get to 65k or less. From NALP, we see that half of salaries earned are between 45k and 65k. Hofstra places only 8% of their graduates in large firms (not even biglaw necessarily). So, if you could go to Harvard, but went to Hofstra, could you dominate your Hofstra class and still get biglaw? Maybe, but maybe not.

    TL; DR: The spirit of your post is somewhat meaningful, that is, be debt averse and don't chase prestige. But, your analysis on the hard facts and probabilities is lacking and flawed.

  • SwoopSwoopEagleSwoopSwoopEagle Alum Member
    78 karma

    I think what your law buddies should have said to you was "ultimately, the law school I attended didn't make a difference in my law career," not, "it doesn't matter what law school you attend." Someone who has found success out of a less than prestigious school will tell you it doesn't matter where you go, because for him it didn't matter. It's genuine advice, but take it with a gain of salt.

  • Simple ManSimple Man Alum Member
    448 karma

    @Aspiring1L I see where you are coming from. Debt can be a hell of a ball and chain, especially with no guarantee of employment or making that desirable six figure salary. I've had a pretty similar mindset. The whole point of law school is to pass the bar. It's just a barrier of entry into an industry that requires licensing. If you can do that at a lower cost, and still have the same outcome, why wouldn't you?

    There are plenty of successful figures in history that made it with limited education, such as Henry Ford or Thomas Edison. The men remarkably changed the world with minimal schooling. That being said, there are plenty of figures in history that also changed the world with T14 educations. The Roosevelts, for example. One set of these men used creativity and drive (pun intended) to achieve their success. The other also had high ambitions, but used the doors and networks that came with their educations as a launching point.

    I think it really comes down to what you want to do, and how much you want to make. Either way you will have to gnash and claw and grind your way to the top. You could be making 60k working regular hours, or 100+k working 90 hours a week. However, regardless of your financial situation, as long as you manage your money WELL I think you should be fine. Nail the LSAT, apply to scholarships like it's your part time job, and live within your means before, during, and possibly after law school. In the end it's your decision, do what you are comfortable with. Good luck!

  • tylerdschreur10tylerdschreur10 Alum Member
    1465 karma

    Disclaimer: I'm going to grossly and irresponsibly oversimplify this debate.

    The value of a jd from the t14 and t6 especially is margin for error. You can succeed from Hofstra et al. if you A) get killer grades B) get excellent experience in your 1L and 2L summers C) interview well D) are flexible where you want to work geographically and subject matter E) You have decent or better luck

    If you fail at any of A-E there is a very real chance you could find yourself 30 and pulling down 45k working a jd advantage job you don't like.

    At Harvard you can be in the bottom half of your class (a 50 percent chance, don't deceive yourself---you aren't special at Harvard law) and still have great options! You can leave a public defenders office in Philly to join a practice in Denver. That's why you pay the money, take out the loans, and pull on that ugly crimson hat on signing day.

  • ramster1ramster1 Legacy Member
    109 karma

    "No one cares what school you attended after you pass the Bar." I think it's more accurate to say "No one cares what school you attended after you land a prestigious, stable job." The difficultly, of course, is how to get there.

    Taking a wider perspective about jobs and not just LSATs and getting into the T14, the paths I've seen work for peers over the past 20 years:

    • Go to top tier programs and work hard in a prestigious firm or government job (the easiest to envision though no small feat)
    • Have connections
    • Have special skills that make you particularly desirable
    • Jump into a new field when it's just starting and they are hiring like mad
    • Be mobile so that you can land a position at the drop of a hat in a place you wouldn't otherwise consider that will give you awesome work experience
    • Have a spouse that has a high paying job so that money isn't a factor for your lifestyle and you can take lower paying interesting jobs as you climb the ladder

    The more you have of all the latter, the less it matters that you don't go to a top tier program. This isn't just true for law either.

    Of course there is also social cache for the rest of your life of saying you "went to Harvard."

  • OhnoeshalpmeOhnoeshalpme Alum Member
    2531 karma

    @Aspiring1L said:
    Aren't we all looking for that ROI? Of course we are. My point is that it'd be foolish to attend a high rank school that's going to put you $150K+ in debt just because certain reports reflect great employment outcomes and bar passage rates. I consider the reports you refer to however, I also keep in mind the student loan bubble and the interest rates the govt adds to these loans on those that CHOOSE to take the risk of paying off that debt just because they THINK they can get a high paying job in 3 years based on annual issued reports of employment, etc, as oppose to taking that 75% grant from Hofstra and coming out with a $85K annual salary position.

    it's not certain reports, these are literally facts

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    @Ohnoeshalpme said:

    @Aspiring1L said:
    Aren't we all looking for that ROI? Of course we are. My point is that it'd be foolish to attend a high rank school that's going to put you $150K+ in debt just because certain reports reflect great employment outcomes and bar passage rates. I consider the reports you refer to however, I also keep in mind the student loan bubble and the interest rates the govt adds to these loans on those that CHOOSE to take the risk of paying off that debt just because they THINK they can get a high paying job in 3 years based on annual issued reports of employment, etc, as oppose to taking that 75% grant from Hofstra and coming out with a $85K annual salary position.

    it's not certain reports, these are literally facts

    Yes, they are ahaha

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited March 2018 3652 karma

    Don’t solely take advice from any attorney over the age of 30ish about law school. They don’t know anything. Unless they went to law school at an older age within the past few years. Talk to older attorneys about lawyering, not school.

  • CJtryinghisbestCJtryinghisbest Monthly Member
    39 karma

    This argument is full of loopholes

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