Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lawyers are experts on Law School. Right?

I know only three lawyers. And by know, I mean one was my crim j professor, one is my fiance's step-grandmother's son in law, and one is a friend of my stepmother, who I have met about three times. Close relationship? Not even close. But since people who have survived the law school experience should have some sort of opinion on choosing a school, I contacted all three of them and asked them which school they would chose if they were me.

The first one to get back to me was my stepmother's friend. As she is actually an elder law attorney, I was definitely looking forward to her opinion. Her email was exactly one line long.

"I would choose the tier 1. That will open more doors for you down the road."

Okaaay. Good to know. But then came my second response.

I would totally disregard rank and go to the place that has a program tailored to what you want to do. Plus, (Location of Tier 3/2) is beautiful. Rank only matters if you plan in trying to get a miserable big firm job after graduation.

And ...

A JD is a JD and nobody who matters will care where you got it.

Well crap. It's a tie. Now what?

Luckily, I only knew an odd number of attorneys because the third lawyer finally got back to me and said,

"The school's credential is most important for the entry into the career.  Once you are in, your abilities, contacts and a bit of luck matter far more than the ranking of the law school.  Elder law in (Location of Tier 3/2) sounds far better than (Location of Tier 1) - you have ready made clients with money - the finest kind."

So it is mostly two for Tier 3/2 but not entirely. Interesting. 

Now one of the advocators of the Tier 3/2 works in a small college town and went to a Tier 3 law school. The other one went to the same law school but works in an even smaller town that somehow happens to have the county's courthouse and not much else. 

The Tier 1 advocator lives in the biggest city in our state and went to a Tier 2. 

Does this color their opinion? Oh probably. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't listen to them. 

But which one do I listen to???? 

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