How about this question: Why do you want to go to law school?
To become a lawyer is a cute answer, but not adequate. A real answer to the question will give you more direction than anything else.
If it’s just to make a ton of money–there are probably many better ways available to you.
I went to Marquette Law School. I think it’s in the second or third tier. I’m not sure which, mostly because I couldn’t care less.
I went to law school wanting to become a prosecutor, and that’s exactly what I became. I work long hours, including weekends. I’m paid terribly with little prospect of that ever changing. I’m surrounded by judges that are angry that I don’t do whatever it takes to settle a case without a trial; defense attorneys who accuse me of being draconian no matter the character of the defendant or crime; victims who are, at best, apathetic, but usually angry… and I couldn’t be happier.
I spend everyday making my community safer for women and children. I took a fifty percent pay cut from the private sector to do it. I’m surrounded by people who have made, and continue to make sacrifices in order to fight the good fight. And it was only made possible because I went to law school.
Not everyone needs (or wants) to graduate from a top tier law school to do the work they want to do.
Here’s a tip though: If you do good work, you don’t need anyone to care what law school you came from.
Bonus tip: You can get a lousy education from a great school, and the reverse as well. This is especially true in law school. [/quote]
Excellent post. In fact, many people get sucked into the vortex of the “top law school/ big firm” thinking, and wind up miserable. Law schools perpetuate this, because it brings them prestige when their grads go to large national firms. These firms are generally shitty places to work.
I went to a lower level law school. I received a great deal of scholarship money. I graduated with exactly zero debt. I worked (at a fairly large regional firm) next door to a Yale grad who couldn’t leave the firm if his life depended on it, because of crushing debt. I worked at the firm for 2 years or so, and got a law-related job that I love.