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   Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?
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   Author  Topic: Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?  (Read 4293 times)
BSEE
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Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?
« on: Dec 4th, 2007, 2:30pm »
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I haven't really been able to get solid advice on this subject on law school discussion forums. I'm a Texas resident with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering graduating with honors from a top program. I want to work in Texas, with no real strong preference for any particular city.
 
I'm applying to law schools next year and obviously I'm hoping to get into UT Law, but in the chance that this does not happen, does it make sense to try and apply to a large number of schools in the T15-T20 (Georgetown PT, WUSTL, Vandy, George Washington, etc) and have to pay a large premium for these schools (likely 140k+ debt), or would it make more sense simply to go to the next top programs in Texas like UH, SMU, or Baylor with scholarship money?
 
If I'm not admitted to Texas, I'm thinking seriously about attending UH. I know secondary rankings are usually regarded as meaningless, but Houston does have strong recognition in IP. Going to UH would only cost me ~40-50k in total, maybe even less than that. I also would not mind working in the Houston market.
 
Any advice you can give me on this situation is much appreciated.
 
« Last Edit: Dec 4th, 2007, 2:31pm by BSEE » IP Logged
Blebbing Ameoba
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Re: Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 4th, 2007, 10:59pm »
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Go to the highest ranked school you can.  Given the debt load you will carry after law school, you might really be in a bind coming out of a school outside of the top-25.  The lower tier school may not be well known outside of its geographical location.  If you get into a top-25 school., got to it and your chances of getting a job in which you can pay off your loans in under 50 years increases.  Unless of course you get into a state school and get a tuition discount.  Best of luck.
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guest47
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Re: Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 5th, 2007, 1:27am »
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Apply to top 30 schools you're interested in.  If you don't get into UT, see if you get scholarships at any of these others (if you think you have a good shot at UT, you likely will).  Leave options for yourself for when it's time to decide on a school -- in a few months, if you don't get into UT, you will otherwise probably regret limiting your choices by simply deciding not to pay a few more app fees.
 
This will give you a good amount of time to balance your reasons for in-state TX schools v. sub-T14 regional elites.  You may consider informational interviews with attorneys at Houston firms you're interested in working for.  They should be happy to talk with a prospective law student about the firm and law school in general, and should be able to give you an idea of how deep they'll go into a class at a texas T2 for EEs.  This is a great excuse to talk to them, as they'll also be a valuable contact later when you want your resume to be brought to the attention of the recruiter.  
 
Otherwise, given the specific nature of your question (EE, Texas market), I think the number of people on this forum able to speak accurately on your particular circumstances and what you should do are very small.  Unlike the vast majority of law students, there is not a wealth of data on how deep firms actually go to search out EEs at various schools -- only that it's deeper, and that there's an ever-present rumor that you don't really have to worry.
 
To reiterate, apply to the T30's, talk to Houston attorneys at attractive firms, and balance whatever additional employment risk you've found out you'll be taking on by going to a T2 vs. the immediate lower debt of a T2, but taking into account scholarships you've received at the T30.  
 
Offhand, I would be inclined to think you'd get a reasonable scholarship at WUSTL, which may or may not be well respected by all Texas firms, but is certainly closer to TX than Vandy, GW, UCLA, USC, et. al., and should have accordingly better placement.
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Drew83
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Re: Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 5th, 2007, 8:40am »
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I've been told before, that if you know which state you want to practice in, then it's best to attend law school in that state.  Not sure how valid this is, but I believe it.  
 
Coming out of law school with minimal loans is a great thing and something to consider.  However, it's always a good idea to leave your options open...
 
 
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ray.nyls
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Re: Attend a T15-T20 or Tier 2 with $$?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 16th, 2007, 1:17am »
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it will be a lot easier to pay off 100k in loans with that 120k-160k offer as a first year associate at a large IP firm, than to pay off $50k without any job... what i've seen is that if you know what you want, go to the highest ranked school you can and put in all you've got to get the grades that will secure you an offer upon graduation (first year is the MOST important because most large firms do their hiring through summer associates - and you need the first year grades to get that, although after second year is a second chance at it)
 
in my opinion, putting yourself in position to earn substantially more right after graduation is worth taking the 50k more in debt.  
 
but dont assume just going to a high rank school will get you that job, its definitely a big factor but there are more things that go into the mix...
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