I've Been Admitted to Law School. The Question is...Can I Survive?


Saturday, February 12, 2005

On Choosing Money Over Rank

Some posts ago I'd mentioned that I was having some uncertainty in choosing whether or not to take the loads of money that my safeties offered me or to pay my way through one of my T14 acceptances. My uncertainty has been practically eliminated this weekend. I spoke to a friend who I haven't spoken to in ages who goes to the University of Miami. I asked about the whole job market and her options after graduating. The first thing she mentioned to me was that she wished she had gone to a top 50 school. I was relatively surprised at the immediacy of the answer because I'd heard through various sources like LSN and discussions about the regional power of schools that UMiami pretty much had the job market in Miami locked. The general feeling was that if you wanted to work in Miami you were almost certain to get a job there. She disagreed, giving examples of fellow UMiami graduates.

I should mention that I don't know her ranking - I thought it inappropriate to ask.

Anyway she mentioned that in Miami, regardless of the fact that a lot of UMiami grads have jobs there they prefer to interview students from the top schools and even the students at University of Florida have an easier time getting interviews supposedly because it's cracked the USNEWS Top 50. Miami firms are apparently only too happy to go recruiting in other states at higher ranked schools than at UMiami. She mentioned that the perceived advantage of going to UMiami is that they're better off than the other law schools there (they're all tier 3 or 4 I think). My original hesitation about going to UMiami stemmed from the fact that I wasn't certain I wanted to limit my core market to Miami, since I know that's not even a certainty, my choices seem more straight forward.

I gather that she also chose to go to Miami for financial reasons over a higher ranked school. I'm happy to learn from her experience. There's no guarantee that I'll get a job after leaving a higher ranked school but I have no need to place myself at a disadvantage.