Well, here we are. The third-tier law schools. We’ve given students and alumni at the top 100 law schools a chance to sound off on the good (and bad) about their law schools. Hopefully prospective students will take note.
We won’t list all the the third-tier schools, but you can refresh your memory here.
Some might ask: in this market, what kind of jobs can you expect to get with a degree from a third-tier law school? The economy is so bad right now for lots of lawyers. Does it get worse without the most sterling credentials? Or are the kinds of jobs these students historically have taken still available in this market?
If you really applied yourself, could you become a Supreme Court clerk? Justice Scalia doesn’t think so.
Let’s get into the discussion, after the jump.
After giving a talk on administrative law at American University Washington College of Law on April 24, Justice Scalia took a few questions. One was from a student who wanted to know what she had to do to become “outrageously successful” without “connections and elite degrees.”
Her law school, according to U.S. News & World Report, is ranked 45th in the country.
Justice Scalia gave a general answer. “Just work hard and be very good,” he said.
But then he turned to a discussion of the student’s chances of obtaining the ultimate credential in American law, a clerkship with a Supreme Court justice. Not good, he said.
“By and large,” he said, “I’m going to be picking from the law schools that basically are the hardest to get into. They admit the best and the brightest, and they may not teach very well, but you can’t make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse. If they come in the best and the brightest, they’re probably going to leave the best and the brightest, O.K.?”
If that’s what he thinks about American, can you imagine what he would have to say about a third tier school?
But, then again, entrance into a school (any school) is much more of a indication of past performance than future success. Maybe it’s tough to go from third tier to SCOTUS, but everybody knows someone who went to a low ranked school and became a partner at a major law firm or an extremely successful lawyer. Or at least an endlessly entertaining Vice-President.
Are there meaningful distinctions between some of these schools? Which ones stand out (for good or ill)?
This seems like an appropriate time to mention that comments are hidden, for your protection.
Otherwise, have at it.
On the Bench and Off, the Eminently Quotable Justice Scalia [New York Times]
Earlier: Open Thread: 2010 U.S. News Law School Rankings (1-5)
Open Thread: 2010 U.S. News Law School Rankings (77 – 100)