Look, I'm Just going to out-hustle my 100 other classmates at my 90th-ranked school, NBD.
Today we have a "guest post" that doesn't pull any punches. OTLSS has laid this argument out on the line more than once concerning school rankings, but here is another poster from a year ago that puts it in no uncertain terms:
I go to a law school ranked 80-90 with about a 55% employment score. Do I think my quality of education is bad? No. However, I think the main difference between my school and a better school is the feel you have knowing that, out of any three students, one is going to get a good/decent job, one is getting a shitjob that won’t pay back their loans, and one isn’t get hired anywhere...everything matters because you know there’s way more falling bodies than trampolines to save them.
Also, remember that the employment score is likely bolstered by people who I call “immediate connectors.” These are people with serious connections that guarantee a job, not just the typical dude who knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy he can send his resume to. These people bolster the employment score, but aren’t actually an indicator of the school’s ability to place its graduates. Just to toss some anecdotal examples out there, there’s a person in my class who transferred in from Charlotte School of Law. Her third time in the actual building, she went through OCIs and got swiped up by the biggest firm there. Come to find out, her dad is a bigshot partner there. The fix was in the whole time. Another person’s uncle is a damn US Senator and has a job locked up for that person in DC after law school. I can name at least 8 more in my 100ish-person law school class...I don’t blame these people for their connections (hell, I wish I had more), but you should understand what they mean. They’re sucking up a job that you honestly don’t have a chance of getting. It doesn’t matter how well you outline for Seagull Torts and write on for the International Dogbite Law Journal, the firm is looking to fill one spot and you aren’t beating out the partner’s kid. That’s less trampolines catching those falling bodies.
It’s frustrating especially because there are no solid criteria for what gets you a job, so you never get the feeling that you’re safe until your offer is in hand. The number one kid in the class is set, but I know the number five (with LR and a ton of mock trial stuff) kid is looking and can’t find shit. Number 3 kid is working as a state court clerk making as much as a dental hygienist but with much more debt. At the same time, there are some lower ranked kids with good job offers because they hustled their ass off...but it’s a rough correlation and a bunch of people who deserve it get left out in the cold.
What’s also shockingly noticeable are the people who are just refusing reality and are not hustling to get jobs even though it is 3L spring and that student loan hammer is just WAITING to crush them. I saw one dude in our class (probably in the top 10%, mind you) who said he put off looking for jobs pretty much all of January/February because he is the head of our school’s trial association and his time has been preoccupied organizing the school’s in-house trial competition...[y]ou see shit like that out of 3Ls all the time at this level and, honestly, the psychology is fascinating. Just straight-up denial of trying to find a job. You can tell they’ve never been put in that position before, where putting your head down and mumbling “I don’t know” isn’t an acceptable answer. These are people who have been smart and capable their entire lives and just aren’t computing that the transition from law school-to-work isn’t as smooth as the transition from undergrad-to-law school. There’s no magic standardized test score they can reach that will end with someone handing a job to them on a silver platter like there is with a really high LSAT score. It’s like someone put Valium in the water or something.
If this seems depressing, well, it is...[i]t seems crazy on most forums because all but a few 1Ls just can’t grasp it while their busting out all the cannons of construction for International Shoe. Realizing that you can do everything right and still lose is shocking to some people. I’m a 3L and things “worked out” for me...[h]owever, I am aware that one misstep, one bad bounce and I’m back to being a falling body with no certain trampoline. So, would I recommend a school of this caliber to someone who isn’t an immediate connector (for those of you that are, it doesn’t matter which school so at least pick a cheap one in a nice location)? No. Absolutely not. It just isn’t worth it. But if someone insisted, I’d tell them to prepare for a fight.
We've said it before, and we will say it again - don't take our word for it, take it from someone who is unaffiliated with OTLSS. You have nothing to lose, and perhaps your whole life to regain.