Thoughts about choosing law school, part 4

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Lawrence Cunningham says:

    I concur. Thanks for this and your other thoughtful posts on choosing a law school. Students, prospective and current, plus legal academics, will learn from them.

  2. A.J. Sutter says:

    BTW comparative law both provides an enriching perspective and is practical, especially (though not exclusively) if you’re thinking of doing transactions.

  3. If I am at liberty to post a dissenting opinion without offense, let me say this: I totally disagree. Apart from purely economic considerations (if those factor into your decision-making process) you should always go to the best school you can get into. If Harvard accepts you, go there. If Yale lets you in, go there. Pretty much the same analysis holds with all of the top 10. You will find interesting courses at all of the top law schools, but none of them — in fact, no law school — will turn you into an intellectual property lawyer or an environmental lawyer, or a tax attorney, or any other particular breed of lawyer. Only practice will do that, and the only way you are guaranteed to keep all of your options open to practice in the area you suspect you want to practice in, is to go to a school that has name-recognition and gets you bang-for-the-buck in interviews. Lest you think I am an elitist prig, I readily admit that there are many fantastic lawyers who went to what the world would call (or think of) as marginal law schools. You don’t have to go to Yale to be a good lawyer. In fact, you don’t have to go to law school at all in California to be a good lawyer (since CA still recognizes apprenticeship). But the last reason you should chose a law school is for course content — a year after graduation none of what you learned in law school will be remotely relevant to what you are doing, as law school has very little to do with the practice of law. So if you want to be an IP lawyer, sure, take trademarks, and copyright, and even patent law in school if it’s offered — maybe even throw in an internet law class to be cutting edge — but don’t pick your law school because it offers those classes.