Originally Posted by munchausen
I would agree that you probably should not go to a TTT school, but a lot of this is fed by the paranoia of upper-middle class law students that they may not get the 120k a year entry level biglaw job that they clearly deserve.
I went to a school at the low end of the top 50. Got a half ride. I have a lot of debt, and my ROI might have been bigger in terms of money if I had spent that time and money pursuing other professions. Then again, I didn't do it just for the money. I think that's what people really need to figure out: do I want to be a lawyer, or do I just want a job that will make me loaded. Because if it's the latter, there are better things to do with your time.
If you want to make a bunch of money for your long hours in biglaw without really caring about being a lawyer (and probably have no interest of seeing a courtroom or "helping people" once you end up slinging documents for M&A deals)...then it is going to be really hard if you don't go to a top school. How far on top it needs to be seems to always be a couple slots below whatever school the douche giving advice went to.
If you actually want to be a lawyer...don't try to go to a shitty school, but there are a lot more options. I've got a friend going to a school at the bottom end of the top 50...but his mom is a judge, his dad is a lawyer (at least one is an alumni) and he actually wants to be a lawyer too. I think he will do just fine even though biglaw is almost entirely off the table.
Also, people seem to be ignoring flagship state law schools. If you know what state you want to practice in, they tend to be cheaper (especially if you live there) and place people well into local firms. Again, it is not the key to biglaw, but they won't do you wrong if you actually want to be a lawyer.