Monday, August 09, 2010

Are Law School Grades More Important to a Career than the Rank of the Law School Attended ?

Debra Cassens Weiss in Law News Now at the ABA Journal reports on research which finds that Law School Grades More Important to Career than Elite School, Researchers Say.

That of course is not really that surprising.

Law students accepted by law schools have different characters and different aptitudes and many students are in fact not as suited for law as others, even though they may have had top undergraduate grades, good LSATs and excellent references. Law has it owns rules.

When I taught law at the university level I always told the students at the beginning of the first semester that about 25% of them would not be there at the end -- not because of a lack of intellect, but rather because their talents and abilities would be found to be better served in other fields. If you are a law student now, you might consider a change in your field of study while you can, if you find that this observation applies to you. Do not stay in a field you do not like or where you find that your talents are wasted or where you have limited aptitude.

Grades earned in law school generally reflect whether a student is "getting it" or not, and this of course is really not a product of elite law school teaching per se, but rather a product of a specific legal aptitude -- or not. Obviously, those who "get it" are going to be more successful, regardless of where they went to school.

Footnote: ... but they may have trouble becoming a Supreme Court Justice ... all of whom currently come from the Ivy League.

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