Four Best Fourth-Tier Law Schools


Four Best Fourth-Tier Law Schools:

Love them or hate them, rankings are everything in life and law.  How else would you propose to measure yourself, your firm or your school against the competition?

Unfortunately, for reasons that escape us, nobody has bothered to rank the best fourth-tier law schools in the U.S. Until now…

1. Barry University (Orlando, Florida)

Bitter Details:

Technically, the school goes by its DJ name, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, but we always knew it as Barry–Barry from the block.  Back in the day (last month) Barry (we mean Dwayne) beat the snot out of its competition at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law Trial Competition. First prize was a case of Bacardi.

Bitter Distinction:

It’s not easy being green, and there’s simply no way in hell that the tree-huggers will be able to save the planet without a good attorney, which is why Barry created the Earth Advocacy Clinic. According to Barry, the clinic, which trains young lawyers to provide counsel to environmental groups, is the first of its kind. Plus, Barry is about as close as a legal education can get to Disney World.

2. Appalachian School of Law (Grundy, Virginia)

Bitter Details:

Why did we pick Appalachian? Well, try this one on for size: Appalachian had a 100% pass rate for the West Virginia bar exam. That’s right, five students from Appalachian sat for the West Virginia bar exam, and five students passed. Booyah, ya’ll!

Bitter Distinction:

According to its website, Appalachian is about 30 minutes from something called Critterville Park. Nuff said.

3. New England School of Law (Boston, Massachusetts)

Bitter Details:

If New England School of Law didn’t make the list, we’d be turning our back on an entire region. Think about it: one law school, six states. Can your alma mater say that?

Bitter Distinction:

There’s a lot of legal action in the Boston area. Just ask David E. Kelly. But with that much action comes confusion, which is why New England School of Law is officially adopting a new nickname: New England Law | Boston. (Yep, that’s a verti-bar in there.) According to the school’s dean, John F. O’Brien, the nickname is meant to help the school identify more closely with Boston (don’t’ make us rethink that regional accolade, O’Brien) and cut down on any confusion with area schools. Harvard Law is said to be “relieved.”

4. Western State University College of Law (Fullerton, California)

Bitter Details:

Technically, Western State University College of Law isn’t in the fourth tier because the fools at U.S. News & World Report stopped ranking it after the school obtained provisional approval from the ABA in 2005. But we at Bitter Lawyer are keen to bring Western back to its tier-four greatness once and for all. Repeat after us: Yes, they can be a fourth-tier law school. (Especially since they’re under new management.)

Bitter Distinction:

Some say the Western legal tradition goes all the way back to biblical times. Well, Western State University College of Law goes all the way back to 1966, which means Western is officially a cougar by OC standards.

Check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.

Michael Estrin, one of the founding editors and writers for Bitter Lawyer, is a writer, journalist, and author of Murder and Other Distractions, a novel about a dead ex, casual sex, tacos, and killer Internet traffic. Follow him on Twitter or check out Bitter Lawyer's interview with him.

28 Comments

  1. Roger

    November 15, 2008 at 8:54 am

    LOL!

  2. Anonymous

    November 15, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    So, I guess in order to practice with a degree from Western State you need to go the cougar bar??

  3. Al Dickman

    November 15, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    How do these schools rank in terms of good looking babes?  After all, if anyone is to go there, it certainly won’t be for the academics.

  4. Anon

    November 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    There seems to be a lot of bias against lower tiered schools.  I go to a 4th tier school, and I do not feel disadvantaged at all; the only thing that this school prevents me from doing is obtaining a miserable sweat shop firm gig.  I believe that it doesn’t matter what school you go to, as long as you study hard and network within your legal community.  So Mr. Dick, you can shit on 4th tier schools all you want if it helps you sleep better at night.

  5. Anonymous

    November 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Anon, I don’t think Mr. Dickman was putting down the schools as much as he was focusing in on the important question of whether there were beautiful women students at 4th tier law schools?  As an attendee at one such institution, perhaps you can give us your first hand report on the female situation.  So, 1) What school do you go to and 2) what quality of females do you have at such school?  Be honest.  Thank you.

  6. Bring it, anon

    November 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    We’re waiting…

  7. Anon

    November 15, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Well it’s true; the ladies at my school are VERY attractive.  I won’t say where, but it’s in California.  And to be sure, we recently had a mixer with all the law schools in the city, and the ladies at the first tier school were not only hideous, but very antisocial and snobby.  So I guess there is a benefit to attending a “FTT”.

  8. Be proud of your school

    November 15, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Nice answer, anon.
    But you didn’t say which school you go to.

  9. Anonymous

    November 16, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Then consider yourself lucky, Anon.  Women at most law schools are not very attractive.  In fact, men often have to go outside the school if they want to even talk to (let alone bone) any kind of sexy femaie.  You, my friend have it well.  If in fact there are very attractive women, you have something to look at (if not bone).  You can learn the legal stuff from Gilberts / Emanuel’s any time you want.  For now, appreciate the local talent and stop whining.

  10. Douglas Phillabaum

    November 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

    What about Alabama?  They have a good football team.

  11. Anon

    November 16, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I didn’t want to say what school I go to because I don’t want my opinions to reflect on my school.  But really, how hard is it to figure out what school I go to, I mean there are only 68 law schools in California.

  12. Al Dickman Needs A Life

    November 16, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Al Dickman, guess what? YOU NEED A LIFE. I’m glad that you went to a top school, but no one gives a shit.  You’re an attorney. Plenty of them. And guess what, you’re not rich, either. What do you make, 130K? I know guys who make five times that, and they work from their homes. You’re weak. You spend the majority of your time on a website devoted to people who hate being lawyers. Nice job. I’m sure you’re a popular guy. That’s why you troll on this site, right? Face it, you have no life. You can’t get any pussy. You’re a loser. You jerk off to your diploma every night. Oh, wait, my phone is ringing. Dick, it’s Partner D-Bag, and he said he needs you this weekend. Well, look that the bright side, at least you can jerk off in your office, right?

  13. 1L

    November 16, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Wow… I keep getting surprised on the amount of hatred and negative energy that comments on this site generate…

  14. sd

    November 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    hey – what about california western school of law? “what law school ought to be.” we definitely have the hottest incoming 1Ls. one person commented that CWSL should have its own modeling agency. plus it got the highest feb bar passage rate in CA! good thing it kicks out 1/3 of its 1Ls every year.

  15. Anon

    November 16, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    LOL… that’s where I go!

  16. Del Vermo

    November 17, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Law students, nobody cares what you think.  You should be banned from posting here.  Go study, especially you knuckleheads at T4 schools.

  17. Al Dickman

    November 17, 2008 at 6:30 am

    Calm down, douche bag, I have all the pussy I can take, and more importantly, you are the one with emotional problems.  If you spent more time studying, you wouldn’t be in the predicament that you’re in.  1) Broke, 2) ugly, 3) blue-balled and 4) unemployed.  With luck, you can work your way out of 1 and 4.  Your problem is 2 and 3.  I call upon the readers of this website to propose solutions for you, because I don’t have any.

  18. joanne

    November 17, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    OMG—this is so f”ing hilarious.  Better than saturday night live— Rock on !!  Thank God, i’m not a lawyer, just contracted by one!
    kudos bitterlawyer.com and staff and keep bringing ‘em on!

    -joanne

  19. Cornelius

    November 17, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I have been to New England Law of Boston, creepily enough the Boston Police, and Massachusetts Transit authority employees (their office is across the street) Both note that New England must do photo applications due to their high number of beautiful women who attend. Although the schools location in the theatre district also makes for an interesting time studying late in the library when the street is crawling with beggars and awkwardly tall trannies heading to the gay bar located about 20 yards down the street. It makes for an interesting legal education.

  20. Voice of Reason

    November 17, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Knuckleheads? Come on just because people go to a fourth tier doesn’t mean they are knuckleheads, some students are privileged enough to have a mommy or daddy pay their way into law school. I think your just jealous you couldn’t get in yourself. Oh and for the record I have degrees in Economics and English from the University of Florida and am currently in my second year of law school. So feel free to insult me if you want but 10-1 I went to a better school than you ever did.
    P.S. Has anyone ever actually reviewed the faculty at ASL, they actually require their professors to have practiced law in order to teach there, unlike a majority of other schools. They are also highly honored and well published. I have friends who attend there and from my research I am not quite sure why they get crapped on when they have a nationally recognized and distinguished Moot Court team. They are also number one in the nation for Dispute resolution and a model for community service.
    Oh and p.s. to the writers of the article, I checked the Crittersville thing, yeah its a children’s playground in a nearby city. The name makes more sense when you include information that others don’t have.
    Oh and p.s. Barry is Tier 3, get your facts straight.

  21. Anonymous

    November 19, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    How can someone with the handle “Voice of Reason” get defensive about the Critersville thing? Seriously?

  22. ASL Hater

    November 25, 2008 at 9:21 am

    ASL sucks. They call their moot court team “mock trial.” I believe that was high school. They give out full scholarships to anyone who has a 3.0 in undergrad and a 150 on the LSAT. That means ANYONE.
    Plus, there was that school shooting there. Being from the region, I can tell you thats about the only thing anyone knows about the place.

  23. Anonymous

    December 6, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    University of Florida is considered a “good” school?  By whom?

  24. Voice of Reason

    January 1, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    1). I didn’t get defensive of the Crittersville thing. I actually thought it was rather funny but it shouldn’t really be used to make fun of the school once you find out what it really is, If you are going to crack jokes it should be more about the coal miners and racism in that area. 2). To the idiot below they do not call it mock trial. They have a moot court team and a mock trial team. Different competitions so get your facts straight. Most schools have both. Oh and 3).UF is one of the top public universities in the nation, last I checked it was in the top 20 and UF also has a tier 1 law school. So don’t even get me started on that.

  25. Florida

    January 9, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    UF is considered a good school by many standards.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Florida

    Not to mention home of the best College football team in the country.  And some very good looking women.

  26. big al

    January 26, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I took a dump at UF one time. Beautiful facilities. Aces in my book

  27. WSU

    April 2, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Western State recently placed second at a national moot court competition in New Orleans, beating schools like Harvard, Cornell, and Univ. of Virginia.

  28. Voice of even more reason

    June 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    It sounds like many here are just going to law school because they think it will help them get laid more often. That is not a good reason for spending three years in law school, or any school.

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