I’m Curious About the Differences Between Tier-1 Law Schools

I’m a senior in the tail end of the law school application process—and a rather late switch to pre-law.  (I’m an applied science major.) I know the tiers [of law school rankings], but I was wondering how much difference there is within Tier 1.  More specifically, what’s the difference, if any, between a top-3 school (e.g. Harvard), a top-6 school (e.g. Columbia) and a school between 10 and 14 (e.g. Michigan or Georgetown)?  Thanks.

Since you’re still in undergrad, I’ll indulge your boring, self-evident question. 

It’s better to go to Harvard than Columbia.  It’s better to go to Columbia, than Georgetown.  How much better?  Who the hell knows?  They’re all great schools, with terrific professors and successful alumni. 

The bottom line is this: Your job prospects are bright at each and every school in the Top 14, but there’s obviously a difference between Harvard and Georgetown—just like there’s a difference between Giselle and a cute J. Crew model.  They’re both hot, and you’d be lucky to shag either one of them, but at the end of the day, there’s only one Giselle. 

Got a question for Ex-Bitter?  Email it to .

Join Bitter Lawyer on Facebook.  Follow on Twitter.

Buy Bitter Lawyer merchandise.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

15 Comments

  1. BL1Y

    December 4, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I think the fact that this guy just recently settled on law school should definitely affect the decision.  He shouldn’t go to the best school he can get into.  He should go to the best school he can go to for free.  He’s more likely than your average lawyer to be disappointed with the profession and want out.  The less debt he has, the less he’ll have screwed up his life.

  2. Pacific Reporter

    December 4, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I think I’d prefer the J. Crew model.

    Does that make me a subtle Georgetown troll?

  3. Anonymous

    December 4, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Yeah, maintaining Giselle can be really expensive.  And even with her, someone is always tired putting up with her sh!t.  Probably Tom.

  4. BL1Y

    December 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    For every hot woman, there’s a guy who’s tired of banging her.  J Crew models when because of what makes Giselle so special…there’s only one of her.  Every new season brings a fresh crop of new J Crew models.

  5. BL1Y

    December 4, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Wow.  It’s not every day I can surprise myself with my own typo.

  6. Smurf

    December 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    The “between” in the title bugs me a little.

  7. Anon Female

    December 4, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Bl1Y, a typo I am shocked!!

  8. BL1Y

    December 4, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Smurf: I think between might be correct.  Even though many schools are involved in the comparisons, each comparison would involve only two schools at a time.

  9. New Yorker

    December 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    It has to be a slow day when you are concerned with “between”, It’s TGIF, enjoy the day.

  10. Guano Dubango

    December 4, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I personally enjoyed Georgetown.  However, if I could bang Giselle (rather than a Gazelle back home in Ghana), I would go to a Third Tier law school.  After all, the only reason I went to get an LLM here was to meet a US lawyer who would bear me children, and Giselle can certainly do that, and it would also be recreational with her, not just procreational.  Just like you American’s with your connotative/denotative WTF.

  11. Hannah Palindrome

    December 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I would pick the J.Crew model over Giselle.

    I think Giselle is BUTTER…

  12. Alma Federer

    December 6, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I agree.  Personally, I only attended a Tier 2 school, but this has not been an issue for me.  Maybe if I had gone to Harvard, I would have made enough contacts so that I could have met Mr. Right, but I doubt it.  There are plenty of men I’ve met from Harvard who are self-centered dorks.  So I am happy I have a job, am saving some money, and have a nice apartment (tho very small). The right man is on my Christmas wish list, but I am not silly enough to think that Santa will provide one for me.  I have to find him myself.  It snowed here yesterday, and everything in the park looks white and fresh.  I hope that I will be able to find a man to enjoy snows like this with me soon.

  13. lurker

    December 7, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Sicne law schools don’t teach you crap, its all about name recognition. Harvard has a better name than Columbia, etc.
    Law schools are just one 3-year H.R. department for law firms.

  14. StateUSchoolofLaw

    December 8, 2009 at 4:53 am

    BL1Y has a point.  Harvard is better than Columbia and Georgetown, but everything has a cost-benefit analysis.  Is Harvard and the corresponding debt load better than a T2 State U School of Law for free?  Top schools will open doors for you that the lower tier schools won’t, but the price tag may close others. 
    Just don’t spend a small fortune on a private, no-name TTT.

  15. EngineerdLawyer

    December 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    You guys left out MI in the discussion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>