Sin of pride and college choice


I work for 1 of the 10 largest law firms in the entire world. This is what I can tell you about law school.

They only care about your GPA and LSAT. I know attorneys at my firm who went to smalls schools like Grove City College (and we are a liberal firm), and those who went Ivy League. It doesn’t really matter for the BA.

As far as which law school you go to: typically there are the following for primer firms (which honestly - not every attorney enjoys working at): 1) national law schools - which will allow you to practice anywhere in the country: the Ivys, Duke, Virginia, Michigan, Berkley, Georgetown, etc

  1. the regional schools - which will get you into the local office of a premiere law firm: Villanova, Catholic University, Brooklyn Law, etc.

  2. all the other accredited Law Schools which will still get you a BETTER job at a smaller firm if you graduate with good grades.

Regardless: the most important thing with LAW school is graduating top of your class from Law school because regardless of where you go, there are far too many attorneys graduating from law school then jobs avalible.

Regarding the MBA - a top MBA school is required if you want to be an executive at a big company and you want to avoid climbing the corporate ladder. But most MBA degrees count more after a few years of practical experience.

Now with that said, I know plenty of people who have good paying jobs after getting an MBA from schools like University of Delaware and Villanova. The most important things regarding the MBA is to make sure it is an AACSB accredited program.

God Bless


Yep. A local priest did his undergraduate at Harvard… it comes across very clearly in his homilies that he is a great intellectual. That’s not a bad thing.


This is a common attitude in any workplace where the people in charge of the hiring, such as the managers and the interview team and the engineering leads, etc. did not go to the high dollar schools. Engineering is a workplace where you might find such people in charge of hiring. However, if you should get a manager in charge of hiring who went to an elite school, he will most likely want to hire more people from the elite schools, because people like to hire people who they have stuff in common with, such as school background. I have seen this happen a couple of times.


Totally agree. If I wasn’t clear, when I said that school prestige is very important, I meant law school prestige, not undergraduate prestige.

I am also a lawyer. :expressionless: (shame, shame, shame)


Thanks everybody for your input. My daughter doesn’t really know what her major is going to be, she’s leaning toward something tech / computer. We’re mainly just weighing if local-branch-of-state-school is good enough, or whether big flagship is worth it. I feel like she will have more options at flagship school, but she may end up starting local and transferring.
Lots of things to consider. I am thankful that she has these choices! Local is going to be a better price point, but of course that’s not the only thing to consider.
Thanks again!


I’m actually an eDiscovery Project Manager :sunglasses:


Nothing wrong with starting local and then transferring, esp if she’s not sure what she wants to do yet.

Many community colleges today even offer curriculums that line up with many area colleges, so you can attend 1-2 years of community college (even earn an Associate’s Degree) and then transfer to finish the Bachelor’s without losing credits.

Also, as someone who once tried majoring in computer science, starting in community college might not be a bad idea so she can figure out what area/specialization she likes.

Typically, with computer degrees, the local community colleges have a lot more specializations, while at the Bachelor’s level, the universities often do not offer all the computer science specializations.

So if she can attend a community college to determine which specialization she wants, then she can pick the university for years 3 & 4 (or 2,3&4) that have that specialization.

God Bless


Not really. That was true back in the early 90s when I was applying for school, not so much now.

If you can get into schools like Penn State, University of Michigan, University of VA, Norte Dame, etc then you can get into Harvard.

The quality allowed into the Ivy League schools (for undergrad) has dropped dramatically due to the rising costs of college.

As the price tag at Ivy Leagues schools scares more kids away, more trust fund kids attend, even those who would have never been accepted 20-40 years ago.

The EXCEPTION is the full rides that are given to exceptional students & minorities, which far exceeds the number of minorities which used to attend those schools 20 years ago. If you get a full ride to an Ivy League school and keep it, THEN your Ivy Leage bachelor’s degree will be very prestigious.

So you can look at it like this: if mom & dad pay for your Ivy League undergraduate degree, then it’s really no different than at any other school. But if you have a full ride to an Ivy League school, then your undergrad degree is worth a TON.

It’s basically the exact opposite of how it was back in the 1960s where scholarship kids were looked down upon.

God Bless


That has less to do with where he went to college and more to do with his personal intellect, public speaking skills, work ethic, and what he studied.

Also, sometimes it also depends on where you went to high school too. Kids who attend a high school that teaches classical philosophy and have debate clubs often come across as more intellectual.

Example: Bishop Robert Barron. He attended a Catholic high school and fell for St Thomas Aquinas in 9th grade. He then went to the Seminary to become a priest, and then went to Catholic University of America for his MA in Philosophy and then to the Catholic University of Paris for his STD - focusing on Philosophy.

Point is: it’s not where you go that matters, it’s what you study, how you study, and how you prepare that counts.

God Bless


As a senior in high school I honestly never thought of that. I mean sure, I want to get into the best college possible, but that’s so I can be more successful and serve God better in life.


That’s true, but there’s also something to be said for the idea that iron sharpens iron. Being in a student body that is almost exclusively made up of highly intelligent, driven people is going to have some benefit.

For example, I knew a girl in high school who was brilliant. She just was. Clearly miles ahead of everyone else in class. And I think she always felt a little out of place. Not that she was bullied or ostracized: she was friendly and got along with people. But she just had vastly different interests than the average 16 year old. When she went off to an elite undergrad, she told me it was so refreshing to not feel like the oddball anymore. She went from being the class brainiac to being surrounded by other people who super smart and passionate about school. I think she did her PhD at Oxford and she’s now a professor somewhere.

And I went to an average state university, so this isn’t me defending elite schools out of self interest. :slight_smile:


They’re everywhere, aren’t they. :wink:


I assume that one of the reasons one goes to Harvard is to make those connections


However, it should be noted that once again, if you hustle, you can make reasonably decent connections from a non-elite State U (as opposed to the elite State U’s like U Mich, U VA, etc which are pretty much same as ivies). You may not be meeting the Barack Obamas of the world, but you can certainly meet people who can help you get a job.

I would also add, I spent some years on Princeton Review forums in a much earlier era, where we basically discussed and argued literally all day long about school admissions. It’s a topic of interest to me because there are literally thousands of different opinions on school prestige from thousands of different people who are all involved in hiring. I don’t think there’s any magic formula especially for undergrad. Just pick a school where you’re happy and where most of the student body isn’t either dropping out or being weeded out of the major. Then work hard while you’re there.


I have to put in a plug here for honors programs, which can produce a similar effect.


Yes – add in more permutations here! Honors college at the different schools – more choices and factors to consider.


We plan to send our kids to Hometown U and have them live at home unless they can earn the money to live outside (and they don’t seem interested in that).

Hometown U is literally in our town and it’s a decent school–but we kind of have to send the older kids there no matter what, because we can’t afford to pay for both out-of-town college expenses and K-12 private school for the younger kids.

I didn’t realize when we were choosing the kids’ K-12 that this is how it would shake out (I thought we’d have enough for state college), but here’s where we are today.


This sounds like a plan. The younger two kids are going to get a lot less fussing over college choices, I think! :joy: I can over-analyze with my oldest, then hopefully have more of a handle for the younger ones.


I had a lot more choices and I went to private out-of-state (combination of small academic and large need aid and then full pay final year), so I feel a little bad about not being able to offer more choices, but hopefully if any of them do graduate school, they’ll be able to spread their wings a bit more if that’s what they want.

Another thing–going to college in a particular location could put you on track for working in that area. For example, if you go to college in WA DC, it could make it easier to go to work in DC, whereas if you want to live and work in your home state, it makes more sense to go to college in-state. Aside from work, there is romance, and meeting Suzie Out-of-State would tend to exert a certain gravitational pull toward the new area or wherever Suzie is from.

Edited to add: I went to college out-of-state, and I haven’t spent more than a summer in my home state since I left for college my freshman year.


I’m a little squeamish over the fact that we will probably be able to offer the youngest more choices, but c’est la vie!

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