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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

How To Choose A Law School

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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For this post, gentle reader, I will enter a new realm of megalomania by writing a post on my eponymous blog quoting myself commenting on another blog. Yes, it’s all very post modern. Please try not to throw up on your keyboard.

Houston Attorney Chuck Newton had an great post on How To Choose A Law School that struck a chord with me. Chuck discusses the subject from two perspectives as a father advising his daughter (who chose Houston, nicely enough) and as a lawyer who fields the question on a regular basis. I left a comment on his blog that he saw fit to use as a new post – Luke On Law – It’s The Student And Not The Law School That Matters -

I love it here at Houston, but of course the reasons I love it have very little to do with why I chose it. It was as much dumb luck as anything, but the things I appreciate about it now are (1) fellow students – these are my kind of people. When I visited Baylor I got there a couple of hours early and sat in the common area and just observed… yeah, not so much. (2) professors – learning the law is painful enough with good professors. Mine have been excellent. (3) Location, Location Location – Houston has a lot of opportunities that aren’t be available in other locations, clerking in fall/spring, interacting with the legal community, etc. As tortured a decision as most of us make it, I’m not convinced it makes that much of a difference. In the long run it’s the student, not the school that makes the lawyer.

It’s the Student, Stupid

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, so I’ll simply stick to one point now – where you go to law school does not determine, in the causal sense, the quality of lawyer that comes out. This seems to be a surprisingly subtle point in it doesn’t show up in any of the pre-law self-help paraphenalia. The quality of education is of course important, but we all know there are plenty of great students that come out of otherwise dismal public high schools. We’ve all known plenty of superbly competent people in the workplace who went to East Nowhere State University. If you spend any time on online boards covering the selecting a law school process, autoadmit.com you’re left with the impression that if you don’t pick the right school (or it doesn’t pick you) then you won’t be prestigious enough to pass the bar. I submit that nearly any school is the ‘right’ school if what you’re after is to be a damn good attorney and you’re willing to put in the work to get there.

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  1. You may appreciate my blog post today titled, ” Those In The Bottom Half Of Their Law School Class Can Be Tops In Success.” http://susancartierliebel.typepad.com/build_a_solo_practice/2007/03/those_in_the_bo.html based upon an e-mail I received from a 3L . I especially believe it it would be interesting to you given the last sentence of your blog post. And on many topics, my good friend, Chuck, and I share a brain.

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