Pre-Law Opportunities Newsletter

Posted in Announcements News  |  Tagged

November 17, 2022 – Upcoming Events, Opportunities & Resources


Law School Rankings: Do they matter?

Some of you will choose a law school in the coming weeks (no pressure!), and many of you will choose one in the next several years. In this newsletter, I’ll discuss the significance of law school rankings. 

Do rankings matter? Sure, but not for everyone and not always to the same degree. 

In the worlds of “big law,” legal academia, and federal clerkships, rankings will matter as long as people believe they do. Rankings create self-fulfilling prophecies according to which top-scoring applicants flock to top-ranked law schools, as do prestige-conscious professors (which is to say, professors). Elite law firms, judges, and universities hire T14 graduates (graduates from the 14 top-ranked law schools) and then perpetuate the myth of their school and hire fellow alumni. For this reason, your chances of working at a prominent law firm, clerking for a federal judge, or breaking into the ultra-competitive world of legal academia will increase if you attend a highly-ranked school. 

If you know where you would like to practice geographically, attending a highly-ranked school matters less than if you require regional flexibility. Although a T14 education is not necessarily better, it is more mobile. For example, while 90% of Duke Law graduates practice outside of the Southeast, the majority of students from nearby Wake Forest, and the vast majority from UNC Chapel Hill, remain in the region after graduation. For future lawyers hoping to practice in the Raleigh-Durham area, any of the three schools would be great. In fact, a student who wanted to practice locally would probably benefit from attending a school with a large, local alumni network. However, someone dreaming of “big law” in New York or LA would fare better at Duke. To put a final twist on it, someone determined to practice in LA would probably fare better at UCLA, despite the fact that UCLA is ranked slightly lower than Duke. 

Attending an elite law school is more important for aspiring lawyers with a vague interest in the law. Top law schools present their students with an array of career options at days-long, on-campus interviewing events. Law school students who don’t know what they want, or even what the options are, benefit greatly when the options come looking for them. 

On the other hand, aspiring lawyers who know precisely what they’re looking for might not need a massive career office and brand-name school in order to find it. Focused law school students have an easier time identifying opportunities on their own and are more willing to hustle a bit in order to take advantage of them. 

In short, an elite law school education provides many benefits, but plenty of lawyers have made millions or changed the world (or both) without one.

Hope this helps!

Note: Cawley’s pre-law advisor, Andreas Kuersten, has accepted a position as Legislative Attorney with the Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, American Law Division.

During the months of November, December, and early January, these faculty, chaplains and alumni have agreed to be resources for you! All are eager to answer general questions about the law school application process in addition to the special topics designated by their names. (You must access the document using your Georgetown email address.)

A contract coach with a JD will begin mid January. Watch this space for further updates.


You are currently viewing a shortened version of this newsletter, leaving out the events and job opportunities from that time. To see the full version, click here.

Please note that this is a sampling of jobs and internships with approaching application deadlines. Go to Handshake to see the complete list.

Please note that this is a sampling of jobs and internships with approaching application deadlines. Go to Handshake to see the complete list.

Georgetown Law Professor Sounds Off on Affirmative Action Cases, Top Students ‘Getting Waitlisted’

(Cortney O’Brien – FOX News)

“Diversity means so many different things to so many different people that where in the context of the Equal Protection Clause… does diversity start and stop? To a point where you’re looking at subjective factors rather than objectively looking at individuals regardless of race in order to accept the best-rated students.”  
 (Read More)

Industry Advisor:

Online Resources:
Writing Resumes & Cover Letters
Networking Skills
Interviewing Skills
Industry Resources
What Can I Do with My Georgetown Major?

Industry Advising Appointments:
Visit Handshake to schedule an appointment with your industry advisor.

Drop-in Hours: 
In-Person, Monday – Friday from 1–3PM