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What Would Shakespeare Say?

To quote Shakespeare: "What is in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet?" The answer--yes. But what about what we call a law school? That which we call Columbia or NYU by any other name would produce as much success? The answer--maybe.

Attending a less than top tier school in the already law school saturated market of New York City does give me pause for thought. I have seen the statistics on employment, read the horror stories overflowing the internet of graduates without jobs and am well aware of how much the level of prestige of an alumni law school matters in the early years of the job search. If the articles splashed across the Internet are to be believed, the law is a caste system in which we inherit our professional standing from the school we attend. No matter how hard I work, without having NYU Law graduate listed next to my name, my resume will automatically be weeded out by future interviewers without a second glance.

Despite this knowledge I have still decided to attend a lower tier school. And even though I have fully committed to going, I still have moments of frustration. In which my inner voice rails silently against a system in which it appears one LSAT score determines an entire law career. As we all know entry into a law school is based on it and the higher the tier, the higher the median LSAT. If this is the case---what is the point of law school at all? Yes, grades too influence an interviewer's decision to interview, but the first gatekeeper is more often than not--where one went to school.

So why have I chosen to still attend? Because we live in a society where any child can become president no matter what background they come from. Given this any 29-year-old woman can become a lawyer no matter what law school she comes from. The uphill battle to get there might be steeper for some than others--but it is not impossible. I believe I can do this. I have an uphill battle ahead of me but breaking into the legal profession and successfully rising through the ranks is not impossible and has been done in the past. I am bracing myself for hard work, lots of networking and the knowledge that there are no guarantees coming out this. In the end my game plan can be summed up in one word---perseverance. For many people NYU is the sweetest smelling rose. But with daily watering and lots of fertilization, I am determined to make New York Law School smell just as sweet for me.

Joanna Lehmann
New York Law School 2014

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 15, 2011 4:05 PM.

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