Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

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j.wellington
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Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:11 pm

I've already submitted my applications, so this post is more just for discussion, or perhaps if I bomb out and have to try again next cycle.

I grew up in the Rocky Mountain west and would ultimately like to end up there. Since the consensus seems to be that law schools are regional outside, like, the top five, that obviously weighs heavily on my law school choice. Here's how I see my options in terms of schools with recognition in the Mountain West region:

BEST:
-University of Washington
-Colorado
-Lewis and Clark

MIDDLE:
-Oregon
-Arizona
-Gonzaga
-Denver U

BOTTOM:
-New Mexico
-Seattle U
-Montana

Thoughts?

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Bikeflip
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Bikeflip » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:12 pm

j.wellington wrote:I've already submitted my applications, so this post is more just for discussion, or perhaps if I bomb out and have to try again next cycle.

I grew up in the Rocky Mountain west and would ultimately like to end up there. Since the consensus seems to be that law schools are regional outside, like, the top five, that obviously weighs heavily on my law school choice. Here's how I see my options in terms of schools with recognition in the Mountain West region:

BEST:
-University of Washington
-Colorado
-Lewis and Clark

MIDDLE:
-Oregon
-Arizona
-Gonzaga
-Denver U

BOTTOM:
-New Mexico
-Seattle U
-Montana

Thoughts?


BYU? Utah? Wyo?

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j.wellington
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:14 pm

Oh, wow – completely forgot BYU. I didn't think that Utah and Wyoming had pull outside their states. I could be completely wrong.

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Veritas
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Veritas » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:15 pm

This is a hard group to try and rank. You have UNM as "Bottom," when in New Mexico it's going to place very well. You're right that all of these schools are regional, but they are specific to states, too.

Don't try to rank these to make a choice. Have a personal ranking, perhaps, but don't try and make a tiered list like this, it's kind of silly.

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General Tso
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:16 pm

j.wellington wrote:Oh, wow – completely forgot BYU. I didn't think that Utah and Wyoming had pull outside their states. I could be completely wrong.


None of these schools have much pull outside their states.

Neelio
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Neelio » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:16 pm

throw Utah in the middle group...

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Zojirushi
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Zojirushi » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:22 pm

School? wrote:Utah and BYU are leaps and bounds better than Lewis and Clark. Utah and BYU both place more in Denver and can own the Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and obviously Utah markets... Isnt' that the Rocky Mountain west?

Do you have anything to back this up? I would be interested to see it.

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General Tso
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:22 pm

jayzon wrote:
swheat wrote:
j.wellington wrote:Oh, wow – completely forgot BYU. I didn't think that Utah and Wyoming had pull outside their states. I could be completely wrong.


None of these schools have much pull outside their states.


I think Washington does. Obviously not "Stanford" pull, but it seems pretty-well recognized as a good school across the nation.

Otherwise, dead on.

EDIT: and BYU, sort of.


Yeah I thought of putting a qualifier on UW. Something like 30 or 40% of their grads go out of state. That is largely due to a small regional market. I have heard that top UW students do well in CA biglaw.

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j.wellington
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:37 pm

I think Washington does. Obviously not "Stanford" pull, but it seems pretty-well recognized as a good school across the nation.

Otherwise, dead on.


No love for Colorado? I was under the impression it had appeal throughout the west.

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General Tso
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:38 pm

j.wellington wrote:
I think Washington does. Obviously not "Stanford" pull, but it seems pretty-well recognized as a good school across the nation.

Otherwise, dead on.


No love for Colorado? I was under the impression it had appeal throughout the west.


It might have good placement in small markets like Wyoming, Montana, etc. But it does not place well on the west coast states.

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CE2JD
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby CE2JD » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:42 pm

Zojirushi wrote:
School? wrote:Utah and BYU are leaps and bounds better than Lewis and Clark. Utah and BYU both place more in Denver and can own the Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and obviously Utah markets... Isnt' that the Rocky Mountain west?

Do you have anything to back this up? I would be interested to see it.


USNWR rankings?

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j.wellington
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:59 pm

Related question: Does anyone know how strong the Mormon influence is at BYU Law? I only really know the school as an undergrad institution, and based on that I just couldn't see myself fitting in there. Is the law school any more removed culturally?

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General Tso
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby General Tso » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:03 pm

j.wellington wrote:Related question: Does anyone know how strong the Mormon influence is at BYU Law? I only really know the school as an undergrad institution, and based on that I just couldn't see myself fitting in there. Is the law school any more removed culturally?


Does BYU even accept non-Mormons? Don't you need to include a thetan certificate or something in your application

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kn6542
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby kn6542 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:05 pm

j.wellington wrote:Related question: Does anyone know how strong the Mormon influence is at BYU Law? I only really know the school as an undergrad institution, and based on that I just couldn't see myself fitting in there. Is the law school any more removed culturally?

To attend, you would need to live in or around Provo. If the possible mormon influence of the school bothers you, why would you want to live anywhere near Provo?

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Muckduck
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Muckduck » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:10 pm

Yes and No.

I am told that plenty of non-Mormons go there and have a great time. In terms of the culture and things to do SLC is the polar opposite of Provo. There is plenty to do there. It is only 40 mins away.

If you love outdoors, Provo (and anywhere in Utah is perfect). However, BYU Law is a private schools owned by the Mormon church. I am under the impression that all (at least the vast majority) of the professors are Mormons. If you aren't comfortable around Mormons, BYU law might not be right for you. If want a legal education that prides itself on turning out ethical, hardworking students in a family values/outdoorsy kind of experience, BYU might be a good fit.

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yeast master
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby yeast master » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:20 pm

swheat wrote:
j.wellington wrote:Related question: Does anyone know how strong the Mormon influence is at BYU Law? I only really know the school as an undergrad institution, and based on that I just couldn't see myself fitting in there. Is the law school any more removed culturally?


Does BYU even accept non-Mormons? Don't you need to include a thetan certificate or something in your application


No, but you do have to have an ecclesiastical leader endorse you, stating that he/she believes that you don't and won't smoke, drink, do drugs, or have sex outside of marriage while a student at BYU. You also have to sign a form committing to the same.

I went to BYU UG, and from what I gather, the law school is similarly Mormon-saturated. I'm pretty sure it doesn't affect classroom instruction or curriculum, but what social scene there is would be very Mormony. That's not to say that there aren't non-Mormons there or that non-Mormons couldn't be happy there, but if you couldn't handle BYU for college you probably couldn't handle it for law school, either.

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Zoomba200
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Zoomba200 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:23 pm

swheat wrote:
j.wellington wrote:Related question: Does anyone know how strong the Mormon influence is at BYU Law? I only really know the school as an undergrad institution, and based on that I just couldn't see myself fitting in there. Is the law school any more removed culturally?


Does BYU even accept non-Mormons? Don't you need to include a thetan certificate or something in your application



Non-LDS students should be endorsed by 1) the local ecclesiastical leader if the student is an active member of their congregation or 2) the LDS leader in the area where they reside or 3) the non-denominational BYU chaplin.

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sundevil77
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby sundevil77 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:25 pm

Wouldn't Arizona be considered to be a bit higher than some of those other schools. I mean it comes in in the 40s on USNWR and Gonzaga is somewhere around 100. Arizona St. comes in around 50th. I was under the impression that UofA grads have moderately high job prospects in the Rocky Mountain region if they do well.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:26 pm

swheat wrote:
j.wellington wrote:Related question: Does anyone know how strong the Mormon influence is at BYU Law? I only really know the school as an undergrad institution, and based on that I just couldn't see myself fitting in there. Is the law school any more removed culturally?


Does BYU even accept non-Mormons? Don't you need to include a thetan certificate or something in your application


lol

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reebtoor
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby reebtoor » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:29 pm

Gonzaga definitely belongs in the bottom group. It has got to be the most overrated school I know of. I have several friends there, and they can't even find jobs in the small Spokane market, let alone anywhere else.

sccjnthn
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby sccjnthn » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:31 pm

I think the Arizona schools should be bumped up a little bit. They seem to do well in the large Phoenix metro with occasional reach to Vegas and Utah.

smalltown
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby smalltown » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:33 pm

If you're looking for the Rocky Mountain West, and not the West Coast, then come to Colorado. Washington isn't in the Rocky Mountain West because, well, the Rockies barely touch the state. Neither is Oregon. But both are good schools. It's different if you're looking for the West besides California.

CU does well through the Rockies because there aren't many other law schools in the region. And it's also a good school. There are a lot of people at CU who end up working in California. But that goes for a lot of good schools. California is a pretty big place. Outside of Colorado, California is the next biggest destination for CU grads. It's a fun place to go to school.

But you really need to consider where you want to practice. Don't come here if you know you want to work in Wyoming or Utah, and vice versa. But if you don't know, come to CU. It gives you the best chance to have a shot anywhere in the Rockies.

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kn6542
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby kn6542 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:33 pm

Where do you want to be? I don't understand why you're lumping this huge geographic area together. If you want to be in OR, don't go to BYU or CO. If you want to be in CO, don't go to Lewis and Clark. You'd be better off going to a national school anywhere if you don't want to go to school in the geographic area where you want to end up. But talking about schools across a 1500 mile span is kinda silly. The Rocky Mtns don't include the Cascade range, anyway. CO and WY are not on the W coast. I don't know what you're really trying to do here.

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jcl2
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby jcl2 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:40 pm

For most states in the Mountain West, which I think includes CO, WY, MT, NV, SD, ID, AZ, NM, and eastern WA, OR, and CA, I would prioritize as follows: T14>U of Washington>Colorado>Utah/BYU> best in the state you want to practice. For Utah, BYU/Utah might be better than UW and CU, for Colorado, CU is probably better than UW, and for eastern WA (not western WA), UW is probably the better choice than most T14s. Also, you can throw UCLA in as either on par with lower T14 or on par with UW depending on where in the Mountain West you are looking to work.

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jcl2
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Re: Best schools in the Rocky Mountain West?

Postby jcl2 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:45 pm

kn6542 wrote:Where do you want to be? I don't understand why you're lumping this huge geographic area together. If you want to be in OR, don't go to BYU or CO. If you want to be in CO, don't go to Lewis and Clark. You'd be better off going to a national school anywhere if you don't want to go to school in the geographic area where you want to end up. But talking about schools across a 1500 mile span is kinda silly. The Rocky Mtns don't include the Cascade range, anyway. CO and WY are not on the W coast. I don't know what you're really trying to do here.


Yes, you could certainly get more refined advise if you could be a little more specific about where you would like to live in a region that encompasses about 1/3 of the country.




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