Honestly, no idea what to choose...

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ylwbellysloth
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Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby ylwbellysloth » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:51 pm

So I applied to way too many schools, and now as a result, I'm in with money to schools I had planned on being safeties...but they are now very tempting. I've grown up in California all my life, and really think I want to work here - if not right after law school, a short time after. Here are my choices:

USD-sticker
George Mason-sticker
DePaul-20,000/year
Loyola Chicago-20,000/year
Penn State-full scholarship
Chapman-full scholarship

Then I am waitlisted at about 12 other schools I am basically ignoring because I won't find out for a while, and I'm guessing my numbers aren't remarkable enough to get me in, even though they are all ranked below George Mason (weird).

Still waiting on SMU, which I would highly consider but I likely won't hear back before the end of April...after seat deposits.

USD is what I'm leaning towards the most, but I'm worried about job prospects afterwards and being stuck in a mess of debt. Would the job prospects after USD be that much better than say Chapman where I would have zero debt? If not, then Chapman doesn't seem too bad, but if they are then I won't mind paying off the debt as long as I'm employed. Also, if George Mason, would it be difficult to come back out to California upon graduation to work? Any help/advice/criticism/whatever will help. Thanks.

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Close Diamond
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby Close Diamond » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:59 pm

Allow me to be the first to ask the obligatory question: where do you want to work/live after school? You implied that you'd like to go back to CA, is that your hope?

ylwbellysloth
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby ylwbellysloth » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:07 pm

Yes, going/staying in California would be hope, and ultimately what I want

lawman2010
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby lawman2010 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:09 pm

Penn State. While it's a T2, it has name recognition.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:13 pm

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Last edited by Kilpatrick on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ylwbellysloth
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby ylwbellysloth » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:21 pm

What makes Chapman > USD. Is it solely the money issue, or are the job prospects basically the same,...?

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evilgenius
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby evilgenius » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:24 pm

+1 = don't do Penn State.

USD hands down. It's #4 in the state and will most definitely land you in CA. It also has a stronger national presence than the others in case you change your mind and want to move. I'm also tempted to say go for Chapman, but I'm not from CA and don't know its reputation in the region.

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tallboone
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby tallboone » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:32 pm

evilgenius wrote:+1 = don't do Penn State.

USD hands down. It's #4 in the state and will most definitely land you in CA. It also has a stronger national presence than the others in case you change your mind and want to move. I'm also tempted to say go for Chapman, but I'm not from CA and don't know its reputation in the region.


Terrible advice. USD is a completely regional law school, so be prepared to practice in San Diego the rest of your life. You really need to go to school where you want to practice in California. If it's Orange County, go to Chapman. If it's San Diego, go to USD. San Francisco, Hastings or Santa Clara. You get the point. If you have no preference, follow the money.

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beef wellington
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby beef wellington » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:37 pm

evilgenius wrote:+1 = don't do Penn State.

USD hands down. It's #4 in the state and will most definitely land you in CA. It also has a stronger national presence than the others in case you change your mind and want to move. I'm also tempted to say go for Chapman, but I'm not from CA and don't know its reputation in the region.

Uhh...

Stanford
Boalt
UCLA
USC
UCI
Davis
Hastings
Pepperdine
Loyola

All these schools are generally considered > USD. Not sure where you get 4th in the state.

nakedjuice
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby nakedjuice » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:47 pm

Chapman is only an hour away from San Diego so options about where you practically isn't that much different geographically. However, graduates obviously still get considered after the T14/USC/UCLA/Berkeley/Davis/Hasting/Stanford graduates for top jobs unless you have top 10% grades.

champ33
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby champ33 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:52 pm

It doesn't seem any full scholarships to Penn State are represented on LSN... did you add in outside contributions? Don't mean to pry but I'm also considering a scholarship from Penn State.

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nealric
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby nealric » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:57 pm

I would go with Penn state as a departure from the normal rule of stay regional.

Sticker at USD = crippling debt from a school of similar stature.
Yeah, there is no Penn State network in SoCal, but at least everyone has heard of the school.

Chapman is OK, but brand new school + T4 status would drive me away. A good friend of mine words for the Chapman law career services- things are pretty grim.

ylwbellysloth
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby ylwbellysloth » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:59 pm

The fact the USD is so regional, doesn't really bother me - I've lived in SD the past four years, and really have no problem staying here. I'm just nervous if I can't get a job in SD from USD that I would have to move to LA or up north, and then the competition against T14, USC,UCLA, etc. becomes much more a factor...

Sean Bateman
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby Sean Bateman » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:01 pm

OP, numbers?

ylwbellysloth
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby ylwbellysloth » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:23 pm

160;3.8

nakedjuice
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby nakedjuice » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:26 pm

ylwbellysloth wrote:The fact the USD is so regional, doesn't really bother me - I've lived in SD the past four years, and really have no problem staying here. I'm just nervous if I can't get a job in SD from USD that I would have to move to LA or up north, and then the competition against T14, USC,UCLA, etc. becomes much more a factor...


You don't think people who go to Berkely/Stanford from NorCal and UCLA/USC don't want to come to San Diego?

:lol:

Check out the people working for the larger firms in San Diego. You'll notice that many don't come from USD and decked with honors. Like I said, if you want to be realistic about staying in San Diego after graduation working at a DECENT job - you'll want to finish in the top third; top 10% for the big firms.

Choose wisely. ;)

ylwbellysloth
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby ylwbellysloth » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:47 pm

Any other thoughts...please!

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby Great Satchmo » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:55 pm

I was looking at USD (in with no money, I'm from SD) for a while. A USD student on here was mentioning that a fair amount of students end up having to go up to OC/LA for internships and eventually work since SD is a small market.

I don't know how much of the class is forced to look outside of SD, but it's something to look into. However, if you can go to a school an hour away, where you may have to look for work anyway, and get out with just COL debt - that may not be a bad option.

Fortuita
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby Fortuita » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:18 pm

Just weighing in on the "where does USD sit amongst CA schools" argument.

Loyola and USD are considered to be of the same value amongst law firms in SoCal. UCI isn't even accredited with absolutely no reputation yet (though many think the reputation will build very quickly), and Pepperdine traditionally has been seen as below USD and Loyola, for years ranking in the high 90's by US News (whatever that means). USD is a SoCal school, that's about it. USD's biggest threats to placement are UCLA and USC, just because those graduates primarily want to stay in SoCal, as well as Stanford and Boalt grads coming down here, but it's not as big of an issue. While Hastings and Davis have higher US New Rankings, they really aren't threatening to USD's SoCal placement at all. Firms want to know you're dedicated to the region and they can be easily spooked by thinking someone will just move away after a year or two. This is one of the biggest things to a lot of firms (trust me, I interviewed at 22 of them). Going to law school in the region you want to practice in gives strong weight to the argument that you're here to stay - that's why you chose the school you did.

And yes, USD grads the past few years have been having to go up to OC and LA for jobs. SD legal market is small, but it has basically disappeared in this recent economy. Many SD firms have completely canceled their summer classes or not given any offers to any of their summers. Ouch. This will most likely change soon.

Grades really, really, really matter. Unless you're in at a t14 (or USC), go somewhere you're confident you'll get into the top 20%. That's my biggest piece of advice. Great grades > a slightly higher ranked school on your diploma, any day.

nakedjuice
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby nakedjuice » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:19 pm

Fortuita wrote:
Grades really, really, really matter. Unless you're in at a t14 (or USC), go somewhere you're confident you'll get into the top 20%. That's my biggest piece of advice. Great grades > a slightly higher ranked school on your diploma, any day.


That's the truth.

Unless you're going to a T14, you want to finish in the top 10% to get a great job. This economy isn't changing any time soon, and it's important that you can at least compete on grades if you're not going to a highly ranked school!

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Herb Watchfell
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby Herb Watchfell » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:19 pm

This thread could use a poll.

nakedjuice
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Re: Honestly, no idea what to choose...

Postby nakedjuice » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:42 am

Fortuita wrote:Just weighing in on the "where does USD sit amongst CA schools" argument.

Loyola and USD are considered to be of the same value amongst law firms in SoCal. UCI isn't even accredited with absolutely no reputation yet (though many think the reputation will build very quickly),


If you can get into UCI, definitely go because it'll be a T1 school REALLY fast. There's no way it won't fly past the rest of the California T2 law schools that won't ever sniff T1. The UC brand name is well respected in California; especially over most of the private law schools with exception of Stanford and USC.




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