Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

What do I do?

Go to Case, don't look back
9
50%
Go to C-M, don't look back
7
39%
Go to C-M, look to transfer after 1L
1
6%
Take the year off, work, retake LSAT, reapply
1
6%
 
Total votes: 18

JDizzle
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:16 pm

Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby JDizzle » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:15 am

Hi all. I'm trying to decide between attending Case Western Law or Cleveland-Marshall Law come this fall. The scholarship awards are as follows:

- $13K per year from Case, which brings tuition to $27,450 per year + COL (scholarship negotiation landed me an extra $3K).
- $10K per year from C-M, which brings tuition to $7049 per year + COL (currently waiting for a reply to my request for additional scholarship funds, will update if needed).

Assuming these numbers stay the same, a degree from Case will cost roughly $60K more than a degree from Cleveland-Marshall. My interest is in trial advocacy/litigation, and I'm fully aware that I will have to perform incredibly well at either school to have decent career prospects. My immediate plan following graduation would be to practice in NE Ohio (I like Cleveland), but I would hate to feel as though I were trapped there because a degree from C-M doesn't travel. Additionally, I could see myself being interested in pursuing employment along the east coast after a few years of practice in Cleveland (specifically North Carolina).

Case Pros:
- More prestigious
- Degree portability to east coast
- I like the area that surrounds Case's campus much more than Cleveland-Marshall (though I'll live in Little Italy regardless)

Case Cons:
- Much more expensive
- Recent ranking trends, bar passage rates, and employment stats make me uneasy

C-M Pros:
- Much less expensive
- Supposedly places just as well in Cleveland as Case (although I don't know if I buy it)
- "Up and coming" program that seems to have a lot of good things happening

C-M Cons:
- Less prestigious
- No degree portability outside NE Ohio

Options are as follows:
- Go to Case and don't think twice
- Go to C-M and don't think twice
- Go to C-M, kick ass my first year, and look to transfer to either Case or OSU (can anyone speak to the viability of this?)
- Take the year off, retake LSAT, and reapply in the fall (not thrilling, but would consider it)

Does anyone have solid info on starting salaries of C-M grads vs. Case grads? Is it worth the extra cost and debt to attend Case? Case needs my decision by Thursday. Help!

Thank you.

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snowpeach06
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby snowpeach06 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:14 pm

If you want to stay in Cleveland, a CM degree is fine. If you want to leave, go with Case.

I personally, think you should do CM your first year and look to transfer. Save yourself at least 20k.

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creamedcats
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby creamedcats » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:34 pm

snowpeach06 wrote:If you want to stay in Cleveland, a CM degree is fine. If you want to leave, go with Case.

I personally, think you should do CM your first year and look to transfer. Save yourself at least 20k.


This, pretty much. Marshall is good and does very well in Cleveland. As well as Case? Who knows - but it does place more people in some of the big firms. Look at Jones Day, etc. Outside of Cleveland? Case is better, easily one of the most portable non-T14 degrees. The bar passage thing is worrisome, yeah - seems like an anomaly, I would guess they're pretty concerned about it.

Still, it's a big financial burden if you're interested in doing local litigation afterwards. Marshall is probably best for your situation unless you find something especially compelling about CWRU.

JDizzle
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby JDizzle » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:35 pm

I assume that law schools offer merit scholarships to transfer students? I'd hate to start at C-M with the intent of transferring to Case only to realize I'll be stuck paying sticker at Case as a transfer student. Is there any way to investigate how many of my 1L credits from C-M would transfer to Case (hypothetically)?

Could the lack of portability of the Cleveland-Marshall degree be remedied with positive work experience? For example, could I graduate from C-M, work for a few years in Cleveland at a decent firm, and then hope to successfully find a job outside of the area?

Thanks for the help thus far. This is very difficult decision!

Case2L
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby Case2L » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:22 pm

creamedcats wrote:The bar passage thing is worrisome


I think this is because less than 40% of Case grads actually take the Ohio bar, so keep in mind (1) it's often the bottom 40% that don't make it out of Ohio, and (2) Case does not offer (at least it didn't when I was there) any courses for credit that prepare students for the Ohio bar. I believe they have taken steps to improve their bar passage rate, such as offering bar prep courses for 3L's.

charlesjd
Posts: 362
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby charlesjd » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:31 pm

I have a 13K scholarship also and I am set on Case. I am not sure what employment stats you looked at, but I saw that Case had 82% @ grad and 95.6% at 9 months. 110k median for private and rising from what I hear. Everything I have read with regards to Case was good, except the bar passage, which i have seen what Case 2L has said numerous times and agree.

JDizzle
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby JDizzle » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:18 pm

charlesjd wrote:I have a 13K scholarship also and I am set on Case.


Are you receiving any parental support or additional grants? I'm receiving neither and am staring down a $130K (total) pricetag for a JD from Case. Would your indebtedness figure be similar upon graduation (if you don't mind my asking)?

charlesjd wrote:I have a 13K scholarship also and I am set on Case. I am not sure what employment stats you looked at, but I saw that Case had 82% @ grad and 95.6% at 9 months. 110k median for private and rising from what I hear.


I've seen those numbers as well and was very excited by them, and then I did some research and learned about the wonderful ways in which law schools inflate their employment statistics (something about Case offering stipends to recent unemployed grads and it counts as employment). Also, I believe the 110K figure is from the Class of 2007 with only something like 60% reporting, and I'm sure we don't need to discuss the differences between 2007's economy and 2010's economy. Finally, I believe the median starting salary for all Case grads is something like $79K, while C-M's is around $88K (those figures based on a weak memory of Princeton Review's numbers).

I see Case is making a comeback in the poll. Does a Case degree really have some of the best portability of a non-T14 school? Is graduating with $130K in debt not as big of a deal as I think it is (compared with $70K in debt)?

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creamedcats
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby creamedcats » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:11 pm

Case2L wrote:
creamedcats wrote:The bar passage thing is worrisome


I think this is because less than 40% of Case grads actually take the Ohio bar, so keep in mind (1) it's often the bottom 40% that don't make it out of Ohio, and (2) Case does not offer (at least it didn't when I was there) any courses for credit that prepare students for the Ohio bar. I believe they have taken steps to improve their bar passage rate, such as offering bar prep courses for 3L's.


That's a good point, didn't know it was such a low percentage taking it. I'd go ahead and write it off as an anomaly then. Still, the fact CMU is focused more on the local market, bar exam and all, might mean it's more suited for him, even if Case is superior in many/most areas. It doesn't matter if those areas aren't of interest or relevance to him.

Yes, Case is fairly portable, although I should probably say one of the best outside the T20, not T14 - while UT Austin and UCLA and the like may be heavy in their region, it's because they dominate larger local markets. Notre Dame, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, BC, BU - these are highly portable 20-30 ranked schools, and Case is as portable as all but ND. Go down the list more and there's nobody else close (maybe Tulane?). I'm making this assertion based on having talked to a number of Case grads, most of whom are not working in Cleveland now (by choice) and based on NALP numbers (http://www.nalplawschoolsonline.org/) on where grads end up - in better years, Case has placed more than this outside of the North Central region (which is OH, IN, IL and MI if I recall?):

New England: 3.3
Middle Atlantic: 11.6 (NYC)
East North Central: 57.4 (Chicago, Cleveland)
West North Central: 1.1
South Atlantic: 15.5 (DC)
East South Central: 0.55
West South Central: 1.1
Mountain: 1.7
Pacific: 6.6 (LA)
Non-US: 1.1

Keep in mind: Most Case students come from out of state (2/3 or so) and the Cleveland market is certainly not large enough to absorb everyone (and, you have to compete with both Marshall and Ohio State), especially given that many people do public interest work, which is usually DC/NYC centered. Still, many similarly-ranked and higher-ranked law schools are not nearly as portable outside of their medium-sized home markets. You are not going to get better portability in Ohio. 60k extra debt is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not the end of the world, either. But either way, you should do what's best for you, not just automatically pick the higher ranked school, or, for that matter, automatically take the money and run.

I'd say if you think you might want some mobility after graduation or want to try some different things, Case will serve you better in the long run. In general, this is the case with private practice - higher ranked schools matter.

JDizzle
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby JDizzle » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:32 pm

-bump-

Thursday is notification due-day for Case. Looking for someone to talk me into sending them a check!

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creamedcats
Posts: 241
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby creamedcats » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:26 pm

The bar passage rate recovered in the new rankings, btw: 88%. Ranking down a spot because of how the ties worked out. I don't recommend going into debt for something you're not sure about, so maybe go visit again, see if you can chat with a prof or two. You don't want to get to year two or three and start regretting it.

JDizzle
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby JDizzle » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Last bump! Less than 24 hours until I must send Case money or pass on admission.

Case is leading the poll right now. Will anyone supporting Case please state their reasons? Thanks!

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nick637
Posts: 246
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Re: Stress Rising, Deadline Approaching (Cleveland Schools)

Postby nick637 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:17 pm

it all depends on where you want to work post graduation. Do not expect a CM degree to travel well outside ohio but if you are looking to stay in NE OH then CM would be your best bet for sure.

I am from IN and will be attending Case and from what ive gathered is that CM grads do just as well as Case grads in Cleveland and possibly NE ohio as a region. But, travel anywhere else and Case smashes CM. HTH




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