Options... or lack of options... help please!

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toasty11
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:00 am

Options... or lack of options... help please!

Postby toasty11 » Sun May 09, 2010 10:54 am

First-time poster asking for some not-so first-time advice. I'm a dual canadian-american citizen looking to get out of the Canadian winter and make decent coin in an interesting and rewarding career. Law came to mind but as I graduated from an engineering degree, I have other options in that category. I planned on going into hightech law with start-ups and possibly do patent work in San Fran/SouthBay.

Option 1 - Law School in the U.S.
I was planning on going to law school in the States and got accepted into SCU (with 11k) and wait listed at W&M and still waiting on info from Davis. I kinda wish I was more methodological in my applications but I went with free apps and places I wanted to reside in (Davis, Hastings, SCU). I'm getting worried about SCU as they dropped in rankings, off the I.P. T10, and are costly to say the least. My scholarship is contingent on staying in the top 25% and I am very much debt-averse. I have 0 debt now and I'd like to get out of debt as soon as possible after law school. But looking at the numbers for financial aid and how long it could take to pay it off makes me quite hesitant to pay that final seat deposit. Career stats haven't been released yet from 2009 (I think?) and with many screaming doom about the saturated legal market and competitive SanFran market, I'd rather work with 0 debt than get on the 1L legal bandwagon. I understand there are no guarantees, but I'd like to know from someone that there's at least a decent chance.

Option 2 - Work 1 year + Law School in Canada
I should have applied to Canadian law schools but I missed the ones in Ontario (November 1st-ish deadline). Anyways, I have a 161 LSAT (1st time, super sleep deprived) + 3.3 CGPA. What makes Canadian law schools attractive to me is that they take the best 3 years of university. My top 3 years I averaged 4.07 CGPA. That and my 161 could get me into the top schools, but I will take the LSAT again if I take this route. Canadian law schools have much less tuition costs (10k - 16k) and good employment prospects. You don't get big law salary if you graduate (100k av. at big firms) and you have to do 1-year articling at 55k avg. Hours are similar to BigLaw so you are doing similar work and are bringing home much less :(. Canadian taxes are high as well (40% at above 120k).

Option 3 - Forget Law >.<
I enjoy philosophy, reading, and learning about how the law shapes what we do and our every day life, so moving on from it might be hard but also is something I am prepared to do. My career options are decent in computer science and I could live a humble, respectful life in whatever I choose to do. I wanted to become a marketing executive before this so perhaps I would go for an MBA instead.

This forum has been a stellar resource for me as reading about others' stories helps me relate to my own situation. At this time though, I'd like to engage those who have otherwise unknowingly helped me think about law school. And if I need to say it: all feedback is appreciated.

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jayn3
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:21 pm

Re: Options... or lack of options... help please!

Postby jayn3 » Sun May 09, 2010 10:59 am

option 4: retake the lsat and reapply to higher ranked us schools, if you really want to leave canada. just bear in mind that going to school in a different country means that's where you'll almost certainly have to practice.

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SaintClarence27
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:48 am

Re: Options... or lack of options... help please!

Postby SaintClarence27 » Sun May 09, 2010 5:47 pm

+1 and I'll add a couple things.

The rankings you cited don't matter in the slightest for SCU.

That scholarship is absolute crap, and shouldn't factor into your decision.

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bk1
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Options... or lack of options... help please!

Postby bk1 » Mon May 10, 2010 3:05 am

+1 on retake LSAT and reapply to US schools if that is where you want to be.

toasty11
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:00 am

Re: Options... or lack of options... help please!

Postby toasty11 » Tue May 11, 2010 10:22 am

Thanks guys for the responses, I appreciate it :).

As for choosing... I think I am going to cross off option one. SCU seems too risky to take on $150k in debt with the only chances of big law to pay it off coming from being at the top of the class and/or transferring to another school. If I am able to do that, it could look good on the resume, but if I can't, oh boy could I be doomed.

I like option 2. UofT is a great school. I have excellent grades for my best three years. I also hear that some UofT grads have the opportunity to work in NY, London, and abroad. Does anyone have anymore info on this? I have this source: http://www.paulweisscareers.com/incomingclass/. I don't particularly want to work in Canada (cold, as I mentioned), but attending a good school is important to me. Realistically, attaining a 170+ on my LSAT is going to be difficult for me to enter top schools in the U.S. My numbers are just not good enough to get into any great schools. UofT is a possibility and one I like more if I can get a foreign position.

Option 4 ( should have added that, ty ) is good too. But if working internationally is a real opportunity at UofT, I'd like that better due to the lower tuition costs.

yabbadabbado
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:41 pm

Re: Options... or lack of options... help please!

Postby yabbadabbado » Tue May 11, 2010 9:10 pm

1. If you aren't sure what you want to do, do not go to law school. Get a job, and figure out what you want to do, then go do that.

2. If you are Canadian, forget about going to the U.S. for law school, period. There are far too many law schools in the U.S. and your numbers aren't going to get you into any school that would be better than even the worst Canadian school. I'm not kidding. If you come to a U.S. school, you will have much more debt and your chances of securing decent employment here are far worse.




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