Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

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M1Delgado
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Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby M1Delgado » Thu May 13, 2010 9:45 am

Hi everyone,
I am looking for some helpful advice on which school to choose. I got accepted to Loyola University Chicago two months ago with a 12,000 dollar merit scholarship. I put down a full seat deposit and have started the planning it will take to move from southeastern Massachusetts to Chicago. However, I received a phone call from Roger Williams University yesterday informing me that I have been accepted to their law school with a full scholarship. I am very confused on where I should go now. Here are some of the reasons for going to both schools:
Loyola
-Chicago is known for being a great city to go to law school in.
-There is a Life after Innocence Project at Loyola (for the last two years I have worked on research that has dealt with wrongful convictions)
-There are several different advocacy groups in the Chicago area.
-Loyola has a law program that specifically focuses on public interest.

RWU
-A full ride is hard to turn down.
-They have a program that works with the New England Innocence project (I am not sure to what extent though)
-I would not have to move away.

I am just wondering if I would be truly hurting myself in my future career if I chose to go to a fourth tier school over a first tier school just so I won't have federal loans when I come out of school. Also, it is important to note that I plan on being a public defender, which means after ten years of working as a public defender I will receive total loan forgiveness from the federal government.

Thank you to anyone that can help.
Melissa

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traehekat
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby traehekat » Thu May 13, 2010 12:10 pm

While I would generally say just take the money and decrease the debt load, LUC has a great reputation in the city of Chicago and I think has much better job prospects than DePaul or Kent. You are still competing with A LOT of better schools, but actually being in the city is a big advantage. I don't know if you have visited, but the facilities are very nice as well.

Good luck!

EDIT: Oh yeah, make sure you actually WANT to work in Chicago, though. Job prospects outside of Illinois for LUC graduates can't be too great - it is very much so a regional school.

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NayBoer
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby NayBoer » Thu May 13, 2010 1:14 pm

I'd lean Loyola. What GPA do you have to maintain to keep the full ride?

Would you rather be a defender in IL or RI?

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby D. H2Oman » Thu May 13, 2010 1:16 pm

What's the class rank stipulation for the RWU full ride. They tend to be brutal, if there isn't one obviously go there.....but I bet there is one.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Thu May 13, 2010 1:18 pm

A young Chicago attorney friend of mine advised me that Loyola would be a very solid choice. She went to a top-20 but said for Chicago's sake, Loyola students tend to find good to great jobs if they network well enough.

crazyeddie
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby crazyeddie » Thu May 13, 2010 2:21 pm

If you want to be a public defender, I would choose Roger Williams with a full ride. Just make sure to work hard and get good grades.

Rationale:

-Loyola has a good reputation, but among its closest competitors (DePaul, Kent) it has a reputation for placing graduates in firms.

-Chicago COL is probably a lot higher. Check the specifics on Loyola's loan repayment program (does it cover loans for tuition only, or COL as well?)

-Taking on extra debt for a better ranked school is usually only advisable if you are looking to work for firms or other prestigous positions. I think its great that you have the desire to be a public defender, but there is no need to pay extra $$ for the "name brand" school.

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traehekat
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby traehekat » Thu May 13, 2010 3:09 pm

crazyeddie wrote:Taking on extra debt for a better ranked school is usually only advisable if you are looking to work for firms or other prestigous positions. I think its great that you have the desire to be a public defender, but there is no need to pay extra $$ for the "name brand" school.


This sounds about right. The extra money may be worth it, however, if you know you want to be in one region over another.

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Borhas
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby Borhas » Thu May 13, 2010 3:22 pm

crazyeddie wrote:-Taking on extra debt for a better ranked school is usually only advisable if you are looking to work for firms or other prestigous positions. I think its great that you have the desire to be a public defender, but there is no need to pay extra $$ for the "name brand" school.


IBR+LRAP (if there is one) is a good way to mitigate debt for PI/gov jobs

if you want PI or government I'd say go with the most respected school

yabbadabbado
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby yabbadabbado » Fri May 14, 2010 8:11 pm

Neither one is a great choice.

First, what are the scholarship stipulations at RWU? AFAIK, it is a fairly young school so it's reputation is not that well established. Have you spoken to attorneys in Rhode Island about the school? Have you talked to any RWU alums? I would assume the school's name doesn't travel well outside of RI.

Where do you plan to work after graduation? Public defender jobs are much, much competitive to get than you think. Many will not hire a fresh law grad. If you plan to work in RI, you need to find out if PD offices there will hire fresh law grads and how many they hire per year. Do they even hire RWU grads?

Loyola is generally overrated by law school applicants and message boards like this. I know some people who went there, got good grades, and still struggled to find work after graduation and the bar. Chicago is a crowded job market and Loyola just isn't a heavy hitter there because of all the much higher ranked schools feeding into the city. You will face a tremendous amount of competition for decent PI type jobs there and the school's "program" really isn't going to help you that much. Is the $12K renewable or a one time deal? Any strings attached to that? Even if it is guaranteed for all 3 years, I'd be very leery of taking out big loans to go there.

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ZachOda
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Re: Loyola University Chicago vs. Roger Williams University

Postby ZachOda » Fri May 14, 2010 8:17 pm

I know undergrads who interned at the same firm as RWU law students. They said that the lawyers made fun of the RWU students behind their back and that as undergrads, they were more competent than even the 2L's there. Might just be an isolated incident, but that might just show how well recieved an RWU law degree is...




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