TTTT or San Fran?

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acerra
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TTTT or San Fran?

Postby acerra » Thu May 27, 2010 7:53 pm

Today I was admitted to the part-time evening program at San Francisco. I've never been to San Francisco nor do I know anyone there or have any job prospects for the other portion of my life outside of school. I had a stellar GPA all through undergrad but bombed my LSAT, so, until now, I had only been offered admission to a local TTTT with a half-scholarship. I'm a ridiculously dedicated student. No matter where I go, I plan on becoming as involved as possible to get where I want to be.

Going to San Fran would mean a significant amount of debt and attending a school where I know no one in an area that I know nothing about other than that it has a high cost of living. However, I feel like this is at least a ranked option that would, ideally, offer me more options. Law is what I want to do with my life. I don't want a big law job. I'm perfectly happy with something in government or public interest. What do you think one should do in this situation? Should I at least deposit to have the benefit of having more time to consider the offer?

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Ronaldo
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Ronaldo » Thu May 27, 2010 8:08 pm

acerra wrote:Today I was admitted to the part-time evening program at San Francisco. I've never been to San Francisco nor do I know anyone there or have any job prospects for the other portion of my life outside of school. I had a stellar GPA all through undergrad but bombed my LSAT, so, until now, I had only been offered admission to a local TTTT with a half-scholarship. I'm a ridiculously dedicated student. No matter where I go, I plan on becoming as involved as possible to get where I want to be.

Going to San Fran would mean a significant amount of debt and attending a school where I know no one in an area that I know nothing about other than that it has a high cost of living. However, I feel like this is at least a ranked option that would, ideally, offer me more options. Law is what I want to do with my life. I don't want a big law job. I'm perfectly happy with something in government or public interest. What do you think one should do in this situation? Should I at least deposit to have the benefit of having more time to consider the offer?



Since you have a stellar GPA, I would recommend take the LSAT again. Also, you said you are a very dedicated student. Therefore, dedicate 4-6 months of your life to the LSAT, and you will be rewarded with way better schools & employment opportunities and scholarship money. Even if you do not want biglaw, take the LSAT again.

Good Luck!

acerra
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby acerra » Thu May 27, 2010 8:14 pm

Retaking the LSAT is something that I had considered. However, I've already taken a year off of school to apply to programs and cannot foresee putting off this step in my life any longer. Law is what I want to do - and I feel like I need the intellectual challenge/stimulation again sooner rather than later. Yes, my GPA is near perfect and I have great legal experience to supplement it - but taking a full two years off is difficult to conceive. Hopefully that's understandable. This has been quite an...experience this application cycle :)

yabbadabbado
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby yabbadabbado » Thu May 27, 2010 8:16 pm

Govt and public interest jobs are just as difficult to get as biglaw jobs. Many of those types of employers are also a lot more elitist than you can imagine when it comes to grades earned in law school and what school you attend.

Retake the LSAT and reapply next year. If you don't want to take another "year off", get a job.

acerra wrote:I don't want a big law job. I'm perfectly happy with something in government or public interest.

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Ronaldo
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Ronaldo » Thu May 27, 2010 8:19 pm

acerra wrote:Retaking the LSAT is something that I had considered. However, I've already taken a year off of school to apply to programs and cannot foresee putting off this step in my life any longer. Law is what I want to do - and I feel like I need the intellectual challenge/stimulation again sooner rather than later. Yes, my GPA is near perfect and I have great legal experience to supplement it - but taking a full two years off is difficult to conceive. Hopefully that's understandable. This has been quite an...experience this application cycle :)



If the LSAT is not an option, and law school is your only route, I would say choose University of San Francisco, and dedicate your life to your first year and transfer.
Do not attend a TTTT, it is not worth it, even free scholarship. Plus, the scholarships have top 1/3 clauses and the like.

Good Luck in San Francisco! It is one of the best cities in the country.

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Ronaldo
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Ronaldo » Thu May 27, 2010 8:21 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:Govt and public interest jobs are just as difficult to get as biglaw jobs. Many of those types of employers are also a lot more elitist than you can imagine when it comes to grades earned in law school and what school you attend.

Retake the LSAT and reapply next year. If you don't want to take another "year off", get a job.

acerra wrote:I don't want a big law job. I'm perfectly happy with something in government or public interest.


Yeah, I would say get a job too. However, he said he will go to law school this year, and he has the option of attending SF or a TTTT. So, SF.

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okay734
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby okay734 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:24 pm

Retake the LSAT. Shoot for 160, get into Berkley. Get a kickass biglaw in SF. Best city in America.

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Ronaldo
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Ronaldo » Thu May 27, 2010 8:26 pm

okay734 wrote:Retake the LSAT. Shoot for 160, get into Berkley. Get a kickass biglaw in SF. Best city in America.



160 rarely gets you into Berkeley. He said he will go to law school this year & will not take the LSAT. He has only two options: SF or TTTT.

doomed123
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby doomed123 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:31 pm

acerra wrote:Retaking the LSAT is something that I had considered. However, I've already taken a year off of school to apply to programs and cannot foresee putting off this step in my life any longer. Law is what I want to do - and I feel like I need the intellectual challenge/stimulation again sooner rather than later. Yes, my GPA is near perfect and I have great legal experience to supplement it - but taking a full two years off is difficult to conceive. Hopefully that's understandable. This has been quite an...experience this application cycle :)


Impatience is a terrible reason to sell yourself short on something that could affect the rest of your life.

I took two years off (due to retaking/reapplying) even though I didn't want to, and it definitely paid off.

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prezidentv8
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu May 27, 2010 8:37 pm

doomed123 wrote:
acerra wrote:Retaking the LSAT is something that I had considered. However, I've already taken a year off of school to apply to programs and cannot foresee putting off this step in my life any longer. Law is what I want to do - and I feel like I need the intellectual challenge/stimulation again sooner rather than later. Yes, my GPA is near perfect and I have great legal experience to supplement it - but taking a full two years off is difficult to conceive. Hopefully that's understandable. This has been quite an...experience this application cycle :)


Impatience is a terrible reason to sell yourself short on something that could affect the rest of your life.

I took two years off (due to retaking/reapplying) even though I didn't want to, and it definitely paid off.


Good advice. Worst case scenario, with a moderately higher score, is more scholarship money at the same schools.

yabbadabbado
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby yabbadabbado » Fri May 28, 2010 7:54 am

+1

Typical scenario for impatient people:

1. Move away to unfamiliar place to attend t2/3/4 regional school...hope to transfer to better school in homestate after 1L.

2. Get average or worse grades there, can't transfer after 1L, so stuck

3. Impossible to make connections for jobs 100s of miles away from homestate, can't really make inroads in LS state either because of intense competition for jobs, no local connections,etc.

4. Moves home after graduation.

5. t2/3/4 degree from outside homestate doesn't carry any weight whatsoever in homestate, therefore incredibly difficult to find job in homestate even after bar passage results come in. After several months of searching with no luck, finally realizes they made a bad decision in choosing schools.

6. Still have massive students loans to pay no matter what.

doomed123 wrote:
Impatience is a terrible reason to sell yourself short on something that could affect the rest of your life.

I took two years off (due to retaking/reapplying) even though I didn't want to, and it definitely paid off.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby SaintClarence27 » Fri May 28, 2010 8:04 am

yabbadabbado wrote:+1

Typical scenario for impatient people:

1. Move away to unfamiliar place to attend t2/3/4 regional school...hope to transfer to better school in homestate after 1L.

2. Get average or worse grades there, can't transfer after 1L, so stuck

3. Impossible to make connections for jobs 100s of miles away from homestate, can't really make inroads in LS state either because of intense competition for jobs, no local connections,etc.

4. Moves home after graduation.

5. t2/3/4 degree from outside homestate doesn't carry any weight whatsoever in homestate, therefore incredibly difficult to find job in homestate even after bar passage results come in. After several months of searching with no luck, finally realizes they made a bad decision in choosing schools.

6. Still have massive students loans to pay no matter what.

doomed123 wrote:
Impatience is a terrible reason to sell yourself short on something that could affect the rest of your life.

I took two years off (due to retaking/reapplying) even though I didn't want to, and it definitely paid off.


Well, if you could take this year off and increase your earning potential by several hundred thousand dollars, would you do it? What about decreased debt? Is it worth it to ensure that you won't be hampered by non-dischargable debt for the next 25 years? If you need to be intellectually stimulated, put that energy into studying for the LSAT. If you get a reasonable score and apply early in the cycle, you will have a fantastic chance at a good school for close to free. Isn't that worth it?

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Grizz
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Grizz » Fri May 28, 2010 10:04 am

Ronaldo wrote:If the LSAT is not an option, and law school is your only route, I would say choose University of San Francisco, and dedicate your life to your first year and transfer.


Terrible idea. See the reasons yabba posted above. Put me down in the retake column.

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megaTTTron
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby megaTTTron » Fri May 28, 2010 10:07 am

rad law wrote:
Ronaldo wrote:If the LSAT is not an option, and law school is your only route, I would say choose University of San Francisco, and dedicate your life to your first year and transfer.


Terrible idea. See the reasons yabba posted above. Put me down in the retake column.


+1.

acerra
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby acerra » Fri May 28, 2010 10:53 am

I can see how the perception can be that of impatience; however, taking one year off has already been difficult - two would be worse. At that point, I'd just go into a career that wouldn't be ideal rather than losing time in the job market. But, when you know that you want to do something and set your mind to it, why wait? I know that it would be difficult to make new connections in a strange place, which is part of my hesitation. But I do believe that it would be wiser to give it more of a chance despite the fact that it's not local.

doomed123
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby doomed123 » Fri May 28, 2010 11:06 am

acerra wrote: But, when you know that you want to do something and set your mind to it, why wait?


Because if you're going to do something, you should do it well.

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megaTTTron
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby megaTTTron » Fri May 28, 2010 11:09 am

acerra wrote: why wait?


Because this is the rest of your life. Not just one year. Why would you sell yourself short?

acerra wrote:I'd just go into a career that wouldn't be ideal


Um, if waiting a year means that law would "not be ideal," perhaps you need to rethink your career.

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emilybeth
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby emilybeth » Fri May 28, 2010 11:11 am

acerra wrote:But I do believe that it would be wiser to give it more of a chance despite the fact that it's not local.


If that's truly what you believe, then you're wrong.

If you went to San Fran, you would at minimum be competing against, at a disadvantage, grads from Stanford, Berkeley, Hastings, Davis, and Santa Clara. You would be competing against, on a fairly level playing field, grads from McGeorge and Golden Gate. San Francisco is one of the toughest legal markets in the country to break into -- far tougher than NY or DC. Even Berkeley kids struggle to get jobs in the city, in this economy. I hate to be a bitch, but are you really so arrogant as to believe that (a) you can beat out grads from schools ranked ninety or more spots above San Fran or (b) you will somehow be the one exception to the hard-and-fast rule that San Fran is a regional school only?

You need to sit down and seriously think about the amount of debt you're about to incur, and come up with a failsafe plan to get a job and repay it. Not "do really well and transfer," not "network and make new connections," not "try really hard." I'm talking about a guaranteed job post-graduation kind of plan. If you can't do that, then retake the LSAT or don't go to law school.

Sorry if it's harsh, but come on. Look at the statistics. There are something like 1.5 times as many kids in law school as there are jobs available in the field. Going to a regional school with poor employment prospects would probably be one of the worst decisions of your life.

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megaTTTron
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby megaTTTron » Fri May 28, 2010 11:13 am

emilybeth wrote:
acerra wrote:But I do believe that it would be wiser to give it more of a chance despite the fact that it's not local.


If that's truly what you believe, then you're wrong.

If you went to San Fran, you would at minimum be competing against, at a disadvantage, grads from Stanford, Berkeley, Hastings, Davis, and Santa Clara. You would be competing against, on a fairly level playing field, grads from McGeorge and Golden Gate. San Francisco is one of the toughest legal markets in the country to break into -- far tougher than NY or DC. Even Berkeley kids struggle to get jobs in the city, in this economy. I hate to be a bitch, but are you really so arrogant as to believe that (a) you can beat out grads from schools ranked ninety or more spots above San Fran or (b) you will somehow be the one exception to the hard-and-fast rule that San Fran is a regional school only?

You need to sit down and seriously think about the amount of debt you're about to incur, and come up with a failsafe plan to get a job and repay it. Not "do really well and transfer," not "network and make new connections," not "try really hard." I'm talking about a guaranteed job post-graduation kind of plan. If you can't do that, then retake the LSAT or don't go to law school.

Sorry if it's harsh, but come on. Look at the statistics. There are something like 1.5 times as many kids in law school as there are jobs available in the field. Going to a regional school with poor employment prospects would probably be one of the worst decisions of your life.


A-men.

BobSacamano
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby BobSacamano » Fri May 28, 2010 11:15 am

acerra wrote:I can see how the perception can be that of impatience; however, taking one year off has already been difficult - two would be worse. At that point, I'd just go into a career that wouldn't be ideal rather than losing time in the job market.

This is bad logic. What you should be concerned about is putting yourself in the best position in the job market, not "losing time." Waiting a year, retaking the LSAT and going to a school that will put you in a better position to succeed than PT at SF (meaning a school that places in the market where you see yourself working) will EASILY make up that lost year of work and then some.

Put another way, you will likely have much worse same opportunities in life going to SF part-time now than you would if you waited a year, re-took the LSAT, and went to a "better" (relative to your goals) school. You may have a year's head start by going now, but the job market you will be entering a year early will likely NOT be the same one as the one you will be entering if you wait a year.

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SaintClarence27
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby SaintClarence27 » Fri May 28, 2010 11:19 am

BobSacamano wrote:
acerra wrote:I can see how the perception can be that of impatience; however, taking one year off has already been difficult - two would be worse. At that point, I'd just go into a career that wouldn't be ideal rather than losing time in the job market.

This is bad logic. What you should be concerned about is putting yourself in the best position in the job market, not "losing time." Waiting a year, retaking the LSAT and going to a school that will put you in a better position to succeed than PT at SF (meaning a school that places in the market where you see yourself working) will EASILY make up that lost year of work and then some.

Put another way, you will likely have much worse same opportunities in life going to SF part-time now than you would if you waited a year, re-took the LSAT, and went to a "better" (relative to your goals) school. You may have a year's head start by going now, but the job market you will be entering a year early will likely NOT be the same one as the one you will be entering if you wait a year.


I SERIOUSLY debated taking another year off, retaking the LSAT, and applying next cycle even though I was unemployed. That's how important it is. And I got $$ to Illinois. You have to look at it in long-term earning potential and savings vs. extreme debt and lpotential unemployment. What if you can go to a better school with better employment for free?

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NayBoer
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby NayBoer » Fri May 28, 2010 11:23 am

Retake and reapply.

A bad school this year is a worse option than a better school next year. Especially if you give the hiring market another year to hopefully improve.

keg411
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby keg411 » Fri May 28, 2010 11:25 am

OP, where do you currently live? You should aim to go to that state school (or one of them, if there is more than one) rather than some private TTTT. Don't move all the way to SF (where you don't want to live/work) for some expensive evening program.

By re-take, you don't have to be T14 or bust or anything. Just do well enough to try and get into your state school (with a bit of $) and stay there.

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Grizz
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Grizz » Fri May 28, 2010 11:31 am

Pretty much all TTTTs are a bad idea because even at free, they aren't worth the lost opportunity cost and hassle. Plus, if you don't get a legal job, the JD will make you less employable for regular jobs.

San Francisco is a terrible idea because it is an expensive regional school with bad employment prospects. If you go, you have a good chance of saying hello to 25 years of debt peonage.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: TTTT or San Fran?

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Fri May 28, 2010 11:44 am

emilybeth wrote:
acerra wrote:But I do believe that it would be wiser to give it more of a chance despite the fact that it's not local.


If that's truly what you believe, then you're wrong.

If you went to San Fran, you would at minimum be competing against, at a disadvantage, grads from Stanford, Berkeley, Hastings, Davis, and Santa Clara. You would be competing against, on a fairly level playing field, grads from McGeorge and Golden Gate. San Francisco is one of the toughest legal markets in the country to break into -- far tougher than NY or DC. Even Berkeley kids struggle to get jobs in the city, in this economy. I hate to be a bitch, but are you really so arrogant as to believe that (a) you can beat out grads from schools ranked ninety or more spots above San Fran or (b) you will somehow be the one exception to the hard-and-fast rule that San Fran is a regional school only?

You need to sit down and seriously think about the amount of debt you're about to incur, and come up with a failsafe plan to get a job and repay it. Not "do really well and transfer," not "network and make new connections," not "try really hard." I'm talking about a guaranteed job post-graduation kind of plan. If you can't do that, then retake the LSAT or don't go to law school.

Sorry if it's harsh, but come on. Look at the statistics. There are something like 1.5 times as many kids in law school as there are jobs available in the field. Going to a regional school with poor employment prospects would probably be one of the worst decisions of your life.


Acerra, you really should take heed of this warning. I couldn't have said it better myself. As a resident of San Francisco, I would not advise anyone to pay full price for a law degree from SF.

I understand that the idea of putting law school off sounds really terrible -- perhaps almost impossible -- but you REALLY need to take a step back and think about this. If you have such a great GPA and are a dedicated worker, then another LSAT score (and another year of waiting) could literally change your life forever. For the better.

These days, no one can afford to be as optimistic as you are. Seriously.




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