Help me pick a law school.

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

Where should I go?

University of San Diego
12
20%
Penn State
8
13%
Denver University $22,000 scholarship
40
67%
 
Total votes: 60

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Help me pick a law school.

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:36 pm

So I am in at University of San Diego(56) and Penn State (72) at sticker price

I have a $22,000 scholarship at Denver University (80).

Here are some factors.

1. I want to make a decent amount of money when I graduate.

2. I want to live in a friendly city with interesting people.

3. I would not mind leaving California. (I live in LA right now and like to move somewhere less superficial.)

That is all I can think of right now.

User avatar
PhantaManta
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:46 pm

If your preference for each location is equal, it is 1 million % DENVER.

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby Captain Muscles » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:51 pm

I could live in Denver.

My sister did undergrad there and I visited her a few times. I liked it.

My concern is that is not ranked high. Will this be a big problem?

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby Grizz » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:54 pm

Captain Muscles wrote:I could live in Denver.

My sister did undergrad there and I visited her a few times. I liked it.

My concern is that is not ranked high. Will this be a big problem?


A bigger problem will be the massive debt and low prospects from the other prospects. If you really must go, Denver I guess, but it's not an enthusiastic recommendation.

User avatar
PhantaManta
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:10 pm

Captain Muscles wrote:I could live in Denver.

My sister did undergrad there and I visited her a few times. I liked it.

My concern is that is not ranked high. Will this be a big problem?


The likelihood of you getting a high paying job upon graduation from any of those schools is pretty low (Think 15% or less (at best) prior to economic recession that stifled a LARGE % of legal hiring)).

With that said, if you get good grades at any of the three and are willing to consider various employment options and plan accordingly, you should be able to get a legal job around $40,000 starting salary. Again, even if you get good grades, this is not a guarantee.

Even in a bad economy, I think it is possible a handful of students from these schools will still get high paying jobs, but think top 3% of the class type stuff. Even then, I am speculating, and have not seen statistics that prove this.

So, if you wanted to go to law school to get a sweet >$100,000 paying job out of school and have tons of fun, you should do some more research. If you are open to various career paths and areas of practice, including public defender, ADA, small private practice.... Then still think hard, but take the cheapest option in an area you would be ok living/working in and work hard.

Good luck.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:12 pm

Your best choice is between the Univ. of Denver & the Univ. of San Diego since both are located in great cities offering excellent living environments for young professionals. If you are fluent in Spanish, Denver offers unique law courses in Spanish & internships in Spain & South America with prominent foreign based law firms. San Diego offers, arguably, the best year round climate in the continental US. Penn State's Dickinson School of Law does not do well with respect to placement.
My information regarding the Univ. of Denver school of Law is over a year old and may not be accurate as there was a recent change of the law school dean.

User avatar
PhantaManta
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:18 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Your best choice is between the Univ. of Denver & the Univ. of San Diego since both are located in great cities offering excellent living environments for young professionals. If you are fluent in Spanish, Denver offers unique law courses in Spanish & internships in Spain & South America with prominent foreign based law firms. San Diego offers, arguably, the best year round climate in the continental US. Penn State's Dickinson School of Law does not do well with respect to placement.
My information regarding the Univ. of Denver school of Law is over a year old and may not be accurate as there was a recent change of the law school dean.


Evidence that Penn State has significantly different placement than U Denver plz.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:21 pm

Penn State reported 90.8% employed within 9 months after graduation to USNews, while Denver reported 94.2%.
Denver's Spanish program, however, can create some interesting options for those fluent in Spanish. Neither school competes with the most elite law schools, but Denver's $22,000 a year scholarship makes the higher placement statistic glow in comparison to paying full freight at Penn State which reports lower placement.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
PhantaManta
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:22 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Penn State reported 90.8% employed within 9 months after graduation to USNews, while Denver reported 94.2%.
Denver's Spanish program, however, can create some interesting options for those fluent in Spanish.


Employment statistics provided by schools are nearly meaningless. And even if the stats they provided were accurate, a 3.4% difference in employment does not represent a significant difference. The employment prospects are not significantly different between these three schools (although, I concede USD is a little bit better than the other two.)
Last edited by PhantaManta on Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ze2151
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby ze2151 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:24 pm

hey, canada, ever been to central pa? the only thing that sells better than dickinson is penn. now, does this guy want to live in cenpenn? that's his choice. but you can find work with a dickinson degree.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:24 pm

Okay, so Penn State inflated its numbers. Yes, I am very familiar with Central Pennsylvania & that explains, in part, my next piece of advice RUN to Denver! Parts of Pennsylvania are overrun with judicial scandals--especially Northeastern Pennsylvania. (The chief judge of Luzerne County is facing at least 30 years in prison as is the second most senior judge. A third judge was removed from the bench for life at the beginning of her second 10 year term. The chief judge met the local mafia head--D'alia, I think--every 2 weeks for breakfast to discuss cases before his court. The entire story makes the National Enquirer look like child's play, but it is true. Was profiled on CNN about 6 months ago. I am acquainted with all three judges.) Avoid Penn State !!!
Traditionally those not well qualified for law school, but well connected politically, in Pennsylvania attended Dickinson School of Law which subsequently was taken over by Penn State.
Pennsylvania would, however, be a great place to practice elder law due to the senior age of a large part of the population.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby Grizz » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:30 pm

PhantaManta wrote: If you are open to various career paths and areas of practice, including public defender, ADA, small private practice.... Then still think hard, but take the cheapest option in an area you would be ok living/working in and work hard.


ITE, these positions are ruthlessly competitive and aren't really a fallback. There are no fallbacks, unless you consider unemployment a fallback.

Even with the scholarship from Denver, I would think long and hard about going at all. If I were you, the standard TLS "retake, reapply" mantra is relevant in your situation.

dudders
Posts: 467
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:56 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby dudders » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:31 pm

Unless you go into it expecting to get a $160k/yr BIGLAW job, I'd say Denver is a perfectly fine law school. I've lived in Colorado for three years (I got the hell out of LA too!) and it's a great place to live. Cost of living is cheap here too, compared to Cali, so with some scholly $$ hopefully you can keep your debt down to the point where it's doable on a $70k-$80k starting salary in the private sector.

Elitist TLSers may not respect DU, but the entire state of Colorado and neighboring Mountain West region does. Since it's the only law school in the state besides CU-Boulder, you'll find tons of DU law grads in small-to-mid-sized firms here, and the public sector is full of them as well. Most neighboring states have only 1 or 2 law schools as well, so the market here isn't exactly as flooded as you get on the coasts. I believe your employment chances, and ability to be at all selective in the job search, will be much higher in Colorado than they will be in SD or Pennsylvania at similarly ranked schools.

Oh, and Colorado rules. Plus the original Chipotle is near DU :)

ze2151
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby ze2151 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:32 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Okay, so Penn State inflated its numbers. Yes, I am very familiar with Central Pennsylvania & that explains, in part, my next piece of advice RUN to Denver! Parts of Pennsylvania are overrun with judicial scandals--especially Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Traditionally those not well qualified for law school, but well connected politically in Pennsylvania attended Dickinson school of Law which subsequently was taken over by Penn State.
Pennsylvania would, however, be a great place to practice elder law due to the senior age of a large part of the population.



right, name me all these scandals, excluding anything in philadelphia and hazleton pa. i doubt you've ever been to the midstate, you're making no sense.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:37 pm

You are making a fool of yourself. Just goggle Luzerne County judges. The scandal also involves $3 million in kickbacks to two Luzerne County judges for placing juveniles in juvenile detention facilities run by their co-conspirators for minor first time offenses. Recently all juvenile convictions over a significant period of years were overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court due to judicial corruption.
Actually I believe that it's you that has never been to Central or Northeastern (Wilkes Barre & Scranton) Pennsylvania (Luzerne & Lackawana counties).
Many county officials are currently under federal indictments.
The situation has caused a severe backlog of cases since the Gov. of Pennsylvania has to appoint visiting judges to handle many of the pending cases.
A friend sends articles to me weekly about these judicial scandals. Even Pennsylvania's judicial disciplinary board committee is facing allegations.
The Judges are Mark Ciavarella, Jr. & Michael Conahan. Judge Michael Toole is also RUMORED to be under federal indictment. The female judge is Ann Lokuta. At least 8 other county officials are under indictment, have pled out or are facing imminent indictment. And this is just one county! The feds are looking at several other counties according to RUMORS.
Check out William D'Elia.
The local newspapers sent to me are the Times Leader & The Citizens Voice.( If you research these newspapers check out the bizarre news about a murder over obtaining the professional services of a local gay porn star by two competing adult movie concerns.)
The scandals in Hazelton & Philadelphia are in addition to those that I have outlined.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:14 pm, edited 10 times in total.

User avatar
PhantaManta
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:40 pm

rad law wrote:
PhantaManta wrote: If you are open to various career paths and areas of practice, including public defender, ADA, small private practice.... Then still think hard, but take the cheapest option in an area you would be ok living/working in and work hard.


ITE, these positions are ruthlessly competitive and aren't really a fallback. There are no fallbacks, unless you consider unemployment a fallback.

Even with the scholarship from Denver, I would think long and hard about going at all. If I were you, the standard TLS "retake, reapply" mantra is relevant in your situation.


I don't want to argue based upon my own speculations, but I have to think you are speculating to a degree as well. What specifically makes you think, say, an above median student at U Denver will not find a legal job of some kind in Colorado if they are willing to work in various roles / offices throughout the state?

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:08 pm

Regardless of scandals in Pennsylvania, the Univ. of Denver is your best option in light of the generous scholarship, followed by the Univ. of San Diego, followed by retaking the LSAT, followed by working at your local grocery store, followed by Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. And yes I know Denver, San Diego & Eastern & Central Pennsylvania well.
P.S. ze2151 I also know Atlanta, Emory, Gwinnett County & Dekalb County well. I followed two judicial cases there involving two judges with the same last name one of whom was a certified drunkard (Gwinnett County) & the other who was "forced" to resign for overturning a rape case--in which case the judge (Dekalb County) was 100% correct in making the courageous, but unpopular, move reversing the jury verdict of guilty.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
You Gotta Have Faith
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:14 pm

Just a quick clarification... is the 22K figure an annual scholarship from Denver? Or is it the total for all three years? If the former, then definitely Denver (apart from some unusual circumstance I'm unaware of) because that knocks law school down to 16K/year plus living expenses, which is rather affordable. But if that is for all three years, it's a little different and doesn't make Denver that much more competitive, if at all, than your other options.

Also, are there any stipulations to your scholarship?

User avatar
PhantaManta
Posts: 276
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:45 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby PhantaManta » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Regardless of scandals in Pennsylvania, the Univ. of Denver is your best option in light of the generous scholarship, followed by the Univ. of San Diego, followed by retaking the LSAT, followed by working at your local grocery store, followed by Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. And yes I know Denver, San Diego & Eastern & Central Pennsylvania well.
P.S. ze2151 I also know Atlanta, Emory, Gwinnett County & Dekalb County well.


Can your noob ass please stop trolling in a thread where people are trying to give serious advice.

Thanks.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:20 pm

Don't be a jerk. Oops, sorry, my advice was a bit late.

xyzzzzzzzz
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:28 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:34 pm

.
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:38 pm

Denver & San Diego have much lower average age/median age populations than does Pennsylvania which has one of the oldest populations in the nation.

Captain Muscles
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:04 am

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby Captain Muscles » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:16 am

"Just a quick clarification... is the 22K figure an annual scholarship from Denver? Or is it the total for all three years? If the former, then definitely Denver (apart from some unusual circumstance I'm unaware of) because that knocks law school down to 16K/year plus living expenses, which is rather affordable. But if that is for all three years, it's a little different and doesn't make Denver that much more competitive, if at all, than your other options.

Also, are there any stipulations to your scholarship?"

Yeah, it is an annual scholarship.

The stipulations are that I have to maintain a 3.0 GPA.

User avatar
You Gotta Have Faith
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 5:04 am

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby You Gotta Have Faith » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:51 am

In that case, I would pick Denver, personally. It's a decent school, from what I gather. It's established itself as a T2 school and doesn't ever seem to fall out of that range. And just as importantly, 22K/year comes out to 66K savings. And Denver is cheaper to live in than San Diego (not sure about the middle of PA). Overall, just by picking Denver, you are likely saving 70K-75K over your three years. I'm hard-pressed to say that SD (or Penn State) is worth that much more money.

However, location preferences should come into play some. If you don't particularly care, as you don't seem to, then Denver is the no-brainer to me. But on the other hand, if you find that you don't like the city of Denver or the Mountain West and/or would much rather stay in SoCal, then perhaps San Diego would have an edge.

If you haven't already... try to visit those schools if it is financially feasible and within your schedule. I find that can sometimes make decisions easier. Good luck with your decision!

User avatar
NayBoer
Posts: 1013
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Help me pick a law school.

Postby NayBoer » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:15 am

Pick Denver. Also, ridiculous T100 rankings trolling.

Captain Muscles wrote:So I am in at University of San Diego(56) and Penn State (72) at sticker price

I have a $22,000 scholarship at Denver University (80).
USD since 2003 has been ranked in the 60s more often than not, but in 2007 and 2008 it was ranked in the mid to high 80s. These little variations don't matter.

What would your decision have been in 2007, when their relative rankings were:
Denver - 77
USD - 86
Penn State - 91
http://www.prelawhandbook.com/law_schoo ... 00_present

Stop fixating on the relative ranks of the schools past the 20s or 30s. They are almost entirely regional by that point. These schools place in different markets, so their relative rankings are irrelevant. Listing the rankings is purely vanity. And it's foolish vanity, since the lower T100 is highly fluid. So if you pick USD for its 56, don't be pissed if next year it drops back to the 80s and Denver makes it to the 70s.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests