Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

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PAStudent 2010
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Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby PAStudent 2010 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:51 pm

I am a recent college graduate (May 2010) who attended a small private undergraduate institution in PA and graduated with a 3.8 overall GPA, 3 internships (large finance firm, large accounting firm, private equity), various awards / memberships / positions, yet scored low on the LSAT (153).

At this point I have been accepted to Duquesne Law as well as Widener Law (Harrisburg). It is my goal to one day practice corporate law (firm or in-house counsel), most likely near a metropolitan area. I am now choosing between one of the two schools or working for one year at most (as an Accountant) and reapplying with work experience besides internships.

My first question is which would be the better choice (Duquesne or Widener)?

My second question is between the two, will I be able to be successful in finding a job in corporate law with a salary high enough to pay off any student loan debt? (This is NOT saying I want to get rich by becoming an attorney, but rather get a job which will pay enough to cover student loans over a number of years and still be able to support a family sometime in the future).

My third question is would be be helpful in any way to wait one year and work / would it even make a difference in applying to schools?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Last edited by PAStudent 2010 on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby D. H2Oman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:52 pm

Wait a year, retake.

/thread

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stintez
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby stintez » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:53 pm

retake the lsat unless that was your third time.

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romothesavior
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:57 pm

PAStudent 2010 wrote:My third question is would be be helpful in any way to wait one year and work / would it even make a difference in applying to schools?


It ABSOLUTELY would. Not because the work itself will help get you into a good school, but because you need to take another crack at that LSAT. You have a 3.8. A good LSAT score will get you into some very good schools.

What were your LSAT study habits?
How long did you study for the LSAT?
What did you use to study? (which aids/classes/etc.)
Have you read Arrow's guide or any of the other LSAT threads in the LSAT Prep Forum on TLS?

My friend, a 153 is not a good score, and in this economy neither Duquesne or Widener is a good investment. Your odds of a getting a good job from either school would be low. There are a lot of students with good grades at elite schools who cannot find meaningful employment. I know this is blunt, but it is the truth. Take a look at the Employment Forum or visit JD Underground if you don't believe me.

I know re-taking the LSAT is probably the last thing you want to do, but with a few months of really smart and efficient studying, you may be able to raise that score drastically and get into a much better school or go to law school for free.

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balzern
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby balzern » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:42 pm

I think it depends what your goals are. If you want to stay in Pittsburgh (and if you get a decent scholly) Duquesne might not be a bad option. Granted, Pittsburgh has kind of a strange legal market (it is never amazing and never is awful) and the degree won't travel well with you. I would suggest taking the LSAT again if you are unsure of where you want to spend a significiant portion of your life post-grad, but if you want to live in Pittsburgh, Duquesne isn't a bad decision.

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General Tso
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby General Tso » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:54 pm

well, to be fair, i have heard GREAT things about Widener's international law program

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yinz
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby yinz » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:59 pm

romothesavior wrote:I know re-taking the LSAT is probably the last thing you want to do, but with a few months of really smart and efficient studying, you may be able to raise that score drastically and get into a much better school or go to law school for free.

keg411
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby keg411 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:17 pm

yinz wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I know re-taking the LSAT is probably the last thing you want to do, but with a few months of really smart and efficient studying, you may be able to raise that score drastically and get into a much better school or go to law school for free.

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joeshmo39
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby joeshmo39 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:25 pm

As far as your career goals, corporate law geared toward finance and accounting, they will be very hard to achieve coming out of either of those schools. Both of them place really poorly into big corporate firms where you will get experience to move in house. If you were to go to Duquesne or Widener that path would probably be closed off.

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kk19131
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby kk19131 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:31 pm

So, you think his/her 153 is a terrible score.

Fair enough.

But, you haven't suggested an adequate score - one for which he/she should be aiming.

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joeshmo39
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby joeshmo39 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:34 pm

You have to score a good bit higher on the LSAT to get into a top-34 school, I'm using Fordham as my cut-off for a decent chance at corporate law gigs. I would say a 3.8/164 would be good target. 164 is the minimum I would feel comfortable with.

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romothesavior
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:43 pm

kk19131 wrote:So, you think his/her 153 is a terrible score.

Fair enough.

But, you haven't suggested an adequate score - one for which he/she should be aiming.


He should be aiming to get the best score he can. I doubt a 153 is the best score he can get, but if it is, then he needs to assess whether getting a law degree is worth it.

As for adequate scores for schools, it depends on his goals. If he has local connections and wants to go to a local T2/T3 for free, then a 160+ would be good for a full ride. He'll be able to crack into the T20 with a 165/166, and upper 160s brings the T14 (and maybe even T10) into range.

There are so many variables at play. OP needs to respond to my original questions about his LSAT study habits. If he studied for 3 hours a night for 3 months, then I dunno what to tell him. But if he did a couple of PTs the week before and got a 153, then we've got a lot to work with.

PAStudent 2010
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby PAStudent 2010 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:53 pm

Concerning my LSAT study habbits, I took 2 localized courses which focused on the theory behind the questions, but we're only weekend seminars.

For a week or two before the test, I took a few practice tests and faired pretty well on them (avg in the 160's) so I felt prepared.

I'm not really sure what happened the day of the test to produce such a low score when I had been doing so well in practice, but that was life.

I took the December exam so retaking it would have meant delaying my applications even more which I could not afford to do.

Concerning my abilities for a career in law, I currently work for a large private equity very closely with our in-house counsel. I have been on various projects with him and his team who all feel I am well-prepared for this career path. I have had experience in documentation, research, and presentations all the way from the finance level to the board of directors.

I certainly have the knowledge and ability to do what the career demands (or else I would have been demoted/fired by now) and my resume and work habbits show that.
The factor keeping me back was certainly the LSAT score which I could probably do more to improve.

It seems no one feels Duquesne or Widener would be a good choice (even despite Duquesne's recent graduate placements and salaries at various BigLaw firms in the Pittsburgh area and beyond).

I feel I should now ask 3 new questions:

1) What are recommendations on improving LSAT scores?

2) Will working in a larger accounting firm (where I have a standing offer) improve my chances at admissions?

3) Why would Duquesne especially be a bad choice (please see current employment and bar passage figures first).

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kk19131
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby kk19131 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:55 pm

Are you a minority?

09042014
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:55 pm

I came here thinking this was a joke thread about two nonexistant TTT's, apparently I was wrong.

PAStudent 2010
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby PAStudent 2010 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:00 pm

PAStudent 2010 wrote:Concerning my LSAT study habbits, I took 2 localized courses which focused on the theory behind the questions, but we're only weekend seminars.

For a week or two before the test, I took a few practice tests and faired pretty well on them (avg in the 160's) so I felt prepared.

I'm not really sure what happened the day of the test to produce such a low score when I had been doing so well in practice, but that was life.

I took the December exam so retaking it would have meant delaying my applications even more which I could not afford to do.

Concerning my abilities for a career in law, I currently work for a large private equity very closely with our in-house counsel. I have been on various projects with him and his team who all feel I am well-prepared for this career path. I have had experience in documentation, research, and presentations all the way from the finance level to the board of directors.

I certainly have the knowledge and ability to do what the career demands (or else I would have been demoted/fired by now) and my resume and work habbits show that.
The factor keeping me back was certainly the LSAT score which I could probably do more to improve.

It seems no one feels Duquesne or Widener would be a good choice (even despite Duquesne's recent graduate placements and salaries at various BigLaw firms in the Pittsburgh area and beyond).

I feel I should now ask 3 new questions:

1) What are recommendations on improving LSAT scores?

2) Will working in a larger accounting firm (where I have a standing offer) improve my chances at admissions?

3) Why would Duquesne especially be a bad choice (please see current employment and bar passage figures first).


I am not a minority and do not have any special circumstance

GPA: 3.8 (cumulative upon graduation) - Summa Cum Laude
LSAT: 153
Credentials:
Finance Internship (International Firm)
Tax Accounting Internship (International Firm)
Accounting / Corporate Finance Internship (Private Equity)
Various awards and positions held

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romothesavior
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:04 pm

A few quick points, then I gotta take a nap.

1. Law school statistics are incredibly unreliable, and are often times downright lies. The schools are very deceitful. Read this thread:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=114338

2. Absolutely re-take the LSAT. Do not go to law school this fall. You have a LOT of potential if you really put your mind to it. These boards are full of people who took a year off and radically it changed their entire future. If you were legitimately scoring the 160s prior to the test with minimal studying, I'd say you could potentially reach 170. The LSAT is very, very learnable.

3. Your study habits were less than stellar. Honestly, don't take that personally... Mine sucked too before I found TLS. Most people on TLS study for at least a good 2-3 months. The LSAT Forum is full of great places to find LSAT related advice. I'd recommend:

-Get the Powerscore Bibles and a bunch of preptests
-Spend at least a month on the Powerscore Bibles (especially Logic Games). Study them inside and out.
-Don't be afraid to do a lot of untimed studying. Start out by learning particular question types, patterns in the questions, and strategies for question types. Then start incorporating endurance. If you just jump right into doing full-blown LSATs, you won't learn nearly as much. It is all about studying smart and efficiently.
-Once you are ready, take as many PTs as possible and ALWAYS make sure you review your answers to discover why you made certain mistakes.

4. Come back to TLS once you have a new LSAT score and get some opinions on where to apply. This site, despite all of its snarkiness and petty bull shit, is a treasure-trove of information. I would not be where I am today without TLS. And that's the truth.

Good luck!
Last edited by romothesavior on Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sdv
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby sdv » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:04 pm

There's nothing wrong with Duquesne specifically; I don't think there are any Pittsburgh firms that do OCI at Pitt and not at Duquesne. If it were in new york, you'd be crazy to consider it, but since it's in Pittsburgh, it's a great option for a T4. With that said, your path will be much more difficult at Duquesne than it would be at Pitt (or any other school that is the primary option in a secondary market). Based on your #'s it seems silly for you to settle for Duq (which is not a bad school for what its goals are) when you could probably do better. a few more points and you could at least get into Pitt...

I wouldn't go to Widener. It's not going to place well in the cities at either end of the state. Unlike Duq, it has no urban market to feed, so unless you love Harrisburg I wouldn't recommend it.

Also, your softs don't matter too much. raise the LSAT.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby GATORTIM » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:14 pm

romothesavior wrote:OP needs to respond to my original questions...then we've got a lot to work with.


Why should any TLSer NEED to respond to any other TLSer? Feel free to answer, ignore or create another ridiculous picture caption with this question....

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romothesavior
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:23 pm

GATORTIM wrote:
romothesavior wrote:OP needs to respond to my original questions...then we've got a lot to work with.


Why should any TLSer NEED to respond to any other TLSer? Feel free to answer, ignore or create another ridiculous picture caption with this question....


I'm not going to de-rail a perfectly legitimate thread with a curious OP with reasonable questions.

AJRESQ
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby AJRESQ » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:40 pm

Here is the big question: Do you want to practice in Pittsburgh or the Philadelphia area?

I started at Widener and transferred to Temple. In hindsight, I don't think a Temple / Rutgers / Drexel / Villanova degree makes any more difference than a Widener degree. There are a lot of Widener alums in the Philadelphia / Delaware area and they tend to stick together. I got my first BIGLAW job based on my grades at Widener. The biggest downside to Widener is their OCI program sucks. If you do well, you have to make things happen for yourself. Still, I interviewed with Blank Rome, Richards Layton & Finger, Fox Rothschild, Saul Ewing, Anapol Schwartz, the DA, etc. (top 10% grades) But you have to reach out to them. I also landed a position in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania while in law school.

If you want to practice in Pennsylvania or Delaware, Widener's not a bad option. Most of my friends from there are employed in small law firms, JAG, and a few in BIGLAW. (funny, same with my friends from Temple, although I know more TU alums in BIGLAW than Widener) It's TTTT but the Philadelphia / Delaware / Jersey market isn't that bad, plus you can always practice in the counties if you have ties to the area.

Go (a) where you want to practice; and (b) wherever is cheaper.

Hope that helps. Also, I was the "don't go to law school" guy. Poor LSAT, mediocre grades, only accepted to a TTTT (Widener) and it worked out fine. If you graduate from Widener, strongly consider taking the Delaware bar instead of PA / NJ. There is a lot of work in DE.

If you don't get BIGLAW right out of the gate, it doesn't matter if you're from Widener, Villanova, Temple, or whatever. Your future job prospects will be based more upon your practice areas, expertise, book of business, etc. Not where you went to school. Both TLS and JDU place way too much stock in where you went to law school. There isn't much different between TT and TTTT. I mean, I doubt you'll become an equity partner at Sullivan Cromwell from Widener, but hey, neither will 99.9% of the rest of lawyers. However, you could conceivably become a partner at a local Philly BIGLAW firm like Cozen O'Conner or start your own shop someday. Depends on your goals and how you shape your career.
Last edited by AJRESQ on Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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yinz
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby yinz » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:44 pm

PAStudent 2010 wrote:Concerning my LSAT study habbits, I took 2 localized courses which focused on the theory behind the questions, but we're only weekend seminars. For a week or two before the test, I took a few practice tests and faired pretty well on them (avg in the 160's) so I felt prepared. I'm not really sure what happened the day of the test to produce such a low score when I had been doing so well in practice, but that was life.

Not really sure what happened? Look at the way you studied! Two "theory" courses and a few PTs? That's like never playing golf, going to the driving range for a few weeks, talking with the resident Pro, and then shooting quadruple bog every hole the following day. Scroll to Romo's recommendation, read the threads on LSAT prep, and then study like your life depended on it. Walk into the October LSAT with the confidence and certainty that you know 97% of the questions on it. You have approximately 100 days to get it together, so do it.

PAStudent 2010 wrote:Concerning my abilities for a career in law, I currently work for a large private equity very closely with our in-house counsel. I have been on various projects with him and his team who all feel I am well-prepared for this career path. I have had experience in documentation, research, and presentations all the way from the finance level to the board of directors.

I wouldn't be so quick to assume this job will be waiting for you three years from now. Hedge your bets and shoot for the scholarship if you are set on Duquesne. The benefit of taking a year off is too great to pass up.

PAStudent 2010 wrote:
1) What are recommendations on improving LSAT scores?

2) Will working in a larger accounting firm (where I have a standing offer) improve my chances at admissions?

3) Why would Duquesne especially be a bad choice (please see current employment and bar passage figures first).


1. This:
(a) viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41657
(b) Take every LG game at least three times (make copies)
(c) Join a class if that will force you to study.

2. Doubtful; at the most it will give you a slight edge over applicants with similar numbers.

3. Duquesne is especially bad because of the amount of debt you'd rack up to attend. While you may have better employment prospects there than at other comparative schools, this still isn't saying much. Duquesne grads are not immune to the changing landscape of the legal profession simply because they are in relatively more stable market. Finally, even with a full ride, I'd question the value of attending a T4. Why not shoot for Pitt (1/2 ride scholarship with a 3.4+ and 160+) or Villanova?
Last edited by yinz on Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sdv
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Re: Duquesne Law vs. Widener Law

Postby sdv » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:56 pm

yinz wrote: Finally, even with a full ride, I'd question the value of attending a T4. Why not shoot for Pitt (1/2 ride scholarship with a 3.4+ and 160+) or Villanova?


I'm totally with you on the why not shoot for Pitt/Nova/PSU/Temple bandwagon. With that said, I wouldn't say Duq necessarily fits the normal profile of a T4 - I don't think many T4s are considered the 2nd primary feeder school to a 1-AA classified city. I'd compare it to a school like Cumberland (the law school at Samford in Birmingham), which competes with a better school (Alabama) for placement in its home market, which is a major city but one that is not particularly sought after by most T14 grads. It's all about where the school is and what it does - Duquesne is a T4 because it doesn't make any effort to raise its profile, not because it's Pittsburgh's version of Cooley!

Again, though, there's no reason not to raise the LSAT and go to one of the 4 T2 state schools. It's not like you're trying to practice in Minneapolis, for example, where the primary state school would require a huge LSAT improvement - a few points should do the trick for where you want to be.




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