Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

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sneakpreview
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Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby sneakpreview » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:33 pm

I was planning on attending Willamette University ($8k scholarship/yr with 2.9 GPA requirement). I am 29, from the West coast, and plan on practicing here after law school. I was just accepted off the wait list at Michigan State this morning...it doesn't appear that there is scholarship money, so I can't decide if it's worth paying sticker price.

Please share your thoughts!

Thanks :)

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bk1
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:37 pm

If you want to practice in OR go to Willamette. If you want to practice in MI, go to Michigan State.

Retake/reapply is probably TCR though.

sneakpreview
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby sneakpreview » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:53 pm

bk1 wrote:If you want to practice in OR go to Willamette. If you want to practice in MI, go to Michigan State.

Retake/reapply is probably TCR though.



Retake/Reapply is not an option. I was planning on driving up to Oregon this week, so I need to decide ASAP. I'm wondering how portable a degree from MSU is on the West Coast. MSU hovers on the border of T2/T3, and appears to be a better school than Willamette...not sure if it's worth paying sticker price.

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willnumber85
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby willnumber85 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:55 pm

MSU will not likely get you back to the west. If you're set on going to law school in the fall, go to willamette. Best of luck!

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bk1
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:09 pm

sneakpreview wrote:Retake/Reapply is not an option. I was planning on driving up to Oregon this week, so I need to decide ASAP. I'm wondering how portable a degree from MSU is on the West Coast. MSU hovers on the border of T2/T3, and appears to be a better school than Willamette...not sure if it's worth paying sticker price.


Why is retake/reapply not an option?

MSU is not portable at all. If you want to practice on the west coast, go to Willamette and you will be able to work in OR.

Total Litigator
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby Total Litigator » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:27 pm

I grew up in Oregon if that gives me any credibility, and I also went to the University of Oregon for undergrad.

You have to keep things in perspective even though one is a "T3" and one is "T4". I can't really speak to Michigan State, but I imagine the two schools are very similar in their respective regions: well respected within the state, but they won't get you anywhere anywhere else unless you are at the top of the class.

Regarding Willamette: even though it is a T4 school by US News & World Report's standards, in Oregon it is the third best law school in the state. Willamette law has a long and distinguished history in the state of Oregon. For example, two of the seven Oregon Supreme Court Justices are from Willamette. Only one is from the University of Oregon, and apart from a Santa Clara graduate, the rest are from T14 institutions. There are also countless lower judges and state politicians with a Willamette degree.

I admit that I suffer a bit from the stay away from T3/T4 at all cost mentality. However, when my friend recently told me that she was thinking of going to Willamette, I asked if she wanted to make her career her in Oregon. When she said "absolutely, I love Oregon," I felt okay telling her that Willamette would be a fine choice.

So, after that long winded response: The final verdict is if you want to practice in Oregon, Willamette is a decent choice.

I say go with Willamette: I would bet that career prospects between Michigan and Willamette are similar, given their relative positions within their states. When you consider this, along with the fact that you have money at Willamette, and with the fact that you like the West coast (Michigan is not for everyone), I would definitely go with Willamette.

And of course, I know you don't want to hear it... but I have to recommend that you retake the LSAT if you think you can improve, and apply during the next cycle...

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General Tso
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby General Tso » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:37 pm

there aren't many medium or large firms in OR, and even if there were you probably wouldn't be competitive for them out of Willamette. You should only attend there if (a) debt is reasonable...I dont see any scenario in which a Willamette JD is worth more than 60-70k debt. (b) you want to work in OREGON (c) you would be happy doing small firm work and a salary of 45-55k.

There's nothing wrong with that kind of money, in fact I think any job paying a middle class wage is a good one right now. Just make sure that the tuition you pay and the debt you take on is justified by the expected salary.

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Tanicius
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby Tanicius » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:37 pm

Williamette without question. Some states have law schools that are in the T2-T4 range yet still do really well in their home markets. Minnesota has William Mitchell, for example; it sounds like Williamette has a similar deal going on for itself.

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General Tso
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby General Tso » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:39 pm

oh yeah, I meant to say something along the lines of the above poster:

Michigan State is totally out of the question, unless you want to work in Michigan.

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servinDizzert
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby servinDizzert » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:39 pm

There are A LOT of MSU grads in general on the west coast. I'm sure it would be completely networking based but you could probably land a job back in CA.

...but then again I wouldn't bank on it

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General Tso
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby General Tso » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:42 pm

servinDizzert wrote:There are A LOT of MSU grads in general on the west coast. I'm sure it would be completely networking based but you could probably land a job back in CA.

...but then again I wouldn't bank on it


Sure, if you consider sixty-one to be "A LOT"
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5

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TommyK
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby TommyK » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:48 pm

Yeah, we need to remember we're not talking about University of Michigan, here. HUGE difference. I think Michigan State has made strides ever since they changed their name, but not terribly portable. Go with the other choice.

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bk1
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:49 pm

TommyK wrote:Yeah, we need to remember we're not talking about University of Michigan, here. HUGE difference. I think Michigan State has made strides ever since they changed their name, but not terribly portable. Go with the other choice.


Are you also trying to tell me that Penn State =/= U Penn, and that NYLS =/= NYU?

I find this hard to believe.

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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby Total Litigator » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:55 pm

And yes, I second a point made earlier: Willamette is good for Oregon, but only if you are comfortable working small/smaller mid law, working as a lower judge, using your degree for public service, or working in smaller towns. Of course there are some big law / prestigious opportunities in Oregon for the very top of the class (think maximum top 5%, or in other words, the top 7 students), but you should only be comfortable going to Willamette law school if your goal is more modest work. It seems to me that you have not been bit by the BIGLAW or Die bug and that you are comfortable with this.

sneakpreview
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby sneakpreview » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:14 pm

I should preface this by saying I am not from Oregon, but have lived there before. I'm 29, got MBA at San Diego State and BA at the University of San Diego. My work experience is varied - commercial insurance, sports business, consulting, non-profit management. I am NOT aiming for big law. I just figured MSU's brand would appear to have more value than Willamette's, but maybe I'm wrong?

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bk1
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby bk1 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:16 pm

sneakpreview wrote:I should preface this by saying I am not from Oregon, but have lived there before. I'm 29, got MBA at San Diego State and BA at the University of San Diego. My work experience is varied - commercial insurance, sports business, consulting, non-profit management. I am NOT aiming for big law. I just figured MSU's brand would appear to have more value than Willamette's, but maybe I'm wrong?


For the most part, law schools are regional. Willamette is better in OR, MSU is better in MI. Both suck in NY.

Total Litigator
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby Total Litigator » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:49 pm

Errr... are sure you want to invest 3 years and 70K for a *brand name* to add to your resume that is actually a T3 law school? That sounds like a horrible horrible idea...

td6624
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby td6624 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:11 am

General Tso wrote:
servinDizzert wrote:There are A LOT of MSU grads in general on the west coast. I'm sure it would be completely networking based but you could probably land a job back in CA.

...but then again I wouldn't bank on it


Sure, if you consider sixty-one to be "A LOT"
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5


it's actually 148

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General Tso
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby General Tso » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:55 am

td6624 wrote:
General Tso wrote:
servinDizzert wrote:There are A LOT of MSU grads in general on the west coast. I'm sure it would be completely networking based but you could probably land a job back in CA.

...but then again I wouldn't bank on it


Sure, if you consider sixty-one to be "A LOT"
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5


it's actually 148


yeah I was looking at only the top 20 cities BUT...there are currently 99 active MSU grads in CA, which clocks in at #132 out of ~200 law schools in the US. It's a terrible decision to attend there banking on getting a job in CA.
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5

td6624
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Re: Need to Decide Quickly - Please Help!

Postby td6624 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:24 am

General Tso wrote:
td6624 wrote:
General Tso wrote:
servinDizzert wrote:There are A LOT of MSU grads in general on the west coast. I'm sure it would be completely networking based but you could probably land a job back in CA.

...but then again I wouldn't bank on it


Sure, if you consider sixty-one to be "A LOT"
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5


it's actually 148


yeah I was looking at only the top 20 cities BUT...there are currently 99 active MSU grads in CA, which clocks in at #132 out of ~200 law schools in the US. It's a terrible decision to attend there banking on getting a job in CA.
http://californiabar.globl.org/report.p ... 0&g=2&pp=5


you'll get no argument from me there.




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