Overwhelmed!! Help me!

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

Which school...?

Iowa @ 43k/year
25
35%
Temple @ 30.5k/year
3
4%
AU @ 43k/year
14
20%
Howard (12k/year) @ 12k/year
12
17%
Syracuse (20k/year) @ 25k/year
3
4%
Hold out for one of the others...
14
20%
 
Total votes: 71

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nightman09
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Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:10 am

I'm trying to decide which school to go to, and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I'm currently abroad and will barely have time to visit 1-2 schools before the first seat deposits are due (April 1), so I need some help dwindling down my list!

I'm hoping to go into "do-goodery" law but I'm not sure on the specifics (ie. human rights, legal advocacy, working with domestic violence victims, etc.). I'm currently working in international human rights with the UN and love it, so I'm leaning towards doing this. After law school, the plan is to work in the states for 2-3 years, and eventually work abroad (for an NGO or UN tribunal). I grew up in Washington DC and absolutely love it, so would like to go back there, although I'm flexible. I'm also somewhat risk-averse since I know I'm unlikely to be makin' big bucks; however, I am financially comfortable and can handle a bit of debt.

I'm waiting to hear from BC (held), Cornell (deferred), Bloomington, and Hastings. I'm waitlisted at UVA (but we know how that goes)...
Last edited by nightman09 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:56 am, edited 4 times in total.

mala2
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby mala2 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:24 am

If you like DC go back and go to Howard, it's cheaper than most schools still right? you can do do goody things right in the neighborhood

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:27 am

Oh, I should've mentioned that my big hesitation with Howard is the extremely homogenous community...

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby NU_Jet55 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:27 am

Answer to your question:
If you want to go into public interest, then you should go to the cheapest option. However, it doesn't look like any cheap options will be good options.

Actual Useful Advice:
If you like what you're doing now, then continue doing it. Don't waste $100k+ and 3 yrs of your life on a degree from a less than reputable school when you're already happy with your current job.

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:34 am

NU_Jet55 wrote:Actual Useful Advice:
If you like what you're doing now, then continue doing it. Don't waste $100k+ and 3 yrs of your life on a degree from a less than reputable school when you're already happy with your current job.


To continue doing the work that I'd like (if I want to do international human rights) then I would need to get a JD (and maybe, an LLM later)...

mala2
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby mala2 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:20 am

nightman09 wrote:Oh, I should've mentioned that my big hesitation with Howard is the extremely homogenous community...



I don't know if this is as true with the law school.

jeremysen
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby jeremysen » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:36 am

If AU = American U, then it prolly comes down to Iowa vs American

Howard, Syracuse, Temple - negotiate scholarships if you really want to go there.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby BarbellDreams » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:06 pm

None of the above honestly. There are better options in terms of T2's that will offer you money. Also, will you have a job locked up with where you work now coming out of school? If so and you simply need "a J.D." on you name to continue go to some T4 for free just to get it.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:13 pm

Howard.

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NU_Jet55
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby NU_Jet55 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:52 pm

nightman09 wrote:To continue doing the work that I'd like (if I want to do international human rights) then I would need to get a JD (and maybe, an LLM later)...

What? But...
nightman09 wrote:I'm currently working in international human rights with the UN and love it, so I'm leaning towards doing this.

Do you love the work you're doing now or not?


If you absolutely MUST get a J.D., then TITCR:
BarbellDreams wrote:None of the above honestly. There are better options in terms of T2's that will offer you money. Also, will you have a job locked up with where you work now coming out of school? If so and you simply need "a J.D." on you name to continue go to some T4 for free just to get it.

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:10 pm

NU_Jet55 wrote:
nightman09 wrote:To continue doing the work that I'd like (if I want to do international human rights) then I would need to get a JD (and maybe, an LLM later)...

What? But...
nightman09 wrote:I'm currently working in international human rights with the UN and love it, so I'm leaning towards doing this.


Do you love the work you're doing now or not?


I am currently working as an assistant to one of the civil party lawyers here at the UN tribunal in Cambodia. I love the work that I'm doing but, obviously, can't continue to progress and do the work that I'd like to do without a JD. Also, because I'm working for a tribunal I don't have a guaranteed job in three years, although tons of connections. So, I love doing the work and I'd like to continue in this field but I don't DEFINITELY have something to come back to.

BarbellDreams wrote:None of the above honestly. There are better options in terms of T2's that will offer you money. Also, will you have a job locked up with where you work now coming out of school? If so and you simply need "a J.D." on you name to continue go to some T4 for free just to get it.

This is clearly not an option as I didn't apply to anymore T2, so maybe we could work with what I have?

I should also note that I don't necessarily care to be the head of the ACLU or the NAACP, I just want to help some people and would be happy working for a small NGO, small DV clinic, etc.. I know plenty of people here (UN/NGO community) that didn't go to a T14 or even T1 schools, and they're still fairly successful and love their job... and that's good enough for me.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:17 pm

American for the LRAP. Period. It also has a good rep actually among the "dogooder" crowd in DC, ie Sierra Club, World Bank, WWF

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YourCaptain
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby YourCaptain » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:31 pm

If you're fine with working in Iowa, then Iowa at 43k/yr sounds like a fine way to go.

Otherwise, your options are pretty poor.

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jtemp320
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby jtemp320 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:43 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:American for the LRAP. Period. It also has a good rep actually among the "dogooder" crowd in DC, ie Sierra Club, World Bank, WWF


This seems correct to me especially if I'm reading this correctly w/ 43k a year? Yes Iowa is higher ranked but American if only by proximity gets you much more in the world you seem to be interested in

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androstan
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby androstan » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:49 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:American for the LRAP. Period. It also has a good rep actually among the "dogooder" crowd in DC, ie Sierra Club, World Bank, WWF


+1

keg411
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby keg411 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:07 pm

OP, is there any way at all you can stay at your current job until you get your LSAT up and can get into top schools? I think for your goals, you need a higher ranked school (take a look at where the attorneys you currently work with went to; if they went to lower ranked schools, see if they graduated with honors). If you MUST go this year, go to Howard since it's at least where you want to practice and it's inexpensive.

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:37 pm

Of all the Americans that I deal with here on a daily basis only one went to a T14 (contrary to TLS wisdom, gasp!). Admittedly, this is a pretty skewed sample size since most people aren't American but popular wisdom is that within the international NGO/UN community its more about self-marketing, connections, and "showing commitment". (Granted, all these people could be exceptions to the rule but it doesn't seem that way).

Taking that into account, I've worked extensively within the non-profit community in DC enough to feel comfortably "connected". Should this affect school decisions in any way?

Also, thank you all so much for your feedback. You've been SO helpful!!
Last edited by nightman09 on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:38 pm

Why are tuitions so odd? I though Temple was ~27k, and I KNOW Iowa is ~38k out of state...

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby paulinaporizkova » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:39 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:Why are tuitions so odd? I though Temple was ~27k, and I KNOW Iowa is ~38k out of state...

likely incorporating CoL

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:40 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:Why are tuitions so odd? I though Temple was ~27k, and I KNOW Iowa is ~38k out of state...


I took it from their websites, but if I'm wrong then don't hesitate to correct me...

bigkahuna2020
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:41 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:Why are tuitions so odd? I though Temple was ~27k, and I KNOW Iowa is ~38k out of state...

likely incorporating CoL


Thought about that. Then they are far too low...5k for 8 months?

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:42 pm

bigkahuna2020 wrote:
paulinaporizkova wrote:
bigkahuna2020 wrote:Why are tuitions so odd? I though Temple was ~27k, and I KNOW Iowa is ~38k out of state...

likely incorporating CoL


Thought about that. Then they are far too low...5k for 8 months?


I got Iowa from here -- http://www.law.uiowa.edu/students/finaid/index.php
and Temple from here -- http://www.law.temple.edu/Pages/Prospec ... ition.aspx

bigkahuna2020
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:45 pm

DAMN---that is Iowa out for me---I didn't realize it got that expensive for non-residents.

BTW-can you go part time to American if you are working in DC already? I vote for that if possible.

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chrisbru
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby chrisbru » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:49 pm

I'm going to chime and and say that none of these are good options, unfortunately... It doesn't sound like you'll have a guaranteed job, so you need to go to a decent school. However, all are pretty expensive, and the ones that leave you near DC aren't worth the money.

If you have good connections to DC, then I'd go to Iowa... And try to negotiate some sort of scholarship. Iowa is a good school, and only fails because it has a hard time placing outside of Iowa and some nearby bigger cities (and a little bit of Chicago for the top students.) If you have DC connections, that shouldn't be as big of a problem.


Changed my mind. I don't have your numbers, but your profile says that you're an ethnic minority. Are you URM?

In any case, take a year off. Do these things:
1) Study hard, retake LSAT in June, get better score
2) Identify a better selection of schools on the east coast
3) Apply to schools you want to go to in October

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nightman09
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Re: Overwhelmed!! Help me!

Postby nightman09 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:54 pm

chrisbru wrote:If you have good connections to DC, then I'd go to Iowa... And try to negotiate some sort of scholarship. Iowa is a good school, and only fails because it has a hard time placing outside of Iowa and some nearby bigger cities (and a little bit of Chicago for the top students.) If you have DC connections, that shouldn't be as big of a problem.


Considering my scholarships are from schools ranked far below Iowa, how can I negotiate for more money?




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