Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

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gg51107
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Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby gg51107 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:03 am

I would greatly appreciate any advice about my decision.

30,000+ scholarship (2.98 gpa) at Drexel & 10,000 (3.15 gpa) at Villanova. I want to eventually get into corporate law and do not want to live in PA forever. It doesn't seem like either of these schools will help me get a job anywhere besides Philly, but an insight about this issue would be helpful.

I visited both schools recently, however I don't want to base my decision on the locations at all, either will work for me. I liked both of the schools, however I don't think I was impressed enough by Villanova to justify taking on the debt. This could have had a lot to do with my tour guide. My tour guide at Drexel had found a lot of success and we had a lot of similarities so I bonded with her more. During my visit I also met with a partner at a big law firm in Philly, I discussed my decision with him and he thought that nearly free Drexel would be the better option because Drexel has gained a good reputation in the area already and he think that in 10-15 years Drexel will be ranked higher than Villanova because they are putting so much money and support into the school.

I have talked to other people in the legal field and most of the current students that I talked to voted for Villanova (which is mostly likely because all of them are paying significant amounts for their legal education and wouldn't see too much of a problem advising me to take on debt as well). People who have graduated law school seem to think that the school they attended didn't make a huge difference and it was much more about their experiences and the people they knew. They advise going to Drexel and working my way into the industry.

--- I have read many posts on the site about Drexel and most are not very supportive (to say the least), however I have not experience this level of negativity elsewhere, and I cannot ignore the opinions of people who are actually in the industry. Any other advice about my decision would be greatly appreciate!!! Thanks!

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:48 am

There is someone on this site who is supportive of Drexel....

a) Why is Temple not in the mix? Sounds like you'd get in-state.

b) If you don't want to be in PA forever, where do you want to be? Unfortunately when you are choosing from T2/no tier schools you kind of need to know.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:50 am

Villanova is an expensive Ultra TTT that just got caught lying to the ABA about admissions numbers. Drexel is another TTT with no alumni base. Have you applied to Temple? Its a much better school and is cheaper out of the box than either of these two lousy schools.

gg51107
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby gg51107 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:11 pm

I did get into Temple, however I did not get any money, and I do not really like the school. I understand that Temple is great for the Philly area, but I think that I can get similar jobs with my other options in Philly. I accept that I will be working in PA upon graduation because this is where I will be able to get a job. But after 5-10 years, if I want to leave the state, how much does it still matter where you attended law school?

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:21 pm

Well, I wouldn't tell you to go somewhere you won't be happy, but I hope not liking Temple is based on more than just the tour guide or something. If it was me, I'd tell Temple you have a full ride to Drexel and see if they will throw anything your way. Temple in-state is almost $20k less than Nova, so even with your $ from Nova it's $10k cheaper. Even if you can squeeze $5k out of Temple, that's $45k cheaper than Nova over the course of the three years, and I'd think hard about it.

I think if you want to leave the state eventually, it will matter, especially if you want to go somewhere else on the east coast. Temple does not place well outside of Philly, but there are Temple grads sprinkled in firms and government in other East Coast cities, so they may have a frame of reference at least when it comes to Temple. I doubt the same will be able to be said of Drexel, even in 5-10 years. Now, if you want to move out west or something, maybe it doesn't matter, since they will probably know nothing of either Temple or Drexel grads, or Nova for that matter.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:33 pm

Pick a region where you wanna live and go to a school there. Neither Drexel or Nova will ever let you leave Philly unless you are top 5% and even then you'll need to network like crazy.

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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby seriously???? » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:08 pm

i think first you need to find out how what percentage of the class gets above the stipulations on your scholly. pretty sure that biglaw with drexel is an extreme longshot, but if you do well in drexel and do not want a big pay check to start, you could hypothetically leave philly right after u graduate, because you won't have a heavy monthly debtload to payback.

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:35 pm

Drexel grades on a required 2.8-3.0 curve for 1L classes, and 2.9-3.1 after that. I understand it's usually closer to 3.0. (Maybe the 2.98 they are quoting her) Nova's is suggested at 3.15. So she will have to be a little over median either way to keep it, which is reasonable, I guess.

My question is how she is going to leave Philly right after graduation from Drexel??? Even stipulating for argument's sake that Drexel is gaining a good reputation in Philly as a few on these boards have asserted, I can't imagine getting any type of paying job in another city unless OP is the top person in their class or something.

gg51107
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby gg51107 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:49 pm

I appreciate the advice concerning getting a job in another geographic area, but it is not my primary concern. I understand that initially it is a reach with any of my options to leave PA and find success, and I will mostly likely be here for a long time because of this fact. I just wanted some opinions about how important it was where you went to law school after you had your first job or two. Unfortunately, it seems like it won't matter much outside of PA whether I go to Villanova or Drexel because I will not have a chance to get a job with either degree outside of the state, which is very disheartening for me to accept.

Is Villanova worth the large amount of debt I would be acquiring from choosing the school over basically free Drexel? To be honest I was more impressed with Drexel after visiting both of the schools (although I loved Villanova's law building) but that doesn't seem to line up with many people's opinions of the school. They have great options for co-ops and there are some students with summer associate positions for this summer, which is rare across the board for Philly lately. I don't want to be skewed by a few anecdotal stories though. Wish I could trust job placement and expected salary stats, they would help my decision so much haha.

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:05 pm

I'm not saying Drexel is the wrong choice, but if you go there, don't do it because they are good at marketing. If you want real job placement data, put Drexel's feet to the fire for it. They seem to want to give out a lot of anecdotal stories involving their most successful grads/summers. Why don't you ask them exactly how many 2010 grads are working for each of the large Philly firms, (150+ lawyers if they make you specify) and how many current 3Ls summerred for those firms in 2010. There are only about 14 such firms in Philly, and I guarantee you Drexel's CSO has the exact data for each of the firms. Do the same for Villanova if you want. Politely tell them you want to be sure they are worth the extra investment. Then go here and see how much those people are making:

http://www.nalpdirectory.com/

seriously????
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby seriously???? » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Wholigan wrote:Drexel grades on a required 2.8-3.0 curve for 1L classes, and 2.9-3.1 after that. I understand it's usually closer to 3.0. (Maybe the 2.98 they are quoting her) Nova's is suggested at 3.15. So she will have to be a little over median either way to keep it, which is reasonable, I guess.

My question is how she is going to leave Philly right after graduation from Drexel??? Even stipulating for argument's sake that Drexel is gaining a good reputation in Philly as a few on these boards have asserted, I can't imagine getting any type of paying job in another city unless OP is the top person in their class or something.


maybe not top, but top ten percent, I'd say it is possible. Hopefully, the person would start doing some networking before graduation, and if the loans aren't high, a person could take a hit and relocate. the job might not be high paying, but I think it is possible to find a lower paying job that isn't doc review.

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:14 pm

seriously???? wrote:
Wholigan wrote:Drexel grades on a required 2.8-3.0 curve for 1L classes, and 2.9-3.1 after that. I understand it's usually closer to 3.0. (Maybe the 2.98 they are quoting her) Nova's is suggested at 3.15. So she will have to be a little over median either way to keep it, which is reasonable, I guess.

My question is how she is going to leave Philly right after graduation from Drexel??? Even stipulating for argument's sake that Drexel is gaining a good reputation in Philly as a few on these boards have asserted, I can't imagine getting any type of paying job in another city unless OP is the top person in their class or something.


maybe not top, but top ten percent, I'd say it is possible. Hopefully, the person would start doing some networking before graduation, and if the loans aren't high, a person could take a hit and relocate. the job might not be high paying, but I think it is possible to find a lower paying job that isn't doc review.


Seriously???

You're saying this is a good idea if OP's prospects upon graduating top 10% in the class involve getting a job that is slightly higher than doc review?

dshirs32
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby dshirs32 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:18 pm

Dude, go to Temple...it's not even a close choice. Sure Drexel may be better in 10 years, but that means absolutely nothing now. What matters is employment prospects upon graduation, and between Nova, Drexel, and Temple, Temple wins with Nova being a close second. You are right that where you went to law school is less important after your first job, but it is all about actually getting that first job. If you want biglaw in PA, then Temple is your best option, with Nova being second.

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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby seriously???? » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:22 pm

well, I guess first I would suggest that OP find a school in a location where he/she wants to work. Second, I am not going to waste time looking at Drexel's placement in Philly biglaw, but I would guess that it is pretty much non-existant, so with the job prospects being either mainly high paying big law, or low paying small law, one should expect not to find a high paying job from drexel. if someone has little debt, and is willing to invest a few years in just getting by, accumulating experience in an area where he/she wants to practice, its possible to do with good grades from drexel. but yeah, if the OP knows where he/she would like to work, it might be smarter to goto a T3 or T4 with money in that location.
just saying, if the debt in villanova is over 100k, he/she is not leaving philly for a while.

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:35 pm

Yeah, the problem is he/she doesn't know where he/she wants to live. I guess maybe it depends if OP is still going to take out $70k loans to cover COL. It sounds like since OP wants to stay in Philly maybe he/she has somewhere to live without taking the extra loans. If that's the case and OP will actually graduate debt-free, it is the least risky approach, even though I'd go Temple. I made my own choice by picking the Philly area school which would leave me in the least amount of debt, excluding Drexel.

lawgrl21
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby lawgrl21 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:42 pm

I know you said you don't like Temple, but I reallllly think it is your best option. I am from the Philly area and I applied to both Temple and Villanova. I personally felt Temple was in a bad area of town ( not sure if that is your primary concern, but I am assuming it is since I don't know what else would be keeping you from temple), but other than that it is sooo much better than the other two. NO ONE in philly knows Drexel since it is brand new and unranked. They have literally no alumni network opposed to Temple and Nova grads who pretty much (with Widner) are the only people working at law firms in Philly. I work in a midlaw firm and know a lot of Philly lawyers who all told me that partners want to hire law students who went to the same school as them, which is obviously a huge issue for Drexel kids. Maybe 2 months ago I would have said Villanova since it has a very good reputation compared to its ranking in the area, but the scandal is kind of ruining its reputation right now. I don't know how much hiring will be influenced since I think of nova alum will still hire from there (although non Villanova alum are definitely going to be hiring many more Temple grads now), but I know for me just the really negative buzz about nova right now was more than enough to make me not even consider it. I think your best bet is definitely Temple or go to school outside of Philly because I don't think Villanova or Drexel are going to open that many doors for you right now. Did you apply/ get in to anywhere other than these 3 schools? Feel free to PM me if you have any qs

edit: if you absolutely MUST go to one of these two then I guess I'd say Villanova just because they have an extensive alumni base

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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby seriously???? » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:35 pm

i doubt nova is going to take any kind of hit with regards to job placements because of this scandal. if anything, employers would be more compassionate. further, most schools are lying about their numbers. look at temples site, they aren't lying, but they are prolly the only school that says the medians of accepted students, not students actually attending. A median of 165? BS! Look at lawschoolnumbers and see all the people with 165's getting very little money, laughing it off and going to a better school. Their real median is 161. And if temple law is anything like its undergrad, again a joke. They say every year that their students being admitted have the best stats ever, while half of the real student body are transfers from CC, and if their stats were included, temples stats would be dismal.
Maybe I am biased because I went to temple UG and it was a joke, or more importantly those schmucks haven't given me a decision yet, so I'm going to be forced to goto a better school with less debt, but you should make an effort revisiting temple, because if its 30K cheaper and relatively the same as Villanova take the savings.

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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby phils34 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:37 pm

I agree that villanova's rep. won't be taking a hit from this scandal...alumni is too entrenched.

As for OP's situation, you need to be in the top 10% at Drexel to have a shot at big law(15% w/ good work experience). I think the website has a list of bigger firms where some graduates work if you want to get an idea. For Villanova, it's more like top 15% to have a shot. In your situation, however, I don't think this marginally larger chance at Villanova is worth the money. Take Drexel with a full-ride. Drexel places well in smaller firms, public interest, ADA, etc., and I don't think there's much of a difference on this front between any of the schools in philly (except for smaller firms where the alums are all from Temple).

Temple would be your safest bet, but since you don't want to go there...take the full-ride at Drexel. Drexel will likely be fully accredited within the year, and it should be ranked in 2012 or 2013. Hopefully, this will quell some of the uncertainty about the school, and you'll also have a few more classes of alumni out in the market by the time you graduate.

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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby seriously???? » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:07 pm

i dont think drexel 10 percent gives you a shot at big law. i mean, if its job placements are comparable to Widener's, one only has a shot if he/she is in the top five percent, clerks for a year, and still has a one in five shot at biglaw.
again, I would look up the numbers, but I am already being a total nerd and looking up big law stats for every 250 nlj law firm between my top two choices.

LSATclincher
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby LSATclincher » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:27 pm

I'd probably consider Widener over Drexel. They have 35 years of an alumni base in the surrounding area. I'm confident in Drexel's ability to establish a strong law school, but it'll take a while. I agree with everyone above: Go to Temple. It's only a 3yr sacrifice of attending school in North Philadelphia. And you could live in Center City and take the subway in. You won't talk to any lawyer in Philly who would discourage you from attending Temple Law.

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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby tarp » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:48 am

I'm a 2L at Drexel and I am very impressed with the school. I previously attended George Mason for a semester and a half (got expelled in my second semester due to maliciously filed criminal charges which were subsequently thrown out by the judge) and I must say that Drexel provides a superior education. The writing program itself is far superior, and George Mason is supposedly a Tier 1 school. I know nothing about Villanova except that they have an excellent legal aid clinic for low-income immigrants. Both Villanova and Drexel are solid schools. Widener's attrition rate concerns me. Drexel gave me the 30k scholarship and I will graduate with no debt. I think a 30K scholarship is a no brainer. The marginally larger chance of landing a biglaw gig from Villanova is not worth the added debt. Don't listen to the detractors. Most Philadelphia attorneys I have spoken with are very supportive and often excited about Drexel. Philly has a lot of love for Drexel as a university, and that has translated into a lot of support for our law school. Either way law school is what you make of it. Don't count on an alumni network to hand you a job. Plus in the course of law school you may find yourself another niche that excites you more than corporate law. I personally had no idea I was interested in immigration law, but now as a 2L I have identified it as my practice area.

Feel free to PM me with any questions.

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arvcondor
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby arvcondor » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:08 am

Ha, the Drexel discussion continues, with the same stable of cast.

As far as Drexel goes for Biglaw, I'll just say this: http://www.conradobrien.com/Attorney-Bi ... -Voss/259/

Yes, it's probably the douchiest thing I'm posting, given the implications, and I'm sure Mr. Voss is perfectly capable, and I wouldn't be surprised if he turned down some great offers. But I haven't seen a single Drexel biglaw associate so far, and this is where the valedictorian is (I'm sure it's a great firm; no judgments there).

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Wholigan
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby Wholigan » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:32 am

tarp wrote:Also, someone who has worked in clinical settings or externships during law school, understands how to research, understands procedure, and has access to mentors and co-counsel for more complicated cases, should have no problem working as a solo right out of law school.


tarp wrote:I'll be doing real work with real clients in my OWN office, calling my own shots and setting my own hours, and will make MORE than you are making while working 80 hours a work on dry corporate transactional shit.


The guy in the link may be the most successful graduate now, but you should think about penciling in tarp for making $160+ as a solo straight outta Drexel. Maybe he'll even pay himself a bonus.

Edited for accurate quotes

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reasonable_man
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:43 am

Wholigan wrote:
tarp wrote:Also, someone who has worked in clinical settings or externships during law school, understands how to research, understands procedure, and has access to mentors and co-counsel for more complicated cases, should have no problem working as a solo right out of law school.


tarp wrote:I'll be doing real work with real clients in my OWN office, calling my own shots and setting my own hours, and will make MORE than you are making while working 80 hours a work on dry corporate transactional shit.


The guy in the link may be the most successful graduate now, but you should think about penciling in tarp for making $160+ as a solo straight outta Drexel. Maybe he'll even pay himself a bonus.

Edited for accurate quotes



What does this even mean?

framboozer
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Re: Knowledgeable opinions regarding- Villanova vs. Drexel

Postby framboozer » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:19 am

i'm from the Philly area, and I say Villanova. Many of my closest friends go to Drexel for undergrad, so I spend a lot of time there. Even Drexel undergrads wonder why Drexel has a law school now. Drexel is known for its co-op programs and for engineering and the sciences. I also can't see Drexel filling any void in the Philly market. Temple and Nova have got that covered already.




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