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OrdinarilySkilled
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Ok

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:18 pm

@
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Shooter
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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby Shooter » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:22 pm

In your situation, I would go the Georgetown route. I don't think UVA and Penn (both of which are unbelievable options, btw) are worth the added debt plus the opportunity cost of losing your current job. I also think that law school is an investment, and a Georgetown JD will pay larger dividends over a lifetime of working.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:35 pm

What's a "nice" job. If we are talking 140k plus, then I would have a different assessment than $45k but one you can enjoy. Also you can work part-time 2L/3L so if you are capable of landing nice jobs, you can always find something.

I'd go with UVA, there is no need to downgrade your employment probabilities by going PT. I have a nice career going too, but I rather do it right and go FT. Same options, but I didn't even apply to PT.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:50 pm

;
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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:56 pm

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
r6_philly wrote:What's a "nice" job. If we are talking 140k plus, then I would have a different assessment than $45k but one you can enjoy. Also you can work part-time 2L/3L so if you are capable of landing nice jobs, you can always find something.

I'd go with UVA, there is no need to downgrade your employment probabilities by going PT. I have a nice career going too, but I rather do it right and go FT. Same options, but I didn't even apply to PT.


85-90K (but there is not much room to go up) and i work from home.
I agree with you on "doing it right" and going full time - when I visited UVa yesterday I was mesmerized by the thought that the most important thing one might encounter during the day is being called on by a teacher. I imagine it will be hard to devote as much attention to schoolwork while maintaining a job as I would be able to going full time.


Did we talk yesterday? You coming to Philly this week? Let's talk and compare notes.

I too would love to keep some income, but I seriously don't want to sacrifice my 1L grades and end up being shorted by firms. Loss of $60-100k in 1L and maybe the same in 2L/3L is probably not worth the risk since we are talking about $160k+bonus after graduation. Gotta pay money to make money :mrgreen:

If you want to hear about my reasons and my assessments, let's talk this week.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:11 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Did we talk yesterday? You coming to Philly this week? Let's talk and compare notes.

I too would love to keep some income, but I seriously don't want to sacrifice my 1L grades and end up being shorted by firms. Loss of $60-100k in 1L and maybe the same in 2L/3L is probably not worth the risk since we are talking about $160k+bonus after graduation. Gotta pay money to make money :mrgreen:

If you want to hear about my reasons and my assessments, let's talk this week.


Sent you a pm.

Does anyone want to make the case for Penn despite being the most expensive? Is it because I said I want to work in Philly?

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby run26.2 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:12 pm

r6_philly wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
r6_philly wrote:What's a "nice" job. If we are talking 140k plus, then I would have a different assessment than $45k but one you can enjoy. Also you can work part-time 2L/3L so if you are capable of landing nice jobs, you can always find something.

I'd go with UVA, there is no need to downgrade your employment probabilities by going PT. I have a nice career going too, but I rather do it right and go FT. Same options, but I didn't even apply to PT.


85-90K (but there is not much room to go up) and i work from home.
I agree with you on "doing it right" and going full time - when I visited UVa yesterday I was mesmerized by the thought that the most important thing one might encounter during the day is being called on by a teacher. I imagine it will be hard to devote as much attention to schoolwork while maintaining a job as I would be able to going full time.


Did we talk yesterday? You coming to Philly this week? Let's talk and compare notes.

I too would love to keep some income, but I seriously don't want to sacrifice my 1L grades and end up being shorted by firms. Loss of $60-100k in 1L and maybe the same in 2L/3L is probably not worth the risk since we are talking about $160k+bonus after graduation. Gotta pay money to make money :mrgreen:

If you want to hear about my reasons and my assessments, let's talk this week.


This is the credited response. Before law school, I had a consulting career with a somewhat variable income (depending on how much or hard I wanted to work) and income that was greater than 1st or 2nd year associates make, and in the boon times, significantly more. But it was not what I wanted to do long term. I also thought about trying to consult part-time while I was in school but ultimately decided that it would be too distracting and if I really wanted to get a law degree because I was going in to law, it was better to bite the bullet and put all my mental energies to succeeding in law. I would always have the consulting to fall back on if law didn't work out.

The only real reason was a slightly reduced debt load. But I had a bit saved up and it is not too hard for me to live below my means, so the extra debt didn't really scare me. I say if you're going to law school and you don't have a compelling reason to keep your outside job, i.e. sole breadwinner in your family or child support payments, it is better to go full bore.

Anyways, sounds like you are both going to be down at Penn for ASW. I'd be happy to talk a bit more about particulars of how I have made it work or the overall outlook if you all are around the school or are up for grabbing a beer.

You have some great options and the potential to have a great legal career.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby run26.2 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:27 pm

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Did we talk yesterday? You coming to Philly this week? Let's talk and compare notes.

I too would love to keep some income, but I seriously don't want to sacrifice my 1L grades and end up being shorted by firms. Loss of $60-100k in 1L and maybe the same in 2L/3L is probably not worth the risk since we are talking about $160k+bonus after graduation. Gotta pay money to make money :mrgreen:

If you want to hear about my reasons and my assessments, let's talk this week.


Sent you a pm.

Does anyone want to make the case for Penn despite being the most expensive? Is it because I said I want to work in Philly?

The two are more or less peer schools, so there is little difference re: prestige or education. That is basically a wash, although some might argue that point, including a professor I had last semester who came to Penn because he thought it was a stop up. Not sure I buy it.

You should check NALP to see which Philly firms you think you are interested in go to UVA. My quick check showed that Dechert, Drinker, Duane Morris, and Cozen interview at UVA. I know a bunch of people that have offers in Philly and even more who have offers in DC, including myself. Penn students really seemed to do well in DC.

I really like Penn's campus and the ease with which one can take classes at the other schools, especially Wharton. The other thing is that Penn is fairly small and it is really easy to get to know the Profs. UVA is bigger, but I'm not sure how that affects things because I'm sure they have more faculty. Also, Penn is not in a college town. You have a fabulous art museum, major sports teams, tons of restaurants and bars in Philly, and both New York and DC are about 2-3 hours by car. There is just a lot to do in and around Philly, and I really like that.

What are the selection criteria that are important to you?

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:33 pm

I am going to Tap House for GAPSA and ASW :mrgreen: Would love to have a talk with you! PM me and let me know how we can connect.

I am def. going to be working part-time 2L/3L. It doesn't really take much for me to work from home, it's mindless (for me) and requires minimum effort to work 20 hours or so a week, add in SA pay I think I will do ok. So I think the brunt of the loss income is going to be first year only.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby steph146 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:45 pm

As a 1E at GULC, I had to make the almost the exact same choice as you last year (Software/Defense industry job and mortgage in DC, choosing between sticker at NYU, 75k at UVA, and GULC PT).

I definitely enjoy GULC. I love the older student body in the PT program, the professors are great and the fact that I have 8-9 hours every day where I can't think about law school was I feel a positive factor on my sanity and my grades first semester. Just as a clarification from earlier in the thread, there is no bias on the part of the school or employers between FT and PT for students taking part in OCI at GULC, so that shouldn't be a concern for you.

I would say that the work/life balance associated with PT law school and a substantive job leaves a little to be desired. Also, law school offers so many opportunities during the day (lectures, social events, etc.) that require me to take a day off work to take advantage of, so I end up missing quite a few events I would otherwise be interested in.

The PT program at GULC is changing next year, though, which will help with work/life balance but may have other consequences simply because it's new (they are reducing the number of credits 1E's take to make the program only 4 nights/week, but also effectively eliminating the ability to transfer to the full-time program).

A couple factors to consider --
--Does your job provide you with networking opportunities that could lead to legal employment?
--Do you enjoy your current job?
--At this stage in your life (e.g. having already had a 'nice' job) could you realistically see giving up the income/lifestyle your current job grants you for three years?

If GULC offered $$ to part time students, I'd think the choice tilt more heavily in their favor. As it is, it was a difficult choice for me and likely will be for you also. One question, have you considered GW? They offer $$ (I believe) for their PT program and would unquestionably be a better option than GMU if money is a concern. I wouldn't recommend GMU unless you already had a post-graduation legal job lined up at this point, and the only thing to recommend it even then given your other choices would be the fact that it was free.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:55 pm

run26.2 wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:Does anyone want to make the case for Penn despite being the most expensive? Is it because I said I want to work in Philly?

The two are more or less peer schools, so there is little difference re: prestige or education. That is basically a wash, although some might argue that point, including a professor I had last semester who came to Penn because he thought it was a stop up. Not sure I buy it.

You should check NALP to see which Philly firms you think you are interested in go to UVA. My quick check showed that Dechert, Drinker, Duane Morris, and Cozen interview at UVA. I know a bunch of people that have offers in Philly and even more who have offers in DC, including myself. Penn students really seemed to do well in DC.

I really like Penn's campus and the ease with which one can take classes at the other schools, especially Wharton. The other thing is that Penn is fairly small and it is really easy to get to know the Profs. UVA is bigger, but I'm not sure how that affects things because I'm sure they have more faculty. Also, Penn is not in a college town. You have a fabulous art museum, major sports teams, tons of restaurants and bars in Philly, and both New York and DC are about 2-3 hours by car. There is just a lot to do in and around Philly, and I really like that.

What are the selection criteria that are important to you?
Last edited by OrdinarilySkilled on Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:08 am

steph146 wrote:As a 1E at GULC, I had to make the almost the exact same choice as you last year (Software/Defense industry job and mortgage in DC, choosing between sticker at NYU, 75k at UVA, and GULC PT).

I definitely enjoy GULC. I love the older student body in the PT program, the professors are great and the fact that I have 8-9 hours every day where I can't think about law school was I feel a positive factor on my sanity and my grades first semester. Just as a clarification from earlier in the thread, there is no bias on the part of the school or employers between FT and PT for students taking part in OCI at GULC, so that shouldn't be a concern for you.

I would say that the work/life balance associated with PT law school and a substantive job leaves a little to be desired. Also, law school offers so many opportunities during the day (lectures, social events, etc.) that require me to take a day off work to take advantage of, so I end up missing quite a few events I would otherwise be interested in.

The PT program at GULC is changing next year, though, which will help with work/life balance but may have other consequences simply because it's new (they are reducing the number of credits 1E's take to make the program only 4 nights/week, but also effectively eliminating the ability to transfer to the full-time program).

A couple factors to consider --
--Does your job provide you with networking opportunities that could lead to legal employment?
--Do you enjoy your current job?
--At this stage in your life (e.g. having already had a 'nice' job) could you realistically see giving up the income/lifestyle your current job grants you for three years?

If GULC offered $$ to part time students, I'd think the choice tilt more heavily in their favor. As it is, it was a difficult choice for me and likely will be for you also. One question, have you considered GW? They offer $$ (I believe) for their PT program and would unquestionably be a better option than GMU if money is a concern. I wouldn't recommend GMU unless you already had a post-graduation legal job lined up at this point, and the only thing to recommend it even then given your other choices would be the fact that it was free.


This is great stuff, thanks.
-My current job would not lead to any definite legal jobs, but it is closely tied to what I want to do after law school and a JD would be beneficial to my career if i stayed.
-I like my job a lot
-I would have no problem living like a student for 3 years. It is the possibility of living like a student for years after that that I need to avoid.
-GW did not offer me money and I totally agree about Gulc, if they offered me anything (which I know they dont to PT) I would have already been set on there.
-RE: GMU, while I do not have a legal job lined up, I would have my current quasi-legal job, and free is SO much better than any other of the options that it is a very appealing option.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby run26.2 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:16 am

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:
run26.2 wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:Does anyone want to make the case for Penn despite being the most expensive? Is it because I said I want to work in Philly?

The two are more or less peer schools, so there is little difference re: prestige or education. That is basically a wash, although some might argue that point, including a professor I had last semester who came to Penn because he thought it was a stop up. Not sure I buy it.

You should check NALP to see which Philly firms you think you are interested in go to UVA. My quick check showed that Dechert, Drinker, Duane Morris, and Cozen interview at UVA. I know a bunch of people that have offers in Philly and even more who have offers in DC, including myself. Penn students really seemed to do well in DC.

I really like Penn's campus and the ease with which one can take classes at the other schools, especially Wharton. The other thing is that Penn is fairly small and it is really easy to get to know the Profs. UVA is bigger, but I'm not sure how that affects things because I'm sure they have more faculty. Also, Penn is not in a college town. You have a fabulous art museum, major sports teams, tons of restaurants and bars in Philly, and both New York and DC are about 2-3 hours by car. There is just a lot to do in and around Philly, and I really like that.

What are the selection criteria that are important to you?

Thanks for your input. I do not have any specific criteria (other than getting me a job in IP). Penn is my number one choice schoolwise, as I am from the area, and like all of the things you listed. The one thing that is important to me is minimizing moving. At Uva my SO and I would have to move every summer and then after graduation, which is a lot. At Penn there is the potential of moving once and being done with it. The only thing really pulling me towards UVa is the price. If the ASW at penn is great, my decision is going to be even harder.


Interesting. Quality of Life issues are important. I chose Penn over NYU for those reasons, even though many people told me to take NYU. At my stage in life, I care a bit less about money. When I transferred to Penn I gave up a significant scholarship at another school. Ultimately, I believed that I would be happier to have had the educational opportunities and life experiences at Penn that I did not think were present at the other school. In that regard, it might make sense for you to choose a more expensive option, especially if you really like the Philly area and you are not very high on moving several times. Incidentally, why would you have to do this?

As far as IP goes, both schools have decent programs. I would have given UVA a slight edge, but Penn is creating an IP clinic which is unique among law schools. Students in the clinic will have the opportunity to work with inventors and developers of cutting edge technologies to provide a full spectrum of IP services. I think this gives Penn a leg up. Alternatively, if you do not do the clinic, several students have worked as interns at Penn's Office for Technology Transfer to complete their pro bono requirement. This is a great way to get practical experience, especially if you are considering going in house with a technology company.

Going back to the integration with the other schools, I think you get more opportunities to think about policy and economic issues associated with IP at Penn than you would at other schools. I base this off my experience in the classroom and my conversations with students at other schools.

Finally, if you're interested at all in moot court, Penn gives 4 credit hours for participating in the AIPLA's Giles Rich Moot Court competition. This is more credit than most other schools give, which incentivizes law students to really put time into succeeding in the competition. Penn has historically done very well in the competition, sending a couple of teams to the national competition at the Federal Circuit and winning best brief awards at the regional competition with regularity. This competition provides an excellent opportunity to develop and/or refine highly practical skills if you are interested in IP litigation.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:28 am

run26.2 wrote:
OrdinarilySkilled wrote:Thanks for your input. I do not have any specific criteria (other than getting me a job in IP). Penn is my number one choice schoolwise, as I am from the area, and like all of the things you listed. The one thing that is important to me is minimizing moving. At Uva my SO and I would have to move every summer and then after graduation, which is a lot. At Penn there is the potential of moving once and being done with it. The only thing really pulling me towards UVa is the price. If the ASW at penn is great, my decision is going to be even harder.


Interesting. Quality of Life issues are important. I chose Penn over NYU for those reasons, even though many people told me to take NYU. At my stage in life, I care a bit less about money. When I transferred to Penn I gave up a significant scholarship at another school. Ultimately, I believed that I would be happier to have had the educational opportunities and life experiences at Penn that I did not think were present at the other school. In that regard, it might make sense for you to choose a more expensive option, especially if you really like the Philly area and you are not very high on moving several times. Incidentally, why would you have to do this?

As far as IP goes, both schools have decent programs. I would have given UVA a slight edge, but Penn is creating an IP clinic which is unique among law schools. Students in the clinic will have the opportunity to work with inventors and developers of cutting edge technologies to provide a full spectrum of IP services. I think this gives Penn a leg up. Alternatively, if you do not do the clinic, several students have worked as interns at Penn's Office for Technology Transfer to complete their pro bono requirement. This is a great way to get practical experience, especially if you are considering going in house with a technology company.

Going back to the integration with the other schools, I think you get more opportunities to think about policy and economic issues associated with IP at Penn than you would at other schools. I base this off my experience in the classroom and my conversations with students at other schools.

Finally, if you're interested at all in moot court, Penn gives 4 credit hours for participating in the AIPLA's Giles Rich Moot Court competition. This is more credit than most other schools give, which incentivizes law students to really put time into succeeding in the competition. Penn has historically done very well in the competition, sending a couple of teams to the national competition at the Federal Circuit and winning best brief awards at the regional competition with regularity. This competition provides an excellent opportunity to develop and/or refine highly practical skills if you are interested in IP litigation.


As far as moving, I meant that I could potentially work summers and after school in philadelphia whereas i assume most people do not live in charlottesville during summer or after graduation. This is all against not moving at all if I go part time. Probably a minor issue but it is something I am taking into account.

Thanks for the rest of that info. I was excited when I saw that penn was adding the tech clinic.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:06 am

&
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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby paulinaporizkova » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:12 am

taking penn over UVa when the difference is 100k because you like penn better is really really dumb IMO. i mean, do you really DISLIKE UVa that much? i'm here now - seems like a pretty fantastic place to be. the moving will be a pain but that is pretty minor when you think about the big picture


also, no one on this site would ever advise you to go to GMU over penn or UVa no matter what the price difference because you'll be benefiting career-wise for your entire life if you go to one of the latter two. the loan difference will be more than made up in the end.

ETA: i suppose the bolded isn't entirely true, but most people would say it's smarter to go to a t10 with a scholarship over anywhere else below it

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:47 am

OrdinarilySkilled wrote:Bump to get some more votes.

Nobody thinks the risk free option (GMU) is best?


It's not really risk free. If you choose GMU, then you'll close doors.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby OrdinarilySkilled » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:33 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:taking penn over UVa when the difference is 100k because you like penn better is really really dumb IMO. i mean, do you really DISLIKE UVa that much? i'm here now - seems like a pretty fantastic place to be. the moving will be a pain but that is pretty minor when you think about the big picture


also, no one on this site would ever advise you to go to GMU over penn or UVa no matter what the price difference because you'll be benefiting career-wise for your entire life if you go to one of the latter two. the loan difference will be more than made up in the end.

ETA: i suppose the bolded isn't entirely true, but most people would say it's smarter to go to a t10 with a scholarship over anywhere else below it


I don't dislike UVa at all, I am just partial to philadelphia and not a huge fan of living in charlottesville (went to a similar undergrad/prefer to live in the city).
I agree with ur gmu point, I would not expect most people on here to advocate that choice but I guess I am looking for someone to validate it because it is most likely what I will choose.

vamedic03 wrote:It's not really risk free. If you choose GMU, then you'll close doors.


Hmm, good point. I guess the biggest issue with weighing GMU as an option is knowing how many doors would still be open, which isn't readily apparent/would depend heavily on performance.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby jtemp320 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:40 pm

paulinaporizkova wrote:taking penn over UVa when the difference is 100k because you like penn better is really really dumb IMO. i mean, do you really DISLIKE UVa that much? i'm here now - seems like a pretty fantastic place to be. the moving will be a pain but that is pretty minor when you think about the big picture


also, no one on this site would ever advise you to go to GMU over penn or UVa no matter what the price difference because you'll be benefiting career-wise for your entire life if you go to one of the latter two. the loan difference will be more than made up in the end.

ETA: i suppose the bolded isn't entirely true, but most people would say it's smarter to go to a t10 with a scholarship over anywhere else below it


I basically agree with this I'd say UVA or GULC depending on whether you want to keep your job and go part time or not and go full time. I see no reason to pick Penn over UVA with that large a cost difference and no reason to pick GMU over GULC (the difference will be worth the extra cost.)

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby carrier » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:57 am

The only doors you'll be closing by going to GMU are the doors that lead to working 80 hours with TLS-type elitists. That's not necessarily a bad thing. :P

Anecdotally, I just skimmed over 2 big name IP firms, one national and one in Philly. GMU had partners at both; Penn and UVA had a few more at the national one and equivalent at the Philly one. Doors aren't closed, just less open. Anecdotally again, I've met IP attorneys in mid- or late-career stages who are very happy with their quality of life (and paychecks) with degrees from GMU, Maryland, and Delaware-Widener. I know anecdotes are worth nothing compared to hard statistics, but at the same time they're enough to disprove the absolutism you'll see on this board.

You already have a general career field and maybe a specific path in mind, so maybe you should not be looking at what doors get closed but just whether the ones to your chosen path are still open. You clearly aren't a directionless 22 year-old looking for any sort of use for a Philosophy degree, so it isn't just about maximizing the number and type of options after graduation.

You mention the SO, so I suspect you already have a broader view of quality of life than just $$$. How will work + part-time school affect quality of life? How will a T14 workload full-time affect it? Down the road, how will debt, higher salary opportunities, or the concurrent pressures of high salary and high debt affect it?

GULC pt seems like the ultimate hedge in this scenario. Even for Penn or UVA, cushy summer associate positions aren't a given, especially in DC, so the money earned working while in school shouldn't be dismissed as easily as some do in this thread. And you probably won't make a lot more out of the gate than your pay during years 3 and 4 (certainly shouldn't plan on it, at least).

GMU is low-risk, but I don't think the reward is necessarily low... nor all that much lower than your other options for your field. With either part-time program, you'll be graduating with what I assume to be 5+ years of experience in that closely-related field, which is nothing to sneeze at when being compared to those who graduate in 3 years w/ no work experience beyond 3 months at a time of summer work. If the chips fall right, you can even go for a summer associate job and swing it into a full time paralegal position while finishing your JD. Win-win. Or, graduating with no debt and already having your current job, you can be very selective and patient in making your next move, which is a large advantage over being desperate to start getting paid to start paying student loan bills.

I faced similar questions as you for undergrad, and decided to take on the debt and go with prestige/connections. Now as a result my only option for law school is something cheap, but I don't regret my undergrad choice. It was special and different and an accomplishment unto itself. You'll only get one chance in life to pick a law school, but for the rest of your life you can say you went to Penn Law and be a part of its network.

At a T2 ASW recently, a dean explained that she didn't think the legal field was shrinking or the need for lawyers decreasing, just that the popular and well-paying jobs are shrinking (as they inevitably had to at some point). She said what is growing is the "entrepreneurial aspect" of the profession, which has multiple implications. My takeaway was that our careers more than our predecessors' will be what we make of them. You may not just come out of school as a round peg with diploma in hand to go fill a round hole at BigLaw and go on your merry way. The determination and drive to sell your soul at a firm for a decade of 80-hour weeks can be repurposed in more creative and individual ways; certainly this is possible in IP.

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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby showNprove » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:50 am

carrier wrote:The only doors you'll be closing by going to GMU are the doors that lead to working 80 hours with TLS-type elitists. That's not necessarily a bad thing. :P

Anecdotally, I just skimmed over 2 big name IP firms, one national and one in Philly. GMU had partners at both; Penn and UVA had a few more at the national one and equivalent at the Philly one. Doors aren't closed, just less open. Anecdotally again, I've met IP attorneys in mid- or late-career stages who are very happy with their quality of life (and paychecks) with degrees from GMU, Maryland, and Delaware-Widener. I know anecdotes are worth nothing compared to hard statistics, but at the same time they're enough to disprove the absolutism you'll see on this board.

You already have a general career field and maybe a specific path in mind, so maybe you should not be looking at what doors get closed but just whether the ones to your chosen path are still open. You clearly aren't a directionless 22 year-old looking for any sort of use for a Philosophy degree, so it isn't just about maximizing the number and type of options after graduation.

You mention the SO, so I suspect you already have a broader view of quality of life than just $$$. How will work + part-time school affect quality of life? How will a T14 workload full-time affect it? Down the road, how will debt, higher salary opportunities, or the concurrent pressures of high salary and high debt affect it?

GULC pt seems like the ultimate hedge in this scenario. Even for Penn or UVA, cushy summer associate positions aren't a given, especially in DC, so the money earned working while in school shouldn't be dismissed as easily as some do in this thread. And you probably won't make a lot more out of the gate than your pay during years 3 and 4 (certainly shouldn't plan on it, at least).

GMU is low-risk, but I don't think the reward is necessarily low... nor all that much lower than your other options for your field. With either part-time program, you'll be graduating with what I assume to be 5+ years of experience in that closely-related field, which is nothing to sneeze at when being compared to those who graduate in 3 years w/ no work experience beyond 3 months at a time of summer work. If the chips fall right, you can even go for a summer associate job and swing it into a full time paralegal position while finishing your JD. Win-win. Or, graduating with no debt and already having your current job, you can be very selective and patient in making your next move, which is a large advantage over being desperate to start getting paid to start paying student loan bills.

I faced similar questions as you for undergrad, and decided to take on the debt and go with prestige/connections. Now as a result my only option for law school is something cheap, but I don't regret my undergrad choice. It was special and different and an accomplishment unto itself. You'll only get one chance in life to pick a law school, but for the rest of your life you can say you went to Penn Law and be a part of its network.

At a T2 ASW recently, a dean explained that she didn't think the legal field was shrinking or the need for lawyers decreasing, just that the popular and well-paying jobs are shrinking (as they inevitably had to at some point). She said what is growing is the "entrepreneurial aspect" of the profession, which has multiple implications. My takeaway was that our careers more than our predecessors' will be what we make of them. You may not just come out of school as a round peg with diploma in hand to go fill a round hole at BigLaw and go on your merry way. The determination and drive to sell your soul at a firm for a decade of 80-hour weeks can be repurposed in more creative and individual ways; certainly this is possible in IP.

The above is carrier's first post. I'm convinced he/she works in the admissions office at GMU.

UVa is the best choice here, I believe. It opens up the most doors in your two markets of interest. GMU barely opens in doors in DC; Georgetown opens doors in DC, but for a much smaller percentage of its class; and Penn is a NYC/Philly feeder school and certainly not $90k better for you than UVa.

If you have questions on getting a job in the Philly area from UVa, PM me.

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glewz
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Re: UVA/Penn or Part time

Postby glewz » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:12 am

Sorry, didn't read into your situation. I'd change my vote from UVA to Georgetown PT.




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