BC v. BU v. Fordham v. GULC

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Perch
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BC v. BU v. Fordham v. GULC

Postby Perch » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:56 pm

edit: poll removed. thanks for the help all.
Last edited by Perch on Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:17 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Attorney
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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Attorney » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:48 pm

Perch wrote: I also understand the relative increased prestige of a BU degree these days and the increased portability of the degree. With that being said, I would be happier at BC so I'm leaning towards it.

Increased prestige of a BU degree versus a BC degree? Exactly the opposite to me. BC places an average of 3% to 4% more of its class into Big Law and Article III clerkships than does BU. The BU degree is indeed more portable, but as far as placement it doesn't quite make up for BC's edge over BU in their mutual hometown of Boston.

"Prestige" is a funny word, but BC Law places a little better ("prestige" with Boston lawyers) and the overall school including undergrad et al is better at BC... so while I wouldn't necessarily say "BC is more prestigious than BU" I certainly would never say "BU is more prestigious than BC". I'm not sure that "prestige" is really applicable to either school. They're not Harvard or Stanford.

Full disclosure: I applied to BC but not BU, and will likely attend. I like Boston a lot, and if you do too BC is the better choice. If you are totally set on NYC though, BU is better.

Perch wrote:Goal is to go into BigLaw in the northeast, preferably in NYC.

Yep, BU is better for you if you much prefer NYC. You seem to like Boston too though, and you like BC's campus and environs better than BU's "law tower". Kind of a tossup, but I'd still think of it this way: BU for NYC and BC for Boston.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:58 pm

To me the BC/BU prestige/placement distinction is splitting hairs and is pretty counterproductive. In your shoes, I'd take the cheaper of BC/BU and hit Boston and NYC hard at OCI - will increase your chances of getting something.

If you want to work at a V10 in NYC like a SullCrom or Cleary, go to BU and hope to hell you end up high in the class and on LR (Fordham will also give you access, but at that price, no thanks). For some reason, I don't see BC students heading to these firms - could be self-selecting into places like Ropes and Gray or something. In Boston though, summer classes are oddly equal between BC and BU students, with more BU at Goodwin, more BC at Ropes, and exactly equal at Wilmer - at least for this summer (those are arguably the three best Boston firms).

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:05 pm

GULC is obviously the top choice, especially if you want biglaw. If you want to reduce your debt, BC/BU would be a great option. Keeping your debt down at these is a good idea. Cost of Living will be cheaper at BC as it is slightly outside the city, especially if you have a car which will cost a lot in the city at BU. Rent will be cheaper out in Newton and in the western suburbs which would really keep your debt down.

Agree regarding BC/BU. BC has the better reputation and more national name, but realistically, the NLJ250 biglaw placement stats only have BC placing three or four more people into biglaw compared to BU. I don't think it is anything to use as a basis of comparison, as the schools are pretty equal in placement stats (clerkship stats and more national placement do favor BC from studies I have seen).

All together, I would still go with GULC over the other three schools. Probably something like this:
GULC---BC--BU---Fordham

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bk1
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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby bk1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:24 pm

Choose your favorite between BU/BC (I think at 9k difference between them you should choose the school you like better).

GULC/Fordham are definitely not worth the additional cost considering BU/BC are better than Fordham and not too much worse than GULC, yet BU/BC can definitely take you to NYC.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby alumniguy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:00 pm

Congrats on doing so well in life so far - you don't have these options if you have worked hard.

OK - first a little preaching from a practicing attorney. At any of the options, that is a TON of debt and frankly, in my opinion, I am not sure any of them are worth it. You're basically rolling the dice for a 50/50 chance of making $160k. If it was the boom times, I would say go for it. But in this environment, there is no way that you can even remotely guarantee that you're going to do well enough to get a biglaw job from these four schools (unfortunately, even GULC has some pretty horrific placement statistics for being in the T14). Let's say you land biglaw, once you're there you are looking at another 50/50 chance of making past your 4th year. If you don't you only will make $515k BEFORE taxes and the likelihood that you are going to have any money saved up after paying down your debt is pretty minimal in my opinion. Certainly some go on to being well paid, but many others won't achieve the riches that many law school students seem to think is waiting for them after graduation.

OK, on to the debate. Only a few schools can even claim to be worth ~200k in debt, and Fordham and GULC aren't the schools. We're talking Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Stanford and maybe a few of the other T-14s that actually place a majority of their students into biglaw. So I would not suggest that you incur that amount of debt, even if GULC is your dream school.

You can't get much closer than BU/BC. At under 10k difference, you go to the school you liked best. I don't think either can claim more prestige than the other (sorry BC, that may have been true 10+ years ago, but today they are the same prestige-wise). Also, neither school is more portable then the other. They'll both get a good shot at practicing wherever you want, but the true indicator is going to be how well you do.

I also don't subscribe to the general belief on TLS that BU places better in NYC than BC. We're talking self selection here, nothing more, nothing less. Again, it's going to come down to how well you did and whether you can interview well. So no, BU is not better for you if you prefer NYC. BC is better for you because you preferred the location, feel of the students, etc. If you had liked BU better, I would have told you that BU was better for you.

I also don't agree that the V10 is partial to BU over BC. Again, we're talking self selection. When I went to BC, the LR students mostly stayed in Boston - and they mostly chose Ropes because we were all told that Ropes is the most prestigious firm in Boston). If they couldn't get Ropes, they went to Wilmer and if they couldn't get Wilmer, they chose from the other Boston firms that they got offers at. Of course, some LR students just went to firms that they liked (Choate, Nutter, Godowin, etc.) I imagine it is the same nowadays as well. Those that did go to NYC had offers at the same V10 firms that BU students had, but for fit reasons they simply chose to go somewhere else.

In any event, you aren't getting to the V10 at either school without being on LR and pretty much getting solid As.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:32 pm

BC.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby tram988 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:39 pm

BC :)

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Perch
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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Perch » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:46 pm

thanks for all of the help, and please keep it coming. Any and all opinions welcome.

edit: also, is anyone able to weigh in on the value of attending one school over another if I do indeed go the JAG path? For whatever reason I assume that GULC will help with this. Yes? No? Maybe so?

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby PiersonVee » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:49 pm

Follow your dreams. I hope it works out.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby alumniguy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:13 pm

In regards to JAG, you're going to have to reach out to the schools. I would imagine a major problem of trying to figure out if GULC is going to give you a benefit is because the vast majority of law school students self-select out of JAG. Maybe things have changed a bit ITE, but I wouldn't imagine that law students are suddenly lining up in droves to get into JAG.

I know that there are JAG interviews at BC and I don't think they were very competitive to get.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby FiveSermon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:15 pm

BC=BU for all intents and purposes.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:37 pm

If you go JAG, keep your debt down.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby flexityflex86 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:45 pm

I am relatively debt adverse, but I think Georgetown is easily worth a 100k+ plus more than these schools.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby alumniguy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:56 pm

So you think $200k in debt on education is a wise choice? That is a like a home mortgage and it isn't dischargable in personal bankruptcy.

NLJ 2010 stats have GULC at 38%, BC at 34% and BU at 30%. So you think $100k is worth 4% or 8% better odds at landing biglaw?

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Blindmelon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:26 pm

alumniguy wrote:
I also don't agree that the V10 is partial to BU over BC. Again, we're talking self selection. When I went to BC, the LR students mostly stayed in Boston - and they mostly chose Ropes because we were all told that Ropes is the most prestigious firm in Boston). If they couldn't get Ropes, they went to Wilmer and if they couldn't get Wilmer, they chose from the other Boston firms that they got offers at.


Meh. Ropes is overrated. GP/WH ftw.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Attorney » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:05 pm

alumniguy wrote:NLJ 2010 stats have GULC at 38%, BC at 34% and BU at 30%. So you think $100k is worth 4% or 8% better odds at landing biglaw?

Based on another post, he seems to know only about the U.S. News rankings and isn't familiar with placement stats. He wanted to know how much more #18 WUSTL was worth than #28 BC, or something like that.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby stylishlaw » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:50 pm

GULC is not worth it at that price. The question you are essentially asking yourself by considering GULC, is the extra 75k+ worth the marginal improvement in BigLaw placement? Considering GULC's primary market is not NYC, from my point of view it is not worth it.

BC/BU are so similar in price you should go to wherever you like better. BC is cheaper and has marginally better BigLaw placement. I would probably pick BC here, but you can't go wrong with either.

Enjoy Boston! I would gun hard for a year and look to transfer. To land NYC you'd probably need to have similar 1L stats that would also allow you to transfer. The scholarship at BC/BU is not enough where I would pass up on transferring if given the chance.

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Perch
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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Perch » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:08 am

For those that are selecting GULC, what are your reasons? T14 or bust?

As I said in my original post, Georgetown has a special something over the others in my eyes. While today the value (given marginally different placement statistics, scholarships) might lead me to go with BC or BU, I'm afraid that when the economy finally recovers, will I regret having foregone the chance to go to GULC both in that it has been my dream and that the prestige could be beneficial down the road?

Thanks all for the replies. It has been helpful.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby northwood » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:19 am

BC or BU but since you said you liked BC better- thats the one.

Those NYC schools are great- but too expensive. BC /BU will get you the degree you want at a lower cost- which will let you have more options. GULC is too expensive.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby RPK34 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:28 am

Perch wrote:For those that are selecting GULC, what are your reasons? T14 or bust?

As I said in my original post, Georgetown has a special something over the others in my eyes. While today the value (given marginally different placement statistics, scholarships) might lead me to go with BC or BU, I'm afraid that when the economy finally recovers, will I regret having foregone the chance to go to GULC both in that it has been my dream and that the prestige could be beneficial down the road?

Thanks all for the replies. It has been helpful.


A few things.

1. GULC is almost 100k more than BC for you. That's 100k at 7.9% interest, which is a TON of money. Even if you're lucky enough to land 160k out of law school, 100k is still a ton of money and will likely end up costing you close to 150k by the time you pay it off. And remember, most people only do big law for a few years, you're gonna be saddled with a ton of debt even after you get out.
2. Don't fall into some sort of "prestige" trap. The fact that a school has "something special in your eye" is a fucking terrible reason to select a school. I know you probably want to tell your friends and family you're going to Georgetown, but seriously, the fact that you impressed a few people with the prestige of the school you selected isn't going to matter much to you when that first student loan bill for $2500 comes in.
3. The fact that things might return to pre-ITE doesn't even provide a good reason to choose GULC. GULC barely even outplaced BC in the c/o 2009 (class did last OCI before economy tanked).
4. GULC won't provide any advantage down the road. When you're looking for the second or third job, employers are going to care a lot more about what firm you worked at, how many hours you billed, how long you worked there, and what partners think of you. No one will disregard that information and look at what school you attended, which just reflects a standardized test score and an UG GPA. GULC isn't going to open any significant doors for you that BC won't, unless we're talking about Washington DC.

Seriously, GULC is a horrible decision given your circumstances. But, I know it's obviously what you really want because, like you said, it's your dream school.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby alumniguy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:03 am

Perch wrote:For those that are selecting GULC, what are your reasons? T14 or bust?

As I said in my original post, Georgetown has a special something over the others in my eyes. While today the value (given marginally different placement statistics, scholarships) might lead me to go with BC or BU, I'm afraid that when the economy finally recovers, will I regret having foregone the chance to go to GULC both in that it has been my dream and that the prestige could be beneficial down the road?

Thanks all for the replies. It has been helpful.


Simply put. No. Unless you are a rockstar at GULC, you're opportunities will likely be only marginally better, if at all, over BU/BC. You need to understand how this "prestige" thing works. On the most basic level, it will aid in getting you your first job. If you're looking at biglaw, GULC would have an advantage in DC and firms in NYC probably go deeper into the class than BU/BC. Once you've started working, your law school become less important. It is just like undergrad. Princeton may get you your foot in the door, but if you suck at your job, you're aren't moving up the ladder. However, if you think you have what it takes to become a partner at a major law firm or want to go into academia, then GULC may have an advantage. Again, you're going to have to be a rockstar in your career for this stuff to happen.

This issue is that not all T-14s are equal. If we were talking about Harvard, I think most people would tell you that in the long term it would be worth the $75k (probably so even in the short term). However, GULC =|= Harvard (or Standford, Michigan, Virginia, etc...).

Now, if you are thinking about government work, I'd tell you that it is a much more difficult decision. But you seem inclined to do biglaw.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Perch » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:46 am

alumniguy wrote:However, if you think you have what it takes to become a partner at a major law firm or want to go into academia, then GULC may have an advantage.


alumniguy wrote:Now, if you are thinking about government work, I'd tell you that it is a much more difficult decision. But you seem inclined to do biglaw.


see that is the thing- I don't want to close off potential options while I'm in my early 20s with a long career ahead. At this point, yes I think I want to go into BigLaw and if I do I certainly would strive to make partner as I'm sure anyone else would or else why get in the game? As aforementioned, I also have an interest in JAG and therefore there is a government work element that could come into play down the line- who knows.

I hope to keep all options as open as possible, within reason, and am merely questioning the added benefit of GULC if I'm lucky enough to be accepted. Thank you for your responses- they've been helpful.

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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:11 am

Keep your debt down. If you like BC better, definitely go there. As someone above said, GULC is not worth 100k (or even 50k) when it only places a few percentage points better than BC/BU.

alumniguy
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Re: BC v. BU v. GULC v. Fordham

Postby alumniguy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:13 am

Perch wrote:
alumniguy wrote:However, if you think you have what it takes to become a partner at a major law firm or want to go into academia, then GULC may have an advantage.


alumniguy wrote:Now, if you are thinking about government work, I'd tell you that it is a much more difficult decision. But you seem inclined to do biglaw.


see that is the thing- I don't want to close off potential options while I'm in my early 20s with a long career ahead. At this point, yes I think I want to go into BigLaw and if I do I certainly would strive to make partner as I'm sure anyone else would or else why get in the game? As aforementioned, I also have an interest in JAG and therefore there is a government work element that could come into play down the line- who knows.

I hope to keep all options as open as possible, within reason, and am merely questioning the added benefit of GULC if I'm lucky enough to be accepted. Thank you for your responses- they've been helpful.


I realize that you have many aspirations (and I hope that I don't come off as mean spirited), but you've basically said your interested in everything (except public interest). My guess is that you don't really know what people in these jobs do and I'd suggest digging a little deeper into what people in these positions actually do and then have a frank conversation with yourself.

Becoming a partner in biglaw (not even getting into the likelihood) requires COMPLETE dedication to your career until you become a partner (and even today, partners are working LONG hours). We're talking more than hard work here. This isn't LSAT studying. It isn't even law school. We're talking long plentiful hours at the office. Complete attention to detail. Minimal to no errors. Dropping your personal life on a dime if an assignment comes in. Not to mention missed birthdays and missed vacations. You'll need to be extremely passionate about what your doing (or really money hungry). Are you willing to put your career ahead of the rest of your life?

In my opinion, most people go into biglaw because it pays well. Very few associates are in it for the long haul (which is probably why so many leave so early). Perhaps this is something that dawns on you during your summer associate experience - I'm not sure, but I never thought I wanted to be a partner. If biglaw only paid $60k, no one (and I mean no one) would be in biglaw. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this (hell, that is why I went to biglaw). But I had no grand illusions of making partner and I can't imagine making the life sacrifices that are required.

I don't know anything about JAG because I was not even interested in serving in the military.

Government positions run the gammut - we're talking DAs, public defenders, the Fed, federal government, etc. When I made my comment that GULC may provide a leg up for government, I was specifically speaking of prestigious government positions. From my limited research, you get these positions in one of two ways: (i) you are hired right out of law school or (ii) you are an expert in your field and you get hired after several years of private practice. For the later, where you went to law school will be irrelevant in 95% of the cases - you're either qualified and have an impressive resume or someone else is more qualified and has an even more impressive resume. We're not talking about a GULC grad with great work experience compared to some unranked regional school with great work experience (but even then, I'm telling you that the law school you attended is minimal - it's at the bottom of your resume for a reason). For the former, GULC would probably give you a leg up on the prestigious internships (e.g., DOJ honors program). But you're going to have to do well at GULC to get these prestigious internships. The bottom 50% has no chance of getting one of these types of government gigs.

But I can't really believe that anyone would not be strongly leaning towards either biglaw private practice or government.




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