Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

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

If I was Carmen SanDiego - Where in the World Should I Go?

Chicago-Kent - $20k/yr (Tuition 40k)
6
13%
Cincinnati - $7.5k/yr (Tuition 21k)
8
17%
Houston - $0 (Tuition 1st yr 37k, then 27k)
8
17%
Penn State - 15k/yr (Tuition 37k)
4
8%
UConn - $0 (yet - just accepted) (1st yr 44k, then 21.5k)
3
6%
St. Louis - $19k/yr (Tuition 35k)
7
15%
U of Missouri - $9k/yr (Tuition 17k)
12
25%
 
Total votes: 48

Splintor49
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Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:41 pm

Okay - yep, I'm one of those guys who does not care where I live for the rest of my life. I've lived in big cities and small towns and have loved them both. From Florida to California; Maine to Texas - I love it all. Therefore, it comes down to three things:

1) My debt
2) My best job prospects (which could off-set my debt)
3) WHERE IN THE WORLD DO I GO?!?!

To all my esteemed Law School Forum colleagues - based on what you know - which is my best option?! I have narrowed down from 15 accepted schools to 7 - now I'm stuck. I want to choose a school that 10 years from now I look back at my debt and my job and not regret my choice... no matter what state I end up in. Though there are a few schools I haven't heard back from - this would significantly help me narrow it down.

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bk1
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:45 pm

Whichever is the cheapest. Or, alternatively, just pick exactly where you want to live considering none of these schools gives you mobility.

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Stonewall
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Stonewall » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:48 pm

bk1 wrote:Whichever is the cheapest. Or, alternatively, just pick exactly where you want to live considering none of these schools gives you mobility.


spot on.

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:10 pm

bk1 wrote:Whichever is the cheapest. Or, alternatively, just pick exactly where you want to live considering none of these schools gives you mobility.


My concern is - yes, University of Missouri is the cheapest, but it has a 25% private practice salary of $36,000 and a median of $70,000 - by far the LOWEST of all the schools I've seen on USNWR. I understand it might equal the least amount of debt - but I am looking toward my future. I don't want to be making $80k 10 years from now if other schools give me a better shot... also, Missouri has gone from ranked mid-60's to 107 in two years. If it continues to fall this rapidly, those job numbers will probably only get significantly worse - don't you think.

Therefore, what I'm really asking - which one of these is the BEST VALUE education?!

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bk1
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:14 pm

Splintor49 wrote:My concern is - yes, University of Missouri is the cheapest, but it has a 25% private practice salary of $36,000 and a median of $70,000 - by far the LOWEST of all the schools I've seen on USNWR. I understand it might equal the least amount of debt - but I am looking toward my future. I don't want to be making $80k 10 years from now if other schools give me a better shot... also, Missouri has gone from ranked mid-60's to 107 in two years. If it continues to fall this rapidly, those job numbers will probably only get significantly worse - don't you think.

Therefore, what I'm really asking - which one of these is the BEST VALUE education?!


Those statistics are being gamed by the fact that they ignore people who don't report salary info, people who are unemployed, and people who are working in the public sector. Out of all of these schools, you are going to making around $40-60k and you are going to need to hustle your ass off for a job.

Also, USNWR rankings are irrelevant and the value difference between these schools is minimal which is why keeping down costs is most important or choosing where you want to end up..

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:37 pm

bk1 wrote:
Splintor49 wrote:My concern is - yes, University of Missouri is the cheapest, but it has a 25% private practice salary of $36,000 and a median of $70,000 - by far the LOWEST of all the schools I've seen on USNWR. I understand it might equal the least amount of debt - but I am looking toward my future. I don't want to be making $80k 10 years from now if other schools give me a better shot... also, Missouri has gone from ranked mid-60's to 107 in two years. If it continues to fall this rapidly, those job numbers will probably only get significantly worse - don't you think.

Therefore, what I'm really asking - which one of these is the BEST VALUE education?!


Those statistics are being gamed by the fact that they ignore people who don't report salary info, people who are unemployed, and people who are working in the public sector. Out of all of these schools, you are going to making around $40-60k and you are going to need to hustle your ass off for a job.

Also, USNWR rankings are irrelevant and the value difference between these schools is minimal which is why keeping down costs is most important or choosing where you want to end up..


I agree with what you are saying. But one would be a fool to believe that rankings don't affect a law school. It affects the applicant pool, which brings in less competetive students, it attracts less prestigious faculty - so not only will the academic integrity decrease, but so does job prospects.

Also - University of Missouri is in the middle of nowhere Missouri. Are you telling me that won't hurt my chances of getting into a law firm when I can't even be in a city that networks them. Yes, I understand all these schools are regional - but there are advantages to being in certain places for certain job markets. And yes, I understand some salary information is inflated, but a 25% private sector salary of $36k is ridiculous. I'm an inner-city school teacher and I make more than that.

So I'm just asking to consider more than JUST what's cheapest. Because there are good options out there. Houston does yield great job prospects. The only other real competitors is Baylor, which is equivalent in rank but in WACO, and then Texas. So it isn't over saturated so the market is good in Houston. So please - keep that in mind. I want a life, not to just minimize debt. So a blanket answer of cheapest because it is cheapest without considering other factors and saying that USNWR ranking isn't important just are not absolutely, 100% accurate. Rankings are arbitrary - but they have great negative affects, unfortunately... and so does being stuck in the middle of no where. And Forbes Payscale also agrees. So please - HELP ME!

bearsfan1
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bearsfan1 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:41 pm

I think you need to also factor in cost of living instead of just tuition. If you choose SLU or Kent, you're going to spend alot more money on living expenses than if you choose Mizzou. Mizzou has decent placement into KC and STL but for a non-resident with no ties to either city it would probably be harder to find employment. I don't know much about your other options so hopefully somebody else can help you out with those. Good luck.

CreativityKing
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby CreativityKing » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:44 pm

I chose Cincinnati, on the basis that it is in a decent market (relative to what you mentioned about Mizzou) that is not already saturated with grads from better schools (i.e., Kent grads competing with U Chicago and Northwestern grads in Chicago). And it's pretty cheap.

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:48 pm

bearsfan1 wrote:I think you need to also factor in cost of living instead of just tuition. If you choose SLU or Kent, you're going to spend alot more money on living expenses than if you choose Mizzou. Mizzou has decent placement into KC and STL but for a non-resident with no ties to either city it would probably be harder to find employment. I don't know much about your other options so hopefully somebody else can help you out with those. Good luck.


That's a decent point for keeping my debt low. I've been thinking about that a lot. Thanks! However, I'm still worried about the rankings. Lawrence, KS (which is where the University of Kansas is) spills largely into Kansas City - it is only 30 minutes away. And KC has UMKC which is now only 3 rankings away from being equal to Missouri. And with Wash U and SLU, St. Louis is getting saturated - especially at firms. Therefore, I'm afraid 3 years from now I'm still worried for my job prospects...

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:02 pm

CreativityKing wrote:I chose Cincinnati, on the basis that it is in a decent market (relative to what you mentioned about Mizzou) that is not already saturated with grads from better schools (i.e., Kent grads competing with U Chicago and Northwestern grads in Chicago). And it's pretty cheap.


According to Forbes and Payscale - the average salary for a Cincinnati is $79,000. That is actually higher than any of the other schools on that list. And if you live in the suburbs or northern Kentucky (which only knocks tuition up like $200) it is really cheap to attend COL-wise.

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:05 pm

Splintor49 wrote:I agree with what you are saying. But one would be a fool to believe that rankings don't affect a law school. It affects the applicant pool, which brings in less competetive students, it attracts less prestigious faculty - so not only will the academic integrity decrease, but so does job prospects.

Also - University of Missouri is in the middle of nowhere Missouri. Are you telling me that won't hurt my chances of getting into a law firm when I can't even be in a city that networks them. Yes, I understand all these schools are regional - but there are advantages to being in certain places for certain job markets. And yes, I understand some salary information is inflated, but a 25% private sector salary of $36k is ridiculous. I'm an inner-city school teacher and I make more than that.

So I'm just asking to consider more than JUST what's cheapest. Because there are good options out there. Houston does yield great job prospects. The only other real competitors is Baylor, which is equivalent in rank but in WACO, and then Texas. So it isn't over saturated so the market is good in Houston. So please - keep that in mind. I want a life, not to just minimize debt. So a blanket answer of cheapest because it is cheapest without considering other factors and saying that USNWR ranking isn't important just are not absolutely, 100% accurate. Rankings are arbitrary - but they have great negative affects, unfortunately... and so does being stuck in the middle of no where. And Forbes Payscale also agrees. So please - HELP ME!


For the schools ranked 51-200, rankings fluctuate so much that to use any given year as a point of reference is meaningless.

These degrees cost six figures and their job prospects are not great, they are uniformly bad. So go to the place that is cheapest with the understanding that you need to outhustle your classmates to gain an edge over them.

What do you mean "I want a life and not just to minimize debt"? Because I can assure you that you probably don't want the life of a fresh grad with a 40k/year job struggling under 150k+ worth of soulcrushing debt, because that ain't life.

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby EstboundNDwn » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:34 pm

Splintor49 wrote:
bearsfan1 wrote:I think you need to also factor in cost of living instead of just tuition. If you choose SLU or Kent, you're going to spend alot more money on living expenses than if you choose Mizzou. Mizzou has decent placement into KC and STL but for a non-resident with no ties to either city it would probably be harder to find employment. I don't know much about your other options so hopefully somebody else can help you out with those. Good luck.


That's a decent point for keeping my debt low. I've been thinking about that a lot. Thanks! However, I'm still worried about the rankings. Lawrence, KS (which is where the University of Kansas is) spills largely into Kansas City - it is only 30 minutes away. And KC has UMKC which is now only 3 rankings away from being equal to Missouri. And with Wash U and SLU, St. Louis is getting saturated - especially at firms. Therefore, I'm afraid 3 years from now I'm still worried for my job prospects...


Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.

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Grizz
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Grizz » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:40 pm

Splintor49 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Splintor49 wrote:My concern is - yes, University of Missouri is the cheapest, but it has a 25% private practice salary of $36,000 and a median of $70,000 - by far the LOWEST of all the schools I've seen on USNWR. I understand it might equal the least amount of debt - but I am looking toward my future. I don't want to be making $80k 10 years from now if other schools give me a better shot... also, Missouri has gone from ranked mid-60's to 107 in two years. If it continues to fall this rapidly, those job numbers will probably only get significantly worse - don't you think.

Therefore, what I'm really asking - which one of these is the BEST VALUE education?!


Those statistics are being gamed by the fact that they ignore people who don't report salary info, people who are unemployed, and people who are working in the public sector. Out of all of these schools, you are going to making around $40-60k and you are going to need to hustle your ass off for a job.

Also, USNWR rankings are irrelevant and the value difference between these schools is minimal which is why keeping down costs is most important or choosing where you want to end up..


I agree with what you are saying. But one would be a fool to believe that rankings don't affect a law school. It affects the applicant pool, which brings in less competetive students, it attracts less prestigious faculty - so not only will the academic integrity decrease, but so does job prospects.

Also - University of Missouri is in the middle of nowhere Missouri. Are you telling me that won't hurt my chances of getting into a law firm when I can't even be in a city that networks them. Yes, I understand all these schools are regional - but there are advantages to being in certain places for certain job markets. And yes, I understand some salary information is inflated, but a 25% private sector salary of $36k is ridiculous. I'm an inner-city school teacher and I make more than that.

So I'm just asking to consider more than JUST what's cheapest. Because there are good options out there. Houston does yield great job prospects. The only other real competitors is Baylor, which is equivalent in rank but in WACO, and then Texas. So it isn't over saturated so the market is good in Houston. So please - keep that in mind. I want a life, not to just minimize debt. So a blanket answer of cheapest because it is cheapest without considering other factors and saying that USNWR ranking isn't important just are not absolutely, 100% accurate. Rankings are arbitrary - but they have great negative affects, unfortunately... and so does being stuck in the middle of no where. And Forbes Payscale also agrees. So please - HELP ME!


lol @ academic integrity. Law school itself is fairly useless

lol @ paying sticker for UH

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bk1 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:42 pm

EstboundNDwn wrote:Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.


If you're looking at schools outside of the T12 or T18 or so you really shouldn't be thinking about high paying jobs. Graduating with as little debt as possible is of the utmost importance at these schools.

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby EstboundNDwn » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:01 pm

bk1 wrote:
EstboundNDwn wrote:Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.


If you're looking at schools outside of the T12 or T18 or so you really shouldn't be thinking about high paying jobs. Graduating with as little debt as possible is of the utmost importance at these schools.


Well, I'd be concerned with jobs that are higher paying than legal assistants making 25-35k a year, not necessarily high-paying BigLaw jobs. It'd be ridiculous to assume you could secure 80-150k a year coming out of Mizzou, but in this economy, even securing 45-55k is tenuous.

On the other hand, while debt is important you also have to consider the long term consequences of going to a school for the short run prospects of paying off your loans quickly.

It's safe to assume that you'll be working in this region/Missouri for what? At least 5-10 years? And after that? Would Mizzou be a scarlet letter if you ever wanted to venture out of your regional pond?

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:18 am

bk1 wrote:
EstboundNDwn wrote:Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.


If you're looking at schools outside of the T12 or T18 or so you really shouldn't be thinking about high paying jobs. Graduating with as little debt as possible is of the utmost importance at these schools.


I agree. It would be stupid to expect a $160,000 job. Not even a $110,000 job. But The difference between $35,000 and $70,000 is substantial no matter what the cost of living is...

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bearsfan1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:44 pm

Splintor49 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
EstboundNDwn wrote:Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.


If you're looking at schools outside of the T12 or T18 or so you really shouldn't be thinking about high paying jobs. Graduating with as little debt as possible is of the utmost importance at these schools.


I agree. It would be stupid to expect a $160,000 job. Not even a $110,000 job. But The difference between $35,000 and $70,000 is substantial no matter what the cost of living is...


Yeah, you're right. Have you visited the schools? For example, if you attend Cincy, expect to work in Cincy. But if you haven't visited Cincy, how do you know that you'll actually like living there?

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:48 pm

Splintor49 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
EstboundNDwn wrote:Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.


If you're looking at schools outside of the T12 or T18 or so you really shouldn't be thinking about high paying jobs. Graduating with as little debt as possible is of the utmost importance at these schools.


I agree. It would be stupid to expect a $160,000 job. Not even a $110,000 job. But The difference between $35,000 and $70,000 is substantial no matter what the cost of living is...


Yes but those numbers aren't really grounded in reality.

At pretty much all of these schools, 75%+ of their graduates are making less than 60k or not reporting their salary (which means they are, in all likelihood, not making much money). This is 2008 data so things are much worse now, but I hope it gives you a picture of the differences between them:

--LinkRemoved--

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:58 pm

bk1 wrote:
Splintor49 wrote:
bk1 wrote:
EstboundNDwn wrote:Dude, I am right there with you. I really like the law school and the opportunity of graduating with minimal debt, but it's not exactly in the best place to network for higher paying jobs.


If you're looking at schools outside of the T12 or T18 or so you really shouldn't be thinking about high paying jobs. Graduating with as little debt as possible is of the utmost importance at these schools.


I agree. It would be stupid to expect a $160,000 job. Not even a $110,000 job. But The difference between $35,000 and $70,000 is substantial no matter what the cost of living is...


Yes but those numbers aren't really grounded in reality.

At pretty much all of these schools, 75%+ of their graduates are making less than 60k or not reporting their salary (which means they are, in all likelihood, not making much money). This is 2008 data so things are much worse now, but I hope it gives you a picture of the differences between them:

--LinkRemoved--


That website is incredibly helpful - thank you! Unless I'm reading it wrong - doesn't it say that approximately 30% of the University of Houston class is making $95k-$160k? That doesn't sound too horrible...

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bk1
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:00 pm

Splintor49 wrote:That website is incredibly helpful - thank you! Unless I'm reading it wrong - doesn't it say that approximately 30% of the class is making $95k-$160k? That doesn't sound too horrible...


For Chicago Kent (which probably has the most out of the schools you listed) yes, but that was for the graduating class of 2008. Things are much worse now. The economy tanking probably means that Chicago Kent has around 5-10% of kids making that much.

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby david787 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:08 pm

Houston is the clear choice from my point of view. The price seem right. Second, it's the top school is Houston, which is a major legal and business market in one of if not the most economically viable states. You will keep your debt down plus have a decent chance at landing a solid if not great job after graduation. You will have good access for Houston jobs and other texas cities too, Dallas will favor SMU and Austin will favor UT (well everyone will favor UT but lots of UT ppl will look outside of Texas). San Antonio is open and you'll compete with Baylor everywhere about evenly except for Houston where you'll have the edge. Seems smart to me. Although Houston sucks as a city.

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Grizz » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:44 pm

david787 wrote:Houston is the clear choice from my point of view. The price seem right. Second, it's the top school is Houston, which is a major legal and business market in one of if not the most economically viable states. You will keep your debt down plus have a decent chance at landing a solid if not great job after graduation. You will have good access for Houston jobs and other texas cities too, Dallas will favor SMU and Austin will favor UT (well everyone will favor UT but lots of UT ppl will look outside of Texas). San Antonio is open and you'll compete with Baylor everywhere about evenly except for Houston where you'll have the edge. Seems smart to me. Although Houston sucks as a city.


$91k total tuition plus cost of living seems like the right price?

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:08 pm

rad law wrote:
david787 wrote:Houston is the clear choice from my point of view. The price seem right. Second, it's the top school is Houston, which is a major legal and business market in one of if not the most economically viable states. You will keep your debt down plus have a decent chance at landing a solid if not great job after graduation. You will have good access for Houston jobs and other texas cities too, Dallas will favor SMU and Austin will favor UT (well everyone will favor UT but lots of UT ppl will look outside of Texas). San Antonio is open and you'll compete with Baylor everywhere about evenly except for Houston where you'll have the edge. Seems smart to me. Although Houston sucks as a city.


$91k total tuition plus cost of living seems like the right price?


I've heard some people say that scholarships for Houston are distributed after seat deposits are in... is that true?

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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby mpj_3050 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:14 pm

rad law wrote:
david787 wrote:Houston is the clear choice from my point of view. The price seem right. Second, it's the top school is Houston, which is a major legal and business market in one of if not the most economically viable states. You will keep your debt down plus have a decent chance at landing a solid if not great job after graduation. You will have good access for Houston jobs and other texas cities too, Dallas will favor SMU and Austin will favor UT (well everyone will favor UT but lots of UT ppl will look outside of Texas). San Antonio is open and you'll compete with Baylor everywhere about evenly except for Houston where you'll have the edge. Seems smart to me. Although Houston sucks as a city.


$91k total tuition plus cost of living seems like the right price?


Rad is right, 91k in tuition alone is insane for Houston. Pick whatever is cheapest and where you could stand living.

Cincinnati really isn't a bad city and 13k is a decent price vs. the tuition of these other schools.

Splintor49
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Re: Carmen Sandiego - where in the world do I go?!

Postby Splintor49 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:08 am

An AmLaw 50 attorney that is a friend of a friend's sent me this e-mail in regards to my questions:

"I've reviewed the schools you are considering as of a week ago and would be happy to discuss. I have a few perspectives that might be useful (briefly, if you are aspiring to an AmLaw 50 career track or a top 20 law school teaching position, then attending the very best, most highly ranked school is a good investment and will improve ultimate career choices; if you know where you'd like to practice, then the local networks of the schools will matter and part-time positions, internships, etc. are quite valuable). If I were doing this all over again, I'd want to know % of graduates placed by graduation, the top 20-25 law firms hiring graduates, the list of firms which interviewed on campus last year, and try to get some personal take from a recent graduate or two as to their view of the value of their particular degree. Frankly modest dollar differences in out-of-pocket costs thru graduation tell me less than what is the practical value of the credential in terms of getting the career opportunity you aspire to.

We very consciously try to limit hiring to the group we broadly view as top 25 schools, except for students in the top 10% of schools in our particular cities. It is no longer true that the most selective law firms hire only from a handful of top schools, but the competitiveness of the school still matters -- a lot -- and ultimate academic success will be the deciding factor."



Thoughts???




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