Pitt or Denver

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Pitt or Denver?

Pitt Law (COA $85,000)
17
52%
Denver (COA $115,000)
16
48%
 
Total votes: 33

Whatever1
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Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:10 pm

I'd really appreciate some advice on these 2 options:

Denver with $10,000 scholarship (Cost of Attendance for me would be about $115,000)
Pitt with $10,000 scholarship (Cost of Attendance for me would be about $85,000 since I'm confident of getting residency after year 1)

I know alot of people are going to say retake, but I studied really hard for the LSAT and maximized my score at 163 on my second try. I don't believe I could do better. I took every single practice test available, studied 5 or 6 days a week for 4 months and took a Prep Class. My issue was my gpa of 2.7. Obviously this made it hard for me so retaking is not going to help in my case. So please don't say retake.

I visited both schools and liked each, though I liked Denver the city alot more. I'm not from either area, but I have no goals as to where I will live as far as region or city, but as I said I do like Denver more than Pitt. I'm just struggling with the idea of is it worth paying $30K more for Denver just because I liked the city more than Pittsburgh.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Full disclosure: I go to Pitt.

I think Pitt easily unless you are really against living in Pittsburgh and absolutely love Denver. Pitt has better placement, is cheaper and has no competition in its own city from a superior school like Denver does with UC.

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snapdragon
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby snapdragon » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:20 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Full disclosure: I go to Pitt.

I think Pitt easily unless you are really against living in Pittsburgh and absolutely love Denver. Pitt has better placement, is cheaper and has no competition in its own city from a superior school like Denver does with UC.


Same vote for pretty much the same reasons. I am hearing some scary things on other threads about DU's employment.

joemkirch
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby joemkirch » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:24 pm

You should also weigh in the Cost of Living for each city. Pitt is definitely a cheaper choice in that respect.

FWIW, Denver really is beautiful though.

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:40 pm

Thanks for your input guys. I've been reading the same things on other threads about DU employment, but my research into the legal markets has me leaning Denver. I forget what the website was, but somebody posted a link to a map showing the biggest legal markets in the US and Denver was 8 or 9 and Pittsburgh wasn't on the list. Also, my research into some of the big law firms in Denver has me confident. I know biglaw out of DU is a stretch and would require top 10%, but it seems possible. All of the Denver firms like Holland & Hart and Sherman & Howard seem to have plenty of DU grads and equal amounts to Colorado grads. One of the big law firms there actually comes out and says in their recruitment FAQ's that they hire 2 1L's a summer: one from DU and one from CU. This seems to show me that the schools are viewed as more equal than the rankings suggest?

Other thing I like about Denver jobs is that the city is growing. Population is up about 25% in the last 20 years, whereas Pittsburgh keeps going down. Lost 8% since 2000 and is now about half the people it had in the 70's. Doesn't seem good for future job prospects to me.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:51 pm

Neither of the markets would be considered "big markets". That said, K&L Gates is based out of Pittsburgh. Top 10% won't guarantee you anything from DU, more like top 5% + LR + great interview skills can get you biglaw. I think the number of firms between the cities are comparable (I dont know anything about Denver's biglaw market, but Pittsburgh has Reed & Smith, K&L Gates, Buchanon & Ingersoll, Jones Day to name a few.) With CoA being cheaper and cost of living being cheaper I think this is personally a no brainer but since I have some bias you should go wherever you feel more comfortable.

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northwood
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby northwood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:55 pm

Figure out where you think you would want to live after law school. If its colorado or out west- go to denver,. if its PA, or Pitt go to pitt ( Im going to pitt so im a bit biased). Both schools are very regional. Since you arent from either area- your answer will be found once you figure out where you want to live.

Also- as an aside- while cost is important, dont let it be the only factor in your decision making process.

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voltage88
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby voltage88 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:57 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Neither of the markets would be considered "big markets". That said, K&L Gates is based out of Pittsburgh. Top 10% won't guarantee you anything from DU, more like top 5% + LR + great interview skills can get you biglaw. I think the number of firms between the cities are comparable (I dont know anything about Denver's biglaw market, but Pittsburgh has Reed & Smith, K&L Gates, Buchanon & Ingersoll, Jones Day to name a few.) With CoA being cheaper and cost of living being cheaper I think this is personally a no brainer but since I have some bias you should go wherever you feel more comfortable.


I ask because you're a current student there: how difficult is it to obtain in state tuition 2L and 3L for out of staters? It seems to be pretty difficult at Temple and I'm wondering how it is at Pitt. If it's doable, I can see myself a Panther next year...

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:07 pm

As for the residency, I'm not sure obviously since I'm an OL, but when I visited I talked with Pitt's admission staff and they pretty much told me move to Pittsburgh in July, get a license, register to vote, get a summer job in PA and then you'll be set for residency in the 2nd year.

As for the biglaw in Pittsburgh, I originally was very encouraged by seeing that K&L Gates and Reed Smith were based out of Pittsburgh. But with further review, I see that though each firm has over 1000 lawyers less than 200 at each are employed in the Pittsburgh market. This kind of fueled the fire for me as far as Pittsburgh being a declining city, that even the firms based there have about 1/5 of their lawyers still there.

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:44 pm

joemkirch wrote:You should also weigh in the Cost of Living for each city. Pitt is definitely a cheaper choice in that respect.

FWIW, Denver really is beautiful though.


Is it truly THAT much cheaper? Perhaps I was looking in the wrong spots, but on my tour to Pittsburgh I was seeing 1BR apartments for about $600-$700 per month and in Denver about the same if you live 20 minutes outside of the city (which I'd prefer anyway). If anybody is familiar with these cities and can weigh in on those apartment prices I'd appreciate it.

HeavenWood
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:50 pm

Pitt for Pittsburgh, Denver for Denver.

What Barbell says about Pitt is correct. You do have less relative competition. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is a relatively small legal market.

As for apartments, you can snag a one bedroom 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh for as little as $400-500 in a decent area. If you're willing to slum it in the likes of McKeesport or Wilkinsburg, you could possibly pay even less.

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:07 pm

HeavenWood wrote:Pitt for Pittsburgh, Denver for Denver.

What Barbell says about Pitt is correct. You do have less relative competition. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is a relatively small legal market.

As for apartments, you can snag a one bedroom 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh for as little as $400-500 in a decent area. If you're willing to slum it in the likes of McKeesport or Wilkinsburg, you could possibly pay even less.


Interesting. Okay thank you.

When you say Pitt for Pittsburgh, Denver for Denver does that imply that you feel the 30K difference in debt is a wash?

HeavenWood
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:10 pm

Whatever1 wrote:
HeavenWood wrote:Pitt for Pittsburgh, Denver for Denver.

What Barbell says about Pitt is correct. You do have less relative competition. On the other hand, Pittsburgh is a relatively small legal market.

As for apartments, you can snag a one bedroom 20 minutes outside Pittsburgh for as little as $400-500 in a decent area. If you're willing to slum it in the likes of McKeesport or Wilkinsburg, you could possibly pay even less.


Interesting. Okay thank you.

When you say Pitt for Pittsburgh, Denver for Denver does that imply that you feel the 30K difference in debt is a wash?


Considering that both are regional schools, yes, unless you truly have no preference between the two cities and are simply inclined to take the cheaper option.

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Peekay80
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Peekay80 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:36 pm

Full Disclosure: I am a 0L headed to Pitt this fall.

I voted Denver for you in the poll. Since you have no preference on location, I think it boils down where you think you will be happier. As others in the thread have said, the 30K could be a factor, or you could choose to ignore it (a wash). But, if I wasn't happy somewhere, I'm not sure the 30K less in student loan debt would be the thing that controlled my happiness. Also, both locations are quite geographically separate from other major markets.

Are both places risky? Yes, there are risk-rewards. Are you guaranteed anything? No. However, most people would probably recommend going with the least debt in this situation if it is down to these two schools for you.

So, if you join us at Pitt, welcome. And, if you go to Denver, good luck!

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:22 pm

voltage88 wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Neither of the markets would be considered "big markets". That said, K&L Gates is based out of Pittsburgh. Top 10% won't guarantee you anything from DU, more like top 5% + LR + great interview skills can get you biglaw. I think the number of firms between the cities are comparable (I dont know anything about Denver's biglaw market, but Pittsburgh has Reed & Smith, K&L Gates, Buchanon & Ingersoll, Jones Day to name a few.) With CoA being cheaper and cost of living being cheaper I think this is personally a no brainer but since I have some bias you should go wherever you feel more comfortable.


I ask because you're a current student there: how difficult is it to obtain in state tuition 2L and 3L for out of staters? It seems to be pretty difficult at Temple and I'm wondering how it is at Pitt. If it's doable, I can see myself a Panther next year...


Well, if you own property you get it automatically, even for 1L.

Other than that its a "totality of the circumstances" test: If you get a license, register to vote, register your car, get a lease, and maybe intern in the summer you look pretty solid to get it. Everyone goes in front of a commitee panel to plead their case for residency, but its a fairly quick process.

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:04 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:
voltage88 wrote:
BarbellDreams wrote:Neither of the markets would be considered "big markets". That said, K&L Gates is based out of Pittsburgh. Top 10% won't guarantee you anything from DU, more like top 5% + LR + great interview skills can get you biglaw. I think the number of firms between the cities are comparable (I dont know anything about Denver's biglaw market, but Pittsburgh has Reed & Smith, K&L Gates, Buchanon & Ingersoll, Jones Day to name a few.) With CoA being cheaper and cost of living being cheaper I think this is personally a no brainer but since I have some bias you should go wherever you feel more comfortable.


I ask because you're a current student there: how difficult is it to obtain in state tuition 2L and 3L for out of staters? It seems to be pretty difficult at Temple and I'm wondering how it is at Pitt. If it's doable, I can see myself a Panther next year...


Well, if you own property you get it automatically, even for 1L.

Other than that its a "totality of the circumstances" test: If you get a license, register to vote, register your car, get a lease, and maybe intern in the summer you look pretty solid to get it. Everyone goes in front of a commitee panel to plead their case for residency, but its a fairly quick process.


So I take it you know people who have done it successfully?

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northwood
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby northwood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:07 pm

Whatever1 wrote:As for the residency, I'm not sure obviously since I'm an OL, but when I visited I talked with Pitt's admission staff and they pretty much told me move to Pittsburgh in July, get a license, register to vote, get a summer job in PA and then you'll be set for residency in the 2nd year.

As for the biglaw in Pittsburgh, I originally was very encouraged by seeing that K&L Gates and Reed Smith were based out of Pittsburgh. But with further review, I see that though each firm has over 1000 lawyers less than 200 at each are employed in the Pittsburgh market. This kind of fueled the fire for me as far as Pittsburgh being a declining city, that even the firms based there have about 1/5 of their lawyers still there.



It can be done. On the website there is information as to what you need to do to get residency. You have to demonstrate taht you are planning on staying in the commonwealth longer than law school. I think if you show your commitment to the commonwealth you should be fine ( change bank accounts, license, registration voting, rent, try to get a job in pa- or actively search in pa only, etc) If they tell you no, then you can appeal this later when you have demonstrated that youve done more.

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Stonewall
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Stonewall » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:09 pm

115k for Denver? Are you crazy- don't do that

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:21 pm

Stonewall wrote:115k for Denver? Are you crazy- don't do that


What's the reasoning behind this? I have no undergrad debt so I think it'd be managable even if you make a salary like $60K, though I really don't buy that employment prospects are that bad.

HeavenWood
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:30 pm

Stonewall wrote:115k for Denver? Are you crazy- don't do that


Some people can't retake, won't retake, or retaking won't make a difference (they've legitimately maxed out their LSAT abilities).

I wouldn't pay 115k for Denver, but the OP deserves meaningful advice beyond retaking/reapplying (which I would still advise you to do if you can).

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Stonewall
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Stonewall » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:37 pm

Whatever1 wrote:
Stonewall wrote:115k for Denver? Are you crazy- don't do that


What's the reasoning behind this? I have no undergrad debt so I think it'd be managable even if you make a salary like $60K, though I really don't buy that employment prospects are that bad.


115k on debt for the prospects that Denver would provide is not nearly worth it in my opinion. It would be best to retake, but if you can't/won't then I don't know what else to tell ya

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:16 pm

Stonewall wrote:
Whatever1 wrote:
Stonewall wrote:115k for Denver? Are you crazy- don't do that


What's the reasoning behind this? I have no undergrad debt so I think it'd be managable even if you make a salary like $60K, though I really don't buy that employment prospects are that bad.


115k on debt for the prospects that Denver would provide is not nearly worth it in my opinion. It would be best to retake, but if you can't/won't then I don't know what else to tell ya


I appreciate your honest opinion, I really do. But retaking is just not practical. I don't know what I more I could do, I took the test twice and prepared as much as anyone could. I performed as high on the actual test as I did on any practice tests. So I'm just not sure what retaking would do, and with a 2.7 gpa a few more points on the lsat would not make much difference in my opinion. At the end of the day, I feel fortunate to have scholarship offers from top 100 schools with a gpa as low as mine.

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Excellence = a Habit
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Excellence = a Habit » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:46 pm

Full disclosure, I went to Pitt undergrad and love the city. I've also never been to Denver, and I am not an expert on the legal markets in either city. Since both schools are regional, I agree with everyone else that you should make this decision based on where you want to live, not on saving $30K. I just want to put in a plug for Pgh - not relative to Denver, since I don't know - but just on its own. It's a great city. Living right in town, in a very nice neighborhood near school you can get a good place for $550-750. If you wanted to share you could pay $300 for a room. I know some friends who lived large in a great house in the Highland Park neighborhood with granite counter tops, jacuzzi, a big deck with a great view, etc., for $350-$400 a piece. If you'd prefer the suburbs, I'm not sure how much that affects prices.

The city has some great neighborhoods that are really endearing but not necessarily immediately obvious when you visit the law school. Examples include the South Side, South Slope, the North Side (esp. Mexican War Streets), and Point Breeze. These are lovely places to chill for an afternoon even if you'd prefer to live farther out. And if you're at all into professional football... the heart of steelers nation is where it's at.

Anyway. Sorry! You should make your decision based on much more than this, of course, but since your decision should hinge in large part on where you want to end up afterward, I thought it was worth noting that Pittsburgh is a much awesomer city than initially meets the eye.

HeavenWood
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:49 pm

Excellence = a Habit wrote:Full disclosure, I went to Pitt undergrad and love the city. I've also never been to Denver, and I am not an expert on the legal markets in either city. Since both schools are regional, I agree with everyone else that you should make this decision based on where you want to live, not on saving $30K. I just want to put in a plug for Pgh - not relative to Denver, since I don't know - but just on its own. It's a great city. Living right in town, in a very nice neighborhood near school you can get a good place for $550-750. If you wanted to share you could pay $300 for a room. I know some friends who lived large in a great house in the Highland Park neighborhood with granite counter tops, jacuzzi, a big deck with a great view, etc., for $350-$400 a piece. If you'd prefer the suburbs, I'm not sure how much that affects prices.

The city has some great neighborhoods that are really endearing but not necessarily immediately obvious when you visit the law school. Examples include the South Side, South Slope, the North Side (esp. Mexican War Streets), and Point Breeze. These are lovely places to chill for an afternoon even if you'd prefer to live farther out. And if you're at all into professional football... the heart of steelers nation is where it's at.

Anyway. Sorry! You should make your decision based on much more than this, of course, but since your decision should hinge in large part on where you want to end up afterward, I thought it was worth noting that Pittsburgh is a much awesomer city than initially meets the eye.


From one 'Burgh advocate to another, I couldn't have put it better myself.

Whatever1
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Re: Pitt or Denver

Postby Whatever1 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:47 am

Excellence = a Habit wrote:Full disclosure, I went to Pitt undergrad and love the city. I've also never been to Denver, and I am not an expert on the legal markets in either city. Since both schools are regional, I agree with everyone else that you should make this decision based on where you want to live, not on saving $30K. I just want to put in a plug for Pgh - not relative to Denver, since I don't know - but just on its own. It's a great city. Living right in town, in a very nice neighborhood near school you can get a good place for $550-750. If you wanted to share you could pay $300 for a room. I know some friends who lived large in a great house in the Highland Park neighborhood with granite counter tops, jacuzzi, a big deck with a great view, etc., for $350-$400 a piece. If you'd prefer the suburbs, I'm not sure how much that affects prices.

The city has some great neighborhoods that are really endearing but not necessarily immediately obvious when you visit the law school. Examples include the South Side, South Slope, the North Side (esp. Mexican War Streets), and Point Breeze. These are lovely places to chill for an afternoon even if you'd prefer to live farther out. And if you're at all into professional football... the heart of steelers nation is where it's at.

Anyway. Sorry! You should make your decision based on much more than this, of course, but since your decision should hinge in large part on where you want to end up afterward, I thought it was worth noting that Pittsburgh is a much awesomer city than initially meets the eye.


Thanks, I appreciate your input. I was only there for a couple of days when I visited so I know I didn't see everything but I tried to get a good picture of what life would be like there. And as for the Steelers, since I'm a Ravens fan that's definitely not a positive for me!




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