Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

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

Temple vs. American? ($/debt not a concern)

Temple
7
88%
American
1
13%
 
Total votes: 8

User avatar
philswfc2008
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby philswfc2008 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:31 am

Hey guys, thanks for any advice/feedback, and I apologize for being so long-winded. Anyways, here is my dilemma:

I have been accepted to Temple, and sent my deposit in last week. I am currently on the waitlist at four other schools (GW, W&M, BU, and American). My current plan is to wait out the first three schools and see what happens with their waitlsits.

The big question/dilemma I have is with American. I seems to me that I, along with many others, was a yield-protection victim (3.3x, 167 LSAT). However, I showed interest by visiting the school and meeting with an admissions counselor, and by writing an LOCI. And now last night, I got an email saying that I am going to be reviewed by the full committee.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me like I very well soon could be pulled off the waiting list there. If I am, I have 24 hours to decide and send them a deposit. Because of this, I would really like to prepare in case I am pulled off the waitlist (in other words, I'd like to know pretty much know what I would choose if/when the call from American comes). So my dilemma is picking between the school I am currently deposited at (Temple), or American (note: No matter what happens, I am going to stay on the waitlists of GW, W&M, and BU, and see how that plays out).

I really do like both schools, and I can see myself being happy at either place. I am about 50-50 between the schools (if I lean anyway, it's towards Temple maybe 51-49, but that changes every few minutes lol), so I am asking everyone I can to provide feedback. I have a few concerns at each place, but overall, I do like both schools. As for post-law school, I could see myself and be happy in either Philadelphia or D.C. I mostly want to maximize my opportonities and my chances of getting a (good) job post-graduation.

A little bit of information about me real quick:

- I am in an (extremely) fortunate position in which debt is not going to be a factor (otherwise, this would be a slam-dunk decision for Temple).
- I am a PA resident, actually a Philly resident currently - which cuts both ways (in one way, it'd be nice to stay in Philly, which is my birth city, but in the other hand, part of me desires to go somewhere different and try something new).
- While not completely sure what I want to do yet, I am interested/intrigued in trial advocacy/moot court, which obviously is a big thing at Temple.
- I also am intrigued by the idea of being a prosecutor/working in a DA's office/government agencies such as the FBI. I could do that in either Philly or DC, but obviously, having government agencies in DC is a big help there
- I am not very interested in Big Law, but not completely against the possibility.
- My dad went to American for a year before transfering to a T14 school - but he has nothing but very positive things to say about American, and especially liked the professors there (take this with a grain of salt if you wish, since this was nearly 30 years ago)

I've made a small list of what I perceive to be advantages/disadvantages for each school:

Temple (advantages): Familiarity with Philly, increase in rankings (#71 to #61) Trial Ad. program #2 in nation, less competition for jobs in Philly
Temple (disadvantages): Lower ranked than American (#61 vs. #50), not in the greatest area (I realize this is an overblown concern in many ways, however), might be tough to get into D.C. should I desire FBI/govt. agency eventually

American (advantages): Higher ranked school (#50 vs. #61), D.C. as a great place to study law (especially with govt. agencies, FBI, etc.), new experience living in a new city/"fresh start", nice building/location
American (disadvantages): Fierce competition for jobs (vs. GULC, GW, GM, T14, etc.), recent downward trend in rankings over last few years (correct me if I'm mistaken about that)

Besides this, I did visit both schools - Temple for a tour before being admitted, and during the ASW. I really liked the school, faculty, and met some nice and interesting other prospective students, although the experienced was marred because I ended up waking up sick that morning and feeling crappy all day, haha. As I said, I visited American and met with an admissions counselor - this was right after being waitlisted. I was very impressed by the facilities and the faculty/professors.

My only other concern/comment with American was with school's atmosphere of being extremely liberal, which was evident EVERYWHERE when I visited. I am a right-wing kind of guy, but very tolerant of other views, and not one who likes to get in political fights - so I don't mind liberals/liberalism, and I recognize that higher education is very skewed liberal. I guess I worry a bit about standing out in a bad way (among professors/other students) if I'm not a fervent tree-hugging type. Part of me thinks that none of that will matter, and my concern is kind of stupid, but since I'm not in law school yet, I have no way to tell if my lack of liberalism would hold me back at a school like AU.

Anyways...I am really 50-50 between the two schools. If anyone has any kind of feedback, or anything to add, it'd definetley be welcomed. Again, sorry for writing a book on this haha. I really appreciate anyone who reads this and/or responds, so thanks again!

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Wholigan
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby Wholigan » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:20 pm

philswfc2008 wrote:I am in an (extremely) fortunate position in which debt is not going to be a factor (otherwise, this would be a slam-dunk decision for Temple)


Unless you have some company or benefactor paying your tuition, isn't saving yourself or your family $100k some type of consideration?

philswfc2008 wrote:Temple (advantages): Familiarity with Philly, increase in rankings (#71 to #61) Trial Ad. program #2 in nation, less competition for jobs in Philly
Temple (disadvantages): Lower ranked than American (#61 vs. #50),not in the greatest area (I realize this is an overblown concern in many ways, however), might be tough to get into D.C. should I desire FBI/govt. agency eventually

American (advantages): Higher ranked school (#50 vs. #61),D.C. as a great place to study law (especially with govt. agencies, FBI, etc.), new experience living in a new city/"fresh start", nice building/location
American (disadvantages): Fierce competition for jobs (vs. GULC, GW, GM, T14, etc.), recent downward trend in rankings over last few years(correct me if I'm mistaken about that)

Forget about rankings or trends here. You will have to be in about the same high percentage of your class at either one to be competitive for DA/Gov't agency. Temple is going to be pretty liberal also, although probably not as much so as American. I don't think professors will hold it against you or anything, although I don't know anything specifically about that for American.


Also, IB tl;dr

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x7227
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby x7227 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:51 pm

philswfc2008 wrote:Hey guys, thanks for any advice/feedback, and I apologize for being so long-winded. Anyways, here is my dilemma:

I have been accepted to Temple, and sent my deposit in last week. I am currently on the waitlist at four other schools (GW, W&M, BU, and American). My current plan is to wait out the first three schools and see what happens with their waitlsits.

The big question/dilemma I have is with American. I seems to me that I, along with many others, was a yield-protection victim (3.3x, 167 LSAT). However, I showed interest by visiting the school and meeting with an admissions counselor, and by writing an LOCI. And now last night, I got an email saying that I am going to be reviewed by the full committee.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me like I very well soon could be pulled off the waiting list there. If I am, I have 24 hours to decide and send them a deposit. Because of this, I would really like to prepare in case I am pulled off the waitlist (in other words, I'd like to know pretty much know what I would choose if/when the call from American comes). So my dilemma is picking between the school I am currently deposited at (Temple), or American (note: No matter what happens, I am going to stay on the waitlists of GW, W&M, and BU, and see how that plays out).

I really do like both schools, and I can see myself being happy at either place. I am about 50-50 between the schools (if I lean anyway, it's towards Temple maybe 51-49, but that changes every few minutes lol), so I am asking everyone I can to provide feedback. I have a few concerns at each place, but overall, I do like both schools. As for post-law school, I could see myself and be happy in either Philadelphia or D.C. I mostly want to maximize my opportonities and my chances of getting a (good) job post-graduation.

A little bit of information about me real quick:

- I am in an (extremely) fortunate position in which debt is not going to be a factor (otherwise, this would be a slam-dunk decision for Temple).
- I am a PA resident, actually a Philly resident currently - which cuts both ways (in one way, it'd be nice to stay in Philly, which is my birth city, but in the other hand, part of me desires to go somewhere different and try something new).
- While not completely sure what I want to do yet, I am interested/intrigued in trial advocacy/moot court, which obviously is a big thing at Temple.
- I also am intrigued by the idea of being a prosecutor/working in a DA's office/government agencies such as the FBI. I could do that in either Philly or DC, but obviously, having government agencies in DC is a big help there
- I am not very interested in Big Law, but not completely against the possibility.
- My dad went to American for a year before transfering to a T14 school - but he has nothing but very positive things to say about American, and especially liked the professors there (take this with a grain of salt if you wish, since this was nearly 30 years ago)

I've made a small list of what I perceive to be advantages/disadvantages for each school:

Temple (advantages): Familiarity with Philly, increase in rankings (#71 to #61) Trial Ad. program #2 in nation, less competition for jobs in Philly
Temple (disadvantages): Lower ranked than American (#61 vs. #50), not in the greatest area (I realize this is an overblown concern in many ways, however), might be tough to get into D.C. should I desire FBI/govt. agency eventually

American (advantages): Higher ranked school (#50 vs. #61), D.C. as a great place to study law (especially with govt. agencies, FBI, etc.), new experience living in a new city/"fresh start", nice building/location
American (disadvantages): Fierce competition for jobs (vs. GULC, GW, GM, T14, etc.), recent downward trend in rankings over last few years (correct me if I'm mistaken about that)

Besides this, I did visit both schools - Temple for a tour before being admitted, and during the ASW. I really liked the school, faculty, and met some nice and interesting other prospective students, although the experienced was marred because I ended up waking up sick that morning and feeling crappy all day, haha. As I said, I visited American and met with an admissions counselor - this was right after being waitlisted. I was very impressed by the facilities and the faculty/professors.

My only other concern/comment with American was with school's atmosphere of being extremely liberal, which was evident EVERYWHERE when I visited. I am a right-wing kind of guy, but very tolerant of other views, and not one who likes to get in political fights - so I don't mind liberals/liberalism, and I recognize that higher education is very skewed liberal. I guess I worry a bit about standing out in a bad way (among professors/other students) if I'm not a fervent tree-hugging type. Part of me thinks that none of that will matter, and my concern is kind of stupid, but since I'm not in law school yet, I have no way to tell if my lack of liberalism would hold me back at a school like AU.

Anyways...I am really 50-50 between the two schools. If anyone has any kind of feedback, or anything to add, it'd definetley be welcomed. Again, sorry for writing a book on this haha. I really appreciate anyone who reads this and/or responds, so thanks again!


This sounds exactly like what I was going through all of last week before I ultimately decided on Temple.

I'm born and raised in Philly, the furthest I've ever gone for an extended period of time was my four years at college (which was also in PA, though not in Philly). Rationally, I realized that Philly is where all my contacts are, my consulting business is here, the lawyers I have worked for are in the region and Temple gave me a scholarship on top of in state tuition. Rationally, Temple made the most sense for minimizing my debt and maximizing my opportunities after law school.

That being said, there was a part of me that just wanted to get away from the city for a while, and be in a new environment. Ultimately I had to choose between W&L (with some money) and Temple (instate plus money). Don't get me wrong I love Temple, ASW was especially impressive compared to other schools I visited, but I acknowledged that there was emotional value to going elsewhere.

Ultimately I weighed each, rational vs emotional, and came out with Temple. As much as I wanted what W&L offered (a wonderful education and a chance to get away) I made the decision to build on my contacts for the next three years and come out with a lot less debt. The decision on how much you value 'getting away' is a personal thing, but I don't think you should place any weight on rankings or liberal vs conservative. My college roomie went to American and was rabidly conservative. On the whole they're all pretty respectful of each other and engage in plenty of playful debate.

Best of luck in your decision!

User avatar
thecilent
Posts: 2506
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:55 pm

Re: Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby thecilent » Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:52 pm

tl;dr

reverendt
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:56 am

Re: Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby reverendt » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:02 pm

Wholigan wrote:
philswfc2008 wrote:I am in an (extremely) fortunate position in which debt is not going to be a factor (otherwise, this would be a slam-dunk decision for Temple)


Unless you have some company or benefactor paying your tuition, isn't saving yourself or your family $100k some type of consideration?

philswfc2008 wrote:Temple (advantages): Familiarity with Philly, increase in rankings (#71 to #61) Trial Ad. program #2 in nation, less competition for jobs in Philly
Temple (disadvantages): Lower ranked than American (#61 vs. #50),not in the greatest area (I realize this is an overblown concern in many ways, however), might be tough to get into D.C. should I desire FBI/govt. agency eventually

American (advantages): Higher ranked school (#50 vs. #61),D.C. as a great place to study law (especially with govt. agencies, FBI, etc.), new experience living in a new city/"fresh start", nice building/location
American (disadvantages): Fierce competition for jobs (vs. GULC, GW, GM, T14, etc.), recent downward trend in rankings over last few years(correct me if I'm mistaken about that)

Forget about rankings or trends here. You will have to be in about the same high percentage of your class at either one to be competitive for DA/Gov't agency. Temple is going to be pretty liberal also, although probably not as much so as American. I don't think professors will hold it against you or anything, although I don't know anything specifically about that for American.


Also, IB tl;dr

I concur with everything this guy said.
10 or even 20 positions apart in ranking here is irrelevant. It's all relative to their respective markets. Both schools are respected but neither dominates its market.
I'd go with Temple. It's gonna save SOMEBODY alot of money, and I hear good things about the school.

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Justathought
Posts: 977
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Re: Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby Justathought » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:18 pm

I chose Temple over American. I, like you, do not have to take out loans for school, but money is money, and Temple is affordable. I loved the campus, the class I sat in on, my potential future classmates, and Temple places very well in its home market - which is the 5th largest city in the country. I like American, but I just felt Temple offered a little more bang for the buck. Good luck with your decision.

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philswfc2008
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Temple vs. American - (potential) decision needed soon!

Postby philswfc2008 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:58 pm

Thank you for all of the responses. I'm still having trouble deciding coming to a final decision between the two, but I am leaning towards Temple, mostly because a) As mentioned, even without debt being a concern, it is still going to be massively more afforadable than American and b) I'm worried of being buried in the DC job market behind the other DC schools, people from T14 schools, and other potential competition. Any other feedback is still welcomed. Thanks!




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