Please help me decide where to go to school!

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

Which is the best option?

Lewis and Clark ($120,000 COA)
Wake Forest ($117,000 COA)
St. Thomas ($54,000 COA)
No votes
Ride out waitlists and hope for the best
Retake/Reapply next year earlier in the cycle
Total votes: 11

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Please help me decide where to go to school!

Postby Prometheus214 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:15 pm

These threads seem to be popular so I thought that I would start one of my own to help figure out my life. To give you some background I'm from the Pacific Northwest and I would like to eventually come back here and practice after law school, but I am totally fine with going to another part of the country and living for awhile as well. I'm not sure what kind of law that I want to get into either. My stats are 3.93 GPA/161 LSAT with decent softs (leadership experience, volunteered at public interest law firm, etc.) I applied early but my applications weren't processed until rather late (January) for a lot of schools because I took the October LSAT and then retook in December and scored a few points higher. I am not opposed to taking on a little debt, but of course I want to keep loans as low as possible. However, I've heard that sometimes applying earlier in the cycle with the same #'s could net more scholarship money, so that's something to consider for reapplying next year. So here are my options:

Lewis and Clark with $12,000 per year scholarship (top 33% stipulation). I visited and I liked it a lot, and I could see myself living in Portland. Also a possibility that I could get more scholarship money in late April.

St. Thomas (Minnesota) with a full ride (2.0 GPA stipulation). Visited and liked the school but I'm concerned about attending a TTT in Minnesota when I really don't want to stay in Minnesota after graduation.

Wake Forest with $15,000 per year scholarship (top 66% stipulation).
I haven't visited, but from what I have heard and read, it seems like it would be a really good fit for me.
Coming back to practice in the Northwest might be tricky though. Also a chance that I might get a little more scholarship money but I won't know until June for sure.

Ride out Waitlist: Make a seat deposit at one or two of the above options (I already had to put down a deposit at Wake Forest) and then wait and try to get off of the waitlist at the University of Washington (top choice before being wait-listed).

Wait a year and retake/reapply next year: I wouldn't mind terribly taking a year off, but I don't have a job lined up and I'm not sure how much retaking would help. Before the December LSAT I was testing between 161-164 on my practice tests (logic games killed me, even after working through the bible) and I scored a 161 so I'm not sure how much I could raise it by.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and advice!

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Re: Please help me decide where to go to school!

Postby Lawquacious » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:18 pm

Retake. You've got a stellar GPA, and with 7+ more points on your LSAT you will be looking at a WAY different league of options (T14, and prob T14 with money) that could definitely get you back to NW.

As is, since it sounds like you want to live in NW, take LC if you must. But really, retake is the only good option given your scenario.

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Re: Please help me decide where to go to school!

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:39 pm

Retake with that GPA. You're in a great position. Even if you only improve a couple points on your LSAT, you'll be looking at a better scholarship from Lewis and Clark, and good scholarships to pretty much every school in the Pacific Northwest.

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Re: Please help me decide where to go to school!

Postby Flips88 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:42 pm

Definitely don't take L&C with that stipulation

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Re: Please help me decide where to go to school!

Postby Magnolia » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:44 pm

I think retaking and reapplying is the only option here. The only school on your list that gives you any real shot at a job in the PNW is L&C, but the stips on the scholarship are way too steep. There's a good chance you'll be paying sticker for 2L and 3L. Raising your score even just a few points could get you into the University of Washington. Even if you don't get money there (although with your GPA you probably can) you should be able to get more money out of L&C and an acceptance at U of W (especially with money) will give you some leverage to negotiate away the stips.

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Re: Please help me decide where to go to school!

Postby Prometheus214 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:36 pm

I'm definitely leaning towards taking a year off and retaking the test, barring any surprise scholarships increases. Would a year of work experience help me much, or is it really just the LSAT that I should focus on improving?

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