George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

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sphynx4105
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George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Tue May 24, 2011 7:44 pm

I have been accepted to George Mason and St. John's and feel VERY torn between the two schools. George Mason is ranked at 40 and St. John's is 76, but both have very regional reputations. The problem is I'm hesitant to leave NYC because I always pictured myself working here. Does anyone know about the job prospects/salaries of SJU alums versus GM alums? Would it be a mistake to pass up the higher ranked school for the sake of staying in NY? Any advice would be very much appreciated!!

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bk1
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby bk1 » Tue May 24, 2011 7:51 pm

Scholarships?

--LinkRemoved-- has data on the schools.

sphynx4105
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Tue May 24, 2011 8:01 pm

[quote="bk1"]Scholarships?

Unfortunately, no $$ at either school (I was surprised I didn't get any from SJU). I would be paying out of state tuition for GM, which is about 36K and st. john's is 46K

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jenesaislaw
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby jenesaislaw » Tue May 24, 2011 10:09 pm

It would be silly to let the rank of these two schools dictate your choice here. That said, you need to think carefully about whether it is worth attending SJ at that price. Figure out what your total cost of attendance, including cost of living, would be (use the previous few years of tuition data to figure out how much to increase tuition by each year). Then think about what it is that you want from your law degree and whether SJ (or GMU) can meet those needs. Then figure out what the debt looks like with those jobs that are attainable and likely. Then figure out if you can adjust it downward due to the school's LRAP and IBR. At that point you'll have a decent answer for yourself, I suspect.

sphynx4105
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Sun May 29, 2011 12:13 pm

Anyone have an opinion about Pace law school? I mentioned this on another post but they're offering 25K/year scholarship and they have an excellent environmental law program, which is the area I aspire to practice in. Many people on this forum are saying they wouldn't attend for free, but considering financial matters are a major concern for me, this might be a viable option for me.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun May 29, 2011 1:50 pm

Neither is worth sticker

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kapital98
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby kapital98 » Sun May 29, 2011 2:05 pm

sphynx4105 wrote:Anyone have an opinion about Pace law school? I mentioned this on another post but they're offering 25K/year scholarship and they have an excellent environmental law program, which is the area I aspire to practice in. Many people on this forum are saying they wouldn't attend for free, but considering financial matters are a major concern for me, this might be a viable option for me.


1) Did you try to negotiate with St. John's? If you were accepted to George Mason I'm shocked St. John's didn't give you money. In addition, scholarships from St. John's should be comparatively larger than George Mason because it is a very expensive private school (compared to a relatively inexpensive state school.)

The admissions criteria for both schools (LSAT/GPA) are very different. This essentially means St. John's is taking you for a ride (I'm assuming you had #'s somewhere between both schools medians.) Definitely try to negotiate if you haven't already.

2) Specific areas of expertise mean nothing for the schools you're looking at. If you wanted Environmental law you could go to Vermont Law School and get a full ride.

3) George Mason makes the most financial sense. It has cheaper tuition and cost of living. After the first year you should be eligible for in-state tuition which will make it even more affordable. This could be the difference of ~$50,000-80,000 in debt when everything is said and done!

Unless NYC is an absolute must you should go to George Mason. Or, wait a year and reapply to a wider range of NYC schools and negotiate for better money.

HTH

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kapital98
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby kapital98 » Sun May 29, 2011 2:13 pm

I forgot to mention something (somewhat) important:

St. John's is not ranked #76. It's ranked #95. St. John's is much more similiar to Hofstra, Pace, Syracuse, and UB than Brooklyn or Cardozo. NYC is a very saturated market for the 2nd/3rd tier schools.

The ranking doesn't really matter but the employment statistics do. In this case the rankings are a decent indicator of employment statistics.
Last edited by kapital98 on Sun May 29, 2011 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MrAnon
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby MrAnon » Sun May 29, 2011 7:39 pm

both schools are local schools, so don't pick up and move for GMU. You are really engaging in an uphill battle for employment at this point so better to go with the devil you (NYC) than the devil you don't (DC/VA)

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kapital98
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby kapital98 » Sun May 29, 2011 10:07 pm

.

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dpk711
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby dpk711 » Sun May 29, 2011 10:08 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Neither is worth sticker

Couldn't have said it more concisely than this.

sphynx4105
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Mon May 30, 2011 11:07 am

dpk711 wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:Neither is worth sticker

Couldn't have said it more concisely than this.


So would you say, despite Pace's reputation, that the $$ enough incentive? I would agree that as good as GM is, it's no Georgetown and I'm hesitant to leave NY if my job prospects will only be marginally better AND I would be saddled with almost another 100K in debt after 3 years.

Also, I've been waitlisted at Cardozo. I sent in a letter of continued interest and my business law professor (who is a Cardozo alum) is sending in a LOR. hypothetically, if i get off the waitlist, is Cardozo worth sticker price?

sphynx4105
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Mon May 30, 2011 11:19 am

kapital98 wrote:
sphynx4105 wrote:Anyone have an opinion about Pace law school? I mentioned this on another post but they're offering 25K/year scholarship and they have an excellent environmental law program, which is the area I aspire to practice in. Many people on this forum are saying they wouldn't attend for free, but considering financial matters are a major concern for me, this might be a viable option for me.


1) Did you try to negotiate with St. John's? If you were accepted to George Mason I'm shocked St. John's didn't give you money. In addition, scholarships from St. John's should be comparatively larger than George Mason because it is a very expensive private school (compared to a relatively inexpensive state school.)

The admissions criteria for both schools (LSAT/GPA) are very different. This essentially means St. John's is taking you for a ride (I'm assuming you had #'s somewhere between both schools medians.) Definitely try to negotiate if you haven't already.

2) Specific areas of expertise mean nothing for the schools you're looking at. If you wanted Environmental law you could go to Vermont Law School and get a full ride.

3) George Mason makes the most financial sense. It has cheaper tuition and cost of living. After the first year you should be eligible for in-state tuition which will make it even more affordable. This could be the difference of ~$50,000-80,000 in debt when everything is said and done!

Unless NYC is an absolute must you should go to George Mason. Or, wait a year and reapply to a wider range of NYC schools and negotiate for better money.

HTH


I looked into the possibility of getting in state tuition for 2L and 3L (which would then make GMU a no brainer) but according to some GM students/GM advisors, it is extremely difficult to establish residency in VA. I'll have to see what I can squeeze out of SJU considering other schools at that calibre (hofstra, albany, NYLS) gave me around 15K.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon May 30, 2011 11:42 am

George Mason is a good school, and is ranked in the T50, but it's in a crowded market (VA) surrounded by crowded markets (NC/DC).

As a result, I'm uncertain as to whether it would really provide you with better job prospects than T2 NYC schools. If it were the premier school in its state, I would feel differently (Alabama/Florida/Virginia).

OldManHunger
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby OldManHunger » Mon May 30, 2011 11:46 am

.
Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dpk711
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby dpk711 » Mon May 30, 2011 3:06 pm

The lowest I'd ever contemplate going for NY with a significant scholly is Dozo. The lowest I'd ever go at sticker price for NY is Cornell.

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kapital98
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby kapital98 » Mon May 30, 2011 4:05 pm

sphynx4105 wrote:
kapital98 wrote:
sphynx4105 wrote:Anyone have an opinion about Pace law school? I mentioned this on another post but they're offering 25K/year scholarship and they have an excellent environmental law program, which is the area I aspire to practice in. Many people on this forum are saying they wouldn't attend for free, but considering financial matters are a major concern for me, this might be a viable option for me.


1) Did you try to negotiate with St. John's? If you were accepted to George Mason I'm shocked St. John's didn't give you money. In addition, scholarships from St. John's should be comparatively larger than George Mason because it is a very expensive private school (compared to a relatively inexpensive state school.)

The admissions criteria for both schools (LSAT/GPA) are very different. This essentially means St. John's is taking you for a ride (I'm assuming you had #'s somewhere between both schools medians.) Definitely try to negotiate if you haven't already.

2) Specific areas of expertise mean nothing for the schools you're looking at. If you wanted Environmental law you could go to Vermont Law School and get a full ride.

3) George Mason makes the most financial sense. It has cheaper tuition and cost of living. After the first year you should be eligible for in-state tuition which will make it even more affordable. This could be the difference of ~$50,000-80,000 in debt when everything is said and done!

Unless NYC is an absolute must you should go to George Mason. Or, wait a year and reapply to a wider range of NYC schools and negotiate for better money.

HTH


I looked into the possibility of getting in state tuition for 2L and 3L (which would then make GMU a no brainer) but according to some GM students/GM advisors, it is extremely difficult to establish residency in VA. I'll have to see what I can squeeze out of SJU considering other schools at that calibre (hofstra, albany, NYLS) gave me around 15K.



Thanks for the heads up. I applied to George Mason but was denied so I never had to worry about that.

What I'm astonished by is how you got into George Mason in the first place if you're not recieving serious scholarship money from lower ranked schools. You must of had the perfect combination of softs. I'm an ECON/PLSC double major, with great undergrad softs, and George Mason denied me while numerous T2/T3 schools offered 1/2 to whole tuition scholarships.

Without the scholarship it's essentially where you want the best chance to practice/live in the future. NYC or Virgina/DC?


OldManHunger wrote:I'm starting to think half of this board is just flame posts. How can anyone, now, years after the crash, when former students of shitty law schools have written books and blogs about the law school scam, this forum has raked over the financial consequences of a bad ranking-to-debt choice again and again, and the fucking New York Times, among other major publications, has written at least two really widely disseminated articles about the financial gamble of a shit law school, seriously still be asking questions like "George Mason vs St. John's; how about Pace"?

Death, taxes, and self-delusion? WTF? I don't get it. It makes me want to start a law school. Hey. Send me $100k and I'll send you a worthless diploma that won't let you get a job. It'll save you three years of your life, and you can transition immediately into bitter carping about how you got scammed.


I think this is more of a flame than our advice. Both sides of the argument have been heard before on the forums so I'm not going to repeat them (use the search function.) The "Sky-is-falling" argument has its placed, though I think it is vastly overexaggerated, but it's not relevant for the OP. He's asking for advice on which school. Not all people have the ability to go to a T14 with a full ride, etc... Not everything has to due with the money you will make. In a proper cost-benefit analysis you take into account many types of value, like existence value, when making a decision.

Some people really want to be lawyers even if it increases the liability of financial ruin (which, assuming a normal distribution, will exist to some extent no matter what choice you make.)



*Note: This is why I wish I had the choice of attending George Mason. The Law & Economics focus of their school is a major attraction.

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kapital98
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby kapital98 » Tue May 31, 2011 12:01 pm

What have you decided? June 1st is only 12 hours away...

sphynx4105
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:16 pm

kapital98 wrote:What have you decided? June 1st is only 12 hours away...


I put down the deposits for both st. john's and george mason... i figure i spent this much on applications might as well keep my options open. fingers crossed for Cardozo!

sphynx4105
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Re: George Mason vs St. John's- Need answer by June 1!

Postby sphynx4105 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:07 pm

update: got accepted to Cardozo, so decision made. thanks for the advice everyone.




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