Missouri or Oregon?

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

So where do I go?

Poll ended at Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:57 am

Apply again for 2012
Retake LSAT (Oct) and apply again for 2012
Don't go
Total votes: 16


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Missouri or Oregon?

Postby skippyn8 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:57 am

Got accepted off the waitlist for both schools within days of each other.

Below are a summary of how they apply to me (good and bad). This list is being posted not only for myself to weigh the options but allow others to opine.

I'm married and expecting our first child in December (final exams) so that is one of my top considerations. First year income is going to be REALLY low and I have to consider my family. We are currently debt free. Been out of school for 2 years with some work experience unrelated (directly) to legal profession.

I have a 3.8 GPA and with little preparation got a 152 LSAT (bad standardized test taker). I applied fairly late in the game December-March. I'm almost 28 years old. Huge sports fan. No specific focus of law yet, but interest in Media, Intellectual prop, tax and estate planning, but trying to be open to all. Enjoy research, history, and travel.

Wife and I love sports namely football. I love outdoors and travel.

No matter which school have to pick up and move from Northern Utah within weeks. Yes I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon).

Need to make a decision by this Friday.

    Visited and loved Columbia, MO
    Undergrad was in Journalism considering doing joint degree with Mizzou's great journalism school. Met with the J-school and they think I would likely be given a teaching fellow (like a full-ride scholarship) if accepted simply due to demand for Master's students.
    Easy to get in-state after 1 year. Will be out of state tuition ($34,031) for first year and in-state ($17,180) for 2nd and 3rd.
    Approx. Total (tuition only)=$68,391
    No electrical outlets in classroom.
    Lots of civil war and legal history.
    Lots of LDS church history.
    Tornadoes and severe storms (not use to).
    LDS membership for state of Missouri is 1.08%.
    Ranked in top 100 schools for last three years (65, 93, ~100)
    Close to St Louis, Kansas City, Jefferson for jobs, etc.
    Lots of professional sports teams close (Kansas City, St. Louis).
    Cost of living is not terrible.
    2 bedroom apartment price range $495-$1,000+
    Chase Daniel (alumni), B. Gabbert (alumni).
    Athletics in the Big 12 Conference.
    "Specialties:" #4 in Dispute Resolution

    I have visited the State of Oregon and the coast and I enjoy it very much. Love the Northwest. Never Eugene or the school itself however.
    Joint opportunities available is a few interest areas.
    Residency is determined upon starting school and will not change. Was offered $5,000 renewable scholarship (2.0 GPA, FT) making out of state tuition ($27,590).
    Approx. Total (tuition only) = $82,770
    Legal history and innovative state.
    No major storms. Great weather.
    LDS membership for state is 3.80%.
    Ranked in top 80 schools last three years (77, 80, 79).
    Cost of Living is not terrible.
    2 bedroom apartment range $500-$1,000+.
    Law School starts in August. Undergrads and rest of university don't start until September.
    Portland, Seattle jobs, sports teams, etc.
    Nike Headquarters in state.
    Puddles the Duck.
    Athletics in Pac 12 Conference.
    "Specialties:" #8 in Dispute Resolution, #8 Environmental Law, #5 Legal Writing.

Try again next year (2012)
    Going through the application process again is not a fun idea.
    Could study harder and take LSAT again in October, but would have to "cram" to try to improve.
    8 or so more points (160) could result in scholarships and broader range of possible schools.
    Work another year and Earn more money to go into school.
    Can apply earlier (September-December) and get more opportunities and choices for 2012.
    First baby will be born while not in school and will be almost 1 by time of next fall (2012) finals.
    Can pursue current start-up small business opportunities (journalism and marketing)
    Close to family for 1st child.
    Could do worse or same on LSAT which does not help.
    Could apply to more than the 7 or so schools that applied to, including in-state schools such as Utah or BYU. (got in to 6 of the 7--was waitlisted then rejected at Miami)
    Don't want to dwell on "what ifs" too much....
    It is hard to say "no"

Give up think again when you are 30+ years old
    No stress in making the decision now
    Gained nothing but "experience" of applying this year
    It is hard to say "no"

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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby NYC Law » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:23 am

If you can retake for just 6-8 points higher BYU would be a possibility, with the ridiculously cheap tuition for Mormons.

Is it possible to get residency at either school? You really should retake, but either school probably wouldn't be the end of the world since they do fairly well in their markets... just look into residency so you don't end up paying full out of state tuition for all 3 years. Personally I'd go with Oregon due to the higher QOL.

ETA: Read through more of your post concerning residency. I'd go with Oregon. Or retake (such a waste of a high GPA).


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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby skippyn8 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:38 am

NYC Law wrote:If you can retake for just 6-8 points higher BYU would be a possibility, with the ridiculously cheap tuition for Mormons.

I agree, but although 6-8 points is feasible by October, I do work full time and practiced in the low 160's and high 150's and got 152. I am not a good standardized test taker. Logic Games owned me. No one wants to do the process again.

NYc Law wrote:Personally I'd go with Oregon due to the higher QOL.

So in your opinion Oregon quality of learning is > and worth the $14,379 difference for Mizzou quality of learning? And job prospects of course.

NYC Law wrote:ETA: Read through more of your post concerning residency. I'd go with Oregon. Or retake (such a waste of a high GPA).

If I retake and get about the same 152-155 = not good for next year's applications?
How do school's react to applying again a year after being accepted?
Suggestions on whether I should get completely new letters of rec, personal statements, etc.? The process is tough once but I would think it would be even harder after you have "used" the good material already.


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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby NYC Law » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:26 am

If I retake and get about the same 152-155 = not good for next year's applications?

That'd probably still help. Most schools aside from the T6 don't hold retakes against you or even average scores.

I don't think I'd go through getting new letters of recommendation, however you should write a new personal statement.

As for the cost difference, that's up to you and your own feelings toward the two locations. To me it'd be worth the extra money to work in Oregon, but then again I hate Missouri. If you see yourself equally content then go for it.

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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby snapdragon » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:47 am

Do you and your wife have a gut feeling about either of these states? I mean, they seem so different to me, I'd be rather surprised if there wasn't just some opinion-based preference. (Like the previous poster, I'd absolutely take Oregon over Missouri because I'd much rather live & work in Oregon than Missouri).

If you're absolutely OK with the lifestyle and the reality of living in each state for not only law school but probably for 3-5 years or more after school, then I'd take Missouri.

If you would prefer to stay in Utah, I think you really need to retake and apply earlier to BYU and University of Utah. There's not much data on LSN, but it looks like at University of Utah you could have a decent shot even if you only improve your LSAT to the 154-157 range. That's really just a couple of questions. BYU would take a bit more, but I definitely think it's worth the (at this point) fairly short wait. Also, you'd then be starting school when your child is 8-9 months old instead of dealing with a newborn and 1L all in one year.

I would also look at Law School Transparency ( --LinkRemoved-- ). Just a quick glance there showed much more data and promising employment stats for Utah and BYU. The numbers for Missouri and Oregon were both a bit terrifying (15.9% unemployment for Missouri grads, 6% for Oregon (+6% "unknown status" so probably more like 12% unemployment for Oregon).

This decision needs to come down to where you & your wife are comfortable living for the next 6-10 years. If remaining in Utah is important to you, you should retake/reapply since you're fairly close to having a shot at University of Utah and BYU. If you both really have no preference between Oregon and Missouri, I'd take Missouri for the lower debt and lower COL.

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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby ndirish2010 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:21 am

Retake ---> BYU.


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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby skippyn8 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:50 am

Removing the retake option (no guarantee of better score, or admittance into these schools or better next year) Any current students at Mizzou or Oregon have information on who recruits on these campuses?

Is Missouri JUST the regional firms from St Loius, Kansas City, and Jefferson or do they have others from around the nation come? If so, where and is it a lot?

Is Oregon limited to Portland? Do employers from the entire Northwest and California come?

This is becoming the #1 factor that would help me decide.

Options for where to work after.

I loved Columbia, but I am not sure about other parts of Missouri and Kansas.
I love the state of Oregon and the Northwest and if I ever wanted to return to Utah area a Bar passage in Oregon will be much more useful than one in Missouri I would think....



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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:53 am

I know Oregon fairly well and Missouri somewhat. Both states are beautiful. This matters because if the OP goes to either one, that state is where he will probably spend his career. I agree that if the OP wants to live/work in Utah, it would be best to go to the "U" or the "Y".

Oregon has a wonderful quality of life but has suffered from chronic high unemployment since I was a kid. There's no reason to think that will change. So in terms of getting a job, I'd go with Missouri.

My vote, however, is for "Don't go."


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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:43 pm

Consider spending a year or two as a teaching fellow at Missouri's journalism school while studying for a retake.
In my experience, some law firms favor candidates with advanced writing skills evidenced by higher degrees in English or journalism. Applying to law school has clearly resulted in other opportunities for you. After studying & working as a full scholarship journalism student, not only could you earn a master's degree, but you could also attend law school with in-state tuition.

The combination of journalism & law may lead to career options as an editorial writer as well as working for a firm that represents publishing interests.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:06 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Missouri or Oregon?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:51 pm

ndirish2010 wrote:Retake ---> BYU.

This. You're not from either area, so your odds of breaking into either state are going to be tough. You'd be far, far better off devoting some serious time to the LSAT and going to BYU. Take advantage of your religious network and the lower tuition.

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