General Question About $

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Klinklang
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General Question About $

Postby Klinklang » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:21 pm

So I have a general question. Let's say you have the option of going to a school in the 30-45 range with no $ or a full ride to a 70 or so school in the same region. Which would you choose? I guess good examples of this would be UC Boulder or U Denver, Fordham or Brooklyn, and U Washington or U Seattle. Just thinking about whether it might be better to go to a lower-ranked (I know, rank doesn't matter, etc.) if I wouldn't have any debt left over, or going to a "better" school with maybe $75 or $100K to pay off. Thanks!

interalia504
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Re: General Question About $

Postby interalia504 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:26 pm

My personal opinion on this (others will disagree) is to take the money and go to the lower ranked school, my reasoning being that there is no difference between schools ranked in the 30 to 100 range.

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bport hopeful
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Re: General Question About $

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:42 pm

interalia504 wrote:My personal opinion on this (others will disagree) is to take the money and go to the lower ranked school, my reasoning being that there is no difference between schools ranked in the 30 to 100 range.

I wouldnt say that theres no difference. especially if theyre in the same region. One obviously does better than another. But yeah, I would take the money I guess. Surely. A free education is a serious business, especially when the alternative is 200k.

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NYC Law
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Re: General Question About $

Postby NYC Law » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:46 pm

It depends on the region and your goals. If you want NY Biglaw for example you have to take Fordham over BLS. If it's a smaller/less competitive market or you aren't dead set on big law you can pick a lower school. The difference between UC-Boulder/Denver isn't that big of a deal and I'd consider the lower ranked school, same with UF Out of State vs Miami (if you want Miami), etc.
It just depends on the situation.

But in CA, DC, NY, and Chicago TCR is almost always to go with the higher ranked school.

Klinklang
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Re: General Question About $

Postby Klinklang » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:26 pm

Alright, thanks for the info everyone! Just something I've been thinking about lately. I'd graduate law school pretty young (23), so not having any debt and being able to switch professions if need be is something to consider IMHO.

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NYC Law
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Re: General Question About $

Postby NYC Law » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:37 pm

Being able to get a job and not having wasted 3 years is also something to consider

de5igual
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Re: General Question About $

Postby de5igual » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:45 pm

if the higher ranked school is the state flagship (meaning you get in-state tuition), i'd take that over a lesser ranked full-ride any day if it's in state.

1) your tuition in-state can't possibly be that bad
2) the reputation difference between the state flagship and all other schools in-state would probably be vast when it comes to small law, mid law and state government

Klinklang
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Re: General Question About $

Postby Klinklang » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:53 pm

NYC: Touche man, that's a good counterpoint.

fobolous: Nah, I'm not even applying anywhere I'd get in-state tuition. But the flagship point makes sense, even out of state.

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cinephile
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Re: General Question About $

Postby cinephile » Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:59 pm

While going to school for free sounds amazing, I wouldn't say you should take it in every situation.

These schools are both in the same region, so how big is the market? And how competitive? Do they draw mostly from the the local T1, or does the T2 you're considering also hold its own? In a couple of the examples you used, the school ranked 30-45 was a state school. Would you have in-state tuition there? If you have in-state tuition, then you're already minimizing your debt. You mentioned UW vs U Seattle, assuming you're going for the Seattle market then UW is far and away the better choice for this small market.

It's a tough call, but this also depends on what kinds of jobs you're looking at.

Lastly, you mentioned possibly switching career tracks afterward if law school doesn't work out. While you wouldn't have the burden of debt, you may find that having a JD on your resume will make it harder to get non-law jobs. Leaving the JD off your resume will create a pretty big gap that you would have to explain in some way.

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Gecko of Doom
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Re: General Question About $

Postby Gecko of Doom » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:23 pm

Not to beat a dead horse, but the answer will be different depending on which schools you're looking at. There's a much smaller difference between U of Colorado and U of Denver than there is between U of Washington and Seattle U. You need to research each case individually to find out how the schools place in their region.

CanadianWolf
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Re: General Question About $

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:47 pm

It really depends upon the specific law schools being considered.

P.S. I disagree that there is a small difference between Colorado & the University of Denver primarily due to the vast difference in each class size--170 versus 300--combined with the much higher admissions standards for CU-Boulder as compared to Denver Law. Employers tend to go much deeper into CU's graduating class than into Denver's.

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Patriot1208
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Re: General Question About $

Postby Patriot1208 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:51 pm

interalia504 wrote:My personal opinion on this (others will disagree) is to take the money and go to the lower ranked school, my reasoning being that there is no difference between schools ranked in the 30 to 100 range.

There is absolutely a large difference between Fordham and Brooklyn. The other two are less clearcut, though.

the lantern
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Re: General Question About $

Postby the lantern » Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:56 pm

My personal employment situation is going to be just fine, but as someone with a $5k/year scholarship to a school you mentioned, I would certainly consider going to the lesser ranked school for free if I had to do this all over again. I would certainly be much freer to do exactly what I wanted when I graduated if I didn't have as much debt. I already turned down 1 job offer solely because I wasn't sure what my quality of life would be considering how much my monthly student loan payment will be (great job, great potential, but low starting salary).




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