Catholic U or American U?

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john1990
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Catholic U or American U?

Postby john1990 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:23 am

I am expecting to have a 164 LSAT and a 3.26 GPA with a strong upward trend (3.8 for the last 2 years) my first lsat in june was a disappointing 158.

Now i know i want to go to DC but i need to choose between these 2 schools. I think i want to practice either corporate law or join a law firm. What is surprising is that Catholic U reports a much higher mean starting salary than American U. Also, since i might be well above the median marks, i might pull a scholarship from catholic.
My main concern is the validity of the starting salary stat. Also, do career opportunities vary much between the 2 schools? Or should i take a scholarship from Catholic and run?

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cinephile
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby cinephile » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:24 am

john1990 wrote: My main concern is the validity of the starting salary stat.


Probably nowhere close to valid. Scholarships are great, but they're not necessarily a given even if you are above one or both medians. And even with a scholarship, there's no guarantee that you'll keep it (particularly since lower ranked schools often have stipulations).

If you manage to get a 164 on the LSAT (and your gpa improves), I'd consider a school like Washington & Lee. It's not in DC, and it's DC placement probably it's as good as it used to be, but I'd be hesitant to attend a second tier school in an incredibly overcrowded market.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:04 am

I was never aware that Wash&Lee had any DC placement.

OP - Neither school would be a good bet. American is notoriously stingy on scholarships, and Catholic isn't a particularly good school. Neither does particularly well in DC in any category. I would suggest applying to other schools outside of DC as well (re: don't be all in on a school that only places it students in one market, particularly if that market is a crowded one and that school isn't number 1 or number 2 on the totem pole for that market).

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Grizz
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Grizz » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:33 am

john1990 wrote:I think i want to practice either corporate law or join a law firm.

What???

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MrKappus
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby MrKappus » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:42 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:I was never aware that Wash&Lee had any DC placement.


This is just dumb. http://law.wlu.edu/deptimages/Admission ... 0Month.pdf

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:46 am

MrKappus wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:I was never aware that Wash&Lee had any DC placement.


This is just dumb. http://law.wlu.edu/deptimages/Admission ... 0Month.pdf


Did you read those graphs before you posted the link? 14% of the class (total class, not just those who reported) in DC certainly proves I'm wrong. In fact, those graphs have convinced me that Wash&Lee is a DC feeder - you know, along with Richmond and Liberty.

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MrKappus
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby MrKappus » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:00 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:I was never aware that Wash&Lee had any DC placement.


This is just dumb. http://law.wlu.edu/deptimages/Admission ... 0Month.pdf


Did you read those graphs before you posted the link? 14% of the class (total class, not just those who reported) in DC certainly proves I'm wrong. In fact, those graphs have convinced me that Wash&Lee is a DC feeder - you know, along with Richmond and Liberty.


Maybe you don't know what "any" means. That's OK.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:28 am

Haha touche. I didn't say the school did not place anyone in DC. I said I was under the impression that it didn't. However, it appears as though it does send a small amount of its students there (likely those with ties or perfect grades).

OP - either way, don't go to Wash/Lee if you want to be in DC.

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thexfactor
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby thexfactor » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:36 am

john1990 wrote:I am expecting to have a 164 LSAT and a 3.26 GPA with a strong upward trend (3.8 for the last 2 years) my first lsat in june was a disappointing 158.

Now i know i want to go to DC but i need to choose between these 2 schools. I think i want to practice either corporate law or join a law firm. What is surprising is that Catholic U reports a much higher mean starting salary than American U. Also, since i might be well above the median marks, i might pull a scholarship from catholic.
My main concern is the validity of the starting salary stat. Also, do career opportunities vary much between the 2 schools? Or should i take a scholarship from Catholic and run?


I know you don't want to hear this... but I think you need to retake try for 170 wait a year or two and work. Then go to UVA or NW.

If not...

I would go to American on no scholarship vs. Catholic with half scholarship. If you are taking the HUGE risk of going to law school then you need to maximize your chances of winning (ie biglaw/midlaw/clerkship). American places around 10%-15% while Catholic places half that amount in biglaw/midlaw/clerkships.

With IBR, there isn't that big of a difference between 200k and 100k in debt. When you get out, chances are you wouldn't make enough money from either school to pay the normal monthly payments and will depend on IBR. IBR is a moral hazard... if you win, you win. if you lose, the government is there to help you.

If you are going to gamble playing the law school game, go to the best school you can get into and maximize your chances of winning.

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mattviphky
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby mattviphky » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:19 pm

thexfactor wrote:
john1990 wrote:I am expecting to have a 164 LSAT and a 3.26 GPA with a strong upward trend (3.8 for the last 2 years) my first lsat in june was a disappointing 158.

Now i know i want to go to DC but i need to choose between these 2 schools. I think i want to practice either corporate law or join a law firm. What is surprising is that Catholic U reports a much higher mean starting salary than American U. Also, since i might be well above the median marks, i might pull a scholarship from catholic.
My main concern is the validity of the starting salary stat. Also, do career opportunities vary much between the 2 schools? Or should i take a scholarship from Catholic and run?


I know you don't want to hear this... but I think you need to retake try for 170 wait a year or two and work. Then go to UVA or NW.

If not...

I would go to American on no scholarship vs. Catholic with half scholarship. If you are taking the HUGE risk of going to law school then you need to maximize your chances of winning (ie biglaw/midlaw/clerkship). American places around 10%-15% while Catholic places half that amount in biglaw/midlaw/clerkships.

With IBR, there isn't that big of a difference between 200k and 100k in debt. When you get out, chances are you wouldn't make enough money from either school to pay the normal monthly payments and will depend on IBR. IBR is a moral hazard... if you win, you win. if you lose, the government is there to help you.

If you are going to gamble playing the law school game, go to the best school you can get into and maximize your chances of winning.



This. I know it sucks man, trust me, I'm there now, about 2 days before my third lsat, but you need to try for a retake to get d.c. You can go to a lot of good schools with your stats...just not dc schools. So seriously, retake. While studying for October things got much easier. I was pting for June at 160-165, and now for October I'm between 168-172, studying gets easier man. What gave you lsat trouble? You also have a lot of the concepts down it seems if you're at a 163. Even just pting for 6 weeks might pull your lsat up.

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john1990
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby john1990 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:29 pm

My secondary city would be NYC, which is even more competitive.
As for improving the LSAT, im not sure that im capable of a 170. I studied for the LSAT for nearly 6 months, read the powerscore books twice over and took 50 preptests. My average is a 165 so i know that 158 was a fluke. It was a product of trying to push a 170, stubornly refusing to let questions go, and then my brain started going to fast.
Over the summer i did a lot of reading to try to improve my RC scores which border around 18/27. I am now a faster reader and i can read the passages much quicker, but i still struggle to get 20/27. I'm not sure that everyone can get a 170 and my GPA is a killer at 3.26, but theres not much that i can do since im 100 credits in, thats a hard GPA to move. I've already had a 3.8 the last 2 years, but first semester freshman year i had a 1.31 and without academic forgiveness theres not much i can do. :oops:
Its a tough situation, but dont both schools place more than half their students? And the average starting slaries cant be much below 100k unless they are complete fraud.
Also W&L 25th gpa of 3.28 combined with a 75th lsat of 167 makes it a far chance. I would think of George washington if i posted a 167 anyway
I think some people might not realize how much lawyers make compared to other profesionals (accountant are near 65,000)
If it is relevant i would like to take a JD/MBA in business, would that distinguish me?
This is a whole new series of questions :mrgreen: but would an LLM be better.... :lol:

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cinephile
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby cinephile » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:21 pm

I'd like to amend my answer. Aim higher on the LSAT and don't settle for anything below GW, otherwise consider other markets.

Also, the median salary info isn't necessarily fraud, it's just deceptive statistics.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:25 pm

If you cannot get GW or Fordham, don't both with NYC or DC (unless URM). Seriously.

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john1990
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby john1990 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:31 pm

I disagree but i appreciate your opinion. Where would you recomend that i practice instead? Would atlanta be any better? I could probably get into U georgia and only emory would be above that. Are there better places in the midatlantic for some one of my credentials?

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:56 pm

john1990 wrote:I disagree but i appreciate your opinion. Where would you recomend that i practice instead? Would atlanta be any better? I could probably get into U georgia and only emory would be above that. Are there better places in the midatlantic for some one of my credentials?


I'm not saying that schools below those are horrible or anything like that. I'm simply saying that the job market in those cities are particularly competitive, and mid range (and lower) schools do not do as well as one would think that they should. If you truly want to be in DC, go to American, as the school would certainly put you in DC. However, you will have no one to blame if you owe $$$ (American is stingy) and have poor job prospects upon graduation.

Honestly, there is no school that does extremely well in a large market that isn't at the tip top of the rankings. Odds are, you will struggle a little (or a lot) for permanent employment no matter what school you choose to attend in this range.

Most well regarded schools would ultimately be acceptable in some fashion, but only if you keep your debt down (re: under $75,000ish).

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Jah'rakal
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Jah'rakal » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:59 pm

American is decent, and though dropped a few ranks last year, still a tier 1 school

KamaalTheAbstract
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby KamaalTheAbstract » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:06 pm

john1990 wrote:I am expecting to have a 164 LSAT and a 3.26 GPA with a strong upward trend (3.8 for the last 2 years) my first lsat in june was a disappointing 158.

Now i know i want to go to DC but i need to choose between these 2 schools. I think i want to practice either corporate law or join a law firm. What is surprising is that Catholic U reports a much higher mean starting salary than American U. Also, since i might be well above the median marks, i might pull a scholarship from catholic.
My main concern is the validity of the starting salary stat. Also, do career opportunities vary much between the 2 schools? Or should i take a scholarship from Catholic and run?


One of these schools can be the school for you. But if the above is what you want then you have about a 90% chance of being disappointed. I'm not gonna tell you not to go law school just know that you're not going to do corporate law. You could work for law firm but not for a firm that's going to justify 200,000 in debt. Accounts make 65k but they don't have law school debt and you're not gonna find that many jobs from AU or Catholic that will pay 65k. So do what you want, just be realistic.

KamaalTheAbstract
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby KamaalTheAbstract » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:08 pm

Jah'rakal wrote:American is decent, and though dropped a few ranks last year, still a tier 1 school


I really wish people would stop talking about the merits of being a tier 1 school or gaining or rising spots in the rankings. Its pretty much meaningless and the quicker you realize that the better.

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nativedelta
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby nativedelta » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:11 pm

I got into Catholic and American in 2008. I chose Catholic because of a substantial scholarship.

You already know that Catholic only renews the scholarship if you stay in the top 25%.
What you don't know is that Catholic stacks 2 sections with all the scholarship students. So naturally, 75% of those 2 sections will lose their scholarships. Catholic then takes the money freed up by the lost scholarships to bribe the new top 25% to stay rather than transfer to other higher ranked schools. Catholic usually loses its top third to better ranked schools each year.

Catholic had excellent teachers, and I had a great first year there academically before I transferred to George Mason. Truthfully, I think I got a better legal education there than at Mason. Unfortunately, rankings play a role, and Catholic has fewer connections and less prestige than other area schools like American.

The employment statistics and salary numbers are pure fiction. DO NOT base your decision on where to go on those numbers. I made this mistake and learned too late how they manipulate the data to come up with the fairy tale number. The vast majority of my friends in the class of 2011 are without a job and without a remote prospect of a job. Many are in a totally different industry now because they have to pay the bills.

So, with Catholic, you can't count on the scholarship past year one. It's a crap shoot, and you'll be competing against almost exclusively scholarship kids in your section. So you're paying $42K for 2 years plus whatever you have to pay first year. You could go to GW or GULC for that.

If I had it to do over again, I would probably have accepted American's offer of admission at sticker price, or simply waited a year and re-took the LSAT in hopes of getting into GW or GULC.

Good luck.

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thexfactor
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby thexfactor » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:08 pm

seriously... I want you to reconsider law. The legal market is as rough as sandpaper.
You have a 85-95% chance of not gaining a good job from either American or Catholic.
I donno if I would even recommend GW. GW places only about 25% in nlj250 firms. Probably over half of the students from GW will not gain meaningful employment.

ITE it s t14 or bust..... the market is recovering very slightly and it seems that the benefits of that recovery are disporportionally going to the t14.

Law school is basically a microcosm of the us. The rich get richer while the poor get poor. The t14s are recovering while the rest are still struggling....


If you just want a job think about the carribbean for medicine, accounting or nursing.

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john1990
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby john1990 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:20 pm

Ive wanted to be a lawyer in NYC or DC since i was 10yo so i dont think its a question of weather i should practice law. The question is Catholic with a scholarship or American without. I understand that i might lose that scholarship and i may not. I'm still not 100% decided and i am even concidering brooklyn law school at this point haha

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MrKappus
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby MrKappus » Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:44 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:If you cannot get GW or Fordham, don't both with NYC or DC (unless URM). Seriously.


This is credited and very not dumb.

Turtledove
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby Turtledove » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:21 pm

john1990 wrote:Ive wanted to be a lawyer in NYC or DC since i was 10yo so i dont think its a question of weather i should practice law. The question is Catholic with a scholarship or American without. I understand that i might lose that scholarship and i may not. I'm still not 100% decided and i am even concidering brooklyn law school at this point haha


What specific sort of law do you want to practice and why do you want to practice in that area. Since different practice areas are so different it doesn't really make sense to say that you "want to be a lawyer." This question will also be very relevant to your choice of schools.

If you want to work a Public Defender's office or work in a small office doing things like personal injury, divorce, and will drafting than you should go to the cheapest school you can find that has a decent reputation in geographical area in which you want to practice (cheap should mean you'll graduate with less than $50k of debt or so because otherwise you're exposing yourself to tremendous financial risk). Either of the two schools you've mentioned will likely not give you a large enough scholarship to make this a possibility as they are both very very expensive, but if they do throw $125k+ of scholarships your way with reasonable stipulations they might be worth considering if this is your goal.

If you want to work for a big firm doing work for large corporate clients or for a more competitive public interest or government agency/organization you really need to go to one of the T17 or so (and arguable a handful of others). Any other school, including the two you've mentioned, carry such a small possibility of attaining this goal that it's really not close to worth the financial risk to attend.

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monkey85
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby monkey85 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:31 pm

thexfactor wrote:I donno if I would even recommend GW. GW places only about 25% in nlj250 firms. Probably over half of the students from GW will not gain meaningful employment.

ITE it s t14 or bust..... the market is recovering very slightly and it seems that the benefits of that recovery are disporportionally going to the t14.


Agree. I go to GW. I got my SA position. But it was far from a certainty that I would get BigLaw corporate. Make sure to ask yourself: "If I do not get what I want, will I still be okay with my decision to go to law school?" Because, more than likely, it will be very difficult to get BigLaw from American or Catholic U.

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john1990
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Re: Catholic U or American U?

Postby john1990 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:04 pm

I'm not sure what kind o law i want to practice because there are many fields that are equaly appealing to me. I would be happy to practice any one of them.
I think this question should be reduced to a matter of earning potential. So the question is can i expect to earn any more morey i i attend American U instead of Catholic U. O course there is also the prestige factor and that American U ofers a JD/MBA and Catholic does not.
So is their a difference in earning potential? Or does everyone who goes to either school just end up unemployed :mrgreen:




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