Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

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mgp2675
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Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby mgp2675 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:16 pm

Hello everyone, I wanted to say first that this is my first post on here so forgive me if this is at all redundant. I'm trying to weigh a lot of life decisions right now, and any advice from you folks who know a thing or two about this subject would be greatly appreciated.

I am 24 years old, I'll be completing my undergrad in May 2012 from Rutgers...I'll be receiving a B.S. in criminal justice. I have three minors (criminology, sociology, psychology) and my GPA should be over a 3.5. I have started studying/preparing for the idea of law school through LSAT programs and practice exams. I just had a few questions about what school to choose (pending I get in). I was considering trying to get into Rutgers Newark or Camden since I live in central NJ and they're both relatively cheap (approx. $20,000 per year, without grants).

So basically, my question is, would it be in my best interest for my future to inquire about more prestigious law schools? In other words, do the job possibiites outweigh the huge amount of debt I'd be in after spending three years at a private University? Before anyone says it, I'm well aware that job opportunities are not what they used to be for lawyers. I'm not expecting to land my dream job right out of law school no matter where I go. I do however have time to weigh my options, and some useful advice from anyone would help. If going to a better school would help me get a job that has room to grow then to me it would be worth it.

Again, if you can take a minute to help me out I'd really appreciate it.

Matt

HeavenWood
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby HeavenWood » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:35 pm

mgp2675 wrote:Hello everyone, I wanted to say first that this is my first post on here so forgive me if this is at all redundant. I'm trying to weigh a lot of life decisions right now, and any advice from you folks who know a thing or two about this subject would be greatly appreciated.

I am 24 years old, I'll be completing my undergrad in May 2012 from Rutgers...I'll be receiving a B.S. in criminal justice. I have three minors (criminology, sociology, psychology) and my GPA should be over a 3.5. I have started studying/preparing for the idea of law school through LSAT programs and practice exams. I just had a few questions about what school to choose (pending I get in). I was considering trying to get into Rutgers Newark or Camden since I live in central NJ and they're both relatively cheap (approx. $20,000 per year, without grants).

So basically, my question is, would it be in my best interest for my future to inquire about more prestigious law schools? In other words, do the job possibiites outweigh the huge amount of debt I'd be in after spending three years at a private University? Before anyone says it, I'm well aware that job opportunities are not what they used to be for lawyers. I'm not expecting to land my dream job right out of law school no matter where I go. I do however have time to weigh my options, and some useful advice from anyone would help. If going to a better school would help me get a job that has room to grow then to me it would be worth it.

Again, if you can take a minute to help me out I'd really appreciate it.

Matt

That all depends on how well you do on the LSAT. You need an actual score (or at the very least a PT range) before anyone can really help you.

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instantwonton
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby instantwonton » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:35 pm

Hi Matt,

If you want to stay in NJ, Rutgers is probably fine. If you want to go anywhere else in the country, you would want to look into other options- either a strong regional school in the area you are planning on practicing or T14 if your numbers end up being high enough....It will really come down to your LSAT score in the end for where you may be able to go, so work hard and do well on that and then we'll be able to give better feedback!

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fatpeopleavenger
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby fatpeopleavenger » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:48 pm

Sorry, can't answer this question. Take the LSAT, see what the score is, and then decide from there. You have a fine GPA so at least you have that going for you.

I am not sure how law schools are with CRJ students. You would think it would be a very appealing degree but I have heard from few that criminal justice degree isn't exactly the best degree to have if you want to apply to law school. If you score well on your LSAT though, it would be irrelevant.

mgp2675
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby mgp2675 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:59 pm

I understand that none of you can tell me whether or not I'll get into certain schools. I'm not asking anyone to do that. My question was more along the lines of, hypothetically if I was accepted, would it be worth it (from an outside perspective) to go to a better school that's internationally known, but also costs much more.

And I don't regret my major, I want to study criminal law and I've enjoyed the undergrad experience

HeavenWood
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby HeavenWood » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:10 pm

mgp2675 wrote:I understand that none of you can tell me whether or not I'll get into certain schools. I'm not asking anyone to do that. My question was more along the lines of, hypothetically if I was accepted, would it be worth it (from an outside perspective) to go to a better school that's internationally known, but also costs much more.

And I don't regret my major, I want to study criminal law and I've enjoyed the undergrad experience

Depends how much better. Even if you want to stay in New Jersey, MVPDN with ties to (especially P) will serve you much better than either Rutgers campus.

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SA1928
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby SA1928 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:17 pm

I think it somewhat matters on what you plan to do after law school. From my research, the top schools have better employment rates and typically higher starting salaries for graduates, which can be a major factor in choosing a law school to attend. I would say as a whole, most people on TLS are probably going to say go for the better school, especially if you do not plan to work in the location that you received your degree in. For example, if you dream of a six-figure salary in NYC, then it is probably a better idea to choose a higher ranked school over a well-known local school. It is obviously not impossible to get that job if you do choose a somewhat lower ranked school, but it is going to make it much more difficult to do that. If you're trying to get a feel for what each school's employment stats look like, check out this site: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/

Depending on what type of LSAT score you get also, you might be able to get some money at a "better" school. Shoot for the highest LSAT you can possibly get. Even if you would prefer to stay at a local school, getting a high LSAT could potentially help you score some scholarship money there. Once you're done with the LSAT and you get your score, see what schools are in your range for your GPA/LSAT combo and then compare money from each school to determine what is best for you.

Hope that helps you a little?

mgp2675
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby mgp2675 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:37 pm

SA1928 wrote:I think it somewhat matters on what you plan to do after law school. From my research, the top schools have better employment rates and typically higher starting salaries for graduates, which can be a major factor in choosing a law school to attend. I would say as a whole, most people on TLS are probably going to say go for the better school, especially if you do not plan to work in the location that you received your degree in. For example, if you dream of a six-figure salary in NYC, then it is probably a better idea to choose a higher ranked school over a well-known local school. It is obviously not impossible to get that job if you do choose a somewhat lower ranked school, but it is going to make it much more difficult to do that. If you're trying to get a feel for what each school's employment stats look like, check out this site: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/

Depending on what type of LSAT score you get also, you might be able to get some money at a "better" school. Shoot for the highest LSAT you can possibly get. Even if you would prefer to stay at a local school, getting a high LSAT could potentially help you score some scholarship money there. Once you're done with the LSAT and you get your score, see what schools are in your range for your GPA/LSAT combo and then compare money from each school to determine what is best for you.

Hope that helps you a little?


Thanks, you have been the most helpful by far. That's really all I wanted to get out of this thread. I'm sure there are people that would disagree with you but that's why it's a public forum. Again I'm speaking in hypothetical terms because I haven't even taken the LSAT yet but with my good GPA and a (hopefully) good LSAT score I'll have some decisions to make.

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BiglawOrBust
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby BiglawOrBust » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:52 am

mgp2675 wrote:I understand that none of you can tell me whether or not I'll get into certain schools. I'm not asking anyone to do that. My question was more along the lines of, hypothetically if I was accepted, would it be worth it (from an outside perspective) to go to a better school that's internationally known, but also costs much more.

And I don't regret my major, I want to study criminal law and I've enjoyed the undergrad experience


Why are you being a douche to these guys? They're simply saying that, if your score doesn't exceed Rutgers' range, your question is pointless. At least give them a PT range before deciding if a "better" school is worth it. Obviously it's more beneficial to go to Harvard at sticker than Rugters on a full-ride, but give a score before we can see if that's even a relevant question. (Although it can't be, because your GPA will preclude you from admission to that institution, but this was just hypothetical.)

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:57 am

mgp2675 wrote:So basically, my question is, would it be in my best interest for my future to inquire about more prestigious law schools?


Yes, of course. As HeavenWood said, if your goal is to work in New Jersey, Penn is far superior to Rutgers.

But take the emphasis on getting a "real score" seriously. The LSAT is by far the most important part of the application.

HeavenWood
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby HeavenWood » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:56 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
mgp2675 wrote:So basically, my question is, would it be in my best interest for my future to inquire about more prestigious law schools?


Yes, of course. As HeavenWood said, if your goal is to work in New Jersey, Penn is far superior to Rutgers.

But take the emphasis on getting a "real score" seriously. The LSAT is by far the most important part of the application.

I don't quite understand this goal to work in Jersey anyway. You do realize you could live across the Delaware or Hudson and have two large legal markets at your fingertips? I know commuting into Philly (and especially NYC) can be a pain, but you're far more likely to end up with a good job if you expand your search. In the end, you could still end up landing that white elephant Jersey big law job.

mgp2675
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby mgp2675 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:42 am

BiglawOrBust wrote:
mgp2675 wrote:I understand that none of you can tell me whether or not I'll get into certain schools. I'm not asking anyone to do that. My question was more along the lines of, hypothetically if I was accepted, would it be worth it (from an outside perspective) to go to a better school that's internationally known, but also costs much more.

And I don't regret my major, I want to study criminal law and I've enjoyed the undergrad experience


Why are you being a douche to these guys? They're simply saying that, if your score doesn't exceed Rutgers' range, your question is pointless. At least give them a PT range before deciding if a "better" school is worth it. Obviously it's more beneficial to go to Harvard at sticker than Rugters on a full-ride, but give a score before we can see if that's even a relevant question. (Although it can't be, because your GPA will preclude you from admission to that institution, but this was just hypothetical.)


How am I being a douche? I rephrased my question. Easy with the name-calling. And thank you for letting me know I can't get into Harvard...I wasn't trying to.

mgp2675
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Re: Trying to decide on a school, advice would be great

Postby mgp2675 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:45 am

HeavenWood wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
mgp2675 wrote:So basically, my question is, would it be in my best interest for my future to inquire about more prestigious law schools?


Yes, of course. As HeavenWood said, if your goal is to work in New Jersey, Penn is far superior to Rutgers.

But take the emphasis on getting a "real score" seriously. The LSAT is by far the most important part of the application.

I don't quite understand this goal to work in Jersey anyway. You do realize you could live across the Delaware or Hudson and have two large legal markets at your fingertips? I know commuting into Philly (and especially NYC) can be a pain, but you're far more likely to end up with a good job if you expand your search. In the end, you could still end up landing that white elephant Jersey big law job.


To be 100% honest with you, I don't care where I work. I love my friends and family but I don't really like NJ as a place to have a family, and my 24 years here has left me not wanting much more. However, I do live here, and I do have a family here that is very supportive of my decisions and very generous. So, living here would be nice going through law school, but getting into any of the schools on my desired list would leave me paying room and board.

I would rather work in NYC. But like I said, wherever I can get a job.




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