165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

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upandup
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165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:01 am

My two main goals for law school, no matter where I attend, is to a) minimize debt and b) fare well in my class (because, well, I'm going to need a job, and you don't get one by being in the dregs of your class). I'm from the Boston area and would ideally like to stay here, but I'm not opposed to leaving the area for school or to possibly live in another area after school. BU/BC are obviously my best bets for the area, but I'm wondering how others would feel about this considering I could hopefully snag a spot somewhere in the T-14 (I'm also pretty confident I can bump my score up at least a few points in December, so that should help).

However, that leaves another problem: I'll be applying in mid-January. How much am I going to be hurt by this? Not only in terms of acceptance, but particularly in terms of aid wherever I go. As much as I don't really want to do it, it almost makes me reluctantly accept the idea of maximizing my LSAT, taking another year off, and applying September 1 for 2013 (which would give the economy an extra year to bounce back as well). Will aid packages really be that drastically different? For example, when I talked to admissions at Vanderbilt I was told that aid awards aren't decided on until later in the winter anyway, but I have no idea if this is the norm or, at that, even true at Vandy.

It's really just a lot to think about while weighing the options between which school, for which reasons, for which cycle, when it all comes down to it. Any insight would be great.

Slevin Kelevra 2011
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby Slevin Kelevra 2011 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:23 pm

You have the stats for BC or BU. You can find multiple sources that say these two schools (particularly BC) place better than most other schools in the large Boston firms. You should apply and see what you can get re: financial aid.

If you like Boston, I wouldn't even look at anything but BC, BU, and the T-14. USC/UCL, Vandy, etc. are not going to get you into a big Boston firm.

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sach1282
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby sach1282 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:42 am

According to the "Where do Partners Come From?" study published in 2011, the number of partners for NLJ250 firms in Boston, sorted by school of graduation is:

Boston College -120
Boston University - 93
Harvard - 93
Suffolk - 60
Then a big drop for
Georgetown - 26

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:06 am

sach1282 wrote:According to the "Where do Partners Come From?" study published in 2011, the number of partners for NLJ250 firms in Boston, sorted by school of graduation is:

Boston College -120
Boston University - 93
Harvard - 93
Suffolk - 60
Then a big drop for
Georgetown - 26

This is a silly metric for looking at things.

OP: Here's a thread debating the BU/BC v. T14 question for going back to Boston (at least in terms of biglaw). I think most people would tell you that, with your ties to Boston, going to a stronger school will probably give you a better shot at getting the more desirable jobs, though whether or not it's worth the extra debt is another question.

You're right in that you'll probably have a disadvantage applying late in terms of getting money, but it's probably too hard to say exactly how much of a disadvantage.

fakehunter
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby fakehunter » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:07 pm

Would you consider applying in waves? Like apply this year to BC/BU, seeing how you fare financially, and then if your offers are insufficient, waiting til next year with the new LSAT score at T-14s and BU/BC again if necessary?

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:46 am

Slevin Kelevra 2011 wrote:You have the stats for BC or BU. You can find multiple sources that say these two schools (particularly BC) place better than most other schools in the large Boston firms. You should apply and see what you can get re: financial aid.

If you like Boston, I wouldn't even look at anything but BC, BU, and the T-14. USC/UCL, Vandy, etc. are not going to get you into a big Boston firm.


What about a school like WUSTL? It seems they're very generous with aid, do you have the same opinion about this school as you do Vandy? I'm disappointed to hear you say that, I visited Vandy and really enjoyed it, and was planning on setting up an interview with an alum in Boston. You really don't think one of those school's degrees would travel back to Boston well?
fakehunter wrote:Would you consider applying in waves? Like apply this year to BC/BU, seeing how you fare financially, and then if your offers are insufficient, waiting til next year with the new LSAT score at T-14s and BU/BC again if necessary?


I had thought about this, and how it looks if you apply to schools and then apply again the next year even if accepted the first time. Does this matter at all?

As I think about it more and more I really do want to stay in the area; what would people recommend in terms of BU/BC with a lot of scholarship money as opposed to something like MVP, perhaps at sticker?

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Blindmelon
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:57 am

Do not go to WUSTL/Vandy if you want Boston - silly, silly.

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top30man
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby top30man » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:04 am

Blindmelon wrote:Do not go to WUSTL/Vandy if you want Boston - silly, silly.

Agreed. Take the money at Bc/Bu

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:48 pm

Blindmelon wrote:Do not go to WUSTL/Vandy if you want Boston - silly, silly.


If this is the case, at what point does it start making sense to look at other schools outside the area? Basically what I mean by that is which schools in the T-14 would be more advantageous for Boston than BU/BC (with financial considerations being, of course, a whole different matter). Out of MVP it seems, from a previous thread, that UVA is the best for Boston out of that group. I don't really anticipate getting in anywhere in the T-6, since even if I hit my goal of a 170 in December my softs are relatively poor. What about schools lower in the T-14, would any of those be recommended over BC/BU? Or with my personal limitations (i.e. no T-6), do all signs really point to BC/BU, with MVP also being a possibility?

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:56 pm

Also could anyone give me any insight about the ED option for BU? LSN doesn't show any stats about who has been accepted ED at BU. Is the full scholarship guaranteed for all three years, and if not, what are the requirements to keep it?

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:28 pm

upandup wrote:Also could anyone give me any insight about the ED option for BU? LSN doesn't show any stats about who has been accepted ED at BU. Is the full scholarship guaranteed for all three years, and if not, what are the requirements to keep it?

You can probably find this info on the BU website. This is the first year that they're offering this option, so no one else knows either. An educated guess = you need to be above both medians to have a shot at the money, it is for 3 years, and there are no stipulations.

Also, if you want Boston after graduation, you should do some research on how each T14 school places in the area. Anything under the T-14 is more regional and won't necessarily give you the portability you need to return to Boston, which is why people told you not to bother with WUSTL/Vandy. You could potentially apply to those schools and use them to try to negotiate for more scholarship money, though, just know that they won't really help you find a job in Boston.

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Blindmelon
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:32 pm

I would easily take BU/BC $ over anything lower than MVP for Boston. Once you hit UVA, things change, but I would not take Gtown/NWestern even over BU/BC for Boston.

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:26 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
upandup wrote:Also could anyone give me any insight about the ED option for BU? LSN doesn't show any stats about who has been accepted ED at BU. Is the full scholarship guaranteed for all three years, and if not, what are the requirements to keep it?

You can probably find this info on the BU website. This is the first year that they're offering this option, so no one else knows either. An educated guess = you need to be above both medians to have a shot at the money, it is for 3 years, and there are no stipulations.

Also, if you want Boston after graduation, you should do some research on how each T14 school places in the area. Anything under the T-14 is more regional and won't necessarily give you the portability you need to return to Boston, which is why people told you not to bother with WUSTL/Vandy. You could potentially apply to those schools and use them to try to negotiate for more scholarship money, though, just know that they won't really help you find a job in Boston.


I did look on the website and found only a small bit about being able to ED, with nothing about any particular guarantees. If someone else does know for sure (or can point me to somewhere I may have missed in my search), that would be great.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby crumpetsandtea » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:30 pm

upandup wrote:I did look on the website and found only a small bit about being able to ED, with nothing about any particular guarantees. If someone else does know for sure (or can point me to somewhere I may have missed in my search), that would be great.

Applicants who are confident that Boston University (BU Law) is their first choice may choose to apply through our Binding Early Decision Program. Applicants who are granted admission to the Binding Early Decision Program will be named Distinguished Scholars and will be granted a three-year, full tuition scholarship. The application process for admission through the Distinguished Scholar Binding Early Decision Program is highly competitive. The Admissions Committee may choose to hold some files for a decision later in the application cycle. Applicants who are not offered admission through the Early Decision Process are at no disadvantage in the regular admissions cycle.

Binding Early Decision Program candidates may apply to other law schools but may not apply to any other binding early decision programs. In order to be considered for the Binding Early Decision Program you must agree that if you are admitted to BU Law through the program you will withdraw all pending applications to other law schools within five days and will not submit any additional applications to other law schools. In order to be considered for early decision you must indicate you are applying via the Binding Early Decision Program on the application and sign and submit the Early Decision Contract supplemental form.


See bolded. Like I said, 3 year, full tuition, no stipulations.

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top30man
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby top30man » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:33 pm

Blindmelon wrote:I would easily take BU/BC $ over anything lower than MVP for Boston. Once you hit UVA, things change, but I would not take Gtown/NWestern even over BU/BC for Boston.

TCR

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:45 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:
upandup wrote:I did look on the website and found only a small bit about being able to ED, with nothing about any particular guarantees. If someone else does know for sure (or can point me to somewhere I may have missed in my search), that would be great.

Applicants who are confident that Boston University (BU Law) is their first choice may choose to apply through our Binding Early Decision Program. Applicants who are granted admission to the Binding Early Decision Program will be named Distinguished Scholars and will be granted a three-year, full tuition scholarship. The application process for admission through the Distinguished Scholar Binding Early Decision Program is highly competitive. The Admissions Committee may choose to hold some files for a decision later in the application cycle. Applicants who are not offered admission through the Early Decision Process are at no disadvantage in the regular admissions cycle.

Binding Early Decision Program candidates may apply to other law schools but may not apply to any other binding early decision programs. In order to be considered for the Binding Early Decision Program you must agree that if you are admitted to BU Law through the program you will withdraw all pending applications to other law schools within five days and will not submit any additional applications to other law schools. In order to be considered for early decision you must indicate you are applying via the Binding Early Decision Program on the application and sign and submit the Early Decision Contract supplemental form.


See bolded. Like I said, 3 year, full tuition, no stipulations.



This is what I found and read, and so yeah I knew it was for three years and full, but to me not seeing something that explicitly says that it's guaranteed means that it isn't necessarily.

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vanwinkle
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:55 pm

upandup wrote:However, that leaves another problem: I'll be applying in mid-January. How much am I going to be hurt by this? Not only in terms of acceptance, but particularly in terms of aid wherever I go.

Applying later, especially if you're hoping for aid $$$, is definitely going to hurt you. Many schools give not only rolling acceptances but rolling aid offers; if you don't apply until January, you're not getting accepted until late January or even February, and by then they may not have funds left to offer you.

You also can't hope that some people will turn down $$$ which will free up money to give you. Schools intentionally over-offer merit aid, expecting a certain percentage to not accept and go elsewhere. You can't expect declined money to be re-offerred to you because the declines are already budgeted in. Once they're out of money, it means they're out of money unless even more people decline than expected. ITE, with people taking scholarships where they can find them, you shouldn't expect that to happen.

You're probably better waiting a year and applying again. An extra year of WE would be helpful, and with your great GPA you should aim to raise your LSAT a few points and get $$$ at the T14.

concurrent fork
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:51 pm

vanwinkle wrote:You're probably better waiting a year and applying again. An extra year of WE would be helpful, and with your great GPA you should aim to raise your LSAT a few points and get $$$ at the T14.

+1 and dear god do not go to wustl.

forty-two
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby forty-two » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:01 pm

upandup wrote:This is what I found and read, and so yeah I knew it was for three years and full, but to me not seeing something that explicitly says that it's guaranteed means that it isn't necessarily.

As a general rule, BU doesn't put stips on its scholarships. So I'd assume the same for this one. You can always call the admissions office just to be sure though.

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Nelson
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby Nelson » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:30 pm

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Last edited by Nelson on Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:49 pm

forty-two wrote:
upandup wrote:This is what I found and read, and so yeah I knew it was for three years and full, but to me not seeing something that explicitly says that it's guaranteed means that it isn't necessarily.

As a general rule, BU doesn't put stips on its scholarships. So I'd assume the same for this one. You can always call the admissions office just to be sure though.


Very good to know, and I will certainly confirm this with whomever I need to before applying ED if that's the route I choose to take.

Nelson wrote:
As much as I don't really want to do it, it almost makes me reluctantly accept the idea of maximizing my LSAT, taking another year off, and applying September 1 for 2013 (which would give the economy an extra year to bounce back as well).


OP, you really should do this. I was in a very similar situation to you last year. I had a 166, 3.8, applied to BU/BC and decided to turn down 15k a year at BU to reapply. I took the year, got a 172, and now I'm looking at a much better slate of schools and way better prospects. Even if you want Boston, it sounds like you have ties so a T14 gives you a better shot at biglaw in Boston and also way better back up prospects. Don't waste your GPA by applying with the 165.

EDIT: OP should also consider that a 165 will probably put him in the 15-20k scholarship realm for BU, not a full ride. Maybe I'm risk averse, but 120k in debt for BU doesn't seem like a great deal to me.


Where did you end up choosing and how did schools stack up against each other? Are you planning on practicing (returning?) to Boston after graduation? Thanks for the insight.

Also I definitely was not/am not expecting a full ride with a 165/3.91, but if I could bump that number up to a 170/3.91 (plus with additional WE) I would really like my chances at the ED scholarship. I understand that that target 170 is still a hypothetical right now but looking at LSN for this cycle so far it seems that out of the 120 applicants or so maybe a half dozen have numbers that would beat 170/3.91 (and looking back to two cycles ago, it seemed like most people in this range were settling at MVP with $$, so even with acceptances to BU with these kinds of stats no one from LSN was attending anyway).

And yes, I'm very debt averse which is why (combined with my love of the area) I would be willing to consider applying ED with my improved stats whereas others ultimately had no interest in attending BU.

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Nelson
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby Nelson » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:00 pm

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Last edited by Nelson on Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

upandup
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Re: 165/3.91; Dec. retake; partial to Boston; lots to consider

Postby upandup » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:34 pm

Nelson wrote:
upandup wrote:Where did you end up choosing and how did schools stack up against each other? Are you planning on practicing (returning?) to Boston after graduation? Thanks for the insight.

Also I definitely was not/am not expecting a full ride with a 165/3.91, but if I could bump that number up to a 170/3.91 (plus with additional WE) I would really like my chances at the ED scholarship. I understand that that target 170 is still a hypothetical right now but looking at LSN for this cycle so far it seems that out of the 120 applicants or so maybe a half dozen have numbers that would beat 170/3.91 (and looking back to two cycles ago, it seemed like most people in this range were settling at MVP with $$, so even with acceptances to BU with these kinds of stats no one from LSN was attending anyway).

And yes, I'm very debt averse which is why (combined with my love of the area) I would be willing to consider applying ED with my improved stats whereas others ultimately had no interest in attending BU.


I got 20k per year from BU and BC last year and turned both down to work another year. I had a very short school list last year since I was convinced I wanted to be in Boston for personal reasons. That changed for reasons unrelated to law school but I also took a long look at the employment stats for BU and talked to a couple recent grads. OCI cycles have been tough the past couple years. 3 years in Boston is great, but not if you have to take a doc review job afterwards.

I'm reapplying this cycle hoping for one of CCN or some money from MVP. I think those are both better options even for Boston. Your GPA and a 172 will put you in very solid shape for those schools. Heck, if you're intent on staying, aim for a 174 and go to Harvard. My personal take on debt aversion is any debt is too much without biglaw or LRAP-able PI so I tend to think maximizing your chances of getting a job is the best idea.


Harvard would certainly be nice, but that's a serious long shot at this point considering how much I've improved with how much I've studied.

The benefit of the ED would be that I wouldn't have any debt and would hopefully be able to excel and break that OCI trend, with the ultimate trump card that I have a family practice in the Boston area where I would be able to return to anyway if my job search ended up proving unfruitful.




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