Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

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MegMargaret
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Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby MegMargaret » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:47 pm

Hello, all.

This is my first time using a forum so I'm not totally sure how it works. I applied to a lot of schools this cycle, and so far I am 7 for 7 on acceptances (and over the moon!). Still, all of these acceptances have prompted a new problem: How to choose.

I applied to small schools that had high student/faculty ratios. I don't care too much about rankings - I just want to have a good experience in law school and hopefully get a good legal job when I get out. I don't need to make piles of money; I just want to make enough to support myself and my partner, and hopefully not get too deep in debt.

My partner and I currently live in Northern CA, but strongly desire to live in a small New England town, which is why I only applied to East Coast law schools. Although so far I've been accepted several places, my short list is Vermont, U Conn, and Quinnipiac. My partner and I intend to fly out for visits in February, but until then, I was wondering what some of you thought.

Vermont: I really like the idea of going here. I like the smallness of both the school and South Royalton, I love how students and alumni seem to really love the school, and I like that they have a strong "Partners" program (vermontlaw.edu/partners). I have been offered $30,000 per year for all three years (totalling $90,000) which would help to offset the cost of tuition.

U Conn: I have not been offered any scholarship to this school; however, I'm wondering whether it's worth it to pay sticker (for future job prospects)

Quinnipiac: So far QU has offered me $35,000 per year. They have also indicated that I am in the running for a Dean's Fellows Scholarship (full-tuition). I like the idea of not going into debt, and the campus is beautiful, but I am nervous because QU is the bottom ranked school of the 3 law schools in CT. Also, the nearby New Haven crime factor is more than a little frightening.

Does anyone have any advice that I may have not yet considered?

Thank you so much!

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rinkrat19
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:50 pm

Food for thought: If you're 7 for 7, you might be aiming too low.

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Grizz
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby Grizz » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:57 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Food for thought: If you're 7 for 7, you might be aiming too low.

Also, ITE, it is VERY difficult to get jerbs in places you're not from, even if you go to school there. Your priority should be the job after, not the experience in, law school. I wouldn't go to any of these schools unless it was free, maybe.

grovevilleroad
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby grovevilleroad » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:14 pm

UConn hasn't sent out any scholarship info yet, so I am not sure you should discredit yourself from receiving one just yet.

If you want to live in a small New England town, I do no think there is much to worry about with ranking as you probably will not want to work in a medium or large market as there is no small town near by - Burlington, being Vermont's larger populated area is still a very small market but is relatively close to other small towns or can be considered a small town depending on what you consider small, but working in Boston, NYC or Hartford would not allow you to live in that tiny small town you seem to desire. You would probably end up working for a very small law firm, or start your own, in your chosen town or a near by town. If you go to Vermont, I think you will be happy being that you received 30k a year, enjoy the partners program, be in one of the best states in our nation (just my opinion and I do not live there by the way), and will have ample opportunity to work in the state or neighboring states, assuming you do well in law school.

So my choice would be determined by what school I could attend with the least amount of debt, what location I would rather be in (Vermont v. Connecticut), and what school makes me feel most at home.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Great advice so far in this thread. Congratulations on your acceptances & scholarships. Are you willing to share your LSAT & GPA numbers ?

ryemanhattan
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby ryemanhattan » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:22 pm

I'm from CT (norcal for the last decade). I have a friend who graduated from Quinnipiac law and is now a public defender. she liked the school but says it definitely places poorly compared to UConn. I would take UConn over Q even with a sizeable $$ difference (though probably not full ride vs. sticker). Don't worry about either school being overshadowed by Yale; not that many Yale grads will be staying in CT when they graduate.

Quinnipiac does have a reputation for being on the rise and it may find itself in the top 100 USNews before too long... It's a solid Tier 3 school, if any are, and I'd think of it on the same level as USF or Pacific out here.

Don't worry about the crime rates in New Haven. Quinnipiac isn't even remotely dangerous; that murder rate is largely due to one contained area in New Haven and it's generally young, black-on-black violence (sadly). Overall, New Haven is a pretty hip city with great restaurants, music, theater, etc. Lots of nice places to live on the CT shore.

I don't know much about UConn law but it seems like a respectable program, it's in the capital, and has a supposedly beautiful campus.

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kalvano
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby kalvano » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:46 pm

ryemanhattan wrote:I don't know much about UConn law but it seems like a respectable program, it's in the capital, and has a supposedly beautiful campus.



I visited UConn, it is indeed a beautiful campus.

TheZoid
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby TheZoid » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:36 pm

I would definitely steer clear of Quinnipiac, especially ITE. If it's free, maybe. UConn has a much better reputation if you're looking to practice in CT, and you may be able to claim residency after a year and have tuition almost cut in half. Don't know much about VT, but that's my slant on CT schools.

MegMargaret
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby MegMargaret » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:41 pm

Totally willing to share GPA/LSAT.

My cumulative GPA was 3.42, though my graduating GPA was 3.98. My LSAT was 160 (which, initially, was a disappointment - it was a considerably lower score than I had earned on my practice tests). I decided to not retake the LSAT because 1) I was just tired of studying, and 2) I had no interest in going to a cutthroat, big name law school. I graduated from a State school with a meh reputation, but had a pretty strong resume with a good amount of "softs". I also had exceptional letters of rec (or so I would guess - I waived my right to see them). I submitted my applications at the end of October, and wrote additional essays for Fellowships.

That being said, I applied to A LOT of schools. I applied to a few sure bets (if there is such a thing in law school admissions), many schools that were within my range, and a few reach schools. My partner and I decided to only apply to schools in states that supported marriage equality, and because we didn't want to live in Iowa or DC, that pretty much left NY and the New England states. I picked schools based on their class size, reputations, and locations. I also chose to apply to any school in that area that offered me a fee waiver.

I have currently been accepted at 9 schools (I heard back from two more schools since my post this morning), but my file is still "in review" at all of my reach schools. I'm not that worried about those - I'm pretty happy with the choices I have before me.

I feel like jobs after law school are never guaranteed, which is why my instinct is to lean toward the school that offers me the most financial aid. Still, I want to enjoy my time in law school. I know that three years is only three years, but I am a people person who thrives in small environments and personal connections. For me, I feel like enjoying my time in law school is key if I am to be completely engaged. I am not a person who needs a lot of hustle and bustle around me, so I am fine being in a remote location. In fact, it's desirable (why VLS looks so good to me).

I just want to enjoy my time in law school, leave with as little debt as possible, continue to maintain a healthy relationship with my partner, make some friends and connections, and leave with a job that will at least pay the bills.

There is just so much to consider! Thank you all for your advice. I'll take any more you'd like to throw at me!

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YourCaptain
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby YourCaptain » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:54 pm

Grizz wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Food for thought: If you're 7 for 7, you might be aiming too low.

Also, ITE, it is VERY difficult to get jerbs in places you're not from, even if you go to school there. Your priority should be the job after, not the experience in, law school. I wouldn't go to any of these schools unless it was free, maybe.


This x1000. are you from the northeast. i know the area well and your chances of employment from those schools without ties are close to nothing

MegMargaret
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby MegMargaret » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:11 pm

No, I am not from the Northeast, but I have no connections ANYWHERE. Maybe this sounds crazy, but I thought I could make connections while attending law school.

I was raised in CA but have moved around a lot. I have lived in the Midwest and South, and also overseas. I am trying to attend law school in the Northeast because I want to live there, so I'm attempting to go to school in an area where I want to live.

I understand that top tier schools are my best chance for finding extremely well-paying employment; however, are "lesser" schools really all that bad if my primary goal is simply to get a job that pays the bills? I understand that the economy is bad, but I have several friends who went to semi-regional schools (who didn't have prior connections, either) who ended up doing alright.

For everyone who is saying that I MUST have connections or go to a big name school, what would you suggest for me?

HolyMoley
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby HolyMoley » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:18 am

My sister in law chose uconn law to stay with my brother (uconn med, yale residency). She graduated last yeear, top 20% and has market paying tax law gig in new haven straight out. She also got a SA there. She is from minnesota and went to ND. She had ZERO ties to this area. So anecdotal evidence to counter Grizz. Good luck with your decision

Btw, she received the job offer before they were married or lived togetheer, in case that counted as a "tie"

bogart
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby bogart » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:58 am

3 years at one of these schools should suffice for ties. I only have a couple of classmates experience to go on, but the situation is similiar (cal to upstate for law school) to yours. Since you are looking for a smaller town then you will most likely be in a smaller office, this means no formal sa program, so you will have to network to get one of those jobs. Never be afraid to mention how much you like new england fall, those people eat that shit up (seriously).

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Grizz
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby Grizz » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:12 pm

HolyMoley wrote:My sister in law chose uconn law to stay with my brother (uconn med, yale residency). She graduated last yeear, top 20% and has market paying tax law gig in new haven straight out. She also got a SA there. She is from minnesota and went to ND. She had ZERO ties to this area. So anecdotal evidence to counter Grizz. Good luck with your decision

Btw, she received the job offer before they were married or lived togetheer, in case that counted as a "tie"

While we're throwing out anecdotes, I know a guy, top of the class plus LR at ND, struck out of the Midwest because he's from FL.

This experience is NOT unique, from my experiences this recruiting season. Just something to keep in mind.

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cinephile
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby cinephile » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:24 pm

MegMargaret wrote:
I understand that top tier schools are my best chance for finding extremely well-paying employment; however, are "lesser" schools really all that bad if my primary goal is simply to get a job that pays the bills?


Unfortunately if you're taking out loans, you pretty much need a well-paying job just to pay the bills. The only one of these schools I'd attend would be UConn at in-state rate. If that's possible after the first year, then sounds decent.
Last edited by cinephile on Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

concurrent fork
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby concurrent fork » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:31 pm

YourCaptain wrote:your chances of employment from those schools without ties are close to nothing

+1 these schools feed into highly competitive and overcrowded markets.

Danteshek
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby Danteshek » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:38 pm

Your judgment is grievously impaired.

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kalvano
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby kalvano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:47 pm

Going to school in an area should suffice for establishing ties. Just have a good answer ready for why you'd like to be in the area.

Also, if you want to be in New England and a T14 isn't an option, I think the correct answer is UConn. I do sort of wish sometimes I had gone there. It's a great school for the region, especially if Biglaw isn't your goal.

bogart
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby bogart » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:02 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:your chances of employment from those schools without ties are close to nothing

+1 these schools feed into highly competitive and overcrowded markets.


do yourself a favor and re-read op's post. They want small town law, not v50. It will still be difficult, but to say there is no chance is an irresponsible response.

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Grizz
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby Grizz » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:03 pm

bogart wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:your chances of employment from those schools without ties are close to nothing

+1 these schools feed into highly competitive and overcrowded markets.


do yourself a favor and re-read op's post. They want small town law, not v50. It will still be difficult, but to say there is no chance is an irresponsible response.

How does what you say rebut the sentence you quoted. Think about it.

bogart
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby bogart » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:14 pm

Grizz wrote:
bogart wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:your chances of employment from those schools without ties are close to nothing

+1 these schools feed into highly competitive and overcrowded markets.


do yourself a favor and re-read op's post. They want small town law, not v50. It will still be difficult, but to say there is no chance is an irresponsible response.

How does what you say rebut the sentence you quoted. Think about it.


1. 3 years of school will serve as adequate ties
2. boston, providence are highly competitive markets in ne; the town op mentioned is not.
Both of these rebut the suggestions in the quoted posts...got it?

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YourCaptain
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby YourCaptain » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:32 pm

bogart wrote:1. 3 years of school will serve as adequate ties
2. boston, providence are highly competitive markets in ne; the town op mentioned is not.
Both of these rebut the suggestions in the quoted posts...got it?


no it will fucking not.

i am from a small NE market (me/nh/vt/ri). people are HUGE on ties here; if you think LS is long enough to establish a meaningful tie such that they'll care youre completely wrong. people at t14s and nd/bc/bu/gw who want to go back home (yes, we exist; i almost went back) will be competing with the top 3 kids from the local Tier-4 school.

the other things about firms here is that theyre small - think 1-3 SA classes, and there's about 5 firms per state that actually take on SAs. youre not going to find a "local" firm unless youre one of those top 3 kids.

but ignore my advice buddy, just dont come back with your tail between your legs when it isnt rosy.

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stewie27
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby stewie27 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:43 pm

bogart wrote:3 years at one of these schools should suffice for ties. I only have a couple of classmates experience to go on, but the situation is similiar (cal to upstate for law school) to yours. Since you are looking for a smaller town then you will most likely be in a smaller office, this means no formal sa program, so you will have to network to get one of those jobs. Never be afraid to mention how much you like new england fall, those people eat that shit up (seriously).


I'm from a small New England town and just to throw this out there, I would definitely roll my eyes if someone in that position gushed about fall/leaves, etc. I also hate it when people say they want to live in N.E. because "it's so quaint" or "it's like escaping the real world" So, OP, when networking or trying to show your interest there for the long term, make sure you can articulate good reasons (seems like you may have some) and stay away from cliches- those will likely piss a true new englander off.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby moneybagsphd » Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:51 pm

MegMargaret wrote:Totally willing to share GPA/LSAT.

My cumulative GPA was 3.42, though my graduating GPA was 3.98. My LSAT was 160 (which, initially, was a disappointment - it was a considerably lower score than I had earned on my practice tests). I decided to not retake the LSAT because 1) I was just tired of studying, and ]2) I had no interest in going to a cutthroat, big name law school. I graduated from a State school with a meh reputation, but had a pretty strong resume with a good amount of "softs". I also had exceptional letters of rec (or so I would guess - I waived my right to see them). I submitted my applications at the end of October, and wrote additional essays for Fellowships.

That being said, I applied to A LOT of schools. I applied to a few sure bets (if there is such a thing in law school admissions), many schools that were within my range, and a few reach schools. My partner and I decided to only apply to schools in states that supported marriage equality, and because we didn't want to live in Iowa or DC, that pretty much left NY and the New England states. I picked schools based on their class size, reputations, and locations. I also chose to apply to any school in that area that offered me a fee waiver.

I have currently been accepted at 9 schools (I heard back from two more schools since my post this morning), but my file is still "in review" at all of my reach schools. I'm not that worried about those - I'm pretty happy with the choices I have before me.

I feel like jobs after law school are never guaranteed, which is why my instinct is to lean toward the school that offers me the most financial aid. Still, I want to enjoy my time in law school. I know that three years is only three years, but I am a people person who thrives in small environments and personal connections. For me, I feel like enjoying my time in law school is key if I am to be completely engaged. I am not a person who needs a lot of hustle and bustle around me, so I am fine being in a remote location. In fact, it's desirable (why VLS looks so good to me).

I just want to enjoy my time in law school, leave with as little debt as possible, continue to maintain a healthy relationship with my partner, make some friends and connections, and leave with a job that will at least pay the bills.

There is just so much to consider! Thank you all for your advice. I'll take any more you'd like to throw at me!

You've got it all wrong. Top tier law schools are not cutthroat, TTT&TTTTs are.

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kalvano
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby kalvano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:01 pm

All employers want to know why you want to be in that area, aside from NYC and D.C., mostly. Saying "OOOH, pretty leaves" should get you smacked. I had some interviews with New England firms, and I'm in Texas. No offers, but my grades were so-so.

Obviously I didn't get any offers, so I can't say for sure, but I don't think it was really a "ties" issue, more a grades thing. But I had clearly articulable reasons beyond "Ooh, pretty leaves" as to why I'd rather be there: smaller towns instead of the 6 million people in the Dallas area, my grandfather is from Rhode Island and I spent a lot of time in the area growing up, particularly Maine, plus I prefer the weather and I'm willing to accept a higher cost of living for a place with more natural beauty. Those type of things seemed to satisfy potential employers as to why I wanted to be in the area. In fact, I was told by a couple places it was purely a grades thing.

Some of those reasons may apply to you, some may not. But my point is that employers are open to people from different areas, but you need to have some very clear reasons why you want to be there. Something that says you really want to be there and won't bolt after a couple years because you want something different. One big reason they seemed to respond well to is that my wife and I want a smaller place to start raising a family. Certain things like that will perk their ears up, things that indicate you will be there for a while.




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