Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

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

Postby MegMargaret » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:34 pm

Yes, I have some reasons beyond "pretty fall leaves." Personally, I think they are compelling reasons.

To all of you who offered sincere, honest advice: Thank You. It's tough to weed out the good advice from those who are being cynical and throwing out comments without support, but I guess it's fair when posting on a website called "Top Law Schools", to half-expect people to be predominantly focused on school rank.

I did apply to schools that are more highly ranked, and if I get into them, I may reevaluate the situation. However, as naive as it may be, I refuse to believe that anyone who does not go to law school in his or her hometown, or who does not go to a top law school will be unable to find a job. Will it be more difficult? Absolutely. But assuming that the improbable is impossible was not what got me to a place where I was in a position to apply to law school.

My initial question, in simpler words for those who are taking minor points and running with them, is this:

Is it better to go to a smaller school, where I will most likely have a better and more personal experience and where I will have a greater chance at succeeding, and graduate with minimal debt (under 40k), or go to a more highly ranked school and graduate over 100k in debt?

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

Postby Grizz » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:41 pm

MegMargaret wrote:
Is it better to go to a smaller school, where I will most likely have a better and more personal experience and where I will have a greater chance at succeeding, and graduate with minimal debt (under 40k), or go to a more highly ranked school and graduate over 100k in debt?

You're missing the point a bunch of us made about regional ties.

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

Postby kalvano » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:52 pm

Law school isn't like undergrad. The size of the school won't make much difference in your overall experience.

Go to the school that offers the best chance of a job. In this case, that seems like it would be UConn, as they tend to be pretty well-recognized throughout New England.

Eventually you hit a point where yes, the lower-ranked school is cheaper at the outset, but more expensive in terms of job opportunities you give up by going there.

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

Postby happyshapy » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:17 pm

MegMargaret wrote: However, as naive as it may be, I refuse to believe that anyone who does not go to law school in his or her hometown, or who does not go to a top law school will be unable to find a job. Will it be more difficult? Absolutely. But assuming that the improbable is impossible was not what got me to a place where I was in a position to apply to law school.


I can only really speak for Vermont, because I've never lived in CT, but Vermonters love other Vermonters almost as much as they love Vermont. There's actually a substantial number of people who want the state to secede from the rest of the states. Maybe in Burlington, but probably not, you could find a job with a law degree with UCONN and zero ties to the area. Outside of Burlington there is no way you will be giving a job over another applicant with ties to the area. This is why ties are so important. I'm sure that there are hundreds of small towns and places in New England that are the same way.

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

Postby YourCaptain » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:54 am

edit: itt californian argue that new england will accept them, softly singing "I believe I can fly" as they fall asleep

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

Postby MegMargaret » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:53 am

So the way I am reading all of these posts is that most people who are replying fall into one of three categories:

1. Those who believe that without ties to the area (read: pre-law school personal connections), my best shot at getting a job after law school is to attend the highest ranked school possible, regardless of the amount of initial student loan debt I may have to incur.

2. Those who believe that if I truly want to prove that I want to be in a certain area, for argument's sake we'll say Vermont, that it is best to attend school IN that area and start making connections immediately, regardless of whether or not it is quite as highly ranked.

3. Those of you who believe that because I am not from New England, I will never be able to forge connections (at least not any that can help me find a job), and unless I can attend a T14 school (and perhaps not even then), I am nothing less than screwed.


I am taking most opinions offered here seriously and to heart, especially those who actually seem to be trying to help me figure out what is in my best interest (as opposed to simply calling me an idiot without offering any suggestions). I am flying out to the area at the end of next month to visit the campuses, and hope to speak with people who can give me real suggestions and statistics about post-grad employment, especially for people like me who are relocating to the area from a different coast.

At this point, I would really like to hear from anyone with suggestions or advice that fall into the first two categories. Telling me that I will never be accepted in New England or will never find a job because I'm not going to a T14 school is just not useful because I've already made plans to move out of CA in July and because I have no interest in forfeiting all of my acceptances. I understand that this may be your opinion, but unless you're really trying to help me choose the best option (out of the options available to me), your opinion is simply not helpful.

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

Postby Grizz » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:01 am

You're missing the point. No one is arguing 1 or 3. Even from a T14 it's nearly impossible to get a job in that area without ties. Going to the local school is probably your "best" option, but it's not such a great option. Back when the economy was good, just going to the local school was enough to demonstrate a connection. Now, it's a MUCH dicier proposition; sometimes it's fine, sometimes you will be viewed with suspicion. If you were 100% serious about this, I'd say move and work in the area first, but you're not gonna do that.

So just go to the cheapest one out of UConn or Vermont, since you're probably not getting biglaw. If you get a job (not guaranteed from the best schools, and especially not from schools of this caliber), it's likely to pay about $50k ish. So I'd try to keep my debt in about that region. In interviews, make sure to play up that you're older and have a partner, so you're looking to settle or whatever.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:58 am

Not to take over the thread, I'm just interested in what makes a strong "tie." If you let a potential employer know that your SO is from the state and you're planning on settling down there, will they generally accept this even if you've lived in a different state your whole life?

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

Postby YourCaptain » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:08 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:Not to take over the thread, I'm just interested in what makes a strong "tie." If you let a potential employer know that your SO is from the state and you're planning on settling down there, will they generally accept this even if you've lived in a different state your whole life?


no. i tried this and i had an interviewer tell me that it was essentially irrelevant unless your SO is already steadily employed there.

megmargaret, let me explain something to you. apply to bu/bc/whatever and try to get accepted there. those schools have enough weight that your lack of ties wont be so much of an issue. you might have a chance there, might not.

u vermont will not get you there unless youre a superstar grades-wise. so can you please actually listen to wat grizz and i have been saying?

bobbyh1919
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Re: Vermont, U Conn, Quinnipiac - Choosing a School

Postby bobbyh1919 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:17 pm

YourCaptain wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:Not to take over the thread, I'm just interested in what makes a strong "tie." If you let a potential employer know that your SO is from the state and you're planning on settling down there, will they generally accept this even if you've lived in a different state your whole life?


no. i tried this and i had an interviewer tell me that it was essentially irrelevant unless your SO is already steadily employed there.

megmargaret, let me explain something to you. apply to bu/bc/whatever and try to get accepted there. those schools have enough weight that your lack of ties wont be so much of an issue. you might have a chance there, might not.

u vermont will not get you there unless youre a superstar grades-wise. so can you please actually listen to wat grizz and i have been saying?


My SO likely would be employed at the time, so maybe I'd be okay. I assume this is all to make sure you don't ditch them for another offer a few years down the road?

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

Postby Grizz » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:56 pm

YourCaptain wrote:megmargaret, let me explain something to you. apply to bu/bc/whatever and try to get accepted there. those schools have enough weight that your lack of ties wont be so much of an issue. you might have a chance there, might not.

And if you don't (strong possibility), then at least with solid grades you hopefully can get a job in Boston. UConn or VT? Not so much.

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

Postby Grizz » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:57 pm

bobbyh1919 wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:
bobbyh1919 wrote:Not to take over the thread, I'm just interested in what makes a strong "tie." If you let a potential employer know that your SO is from the state and you're planning on settling down there, will they generally accept this even if you've lived in a different state your whole life?


no. i tried this and i had an interviewer tell me that it was essentially irrelevant unless your SO is already steadily employed there.

megmargaret, let me explain something to you. apply to bu/bc/whatever and try to get accepted there. those schools have enough weight that your lack of ties wont be so much of an issue. you might have a chance there, might not.

u vermont will not get you there unless youre a superstar grades-wise. so can you please actually listen to wat grizz and i have been saying?


My SO likely would be employed at the time, so maybe I'd be okay. I assume this is all to make sure you don't ditch them for another offer a few years down the road?

Basically yeah.

Throw a ring on it; much more cred than just "girlfriend" or whatever.

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

Postby MegMargaret » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:51 am

I applied to three schools in Boston: BU, BC, and Northeastern. So far, I've been offered a $30,000 one-time scholarship to Northeastern, but I don't think that's a good enough offer to offset the cost of living and inevitable student loan debt. I am still waiting to hear from BU and BC. If I get into either of those schools, I will seriously consider them.

Where are you all from? Where did you go (or are going, or plan to go) to law school? What were your grades like? What scholarships did you receive? What have employment prospects looked like in terms of availability and pay scale?

I think hearing some personal stories from you all would help a lot.

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

Postby bogart » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:41 am

If you are flying out to visit the schools, then you should also set up a meeting with someone at the local bar associations. Just google whatever county the school is in, they will have a bar. You may even get lucky and get to speak with an attorney. If not, you will at least get to speak with someone involved in that particular legal community. They will be able to provide you with a lot more help than a bunch of 0L/1L's on this board. Good luck OP, I disagree with others on this board concerning the weight of school ties, but I agree with everyone here that debt is a serious issue, and should not be dealt with lightly. Good luck.

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

Postby MegMargaret » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:43 pm

Thank you, Bogart!

I also received some good advice from a friend who said to check out the career services of each potential school because they can make a significant difference in job placement. (Just FYI for anyone reading this post)

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

Postby mrtoren » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:46 pm

I'm considering moving to another region as well, but I wouldn't dare venture into anything less than a major metropolitan area. Small, homogeneous states and their respective towns (I.E. New England!) can be very finicky. Insiders are insiders and outsiders are outsiders. Major cities, however, are comprised of people from all walks of life and they see new people come and go regularly; above all else, they're more accepting. You can't even begin to expect that you'll forge meaningful ties to the area during law school...your contribution will be wake up-eat-class-eat-class-class-home-study-eat-study-sleep-repeat.

I would heed the caution of others in this thread. You can't simply plug your ears shout "NO! NOOOO! NO! NOOOO!" until you can't hear their advice any more. Some of these guys are genuine jerks, but their advice is correct in this instance. You could very well be shunned as an outsider come graduation...so good luck with the job search if that happens.

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

Postby MrAnon » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:50 pm

Don't move across the country for any of these schools. If someone puts a gun to your head and forces you to then do UConn or Vermont. Pick the one where you'd be happiest because you'll be stuck in that state.

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

Postby lostmyname » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:54 pm

Oops, this is kind of a late response to this thread.

One note about staying in Vermont: to find work at a major (i.e. Chambers-listed) Burlington firm, you'll almost certainly need to be summa or magna at VLS. If you look at the recent hires on these firms' websites, you'll see that they're either all VLS summa or magna, or they're from T25 and above schools and often have Latin honors as well. You might also want to Google the people who most recently passed the VT bar and see what they're up to -- the number of people is small enough that this isn't a crazy idea -- in order to assess what their credentials are and what kind of jobs they're getting.

PM if you want to talk more Vermont.




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