To go, or not to go...

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
watcher01
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 pm

To go, or not to go...

Postby watcher01 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:28 pm

That is the question. Today, this question happens to be me asking whether or not I should go to law school. I know this topic has been beaten to death on blog after blog, post after post - but I truly cannot decide. On the one hand, I'd love to go and become a lawyer. I plan to pursue public interest, whether I become a lawyer or no - however, bringing legal knowledge to the table would be beneficial to me on my journey to serve the public. On the other hand, I feel that I should sacrifice this dream, because of all of the negativity surrounding pursuing a legal education for fear of the loans, coupled with the poor job prospects - especially poor in the field(s) of choice. For those wanting XYZ law, they seem to only be able to nail down an ABC job, and vice versa.

Here's the deal: I got into several schools, none of which are "T14" and all of which I will have to pay some tuition. I was offered some money at the ones I'm considering the most, but not enough to cover - especially when you consider the housing and other expenses incurred along the way. I don't have the luxury of rich parents or a rich spouse to foot the living costs, so those will all come in tow.

I'm looking to decide this pretty quickly, however, I don't mind paying for a seat deposit or two and then taking a few more weeks to make the ultimate choice. I've talked to friends and family, but they don't know jack about this field or this process - so I turn to virtual strangers who I think know a LOT more and can really help!! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post, for those that do!!

User avatar
flem
Posts: 12949
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby flem » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:29 pm

I'd love to give you some advice, but I need like, you know, actual information and stuff.

LSAT/GPA
Career goals
Schools you got into
Where you want to live and work
Current (if any) undergrad debt
Where you are from and where you have ties

All of this would be helpful.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby spleenworship » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:40 pm

flem wrote:I'd love to give you some advice, but I need like, you know, actual information and stuff.

LSAT/GPA
Career goals
Schools you got into
Where you want to live and work
Current (if any) undergrad debt
Where you are from and where you have ties

All of this would be helpful.

User avatar
splitbrain
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby splitbrain » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:41 pm

--ImageRemoved--

Need more input!!!

watcher01
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby watcher01 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:02 pm

Hi thanks for the replies, cute robot picture.

I left the specifics out purposely, because I was looking for more of a split decision in general, sort of thing. According to what I've read so far on other message boards, including this one, it's pretty much awful no matter where you go, what you want to do. But if you think it would help to know these things, here you go:

I got a 159 on my LSAT/My GPA from NYU was a 3.8.
My career goals are as aforementioned, to work in a public interest forum. I'm interested in environmental law primarily, but also human rights. I'm also interested in media law as one of my undergraduate majors was Journalism.
The schools I'm considering are the ones that gave me some merit scholarship money, about a half or a third of the total cost. I am considering USF, UOregon and SeattleU. I got into some higher ranked schools, but the tuition is a lot and I don't think it's worth it to pay in full.
I could live and work anywhere, namely in these three geographical areas.
I have no undergraduate debt, which is nice.
I grew up in Southern California, although I don't feel a specific tie to any particular area. I've had a string of bad luck and have been uprooted from a home several times in the last 2 years. I hope to make new ties to a new place, which is why I say I could live and work anywhere. I like those three areas, the schools seem nice and the people seem friendly. I'd like to be a lawyer and would hope to get some internship opportunities and figure things out, even though these schools aren't in the top tier. I'm just wondering at this point, if it's worth it to go at all. I don't really have a backup plan, so I'd be disappointed if it ends up not being the right decision. But like I said, I'm somewhat used to things going down the crapper...that's life! Any advice you can give me, would be appreciated. And if you wouldn't mind adding into the post how you come to this knowledge, that'd be great - for example: providing your credentials, experience, XL, something like that. Anyway, all the best and thank you again.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby Samara » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:09 pm

FWIW, there are lots of ways to pursue public interest work without going to law school.

If you do want to go to law school, you should retake the LSAT. You don't have ties to Portland or Seattle, so it will be tougher for you to get any job coming out of those schools, much less in the fields you want. Everybody and their brother wants to do "human rights" or "entertainment law" so to have a shot at that, you need to go to a better school.

Study hard for the LSAT, retake twice if you have to, and get into that top school that will get you the employment you want and that will pay off your loans.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15475
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:10 pm

You need to retake the LSAT, and take it a third time after that if necessary. Once you've used up those three opportunities see what your options look like. If at that point you aren't comfortable with the debt and job prospects available, look at other paths.

In the meantime, see if you can work or volunteer in the areas that interest you. You might find that law school wasn't for you after all, or you might find a particular niche in the public interest arena that makes law school a perfect fit.

Credentials: High jump champion, Sixth Grade Olympics

User avatar
flem
Posts: 12949
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:44 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby flem » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:14 pm

Samara wrote:
Study hard for the LSAT, retake twice if you have to, and get into that top school that will get you the employment you want and that will pay off your loans.


He's right man. Don't waste a 3.8 on these schools.

Especially if you want to go the public interest route, you should be worried about minimizing your debt (which is a concern you yourself noted). Environmental law is kind of awful - there's no money on the plaintiff/actual environment side, and you have to sell your soul if you want to do environmental tort defense (which is where the money is).

If you have to go this year, Oregon is your best bet I suppose. USF is a festering TTT with horrible stips on their scholarships that will leave you indebted with no job options, and Seattle is notoriously unfriendly to outsiders (Oregon appears to be, to a lesser extent)

I'd retake for more money/better options.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby rad lulz » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:23 pm

k
Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby spleenworship » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:21 pm

Retake. Don't waste 3.8.

Take a year off, work, and retake.

JasonR
Posts: 421
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:09 am

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby JasonR » Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:30 pm

Like everyone else said, don't waste that 3.8 on those crappy law schools, all of which might leave you with crushing debt and poor job prospects. Take a year off, work, and treat the LSAT as a second job between now and October.

watcher01
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby watcher01 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:04 pm

Thank you for all of your replies and the time it took to write them. I wonder though, whether or not it's worth it to go to a school like USF, which is ranked lower, if I would enjoy the time and experience. I realize it'd be a lot of money to pay back, but are people weighing in factors other than just numbers & figures?

User avatar
Mr. Pancakes
Posts: 1234
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:10 pm

watcher01 wrote:I got a 159 on my LSAT/My GPA from NYU was a 3.8.

Samara wrote:FWIW, there are lots of ways to pursue public interest work without going to law school.
If you do want to go to law school, you should retake the LSAT....
Study hard for the LSAT, retake twice if you have to, and get into that top school that will get you the employment you want and that will pay off your loans.

Tiago Splitter wrote:You need to retake the LSAT, and take it a third time after that if necessary. Once you've used up those three opportunities see what your options look like. If at that point you aren't comfortable with the debt and job prospects available, look at other paths.

flem wrote:He's right man. Don't waste a 3.8 on these schools.
I'd retake for more money/better options.

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby t14fanboy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:11 pm

watcher01 wrote:Thank you for all of your replies and the time it took to write them. I wonder though, whether or not it's worth it to go to a school like USF, which is ranked lower, if I would enjoy the time and experience. I realize it'd be a lot of money to pay back, but are people weighing in factors other than just numbers & figures?


You speak as if there is anything else. Law school is a means not a end in itself.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby keg411 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:12 pm

watcher01 wrote:Thank you for all of your replies and the time it took to write them. I wonder though, whether or not it's worth it to go to a school like USF, which is ranked lower, if I would enjoy the time and experience. I realize it'd be a lot of money to pay back, but are people weighing in factors other than just numbers & figures?


Law school is professional school. You don't go for "fun and experience", you go to get a job... and your chances of getting one where you could pay back debt from USF is not good. If you want "fun and experience" take a vacation.

watcher01
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby watcher01 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:13 pm

Thanks Mr. Pancakes, cute name & cute post. I like the summation. Thank you.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby spleenworship » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:15 pm

watcher01 wrote:Thank you for all of your replies and the time it took to write them. I wonder though, whether or not it's worth it to go to a school like USF, which is ranked lower, if I would enjoy the time and experience. I realize it'd be a lot of money to pay back, but are people weighing in factors other than just numbers & figures?


I'm using numbers and figures: JD required job holders v. Debt. The schools you are choosing have bad ratios. If you had scholarships at your schools (which would probably require higher LSAT) then the discussion would be different.

User avatar
Mr. Pancakes
Posts: 1234
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:11 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:15 pm

I came in here with a very low LSAT and was bombarded with the same messages. I wasn't pleased with it at first but I thank God that people gave me advice to retake.

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby Samara » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:18 pm

Mr. Pancakes wrote:I came in here with a very low LSAT and was bombarded with the same messages. I wasn't pleased with it at first but I thank God that people gave me advice to retake.

Another soul saved. Thanks be to Ken.

t14fanboy
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby t14fanboy » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:21 pm

Image

watcher01
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby watcher01 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:23 pm

Hi spleenworship,

Cool username. I do have some scholarship money from all three schools. Not full rides, but about a half - a third paid for. Doubt that changes anything in your mind, but just saying.

User avatar
spleenworship
Posts: 4421
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby spleenworship » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:33 pm

Samara wrote:
Mr. Pancakes wrote:I came in here with a very low LSAT and was bombarded with the same messages. I wasn't pleased with it at first but I thank God that people gave me advice to retake.

Another soul saved. Thanks be to Ken.


Amen!

Allow me to testify my brothers and sisters:

I got a low COA (25% of sticker at the average law school) at my regional t2 because I heard the WORD (of TLS), and I read the (powerscore) Bible, and yet my regret is that I did not listen more closely for yea, I did not Retake. Now my options are limited, and while I will be employed (for truly doth networking worketh) it wil be small law and rural DAs that shall consent to take my filthy TT law degree.

dkb17xzx
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:36 pm

Retake and ED UVA

apollo2015
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:13 am

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby apollo2015 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:52 pm

watcher01 wrote:That is the question. Today, this question happens to be me asking whether or not I should go to law school. I know this topic has been beaten to death on blog after blog, post after post - but I truly cannot decide. On the one hand, I'd love to go and become a lawyer. I plan to pursue public interest, whether I become a lawyer or no - however, bringing legal knowledge to the table would be beneficial to me on my journey to serve the public.


I haven't been to the Oregon/Seattle schools, but I will say that University of San Francisco has a pretty campus, and is in a good neighborhood.

Why do you want to pursue a public interest job?

User avatar
Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: To go, or not to go...

Postby Samara » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:00 pm

spleenworship wrote:
Samara wrote:
Mr. Pancakes wrote:I came in here with a very low LSAT and was bombarded with the same messages. I wasn't pleased with it at first but I thank God that people gave me advice to retake.

Another soul saved. Thanks be to Ken.


Amen!

Allow me to testify my brothers and sisters:

I got a low COA (25% of sticker at the average law school) at my regional t2 because I heard the WORD (of TLS), and I read the (powerscore) Bible, and yet my regret is that I did not listen more closely for yea, I did not Retake. Now my options are limited, and while I will be employed (for truly doth networking worketh) it wil be small law and rural DAs that shall consent to take my filthy TT law degree.

:lol: Preach it, brother, for surely you have been blessed.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest