BC vs. BU

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JournalismToLaw
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BC vs. BU

Postby JournalismToLaw » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:51 am

I need to send my deposit in within the next couple of days, but I just wanted to check in to make sure I'm not missing anything.

Money's the same to both schools (cost is less than half tuition with scholarships offered) and looking to practice law in Boston. Cost of living for me would be cheaper at BC.

Enjoyed my visit to BC more than BU and I'm leaning towards BC. I also know several successful BC Law alums, and don't know anyone from BU Law. Is there any reason I shouldn't go to BC over BU?

Also on the wait list at a couple T10 schools.

Thanks in advance.

srfngdd6
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby srfngdd6 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:52 am

peer schools...if you like BC better and its going to be cheaper BC is the clear choice

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flem
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby flem » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:55 am

Do you want to study in the tower of doom or not?

Also, according to this article BU is awfully rapey. So there's that.

In all seriousness just pick the one you like better. They're peers.

JournalismToLaw
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby JournalismToLaw » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:27 am

Thanks - that's what I was hoping to hear!


Side question - would I be crazy to turn down University of Michigan or UPenn even at sticker if I got in off the wait list?

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flem
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby flem » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:28 am

JournalismToLaw wrote:Thanks - that's what I was hoping to hear!


Side question - would I be crazy to turn down University of Michigan or UPenn even at sticker if I got in off the wait list?


Depending on your goals, yes.

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Blindmelon
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:37 am

flem wrote:Do you want to study in the tower of doom or not?

Also, according to this article BU is awfully rapey. So there's that.

In all seriousness just pick the one you like better. They're peers.


Do you want to go to a diverse inclusive school or a Catholic whitewashed one? But in all seriousness, if you like BC more just go there.

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Sandstorm
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Sandstorm » Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:27 am

From my experience there is a big difference between BU students and BC students. BU students tend to be more friendly and cordial. BC students all tend to be very similar and many are likely to stab you in the back if there is a possibility of a better grade.

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stillwater
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby stillwater » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:03 am

Sandstorm wrote:From my experience there is a big difference between BU students and BC students. BU students tend to be more friendly and cordial. BC students all tend to be very similar and many are likely to stab you in the back if there is a possibility of a better grade.


That's a big blanket you have there.

JournalismToLaw
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby JournalismToLaw » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:48 am

Sandstorm wrote:From my experience there is a big difference between BU students and BC students. BU students tend to be more friendly and cordial. BC students all tend to be very similar and many are likely to stab you in the back if there is a possibility of a better grade.


What makes you say that? I certainly didn't get that impression after talking to students and alumni at both schools. If anything, I left with the impression that the students at BC were friendlier, while the BU students were more competitive.

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Sandstorm
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Sandstorm » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:58 pm

That is the general impression that is marketed, and I'm not sure why. I do know that BC students generally seem friendly to an outside observer but it is highly cliquish. Don't be mistaken every law school is going to be cliquish, but from BC students take it to another level. Even within the cliques, students do not share notes and study groups are pretty much nonexistent. Both BC and BU are competitive, but BU students tend to openly talk about work, expectations, grades, whereas BC students will generally not talk in public about how badly they want to beat out others on exams and whatnot.

Basically I also think BU students are generally more mature but this may just be due to the fact that BU students seem older than BC students on average.

Aristone
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Aristone » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:30 pm

Whoa whoa whoa...definitely a blanket statement there about BC. The Princeton Review called BC the "Disneyland of law schools" because of how collegial people are at BC...I think that's how it is generally marketed and perceived.

As someone who attended BC Law, I can tell you the following: it is very cliquish, but most law schools tend to have a high school feel about them. The rest of what Sandstorm said can not be further from the truth. My group of friends constantly hared notes, outlines, discussed cases and whatnot. We never hid anything from each other, ripped pages out of books are discussed how badly we wanted to beat out other students for that A grade. Most of my class followed this pattern.

Further, the average age for the 2011 entering class of each is 24. BU has a range from 20-43 while BC has a range from 21-40. There is not a drastic difference there whatsoever. My class had an average age of 25 and the oldest student was around 50. Then again, age does not correlate directly with maturity. But I certainly take issue with this as the majority of my class were mature, well-rounded and insightful individuals.

Last, how can Sandstorm have that much "experience" with students from both schools? You could not have attended both law schools, which would give you true insight into how the student body works. An admitted students day or tours will not offer such a glimpse.

I can not speak of nor will speak poorly of BU (I did not attend there and have heard nothing negative regarding the school minus the 70's-esque law tower, but that is not indicative of the quality or maturity of BU students whatsoever). Both are excellent schools that offer some degree of portability and biglaw chances despite the awful economy. Go to both and get a feel for them as the campuses are quite different. Then take into account the money. Other than that, I can't offer sagely advice other than to take Sandstorm's experience with a grain of salt. I honestly have never heard of BC described in such a manner, but there's always a first time.

Goodluck on your decision!

JournalismToLaw
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby JournalismToLaw » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:33 pm

Sandstorm wrote:That is the general impression that is marketed, and I'm not sure why. I do know that BC students generally seem friendly to an outside observer but it is highly cliquish. Don't be mistaken every law school is going to be cliquish, but from BC students take it to another level. Even within the cliques, students do not share notes and study groups are pretty much nonexistent. Both BC and BU are competitive, but BU students tend to openly talk about work, expectations, grades, whereas BC students will generally not talk in public about how badly they want to beat out others on exams and whatnot.


I'm still curious as to how you've developed this opinion of the two schools. On ASD, a BU professor, while giving me reasons to attend BU, actually said it's a more comfortable environment at BC. Frankly, no one I've talked to has given me a different impression - even BC/BU Law students who were roommates and shared experiences.

Is everything I've been told, seen and have been basing my decision on really that far off?

JournalismToLaw
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby JournalismToLaw » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:44 pm

Aristone wrote: Go to both and get a feel for them as the campuses are quite different. Then take into account the money. Other than that, I can't offer sagely advice other than to take Sandstorm's experience with a grain of salt. I honestly have never heard of BC described in such a manner, but there's always a first time.

Goodluck on your decision!


Thanks, Aristone. I have gone to both, spoken heavily to students, alumni and professors at both, and though I liked both, it seemed to me BC was more collegial and I definitely felt I would likely enjoy my time there more. Money is exactly the same for me at both, though for me COL would be slightly cheaper at BC.

My purpose of this thread was to essentially make sure I hadn't missed something key when making my decision or that my impressions weren't way off. With that in mind, I am curious as to how Sandstorm formed his/her impressions of the school.

Aristone
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Aristone » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:49 pm

Not a problem...I'm interested as well given (like I said) that such an impression can truly only be found by attending a school rather than merely visiting for a day or two. Perhaps a disgruntled tour guide? I know mine was terrible when I visited BC, but stuck with my instincts.

Money appears to be the same..so it really comes down to a feel of each school. Just trust your gut over the random chatter of anonymous people on this forum (myself included). Both schools are great and offer a variety of options. You're lucky to have this "problem".

If you have any specific questions about BC, please feel free to ask. As always, goodluck!

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Sandstorm
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Sandstorm » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:03 pm

I am currently a student at the BC law school. I'm also doing a few hours a week working downtown with a bunch of BU students, Suffolk and New England students.

First, my impressions of BU students are based on how I see them outside of class. Thus, I can only give you one version of BU students.

There are a lot of people that have the same impression of BC within and outside of the school and it really is disappointing since it is not at all the way it is marketed. The lack of any interest in study groups, rude comments to fellow students and lack of any interest in helping another student are all disappointing realities.

However, I must say the alumni are fantastic. All the older alumni I have met are not only extremely friendly but willing to go out of their way to help you. Yet, career services doesn't really work with the alumni as much as they could be. Because of this a huge resource, and a main point to go to BC is left unused. I know some are trying to change this, so it can change in the future.

Also, as for the professors. Like most schools we have some really good ones, but quite a few really bad ones. The students normally joke about BC being a 'minefield' for what classes to take because of the professors.

Aristone
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Aristone » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:16 pm

Interesting...well I'm glad to hear that your experience is based on first-hand knowledge. I'm actually kind of shocked at your experience because, as I said, it was so vastly different from mine and I only graduated a few years ago.

As stated, there definitely was a highschoolish atmosphere to BC, but it is my understanding that a lot of law schools tend to feel the same (I haven't talked to a BU student about this...so I cannot judge, but I have heard it about Columbia, Rutgers, Villanova and so forth).

I'm glad that you also at least see us alumni as helpful. I'm always on the look out for other BC grads who got killed by the market. Sometimes I can only offer advice, but have taken on resumes and whatnot in the past as well. I'm not in a first tier market...so opportunities are rare, but exist.

Also, if you're a 1L...keep on keeping on. Things definitely change 2nd and especially 3rd year. Groups disperse, people intermingle and so forth. Join a journal (if you are a 1L and have the ability to), play an intramural/softball or join the student government. I met some great people in all three of those instances that I still keep in touch with to this very day. I hope things change there for you.

Despite all this, anecdotal evidence from two people (either positive or negative) should not sway your gut instinct or feel for a school. I had a deplorable tour guide, but trusted my instinct and never looked back.

JournalismToLaw
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby JournalismToLaw » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:20 pm

Sandstorm wrote:I am currently a student at the BC law school. I'm also doing a few hours a week working downtown with a bunch of BU students, Suffolk and New England students.

First, my impressions of BU students are based on how I see them outside of class. Thus, I can only give you one version of BU students.

There are a lot of people that have the same impression of BC within and outside of the school and it really is disappointing since it is not at all the way it is marketed. The lack of any interest in study groups, rude comments to fellow students and lack of any interest in helping another student are all disappointing realities.


That's disappointing to hear. Thanks for the info.

impressivekowalski
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby impressivekowalski » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:09 am

I am a 3L at BC and have a few comments that may be insightful - you be the judge.

(1) BC can definitely be described as "cliquish," although I have always thought that everyone gets along very well and mingle easily. School sponsored social events and activities are always well-attended and usually a good time for everyone, as far as I can tell.

(2) BC can also be properly characterized as "fratty." While I get the impression that the majority of the student body would certainly consider themselves to be liberal-minded, there may be a disproportionately large amount of bros who pre-game by playing beer pong with natty ice. I am not sure that is a bad thing.

(3) There can be no doubt that BC is highly competitive. Just about every 1L thinks that if they really apply themselves they can make that top quartile that has a shot at the biglaw gigs. They all apply themselves and quite obviously most of them are wrong and not too pleased about it. I don't know anyone who didn't work very hard for the entirety of their first two years. I figure this is the case just about everywhere though...

(4) Unless you make a journal, career services is worthless.

(5) The VAST majority of school sponsored student groups/clubs accomplish nothing except that they occasionally offer free lunch, which is actually a good reason to join several of them, since the price of food at the cafeteria is outrageous.

(6) It is nearly impossible to develop trial skills because the trial practice curriculum is a joke and the trial/moot court teams are not taken seriously IMO.

(7) Despite the academic rigor, the social/nightlife options are actually pretty good.

(8) Not having a car will cost you 1.5 hours of sleep a night that will have to be devoted to public transit/shuttle.

(9) For every great professor you have you will have two mediocre and three awful ones. As a general rule: the better the academic credentials, the worse the professor.

(10) Outside of Con Law 1 - which is mind-numbing - the constitutional law-related courses are excellent.

(11) The BC law bookstore is the 7th circle of hell and you will do well to avoid the place entirely except to purchase highlighters, and even then only if you really have to.

Just my two cents. I know a lot of my comments appear negative, but I still highly recommend BC to anyone who takes a visit and gets a good feel. I have found my experience here to be highly rewarding, both as a learning experience and in making terrific friends. That said, it certainly is not for everyone.

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zor
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby zor » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:34 pm

I put down my deposit for both this week to buy myself some more time to decide. These were my (personal!!) observations, for whatever that's worth.

I am leaning to BC for one major reason: the alumni. Pretty much every alum I've spoken to has been extremely generous, open, and helpful. They have put me--a 0L who hasn't even picked a school!--in touch with classmates in my field all over the east coast. All of them have given me great advice and a lot of honest answers about the state of the economy, the value of their BC degree, and the integrity of the profession. Every single one claims to have enjoyed their time at BC, and that goes for a few current students I spoke to through my own channels. I have not, however, been impressed by the responsiveness of their admissions office, and while the campus is pretty it is far from the city.

BU, on the other hand, refused to divulge the names of any alums I could be in touch with, and their career person warned me that if I wanted a job outside of Boston I'd have to "work really hard" for it. The only BU alum I was able to speak with was someone in the same office as a BC alum (who, incredibly, put me in touch with her), who mostly didn't enjoy her time at BU and felt it was very party/frat-ish and career services was useless. She found her job with no help whatsoever from BU. At admitted students day, not a single public interest type that I requested to speak with was actually going into PI--all were joining firms. And I was really put off that the dean's response to questions about the catastrophic job market was, and I quote, "I still believe the law is a noble profession." Well, that's nice. I think being a rocket scientist is a noble profession, but I don't think that means there's a job for me in it. Their admissions office, on the other hand, was polite and professional when I negotiated a scholarship.

When I visited I really liked the students at both places, though, and am not sure how much credit to give to their administrations. BC felt a little more staid and mature/boring (depending on how you look at it--I'm older so I would say mature), BU felt a lot more vibrant but young (get off my lawn!). In the professional market, they seem to be peers in pretty much every way.

freaknroll
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby freaknroll » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:52 pm

This has been really interesting, thanks for the info.

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Blindmelon
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:31 pm

zor wrote:I put down my deposit for both this week to buy myself some more time to decide. These were my (personal!!) observations, for whatever that's worth.

I am leaning to BC for one major reason: the alumni. Pretty much every alum I've spoken to has been extremely generous, open, and helpful. They have put me--a 0L who hasn't even picked a school!--in touch with classmates in my field all over the east coast. All of them have given me great advice and a lot of honest answers about the state of the economy, the value of their BC degree, and the integrity of the profession. Every single one claims to have enjoyed their time at BC, and that goes for a few current students I spoke to through my own channels. I have not, however, been impressed by the responsiveness of their admissions office, and while the campus is pretty it is far from the city.

BU, on the other hand, refused to divulge the names of any alums I could be in touch with, and their career person warned me that if I wanted a job outside of Boston I'd have to "work really hard" for it. The only BU alum I was able to speak with was someone in the same office as a BC alum (who, incredibly, put me in touch with her), who mostly didn't enjoy her time at BU and felt it was very party/frat-ish and career services was useless. She found her job with no help whatsoever from BU. At admitted students day, not a single public interest type that I requested to speak with was actually going into PI--all were joining firms. And I was really put off that the dean's response to questions about the catastrophic job market was, and I quote, "I still believe the law is a noble profession." Well, that's nice. I think being a rocket scientist is a noble profession, but I don't think that means there's a job for me in it. Their admissions office, on the other hand, was polite and professional when I negotiated a scholarship.

When I visited I really liked the students at both places, though, and am not sure how much credit to give to their administrations. BC felt a little more staid and mature/boring (depending on how you look at it--I'm older so I would say mature), BU felt a lot more vibrant but young (get off my lawn!). In the professional market, they seem to be peers in pretty much every way.


That is the absolute opposite of my experience. When I got admitted, I got calls from BU alums in the cities I said I was interested in (Boston, DC). BC alums called too - one from DC who told me if I wanted to work outside of Boston that I should really consider going somewhere else. He also seemed pretty blah about BC in general.

tlsposter
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Re: BC vs. BU

Postby tlsposter » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:00 pm

Whichever is cheapest. BC has better name recognition, but biglaw placement stats (NLJ250 rankings) are pretty much the same.

Visit campus, see which school you like better. They are very different (sports, atmosphere, campus, tradition, etc.).




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