PA Law Schools

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jchiles
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PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:30 am

I am planning on applying to law school this october/november, and I am more or less set on going to school in my home state, PA. My top choices are Temple, Villanova, and Penn State, and I was wondering what people thought about those schools (reputation, employment info, any general impressions you have really), or any other schools in the state. Obviously UPenn would be the ideal place to go, but with my stats, I don't think thats too likely.

heeloftar
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby heeloftar » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:32 am

jchiles wrote:I am planning on applying to law school this october/november, and I am more or less set on going to school in my home state, PA. My top choices are Temple, Villanova, and Penn State, and I was wondering what people thought about those schools (reputation, employment info, any general impressions you have really), or any other schools in the state. Obviously UPenn would be the ideal place to go, but with my stats, I don't think thats too likely.


With a 3.8 GPA, you should re-take the LSAT, get it to 170, and enjoy Penn.

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thetexashammer
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby thetexashammer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:37 am

heeloftar wrote:With a 3.8 GPA, you should re-take the LSAT, get it to 170, and enjoy Penn.



This.

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:37 am

Yeah I know that is probably the best thing to do, as much as I hate the idea of studying for the LSAT again. I was just curious about the other, lower-ranked schools in the state.

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flem
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby flem » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:01 am

jchiles wrote:Yeah I know that is probably the best thing to do, as much as I hate the idea of studying for the LSAT again. I was just curious about the other, lower-ranked schools in the state.


You have a great GPA and a good LSAT that I'm sure you can improve on. Currently, Temple with significant money would be a good option depending on your goals.

Speaking of which, what do you want to do? If you want small firm work and DA work or whatever, Temple with significant scholarship is a great option. If you want biglaw retake and go to Penn.

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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby moonman157 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:08 am

jchiles wrote:Yeah I know that is probably the best thing to do, as much as I hate the idea of studying for the LSAT again. I was just curious about the other, lower-ranked schools in the state.


You'll hate the idea of retaking the LSAT a lot less than you'll hate the idea of being un- or underemployed upon graduation with suffocating debt. Retake, your GPA is too good to throw away

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:18 am

You'll hate the idea of retaking the LSAT a lot less than you'll hate the idea of being un- or underemployed upon graduation with suffocating debt. Retake, your GPA is too good to throw away


I can't argue with that, but I am not trying to attend any of these schools without some sort of scholarship. If there is one thing I've seen over and over again on TLS boards (other than retake) it is not to pay full tuition at a lower-ranked school.

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flem
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby flem » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:19 am

What do you want to do?

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:22 am

Speaking of which, what do you want to do? If you want small firm work and DA work or whatever, Temple with significant scholarship is a great option. If you want biglaw retake and go to Penn.


What do you want to do?


Temple is what I've been leaning towards, mainly because my interests are primarily working in a smaller firm/not in a major metro area. That is part of why I am considering Penn State; while it may not be a particularly prestigious school, it does have some credibility in the central PA area. Naturally I would have trouble considering either of those (especially PSU) without some scholarship money involved.

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Dr. Review
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby Dr. Review » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:25 am

Not sure if you'd considered it, but Pitt with those numbers would definitely give you plenty of $$. If you don't mind moving to Western PA, Pitt dominates the market in this area. If you're not interested in Pitt though, ignore this entirely.

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flem
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby flem » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:26 am

jchiles wrote:Temple is what I've been leaning towards, mainly because my interests are primarily working in a smaller firm/not in a major metro area. That is part of why I am considering Penn State; while it may not be a particularly prestigious school, it does have some credibility in the central PA area. Naturally I would have trouble considering either of those (especially PSU) without some scholarship money involved.


If you want small firm work then it doesn't make a lot of sense to go 6 figures in debt for Penn.

Neither Temple nor PSU have particularly great employment stats though. And PSU is fucking RIDICULOUSLY expensive. At least Temple is reasonable already and would be a good deal with significant scholarship.

Any thoughts on Pitt?

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:31 am

Yeah I can't believe how PSU gets away with costing as much as it does. I have friends there that have paid more for apartments than people I know in NYC living in similar places. I have not really looked into Pitt yet, I definitely like the city, and I never really considered how much pull it would have in the western PA market.

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Dr. Review
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby Dr. Review » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:31 am

flem wrote:
Any thoughts on Pitt?


tflem and I tend to agree a lot, I've noticed. One other thing worth mentioning is that Pitt's website says,

Students admitted prior to February 1st earning a high LSAT score of 161 or better and an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.4 (on a 4.0 scale) are guaranteed the Dean's Scholarship. All admitted students are reviewed for consideration for a merit scholarship. Students awarded a merit scholarship will be notified in writing with their admit letter. The minimum award amount starts at $10,000 per academic year with two equal payments of $5,000 per term.


I think most Dean's Scholars I know got closer to 14k/yr. When you consider the fact that tuition is around 24-25k, you can get out with <75k (adding in COL loans).

And with my numbers (lower than both of those, and median for LSAT and GPA at the time) I got 8k/yr. On top of in-state, you're looking at reasonable debt payments. Pitt also states that 90% of students keep scholarships, which seems accurate from my experience.
Last edited by Dr. Review on Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dr. Review
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby Dr. Review » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:34 am

jchiles wrote:I have not really looked into Pitt yet, I definitely like the city, and I never really considered how much pull it would have in the western PA market.


Pitt dominates the western PA market. LST looks a little grim, but not out of line with schools in the same range. Basically, what I've heard, verbatim, from someone in a Fed Judge's chambers was as follows:

"If you don't go to Pitt or Duquesne, and you want to work around here, you'd better go to Penn."

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jbarl1
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jbarl1 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:37 am

PSU student here (rising 3L, law review, paid employment both summers) if you have any questions about Dickinson.

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:38 am

Thanks Bedsole, thats pretty interesting about Pitt and its scholarships. I came pretty close to going there for undergrad and was impressed with the campus and the area, I don't know how much that translates to the law school but I imagine there is some connection. I'll have to look around their website and see if I can get in touch with any people from my school that wound up out there.

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:41 am

PSU student here (rising 3L, law review, paid employment both summers) if you have any questions about Dickinson.


My first question is what campus did you attend? I know that they try to keep the experience consistent between both campuses, but having been to Carlisle and State College there are definitely some major differences in terms of what its like to live at the different campuses.

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jbarl1
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jbarl1 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:44 am

jchiles wrote:
PSU student here (rising 3L, law review, paid employment both summers) if you have any questions about Dickinson.


My first question is what campus did you attend? I know that they try to keep the experience consistent between both campuses, but having been to Carlisle and State College there are definitely some major differences in terms of what its like to live at the different campuses.


I attend the UP campus mainly because I was interested in taking some classes in other graduate programs (specifically the school of education) and because I wanted to be part of the larger university community. Carlisle is great for its proximity to Harrisburg and doesn't have that "college town" feel. It really depends on what type of environment you like living in. In terms of professors, classes, clubs, etc., you can really do anything from either campus. Plus, you always have the opportunity to switch campuses for a semester or a year if you want to for class or externship purposes.

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IHeartPhilly
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby IHeartPhilly » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:50 am

OP,

Fellow PA 0L here.My last cycle, with stats lower than yours, I recieved scholly offers of 20k to nova and accepted with no $ to Temple. I did not apply to Penn State. Anecdote alert, I've spoken to a few Temple 0Ls who landed some money with 163/4s (around 4k w/ instate). Id imagine you could get more. If I were in your shoes, Id be prepping for October LSAT and focus on putting really strong app packets together. You could apply with your stats now, and then update your apps with an improved LSAT when you get your score back in October--at which point you would hopefully be in Penn range.

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:58 am

I attend the UP campus mainly because I was interested in taking some classes in other graduate programs (specifically the school of education) and because I wanted to be part of the larger university community. Carlisle is great for its proximity to Harrisburg and doesn't have that "college town" feel. It really depends on what type of environment you like living in. In terms of professors, classes, clubs, etc., you can really do anything from either campus. Plus, you always have the opportunity to switch campuses for a semester or a year if you want to for class or externship purposes.

Thanks, yeah I can see the pros and cons to both locations, but its nice to hear from a student that classes/clubs are the similar at both campuses.

Fellow PA 0L here.My last cycle, with stats lower than yours, I recieved scholly offers of 20k to nova and accepted with no $ to Temple. I did not apply to Penn State. Anecdote alert, I've spoken to a few Temple 0Ls who landed some money with 163/4s (around 4k w/ instate). Id imagine you could get more. If I were in your shoes, Id be prepping for October LSAT and focus on putting really strong app packets together. You could apply with your stats now, and then update your apps with an improved LSAT when you get your score back in October--at which point you would hopefully be in Penn range.

Thanks for the info, I was hoping to hear about how other people fared with applying to these schools. I would love to get my LSAT higher to get into Penn, but even if I could hit that 170 and get accepted I am just a little uncomfortable with paying full price anywhere. I know that it can make sense for some schools, I'm just a cautious (probably too much so) person.

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IHeartPhilly
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby IHeartPhilly » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:38 am

jchiles wrote:Thanks for the info, I was hoping to hear about how other people fared with applying to these schools. I would love to get my LSAT higher to get into Penn, but even if I could hit that 170 and get accepted I am just a little uncomfortable with paying full price anywhere. I know that it can make sense for some schools, I'm just a cautious (probably too much so) person


Agreed, sticker is scary most anywhere. However, a retake early in the upcoming cycle coupled with already solid stats at the schools you are looking at should land you some substantial scholarships. Purely speculative, but I would think Nova would already be willing to fork over some serious cash for your numbers. Moreso if you were to increase your LSAT. They're in a bit of a hole right now given the rankings drop and need to attract students with your #s, via lots of money.

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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jbarl1 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:43 pm

jchiles wrote:
I attend the UP campus mainly because I was interested in taking some classes in other graduate programs (specifically the school of education) and because I wanted to be part of the larger university community. Carlisle is great for its proximity to Harrisburg and doesn't have that "college town" feel. It really depends on what type of environment you like living in. In terms of professors, classes, clubs, etc., you can really do anything from either campus. Plus, you always have the opportunity to switch campuses for a semester or a year if you want to for class or externship purposes.

Thanks, yeah I can see the pros and cons to both locations, but its nice to hear from a student that classes/clubs are the similar at both campuses.


And, since it seems like you are interested in the Philly market, I thought I would share that I am working in Philly this summer and got my position despite having absolutely zero ties to the city at all. Penn State students do pretty well in Philly, despite what you might read on these boards. I know a lot of my classmates are working in Philly this summer.

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1776
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby 1776 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:24 pm

Bedsole wrote:
jchiles wrote:I have not really looked into Pitt yet, I definitely like the city, and I never really considered how much pull it would have in the western PA market.


Pitt dominates the western PA market. LST looks a little grim, but not out of line with schools in the same range. Basically, what I've heard, verbatim, from someone in a Fed Judge's chambers was as follows:

"If you don't go to Pitt or Duquesne, and you want to work around here, you'd better go to Penn."


Their numbers on LST are better than a lot of schools ranked higher. I was looking at Lewis and Clark and Wash and Lee. LC had way worse numbers, and Wash and Lee had 55% FT legal rates, and Pitt had 54%. Pitt had the best numbers for the best value. I'm heading to Pitt because it does well in Western PA, I want to stay there, and I'll be paying about $20-$25k total, for all three years combined. They offer really great financial aid and scholarships, especially if you are a URM or woman. The administration was incredibly nice and helpful to me, they were very forgiving with me about some stupid shit I did.

They offer a great price for in state students. Temple is cheaper in state by a couple of grand, but COL is higher in Philly. I looked at PSU and Temple. PSU gave me a ton of money, and Temple gave me a some decent money, but Pitt was the best choice, and the best value. I turned down 3 higher ranked TT and two T1's to go. Definitely apply, because you should get some money thrown at you. From the research I've done, Pitt is very respected in Western PA, and outplaces it's rank for big law. Reed Smith and K&L Gates are possibilities, and it's clerkship rate is 3 times as good as Duquesne, which is the only other competition in the market. Pittsburgh didn't get hit that hard by the recession, it had the lowest number of houses under water of major US cities, and the mortgage bubble didn't impact Pittsburgh that much. It's a great city to live in, and the people are a lot nicer here than Philly. Great sports city too.

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jchiles
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby jchiles » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:15 pm

the people are a lot nicer here than Philly

i definitely have noticed that whenever I visited Pittsburgh. I don't live in Philly but I spend more time there than Pitt, and while I have no problems with Philly people at all, you're right about this. I appreciate everyones insight here; hardly anybody from my undergrad goes onto law school in the first place so I really don't have many people to talk to about it (other than people who went like 25-30 years ago and their advice is not particularly relevant to the current admissions/employment world)

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1776
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Re: PA Law Schools

Postby 1776 » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:34 pm

jchiles wrote:
the people are a lot nicer here than Philly

i definitely have noticed that whenever I visited Pittsburgh. I don't live in Philly but I spend more time there than Pitt, and while I have no problems with Philly people at all, you're right about this. I appreciate everyones insight here; hardly anybody from my undergrad goes onto law school in the first place so I really don't have many people to talk to about it (other than people who went like 25-30 years ago and their advice is not particularly relevant to the current admissions/employment world)


Pittsburgh love aside, I never liked Philly. For undergrad, I toured Penn, and honestly hated Philly, and ended up not going. I was driving around, and people were incredibly mean, the people weren't that nice when I asked them questions, stuff like that.

I work with a lot of people who lived in other states, and they have all said Pittsburgh is a friendly city.

I was in a similar position as you. I am the first in my family to attend grad or professional school. I had a great adviser who helped me out a lot in terms of the application. My pre law adviser was nice, and helped me with the application process, but wasn't great about talking about cost and employment data. It looks good for my school to send a ton of people to law school, so she was saying how great certain mediocre schools are, and debt was manageable, etc; Nice woman, but I did a lot more research than I did in undergrad, and I applied to 3 PA schools. I didn't have a chance at Penn, Drexel is in the hood and was too new, and Villanova was too expensive.

Good luck. If you have any questions about the city, let me know! If you apply to Pitt and consider attending, shoot me a PM and I'll share my thoughts about the school.

Hopefully you have a good cycle. I wish I was disciplined enough to get a 3.8. That is going to help you a lot.




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