IU-Indy or T14?

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MAHamlin
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IU-Indy or T14?

Postby MAHamlin » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:39 pm

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I'm seriously considering passing on a T14 school in favor of IU-Indy. I have a 4.04 LSAC GPA and a 172 LSAT score (just got it back today, yay!). I'm not asking for people to chance me, as with those numbers I have a fair chance of acceptance and even some $$$ within the T14. What I want to know is whether the benefits of attending a T14 school outweigh the negatives.

Here's what makes this decision difficult: I have two children (a seven-year-old and a three-month-old). My seven-year-old is in school and has friends here. My wife has started her career here and enjoys her job. We own a home in Indianapolis. Our family lives in Indianapolis, which is a huge benefit considering we have a three-month-old. Truth be told, I love Indianapolis. It's been great to me and my family. It's an affordable city and I would genuinely like to stay here.

That being said, I don't want to spend three years at IU-Indy and find out I can't find a position in Indianapolis. Given my numbers I likely won't have to pay tuition, but there is still the opportunity cost of three years. Leaving town for a better school presents its own risks, though. I likely won't get as much financial aid elsewhere and we will lose my wife's income wherever we move. She may be able to find another job, but there's no guarantee there. The result is I will likely accrue far more in student loans at a T14 school than at IU-Indy.

This would make sense if I wanted to work in a larger market, but I want to stay in Indianapolis. Is it worth the extra debt, the change in job for my wife, the change in school for my daughter, and the loss of a nearby support network for the job prospects offered out of a T14? Am I silly for thinking I can land a job in Indianapolis out of IU-Indy in this economy? Would a T14 increase my chance of employment in Indianapolis and, if so, do so to a level which justifies the additional cost of attending it?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Coco_Local
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Coco_Local » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:47 pm

There is a massive difference in chances to get a good job, even in Indy. Honestly, I would just suck it up and go to Northwestern, Michigan or Chicago. Any of those schools will get you back to Indy (even with a clerkship to boot) without the stress in doing well enough to land a job to support your family after graduation. I have ties to Indy and going to those schools would open doors much easier than going locally.

Rent out the house, get your wife to start job hunting, start thinking about schools for your kid, and get your applications in order. You would be doing a massive disservice to your family by taking such a risk.
Last edited by Coco_Local on Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:59 pm

I don't know you, but I'm willing to bet that if you go to law school in Indiana, it will be the worst decision you ever make. Ever.

Edit: Moreover, unless you have some uniquely negative application factors (e.g., felonies), I bet you will get a full ride, or damn near it, somewhere in the lower T14.

MAHamlin
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby MAHamlin » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:33 pm

No criminal record thankfully. I have 10 years of full time work experience, but none of it is remarkable, the most applicable to the legal profession being several years working for Indianapolis' Section 8 program and an internship with the Indiana House of Representatives. Neither set me apart from the rest of the applicant pool, though.

Does anyone know what percentage of the top law jobs in Indy (e.g.,Barnes and Thornburg, Ice Miller, Baker and Daniels, etc) come from the T14?

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dextermorgan
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby dextermorgan » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm

MAHamlin wrote:No criminal record thankfully. I have 10 years of full time work experience, but none of it is remarkable, the most applicable to the legal profession being several years working for Indianapolis' Section 8 program and an internship with the Indiana House of Representatives. Neither set me apart from the rest of the applicant pool, though.

Does anyone know what percentage of the top law jobs in Indy (e.g.,Barnes and Thornburg, Ice Miller, Baker and Daniels, etc) come from the T14?

The real thing to consider is that a T-14 school+your ties to the market will give you a very good chance to work at those firms, where as you will not have as good a shot coming from IU. Not saying it's impossible, and the lure of free school (would you need to take anything for living expenses?) is hard to pass up, but I think you should take a hard look at the long term plan.

Coco_Local
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Coco_Local » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:13 pm

It doesn't matter what percentage. If you go to Michigan, do decently, and show real ties, you can work at any large Indy firm (I use Michigan as an example -- I didn't even go there). You are playing a gambling game. At Indy, you need to be the top ten if not ten percent. At Michigan or Northwestern or Chicago, you need to do decently (and possibly not -- I am saying not being in the bottom of the bunch) and you can land pretty much anywhere in Indy. It's a mess and a mistake to choose otherwise.

Read insidethelawschool scam. The industry is brutal and credential oriented. Don't screw your family. Go to a top 14 school with a decent scholarship.

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BruceWayne
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:22 pm

Let me play a little bit of Devil's Advocate here. While I don't necessarily think that you should go to IU Indy, going to Michigan, Chicago, or NU will NOT make it "easy" to get a big firm job in Indy. I've seen the GPA charts for people from NU and Michigan who get non Chicago midwestern biglaw. They are on average, at or above the median. That really is a lot better than doing "decent" as one poster implied. Basically it's far from a foregone conclusion that you will get Indy biglaw from those schools. Frankly "not being bottom of the bunch" at those type of schools isn't really an easy goal.

Coco_Local
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Coco_Local » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:32 pm

Contrary to what people think, landing median would be much easier than clawing your way into the top ten percent if not top ten people in five or six issue spotter exams. I've seen too many people junk a great LSAT and find themselves at median at a school they were over qualified for. Michigan at half off or even Northwestern free (via early action) is a better bet than taking Indy at a full ride. The best plan is to bet against yourself, get as much money as possible, and fucking pray. Welcome to law school, kid.

You have a chance at YHS. You can get real money at excellent national schools. Don't fuck this up.

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BruceWayne
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:00 pm

Coco_Local wrote:Contrary to what people think, landing median would be much easier than clawing your way into the top ten percent if not top ten people in five or six issue spotter exams. I've seen too many people junk a great LSAT and find themselves at median at a school they were over qualified for. Michigan at half off or even Northwestern free (via early action) is a better bet than taking Indy at a full ride. The best plan is to bet against yourself, get as much money as possible, and fucking pray. Welcome to law school, kid.

You have a chance at YHS. You can get real money at excellent national schools. Don't fuck this up.


This is going to set a lot of people off but frankly median at Michigan isn't going to be as easy to pull off vs. top 10 percent at Indy as you're making it seem, but more importantly from the GPA info I've seen it's going to be more like top 1/3 is what's required to guarantee midwestern biglaw from Michigan/NU. Which leads me to...

Regardless of how you feel about my opinion that median at Michigan isn't as easy to pull off vs. top 10 percent at Indy as many believe, having to pull off top 1/3 at Michigan DEFINITELY isn't a better situation to be in than pulling off top 10 percent at Indy. I'm sorry but beating out 70 percent of the type of students you are going to be competing against at Michigan just isn't this great opportunity vs. having to beat 90 percent of the one's at Indy. Really that's about the same. That 20 percent of extra leeway is (more) than made up for by the type of students attending Michigan. The way things are set up now you just aren't going to beat out the system of having to pull great grades to get a firm job unless you attend HYS.

Younger Abstention
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Younger Abstention » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:15 pm

This top third or top 10% comparison is bullshit. With ties to Indianapolis, OP could likely get a biglaw (its regional midlaw, really) job with a firm in that city even if median or below at a T10. At IU-Indy, you'd need to be top 5% for them not to throw your resume in the garbage. That's just the kind of school it is, and it sucks terribly. With these stats, I think OP would probably be that top 5%, but that is a gamble still. I really don't know what the right answer is here. I'd hope for a great scholarship even at the better schools and probably attend one of those. Because at IU Indy - job prospects aside - you'll be bored and unchallenged by (many of - not all) your unmotivated classmates and the focus on wrought memorization of black letter law to prepare you for the bar exam (as opposed to legal theory and policy).

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BruceWayne
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:33 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:This top third or top 10% comparison is bullshit. With ties to Indianapolis, OP could likely get a biglaw (its regional midlaw, really) job with a firm in that city even if median or below at a T10. At IU-Indy, you'd need to be top 5% for them not to throw your resume in the garbage. That's just the kind of school it is, and it sucks terribly. With these stats, I think OP would probably be that top 5%, but that is a gamble still. I really don't know what the right answer is here. I'd hope for a great scholarship even at the better schools and probably attend one of those. Because at IU Indy - job prospects aside - you'll be bored and unchallenged by (many of - not all) your unmotivated classmates and the focus on wrought memorization of black letter law to prepare you for the bar exam (as opposed to legal theory and policy).



I'm kind of busy right now but I'll pm the Michigan and NU GPA charts to the OP and you (if you'd like). I know that it's intuitive to think this way, and it's what I thought before I attended my top 14, but once you get in and get the actual GPA info you see that's that not the way things work. Your comments about Indy and the top 5 percent thing are on point though.

Younger Abstention
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Younger Abstention » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:40 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:This top third or top 10% comparison is bullshit. With ties to Indianapolis, OP could likely get a biglaw (its regional midlaw, really) job with a firm in that city even if median or below at a T10. At IU-Indy, you'd need to be top 5% for them not to throw your resume in the garbage. That's just the kind of school it is, and it sucks terribly. With these stats, I think OP would probably be that top 5%, but that is a gamble still. I really don't know what the right answer is here. I'd hope for a great scholarship even at the better schools and probably attend one of those. Because at IU Indy - job prospects aside - you'll be bored and unchallenged by (many of - not all) your unmotivated classmates and the focus on wrought memorization of black letter law to prepare you for the bar exam (as opposed to legal theory and policy).



I'm kind of busy right now but I'll pm the Michigan and NU GPA charts to the OP and you (if you'd like). I know that it's intuitive to think this way, and it's what I thought before I attended my top 14, but once you get in and get the actual GPA info you see that's that not the way things work. Your comments about Indy and the top 5 percent thing are on point though.


I'll take your word for it. I guess Indy is small enough that they can be that choosy.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:42 pm

It won't hurt to apply everywhere. You've got a great chance for the Northwestern full ride if you ED there, and if you just apply RD everywhere you have a very good chance at Harvard. See how the cycle plays out and re-evaluate in April.

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Tom Joad
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Tom Joad » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:53 pm

Sounds like you have great reasons to stay in Indianapolis. And congrats on the excellent stats and an actual life (wife, kids, job, and house). One thing you should be aware of soon if that while its no guarantee, I would venture to say that you should get multiple T14 full ride offers. Obviously there would still be relative costs of moving to a new city, but you should just be aware of this soon for when you begin weighing your options.

MAHamlin
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby MAHamlin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:18 pm

Thanks for the input all! I've been talking it over with my wife and we've both decided that it makes good sense to blanket the T14 with applications and see what bites. Otherwise everything is limited to speculation. Once we receive financial aid offers from these schools we will be able to make a more informed decision.

What schools would I have the best chance at receiving significant financial aid within the T14?

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cinephile
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby cinephile » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:39 pm

I'm a bit surprised at some of the other responses. You have very compelling reasons to stay in Indianapolis and can likely go to your local school for free. It really doesn't make sense for you to go to a T14 and have to pay (in tuition, in living expenses if your wife doesn't find a job right away, moving expenses, and everything) when going to a T14 is no guarantee of getting a decent job.

On a similar note, I interviewed in Ohio and Indiana and I was a bit surprised to find that my competition for SA positions were mostly students from the local second tier school (like during callback dinners, I was the only one who had to fly in). Being from the local school is HUGE. Despite having spent my whole life in my hometown, the local biglaw firms were very suspicious of someone who went away for law school. It may not be as easy to come back as you'd think.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:00 pm

cinephile wrote:I'm a bit surprised at some of the other responses. You have very compelling reasons to stay in Indianapolis and can likely go to your local school for free. It really doesn't make sense for you to go to a T14 and have to pay (in tuition, in living expenses if your wife doesn't find a job right away, moving expenses, and everything) when going to a T14 is no guarantee of getting a decent job.

On a similar note, I interviewed in Ohio and Indiana and I was a bit surprised to find that my competition for SA positions were mostly students from the local second tier school (like during callback dinners, I was the only one who had to fly in). Being from the local school is HUGE. Despite having spent my whole life in my hometown, the local biglaw firms were very suspicious of someone who went away for law school. It may not be as easy to come back as you'd think.


It is true that going to a T14 is no guarantee of getting a decent job. It is also true that going to a T14 makes it more likely than not that you WILL get at least a decent (if not excellent) job. It is also true that going to IU-Indy gives you much better odds of ending up in a shitty job than of getting a decent job. If you can't land a decent job on your own, a good T14 career services office will almost certainly get something at least between shitty and decent for you.

I've also been the only candidate, among many, to fly into a secondary market for a callback. I would much rather have a potential employer be skeptical because they think I might be too good for them than to not have a shot at all because I got the same grades at a shitty local school.

OP, go to a T14 or don't go to law school. I also have a family. I would not risk my kids' futures by going anywhere else.

Also, you have not been hearing from the real BruceWayne. He's not feeling well. Don't mind him.

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Chickensoup
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Chickensoup » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:09 pm

How do these people know that Indy grads want to hire T-14ers? Chances are that none of the people who work at these firms went to T14s and they are VERY suspicious of T14 people.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:22 pm

Chickensoup wrote:How do these people know that Indy grads want to hire T-14ers? Chances are that none of the people who work at these firms went to T14s and they are VERY suspicious of T14 people.


True, but the difference, as I tried to make clear (at least IMO), is the reason for their suspicion. Also, having a six figure job in a primary market, or a decent job somewhere else, as a "backup" plan is much better than having a shitty backup plan or no backup plan at all.

Edit: Moreover, their suspicion is pretty easily overcome if you have ties, which OP has in spades. Just a personal anecdote: I received offers in two secondary markets to which I'd never even been before callbacks. I received offers from two other secondary markets to which my ties were less substantial than OP's are to Indiana. I had work experience, but average stats. I might not be the norm, but I'm surely no special snowflake; I just go to a T14 and am not socially retarded.
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rickgrimes69
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:26 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Coco_Local wrote:Contrary to what people think, landing median would be much easier than clawing your way into the top ten percent if not top ten people in five or six issue spotter exams. I've seen too many people junk a great LSAT and find themselves at median at a school they were over qualified for. Michigan at half off or even Northwestern free (via early action) is a better bet than taking Indy at a full ride. The best plan is to bet against yourself, get as much money as possible, and fucking pray. Welcome to law school, kid.

You have a chance at YHS. You can get real money at excellent national schools. Don't fuck this up.


This is going to set a lot of people off but frankly median at Michigan isn't going to be as easy to pull off vs. top 10 percent at Indy as you're making it seem, but more importantly from the GPA info I've seen it's going to be more like top 1/3 is what's required to guarantee midwestern biglaw from Michigan/NU. Which leads me to...


This is retarded. Pulling off median at Michigan will be infinitely easier than top 10% at Indy or anywhere else.

iowalum
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby iowalum » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:38 pm

Either go to a T-14 or commute to IU-B (several people in my class are doing this, it's really not that bad). Still get to stay in Indy, better job prospects.

Heat
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Heat » Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:45 pm

Chickensoup wrote:How do these people know that Indy grads want to hire T-14ers? Chances are that none of the people who work at these firms went to T14s and they are VERY suspicious of T14 people.


I think people are missing the point that the T-14 at least gives him a shot elsewhere. IU-Indy is Indy or bust.

Even if we assume that Indy firms don't want to hire T-14ers. The question is: Would you rather be unemployed in Indy or be employed virtually anywhere else in the country? Personally, I'd take having a decent job but its possible he doesn't feel that way.

T-14 gives you a shot at Indy and a shot at many other markets barring you having awful grades. IU-Indy gives you a shot at making good money only if you are in the top 5%.

BTW, did you guys notice the 10 years work experience thing? Honestly, it doesn't matter how relevant. Anecdotally, those 10 years will give you a shot at a lot of markets even with miserable grades from a T-14.

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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:30 pm

I would look into IU-Bloomington. I think from another thread that they give something like 25% of their class a full ride (obv doing this to prop up GPA/LSAT numbers). With your numbers, you would probably be a shoe-in and while the commute would suck, if I were you I'd probably do that.

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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby LeninLunchbox » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:06 pm

What schools would I have the best chance at receiving significant financial aid within the T14?


It seems to me you are an absolute posterchild for the Northwestern ED program. It's a full ride at a t14. With your numbers and especially your WE that NU values more than any other school, you have a VERY good shot at getting it. You'd be a 3.5 hour drive from family. With your ties, a t14 degree and your WE, you'd have a very very good shot at indy biglaw coming out, among the best. You'd have an even better chance at getting a decent paying job somewhere, probably in the IN/IL area. I don't go to NU, I didn't ED there, but I just feel like you are the exact person they had in mind for that program.

Obviously, the choice is yours, but I think going to IU-I would be a crime against reason if you got a significant scholly at NU Michigan or UChi. In 12 months where would like to be: A) busting your ass to make the top tenth or even twentieth of the class at IU-I and then MAYBE having a shot at indy biglaw and, outside of that, left with peanuts, or B) going into your first exams knowing that if you're in the top half you've got among the best shots at indy biglaw and if you strike out, still a decent shot at another good midwestern job?

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: IU-Indy or T14?

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:46 pm

LeninLunchbox wrote:
What schools would I have the best chance at receiving significant financial aid within the T14?


It seems to me you are an absolute posterchild for the Northwestern ED program. It's a full ride at a t14. With your numbers and especially your WE that NU values more than any other school, you have a VERY good shot at getting it. You'd be a 3.5 hour drive from family. With your ties, a t14 degree and your WE, you'd have a very very good shot at indy biglaw coming out, among the best. You'd have an even better chance at getting a decent paying job somewhere, probably in the IN/IL area. I don't go to NU, I didn't ED there, but I just feel like you are the exact person they had in mind for that program.

Obviously, the choice is yours, but I think going to IU-I would be a crime against reason if you got a significant scholly at NU Michigan or UChi. In 12 months where would like to be: A) busting your ass to make the top tenth or even twentieth of the class at IU-I and then MAYBE having a shot at indy biglaw and, outside of that, left with peanuts, or B) going into your first exams knowing that if you're in the top half you've got among the best shots at indy biglaw and if you strike out, still a decent shot at another good midwestern job?


I agree with most of this. I just think you're in the running for a full ride as high as Chicago. You are above both medians. I'm not sure I would ED Northwestern. It wouldn't be a horrible decision though.




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