HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Based on the below, which do you think?

UNLV
1
14%
Gonzaga
3
43%
U of Montana
3
43%
 
Total votes: 7

User avatar
HuskyHopeful1
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:03 pm

HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby HuskyHopeful1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:52 am

First off I will put it out there and say my numbers are by no means stellar, severely limiting my choices. My GPA is a 3.33 with an LSAT of 154. I've taken the LSAT twice and have already prepared both an LSAT and GPA addendum to my application. I'm applying to ten schools total but am having issues deciding between three in particular that I believe I would have the best chance of being accepted to. Ordered in no specific order:

1 - UNLV.
Pros: In-state tuition, ranked highest among these three, currently living in Vegas
Cons: Don't want to practice in Nevada and would have to consider job prospects of moving from here to Washington state, not a fan of Vegas

2 - Gonzaga.
Pros: In Washington state where I want to practice, close to home, very fond of Spokane and close to Seattle
Cons: Most expensive tuition of these three, pessimistic about job opportunities with a Gonzaga JD

3 - University of Montana.
Pros: Can graduate debt free, closest to home and was my undergraduate university
Cons: Skeptical about job opportunities in WA with a UM degree, not a fan of our Montana winters,

Please help me out and advise in terms of employment prospects, cost of tuition vs. quality, and anything else you can think of. As stated, UM would be the cheapest to attend, followed by UNLV, and then Gonzaga. The University of Washington is my dream school and top choice so if I'm not accepted, which is likely, then I could potentially transfer after my first year, but as always it is not guaranteed. Your help is greatly appreciated!

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:03 pm

Are you a good business person? If not, then you really need to put off law school for a few years.

None of these schools are going to open doors for you. The only thing they will do is give you the piece of paper you need in order to sit for the bar exam. Your ability to practice law will be entirely dependent on your ability to either hang out your own shingle and find clients that will pay you, or your ability to network successfully enough to convince someone to give you a chance over 100s of other people who have paper credentials that are more familiar to the person doing the hiring.

If you think you have the hustle for this -- that is, you can build your own business from nothing -- then I would go with Montana. Graduating debt free will limit your downside exposure. Plus you have a local market with ties that you can fall back on if you can't break into Washington.

The better option, IMHO, is to recognize that your career is a long term goal, not a short term one. Move to Washington, start working at any job you can find. Start networking with attorneys in the area. Get a job related to the law. Do this for several years. Figure out how to get your LSAT up and retake in a couple of years. Reapply and reassess your options.

User avatar
NR3C1
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:52 pm

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby NR3C1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:09 pm

You should add the option of "None of the above" to your poll.

User avatar
goldenflash19
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby goldenflash19 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:59 pm

Hate being the bearer of bad news, but none of your options have a good shot at for WA. UNLV in-state and Montana would be "okay" options if you wanted to work in NV or Montana respectively, but don't go to them expecting WA. Gonzaga would cost way too much for their job prospects, and I've read in the Legal Employment forum about how insular the Seattle market is. Plus, Spokane is like 4 hours from Seattle, so it's not really that close. Do you even have ties to Washington?

Check out this thread on the Seattle legal market: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=187755

If working in Washington is your ultimate goal, then I would recommend getting a job there in the near future and applying to law school in a few years. Retake the LSAT and get UW in-state or Seattle free with no stips. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of ties.

Best of luck!

RSM
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:04 pm

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby RSM » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:20 pm

3L at Montana here. How can you graduate debt free? I am assuming you still qualify for in-state tuition and have $60K or more in the bank?

In any case, getting a job in western Washington from Montana is going to be hard. In my class, two people transferred to Seattle U. Last year, someone transferred to UW. I have no idea how any of them are doing job-wise.

As far as MT itself, I am one of the lucky ones. School has been good to me and I have a job lined up in my first choice Montana "city." For many others, the prospects seem incredibly bleak right now. There are plenty of jobs in eastern Montana, but we constantly get emails from career services bitching that no one even submits materials for interviews when those places come to campus.

I can't recommend Montana unless you want to practice here. If that's the case, I can't imagine going anywhere else.

Good luck.

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

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby rad lulz » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:23 pm

RSM wrote:3L at Montana here. How can you graduate debt free? I am assuming you still qualify for in-state tuition and have $60K or more in the bank?

In any case, getting a job in western Washington from Montana is going to be hard. In my class, two people transferred to Seattle U. Last year, someone transferred to UW. I have no idea how any of them are doing job-wise.

As far as MT itself, I am one of the lucky ones. School has been good to me and I have a job lined up in my first choice Montana "city." For many others, the prospects seem incredibly bleak right now. There are plenty of jobs in eastern Montana, but we constantly get emails from career services bitching that no one even submits materials for interviews when those places come to campus.

I can't recommend Montana unless you want to practice here. If that's the case, I can't imagine going anywhere else.

Good luck.

Could you clue me in to some of these jerbz in Eastern Montana?

thedive
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:07 pm

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby thedive » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:35 pm

Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota are growing like crazy right now. Google "Bakken Oil Field."

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:51 pm

Retake and reapply.

RSM
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:04 pm

Re: HELP ME CHOOSE! Please, your advice is needed!

Postby RSM » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:42 pm

rad lulz wrote:Could you clue me in to some of these jerbz in Eastern Montana?


I just checked the school's Symplicity website and there's nothing posted at the moment. I believe that UM career services participates in whatever reciprocity deals exist at various law schools, however. You could email Lori and ask her if she is aware of any interviewers that left empty-handed. I also happen to know that at least one 3L recently rejected an offer at Crowley Fleck's Billings office, which is the largest firm in the state. They have hired significantly more people than any other firm in Montana over the past few years. I have also seen a number of postings from Crowley for their Williston and Bismarck North Dakota offices (shudder).

Fredrickson Byron, which is based in Minneapolis, has also been repeatedly advertising at UM for eastern Montana and N.D. positions. They seem to be a pretty large firm so I'm not sure what the hell they are doing advertising at UM.

I can't be sure, but it seems to me that many of the smaller eastern Montana firms (if you can call them that) hire 3Ls in the spring. I think you would need to throw down a pretty hard sell to convince them you were interested if you went somewhere besides Montana, though. As others have noted, damn near every partner at damn near every firm in Montana went to UM (as did every single federal judge in the state, including Syd Thomas, who is about to be chief judge of the 9th Circuit).

Good luck, though.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests