GWU or Minnesota

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Gil-galad
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GWU or Minnesota

Postby Gil-galad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:58 pm

I'm still waiting on other admissions responses (only applied in the middle of December), but I've heard back from my two safety schools--and if it comes down to picking between them I'm a bit torn.

CoA at Minnesota would be about ~70,000 in loans over the three years, and it would be ~120,000 at GWU.

50,000 is nothing to sniff at, of course, so I'm seriously considering Minnesota--my only detractor there is I;m not particularly interested in working in the northern midwest, and their placement outside of that region isn't particularly high. Whereas GWU has high placement in DC (obviously) and New York, which are the two cities I'd prefer to work in after graduation. But then I wasn't sure if that was because most people who go to Minnesota self select to work in the region after graduation, or if they are actually pretty limited to that area.

Obviously, if I get in to some of my top choices I'd have to consider that over these (waiting to hear from UPenn, Northwestern, and Berkeley), but I'd like to get some thoughts from everyone?

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smaug_
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby smaug_ » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:02 pm

If you don't want to work in MN or aren't at least OK with the idea, UMN is probably a bad idea. I'm not sure if GW is a particularly good idea either, though. What are your stats?

Gil-galad
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby Gil-galad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:14 pm

167 LSAT and 3.8 GPA.

I do love DC (have lived there before), and if I did get in at UPenn (or elsewhere) it's more likely I'd be paying upwards of 120,000 in loans...

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smaug_
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby smaug_ » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:15 pm

Gil-galad wrote:167 LSAT and 3.8 GPA.

I do love DC (have lived there before), and if I did get in at UPenn (or elsewhere) it's more likely I'd be paying upwards of 120,000 in loans...


The loan problem could be easily remedied by retaking the LSAT and waiting a year.

Gil-galad
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby Gil-galad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:24 pm

Not particularly interested in retaking the LSAT. As irrational as it is, I'm just not interested. I was pretesting higher than 167, so I probably could score higher, but I'm not interesting in going through all of that again.

Anyways--just looking for some thoughts on comparing the difference in CoA for me between those two schools. It's not like I'm taking out 200,000+ to fund either of them, so I'm not worried about defaulting on my loans or anything at either of them (I have no undergraduate debt or credit debt). More just wondering if anyone knows if Minnesota is able to successfully place students who want to work on the East Coast out there--or if at that level school you need to go to school in the region to really get work there.

Thanks!

BearsGrl
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby BearsGrl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:27 pm

Gil-galad wrote:Not particularly interested in retaking the LSAT. As irrational as it is, I'm just not interested. I was pretesting higher than 167, so I probably could score higher, but I'm not interesting in going through all of that again.

Anyways--just looking for some thoughts on comparing the difference in CoA for me between those two schools. It's not like I'm taking out 200,000+ to fund either of them, so I'm not worried about defaulting on my loans or anything at either of them (I have no undergraduate debt or credit debt). More just wondering if anyone knows if Minnesota is able to successfully place students who want to work on the East Coast out there--or if at that level school you need to go to school in the region to really get work there.

Thanks!


If you don't want to work in the Midwest, you will like dislike U of MN and thus, you should choose a school in a region you'd rather work in because the first semester of law school likes to play massive mind-games with you and you need a place you feel comfortable in rather than one that is just "ok." If that makes sense.

As a person who lives in a neighboring state to MN (and whose football team just beat the Viks), MN can be known as an insular state and it's often the rumor that once you go to Minneapolis, you don't come back. However, that's just the state's reputation and I don't know how to judge the law school. Minneapolis is a nice city though, for urban environments. However, whether you like it or not, there are many other law schools located by U of MN so you just need to factor that in too.

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romothesavior
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:43 pm

Gil-galad wrote:Not particularly interested in retaking the LSAT. As irrational as it is, I'm just not interested. I was pretesting higher than 167, so I probably could score higher, but I'm not interesting in going through all of that again.

OP, this is taking the easy way out. With the way the job market is right now, you need to do everything you can to prepare yourself for success now. UMN and GWU are decent schools, but if you aren't interested in staying in MN, UMN is probably a bad choice, and 120k+ is a lot of money for a GWU degree. And are you including interest in your loan calculations? That racks up fast over 3 years.

Here's the bottom line: another 2-3 points would change things completely for you. If you aren't willing to study hard for two or three months and re-take, even though you know you could score higher, then you are willfully putting yourself in a tougher spot for jobs. Yes, I know studying for and re-taking the LSAT sucks, but snagging a few more points on the LSAT is far easier than finishing in the top 10-20% of a T25 law school (which is what you'll need to have a shot at NYC/DC biglaw from UMN). You would be doing yourself a huge disservice to just take the 167 when you could retake, score higher, and get into a T14 or go to law school for free. Especially since you said you were pre-testing higher.

Did you apply to more of the bottom T14 schools? Also, where are you from?

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UVAIce
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby UVAIce » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:48 pm

The packer fan above me is right. Minnesotans can be extremely cold to outsiders, depending on the group. One of the jokes about Minnesotans is that they will give you directions to every place but their house. It's not that people are mean; it's simply that a lot of people keep the same friends they had from elementary school on. This is obviously a blanket statement, but being from Minnesota I can attest to the fact that Minnesotans just tend to not be big on starting new friendships. More than one transplant has suffered through a friendless winter in the Twin Cities.

That all being said, I really love Minnesota and the Twin Cities. You do have to go the extra mile to make new friendships and to "fit in," but it's worth it once you get to know people and develop a network of friends. The "Cities" can be a lot of fun, but you have to be willing to do a little exploring. One thing that can irritate a lot of people is that you can't just go "downtown" and be in the middle of everything. You have to be willing to jump around between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, not to mention the greater metro area.

But if you are looking to stay or go to the East Coast then I would recommend not going to the University of Minnesota. It isn't impossible to go to NYC, Boston, or DC from the U of M, but it isn't all that likely. If you aren't certain that practicing in Minneapolis would be a good outcome, then don't go to the U.

BearsGrl
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby BearsGrl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:50 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Gil-galad wrote:Not particularly interested in retaking the LSAT. As irrational as it is, I'm just not interested. I was pretesting higher than 167, so I probably could score higher, but I'm not interesting in going through all of that again.

OP, this is taking the easy way out. With the way the job market is right now, you need to do everything you can to prepare yourself for success now. UMN and GWU are decent schools, but if you aren't interested in staying in MN, UMN is probably a bad choice, and 120k+ is a lot of money for a GWU degree. And are you including interest in your loan calculations? That racks up fast over 3 years.

Here's the bottom line: another 2-3 points would change things completely for you. If you aren't willing to study hard for two or three months and re-take, even though you know you could score higher, then you are willfully putting yourself in a tougher spot for jobs. Yes, I know studying for and re-taking the LSAT sucks, but snagging a few more points on the LSAT is far easier than finishing in the top 10-20% of a T25 law school (which is what you'll need to have a shot at NYC/DC biglaw from UMN). You would be doing yourself a huge disservice to just take the 167 when you could retake, score higher, and get into a T14 or go to law school for free. Especially since you said you were pre-testing higher.

Did you apply to more of the bottom T14 schools? Also, where are you from?


+1

Credited and solid advice.

BearsGrl
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby BearsGrl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:54 pm

UVAIce wrote:The packer fan above me is right. Minnesotans can be extremely cold to outsiders, depending on the group. One of the jokes about Minnesotans is that they will give you directions to every place but their house. It's not that people are mean; it's simply that a lot of people keep the same friends they had from elementary school on. This is obviously a blanket statement, but being from Minnesota I can attest to the fact that Minnesotans just tend to not be big on starting new friendships. More than one transplant has suffered through a friendless winter in the Twin Cities.

That all being said, I really love Minnesota and the Twin Cities. You do have to go the extra mile to make new friendships and to "fit in," but it's worth it once you get to know people and develop a network of friends. The "Cities" can be a lot of fun, but you have to be willing to do a little exploring. One thing that can irritate a lot of people is that you can't just go "downtown" and be in the middle of everything. You have to be willing to jump around between Minneapolis and Saint Paul, not to mention the greater metro area.

But if you are looking to stay or go to the East Coast then I would recommend not going to the University of Minnesota. It isn't impossible to go to NYC, Boston, or DC from the U of M, but it isn't all that likely. If you aren't certain that practicing in Minneapolis would be a good outcome, then don't go to the U.


Solid advice. I didn't mean my comments above to mean that I thought all Minnesotans are mean or anything, but that people can just stick tight to one another rather than branching out. I have a bunch of high school classmates that all moved out there and all pretty much hang out together. Which sounds normal, but it's not like the high school classmates all moved to different cities then planned a random meet-up in Minneapolis. I think U of MN is a solid school for MN and the neighboring states. They do have the dual status with WI, but if you want to go from UMN to CA or to the East Coast, I just don't see that as a strong option.

Gil-galad
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby Gil-galad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:04 pm

Yeah, waiting, then retaking makes the most sense, to be honest. I'll wait and see what offers and acceptances I get from other schools. I'm also going to talk to GWU once they go over my need-based stuff about other scholarships I've gotten to see if they can bring the price down at all (worth a shot?).

I'm just eager to get started, and taking a year when I've already put in so much work makes me anxious! haha

A few pieces of background info since some of the advice seems to ask for it. I'm originally from the DC area and have family there that could significantly help out with living expenses. I studied in the midwest in Chicago, and have visited the Twin Cities. I enjoyed Minneapolis when I visited, but didn't particularly seem like a place I'd want to stay long-term. Maybe my opinion was skewed, having only been there for a few days...

edit: Oh, and since someone asked, I'm waiting on UPenn, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Northwestern, Cornell (not really interested here anymore), Georgetown, and University of Washington (would be interested here perhaps if they gave a really substantial scholarship...).

BearsGrl
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby BearsGrl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:11 pm

Gil-galad wrote:Yeah, waiting, then retaking makes the most sense, to be honest. I'll wait and see what offers and acceptances I get from other schools. I'm also going to talk to GWU once they go over my need-based stuff about other scholarships I've gotten to see if they can bring the price down at all (worth a shot?).

I'm just eager to get started, and taking a year when I've already put in so much work makes me anxious! haha

A few pieces of background info since some of the advice seems to ask for it. I'm originally from the DC area and have family there that could significantly help out with living expenses. I studied in the midwest in Chicago, and have visited the Twin Cities. I enjoyed Minneapolis when I visited, but didn't particularly seem like a place I'd want to stay long-term. Maybe my opinion was skewed, having only been there for a few days...

edit: Oh, and since someone asked, I'm waiting on UPenn, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Northwestern, Cornell (not really interested here anymore), Georgetown, and University of Washington (would be interested here perhaps if they gave a really substantial scholarship...).


Have you looked at the job placement info on sites like Law School Transparency and such? I'd wait to hear feedback, but to be honest, as someone who just spent 1 semester in law school, you're going to be fine waiting. It's actually going to be better to wait. The legal market is just that crunched and tough. I know you and others are anxious (as you should be), but the legal market isn't going to randomly get better in the next year.

nebula666
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Re: GWU or Minnesota

Postby nebula666 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:14 pm

You are going to get into at least 1 of Michigan, Duke, NU, GULC and Cornell with $ so this doesn't really matter.




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