Need Help Narrowing List

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mg1185
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Need Help Narrowing List

Postby mg1185 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:17 pm

I have applied to the following schools, and would like some feedback on narrowing down the list. Please do not advise a re-take on the LSAT, as I cannot postpone law school any longer for a number of personal and financial reasons.

I will update with scholarship information as it becomes available, as that is a significant factor in my choice. I am not aiming for a biglaw job, so my goal is to graduate with as little debt as possible from a school that is in a decent market. Below is the complete list with along with my acceptance status and any scholarship information I've received.

I appreciate your input and advice!

American University-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Brooklyn-- accepted $20k per yr, top 80% stipulation
SUNY Buffalo-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Cardozo-- pending
Chicago-Kent-- pending
DePaul-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Georgia State-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
University of Connecticut-- pending
University of Minnesota-- waitlisted
Northeastern-- accepted, $10k per yr, "remain in good academic standing" stipulation
University of Pittsburgh-- pending
University of Georgia-- pending

mg1185
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby mg1185 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:19 pm

I am especially interested in hearing from current students/graduates from any of the above schools. Thanks again!

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piccolittle
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby piccolittle » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:21 pm

Where do you want to work?

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gaud
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby gaud » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:25 pm

piccolittle wrote:Where do you want to work?

mg1185
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby mg1185 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:26 pm

I'd honestly be happy in any of those cities, at least for a few years after law school. I currently live in Buffalo, but would like a change...

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hephaestus
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby hephaestus » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:33 pm

That's not enough money to go to Brooklyn. I think, if you truly cannot retake, Buffalo is the best call if they give you money. Everything else is too expensive.
Also, why do you want to go to law school? What do you want to do with a law degree?

mg1185
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby mg1185 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:01 pm

ImNoScar wrote:That's not enough money to go to Brooklyn. I think, if you truly cannot retake, Buffalo is the best call if they give you money. Everything else is too expensive.
Also, why do you want to go to law school? What do you want to do with a law degree?


I agree that it is not enough for Brooklyn or Northeastern- I'm holding out on Brooklyn though, because I've heard they do increase scholarship amounts as the months go by and people withdraw... but without close to full tuition, given the COL in NYC, it is definitely out of the running. And with my numbers, I'll be extremely lucky if I get that.

I suppose Buffalo would be easiest, since I already live here- but I am unemployed at the moment, and my unemployment runs out in October... the economy here is awful, and I can't find a job paying close to what I'm making on unemployment, let alone close to what I made before getting laid off. I'd like to go someplace where the economy is in better shape- Buffalo doesn't seem to have many opportunities for me or my partner.

Is your recommendation based solely on the cost? Or are there any other factors?

Also, any thoughts on Pittsburgh? *If* accepted, and *if* given some scholarship money, they would probably be among my top options. Relocating there would be easiest, since they are close to where I am now and COL is comparable, and, being a larger city, it seems that there are more opportunities there than in Buffalo...

At this point, I'm not completely sure of what I'd like to do, but I would happy performing legal work for a non-profit, or perhaps doing something in the areas of immigration, workers rights, or access to healthcare... kind of broad, I know. I've also considered government positions (after much prodding from my father, who is a federal employee) and I think I could be happy in that environment as well. I guess I am attracted to the law because I feel like it is the most practical way to have an impact on peoples' lives and really help them in a tangible way. I am counting on my first year of law school to fine-tune my passions into a more concrete plan. I do know for sure that I don't want 80 hour work weeks- which seems to be the norm for biglaw. I want meaningful work that allows me to have a healthy personal and family life at the same time.

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20130312
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby 20130312 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:03 pm

Let me help you narrow it down.

mg1185 wrote:American University-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Brooklyn-- accepted $20k per yr, top 80% stipulation
SUNY Buffalo-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Cardozo-- pending
Chicago-Kent-- pending
DePaul-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Georgia State-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
University of Connecticut-- pending
University of Minnesota-- waitlisted
Northeastern-- accepted, $10k per yr, "remain in good academic standing" stipulation
University of Pittsburgh-- pending
University of Georgia-- pending

Retake.

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hephaestus
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby hephaestus » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:05 pm

Are you from Pittsburgh? I lived there for quite some time and its pretty insular. Even going to Pitt may not be enough to convince employers you want to be there. Do you have any convincing ties?
It is a very cheap area to live in, especially by Pitt. Unfortunately, the most they give is a half ride, and that would be a lot for someone out of state.

mg1185
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby mg1185 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:21 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:Let me help you narrow it down.

mg1185 wrote:American University-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Brooklyn-- accepted $20k per yr, top 80% stipulation
SUNY Buffalo-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Cardozo-- pending
Chicago-Kent-- pending
DePaul-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Georgia State-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
University of Connecticut-- pending
University of Minnesota-- waitlisted
Northeastern-- accepted, $10k per yr, "remain in good academic standing" stipulation
University of Pittsburgh-- pending
University of Georgia-- pending

Retake.


I'm not looking to debate here, nor do I expect to be condescended to. Helpful advice is welcome. This is not helpful, and really quite rude, especially when I clearly stated that due to personal and financial reasons, retaking is not an option. If this is the way you are going to respond, then kindly bite your tongue and move on.

mg1185
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby mg1185 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:42 pm

ImNoScar wrote:Are you from Pittsburgh? I lived there for quite some time and its pretty insular. Even going to Pitt may not be enough to convince employers you want to be there. Do you have any convincing ties?
It is a very cheap area to live in, especially by Pitt. Unfortunately, the most they give is a half ride, and that would be a lot for someone out of state.


I am not from Pittsburgh, but have visited a number of times (it's only about three hours from Buffalo) and it seems like it would be a great place to relocate to. My partner and I moved from Long Island to Buffalo about 9 years ago, but are more than ready to leave due to the poor economy here. We are looking at staying long-term in whatever city we move to... and Pittsburgh is one of our top choices. I don't have any real ties to the city, though- but I'm hoping that if my partner is there with me, working and pursuing a career while I am in school, that might be enough to convince them?
Do you know if Pitt will give in-state tuition after the first year, or is that difficult to get? I really would intend to stay there long-term if that's where I end up. It is similar to Buffalo in many ways... but better in many ways. haha

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20130312
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby 20130312 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:45 pm

mg1185 wrote:I'm not looking to debate here, nor do I expect to be condescended to. Helpful advice is welcome. This is not helpful, and really quite rude, especially when I clearly stated that due to personal and financial reasons, retaking is not an option. If this is the way you are going to respond, then kindly bite your tongue and move on.

Why can't you retake? It's a wise decision and I wish I had.

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dingbat
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:50 pm

mg1185 wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:Let me help you narrow it down.

mg1185 wrote:American University-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Brooklyn-- accepted $20k per yr, top 80% stipulation
SUNY Buffalo-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Cardozo-- pending
Chicago-Kent-- pending
DePaul-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Georgia State-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
University of Connecticut-- pending
University of Minnesota-- waitlisted
Northeastern-- accepted, $10k per yr, "remain in good academic standing" stipulation
University of Pittsburgh-- pending
University of Georgia-- pending

Retake.


I'm not looking to debate here, nor do I expect to be condescended to. Helpful advice is welcome. This is not helpful, and really quite rude, especially when I clearly stated that due to personal and financial reasons, retaking is not an option. If this is the way you are going to respond, then kindly bite your tongue and move on.

Helpful advice is to tell you that if retaking isn't an option, law school shouldn't be either

NYstate
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby NYstate » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:56 pm

mg1185 wrote:
InGoodFaith wrote:Let me help you narrow it down.

mg1185 wrote:American University-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Brooklyn-- accepted $20k per yr, top 80% stipulation
SUNY Buffalo-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Cardozo-- pending
Chicago-Kent-- pending
DePaul-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
Georgia State-- accepted, awaiting scholarship information
University of Connecticut-- pending
University of Minnesota-- waitlisted
Northeastern-- accepted, $10k per yr, "remain in good academic standing" stipulation
University of Pittsburgh-- pending
University of Georgia-- pending

Retake.


I'm not looking to debate here, nor do I expect to be condescended to. Helpful advice is welcome. This is not helpful, and really quite rude, especially when I clearly stated that due to personal and financial reasons, retaking is not an option. If this is the way you are going to respond, then kindly bite your tongue and move on.


This is the problem. Getting a job outside of a major area like Manhattan requires ties to the area. Outside of major areas, all law school hiring is local, and in a sense, even within major areas hiring is local. Just going to school isn't enough.

You need to do a few things:

-Figure out where you might be able to convince employers you have meaningful ties ( where you are from, have family, your partner has family,etc. - here is an example: a person posted in the WUSTL thread that he had moved to St Louis, put his kids in school and bought a house, none of those were enough to convince employers that he was committed to staying in St Louis. The job market is way over saturated so law firms can hire who they want at the salary they want to pay.) Post those places

- Calculate and post the actual total 3 year cost of attendance to these schools.

- Explain what your career goals are, what kind of lawyer do you want to be and why? You need to be more specific if you can. Federal hiring is very limited.
---

Going to Buffalo when you know the economy there is terrible and there are no jobs could be a terrible move. You could still end up with no job and a lot of debt. You should check out the law school transparency scores from these schools. Be sure to click the asterisk if there is one.

Many hardworking and bright people want to go to law school because they think it will mean a better future with a stable job. Many of them are from locations where they can't seem to find stable employment. The sad truth is that for most of these people they will end up in a worse situation than when they started law school because they can't find a job as a lawyer and they owe 6 figures of debt.

People here tell others to retake the LSAT because that is the single thing you can do to improve your chances of getting into schools with better job placement and with much higher scholarships.

One other idea is to maybe move to one of these cities before you go to school and try to work for a year somewhere that has better jobs. And then apply to local schools.

out of that list you have:
- cross off American University for sure. It is way too expensive and is in a very crowded and competitive market for lawyers. DC is the toughest place to get a job and is very expensive to live.
- I would cut out Georgia too unless you have ties there. Atlanta is so competitive that Harvard students with ties to Atlanta were not getting summer associate jobs.
- UConn: not sure of their market either though they might be more accepting of someone from New York?
- Northeastern is not a good school to go to either for similar reasons, Boston is a small market.

OP: I feel for you. I spend all my time on this forum telling people not to go to law school. But I know that most people are just looking for a better life. They have been told for decades that law school will provide a better life. The employment market is even worse for lawyers than it is for people without law degrees and law school is just way too expensive. You will end up paying off your debt for decades and you may not ever practice law. That is just the reality.

If you really must go, then do one more thing: read all the articles here about the legal market, the Times and Forbes articles and read the blog Inside the Law School Scam. If you go, be prepared to drop out if you don't make very top grades. (There are plenty of study guides for how to study and take law school exams on this forum. You have to find what works for you. Oh yes, that is the other thing, law school has a mandatory curve, so even if you know everything, you may not get an A. )

If you give school a shot, have a solid unshakeable resolve that if you are not in the top 5- 10% of your class, you will drop out and find something else. I am not exaggerating. I wish I were.

~sunynp

PS my honest opinion is that you shouldn't go to these schools, you should try to figure out another career, they are just too expensive and getting a job to repay the debt is too risky.
Last edited by NYstate on Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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piccolittle
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby piccolittle » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:08 pm

Honestly, of all of those, the only school I would consider attending is Cardozo. New York is the biggest legal market and ties are not as important there (plus you're from upstate). NYC has a bunch of midlaw firms that will take unpaid interns from Cardozo with the intention of hiring them later if spots open up (as unethical as it is), big law is possible with top top top grades, and you have access to the NYU PILC fair and things for public interest. IMHO, retaking is the smartest move here, but if there were a gun to my head Cardozo would be it.

Edit: after looking at your LSN, it's even more of a pity that you won't retake because even an extra 8 or 9 points will have you looking at the T14 and more money rather than the options you have now.

Ti Malice
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby Ti Malice » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:14 pm

As dingbat said, if you won't retake, then you shouldn't go to law school. None of those options are worth the risk.

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hephaestus
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby hephaestus » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:22 pm

piccolittle wrote:Honestly, of all of those, the only school I would consider attending is Cardozo. New York is the biggest legal market and ties are not as important there (plus you're from upstate). NYC has a bunch of midlaw firms that will take unpaid interns from Cardozo with the intention of hiring them later if spots open up (as unethical as it is), big law is possible with top top top grades, and you have access to the NYU PILC fair and things for public interest. IMHO, retaking is the smartest move here, but if there were a gun to my head Cardozo would be it.

Edit: after looking at your LSN, it's even more of a pity that you won't retake because even an extra 8 or 9 points will have you looking at the T14 and more money rather than the options you have now.

Cardozo is just way too much money for such bad stats though. I don't know if there is a right answer here.

nebula666
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby nebula666 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:23 pm

You say you don't have the financial resources to retake but you have the resources to take $200k in debt for 50/50 chance at being a lawyer in three years?

Does not make sense. Retake or don't go.

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Crowing
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby Crowing » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:25 pm

Sunynp's post is excellent.

Also IGF I thought you were gonna retake, or at least I remember you saying that last cycle.

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20130312
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby 20130312 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:30 pm

Crowing wrote:Sunynp's post is excellent.

Also IGF I thought you were gonna retake, or at least I remember you saying that last cycle.

Yeah that was the plan, but then I got a full scholly to a local school.

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stillwater
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby stillwater » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:30 pm

Crowing wrote:Sunynp's post is excellent.

Also IGF I thought you were gonna retake, or at least I remember you saying that last cycle.


he LIED to us

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gaud
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby gaud » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:31 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
Crowing wrote:Sunynp's post is excellent.

Also IGF I thought you were gonna retake, or at least I remember you saying that last cycle.

Yeah that was the plan, but then I got a full scholly to a local school.


Gotta love dat scholly $$$

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northwood
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby northwood » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:34 pm

Pittsburgh is a very insular city. There is also competiton from duquesne ( and a lot of the judges are from duquesne). Firms are wary of people that are not from the area, and see them as flight risks, especially if you dont intern there over 1L summer, and network like crazy during 2L and 3L years ( by network, I mean you have to be working there). While you can get in state tutition, its pretty difficult, but moving there before law school would help. The total cost of attendance for an out of state resident (including tuition, and living stipends) is about 50k/ year for this year, and there is a chance at will increase for next year as well ( maybe not as much as it did from 2011-2012 academic years to 2012-2013).

So Pitt may not be the best interest for you. In state tutition at UB is about 21k a year. But UB places in Western NY, and you dont want to stay there. IF you want to go somewhere else after graduation, UB is not the place ToB.

The rest of schools are all over the place. So the question now becomes, where do you want to end up? Go there, take a year off, and hustle for a job and become an in state resident ( that will either help you in regards to tuition, or make it easier to sell that you really want to stay there). You say that you are unemployed, so any savings that you have now, will benefit you later.

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Sheffield
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby Sheffield » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:35 pm

I am one of the more optimistic posters on TLS, but your choices are making it nearly impossible to be enthusiastic. The idea of retaking the LSAT is depressing but selecting from the schools you listed will forever place you in-between a rock and a hard spot.

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gaud
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Re: Need Help Narrowing List

Postby gaud » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:36 pm

Sheffield wrote:I am one of the more optimistic posters on TLS, but your choices are making it nearlyimpossible to be enthusiastic. The idea of retaking the LSAT is depressing but selecting from the schools you listed will forever place you in-between a rock and a hard spot.


Yep




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