Least-Worst T20-30 Option

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JoeStrummer
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Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby JoeStrummer » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:40 pm

COA
BU: 141k
Notre Dame: 136k
WUSTL: 109k
W&L: 80k
GWU: 182k

Funding: Taking out Stafford Loans and likely some Grad Plus, but family has offered to float me a loan to cover rent, living expenses, etc. Will be living with my girlfriend (works) and dog (doesn't work) so will have a slightly lower Cost of Living than projected.

Locations: From metro Detroit. Living in DC. Would like to stay on the East Coast, preferably DC.

General Career Goals: Federal Solicitor or Litigator; failing that, BPAI judge. I want to work for the ITC/USTR/USPTO, other Commerce, or other Fed department doing international trade/IP. I know I'm going to have to work in the private sector for a while (5+ years) because no fed agency wants to pay to train someone. I know international jobs are competitive. This is what I want to do with my life. Shooting for Presidential Merit Fellowship out of law school because go big or go home. Currently working in patent prosecution (4 years W/E in public sector), don't want this job forever.

Numbers: 3.03 LDAS GPA - undergrad in Engineering from Michigan.
167 LSAT. Sat once, last June. Practice tests were 174-176, couple of 180s near the end.

I know the conventional wisdom is "re-take, re-apply". I should've re-tested last year or in Feb, I know. Went through an extra-bad bout of depression last fall and almost didn't apply.

My concern with the "re-take, re-apply" advice is that I think most of my scholarship money is due to the shitty cycle this year. If I re-apply and apps go back up, I'm probably fucked unless I get my LSAT above 170. Even then, no guarantees I could get this much money. Don't tell me to focus on how much I'd get with a 174. I know.

Right now WUSTL is my top choice. Decent DC placement from a midwest school, option to work in DC during the school year, low cost of living but a big enough city that my girlfriend could find a new job.

GWU part-time is another interesting option - my job pays well (100k+) and lots of people here do GWU evenings. However, I really want the chance to do moot court since I have no litigation experience, and I'm not sure I'd have time with school and work. I could also do a year at GWU p/t and switch to f/t, which seems like the best option if I could get some money out of them.
Last edited by JoeStrummer on Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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moonman157
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby moonman157 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:46 pm

Next year's cycle will almost certainly not be any more difficult than this one's. Enjoy your job and retake until your actual score reflects those PT scores.

Real Madrid
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby Real Madrid » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:49 pm

GW would be the best of those choices since they have a good IP program, but that is way too much money to pay for GW. Have you done any scholarship negotiation?

You're different than the typical student that gets the "retake" advice, because you have a GPA on the lower end. You most likely aren't going to get any great scholarship offers from the T14, but I'd still rather pay sticker at NU or UVA (both within reach if you re-take and score 170+) than sticker at GWU.

I guess WUSTL is your "least-worst" option, but I still wouldn't recommend it. I'd retake and shoot for NU or UVA ED. Hope this helps and good luck.
Last edited by Real Madrid on Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Yukos
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby Yukos » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:50 pm

Get a 170+ and go to NU. Your career goals are some of the most competitive possible so you want dat T14 prestige. Worst case scenario you should be aiming for something like GWU full-ride. None of the schools you have are worth the money except for MAYBE W&L if you wanted to practice in Virginia all your life, which it doesn't sound like you do.

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hephaestus
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby hephaestus » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:52 pm

Retake + keep your job + GULC part time.

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nsideirish
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby nsideirish » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:55 pm

I was in almost the same exact position as you a few years ago. PT'ing in the low-mid 170s but scored in the mid 160s on the actual test. I had some similar T20-T30 options with similar six figure debt looking me in the eye.

I decided to work 2 years and retake/reapply. I am now looking at a few t14s with $$. ITE, 100k+ debt from anything outside the t14 is a scary, scary proposition.

But since you asked least to worst, I guess I will give it a go:

WUSTL--ND--GWU (unless you can get some money, then it is best choice)--BU--W&L--Maryland

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:57 pm

JoeStrummer wrote:...dog (doesn't work)....

.....my job pays well (100k+)


This is pretty much all I need to see of your post. First, I love dogs so :D...what kind? /off-topic

But regarding the rest of your post, I wish we had the animated emoticon of the guy banging his head against a wall. I would use it now.

You have a job that pays amazingly well right now. Most people will never see that kind of money for their whole lives. Why would you want to leave a job like that to spend three years stressed out (not good if you are prone to depression and have a bout during 1L year - that'll kill your already slim chances of getting a prestigious fed gov job) and go six figures into debt (save W&L) for a 70-80% chance that you will make less when you graduate and a 20-40% chance you won't get any legal job at all? I know you are going to say it is because you have dreams of working as a lawyer....and I am telling you that you should seriously think about what it is about the legal jobs you aspire to that appeals to you and try to figure out a cheaper way to reach that goal. Can't you work for these agencies in a capacity other than as a lawyer? I know for a fact PMF doesn't require a JD. It may require an MA or something but you could probably get that way cheaper. If PMF is a way to your goals, then pursue that now (or after an MA) and then go for the job. Seriously.

To put this in perspective, even if you were looking at the T14 in the low six figures, I'd be hesitating to recommend it.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:02 pm

Hopefully, the dog begins working in the near future and starts carrying his or her weight. Wagging their tail all day long at home isn't going to pay the bills. You should get an award from TLS for that clever line.

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moonman157
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby moonman157 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:07 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:
JoeStrummer wrote:...dog (doesn't work)....

.....my job pays well (100k+)


This is pretty much all I need to see of your post. First, I love dogs so :D...what kind? /off-topic

But regarding the rest of your post, I wish we had the animated emoticon of the guy banging his head against a wall. I would use it now.

You have a job that pays amazingly well right now. Most people will never see that kind of money for their whole lives. Why would you want to leave a job like that to spend three years stressed out (not good if you are prone to depression and have a bout during 1L year - that'll kill your already slim chances of getting a prestigious fed gov job) and go six figures into debt (save W&L) for a 70-80% chance that you will make less when you graduate and a 20-40% chance you won't get any legal job at all? I know you are going to say it is because you have dreams of working as a lawyer....and I am telling you that you should seriously think about what it is about the legal jobs you aspire to that appeals to you and try to figure out a cheaper way to reach that goal. Can't you work for these agencies in a capacity other than as a lawyer? I know for a fact PMF doesn't require a JD. It may require an MA or something but you could probably get that way cheaper. If PMF is a way to your goals, then pursue that now (or after an MA) and then go for the job. Seriously.

To put this in perspective, even if you were looking at the T14 in the low six figures, I'd be hesitating to recommend it.


Yeah, on second thought, this. Your GPA will make it so that options actually worth taking (T14 with $ or solid regional with $$$) will be in very limited supply, so you're either looking at shelling over at least $200K for a 50/50 shot at making more than you do now from a T14 or a 50/50 shot at making half of what you make now from a school outside of the T14. Not only will you be paying a lot of money for this, but we're also talking about the opportunity cost of 3 years of working for 100K+ per year. It just doesn't seem worth it.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:10 pm

It would take a lot for me to leave a job making 100K...and it would need to be a LOT more than the options you have now. Retake and ED to NU.

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untar614
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby untar614 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:38 pm

ImNoScar wrote:Retake + keep your job + GULC part time.

Given the circumstances, this actually seems like the best option.

Also, tell that lazy dog of yours to get a job and help pay rent.

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twenty
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby twenty » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:46 pm

Practice tests were 174-176, couple of 180s near the end.


Wtf, retake, reapply bro.

Worst case scenario, GULC part time. GULC's far from the best school in the world, but at least you'll keep your job, and you won't be locked out of all that crazy stuff you want to do later because your school sucked.

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danielr
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby danielr » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:57 pm

Good god. Joe Strummer: I hope that establishing this thread has made you question not the wisdom of applying to or attending law school, but the wisdom of asking a bunch of randoms on TLS for their "informed" opinions about things that you alone can answer. What you have here is at least as many different opinions about your personal situation as there are posts. Good luck with that.

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:12 pm

JoeStrummer wrote:Numbers:
167 LSAT. Sat once, last June. Practice tests were 174-176, couple of 180s near the end.

my job pays well (100k+)


Rock-solid case to retake. Also note the additional 300k of opportunity cost you sacrifice by attending any of those schools FT. No reason to believe applications will increase next year, and scholly offers may in fact be better next year once the stingy T-14 schools get their medians burned this year (again).

JoeStrummer
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby JoeStrummer » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:43 pm

In some rough order:

Waiting on GWU to get back to me on money. Spoke to the Dean this week, should know by Friday.

Looking into alternatve routes to ITC/et al. PMF requires grad school - I am highly unqualified for most grad programs that would help me (intl affairs/econ), as opposed to being apparently qualified for some T20-30 law schools. I understand that the logic here is not the best ("I got into grad school, so I should go") but this is something I've been looking at for a long time (albeit not seriously enough until recently).

Is GULC really that much better than GWU?

If I'm going to re-take, re-apply, should I even bother with NU? UVA seems like the obvious first-choice school, then GULC with money and GWU full-ride. UVA looks like it shouldn't be a problem with >170 LSAT, which I pretty much need that to get have a chance at NU.

Also, my dog (doberman/german shepard mix) threw up on my shoes this morning. He must have known that I was disparaging his work ethic on the internet.

drive4showLSAT4dough
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby drive4showLSAT4dough » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:01 pm

This is obviously dependent on your re-take score, but assuming >170, you should apply to both UVA and NU and try to negotiate one against the other. NU's national employment stats are better, but UVA may have the edge in terms of DC employment.

dissonance1848
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby dissonance1848 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:05 pm

Given your job pays 100k+ and given the legal market.... unless you can crack HYS, or get some real scholly (at least 50k, more like 70k+) at CCNPN, you should not go to law school.

ket310
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby ket310 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:05 pm

If your current job pays you $100K+/yr and if you can keep it for long... unless money doesn't matter to you, I suggest you keep your job, re-take LSAT, and get into T 14 with at least some money. IF this does not happen, just don't go to law school. That's my suggestion on current economy.

I strongly recommend you that. Otherwise, you may regret it for the rest of your life.

eric922
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby eric922 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:43 pm

drive4showLSAT4dough wrote:
JoeStrummer wrote:Numbers:
167 LSAT. Sat once, last June. Practice tests were 174-176, couple of 180s near the end.

my job pays well (100k+)


Rock-solid case to retake. Also note the additional 300k of opportunity cost you sacrifice by attending any of those schools FT. No reason to believe applications will increase next year, and scholly offers may in fact be better next year once the stingy T-14 schools get their medians burned this year (again).

Is there a good shot of that happening?

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby DoveBodyWash » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:04 am

ImNoScar wrote:Retake + keep your job + GULC part time.

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052220151
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby 052220151 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:18 am

danielr wrote:Good god. Joe Strummer: I hope that establishing this thread has made you question not the wisdom of applying to or attending law school, but the wisdom of asking a bunch of randoms on TLS for their "informed" opinions about things that you alone can answer. What you have here is at least as many different opinions about your personal situation as there are posts. Good luck with that.


Yah bro.

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Robespierre
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby Robespierre » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:31 am

Forget law school and keep your very well-paying job. 100K in this economy, wow.

If not, then retake and try again next year. Next year probably won't be any more competitive than this year and you should have excellent offers if you can get up to 3.0/172.

And yes, consider GULC PT.

elm84dr
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby elm84dr » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:27 pm

GWU is not $72,000 worth better than BU Law. If you are doing IP, the job situation is going to be easier for you (it was for my classmates with engineering backgrounds at BU). I would scratch out Maryland and GWU and decide from there. Or try and get more many from GWU---but their financial aid office is not really good at matching offers from peer schools or even higher ranked schools.

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romothesavior
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby romothesavior » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:53 pm

danielr wrote:Good god. Joe Strummer: I hope that establishing this thread has made you question not the wisdom of applying to or attending law school, but the wisdom of asking a bunch of randoms on TLS for their "informed" opinions about things that you alone can answer. What you have here is at least as many different opinions about your personal situation as there are posts. Good luck with that.

Then why are you here? Ever consider that maybe OP wants a variety of input and could benefit from the insight of people who know a thing or two about this?

OP, I agree with Barbell dreams. No reason to leave your current job and big salary for these schools. I agree with your assessment that WUSTL is your top choice, but I think you should stay in your job and retake later if you want to go to LS.

JoeStrummer
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Re: Least-Worst T20-30 Option

Postby JoeStrummer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:00 pm

Updates: GWU offered me 10k/yr, which is far from enough to make it worth attending. Emailed to instigate negotiations.

BU is reconsidering me for more money. With a bigger scholarship, I could see that becoming a viable option. My girlfriend is from the Boston area, so living there is my second choice.

Admitted to BC recently. No word on money. Obviously less of a good option than BU given the cost. Even at the same cost, I'd be skeptical that BC is better for what I want to do.

I read Paul Campos' book this weekend. I have a new level of respect for LST.

If nothing looks worth my time/money this year (so far, this is the case), I'm going to re-take in October and December and re-apply next year. Either a) I'll do better on the LSAT and get more money/better schools or b) I won't do better on the LSAT and I'll bite the bullet and go to GWU part-time.

Thank you all for your input. [SMOKEBOMB]




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