Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

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

Washburn v. Valparaiso

Washburn Law
18
64%
Valparaiso Law
10
36%
 
Total votes: 28

ProspectiveStudent69
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Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby ProspectiveStudent69 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:10 pm

I have a dilemma on my hands. I have been accepted to Valparaiso School of Law for quite some time and was fully prepared to attend, however, I have recently been accepted at Washburn Law. I received a 10k scholly from Valpo which brings tuiton to 28.5k. I don't know if Washburn is offering a scholly yet, but from the get go their tuition is like 29.4k for out of state and students have the ability to become a resident of Kansas by the second semester, thus making it like 18.8k. These price tags are just for tuition, which don't include all other expenses. It seems like Valparaiso is surrounded by a lot bigger legal markets (ie. Chicago/Indianapolis), while Washburn is situated in Topeka, which is around an hour drive from Kansas City. The living expenses seem to be relatively close, however, Washburn is further from my hometown. After doing a lot of research on both schools it appears Washburn has a better overall program and better employment/bar passage statistics. My question is, should I tough it out with my current school or take the risk and accept Washburn at last minute? Looking at in 162k in debt at Valpo is scary (before interest), so it would be nice to pay less, given that both these schools are in the 4th tier. My goal would be to transfer after the first year if I do well enough, but I want to be happy if I have to settle.

Please share if you have something valuable and insightful to offer. What I don't want is people telling me to retake or only go if its a full ride at HYS... I would really appreciate a rapid response from anyone who knows the legal markets and/or particular schools. :idea:

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dr123
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby dr123 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:13 pm

Retake for KU or IU. Do not pay that much for Valpo.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=valparaiso

ProspectiveStudent69
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby ProspectiveStudent69 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:17 pm

dr123 wrote:Retake for KU or IU. Do not pay that much for Valpo.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=valparaiso


Retaking isn't an option, I will be attending regardless. I'm going to try and transfer next year anyways, so KU would be an option maybe. Seems like Washburn has a good Alumni network in the area.

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dr123
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby dr123 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:17 pm

Why isn't retaking an option?

kyle010723
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby kyle010723 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:31 pm

ProspectiveStudent69 wrote:
Retaking isn't an option, I will be attending regardless. I'm going to try and transfer next year anyways, so KU would be an option maybe. Seems like Washburn has a good Alumni network in the area.


I am by no mean a T14 or bust person. But neither of these schools are worth attending at any cost unless your family owns a law firm and have a job line up by graduation. I do not know much about Kansas, but I'm from Indiana. Yes, transfer is possible. But you can pretty much rule out transferring from Valpo to T14, because that is not going to happen. If you are THE No. 1 person in your class, maybe you have a shot at GULC or if NU will bite. But thats about it.

Can you transfer from Valpo to Notre Dame or IUB? Certainly. But you need to be in Top 10% (that is a very generous estimate, top 5% might be more realistic). Out of a class of 180, do you think you can be the top 20 person? If you absolutely want to give it a try, we cant stop you. But the best advice is if you do not obtain the grade necessary to transfer after the first semester, you should seriously consider dropping out to stop the bleeding.

Also, if you go to Valpo, don't expect Chicago or Indy unless you have some strong connections. Only 2.4% of the graduating class got a job in firms 50 people or more (i.e. only 4 out of 180 got a job in a firm that has 50 or more attorneys).

Closed to 30% work in firm 25 or smaller. How do you get a job in those small firms? You need to know people. Do your know someone that owns a law firm that will for sure hire you after graduation?

Also important to note, 26% of graduates from Valpo are unemployed.
Last edited by kyle010723 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rebexness
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby rebexness » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:47 pm

dr123 wrote:Why isn't retaking an option?


Retaking is always an option.

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Winston1984
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby Winston1984 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:50 pm

If I had a gun to my head, I would take the bullet. If I had a second choice it would be Washburn because at least their grads can get long-term legal jobs. I also agree with Kyle that I'm not a T-14 bust either, but you shouldn't attend Valparaiso even if they pay you, and you shouldn't attend Washburn unless it is at a significant discount.

http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=valparaiso
http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=washburn

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90convoy
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby 90convoy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:59 pm

I personally know some people that went to Valpo (I live there) and it is really hard for them to find a job, even a low-paying local one. Also, again, why isn't retaking an option?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:59 pm

They are equally terrible decisions. Pick your cheaper poison

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Clearly
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby Clearly » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:02 pm

Retake or don't go. Period.

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Lwoods
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby Lwoods » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:04 pm

A guy I grew up with went to Valpo law. He was always a smart kid, so I'm not sure how he ended up there. Anyway, he lives in our small Indiana hometown and works at a local retail store. He keeps up with CLEs to keep his license but hasn't ever practiced law, to my knowledge. He graduated a few years ago.

I can't imagine Washburn is any better.

californiauser
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby californiauser » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:19 pm

Learning a trade > either of these options

ProspectiveStudent69
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby ProspectiveStudent69 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:46 pm

Retaking isn't an option, because I want to keep going to school without any sort of break. I would be 27 when I graduate, and I don't intend on being in school till that age. Sure I could just not go this year, but I have already payed a ton to apply to a load of schools, and have stopped studying for the LSAT for like 6 months. I'm sure working in a firm of 50+ attorneys would pay better, but people are still getting jobs with smaller firms and even in the public sector if they absolutely have to. When you graduate you have to take what you are given. It would be nice to go to a way better school, but at this point, I don't have that option or luxury and don't feel my score will get that much better with increased practice. I'm a good student, but for some reason I couldn't do well on the LSAT. Its a hard test. I'm very studious and will try my absolute best to be at the top, so I think that by second semester I should be able to go somewhere else. Transfer schools I will be applying to include but are not limited to: Iowa, Depaul, Loyola Chicago, Drake, and possibly some Texas Schools. Even if I don't have the best job when I graduate, it seems like you can use the small law firms or public sector as a jump off points to build some credentials and practical experience. Maybe I'm wrong. All I know is that if you do well in school and have a better grasp on the law than the people you are competing with for jobs, that should be more important than someones school rank. Someone could have graduated from Harvard or Yale and be socially inept and unable to use their knowledge in a practical setting. Everyone learns the same stuff their first year anyways, so I don't see how Valpo is going to make me look less deserving. Does transferring hurt your employment prospects or hurt your class rank when finishing at the transfer school? Valpo doesn't grade on a curve, which is different from many other ABA accredited law schools. I'm not going to retake.

californiauser
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby californiauser » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:55 pm

ProspectiveStudent69 wrote:Retaking isn't an option, because I want to keep going to school without any sort of break. I would be 27 when I graduate, and I don't intend on being in school till that age. Sure I could just not go this year, but I have already payed a ton to apply to a load of schools, and have stopped studying for the LSAT for like 6 months. I'm sure working in a firm of 50+ attorneys would pay better, but people are still getting jobs with smaller firms and even in the public sector if they absolutely have to. When you graduate you have to take what you are given. It would be nice to go to a way better school, but at this point, I don't have that option or luxury and don't feel my score will get that much better with increased practice. I'm a good student, but for some reason I couldn't do well on the LSAT. Its a hard test. I'm very studious and will try my absolute best to be at the top, so I think that by second semester I should be able to go somewhere else. Transfer schools I will be applying to include but are not limited to: Iowa, Depaul, Loyola Chicago, Drake, and possibly some Texas Schools. Even if I don't have the best job when I graduate, it seems like you can use the small law firms or public sector as a jump off points to build some credentials and practical experience. Maybe I'm wrong. All I know is that if you do well in school and have a better grasp on the law than the people you are competing with for jobs, that should be more important than someones school rank. Someone could have graduated from Harvard or Yale and be socially inept and unable to use their knowledge in a practical setting. Everyone learns the same stuff their first year anyways, so I don't see how Valpo is going to make me look less deserving. Does transferring hurt your employment prospects or hurt your class rank when finishing at the transfer school? Valpo doesn't grade on a curve, which is different from many other ABA accredited law schools. I'm not going to retake.



viewtopic.php?f=23&t=192753

Many of these posters are from t20 schools. Why do you think your path to employment will be easier?

People on here aren't telling you to retake because they're prestige whores, they're telling you because attending these schools at the prices you're considering will probably ruin your life. Why would you go 6 figures in debt chance for a 30% of getting a 35k job?

kyle010723
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby kyle010723 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:59 pm

ProspectiveStudent69 wrote:Transfer schools I will be applying to include but are not limited to: Iowa, Depaul, Loyola Chicago, Drake, and possibly some Texas Schools. I'm not going to retake.


Lets say you do well enough to transfer to those schools, so what? None of those schools is worth attending at sticker, which is what you will pay if you transfer.

Again, if your goal is the midwest, especially Chicago, unless you transfer into T14 or ND/WUSTL/UIUC, your employment prospect diminishes significantly. If you insist on going, so be it. But for your own sake, if you do not end up being the top of your class after your first year, please please please drop out instead of incurring more debt.

silenttimer
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby silenttimer » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:03 pm

ProspectiveStudent69 wrote:Retaking isn't an option, because I want to keep going to school without any sort of break. I would be 27 when I graduate, and I don't intend on being in school till that age. Sure I could just not go this year, but I have already payed a ton to apply to a load of schools, and have stopped studying for the LSAT for like 6 months. I'm sure working in a firm of 50+ attorneys would pay better, but people are still getting jobs with smaller firms and even in the public sector if they absolutely have to. When you graduate you have to take what you are given. It would be nice to go to a way better school, but at this point, I don't have that option or luxury and don't feel my score will get that much better with increased practice. I'm a good student, but for some reason I couldn't do well on the LSAT. Its a hard test. I'm very studious and will try my absolute best to be at the top, so I think that by second semester I should be able to go somewhere else. Transfer schools I will be applying to include but are not limited to: Iowa, Depaul, Loyola Chicago, Drake, and possibly some Texas Schools. Even if I don't have the best job when I graduate, it seems like you can use the small law firms or public sector as a jump off points to build some credentials and practical experience. Maybe I'm wrong. All I know is that if you do well in school and have a better grasp on the law than the people you are competing with for jobs, that should be more important than someones school rank. Someone could have graduated from Harvard or Yale and be socially inept and unable to use their knowledge in a practical setting. Everyone learns the same stuff their first year anyways, so I don't see how Valpo is going to make me look less deserving. Does transferring hurt your employment prospects or hurt your class rank when finishing at the transfer school? Valpo doesn't grade on a curve, which is different from many other ABA accredited law schools. I'm not going to retake.


Why do you want to be come a lawyer? Do you want to practice law or do you simply want to become a laywer to make money? If you want to practice law, go to the cheaper of the two schools, and know that you will have to work your ass off and even then your efforts may not necessarily pay off. If money, do not go to either. There are easier ways to make money in life. Let me tell you from experience that even with big law money, 6 figures of loan is still a big pain in the ass. And when I graduated, mine was in the low 6 figures--I can't imagine that to be the case now.

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TheThriller
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby TheThriller » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:04 pm

Do not go to either.

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jingosaur
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby jingosaur » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:05 pm

Transferring hurts your chances at finding a job relative to the students at your second school. Don't bank on transferring, especially to the schools that you listed.

Retake and reapply is your best option. If you can't get into IU-I (I'm assuming you're from Indiana?) then you're not smart enough to be a lawyer. It doesn't make you any worse of a person, it's just that you'll be much more successful doing something other than practicing law.

If you're not going to listen to anyone's advice, at least go to Washburn on in-state and save yourself some debt. Employment stats at Washburn are also better by comparison, but your lack of connections in Kansas (I'm assuming you're from Indiana again) might hurt you a little bit.
Last edited by jingosaur on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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banjo
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby banjo » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:08 pm

A small firm or public sector job isn't a fallback. I'm attending CCN and even I'm still worried that I'll miss out on a legal career altogether. ITE, getting any legal job is difficult, and infinitely more so at the schools you're considering.

I'm tutoring the GRE mainly now (thanks to b-schools accepting it), but I've tutored the LSAT and SAT in the past. They are not tests of intelligence, but of focus and persistence. Keep studying.

ETA: I'll also be older than you when I graduate, but I suppose I might live a little longer thanks to slightly less employment stress.

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Lwoods
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby Lwoods » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:19 pm

This is not about being a prestige-whore. The person I know stocks shelves for a living. He is not above working for any small law firm.

People target Biglaw firms not just for the money but because so few other firms or employers actually hire entry level attorneys.

Look, I'm all for following your dream to pursue law if that's truly your passion despite the bad job market. But be smart about it. 27 is not that old. 28 won't be either. I'll be 30 when I graduate, which is nbd. If this is truly your dream, don't half ass it. Study hard for the LSAT. Kill it. Pick the market you'd like to practice in, and either go to a T-14 or the best regional school you can find. In Indiana, that's IUB, Notre Dame, or IU-Indy.

If this is not your dream, don't do it.

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Snowboarder1588
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby Snowboarder1588 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:26 pm

I'm a terrible test taker myself but I made myself go through the hard work and retook. Please remember that all the money and time you have spent on your applications is a fraction of the debt figures you would graduate with. Planning on transferring before you even start is not a good idea. Think of it this way: study your ass off during 1L, do extremely well on multiple finals and finish in top 10% to be able to transfer to a better option vs. study your ass off for 6 months and compete to get a better score on 1 test. I never thought I would tell anyone to do this but please RETAKE. Until you take the LSAT 3 times or have a decent score (which I don't see your stats anywhere) you are not ready to go to law school. These 2 schools might be ok if you had a COA of less than 50K, otherwise graduating with that much debt with such low employment prospects is practically suicidal. You mentioned you were worried about being 27 when you graduate. this is not a concern. if you take another year off, get some life/WE, you still get to graduate before you are 30, which is really ok in the big picture. Infact, law firms may even prefer someone who is a little older and has more life experience than a 20 something, just another perspective. I really hope you don't do this for your future's sake. btw...I disliked everyone on this site for saying "retake" so much, but honestly...it paid off for me. I retook and increased my score and now have new windows of opportunities for me. you have no risk. if you retake and score lower, schools will still count your higher score, if you retake and score higher, then you'll get better options than these 2. Good Luck.

kyle010723
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby kyle010723 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:29 pm

Listen, I know people that also started out in the 140s for their LSAT, but scored 150s and 160s after retakes. While not everyone can get a 170, high 150s will get you IU-Indy, and 160s will get you IU-B and ND. You have a decent GPA, all you need is to increase your LSAT a bit.

Whats wrong with being 27 or 28 or 30 when you graduate. Law school is a life time investment, and your reason is not compelling enough to take the risk of not retaking.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:19 pm

banjo wrote:A small firm or public sector job isn't a fallback. I'm attending CCN and even I'm still worried that I'll miss out on a legal career altogether.


Really? This is dark.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:26 pm

Yeah man, don't go to either. I wouldn't knock either choice if you were a local kid and you had a full ride or close to a full ride. Just look for a chill 9-5 job with your current degree. It will probably pay the same and be less work than what you would do as a Valpo or Washburn grad. You can always do law school later.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Valparaiso or Washburn (Kansas/Indiana insiders preferred)

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:44 pm

ProspectiveStudent69 wrote:Retaking isn't an option, because I want to keep going to school without any sort of break. I would be 27 when I graduate, and I don't intend on being in school till that age. Sure I could just not go this year, but I have already payed a ton to apply to a load of schools, and have stopped studying for the LSAT for like 6 months. I'm sure working in a firm of 50+ attorneys would pay better, but people are still getting jobs with smaller firms and even in the public sector if they absolutely have to. When you graduate you have to take what you are given. It would be nice to go to a way better school, but at this point, I don't have that option or luxury and don't feel my score will get that much better with increased practice. I'm a good student, but for some reason I couldn't do well on the LSAT. Its a hard test. I'm very studious and will try my absolute best to be at the top, so I think that by second semester I should be able to go somewhere else. Transfer schools I will be applying to include but are not limited to: Iowa, Depaul, Loyola Chicago, Drake, and possibly some Texas Schools. Even if I don't have the best job when I graduate, it seems like you can use the small law firms or public sector as a jump off points to build some credentials and practical experience. Maybe I'm wrong. All I know is that if you do well in school and have a better grasp on the law than the people you are competing with for jobs, that should be more important than someones school rank. Someone could have graduated from Harvard or Yale and be socially inept and unable to use their knowledge in a practical setting. Everyone learns the same stuff their first year anyways, so I don't see how Valpo is going to make me look less deserving. Does transferring hurt your employment prospects or hurt your class rank when finishing at the transfer school? Valpo doesn't grade on a curve, which is different from many other ABA accredited law schools. I'm not going to retake.


In other words, you can retake, you are just being a scared little tool. Man up for your own good.




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