The cheap regional make sense?

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Manwhosoldtheworld
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The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:50 am

Resident of Boston but my numbers are not good enough for a Boston law school with good placement. But I want to stay at least in the state and so I've been considering UMass Dartmouth. I would be happy with a small law result and I intend to go for cheap. My gpa is low and my LSAT is in the mid 160s but I already took it multiple times and know that I maxed out my score given my PT scores going into the tests.

I get the state of the market and that's why I retook the test to try and make the t14. But the gpa would have only given me a chance at Northwestern with a high enough LSAT anyway, at least a decent chance. And I don't want to do sticker at a higher ranked school because I think it's more reasonable to attend UMass Dartmouth for very cheap or possibly a full ride.

What do you think?

My goals are modest and I understand that statistically I'm less likely to get a job here than at higher ranked schools. But I've tried bettering the situation, and considering my numbers, I think going for cheap locally makes sense, particularly with the very low COL. I'm not committed to law school but I think a cheap regional is the only rational choice to make here.

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ggocat
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby ggocat » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:06 am

LSAT in the mid-160s gives you a fighting chance at BC and maybe BU. Those are decent, though expensive, options. Regardless, you should just apply to a wide range of school in your targeted area--include some schools where you have a decent shot at a lot of money. I am not familiar with UMass, except for the LSAC data, but I think you could get into a better school with probably similar costs. E.g., Northeastern and Suffolk.

In principle, I agree that a very good option for someone not going to a national school would be to limit debt and go to a lower ranked school rather than a mediocre T1/T2.

good luck

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:27 am

Thank you for the post. Suffolk and Northeastern could be appealing options with enough $$$$, but without any concrete data for people with similar numbers, who knows what I could get there. I definitely should apply either way. Still, I know UMass Dartmouth should be dirt cheap for me, but obviously I don't have to ED or anything. It is basically an appealing option for me because we have no marquee public schools in my area. It is either the private schools in Boston or nothing. It is refreshing to have a more affordable option. If I wanted a BIGLAW position, I'd be much more likely to pay sticker or otherwise a substantial amount of money at one of the private Boston schools.

timbs4339
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:37 am

Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:Thank you for the post. Suffolk and Northeastern could be appealing options with enough $$$$, but without any concrete data for people with similar numbers, who knows what I could get there. I definitely should apply either way. Still, I know UMass Dartmouth should be dirt cheap for me, but obviously I don't have to ED or anything. It is basically an appealing option for me because we have no marquee public schools in my area. It is either the private schools in Boston or nothing. It is refreshing to have a more affordable option. If I wanted a BIGLAW position, I'd be much more likely to pay sticker or otherwise a substantial amount of money at one of the private Boston schools.


The distinction between private/public is irrelevant. What matters is what tuition discounts that you can get out of the schools. If you want to work smalllaw in the Boston metro area, then Suffolk and Northeastern both have good alumni networks as long as you can get a full ride or close to it. Retake until that happens. Negotiate them against each other.

All you need to be over both 75th percentiles at Suffolk is a 3.49/157.

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:00 pm

timbs4339 wrote:
Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:Thank you for the post. Suffolk and Northeastern could be appealing options with enough $$$$, but without any concrete data for people with similar numbers, who knows what I could get there. I definitely should apply either way. Still, I know UMass Dartmouth should be dirt cheap for me, but obviously I don't have to ED or anything. It is basically an appealing option for me because we have no marquee public schools in my area. It is either the private schools in Boston or nothing. It is refreshing to have a more affordable option. If I wanted a BIGLAW position, I'd be much more likely to pay sticker or otherwise a substantial amount of money at one of the private Boston schools.


The distinction between private/public is irrelevant. What matters is what tuition discounts that you can get out of the schools. If you want to work smalllaw in the Boston metro area, then Suffolk and Northeastern both have good alumni networks as long as you can get a full ride or close to it. Retake until that happens. Negotiate them against each other.

All you need to be over both 75th percentiles at Suffolk is a 3.49/157.


I'm not sure I necessarily want to stay here, as I wouldn't mind a small law gig with cheaper COL elsewhere in Massachusetts. But what you say makes sense. The problem is my LSAC GPA is really bad (barely 2.5).

timbs4339
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:16 pm

Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:
Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:Thank you for the post. Suffolk and Northeastern could be appealing options with enough $$$$, but without any concrete data for people with similar numbers, who knows what I could get there. I definitely should apply either way. Still, I know UMass Dartmouth should be dirt cheap for me, but obviously I don't have to ED or anything. It is basically an appealing option for me because we have no marquee public schools in my area. It is either the private schools in Boston or nothing. It is refreshing to have a more affordable option. If I wanted a BIGLAW position, I'd be much more likely to pay sticker or otherwise a substantial amount of money at one of the private Boston schools.


The distinction between private/public is irrelevant. What matters is what tuition discounts that you can get out of the schools. If you want to work smalllaw in the Boston metro area, then Suffolk and Northeastern both have good alumni networks as long as you can get a full ride or close to it. Retake until that happens. Negotiate them against each other.

All you need to be over both 75th percentiles at Suffolk is a 3.49/157.


I'm not sure I necessarily want to stay here, as I wouldn't mind a small law gig with cheaper COL elsewhere in Massachusetts. But what you say makes sense. The problem is my LSAC GPA is really bad (barely 2.5).


That's a tough one- I'd look back a few years on LSN and see if any splitters got significant money. Suffolk and NE will travel all over Massachusetts, and COL in the outlying suburban counties is not too bad.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:35 pm

The title of this thread makes me anxious.

The received wisdom on TLS is that going to a regional school for a low price makes sense if you want to practice in that region, but when people say that they're usually talking about a regional school that's the best or only school in its region.

For example: if you're from Kansas, and that's where you want to practice, it makes sense to go the (tier 2) University of Kansas rather than an out-of-state school that's lower tier 1. It's the best law school in the state, and you'll be in a better position for getting jobs in the region than anyone except maybe t14 students with Kansas ties.

In your case, the schools you'd be considering would not be the best in their region. In fact, the region you're considering is overloaded with law schools, and is one of the most desirable legal markets in the country for students from out-of-state schools.

That said, if you really want to be a lawyer, you're certain you can't improve your LSAT score, and you can go to a school like Suffolk or Northeastern for almost free, it might be worth the risk.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:48 pm

Friend of mine just graduated from Suffolk. When I asked her about Law School, this is what they had to say (with all the personal bits removed):

but unfortunately, most of my class is seriously struggling with the job market right now. It's important to remain open minded about opportunities, and also to be willing to get a little creative in terms of where to look for opportunity. I have a job*, but it is not my dream job. I know I can do more, but it'll take some time to figure out where I want to go next. I'm going to need a serious breather after the last 3 years.


Not sure I'd want to deal with that anxiety, even for free.

*They are working as a paralegal.

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:54 pm

Thank you for the posts, guys. It's obviously very competitive and after reading your posts I definitely don't expect to be placed in a Boston firm job in going to UMass Dartmouth. I admit that I'd likely be stuck in other areas of Massachusetts. It's too bad we don't have our U of Kansas in Massachusetts. I guess UMass Dartmouth is attempting to be. I really want to see their outcomes for graduates - should I email people that are graduating?

That Suffolk anecdote is scary. I'd just get the paralegal certificate now and not have to bother with all that stress if those were the two options! Suffolk does have a solid reputation in the area as people often think of Suffolk and recommend I go there when I tell them I want to go to law school. But obviously that's just commonman prestige! It's weird they don't think of the other Boston schools isn't it?

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JustHawkin
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby JustHawkin » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:55 am

I also know a few other recent Suffolk grads who are working as paralegals.

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mr. wednesday
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:25 pm

If all you want is to be making an okay living with low debt in a low cost of living central/western mass area, you should become a paralegal. That's a pretty likely outcome anyway from UMass or Suffolk, and this way you can save yourself the cost of tuition and get three years worth of pay, experience, etc.

If what you really want is to be a lawyer, move somewhere with only one law school in the state and work for a year or so, then apply to that law school. You can go to the top school in a low-cost region and have a not-terrible chance at a small, local job; you just can't do that in Massachusetts.

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:39 pm

It's delayed but thank you for the suggestions guys. I'm just going to apply to local schools and see if the offers sway me enough to go. I really have to figure out if I'm adamant enough about becoming an attorney, or if I'd be just as content working as a paralegal locally.

What actually made me come back is that my friend scored 152 in December and he is fully intent on going to UMass Dartmouth. (I thought it was related enough to my thread to just post it in here.) He also has a shitty GPA (around 2.9). How can I persuade him not to go? I've tried giving objective advice and have shown him the thread here, but he thinks the challenge of becoming a lawyer at UMass Dartmouth is an exciting thing, and that he wouldn't want to get his job just based on the name of the school, which is what he thinks could happen if he retakes the LSAT, scores higher, and attends somewhere like BU or low TOP 14. Unlike in my case, he would not be able to go for free and would have to take out a non-trivial amount of loans to go.

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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:51 pm

Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:It's delayed but thank you for the suggestions guys. I'm just going to apply to local schools and see if the offers sway me enough to go. I really have to figure out if I'm adamant enough about becoming an attorney, or if I'd be just as content working as a paralegal locally.

What actually made me come back is that my friend scored 152 in December and he is fully intent on going to UMass Dartmouth. (I thought it was related enough to my thread to just post it in here.) He also has a shitty GPA (around 2.9). How can I persuade him not to go? I've tried giving objective advice and have shown him the thread here, but he thinks the challenge of becoming a lawyer at UMass Dartmouth is an exciting thing, and that he wouldn't want to get his job just based on the name of the school, which is what he thinks could happen if he retakes the LSAT, scores higher, and attends somewhere like BU or low TOP 14. Unlike in my case, he would not be able to go for free and would have to take out a non-trivial amount of loans to go.


All you can do is show him facts/reality and if he wants to defy logic, let him. Free will and whatnot.

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guano
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby guano » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:51 pm

I know you said you want to stay in-state, but, have you considered New Hampshire or Rhode Island? You could possibly get good options at those schools, and you'd be closer to Boston than if you were at the butt end of massachussets

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:55 pm

guano wrote:I know you said you want to stay in-state, but, have you considered New Hampshire or Rhode Island? You could possibly get good options at those schools, and you'd be closer to Boston than if you were at the butt end of massachussets


Interesting point. But I have been assuming that I'd be stuck in RI or NH by going to schools there. I guess UNH would be a cool option (no pun intended) if I wasn't stuck in NH for a job after. I know in RI there is only RWU Law, and it is extremely expensive there and their numbers do not make up for that. Maybe if I could get out of NH after a few years, it wouldn't be a big deal.

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guano
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby guano » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:03 pm

Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:
guano wrote:I know you said you want to stay in-state, but, have you considered New Hampshire or Rhode Island? You could possibly get good options at those schools, and you'd be closer to Boston than if you were at the butt end of massachussets


Interesting point. But I have been assuming that I'd be stuck in RI or NH by going to schools there. I guess UNH would be a cool option (no pun intended) if I wasn't stuck in NH for a job after. I know in RI there is only RWU Law, and it is extremely expensive there and their numbers do not make up for that. Maybe if I could get out of NH after a few years, it wouldn't be a big deal.

stuck is a questionable term. You'd be eligible to take the bar in Massachussets, if you can find a job there. otherwise, most states allow you to waive in after you've practiced somewhere else for 5 years, but you'd need to check the reciprocity rules.

If you're at the top of your class at NH, I'd say you're probably as competitive for Boston jobs as at the crappier Massachusetts schools, though realistically networking is probably your best bet, which would be harder for you to do in NH. (if you visit family/friends in Boston regularly, though, you should still be able to network)

Disclaimer: I know nothing about New England

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JustHawkin
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:59 am

I would also check out UConn if you are interested in Western Mass/RI. Although, I have no statistical value to back up my claim, just anecdotal evidence.

timbs4339
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:07 pm

Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:thinks the challenge of becoming a lawyer at UMass Dartmouth is an exciting thing, and that he wouldn't want to get his job just based on the name of the school, which is what he thinks could happen if he retakes the LSAT, scores higher, and attends somewhere like BU or low TOP 14.


This must be a stupid idea, but I don't even know what it means so I can't tell.

JustHawkin wrote:I would also check out UConn if you are interested in Western Mass/RI. Although, I have no statistical value to back up my claim, just anecdotal evidence.


This is a good idea- get some more schools in the mix for negotiation purposes. Plenty of Boston area attorneys from the other New England schools.

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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby NYstate » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:21 pm

Manwhosoldtheworld wrote:Resident of Boston but my numbers are not good enough for a Boston law school with good placement. But I want to stay at least in the state and so I've been considering UMass Dartmouth. I would be happy with a small law result and I intend to go for cheap. My gpa is low and my LSAT is in the mid 160s but I already took it multiple times and know that I maxed out my score given my PT scores going into the tests.

I get the state of the market and that's why I retook the test to try and make the t14. But the gpa would have only given me a chance at Northwestern with a high enough LSAT anyway, at least a decent chance. And I don't want to do sticker at a higher ranked school because I think it's more reasonable to attend UMass Dartmouth for very cheap or possibly a full ride.

What do you think?

My goals are modest and I understand that statistically I'm less likely to get a job here than at higher ranked schools. But I've tried bettering the situation, and considering my numbers, I think going for cheap locally makes sense, particularly with the very low COL. I'm not committed to law school but I think a cheap regional is the only rational choice to make here.


The only rational choice is to not go. Figure out bother career path. These schools will not get you a job.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:51 pm

AntipodeanPhil wrote:The title of this thread makes me anxious.

The received wisdom on TLS is that going to a regional school for a low price makes sense if you want to practice in that region, but when people say that they're usually talking about a regional school that's the best or only school in its region.


This, basically. When people advise looking at regional schools, they usually mean strong regional schools, which are often state flagships. I don't know much about New England (other than knowing a Suffolk grad who was completely unable to find a legal job, ending up working retail for about six months, and then found a professional, non-legal job), but I would either try to go to Suffolk/Northeastern for free, relocate, or not go at all.

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twenty
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:14 pm

To me, the only regional New England schools that make sense are UNH, UConn, and RWU -- of those three, whatever gives you the most money. Would also throw Pace into the mix, but would take any of the other three over Pace assuming similar money.

The next tier down is a huge step from a roughly 50/50 chance of finding a legal job to, at best, a 40/60 chance.

On top of that, it's not worth going at all for any more than about 40k or so total.

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JustHawkin
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby JustHawkin » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:35 pm

twenty wrote:To me, the only regional New England schools that make sense are UNH, UConn, and RWU -- of those three, whatever gives you the most money. Would also throw Pace into the mix, but would take any of the other three over Pace assuming similar money.

The next tier down is a huge step from a roughly 50/50 chance of finding a legal job to, at best, a 40/60 chance.

On top of that, it's not worth going at all for any more than about 40k or so total.

I agree with this post, but I would personally change the list of schools that make sense:

UConn>Suffolk>>Maine/Quinnipiac/UNH/RWU/UVM

For regional New England. But it all depends on what particular areas of New England.

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twenty
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:47 pm

JustHawkin wrote:
twenty wrote:To me, the only regional New England schools that make sense are UNH, UConn, and RWU -- of those three, whatever gives you the most money. Would also throw Pace into the mix, but would take any of the other three over Pace assuming similar money.

The next tier down is a huge step from a roughly 50/50 chance of finding a legal job to, at best, a 40/60 chance.

On top of that, it's not worth going at all for any more than about 40k or so total.

I agree with this post, but I would personally change the list of schools that make sense:

UConn>Suffolk>>Maine/Quinnipiac/UNH/RWU/UVM

For regional New England. But it all depends on what particular areas of New England.


With Suffolk, less than 40% of grads end up with legal jobs at the end. Even though RWU, UConn and UNH place a lower percentage of grads in MA than do Suffolk, Quinnipiac, etc. getting a job anywhere in New England seems preferable to making sure that, if you get a job, it's in MA.

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:04 pm

twenty wrote:
JustHawkin wrote:
twenty wrote:To me, the only regional New England schools that make sense are UNH, UConn, and RWU -- of those three, whatever gives you the most money. Would also throw Pace into the mix, but would take any of the other three over Pace assuming similar money.

The next tier down is a huge step from a roughly 50/50 chance of finding a legal job to, at best, a 40/60 chance.

On top of that, it's not worth going at all for any more than about 40k or so total.

I agree with this post, but I would personally change the list of schools that make sense:

UConn>Suffolk>>Maine/Quinnipiac/UNH/RWU/UVM

For regional New England. But it all depends on what particular areas of New England.


With Suffolk, less than 40% of grads end up with legal jobs at the end. Even though RWU, UConn and UNH place a lower percentage of grads in MA than do Suffolk, Quinnipiac, etc. getting a job anywhere in New England seems preferable to making sure that, if you get a job, it's in MA.


I think I agree. I've been stubborn about having to work in MA but I guess I'd stomach working elsewhere in New England for a few years if it means I could get back, and further, if it means I'm making a rational decision about law school. I've added UNH, UConn and RWU to my list for that reason. I think they make more sense than Northeastern, Suffolk and any other low-ranked schools in the Boston area.

But I'm still bothered with my friend since he has basically decided to go to UMass Dartmouth as long as he gets enough of a discount, which I think is something like at least half-off or a two-thirds scholarship. He has spoken to students at the school and they have told him they've gotten internships, and so he thinks he can put himself in the same position with sufficient effort. There are no stats on LST....when should one expect stats to be posted for the school?

I'm gonna tell him to make sure to apply to UNH, UConn and RWU like me. Our applications are different but we have had the same mentality that we have to work in MA after graduation. If like me he alters that mindset then I think he should have some better options.

Manwhosoldtheworld
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Re: The cheap regional make sense?

Postby Manwhosoldtheworld » Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:24 pm

I got an offer of 95000 from UNH, and I already know it's easily gonna be my thriftiest option since New Hampshire isn't expensive at all. I am still waiting on BC/BU but would probably be around sticker with 2.5/166. After talking to you guys I didn't bother sending apps to Suffolk (see above about the paralegal thing!!!) but still sent one to Northeastern and UConn. I understand I can't count on a Massachusetts job, so I'm open to New England small law anywhere. What should I do? UNH is guaranteed to be way cheaper than Northeastern/UConn (won't get CT residency), so looks like the battle is against sticker at much higher ranked schools potentially. BTW I'm taking out loans for whatever is left after the scholarship....might have a little assistance from family members for an apartment but I don't know the total amount.




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