ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

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cron1834
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby cron1834 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:12 am

Good thread so far, ya'll.

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:54 am

Just something to think about: Attorney glut by state

• Mississippi (10.53 law grads for each job opening, according to initial numbers)

• Michigan (6.48 law grads for each job opening)

• Delaware (4.20 law grads for each job opening)

• Nebraska (4.04 law grads for each job opening)

• Vermont (3.50 law grads for each job opening)

• Massachusetts (3.27 law grads for each job opening)

• Indiana (3.03 law grads for each job opening)

• Oregon (2.98 law grads for each job opening)

• Louisiana (2.95 law grads for each job opening)

• New York (2.92 law grads for each job opening)



The info comes from this article, which breaks openings down by region:

When you do, the differences shrink, but they certainly don't disappear. Here's the breakdown:

New England: 2.99
Great Lakes: 2.95
Plains: 2.41
Mid-Atlantic: 2.04
Southeast: 1.92
Far West: 1.91
Southwest 1.41
Rocky Mountains: 1.31



Also, keep in mind that the data is looking at the number of law grads from a particular state's school, not the number of people passing the bar (which would have been better).

If anything, these numbers are too optimistic. In many states, more people take the bar than went to school there. Colorado, for example had 718 people pass the bar on their first time last July. However, of those 718 first timers, only 312 law went to CU or DU in 2013. Where do the other people come from? Every other law school, most likely because they want to live in Colorado. Count 718 first time bar passers or 312 students. Either way, there's only projected 340 openings. Accounting for all bar passers* in this destination state better explains why the LST numbers for DU and CU are low.


*Which I didn't. I didn't include people who moved to Colorado after they took the bar elsewhere, people who took and passed the Feb bar, or retakers who passed in July. Include those people into the 340 job openings, and competition is even tighter.

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JCougar
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:26 am

deadpanic wrote:
yossarian71 wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
LET'S GET IT wrote:Go ahead and kill me.

Goal: practice is St. Louis. Don't want big law but not a tiny firm either.
Background: From flyover country in a neighboring state. Wife has decent job which would enable her to transfer to STL so COL won't be paid through loans (or at least not many). No UG debt.

Options: SLU full tuition scholarship no stip, Arkansas full tuition top 1/3 stip, WASHU small scholarship (5K yearly). A couple other options but these are the ones I'm considering.

Thanks in advance for your feedback and for doing this thread! Commence the killing.


WUSTL is your best bet, but you need to know what you're getting into. Have you considered working as a paralegal for a year before law school? Law school isn't for everyone, and you need to know that you really want to be a lawyer because the path for you probably won't be easy at all. It's very possible that you'll be unemployed and staring down the barrel of six figures of debt coming out of WUSTL.


Again, not trying to give advice where I don't belong, but I'd direct you to the WUSTL grads answering questions threads: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=130775. Many seem to indicate SLU is actually better than WUSTL for STL. But their reasoning is generally connections/perception of flight risk, so perhaps in your case (as a regional local) its not a relevant factor. I don't know for sure, but I'm suggesting they might have a more complete answer to your question.


I'm not one that is an expert in the STL legal market (paging Romo), but SLU full tuition with no stips is probably not too bad if you want to work in St. Louis. I would just keep in mind that you will most likely be working in a firm of 2-10 lawyers with a small chance at the larger firms. WUSTL with just 5k/year off is not even close to worth it.

Obviously the best bet is retake & get WUSTL full tuition if possible, especially if you want better chances at larger firms.


As a WUSTL grad and someone who's familiar with the STL market...neither of these choices are really appealing. WUSTL with only $5K/year isn't enough. But don't go to SLU under any circumstances. I know plenty of people born and raised in STL with all the ties in the world that went to SLU that are desperate just to find a decent place to volunteer their services for free for a year right now...and they can't find anything. And these are people that got good grades there, too.

If you're from a neighboring state, STL firms won't really consider you a flight risk (unless that neighboring state is IL and you're from Chicagoland). The answer is to go to WUSTL but also get a bigger scholarship from them. SLU should be added to the list of "don't go at all under any circumstances."

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:26 am

Bikeflip wrote:Just something to think about: Attorney glut by state

• Mississippi (10.53 law grads for each job opening, according to initial numbers)

• Michigan (6.48 law grads for each job opening)

• Delaware (4.20 law grads for each job opening)

• Nebraska (4.04 law grads for each job opening)

• Vermont (3.50 law grads for each job opening)

• Massachusetts (3.27 law grads for each job opening)

• Indiana (3.03 law grads for each job opening)

• Oregon (2.98 law grads for each job opening)

• Louisiana (2.95 law grads for each job opening)

• New York (2.92 law grads for each job opening)



The info comes from this article, which breaks openings down by region:

When you do, the differences shrink, but they certainly don't disappear. Here's the breakdown:

New England: 2.99
Great Lakes: 2.95
Plains: 2.41
Mid-Atlantic: 2.04
Southeast: 1.92
Far West: 1.91
Southwest 1.41
Rocky Mountains: 1.31



Also, keep in mind that the data is looking at the number of law grads from a particular state's school, not the number of people passing the bar (which would have been better).

If anything, these numbers are too optimistic. In many states, more people take the bar than went to school there. Colorado, for example had 718 people pass the bar on their first time last July. However, of those 718 first timers, only 312 law went to CU or DU in 2013. Where do the other people come from? Every other law school, most likely because they want to live in Colorado. Count 718 first time bar passers or 312 students. Either way, there's only projected 340 openings. Accounting for all bar passers* in this destination state better explains why the LST numbers for DU and CU are low.


*Which I didn't. I didn't include people who moved to Colorado after they took the bar elsewhere, people who took and passed the Feb bar, or retakers who passed in July. Include those people into the 340 job openings, and competition is even tighter.


1. Mississippi numbers are wrong as he explains in the article.
2. New York is misleading by not accounting for the large influx of out of state grads who take a big percentage of available big law jobs. Don't think any school outside the T14 is a good plan. Many of those jobs go only to T 14 people or the top student in their class.

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yossarian
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby yossarian » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:08 am

JCougar wrote:
If you're from a neighboring state, STL firms won't really consider you a flight risk (unless that neighboring state is IL and you're from Chicagoland). The answer is to go to WUSTL but also get a bigger scholarship from them. SLU should be added to the list of "don't go at all under any circumstances."


Could you estimate how much WUSTL is worth in your opinion? Gunning biglaw (not 500+ NY/DC, like 100+ regional secondary market), but perfectly fine with any outcome that does not sort through a man's a cell phone pictures of his cheating wife in a $2000 divorce settlement.

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:33 pm

NYstate wrote:
1. Mississippi numbers are wrong as he explains in the article.
2. New York is misleading by not accounting for the large influx of out of state grads who take a big percentage of available big law jobs. Don't think any school outside the T14 is a good plan. Many of those jobs go only to T 14 people or the top student in their class.



Yeah the numbers are too optimistic, as I was trying to indicate with Colorado. Still it drives home the point that there are more grads than jobs, and it demonstrates why schools like St. Johns or Suffolk are downright disastrous choices.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:26 pm

yossarian71 wrote:
JCougar wrote:
If you're from a neighboring state, STL firms won't really consider you a flight risk (unless that neighboring state is IL and you're from Chicagoland). The answer is to go to WUSTL but also get a bigger scholarship from them. SLU should be added to the list of "don't go at all under any circumstances."


Could you estimate how much WUSTL is worth in your opinion? Gunning biglaw (not 500+ NY/DC, like 100+ regional secondary market), but perfectly fine with any outcome that does not sort through a man's a cell phone pictures of his cheating wife in a $2000 divorce settlement.


I'd probably put it in the $90K total debt range on the high end. The benefit of WUSTL is that you can live very cheaply in STL if you want to. $10K/year living expenses is doable if you find some funding over the summers. If you're able to do this, than maybe $20K/year tuition. But that's on the high end.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:56 pm

One final thought: if someone says they want biglaw- ask them if they understand what it is about, what the job requires, etc. My feeling is that at least some people only know biglaw is the highest paid and that is why they want it. I doubt all these 0Ls really understand employment at all.

Keep up the good work!

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:32 pm

Is WUSTL/ND worth attending at any price if you're a PI gunner (DA) and want to be in CA (I have ties)? If so, what overall cost?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:46 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:Is WUSTL/ND worth attending at any price if you're a PI gunner (DA) and want to be in CA (I have ties)? If so, what overall cost?



Why not go to a CA school for cheap?

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Bikeflip
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:49 pm

NYstate wrote:One final thought: if someone says they want biglaw- ask them if they understand what it is about, what the job requires, etc. My feeling is that at least some people only know biglaw is the highest paid and that is why they want it. I doubt all these 0Ls really understand employment at all.

Keep up the good work!



This probably speaks to a larger issue: Why do you want to be an attorney if you're going to work 60+ hours a week? At least with big law, people know it pays well. It sucks having to work long hours for little pay, as can happen in shitlaw.

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yossarian
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby yossarian » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:21 pm

NYstate wrote:One final thought: if someone says they want biglaw- ask them if they understand what it is about, what the job requires, etc. My feeling is that at least some people only know biglaw is the highest paid and that is why they want it. I doubt all these 0Ls really understand employment at all.

Keep up the good work!


I assume, as the most recent 0L to throw the phrase around, I'm part of your concern here. Fair. Could you speak to what you feel are the biggest misconceptions among 0Ls on TLS about biglaw.

The main ones I hear are
1) You can't know how draining it is to work 90 hours/week until you've done it
2) The stability is not great enough to justify sticker debt
3) The work is not exciting, sometimes straight monotonously miserable and patronizing

Anything you wanna add to the list?

Speaking to these, in a moderately related question, is there anyone who wouldn't rather work at a boutique, especially one that pays market? (Caveat, I understand that the reason no one says they want to do that is because there are so few jobs. It'd be like saying I'm going to law school to become a senator). But, I mean, given the option of lateraling to a boutique at the same pay, why would someone stay biglaw?

Rad, bedsole, or others, if this isn't related enough to the thread, feel free to let me know.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby NYstate » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:25 pm

It isn't just the hours per week. It is week after week with long hours. You have to know you can withstand fatigue. You also have to be able to produce flawless work under pressure.

The worst part to me has always been unpredictability and inability to plan. I get endless pressure from my family to not cancel things. And now I'm not primarily in New York that is even worse. I have little time for friends.

I've always liked the work though, and I've been lucky to work with great, smart and supportive people.

Edit to add: I have no debt. I would not have gone into debt for a chance at this job.

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yossarian
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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby yossarian » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:34 pm

NYstate wrote:It isn't just the hours per week. It is week after week with long hours. You have to know you can withstand fatigue. You also have to be able to produce flawless work under pressure.

The worst part to me has always been unpredictability and inability to plan. I get endless pressure from my family to not cancel things. And now I'm not primarily in New York that is even worse. I have little time for friends.

I've always liked the work though, and I've been lucky to work with great, smart and supportive people.

Edit to add: I have no debt. I would not have gone into debt for a chance at this job.


Thanks for the insight! Glad you enjoy your work, and I hope you are able to find stability.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:11 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:Is WUSTL/ND worth attending at any price if you're a PI gunner (DA) and want to be in CA (I have ties)? If so, what overall cost?


I think they're just fine for any of these purposes if you're from CA to begin with, given that a lot of CA schools aren't very generous with scholarships. But you'll have to do a ton of networking back home while back for the summer/holidays. The question is, can you attend a more local school for cheaper? I wouldn't go over $70-$90K in debt anywhere if this was your goal.

The people I know that were from California didn't have much trouble going back to California. However, if you don't have California ties, you should go to a school in California--or not go at all. Getting CA these days without ties is almost impossible.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:06 pm

Bikeflip wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:Is WUSTL/ND worth attending at any price if you're a PI gunner (DA) and want to be in CA (I have ties)? If so, what overall cost?



Why not go to a CA school for cheap?


This:

JCougar wrote:
ManoftheHour wrote:Is WUSTL/ND worth attending at any price if you're a PI gunner (DA) and want to be in CA (I have ties)? If so, what overall cost?


I think they're just fine for any of these purposes if you're from CA to begin with, given that a lot of CA schools aren't very generous with scholarships. But you'll have to do a ton of networking back home while back for the summer/holidays. The question is, can you attend a more local school for cheaper? I wouldn't go over $70-$90K in debt anywhere if this was your goal.

The people I know that were from California didn't have much trouble going back to California. However, if you don't have California ties, you should go to a school in California--or not go at all. Getting CA these days without ties is almost impossible.


I'm born and raised in CA, went to UG in CA. Never left. I have a close relative in the DA's office that I want to work at (also in CA). He claims he can get my foot in the door but unless I see a contract, I'm not gonna assume anything.

I'd go to USC/UCLA for cheap or maybe even Hastings/Davis over ND/WUSTL. All the other CA TTTs have sTTTTips on their schollies.

Thanks for the reply though. It's definitely a backup plan. We'll see how my cycles goes.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby philipthegreat » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:19 am

Goals: patent attorney, would rather work in industry but would also work at a firm.

The vast majority of the tuition I can't cover with aid or scholarships will be paid off so I won't have much debt to speak of.

Accepted so far:
George Washington
University of Houston (some regional ties in Houston)
Cardozo (full ride but I know it's on the "never go" list)

Waiting to hear back:
Northwestern
BC (some regional ties in Boston)
BU
Fordham

Any of 'em worth it? Specifically, do any of the schools ranked high in IP actually give you a boost getting hired in that field?

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby Bikeflip » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:56 am

philipthegreat wrote:Goals: patent attorney, would rather work in industry but would also work at a firm.

The vast majority of the tuition I can't cover with aid or scholarships will be paid off so I won't have much debt to speak of.

Accepted so far:
George Washington
University of Houston (some regional ties in Houston)
Cardozo (full ride but I know it's on the "never go" list)

Waiting to hear back:
Northwestern
BC (some regional ties in Boston)
BU
Fordham

Any of 'em worth it? Specifically, do any of the schools ranked high in IP actually give you a boost getting hired in that field?



How much money at GW? At sticker, not even close. And do you want to work in Houston? If you get a full ride but you don't want to be there, not worth it.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:10 am

philipthegreat wrote:Any of 'em worth it? Specifically, do any of the schools ranked high in IP actually give you a boost getting hired in that field?


Specialty rankings of any kind mean absolutely nothing. They serve as nothing more than a marketing gimmick to get people to apply and attend when they should be staying the fuck away from the school otherwise. The firms that hire you probably aren't even aware such rankings exist.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby philipthegreat » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:21 am

Bikeflip wrote:
philipthegreat wrote:Goals: patent attorney, would rather work in industry but would also work at a firm.

The vast majority of the tuition I can't cover with aid or scholarships will be paid off so I won't have much debt to speak of.

Accepted so far:
George Washington
University of Houston (some regional ties in Houston)
Cardozo (full ride but I know it's on the "never go" list)

Waiting to hear back:
Northwestern
BC (some regional ties in Boston)
BU
Fordham

Any of 'em worth it? Specifically, do any of the schools ranked high in IP actually give you a boost getting hired in that field?



How much money at GW? At sticker, not even close. And do you want to work in Houston? If you get a full ride but you don't want to be there, not worth it.


No word on $$ at GW. I would work in Houston but I'd rather be in DC. Thanks!

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby philipthegreat » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:21 am

JCougar wrote:
philipthegreat wrote:Any of 'em worth it? Specifically, do any of the schools ranked high in IP actually give you a boost getting hired in that field?


Specialty rankings of any kind mean absolutely nothing. They serve as nothing more than a marketing gimmick to get people to apply and attend when they should be staying the fuck away from the school otherwise. The firms that hire you probably aren't even aware such rankings exist.


Yeah that's kinda what I figured.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby patogordo » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:34 am

Since you say you'd rather work in industry I'm gonna assume you mean patent prosecution. If you have an in demand (and patent bar eligible) degree I would go cheap in whatever region you want to work. GW at sticker, no way.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby gma221 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:47 am

This is a great thread.

Here's a choice I'm mulling over: Lewis & Clark for $18,000 (for all three years) vs. NYU for way more than that (precise amount TBD).

At L&C my soon-to-be husband would be covering my living expenses, and I'd probably graduate with zero debt. I already live in Oregon and love it, but I'm not sure how far I can get professionally here. I want to do PI and my career thus far (eight years) has been all nonprofit work, much of it relevant to the specific area of law I'm interested in. After law school I'd like to do policy work, either for the government or a nonprofit org. I have ties to both in Portland/Salem. I'm also open to living elsewhere on the west coast, but I don't have ties in CA or WA.

My other option thus far is NYU. No word yet on scholarships but I applied for the RTK program. I did my undergrad at NYU and started my career in NYC, so I have ties there, as well. NYU is far and away the better school, especially for PI, but I'm nervous about uprooting my life and taking on substantial debt. Even if I get the RTK scholarship, I'll have to take out loans for my living expenses. I'm also concerned about making my way back to the west coast after I graduate because I know there would be some very tempting opportunities in NYC/DC.

With a goal of doing non-litigation PI law on the west coast, which would you choose?

- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with ~$50k debt
- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with $50k to $100k debt
- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with >$100k debt

I'm still waiting to hear from four other T14 schools, so perhaps this post is premature, but I'm curious what you all think.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:17 am

gma221 wrote:This is a great thread.

Here's a choice I'm mulling over: Lewis & Clark for $18,000 (for all three years) vs. NYU for way more than that (precise amount TBD).

At L&C my soon-to-be husband would be covering my living expenses, and I'd probably graduate with zero debt. I already live in Oregon and love it, but I'm not sure how far I can get professionally here. I want to do PI and my career thus far (eight years) has been all nonprofit work, much of it relevant to the specific area of law I'm interested in. After law school I'd like to do policy work, either for the government or a nonprofit org. I have ties to both in Portland/Salem. I'm also open to living elsewhere on the west coast, but I don't have ties in CA or WA.

My other option thus far is NYU. No word yet on scholarships but I applied for the RTK program. I did my undergrad at NYU and started my career in NYC, so I have ties there, as well. NYU is far and away the better school, especially for PI, but I'm nervous about uprooting my life and taking on substantial debt. Even if I get the RTK scholarship, I'll have to take out loans for my living expenses. I'm also concerned about making my way back to the west coast after I graduate because I know there would be some very tempting opportunities in NYC/DC.

With a goal of doing non-litigation PI law on the west coast, which would you choose?

- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with ~$50k debt
- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with $50k to $100k debt
- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with >$100k debt

I'm still waiting to hear from four other T14 schools, so perhaps this post is premature, but I'm curious what you all think.


Why are you going to law school? Is there something you want to do in the non-profit world that you can't do already?

You will most likely be giving up 3 years of salary to make the same salary you were before law school, with even less chance of having a job.

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Re: ITT: Practicing attorneys tell you your top choice is bad

Postby JCougar » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:49 pm

gma221 wrote:This is a great thread.

Here's a choice I'm mulling over: Lewis & Clark for $18,000 (for all three years) vs. NYU for way more than that (precise amount TBD).

At L&C my soon-to-be husband would be covering my living expenses, and I'd probably graduate with zero debt. I already live in Oregon and love it, but I'm not sure how far I can get professionally here. I want to do PI and my career thus far (eight years) has been all nonprofit work, much of it relevant to the specific area of law I'm interested in. After law school I'd like to do policy work, either for the government or a nonprofit org. I have ties to both in Portland/Salem. I'm also open to living elsewhere on the west coast, but I don't have ties in CA or WA.

My other option thus far is NYU. No word yet on scholarships but I applied for the RTK program. I did my undergrad at NYU and started my career in NYC, so I have ties there, as well. NYU is far and away the better school, especially for PI, but I'm nervous about uprooting my life and taking on substantial debt. Even if I get the RTK scholarship, I'll have to take out loans for my living expenses. I'm also concerned about making my way back to the west coast after I graduate because I know there would be some very tempting opportunities in NYC/DC.

With a goal of doing non-litigation PI law on the west coast, which would you choose?

- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with ~$50k debt
- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with $50k to $100k debt
- L&C w/no debt vs. NYU with >$100k debt

I'm still waiting to hear from four other T14 schools, so perhaps this post is premature, but I'm curious what you all think.


While I don't think you should take NYU at sticker given your career aspirations, L&C is quite the drop off. What about applying to Berkeley or USC/UCLA? Berkeley does seem to have good public interest connections, especially on the West Coast, and it's a lot closer to the area you want to practice in. At the same time, if you got in to NYU, you should be able to snag a sizeable (75% or so) scholarship from USC/UCLA or U. Washington. Or even Davis/Hastings.




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