Help me make a decision...

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
RLowry23
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Help me make a decision...

Postby RLowry23 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:31 pm

Hey all. I am bored in the airport, about to get on a flight to Notre Dame and my mind is spinning about how to even make this law school decision. I know it's early, but I figured I could try to get some advice as early as possible.

Right now, I have narrowed down my choices to four (maybe five).

Schools:
Illinois - $73k estimated (full tuition scholarship, will try to negotiate living stipend later).
Temple - $51k estimated (full tuition scholarship, could negate much of the $51k by just living at home).
Wash U - $248k estimated ($5k per year, will try to get more but seems unlikely).
Notre Dame - $195k estimated (Scholarship offer pending, told I would be getting one).

I didn't calculate COA for U of Iowa because I am not really considering it, but I have a full tuition offer w/ RA position scholarship there too.

Financing:
Paying fully through loans. Family member has a percentage in a start-up company that is growing pretty rapidly, and when they sell he would very much be willing to help out but I am not banking on that whatsoever because how quickly things can change.

Location:
I am from the Philadelphia area, went to undergrad there but am not too stoked on returning to the city. However, I do have very strong ties to the legal community not necessarily ties that could get me a guaranteed job - but definitely the type of ties that could get me job interviews. I worry that if I go to Temple, thus forcing myself to settle into the Philadelphia area, that I will not be very happy. Currently, I live in Seattle doing a volunteer program and love it here - unfortunately, I was waitlisted at UW and I doubt they'd give me very much (if any) scholly $.

Additionally, I love Chicago. The idea of working in law there makes me incredibly happy and that is why my choices look the way they do (I also would consider Chicago-Kent, if I got full tuition and the Honors Scholar Program where you work directly with the Dean). No legal ties, though.

Career goals:
I want to work in government, preferably as a prosecutor or public defender (hoping to figure that out extremely early into law school). The idea of clerking somewhere first is exciting and is definitely something I would love to do.

LSAT/GPA:

So - these are my options right now.

Any advice would be awesome, thank you.
Last edited by RLowry23 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Nova » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:05 pm

Appriciate the depth of your OP

ND/WUSTL are not worth close to that COA. Whether ND becomes a legit option depends on the scholly.

Illinois seems like TCR for your situation.

Retake in June to see if you should sit out for NU. Do Noodleys guide for retakers.

BigZuck
Posts: 10851
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby BigZuck » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:22 pm

Totally agree with Nova, Illinois is the only one the makes sense and taking a full ride there is justifiable IMO. I also would retake June just for giggles and see what happens. If you score high enough, you might get better options that are worth sitting out a year for.

User avatar
Crowing
Posts: 2636
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Crowing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:51 pm

Agreed that UIUC full ride seems like a decent choice for your sitch

I would not take Kent full ride over UIUC full ride even for Chicago

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:37 pm

TCR is get equity in & join your family members start up and work there as soon as it looks promising enough

daleearnhardt123
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:41 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:47 pm

Casting a vote for Temple. While you may like Chicago more, you have no way of mitigating your living costs, and you have no legal connections. Temple for less (even if you DONT live at home) + the ties makes it the much safer choice.

Agreed that WUSTL shouldnt even be on the radar, and ND has to offer a lot to become viable.

User avatar
snowpeach06
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:32 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby snowpeach06 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:57 pm

If I were you, I'd go to Illinois. No point in going to a school that will leave you trapped in an area you don't like just because it's cheap. And if you know you'll like Chicago, also no point in paying for the national schools.

RLowry23
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby RLowry23 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:58 pm

Nova wrote:Appriciate the depth of your OP

ND/WUSTL are not worth close to that COA. Whether ND becomes a legit option depends on the scholly.

Illinois seems like TCR for your situation.

Retake in June to see if you should sit out for NU. Do Noodleys guide for retakers.


Depth came from all the hanging around and not posing I do, always see people posting vague hypo's.

Thanks for the responses.

Would Chicago-Kent make any sense if I was an "Honors Scholar"?

I figured UIUC was my best bet. I was sort of surprised that it wasn't just "Temple".

Thanks for the thoughts and if anyone else has more thoughts, please contribute!

User avatar
ManoftheHour
Posts: 3398
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:03 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby ManoftheHour » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:05 pm

I second Nova's post. I'd put down my deposit at Illinois. In the meantime, I'd study for the June LSAT. If you do well, F#$% Illinois, sit out a cycle, reapply, and enjoy NU at a discount. If you suck balls in June, that's okay. You're going to Illinois with a full ride and you maxed out your retakes. Nothing more you can do about that. No doubts left. You literally gave it your all and put yourself in the best position possible.

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby swampman » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:09 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:Casting a vote for Temple. While you may like Chicago more, you have no way of mitigating your living costs, and you have no legal connections. Temple for less (even if you DONT live at home) + the ties makes it the much safer choice.

Agreed that WUSTL shouldnt even be on the radar, and ND has to offer a lot to become viable.


Also, the Philadelphia District Attorney is a Temple grad and Temple grads, epecially with strong Philly connections, reportedly do very well there. Temple seems like a much less risky choice overall.

But if you'll be miserable in Philly then you'll be miserable in Philly, go with Illinois.

User avatar
LET'S GET IT
Posts: 1299
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:19 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby LET'S GET IT » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:25 pm

As it stands currently, it's really a choice between Illinois or not going to law school, at least not this cycle. The other options just don't seem like good ideas at this point. I think Illinois w/ full tuition is a really solid option, especially considering you would like to end up in Chicago.

RLowry23
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby RLowry23 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:13 pm

Thanks for the advice, toured Notre Dame today and loved it so hope somehow they throw a ton of $$$ my way.

JJ123
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:40 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby JJ123 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:08 pm

Illinois.

User avatar
star fox
Posts: 13605
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:13 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby star fox » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:31 pm

UIUC is giving out full rides to those numbers these days? Dang that Dean Pless stuff must have really hit hard. They only initially offered me a half scholly with a 3.87 and 167 last year...

I'd say go there given career goals and that full ride. Chambana is a cheap place to live too. Get some roommates and you don't need to pay more than 500 a month in rent.

User avatar
superflush
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:45 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby superflush » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:06 pm

Either Illinois or ND.

User avatar
Over the top
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Over the top » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:45 pm

It's tough to make a decision w/o hearing from ND. If it's ND at sticker vs Illinois, no question, Illinois.

User avatar
superflush
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:45 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby superflush » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:57 pm

Right. See what ND has for you. Hopefully you are not up against a deadline with U of I.

User avatar
Over the top
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Over the top » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:50 pm

What would make ND worth it for OP over Illinois? OP mentioned clerking and ND seems to do much better than it's rank suggests for clerkships.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15457
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:42 pm

Over the top wrote:What would make ND worth it for OP over Illinois? OP mentioned clerking and ND seems to do much better than it's rank suggests for clerkships.

ND's clerkship placement is better, but clerkships are pretty unlikely from either school. Overall Biglaw/Fed clerk placement for the class of 2012 showed ND with a slight lead at 31% to 24%, but that was before Illinois significantly decreased its class size. I don't it's worth paying much more for ND.

RLowry23
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:11 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby RLowry23 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:09 pm

Got ND's offer, it's 12k per year.

I got 20k per year from W&L and 25k per year from IUB so I may try to throw those offers at them to get some more $ (may also try to throw ND's offer to WashU to get a little more of a discount).

I visit UIUC in March, only deadline I am facing is their April 15th deposit deadline.

To the comment about ND's clerkship rate. That is why I was strongly considering ND but after the visit, I think I realized their clerkship rate being relatively higher comes from it also being more conservative than most schools - conservative judges like ND. I am not conservative, so I don't know how much of a benefit it would have for me.

Also, I feel like my angst towards Temple/Philly in my OP may have been too extreme. I think I would be content in Philadelphia, just having lived there for my whole life makes it less appealing to me.

Thank you all for all the advice, again. I hope that it continues as I try to make the best decision.

User avatar
Over the top
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Over the top » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:49 pm

It sounds like you're a bit unsure where you want to end up. A full ride at either school isn't bad if you're not married to big law and don't mind living in that town. I would push harder on Notre Dame, see if they won't go a bit more, you're at their LSAT median and a bit below their GPA median. FWIW, I retook in June before I went to school and went up a few points which resulted in alot more money. Something to consider.

Frankly I'd be concerned with UIIC since it has been freefalling as a result of the fun and games played by the admission office. Temple seems to be okay for PA, especially if you're looking for State government work since you'll be competing with fewer Penn grads (who tend to self-select into biglaw).

User avatar
superflush
Posts: 1305
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:45 am

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby superflush » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:14 pm

If you love Chicago though, I wouldn't settle for Temple.

User avatar
Over the top
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Over the top » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:21 pm

superflush wrote:If you love Chicago though, I wouldn't settle for Temple.


Sure, it's a matter of location. Both can land you a PD job but only in their respective market.

User avatar
kingjones59
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby kingjones59 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:44 am

With how scary the job market is even at a t14, I couldn't imagine cutting my chances in atleast half by going to any of these schools, even on a scholarship

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Help me make a decision...

Postby Nova » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:56 am

kingjones59 wrote:With how scary the job market is even at a t14, I couldn't imagine cutting my chances in atleast half by going to any of these schools, even on a scholarship

OP doesn't want a 160k firm job...




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest