Help choosing schools to apply to

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googlyeyes
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Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby googlyeyes » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:51 am

hey everyone. here's the rundown:
-from PNW, want to return here after LS
-3.4/166
-will be paying with loans & whatever savings i have right now (not too much)
-willing to move for school, but hesitant to take on a lot of debt if i can't land a job back here that will pay for it
-want biglaw (for the $, who am i kidding)

I've sent apps to these so far: UW, Seattle U, Michigan (long shot), Berkeley (one in a million), Notre Dame for potential scholly negotiation, UT, and UCLA

what do you think of these options? any guesses if i'll get $ anywhere? any you would add to the list?

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:55 am

How many times have you taken the LSAT? What was your first diagnostic score?

TLS Moderators wrote:In order to receive the best feedback in this forum, please provide as much of the following information in your original post as possible:

-The schools you are considering
-The total Cost of Attendance (COA) of each. COA = cost of tuition + fees + books + cost of living (COL) + accumulated interest - scholarships. Here is a helpful calculator.
-How you will be financing your COA, i.e. loans, family, or savings
-Where you are from and where you want to work, and other places where you have significant ties (if any)
-Your general career goals
-Your LSAT/GPA numbers
-How many times you have taken the LSAT

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postard
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby postard » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:06 am

If you want PNW BigLaw, you're going to have a relatively poor shot at it from any of those options. How much do you really want to pay for that? Should probably retake, or reassess goals. UW is fine if you just want any kind of law-job in WA and can graduate with manageable debt, the others are pretty iffy.

googlyeyes
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby googlyeyes » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:19 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:How many times have you taken the LSAT? What was your first diagnostic score?


Only taken 1 time (December). Diagnostic was a 147. Not particularly interested in retaking, but I know that's the MO around here...

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:50 pm

googlyeyes wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:How many times have you taken the LSAT? What was your first diagnostic score?


Only taken 1 time (December). Diagnostic was a 147. Not particularly interested in retaking, but I know that's the MO around here...

Agreed that it's not worth retaking in this instance, unless your PT average was higher than 166. It's very rare to see rises beyond 19 points. If you were doing better than 166 on PTs, though, it could be worth retaking. Applying this late in the cycle, you might underperform your numbers anyway, so it could be a good idea to sit out this cycle even if you don't retake.

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Attax
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby Attax » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:17 pm

Retake, it may be rare to see improvements but that's probably because most people become discouraged and don't put the work into the LSAT to get the needed score rather than ability. Especially if you have already scored a 166 it shows that you are capable of getting into the higher percentiles. Keep studying and break 170 and shoot for CA T-14s such as Boalt or Stanford. However, with that GPA you may need to target the lower T14 at cheap.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:55 pm

Attax wrote:Retake, it may be rare to see improvements but that's probably because most people become discouraged and don't put the work into the LSAT to get the needed score rather than ability. Especially if you have already scored a 166 it shows that you are capable of getting into the higher percentiles. Keep studying and break 170 and shoot for CA T-14s such as Boalt or Stanford. However, with that GPA you may need to target the lower T14 at cheap.

Except that OP scored a 147 on his first diagnostic. I don't mean to be a downer, but it's rare for people to increase their scores by as much as he has, even with lots of discipline and hard work, so I don't think OP can expect to just magically get up into the 170s (a 23 point increase). Possible? Sure. Should he try? Maybe...which is why I asked whether he had been averaging above 166 on PTs before the real thing.

Source: Teaching the LSAT.

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Pumpkin-Duke of Pie
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby Pumpkin-Duke of Pie » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:42 pm

You want Big Law? Retake.

EDIT: Missed the info about your diagnostic. Unless you can start PT'ing into the 170's, it might be best to give up on law school if the only reason you want to go is big law. Everything else is too much of a gamble, and/or makes it almost impossible to get into big law.

BigZuck
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:49 pm

"Big law" and "PNW" aren't really compatable. The jobs probably technically exist,but the market is so small and desireable to so many people that your chances are incredibly slim. I'd honestly forget about it and focus on something more attainable. If it happens, it happens, but it's a big time long shot.

If you want big law, retake and focus on the T14 and then gun for NYC big law

If you want PNW, go to a strong regional in that region and be ok with the average job outcomes from that school (most likely small firm/local government type work). And it has to be for a reasonable cost. No idea if that's possible without current numbers. The GPA might make it tough to get a scholarship that is high enough so that you can take a lower paying job after you graduate.

googlyeyes
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby googlyeyes » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:08 pm

thanks for the info guys. I was PTing high 160s with a couple 170s thrown in there but it's about where I was at. I'm not DEAD SET on big law, it's just attractive from a financial standpoint. I've got some other strong reasons I want to attend LS, so I'm not thinking twice about whether or not I want to go. I'm 2 years out of UG and currently work for the local court.

Also, I understand Big Law in Seattle seems to be quite tough, but it does exist. I've been doing my research and connecting with some attorneys in the local BL offices and it seems like quite a few are from UW and Seattle U (granted, most of them have honors), but I'm not so sure that it's as T-14 or nothing as it's made out to be. Maybe just naivete. Like I said in the OP, I AM set on either staying here or returning here if I do leave for school.

Another thing to note is I will be married before beginning LS and will have negligible living expenses on my end due to my wife having an awesome job and being able to pay those bills while I'm in school, so that's another small consideration.

BigZuck
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:14 pm

googlyeyes wrote:thanks for the info guys. I was PTing high 160s with a couple 170s thrown in there but it's about where I was at. I'm not DEAD SET on big law, it's just attractive from a financial standpoint. I've got some other strong reasons I want to attend LS, so I'm not thinking twice about whether or not I want to go. I'm 2 years out of UG and currently work for the local court.

Also, I understand Big Law in Seattle seems to be quite tough, but it does exist. I've been doing my research and connecting with some attorneys in the local BL offices and it seems like quite a few are from UW and Seattle U (granted, most of them have honors), but I'm not so sure that it's as T-14 or nothing as it's made out to be. Maybe just naivete. Like I said in the OP, I AM set on either staying here or returning here if I do leave for school.

Another thing to note is I will be married before beginning LS and will have negligible living expenses on my end due to my wife having an awesome job and being able to pay those bills while I'm in school, so that's another small consideration.


Again, they exist, but not in a meaningful way. Of course they'll take top of the class UW. But that's a very unlikely outcome. That's all I'm saying.

googlyeyes
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby googlyeyes » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:35 pm

BigZuck wrote:
Again, they exist, but not in a meaningful way. Of course they'll take top of the class UW. But that's a very unlikely outcome. That's all I'm saying.


Fair enough, and I get the point. I guess it looks as though I'm out at T-14 - and even if I were to get in, it would be at sticker - and should hope with the relatively low # of applicants I can get at least a LITTLE money from UW (though not likely), since the OOS options don't bode well for landing a job here that will be able to pay for the higher tuition.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:36 pm

googlyeyes wrote:thanks for the info guys. I was PTing high 160s with a couple 170s thrown in there but it's about where I was at. I'm not DEAD SET on big law, it's just attractive from a financial standpoint. I've got some other strong reasons I want to attend LS, so I'm not thinking twice about whether or not I want to go. I'm 2 years out of UG and currently work for the local court.

Also, I understand Big Law in Seattle seems to be quite tough, but it does exist. I've been doing my research and connecting with some attorneys in the local BL offices and it seems like quite a few are from UW and Seattle U (granted, most of them have honors), but I'm not so sure that it's as T-14 or nothing as it's made out to be. Maybe just naivete. Like I said in the OP, I AM set on either staying here or returning here if I do leave for school.

Another thing to note is I will be married before beginning LS and will have negligible living expenses on my end due to my wife having an awesome job and being able to pay those bills while I'm in school, so that's another small consideration.

In that case, I would retake if I were you. If you were PTing in the "high 160s with a couple 170s thrown in," there's a good chance you could get higher than 166 on a retake. Even if you only get a 167 on the retake, it will be worth it, since you'd get more scholarship money, and if you get 168+, the lower T14 becomes a possibility.

mickey_mouse
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby mickey_mouse » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:05 pm

With your numbers and goals, UW is fine and the best you're gonna get. Assuming you're from Washington and get in-state tuition, it's probably not a terrible option if you're okay working at any firm in Seattle. And even if you do get, say, 3 more points on your next LSAT, the next tier up for west coast law (i.e. Berkeley) is no guarantee.

BigZuck
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:27 pm

mickey_mouse wrote:With your numbers and goals, UW is fine and the best you're gonna get. Assuming you're from Washington and get in-state tuition, it's probably not a terrible option if you're okay working at any firm in Seattle. And even if you do get, say, 3 more points on your next LSAT, the next tier up for west coast law (i.e. Berkeley) is no guarantee.


Berkeley is an impossibility even with a 180

UW at instate sticker would be well over 150K at graduation. I don't think UW is worth nearly that.

googlyeyes
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby googlyeyes » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:12 am

I don't know that UW would be over 150k after grad even with no money given my circumstances (won't be taking loans for living expenses - e.g. rent, food, books), my guess would be more like 110 or maybe even less depending on what I can swing paying some while I'm in school. Like I said before, I noted I wanted BL for $ but am not BL or bust, just want to be able to pay my loans and not be scraping by. Plus have a couple connections around here so despite the odds of BL from all aspects at a PNW school (grades, future SA spots, etc.) - I wouldn't be appalled at ~100k debt. I realize that's not a majority opinion around here, but it's also what you're willing to put in for what you want out of it.

Agree that Berk is ~0% shot, but I love Berkeley and the bay area so figured it's worth the app fee for the minuscule chance. Guess I'll just see where the chips fall and go from there. thank you guys for the input.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby iamgeorgebush » Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:53 am

googlyeyes wrote:I don't know that UW would be over 150k after grad even with no money given my circumstances (won't be taking loans for living expenses - e.g. rent, food, books), my guess would be more like 110 or maybe even less depending on what I can swing paying some while I'm in school. Like I said before, I noted I wanted BL for $ but am not BL or bust, just want to be able to pay my loans and not be scraping by. Plus have a couple connections around here so despite the odds of BL from all aspects at a PNW school (grades, future SA spots, etc.) - I wouldn't be appalled at ~100k debt. I realize that's not a majority opinion around here, but it's also what you're willing to put in for what you want out of it.

Agree that Berk is ~0% shot, but I love Berkeley and the bay area so figured it's worth the app fee for the minuscule chance. Guess I'll just see where the chips fall and go from there. thank you guys for the input.

You say now that $100k debt would be that bad...but I think if you had to service that much debt on a five-figure salary, you'd be singing a different tune.

Say you get a job paying $60k to start (probably a good outcome coming from UW), and your debt at graduation is $100k. You'll get around $3,600/mo. after taxes. See http://www.calculator.net/take-home-pay ... &x=72&y=15. Let's say you plan to repay the debt in 10 years. At a 6.8% interest rate (the Stafford rate), monthly payments will come out to $1,150. See https://www.creditkarma.com/calculators/debtrepayment. This means you'll be left with $2,450/mo. to pay for rent, food, entertainment, etc. I don't really know if that's enough to live comfortably in Seattle. I kind of doubt it. At any rate, wouldn't it be better if you could reduce your debt to something like $50k, so you'd only have to pay $575/mo., leaving you with $3,025/mo. in income? That extra $575/mo. could make a HUGE difference in your standard of living.

All of this is to say...retaking could be worth it!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Help choosing schools to apply to

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:21 pm

If you are servicing $100K debt on a $60K salary, you're probably actually using IBR/PAYE and making lower loan payments. That's not great given the tax bomb at the end, but it's more likely what someone is doing.

But yes, retaking and reducing your debt is the way to go.




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