William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

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Toaster01
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William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Toaster01 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:30 pm

Hello everybody,

Looking for opinions/help -- anything you have to offer would be great! As of now, I'm torn between William and Mary with about 85% scholarship vs. Temple full ride. I'm from the Philadelphia area and most likely want to work here after graduation, but am not convinced I want to go to school in Philly. Would it be a terrible idea to go to a non T14 that has no ties to Philly knowing I ultimately want to end up back here? Also slightly concerned about the student life, as I'm used to living in a big city.

My GPA is 3.75 (3.82 LSAC gpa I think) and LSAT is 165. I'm waiting to hear back from a few more schools, as I just submitted apps recently. UPenn is on that list, but I know that is a pretty big stretch/would probably be too expensive if I did get in. Also applied to U Boston, BC, U Wash, and a handful of lower ranked schools. Then Vanderbilt and and U Mich as 2 other stretches.

Thank you in advance!

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ymmv
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby ymmv » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:32 pm

You would be crazy not to choose Temple if you really want to work in Philly. What was your max PT score? 165 is kind of on the low side given your GPA's potential.

timbs4339
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:34 pm

Toaster01 wrote:Hello everybody,

Looking for opinions/help -- anything you have to offer would be great! As of now, I'm torn between William and Mary with about 85% scholarship vs. Temple full ride. I'm from the Philadelphia area and most likely want to work here after graduation, but am not convinced I want to go to school in Philly. Would it be a terrible idea to go to a non T14 that has no ties to Philly knowing I ultimately want to end up back here? Also slightly concerned about the student life, as I'm used to living in a big city.

My GPA is 3.75 (3.82 LSAC gpa I think) and LSAT is 165. I'm waiting to hear back from a few more schools, as I just submitted apps recently. UPenn is on that list, but I know that is a pretty big stretch/would probably be too expensive if I did get in. Also applied to U Boston, BC, U Wash, and a handful of lower ranked schools. Then Vanderbilt and and U Mich as 2 other stretches.

Thank you in advance!


Can you retake? A couple more points would raise Penn from "big stretch" to "probable."

Otherwise, what kind of law do you want to practice?

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:38 pm

There is absolutely no reason at all that you should be considering william and mary with the goals you have stated. No way. Unless you're going to about the top half of the T14, you go to school where you want to practice.

Temple's employment stats kind of suck, but if you have modest goals and being in Philly long term is your biggest priority -- and you're too stubborn and/or lazy to retake -- then I suppose Temple would be fine. But know that there's a very solid chance you'll never become an attorney.

Toaster01
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Toaster01 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:46 pm

My max PT was under my actual LSAT score, so I am not planning to retake.

Toaster01
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Toaster01 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:46 pm

I'm looking to practice either business/transactional law or environmental

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:49 pm

Toaster01 wrote:My max PT was under my actual LSAT score, so I am not planning to retake.

Of all the excuses we get on here for why people aren't retaking, this might be the worst. It's your life, but you're a year and four points away from being a Penn admit.

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ymmv
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby ymmv » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:53 pm

Toaster01 wrote:I'm looking to practice either business/transactional law or environmental


If you want even a remotely reasonable shot at either of these (biglaw) practices in Philly you should retake for Penn. Only two or three firms even have a real corporate practice here, if that.

However, if you have parent-provided housing/food, no other job skills, are dead set on being an attorney for whatever reason, and refuse to retake (as you will), you could do worse than a full ride at Temple.

timbs4339
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:06 pm

If you want a decent shot at the 5-10 major "business law" firms in Philly you absolutely have to retake. Temple with COL debt is a good deal if you don't mind being a small firm attorney or government lawyer making around 50-60K. What are the stips on the Temple scholly?

Toaster01
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Toaster01 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:26 pm

Stip is 2.5 gpa. And while I of course wouldn't be opposed to biglaw, it's not the only path I'm considering (although that's probably the wrong thing to say on this forum).

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cron1834
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby cron1834 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:30 pm

Toaster01 wrote:Stip is 2.5 gpa. And while I of course wouldn't be opposed to biglaw, it's not the only path I'm considering (although that's probably the wrong thing to say on this forum).

If you don't want Biglaw, then take a full ride in your town. If you do want Biglaw, then retake for 4 or 5 more points. Pretty simple.

Tasik32
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Tasik32 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:55 pm

Toaster01 wrote:Stip is 2.5 gpa. And while I of course wouldn't be opposed to biglaw, it's not the only path I'm considering (although that's probably the wrong thing to say on this forum).


I don't think that is the wrong thing to say at all - in fact, it adds more context. I understand the sentiment (or at least I think I do) that you are trying to convey, but I have to say I've never really agreed with that view of TLS. After all of the choosing forum lurking I've done, I would say the main takeaways I get from the vast majority of TLS posters is they want applicants to make the best decision for their situation and their goals.

As far as your situation, you've got a great GPA, so the other posters in this forum would encourage you to capitalize on that. The other posters have also been encouraging you to stick to where you have ties for a career in Philly.

As far as goals, you say your interested in business/transactional law or environmental. Many posters on this site are experienced with the business/transactional law track and a lot of those positions require big law firms since they are large players in transactional law. I think environmental law makes many of the TLS crowd a bit uneasy, because it's a bit difficult to define exactly what jobs that includes, where those jobs are, and what those jobs will take to attain - as all things, this can depend greatly on what you personally would like to do in environmental law.

Are there some posters on TLS that say T14 or bust? Probably, there is bound to be. Do I believe they are the majority or even a 1/5 of TLS? No, I think it may come off that way often times because it's difficult for a group of strangers to provide completely tailored advice based on each persons career goals, background, comfort with debt, etc. However, if you read a whole lot of these choosing threads, I think the overwhelming response is: it depends. Never as satisfying as we would like it to be, but it unfortunately goes hand-in-hand with these decisions and is the reason why many of us are here searching for some more clarity.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:05 pm

I think the reason TLS is cautious of environmental law types is because virtually all of them say they are interested in it because they envision themselves suing polluters and protecting the environment when virtually all work on that side of the equation is enormously competitive to get into and/or has no money in it.

But even if your goal is to defend corporate polluters, it's a pretty tough practice area to get into.

Toaster01
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Toaster01 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:29 pm

Thank you everybody for your thoughts! I really appreciate the honesty and insight and will take it all into consideration. Definitely going to hold off on a decision and keep an open mind until I hear back from a few more schools.

Tasik32 thank you for your explanation -- it's provided me with a much clearer vision of where many people are coming from.

Tasik32
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Tasik32 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:00 pm

Sure thing, good luck with your decision and the rest of your cycle!

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Bilb0Baggins
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Bilb0Baggins » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:42 am

timbs4339 wrote:If you want a decent shot at the 5-10 major "business law" firms in Philly you absolutely have to retake. Temple with COL debt is a good deal if you don't mind being a small firm attorney or government lawyer making around 50-60K. What are the stips on the Temple scholly?


Curious why retaking for Penn is an "absolutely have to" here? Temple grads account for ~18% of associates at the top firms in Philly (Blank, Ballard, Drinker, Dechert, Duane, MLB, Pepper), Penn grads account for ~15%.

Certainly Penn will give one a far better shot of landing major Philly firm gig, but the number suggest a Temple degree certainly doesn't preclude one from an associate position at one of those firms, no?

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ymmv
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby ymmv » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:58 am

Bilb0Baggins wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:If you want a decent shot at the 5-10 major "business law" firms in Philly you absolutely have to retake. Temple with COL debt is a good deal if you don't mind being a small firm attorney or government lawyer making around 50-60K. What are the stips on the Temple scholly?


Curious why retaking for Penn is an "absolutely have to" here? Temple grads account for ~18% of associates at the top firms in Philly (Blank, Ballard, Drinker, Dechert, Duane, MLB, Pepper), Penn grads account for ~15%.


This is because Temple graduates are significantly more likely to stay in Philly after graduation, whether they want to or not, while Penn graduates largely self-select into the New York and DC markets, with the remainder split predominantly between California, Philly, and the rest of the nation. Temple grads, by contrast, have an abysmal chance of landing biglaw jobs outside of Philly. Or anywhere, for that matter.

Bilb0Baggins wrote:Certainly Penn will give one a far better shot of landing major Philly firm gig, but the number suggest a Temple degree certainly doesn't preclude one from an associate position at one of those firms, no?


If you don't consider a mere 11% total biglaw placement preclusive, sure.
http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/temple/2013/

But that would require an astounding ability to ignore statistical probability. To put it in perspective, ~50% of Temple grads end up unemployed (as practicing lawyers) within 9 months of graduation. That's almost 5 times as many as will find biglaw employment, in Philly or anywhere else.

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Bilb0Baggins
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Bilb0Baggins » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:15 am

I'm wondering if there's any data on whether merit scholarship awards for LSAT / UG performance correlate with successful law school performance?

ie, can OP, as one of the 2% of Temple attendees w/ a full-ride*, reasonably expect that given effort commensurate w/ their LSAT prep and undergrad work, they can make the top 10% of Temple students (the cohort eligible for Philly biglaw)?

* http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/

timbs4339
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 am

Bilb0Baggins wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:If you want a decent shot at the 5-10 major "business law" firms in Philly you absolutely have to retake. Temple with COL debt is a good deal if you don't mind being a small firm attorney or government lawyer making around 50-60K. What are the stips on the Temple scholly?


Curious why retaking for Penn is an "absolutely have to" here? Temple grads account for ~18% of associates at the top firms in Philly (Blank, Ballard, Drinker, Dechert, Duane, MLB, Pepper), Penn grads account for ~15%.

Certainly Penn will give one a far better shot of landing major Philly firm gig, but the number suggest a Temple degree certainly doesn't preclude one from an associate position at one of those firms, no?


I'd be interested to know where you found that 18% stat- seems like a very strange statistic to cite when we know the relative biglaw + fed clerk %'s for each school. For Temple, it's about 14%, for Penn, 70%.

The above poster explained very well why the grade cutoffs for Philly firms will be very forgiving from Penn and not so from Temple, but here's why you don't want to play 14% or 20% odds: because that is worse than probably every game at a casino in Vegas.

I had the discussion in another thread, but the reason I asked OP for specifics because I've been around these parts long enough to know that many 0Ls see themselves working biglaw even if they don't call it biglaw or tell themselves they'd settle for midlaw or something- this is especially true when 0Ls say they want to do business law. And I've been a law student and lawyer long enough to know how rare these "biglaw-lite" jobs are to get, and how many people who wanted to do M+A and securitizations and public debt offerings wound up working at nonprofits like Legal Aid or doing criminal defense or PI for 40-60K/year. And you know what, most of them are relatively okay with that, but if someone comes here and says they want to do business law I'm going to tell them to go to a T13 or I'm going to ask them whether they'd be okay in another type of law that involves very different work, expectations, clients, and professional development.*

*To expand on this point a bit, there are a lot of 0Ls who would want to work biglaw or midlaw (100-145K) but failing that they'd rather take some entry-level Corporate America job for 70K than be a district attorney or a small firm associate for 55K. I try to steer those people away from law school unless they are going to a good one, because it's clear they don't actually want to be lawyers.

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Bilb0Baggins
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Re: William & Mary vs. Temple full ride?

Postby Bilb0Baggins » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:32 am

timbs4339 wrote:
Bilb0Baggins wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:If you want a decent shot at the 5-10 major "business law" firms in Philly you absolutely have to retake. Temple with COL debt is a good deal if you don't mind being a small firm attorney or government lawyer making around 50-60K. What are the stips on the Temple scholly?


Curious why retaking for Penn is an "absolutely have to" here? Temple grads account for ~18% of associates at the top firms in Philly (Blank, Ballard, Drinker, Dechert, Duane, MLB, Pepper), Penn grads account for ~15%.

Certainly Penn will give one a far better shot of landing major Philly firm gig, but the number suggest a Temple degree certainly doesn't preclude one from an associate position at one of those firms, no?


I'd be interested to know where you found that 18% stat- seems like a very strange statistic to cite when we know the relative biglaw + fed clerk %'s for each school. For Temple, it's about 14%, for Penn, 70%.

The above poster explained very well why the grade cutoffs for Philly firms will be very forgiving from Penn and not so from Temple, but here's why you don't want to play 14% or 20% odds: because that is worse than probably every game at a casino in Vegas.

I had the discussion in another thread, but the reason I asked OP for specifics because I've been around these parts long enough to know that many 0Ls see themselves working biglaw even if they don't call it biglaw or tell themselves they'd settle for midlaw or something- this is especially true when 0Ls say they want to do business law. And I've been a law student and lawyer long enough to know how rare these "biglaw-lite" jobs are to get, and how many people who wanted to do M+A and securitizations and public debt offerings wound up working at nonprofits like Legal Aid or doing criminal defense or PI for 40-60K/year. And you know what, most of them are relatively okay with that, but if someone comes here and says they want to do business law I'm going to tell them to go to a T13 or I'm going to ask them whether they'd be okay in another type of law that involves very different work, expectations, clients, and professional development.*

*To expand on this point a bit, there are a lot of 0Ls who would want to work biglaw or midlaw (100-145K) but failing that they'd rather take some entry-level Corporate America job for 70K than be a district attorney or a small firm associate for 55K. I try to steer those people away from law school unless they are going to a good one, because it's clear they don't actually want to be lawyers.


Thanks for the detailed answer - very useful to me as a 0L in a not dissimilar situation from OP's.

I got the 18% number from an analysis of 350 associates at the 7 top Vault-ranked firms in Philadelphia. ~18% of the associates in these firms came from Temple, ~14% Penn, ~16% Nova (So of course these odds won't beat a casino game, unless one single school completely dominated the city's market).

Basically what I wanted to get a handle on was, is Temple well represented in the Philly biglaw market. And the answer was, more than any other single school, yes. (Of course the market in which Temple is even better represented is the "unemployed" market, which is probably the bigger concern.)




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