Minnesota vs Emory vs GW

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janborn
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Minnesota vs Emory vs GW

Postby janborn » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:09 am

COA(tuition+fees+COL):
Minnesota: 55k
Emory: 94k
GW:146k

I have taken LSAT twice: 165/164.

I'm from China, and planning to work on Intellectual Property Law or Technology Law. I know GW is far better than the two others in IP Law, but it's also much more expensive. My family and I can only manage to pay 60k, and I really don't want to graduate with too much debt.

Do you guys think it's worth the debt to choose GW?

FYI: I have an applied physics bachelor degree and a Juris Master degree in China, which I think will provide some kind of advantage in the job market. And yes, I plan to work in US after graduation.

Thank you for your opinion!
Last edited by janborn on Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:34 am, edited 8 times in total.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby zombie mcavoy » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:12 am

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


But it seems you've picked these schools based solely on USNWR rankings: that is a really poor way to go about this process. Let us know the info and we need and we'll help out.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby MarkfromWI » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:42 am

I can only speak to Minnesota because I don't know a thing about Emory or GW beyond what I've read on TLS. First, to echo Mcavoy, basing your decision off of USNWR is a bad idea, and UMN is a prime example of why that is. You'll get a fine education there, but getting a job will be a lot tougher than you'd think based off of its rank. The twin cities' legal market is objectively small. There are only about 5 or so firms that can be considered "biglaw" and they don't have large summer classes. Outside of the top 15-20% (and top 20% may be a bit generous) your shot at getting biglaw is nearly zero. Normally that wouldn't be such a big deal because a large metro area has tons of smaller shops to employ grads, but this is exactly where UMN runs into trouble. Although it is the best school in the state, there are 2/3 other schools in the metro area that bleed grads into the market. It is very saturated. Sure, the UMN will give you a leg up over the other TTT students, but how much of a leg up? Would you want to be at median at UMN competing for jobs against the TTT kids in the top 5 or 10% of their class who didn't get biglaw?

On top of that, UMN doesn't really place outside of MN. According to last year's LST data, the only state it sent more than 5% of its class (~14 students) was to NY (to which it sent a whopping 5.8%). Not WI, not IA, SD, ND, or IL.

Like I said in the MN C/O 2018 page, I'm not trying to bash the U. It's a really good school academically, but that's not really much comfort to its un/underemployed grads.

The Dark Shepard
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby The Dark Shepard » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:00 am

MarkfromWI wrote:
On top of that, UMN doesn't really place outside of MN. According to last year's LST data, the only state it sent more than 5% of its class (~14 students) was to NY (to which it sent a whopping 5.8%). Not WI, not IA, SD, ND, or IL.


So I go to school at UMN and I don't disagree with the majority of your post, but I'm going to play devil's advocate here and suggest that a decent portion of this is due to self-selection (other than IL, because UMN doesn't really have placing power in Chicago BigLaw). I don't know anyone in my class who wants to go to ND, SD, or IA, outside of one Iowan who wants to go back home. None of the Dakotans want to end up back in those states. This isn't like the northeast, southwest, whatever where there are appealing states nearby; MN is clearly the best place to be outside of Chicago.

Anyways, OP: don't go to Minnesota unless you want to be in Minnesota.

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romothesavior
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby romothesavior » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:20 am

Do you plan to work in the United States after law school? If so, I think you should talk to some foreign graduates of schools like these. I went to a peer school to the ones you are considering and I think most of the foreign students had difficulty landing employment in the United States.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby MarkfromWI » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:51 am

The Dark Shepard wrote:
MarkfromWI wrote:
On top of that, UMN doesn't really place outside of MN. According to last year's LST data, the only state it sent more than 5% of its class (~14 students) was to NY (to which it sent a whopping 5.8%). Not WI, not IA, SD, ND, or IL.


So I go to school at UMN and I don't disagree with the majority of your post, but I'm going to play devil's advocate here and suggest that a decent portion of this is due to self-selection (other than IL, because UMN doesn't really have placing power in Chicago BigLaw). I don't know anyone in my class who wants to go to ND, SD, or IA, outside of one Iowan who wants to go back home. None of the Dakotans want to end up back in those states. This isn't like the northeast, southwest, whatever where there are appealing states nearby; MN is clearly the best place to be outside of Chicago.

Anyways, OP: don't go to Minnesota unless you want to be in Minnesota.


Yea, I definitely agree that there aren't many appealing states nearby and a good chunk of that is due to self selection. Still, I would think that at least a few people would be willing to relocate to Sioux Falls or Fargo if the alternative was unemployment and default on student loans. And I still find the fact that not even 14 students went to WI surprising given how close MPLS is to the border.

donewithannarbor
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby donewithannarbor » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:32 am

Easy: GW.

If you want a smaller city vibe, frankly, DC accomplishes that. It's magnitude is not small but it is dense and has a neighborhoody vibe. ATL and MSP are different animals and offer their own plusses and minuses, but if you want 'less traffic' they certainly don't accomplish that. Bottom line, though, is that GW is the most recognizable and transporatable degree, and will open the most doors both regionally and outside its region.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby zombie mcavoy » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:51 am

donewithannarbor wrote:Easy: GW.

If you want a smaller city vibe, frankly, DC accomplishes that. It's magnitude is not small but it is dense and has a neighborhoody vibe. ATL and MSP are different animals and offer their own plusses and minuses, but if you want 'less traffic' they certainly don't accomplish that. Bottom line, though, is that GW is the most recognizable and transporatable degree, and will open the most doors both regionally and outside its region.

Are you trolling? If not, this is not good.

First, traffic and population should have almost no bearing on your law school decision. They are factors you could weigh, I guess, if two schools were tied in substantive factors. And even if that's the case, DC traffic is better than MSP traffic? LOL.

The only factors you should care about are 1) placement power, 2) placement regions, and 3) cost of attendance.

1) All three have questionable placement power. If you're at the top of your class at Minnesota or Emory, I would still be concerned about your chances at a big firm, even as an IP person (also: what was your undergrad degree in?). George Washington places more folks into big firms, but not so many more that I would say it's worth > than another 100K. And if you miss out on biglaw at any of the three, the markets they feed into are very saturated, and an ESL dude from China is probably not going to have a leg up on the competition.

2) You need to give us a better idea of where you want to work and live over the long run. Minneapolis and Atlanta are tough nuts to crack, and neither school has any kind of serious national placement to speak of. GW is probably better in the respect that DC is a bigger market, but, again, I don't think it's worth the debt and risk you would have to take here.

3) Cost of attendance is fine at Minnesota or Emory, but I don't think either is a good choice for you goals. 100K at GW is not suicide, but it's a huge gamble that I would not advise one to take. If you have an in-demand IP degree that might allay some concern, but as an ESL student, you still might have a harder time than most people.

I would strongly advise you to sit this one out and retake the LSAT. Emory and Minnesota are poor options for your goals (or, at least, what I can make of them), and GW is too expensive/too much of a risk to take for its average placement power.

Nomo
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby Nomo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:12 pm

Minnesota has the best reputation in Minnesota. Emory has the best reputation in Atlanta. GW has the best reputation in DC.

None of these schools are likely to land you a job with a big law firm that is going to sponsor you're work visa application. But I'm not an expert on how that works, so maybe that doesn't matter.

BigZuck
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:15 pm

donewithannarbor wrote:Easy: GW.

If you want a smaller city vibe, frankly, DC accomplishes that. It's magnitude is not small but it is dense and has a neighborhoody vibe. ATL and MSP are different animals and offer their own plusses and minuses, but if you want 'less traffic' they certainly don't accomplish that. Bottom line, though, is that GW is the most recognizable and transporatable degree, and will open the most doors both regionally and outside its region.

Yeah I'm no expert but I have a feeling literally every sentence here is wrong

donewithannarbor
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby donewithannarbor » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:00 pm

Couple things: 1) I read OP's post too fast. I thought he was reporting scholarships, not COA. My bad.
2) OP specifically stated he wanted smaller city with less traffic and such. I wouldn't embark on such a silly discussion had he not raised the issue.

In light of your 100k tab at GW, OP, I agree with Zombie's analysis.

BigZuck
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby BigZuck » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:15 pm

donewithannarbor wrote:Couple things: 1) I read OP's post too fast. I thought he was reporting scholarships, not COA. My bad.
2) OP specifically stated he wanted smaller city with less traffic and such. I wouldn't embark on such a silly discussion had he not raised the issue.

In light of your 100k tab at GW, OP, I agree with Zombie's analysis.


Again, no expert but DC as a smaller city with less traffic is :shock: :arrow: :mrgreen: :arrow: :wink:

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby zombie mcavoy » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:16 pm

No worries. But I don't get why you would say DC is better for someone who wants a smaller city: it's the fourth biggest metro area in the country. Minneapolis and Atlanta aren't close to as big. And Washington's traffic reputation is worse than Atlanta's, which is saying something.

But, either way, we can agree that OP needs to figure out where he wants to live over the long run first and work from there.

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tealeaves12
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby tealeaves12 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:51 pm

I choose school mainly based on USNWR rankings, along with the geographical factors


You shouldn't.

It seems to me that once you get out of the T13/14 those rankings don't really tell you anything that helpful. You're in the T13/14 (these are the schools with actual national-reaching reputations and better employment prospects, generally speaking) or you're out of it. schools that are out of it aren't necessarily bad schools, but since you're concerned about reputation, it is my understanding that being 22nd in the rankings doesn't make you 22nd most reputable school in the country. I agree with the poster that said Emory will have the best reputation in GA of the three, GW will have the best reputation in DC of the three, and Minnesota will have the best reputation in Minnesota of the three.

I eagerly desire to know the reputation of Minnesota and Emory


I am a 0L with no OCI or job hunting experience whatsoever. So I can't speak of reputation in terms of employers. This is the only arena that matters when considering a law school's reputation ("Will this school's reputation help me get the kind of job I want?")

According to Law school Transparency, 20.2% of Emory 2013 grads work for big law firms compared to 9.4% UGA students (and bear in mind those numbers may include paralegal and administrative staff positions as well).

Since you're interested in reputation, one thing I suggest is to go to the website for firms you're interested in and look at their associates, and where/when they graduated. It's not conclusive or anything (and it's a lot of work) but it may help give you an idea of from which schools that firm typically hires. For example, say you want to work at King & Spaulding. Go to http://www.kslaw.com/people and run a search for "Emory" where it says Law School. It'll pull up a list of employees, their job titles, and their office locations. When I ran a search for Emory, it came up mostly with the Atlanta office, 3 in the DC office, 1 in Houston and 1 in New York. Upon first glance, I notice that each of the New York and DC based attorneys graduated from Emory with honors (and many of them went to Undergrad at Ivy League schools). This is not true for all of the employees that came up for the Atlanta office (although it is for some). King and Spaulding's main location is in Atlanta, so I thought maybe that might make it friendlier towards Emory. (Plus you like nice weather so maybe you want to work there.) Arent Fox, based in DC - search run for Emory here (http://www.arentfox.com/people)... two in the DC office, one in the NY office. DC attorneys both graduated with honors (2000 and 2003) and NY one graduated in the 80's so...

If you search The George Washington Law School, you'll see a shit ton of lawyers pop up.

Anyway. I think the best people to ask as far as reputation goes would be employers - some of whom are on TLS so look for their pages and ask on them. and do things like the schools searches on firm websites just to get an idea, too, if you're not able to talk to employers.

To the big cities I prefer smaller ones with fewer population and better traffic.


Firstly, this is a weird consideration for law school, except to the extent that once you're out of T13/14, go to the top school located where you want to practice. Secondly, I've never really been to University of Minnesota, but I'm from Altanta so I can speak a little on it. It's not very crowded compared to most cities (I live in DC now, been to New York quite a bit, have lived in Edinburgh, La Paz, Lima - just so you know what kind of cities I may be comparing it to) but there is still traffic because of the people that DO live there, most drive cars and the MARTA (public transportation) isn't great. However, if you are comparing these cities to say, Beijing or Shanghai - you're totally fine.

And I was put on reserve by Cornell, which will make a decision by early May, should I wait for it?
I don't see why not, but I don't know when your seat deposits, etc are due.


What are Minnesota's advantages


Nobody seems to know.

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chuckbass
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby chuckbass » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:03 pm

BigZuck wrote:
donewithannarbor wrote:Couple things: 1) I read OP's post too fast. I thought he was reporting scholarships, not COA. My bad.
2) OP specifically stated he wanted smaller city with less traffic and such. I wouldn't embark on such a silly discussion had he not raised the issue.

In light of your 100k tab at GW, OP, I agree with Zombie's analysis.


Again, no expert but DC as a smaller city with less traffic is :shock: :arrow: :mrgreen: :arrow: :wink:

Yeah this was just idiotic. I needed a good laugh, so thank you for your thoughts on DC :lol:

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby zombie mcavoy » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:10 pm

0L dude wrote:According to Law school Transparency, 20.2% of Emory 2013 grads work for big law firms compared to 9.4% UGA students (and bear in mind those numbers may include paralegal and administrative staff positions as well).

What are you talking about? No. The LST scores absolutely do not include paralegal or administrative positions.

Since you're interested in reputation, one thing I suggest is to go to the website for firms you're interested in and look at their associates, and where/when they graduated. It's not conclusive or anything (and it's a lot of work) but it may help give you an idea of from which schools that firm typically hires.

This is not really a helpful idea as it's not going to give OP a complete and representative idea of firm hiring and has more potential to mislead OP than anything.

Anyway. I think the best people to ask as far as reputation goes would be employers - some of whom are on TLS so look for their pages and ask on them. and do things like the schools searches on firm websites just to get an idea, too, if you're not able to talk to employers.
School "reputation" in the sense OP means is an entirely irrelevant consideration for a 0L. The reputation a school has among big firms is indicated well enough by the percentage of graduates hired by large firms. Pretty simple.

Maybe change your reading/writing ratio 'round these parts for a while.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:13 pm

In China, people care about us news and world report rankings. Since they lack a sophisticated perspective about US education, they view it as a proxy for institutional pedigree and value. It's a really shitty one and you and your family should distance yourself from ranking and abstract perceptions of the signaling it confers. Seriously .

In the US, no one who matters gives a shit.

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storpappa
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby storpappa » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:15 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:No worries. But I don't get why you would say DC is better for someone who wants a smaller city: it's the fourth biggest metro area in the country. Minneapolis and Atlanta aren't close to as big. And Washington's traffic reputation is worse than Atlanta's, which is saying something.

But, either way, we can agree that OP needs to figure out where he wants to live over the long run first and work from there.


1 - agree traffic is not a reason to pick a law school
2 - neither is local radio station choices for EDM
3 - DC public transportation however is way better then ATL or the Twin Cities, If the OP is a non driver for any reasons.

DC does have a small town feel when Congress is not in session and its a weekend, but only compared to when it is in session and its a work day. None of those, nor the proximity to the Native American lunch menu at the Smithsonian should be in this discussion as a factor.

03152016
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby 03152016 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:25 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:
0L dude wrote:According to Law school Transparency, 20.2% of Emory 2013 grads work for big law firms compared to 9.4% UGA students (and bear in mind those numbers may include paralegal and administrative staff positions as well).

What are you talking about? No. The LST scores absolutely do not include paralegal or administrative positions.

unbelievably, the 509s allow support staff to be lumped into 101+ figure, so the lst bl score does include those positions
i'm not sure how big of a problem it is, as i imagine few large firms have any interest in hiring JDs as paralegals, but it's not inconceivable that it could make some difference at the margins

Nomo
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby Nomo » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:41 pm

What about staff attorneys who aren't on partner track and make about half of what associates make. My understanding is that they still get counted as attorneys working in large law firms. And what about associates at huge sweat shop firms that pay 80k, like Wilson Esler. They are still counted as attorneys working in large firms.

I'm guessing that there are more people who fit the above categories than there are people who work for small or mid-size firms paying in the 100-160k range.

03152016
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby 03152016 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:49 pm

yeah, that's a good point, it all gets lumped in

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby zombie mcavoy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:49 pm

Brut wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:
0L dude wrote:According to Law school Transparency, 20.2% of Emory 2013 grads work for big law firms compared to 9.4% UGA students (and bear in mind those numbers may include paralegal and administrative staff positions as well).

What are you talking about? No. The LST scores absolutely do not include paralegal or administrative positions.

unbelievably, the 509s allow support staff to be lumped into 101+ figure, so the lst bl score does include those positions
i'm not sure how big of a problem it is, as i imagine few large firms have any interest in hiring JDs as paralegals, but it's not inconceivable that it could make some difference at the margins

Isn't the score "JD Required"? How can they possibly let paralegals count in that category? That's crazy.

03152016
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby 03152016 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:56 pm

the "employment type" section of the disclosure doesn't distinguish between jd required and jd preferred
you're right that paralegals would be jd preferred. the aba's explanation of the term "jd required" states: "[N]ot all positions in law firms, business, or government require bar passage; for example, a paralegal position would not." and the explanation for "jd preferred" refers to a law firm professional development position as an example
but on the "employment type" portion, such positions would be counted as jobs in a law firm, lumped in with the jd-required positions

Informative
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby Informative » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:00 pm

The Dark Shepard wrote:
MarkfromWI wrote:
On top of that, UMN doesn't really place outside of MN. According to last year's LST data, the only state it sent more than 5% of its class (~14 students) was to NY (to which it sent a whopping 5.8%). Not WI, not IA, SD, ND, or IL.


...
Anyways, OP: don't go to Minnesota unless you want to be in Minnesota.



This!

midwestrocks
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Re: Emory vs Minnesota vs GW

Postby midwestrocks » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:45 pm

Informative wrote:
The Dark Shepard wrote:
MarkfromWI wrote:
On top of that, UMN doesn't really place outside of MN. According to last year's LST data, the only state it sent more than 5% of its class (~14 students) was to NY (to which it sent a whopping 5.8%). Not WI, not IA, SD, ND, or IL.


...
Anyways, OP: don't go to Minnesota unless you want to be in Minnesota.



This!


So I graduated from UMN in 2014 and while this is true to some extent, I think it's being overblown quite a bit. I'm clerking in Texas right now, I know there are some 2014 grads working for firms in Texas and California and I can think of four people working at firms in NYC. Small numbers obviously, but those are only people that I actually know of, I assume there are more. If LST is accurate, then 37% of 2013 grads left MN. That's 100 people, so I think it's kind of crazy to say that no one leaves Minnesota from the U.

The self-selection argument that someone made above is absolutely true in my mind as well. The majority of UMN students are from Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa, and a few from Illinois and Michigan. Iowa and the Dakotas have basically no cities. Wisconsin only has Milwaukee which has an even smaller legal market than the twin cities. It's not like people would really want to go back to those states (I'm from Wisconsin originally and love it, but there aren't very many legal jobs). Also, if you don't mind the cold, the Twin Cities are a great place to live. Even some of my classmates from NYC or California liked it enough to stay.

Also, OP mentioned they were interested in IP. There are a good number of IP firms in the Twin Cities and it seems like everyone with a science background gets a job paying above market or at least market, even if their grades weren't the highest.

And if you want to live in a big city that isn't too big, the twin cities are smaller than Atlanta or DC. Traffic is also not bad at all (I can only compare it to Houston but Houston's is much much worse). UMN also really loves international students to come so there are a good number of Chinese students around, if that's important to you OP.

I'm not a delusional homer that thinks Minnesota is the greatest law school in the world, but considering a $0 COA I think it makes a lot of sense.




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