Advice Please?

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lauren632
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Advice Please?

Postby lauren632 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:04 am

Okay so I've been accepted into 7 or 8 schools mainly in the South and on the East Coast. I'm finding that I really like Samford University Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham. It was technically a safety school but I feel in love with it. It seems to have good standing in the south, they're giving me $8,000 in scholarship, and I felt at home there. However their ranking is worrying me it's at #149 now for 2016. My advisor says rankings don't matter so much as long as your class rank is good when you get there is that true?

I've also been accepted to West Virginia University, Syracuse, and Albany. I've visited WVU (and am visiting on Friday Syracuse and Albany.

WVU was nice but the people and the building cold to me compared to Cumberland. Plus Cumberland has a lot mo Ree Dual Degrees, does more with Health Law (which is what my main interest is right now), and obviously has a lower cost of living (especially compared to NY).

WVU does have a clinic that partners with the hospital which would be very rewarding I'm sure. However WVU alumni seem to stay in the state, whereas Cumberland has alumni in almost every state.

Advice please?

Alan Grant
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby Alan Grant » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:21 am

The conventional wisdom on TLS––and I think it is pretty good advice––is to either re-take and get into a T-13 (some people are no longer counting Georgetown) with significant scholarship money or to go to a strong regional with a full scholarship, if not a full scholarship and stipend. In the absence of obtaining either, you would be urged not to attend law school at all. Assuming you want to reject this advise––and I strongly encourage you to at least consider taking it––I offer you the following auxilliary advice:

Go to whatever school is in the market you want to practice in because with these schools you will, in the absence of strong family connections or exceptional grades, be trapped in that market. Even getting a job will--in the absence of either being in the top of your class (which is something you should never count on) or having exceptional family connections (e.g. your dad will give you a job after graduation)--be a very tough endeavor.

Please take a good look at the employment outcomes for these schools, speak with some students there, and read randomly on TLS (Vale of Tears is good). You do not want to be in $250K of non-dichargable debt with no way to pay it back. Also, remember that the legal market is not what it used to be. Just because there are lawyers spread across the country from a particular law school, that does not mean you should have good reason to believe that those same opportunities will be available to you. The 1990's were a very different time.

I do not mean to insult you here; only to help you avoid making a life-shattering decision. Given a unique set of circumstances, the options you presented may be fine for you. If you are in the other 99.9%, however, I would not count on that.

03152016
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby 03152016 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:05 am

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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downbeat14
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby downbeat14 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:03 am

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Last edited by downbeat14 on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby zombie mcavoy » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:13 am

Need the info requested above in order to give best advice.

But these schools are pretty terrible and would make zero sense for someone who was not from the immediate area; for such a person who barely had a scholarship and was debt financing, these options are suicidal. That is not an exaggeration. This thread is extremely concering.

Whatever you do, assuming there aren't major revelations in the info you provide, do not plan on attending law school this fall. Plan on retaking the lsat or finding another career path.

lauren632
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby lauren632 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:44 am

My parents are paying for law school and I'm from IL but wherever I go I would plan on staying there. Preferably in the South though.

Samford is about $36,000 ($8,000)
WVU is about $32,000
Albany is about $43,000 (but are giving me $14,000)
Syracuse is about $44,000 or something in that range

My goal is to be an attorney in health law I'm looking to doing that from an IP side. I'm also looking into getting a dual degree (business would be the most helpful).

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby zombie mcavoy » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:49 am

lauren632 wrote:My parents are paying for law school and I'm from IL but wherever I go I would plan on staying there. Preferably in the South though.

Samford is about $36,000 ($8,000)
WVU is about $32,000
Albany is about $43,000 (but are giving me $14,000)
Syracuse is about $44,000 or something in that range

My goal is to be an attorney in health law I'm looking to doing that from an IP side. I'm also looking into getting a dual degree (business would be the most helpful).

You didn't give us hardly any helpful info.

But you're basically setting a huge pile of their money on fire. Retake and go to a school that doesn't suck.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:11 am

We need to know your gpa/lsat/how many times you have taken the lsat.
Also, when describing costs for the schools we're looking for total cost of attendance (Tuition all three years, plus cost of living) You can use this calculator. http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admission ... geid=61621

Also, more specifics on health law/why a business degree as well? What is it you want to do and where? If it is a small market (most everywhere in the south) you will need ties to be able to find any employment.

Do you have any work experience right now?

BigZuck
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:33 am

Health law, IP, and a dual MBA

Random hodgepodge of bad law schools

Virtually no scholarship money

OP- you are very, very far from being in a place where you should attend law school. You really don't understand how the process works at all. And that's fine, but you need to educate yourself first before making such a huge decision. Read a lot of TLS, talk to practicing lawyers, talk to students at these schools, basically just do as much fact finding as you can.

To echo what others have said, you shouldn't go to a regional school unless your plan is to practice in that region long term (and ideally are from there) and can go for cheap.

What do you mean by health law and IP? In general speciality rankings are worthless marketing material. None of these schools are any better in one particular area than the others. Also, a JD is very much a generalist degree.

Why do you think an MBA would be helpful? More degrees doesn't automatically mean more portability. Also, none of these schools have a good MBA program.

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deadpanic
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby deadpanic » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:18 am

I'm an attorney in the South and practice with and know graduates from Samford, and what Zuck said is right on point.

There is absolutely no reason to come to an insular small market like Alabama and try to compete with the homegrown talent. You are starting at a big disadvantage right off the bat; then you have outrageous private school tuition (8k is nothing). You also want to go into health law, which means you need to work at one of the handful of big law firms in Birmingham, which in total hire about maybe the top 3 Samford students a year. You are directly competing for jobs against the flagship university, and what is considered by practitioners as a much better school, Alabama, not to mention graduates from Vandy, UVA and Duke.

The only way this school would make sense if (1) you were from Alabama, (2) had full tuition scholarship, and (3) you wanted to work for a small firm doing family law/personal injury/general practice making 40k/year. Even then it is not so sure because if you are not top of the class, you better hope you have some family connections or you won't be employed as an attorney.

You are focusing on meaningless stuff like campus feel, student body, clinics, concentrations, all of which are virtually worthless in law school. That may be somewhat important for undergrad, but not law school.

(And while we are talking about it, I would also recommend spending some time outside of the Samford campus in Birmingham proper. It isn't quite the same as the feel the campus gives off.)

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:23 am

what did you major in? what year did you graduate? do you have job prospects? it sounds like youre trying to get into some pseudo legal job within health care field. a couple people i graduated with are working in health law consulting/ compliance and the field has grown a lot because of obamacare, but it was pretty random with how they got there. its not something you can control to a great extent.

i would try to work for a year or get some sort of health degree. maybe nurse -> PA? law sucks though. and you'll probably end up wasting a lot of your parents' money. i wouldn't bother with the retake though. if this is something you have to do, you're gonna have to network like hell to get the job you want, and i don't really see any difference between samford and ohio st in these contexts.

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Teoeo
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Re: Advice Please?

Postby Teoeo » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:34 am

deadpanic wrote:I'm an attorney in the South and practice with and know graduates from Samford, and what Zuck said is right on point.

There is absolutely no reason to come to an insular small market like Alabama and try to compete with the homegrown talent. You are starting at a big disadvantage right off the bat; then you have outrageous private school tuition (8k is nothing). You also want to go into health law, which means you need to work at one of the handful of big law firms in Birmingham, which in total hire about maybe the top 3 Samford students a year. You are directly competing for jobs against the flagship university, and what is considered by practitioners as a much better school, Alabama, not to mention graduates from Vandy, UVA and Duke.

The only way this school would make sense if (1) you were from Alabama, (2) had full tuition scholarship, and (3) you wanted to work for a small firm doing family law/personal injury/general practice making 40k/year. Even then it is not so sure because if you are not top of the class, you better hope you have some family connections or you won't be employed as an attorney.

You are focusing on meaningless stuff like campus feel, student body, clinics, concentrations, all of which are virtually worthless in law school. That may be somewhat important for undergrad, but not law school.

(And while we are talking about it, I would also recommend spending some time outside of the Samford campus in Birmingham proper. It isn't quite the same as the feel the campus gives off.)


I think this is the end of the thread. Great post.




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