Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

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msmizz85
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Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:43 am

Hi!
Long time lurker. I posted earlier but my questions were pretty poorly thought out so I thought I'd try again a bit more clearly.

I have been offered full tuition at WUSTL. It is the only school I applied to because I decided to sit out this cycle to get in early on the next cycle (I retook in Feb). My plans for next year aren't set in stone, but I'm planning on WWOOFing, working with a non-profit and backpacking.

So here's the deal:

WUSTL COA: Essentially free. I have financial support for living costs.
Career goals: Public interest. More specifically the non-profit sector or public defense.
GPA/LSAT: 3.7/169. Took twice, happy with this score as it was only a point or two below my avg.
Ties: I have multiple ties in NC but do not want to live and work there.
Where I want to live: West coast or new england. I know and like both but don't have ties. I've never been to St. L. so its hard to say I'd like it.

My largest question is: Will WUSTL sour on me if I turn this down? And if they do sour on me, can I expect similar offers from other schools anyways?

Jchance
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby Jchance » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:49 am

If u r really curious, u can always defer for another year, WUSTL will likely keep that same package for u or toss u the same package again next year with ur numbers.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:49 am

With that GPA/LSAT combo, you'll be fine for getting full rides places lower than t14. If you can still retake and get just a couple points higher, you're looking at serious money from at least the lower top 14 schools - not a bad place to be.

It sounds like with your career goals, however, that super high ranked national level schools aren't a necessity for you. A strong regional will do you just fine - and with your current scores you should have no problem getting serious scholarship money at that level.

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bnazty
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby bnazty » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:53 am

My younger brother is an undergrad there, so I've been for a visit. They have a great alumni network, and the winters are not too harsh. The campus is very nice and the buildings are beautiful. Campus is also in a pretty nice area of STL with plenty of surrounding parks, restaurants, and nightlife. Most of this info doesn't really help answer any of your question, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents anyway.

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chuckbass
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby chuckbass » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:58 am

Current WUSTL student: if you want PI on the west coast or in New England, sit out a year and take a full ride at a west coast school or BU/BC or something. WUSTL is pretty portable but it will be much easier for you to just go to the school in the market you want to work rather than being stuck 1000+ miles from where you want to be for 3 years.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:32 am

bnazty wrote:Most of this info doesn't really help answer any of your question, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents anyway.


If pretty much all posts had the foresight to contain this disclaimer, TLS would be a better place.

msmizz85
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:37 am

zacharus85 wrote:With that GPA/LSAT combo, you'll be fine for getting full rides places lower than t14. If you can still retake and get just a couple points higher, you're looking at serious money from at least the lower top 14 schools - not a bad place to be.

It sounds like with your career goals, however, that super high ranked national level schools aren't a necessity for you. A strong regional will do you just fine - and with your current scores you should have no problem getting serious scholarship money at that level.


Thank you! That's really what I need reassurance of. Ranks are talked about so much on here I forget that they're not as relevant to my career goals (in a way I'm lucky for that). Thanks for your advice.

msmizz85
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:38 am

scottidsntknow wrote:Current WUSTL student: if you want PI on the west coast or in New England, sit out a year and take a full ride at a west coast school or BU/BC or something. WUSTL is pretty portable but it will be much easier for you to just go to the school in the market you want to work rather than being stuck 1000+ miles from where you want to be for 3 years.


Thank you! I will remember that.

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Winston1984
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby Winston1984 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:39 am

Yeah, with your goals I would sit out and reapply. Definitely still apply to WUSTL for leverage though. I would also apply to mid/lower T-14. You should be looking at UCLA/USC and BU/BC. Davis and UCI may not be bad either.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:48 am

Consider NYU's LRAP. Retake the LSAT, if you get 170+ (or 175+) you can get serious/full schollies at T14. Especially since you aren't even planning on attending this cycle. People with GPA's over T14 25th percentile really shouldn't settle for less than 170.

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nachosrgood
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby nachosrgood » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:49 am

WUSTL PI 2L here in the same position you were a couple years ago. St Louis/Mid-west is not my home market, but I still came here for a few reasons:
-my home market schools just don't give full skolly's and have pretty bad LRAP programs, so I felt like WUSTL full ride gave me an additional 30-40k in the bank as compared to attending my home market.
- Felt like my ties to my home market were strong and I could get back to the PI organization I wanted to work for my 1L summer, 2L summer, 3L fall externship program. I think this gives a solid path to a post-graduation PD/DA/gov/(legal aid maybe?) job- i.e. that hires several positions a year, but is more risky if you are looking for more rare PI positions .
- Like every other school, Wash U has good clinics related to your interest to show continued interest your field of PI

Personally, I am dubious of the need for a prestigious t-14 school for PI interest. Good regionals, local schools, and t-14 all can get you to non-prestige PI positions if you show a consistent committment through law school.

BUT there are cons that might be worth the the $ savings you would get:
- you miss out on networking and being able to do clinics, regular internships every semester in the market you want
- you miss out on living and building a life in the place you want to live

msmizz85
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:07 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Consider NYU's LRAP. Retake the LSAT, if you get 170+ (or 175+) you can get serious/full schollies at T14. Especially since you aren't even planning on attending this cycle. People with GPA's over T14 25th percentile really shouldn't settle for less than 170.


Is a 169 that much of a disadvantage compared to a 170+? I can put in the time and try again if it is.

msmizz85
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:11 pm

nachosrgood wrote:WUSTL PI 2L here in the same position you were a couple years ago. St Louis/Mid-west is not my home market, but I still came here for a few reasons:
-my home market schools just don't give full skolly's and have pretty bad LRAP programs, so I felt like WUSTL full ride gave me an additional 30-40k in the bank as compared to attending my home market.
- Felt like my ties to my home market were strong and I could get back to the PI organization I wanted to work for my 1L summer, 2L summer, 3L fall externship program. I think this gives a solid path to a post-graduation PD/DA/gov/(legal aid maybe?) job- i.e. that hires several positions a year, but is more risky if you are looking for more rare PI positions .
- Like every other school, Wash U has good clinics related to your interest to show continued interest your field of PI

Personally, I am dubious of the need for a prestigious t-14 school for PI interest. Good regionals, local schools, and t-14 all can get you to non-prestige PI positions if you show a consistent committment through law school.

BUT there are cons that might be worth the the $ savings you would get:
- you miss out on networking and being able to do clinics, regular internships every semester in the market you want
- you miss out on living and building a life in the place you want to live


How have you liked the services to public interest students at WUSTL?

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:15 pm

msmizz85 wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Consider NYU's LRAP. Retake the LSAT, if you get 170+ (or 175+) you can get serious/full schollies at T14. Especially since you aren't even planning on attending this cycle. People with GPA's over T14 25th percentile really shouldn't settle for less than 170.


Is a 169 that much of a disadvantage compared to a 170+? I can put in the time and try again if it is.


Yes. Once you get to 170 every. point. matters.

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MagicMike80
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby MagicMike80 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:40 pm

How have you liked the services to public interest students at WUSTL?


WUStL --> HLS transfer with plenty of friends still in St. Louis. Also went with a full ride, also had never been to St. Louis (although went to college in the midwest). However, I didn't have your numbers - I almost certainly would have gone to UCLA or a lower t14 if i did, even if it cost more money. I have many friends who went to Georgetown with an eye towards PI, and most have been pretty happy with the outcomes (PI is hard).

WUStL is a "strong" "regional", except that its alums are scattered everywhere in every stripe of job. It does not give you access to California. I would suspect the same is true here in Boston (the only people I know staying around here are from around here). To the extent WUStL offers non-regional options, it is pretty much NYC, DC, and Texas BigLaw.

Public Interest is a much more mixed bag, but my general comparison between WUStL and HLS is that WUStL is not committed to their PI students in the same way. Administratively, WUStL is an environment in which the bottom line is jerbs, and the jerbs percentage. The higher paying jerbs, the better. They are not going to help you very much, and they are going to have nothing better to say than "check alums on linked in" when you bring up California. WUStL holds itself, and a few of its exceptional students, out as examples of a commitment to public interest. If you are not in the top third of the class (or more realistically, 10%), it will be very difficult if not impossible to get a job in the markets youre targeting, especially not in PI.

I also have heard (ALERT: anecdata) that a higher percentage of PI careers are started via clerking, another unlikely outcome from WUStL.

Additionally, St. Louis is a deeply ignorant, segregated place. With your numbers you can almost certinaly get into Boalt. Don't look back.

msmizz85
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:56 pm

MagicMike! Thank you for your straight forward response, I would love to shoot for a lower t-14 but am hesitant because of debt. Do you think, by your observations or knowledge, that debt is worth it for a PI student to accrue from these schools? (anyone can answer this also)

kiddo
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby kiddo » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:12 pm

I am at Columbia in NYC but attended Washington University undergrad and I am very familiar with the law school.
First congrats on the full ride, especially if interested in PI.
Two issues I personally see. First, if you applied to only one school are you sure at this point law school is definitely where you want to be? Because if you aren't sure, law school can really suck.
Second, your two choices of living California or New England are so different you might want to narrow that down a bit. I do think Wash U has significantly stronger connections in the east than the west and you would have no problems in New England if you attended WUSTL although Cali could be more of a problem.
As for Wash U, if you are really undecided you can defer for a year. Much better than just letting it fall by the wayside. Plus I hear there applications are up another 10% or so this year so do not risk losing it.
As for Mike's assertion that people in St. Louis are racist and ignorant is just wrong. First off, there is no more east coast city more racist than Boston. The people are nice and not much different than anywhere else.
Most importantly I guess, before you decide, you should check it out for yourself.

dissonance1848
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:31 pm

.

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MagicMike80
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby MagicMike80 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:35 pm

First off I would say that the makeup of the student bodies of Wash U undergrad v. law school are very very different. I think it would have been a great place to go undergrad. The law school is much more southern and midwestern in terms of where people are from, and this leads to an overall much more conservative environment. Consider numbers like 65/35 male female split in the class of 2016, or the fact that there are no black male faculty members.

I think with your numbers you should be able to get some $ from a lower T14. Whether its worth it depends on what kind of PI you want to do and how much you are set on it. I think Wash U for free is an okay option if you're flexible, but you have to go into it realizing you're not going to have the best experience you might have for 3 years, and you likely won't end up with the best possible job outcome (you might, but again, at WUStL the best possible job outcome is going to be Davis Polk, not the ACLU). Many people at WUStL either do not have jobs right now or do not have the jobs they wanted. Many people take a job simply to take a job there.

As someone who took on a great deal of debt to transfer, I'm obviously in the camp that t14 means something, and not just to the employer. You're going to law school for more than just getting any job. You want a job you're going to enjoy. Being in no debt but not getting what I want, ESPECIALLY when I could have gone somewhere else, would gnaw at me pretty much for the rest of my life. Going to WUStL when you have better options is handicapping yourself from the start.

msmizz85
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby msmizz85 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:38 pm

kiddo wrote:I am at Columbia in NYC but attended Washington University undergrad and I am very familiar with the law school.
First congrats on the full ride, especially if interested in PI.
Two issues I personally see. First, if you applied to only one school are you sure at this point law school is definitely where you want to be? Because if you aren't sure, law school can really suck.
Second, your two choices of living California or New England are so different you might want to narrow that down a bit. I do think Wash U has significantly stronger connections in the east than the west and you would have no problems in New England if you attended WUSTL although Cali could be more of a problem.
As for Wash U, if you are really undecided you can defer for a year. Much better than just letting it fall by the wayside. Plus I hear there applications are up another 10% or so this year so do not risk losing it.
As for Mike's assertion that people in St. Louis are racist and ignorant is just wrong. First off, there is no more east coast city more racist than Boston. The people are nice and not much different than anywhere else.
Most importantly I guess, before you decide, you should check it out for yourself.


I am sure I want to go to law school. I just decided to take a year before attending right after submitting my first application.
I am asking to defer the offer, as of about an hour ago, but doubt they'll let me do it unbinded. I suppose my main concern is that this is the best offer I'm going to get, combining ranking and scholly, and I'm potentially losing it. But that just seems unlikely, don't you think?

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Rigo
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Re: Full at WUSTL or sit out for more options?

Postby Rigo » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:19 pm

Your numbers are better than WUSTL. I would sit out since you're not adamant about going this year.




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