NYU vs UW vs L&C

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amateur_hour
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NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby amateur_hour » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:24 pm

Like everyone else on this forum, I'm trying to decide what law schools to attend.

I graduated a year ago from Oregon State university with a 3.5 GPA in Mechanical Engineering and Business (two degrees) and I've been working as a software developer (still in Oregon).

I got a 172 on the LSAT.

Currently I've been accepted into Lewis and Clark, the University of Washington, and NYU. I have a scholarship offer of 30k a year from L&C (roughly 2/3 of tuition), and haven't gotten the mailings from UW or NYU (so I don't know how much financial aid they're offering). EDIT: apparently hubris is under-appreciated around here. I am suitably chastened. (edited to remove probably over-optimistic projections regarding class rank) I won't be getting any help from family for this, so I'm dependent on financial aid/loans.

I want to work in the Pacific NW when I'm done with school, either going the clerkship->judicial or intellectual property career paths. I'm not picky about midsize/biglaw, but if I have significant loans to pay off, then I'm pretty sure that I have to go biglaw.

Are there any suggestions/insights that you folks might have for me?
Last edited by amateur_hour on Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

umichman
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby umichman » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:28 pm

amateur_hour wrote:
Currently I've been accepted into Lewis and Clark, the University of Washington, and NYU. I have a scholarship offer of 30k a year from L&C (roughly 2/3 of tuition), and haven't gotten the mailings from UW or NYU (so I don't know how much financial aid they're offering). I'm reasonably confident that I would be in the top 10% of my class at L&C, top 15 % at UW and top 20% at NYU, if that makes a difference.


Definitely dont do L and C or UW unless they give you a full ride. You being reasonably confident you will be in the top X% anywhere means nothing, because it is impossible to predict. Everyone is reasonably sure they will be in teh top half, yet somehow, only half ever are. Wait for NYU and come back with scholarship info.

BigZuck
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby BigZuck » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:30 pm

Just because I think it's always interesting/funny:

Why are you so confident in those class ranks? Surely that's not based on past academic performance.

What are your other options? Doesn't most big law in the PNW pay less than market? I wouldn't love servicing NYU sticker debt on that. Also, NYU might not neccessarily get you back there, but you should have a decent shot.

I don't know, this is a toughie. None of the options sound particularly appealing. Hopefully there is a middle ground somewhere?

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Mullens
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Mullens » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:30 pm

You should not assume you will finish in any particular place in your class. You have never taken a law school exam before and they are an entirely different skill than almost anything you will have ever written. Also, shit happens. You might misread one question or miss one issue on a tight curve and there goes your class ranking.

Do you not have any options with large scholarships in between the ones you listed? Lower T-14? How broadly did you apply? I don't think any of your options are really that good.

timbs4339
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:30 pm

amateur_hour wrote: I'm reasonably confident that I would be in the...top 20% at NYU


Please tell me how you know this, then tell me what the Powerball numbers are for tomorrow.

TheOnePercent
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby TheOnePercent » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:37 pm

amateur_hour wrote:I'm reasonably confident that I would be in the...top 20% at NYU

Apparently is amateur hour, no?

/high fives 'self

BigZuck
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby BigZuck » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:40 pm

No, no, but seriously, why are you confident about those class ranks?

amateur_hour
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby amateur_hour » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:42 pm

The arrogance on the subject of class ranks comes from the fact that I've always tested well, regardless of format. But I accept that I might not be able to continue counting on it.

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Broncos847
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Broncos847 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:44 pm

I'm curious, why go to law school at all? I'm a liberal arts major who hates math, loves reading and writing, and is legimately passionate about the law and I still sometimes think I should have been an engineer or an accountant. Sounds to me like you have a pretty good thing going for you.

BigZuck
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby BigZuck » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:44 pm

amateur_hour wrote:The arrogance on the subject of class ranks comes from the fact that I've always tested well, regardless of format.

What happened to your GPA in college then?

amateur_hour
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby amateur_hour » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:46 pm

TheOnePercent wrote:
Apparently is amateur hour, no?

/high fives 'self


I *did* choose that name for a reason.


and @BigZuck. A combination of not always planning on going to law school (it was an option, but not the only option) and laziness/apathy towards a couple of freshman classes that were heavy on busywork. My grades tended to be inversely proportional to the difficulty of the subject matter.

BigZuck
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby BigZuck » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:51 pm

I see

If you're lazy smart you'll probably do pretty well at the PNW schools, but impossible to pin down exactly how well. Also, law school is decently easy, so your grades won't be that good if the pattern continues.

NYU is filled with a crapload of people who have always done well academically and who aren't lazy. Predicting you'll be in the top 20% there is just nuts.

So what are your other options besides these 3 schools?

amateur_hour
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby amateur_hour » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:55 pm

Broncos847 wrote:I'm curious, why go to law school at all? I'm a liberal arts major who hates math, loves reading and writing, and is legitimately passionate about the law and I still sometimes think I should have been an engineer or an accountant. Sounds to me like you have a pretty good thing going for you.


Have you had to talk to engineers about their work for any length of time?

But in all seriousness, it's because I think I can do more to help society/people as a lawyer than as an engineer/software developer.

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buckiguy_sucks
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Post removed.

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:57 pm

Post removed.
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amateur_hour
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby amateur_hour » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:00 pm

BigZuck wrote:I see

If you're lazy smart you'll probably do pretty well at the PNW schools, but impossible to pin down exactly how well. Also, law school is decently easy, so your grades won't be that good if the pattern continues.

NYU is filled with a crapload of people who have always done well academically and who aren't lazy. Predicting you'll be in the top 20% there is just nuts.

So what are your other options besides these 3 schools?


I'm still waiting to hear back from half the t14 schools. I'm currently waitlisted at Columbia, Michigan, and Duke, and waiting to hear back from most of the rest (Stanford/Berkeley didn't want me for some reason, probably related to the low GPA)

Oh, and if it's a really terrible idea, I could probably shoot for next year's admission cycle and try and get closer to 180 on the LSAT (by which I mean, more money because of scores/applying earlier in the cycle).

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Broncos847
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Broncos847 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:15 pm

amateur_hour wrote:
Broncos847 wrote:I'm curious, why go to law school at all? I'm a liberal arts major who hates math, loves reading and writing, and is legitimately passionate about the law and I still sometimes think I should have been an engineer or an accountant. Sounds to me like you have a pretty good thing going for you.


Have you had to talk to engineers about their work for any length of time?

But in all seriousness, it's because I think I can do more to help society/people as a lawyer than as an engineer/software developer.


Yes I have, some of my best friends are engineers. They make good money, work decent hours, and don't have insane debt. Plus they started their careers at 22, not 26.

If you are interested in helping society, then why are you interested in doing IP work for a firm? Working for a law firm isn't exactly my idea of helping people.

exitoptions
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby exitoptions » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:21 pm

Broncos847 wrote:
amateur_hour wrote:
Broncos847 wrote:I'm curious, why go to law school at all? I'm a liberal arts major who hates math, loves reading and writing, and is legitimately passionate about the law and I still sometimes think I should have been an engineer or an accountant. Sounds to me like you have a pretty good thing going for you.


Have you had to talk to engineers about their work for any length of time?

But in all seriousness, it's because I think I can do more to help society/people as a lawyer than as an engineer/software developer.


Yes I have, some of my best friends are engineers. They make good money, work decent hours, and don't have insane debt. Plus they started their careers at 22, not 26.

If you are interested in helping society, then why are you interested in doing IP work for a firm? Working for a law firm isn't exactly my idea of helping people.


Where ya been? Corporations are people.

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ballcaps
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby ballcaps » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:23 pm

amateur_hour wrote:I'm reasonably confident that I would be in the...top 20% at NYU

amateur_hour wrote:Stanford/Berkeley didn't want me for some reason


this guy is awesome.

OP, there's not enough info since you don't know about most schools/scholarships.

also L&C is a bad idea if your goal is to become a lawyer.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:37 pm

BigZuck wrote:Doesn't most big law in the PNW pay less than market? I wouldn't love servicing NYU sticker debt on that. Also, NYU might not neccessarily get you back there, but you should have a decent shot.

Yeah, Portland biglaw pays $110-115k starting, Seattle is generally $120-125k and a couple in the $135-145k range.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby zombie mcavoy » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:40 pm

dont go to lewis and clark

dont go to NYU if you want to be in the pacific northwest

dont go to UW unless your COA is south of 100K

dont go to law school planning on being at the top of your class; plan on median grades and median outcomes

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:51 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:dont go to lewis and clark

dont go to NYU if you want to be in the pacific northwest

dont go to UW unless your COA is south of 100K

dont go to law school planning on being at the top of your class; plan on median grades and median outcomes

Even then though you shouldn't really be taking on debt for a school if the debt amount/school choice means it'll be catastrophic for you to be in the bottom 10% of the class. Yes, some people in the bottom 10% are people who don't even try, but some are people who did well before law school and tried really really hard and it just never quite clicked.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:03 pm

Other25BeforeYou wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:dont go to lewis and clark

dont go to NYU if you want to be in the pacific northwest

dont go to UW unless your COA is south of 100K

dont go to law school planning on being at the top of your class; plan on median grades and median outcomes

Even then though you shouldn't really be taking on debt for a school if the debt amount/school choice means it'll be catastrophic for you to be in the bottom 10% of the class. Yes, some people in the bottom 10% are people who don't even try, but some are people who did well before law school and tried really really hard and it just never quite clicked.

I don't think any school works if that's the criteria.

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zombie mcavoy
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby zombie mcavoy » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:09 pm

Other25BeforeYou wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:dont go to lewis and clark

dont go to NYU if you want to be in the pacific northwest

dont go to UW unless your COA is south of 100K

dont go to law school planning on being at the top of your class; plan on median grades and median outcomes

Even then though you shouldn't really be taking on debt for a school if the debt amount/school choice means it'll be catastrophic for you to be in the bottom 10% of the class. Yes, some people in the bottom 10% are people who don't even try, but some are people who did well before law school and tried really really hard and it just never quite clicked.

Yeah it's going to be catastrophic being in the bottom 10% at any school with any debt load. I am pretty risk averse, too, but at some level you have to take a chance.

And you can always drop out if you suck. I would have dropped out without a second thought if I didn't do well enough to have a good chance at the jobs I want, and I would advise that mindset for OP, and for any 0L.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:12 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:dont go to lewis and clark

dont go to NYU if you want to be in the pacific northwest

dont go to UW unless your COA is south of 100K

dont go to law school planning on being at the top of your class; plan on median grades and median outcomes

Even then though you shouldn't really be taking on debt for a school if the debt amount/school choice means it'll be catastrophic for you to be in the bottom 10% of the class. Yes, some people in the bottom 10% are people who don't even try, but some are people who did well before law school and tried really really hard and it just never quite clicked.

I don't think any school works if that's the criteria.

For OP, maybe not. I just meant it's nice to plan on being median, but 49% of people end up below median. I had some awfully smart classmates, many of whom had large scholarships due to high LSAT scores, who ended up well below median. It's a potential reality that people should keep in mind when choosing a school (and choosing whether or not to go at all).

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: NYU vs UW vs L&C

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:23 pm

zombie mcavoy wrote:
Other25BeforeYou wrote:
zombie mcavoy wrote:dont go to lewis and clark

dont go to NYU if you want to be in the pacific northwest

dont go to UW unless your COA is south of 100K

dont go to law school planning on being at the top of your class; plan on median grades and median outcomes

Even then though you shouldn't really be taking on debt for a school if the debt amount/school choice means it'll be catastrophic for you to be in the bottom 10% of the class. Yes, some people in the bottom 10% are people who don't even try, but some are people who did well before law school and tried really really hard and it just never quite clicked.

Yeah it's going to be catastrophic being in the bottom 10% at any school with any debt load.

It's not, though. Graduating near the bottom from a T14 with manageable debt (<$60k maybe? Other people have other ideas of what manageable is for them) that even non-legal jobs allow you to pay back given enough time isn't catastrophic. It sucks, but it isn't usually ruinous or anything, and often (but not always) people at or near the bottom can still find legal jobs at T14s. Graduating at the bottom of a T50 with <$30k probably isn't catastrophic either. And graduating bottom of the class with even $250k in debt wouldn't be catastrophic for some people, depending on what safety nets or other options they might have. All I'm saying is hope for the best, but take into account the fact that the worst could occur.




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