Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which school should I choose?

Poll ended at Thu May 07, 2015 4:14 am

Oklahoma City University
4
40%
Alabama
6
60%
Northeastern University
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 10

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stego
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Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby stego » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:14 am

My background: family is from New Hampshire. Alma mater and girlfriend are in Oklahoma. I'm currently in Wisconsin. 167/3.93. I'm 27, took the LSAT in 2010.

Career aspirations: public interest law, criminal defense, policy/government, academia, or clerkships is what I'm interested in. Not really interested in big law or running a solo practice.

I was offered a full ride to 6 schools. Oklahoma City University offered me full tuition, full fees, and an $800-a-year book stipend. Despite being considered a fourth-tier school their employment numbers seem pretty strong (except no clerkships). The main factor is that my girlfriend won't leave Oklahoma City and refuses to date long distance. We've known each other for 6 years but are just starting to date because the last 2.5 years we've been in different states. I've got a lot of friends in Oklahoma, but no family.
(I should also note that in January OCU moved into a new 5-story building so they are now all under one roof, and closer to downtown - within walking distance of the federal and municipal courthouses. Before they were 2 or 3 miles further away in a few different buildings on OCU's main campus. Somebody told me that change alone would cause OCU to move up 40-50 places in the law school rankings, but I don't know how they would know that.)

Alabama offered me full tuition and a $1500 stipend. There's a possibility after I visit the campus and interview with the dean that I might get an even better scholarship - $5000 stipend and mentorship from the dean.

I am visiting Tuscaloosa, AL next week but I've tentatively committed to OCU. Is it completely foolish to reject a top-25 school that's offering more than full tuition to go to a "fourth-tier" school? Or because of my career goals, does that not really matter?

The other school I like is Northeastern, because of their co-op program and their focus on public interest. They also offered full tuition. It's close to home, but the idea of actually living in Boston both excites and terrifies me. I basically ruled out going there because of my girlfriend. I'm just worried with OCU about the types of jobs that would be available - that academia or clerkships would be a lot harder if I chose to go that route.

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TheSenator
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby TheSenator » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:35 am

stasg wrote:My background: family is from New Hampshire. Alma mater and girlfriend are in Oklahoma. I'm currently in Wisconsin. 167/3.93. I'm 27, took the LSAT in 2010.

Career aspirations: public interest law, criminal defense, policy/government, academia, or clerkships is what I'm interested in. Not really interested in big law or running a solo practice.

I was offered a full ride to 6 schools. Oklahoma City University offered me full tuition, full fees, and an $800-a-year book stipend. Despite being considered a fourth-tier school their employment numbers seem pretty strong (except no clerkships). The main factor is that my girlfriend won't leave Oklahoma City and refuses to date long distance. We've known each other for 6 years but are just starting to date because the last 2.5 years we've been in different states. I've got a lot of friends in Oklahoma, but no family.
(I should also note that in January OCU moved into a new 5-story building so they are now all under one roof, and closer to downtown - within walking distance of the federal and municipal courthouses. Before they were 2 or 3 miles further away in a few different buildings on OCU's main campus. Somebody told me that change alone would cause OCU to move up 40-50 places in the law school rankings, but I don't know how they would know that.)

Alabama offered me full tuition and a $1500 stipend. There's a possibility after I visit the campus and interview with the dean that I might get an even better scholarship - $5000 stipend and mentorship from the dean.

I am visiting Tuscaloosa, AL next week but I've tentatively committed to OCU. Is it completely foolish to reject a top-25 school that's offering more than full tuition to go to a "fourth-tier" school? Or because of my career goals, does that not really matter?

The other school I like is Northeastern, because of their co-op program and their focus on public interest. They also offered full tuition. It's close to home, but the idea of actually living in Boston both excites and terrifies me. I basically ruled out going there because of my girlfriend. I'm just worried with OCU about the types of jobs that would be available - that academia or clerkships would be a lot harder if I chose to go that route.



My initial thought right off the bat was 3.93/167 are pretty nice numbers. You should definitely have better schools to pick from given just that (stronger regionals at a big discount or T14).

Where do you want to live/work after law school? Northeastern/Oklahoma City are going to limit you to their respective areas.

If this new girlfriend of yours is unwilling to consider relocating for the sake of your entire future, or at the very least try to make a LDR work, I'm not sure you should be factoring your relationship with her into this equation.


I would reapply next cycle to the bottom half of the T14, strong regionals where you're interested in living, and maybe consider retaking the LSAT between now and then. If you could add 2-3 points to your 167 you would have a very nice cycle.

dissonance1848
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby dissonance1848 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:38 am

You have a 3.93, and took the LSAT only once in 2010? Retake is the only acceptable option. You can get full rides or near it from T14 schools, which will give you a chance to get a legal job, or use the leap programs which are good.

If your girlfriend is unwilling to do long distance, let alone for the sake of your career, hate to say it, but forget it, that's just downright irrational.

Traynor Brah
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby Traynor Brah » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:23 am

None of these schools make any sense for you.

First, you need to decide which region/specific market you want to spend the majority of your life in. Law school is not like yndergrad. unless you are going to an elite school, geographic ties and placement are the most crucial aspects of this process. An Alabama degree is useless outside of alabama; a northeastern or ok city degree is useless everywhere (both have truly terrible placement statistics) but both are double useless outside their immediate cities.

Second, a girlfriend who is unwilling to leave Oklahoma City? Lol. This does not sound like a recipe for a happy life. This girl better be insanely hot, but even if she was, come on, Oklahoma City? You've been there, right?

Jobs: you will never get a sniff at academia from one of these schools, ever. A fed clerkship from one is extremely extremely unlikely (but that is the case at effectively every school but HYS). If policy work interests you, law school is simply not the answer. What government work interests you? It is extremely difficult to get public interest jobs right out of school; because you don't have specific goals in PI (you get such a job by showing huge decidation to a specific cause & getting to know the right people in the right organizations then working for free for them for a long time) I am skeptical of that route for you.

Also law school rankings and law school buildings are entirely irrelevant. You shouldn't care if the school is tier five and run out of a barn so long as the COA and geographic placement power nexus is best for your situation. re alabama: top 25 is an entirely meaningless distinction. It is prestigious in alabama, and nobody in legal hiring anywhere else is going to give two shits. Do not go to northeastern under any circumstances; it is a truly terrible school. Oklahoma city? Lol.

Decide where you actually want to be, retake, and go somewhere else. Two more points on the lsat and you'll get a full ride to northwestern; at that point, we're talking about a very high level of career and geographic flexibility. Don't sell yourself short with one of these options.

arturobelano
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby arturobelano » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:32 am

do not mortgage your career for a relationship
do not mortgage your career for a relationship
do not mortgage your career for a relationship
do not mortgage your career for a relationship
etc

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby MarkfromWI » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:28 am

I know giving up on a relationship is tough to consider, but you have to live with the results of your law school decision forever; you don't get a do-over if you two break up. Ever. If things go poorly, she can skip town whenever she wants, but you will be stuck with the name on your diploma for the rest of your career.

I would even be inclined to say the relationship is a valid consideration if you guys have been together for two or three years, but you're only just starting to date? Man, there are so many ways that this could go wrong, and 1L forces a lot of those to the surface.

You have an OUTSTANDING uGPA, and a very solid LSAT. As it stands now, even without a retake, you're probably looking at a fully from most state flagships. There's no reason at all to consider somewhere like Northeastern.

You would be doing yourself and your future self a disservice by attending any of those schools. Think this through bud and good luck.

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BVest
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby BVest » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:16 am

I agree with everyone saying you should sit it out and retake, and I don't say that often. Look at it this way, with your GPA and just a repeat of that LSAT, you're already looking at nearly a full ride at OU (plus, an extra year in Oklahoma without school would likely give you residency if you don't already have it, making a full ride at OU an easier proposition).

Am I saying that to say a full ride at OU is your best option? No. WIth your GPA and just a small tick up in LSAT, you've got lots of money coming your way well into T14. But my point about OU is this: Stick around OKC, get a job, enjoy your relationship, and if the relationship looks like it's going somewhere a year from now (and she's not impressed by the T14s that are throwing money at you), you're still in a better place with a full ride at OU. Sure, that would mean a 20-25 mile commute, but if she's worth sticking around OKC at that point, she's worth the commute.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:19 am

People with your gpa and just a couple more correctly answered questions on the lsat got dillards at UVA this year. OP, retake and reapply. Take your SO on a trip to go see these places.

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BasilHallward
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby BasilHallward » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:34 am

Everybody here is steering you in the right direction. Somebody with your numbers simply does not consider these schools. Are these all the school that you applied to (Bama seems very random)? UT would have given you a great package. SMU would have probably given you a full ride. I'm mentioning these schools because they are in the vicinity of OKC and maybe GF can transfer work or whatever. OCU is a pretty big waste of time, if you are looking at banking over 50k a year. Retake, if you can, and reapply next cycle.

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BasilHallward
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby BasilHallward » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:37 am

stasg wrote:My background: family is from New Hampshire. Alma mater and girlfriend are in Oklahoma. I'm currently in Wisconsin. 167/3.93. I'm 27, took the LSAT in 2010.

Career aspirations: public interest law, criminal defense, policy/government, academia, or clerkships is what I'm interested in. Not really interested in big law or running a solo practice.

I was offered a full ride to 6 schools. Oklahoma City University offered me full tuition, full fees, and an $800-a-year book stipend. Despite being considered a fourth-tier school their employment numbers seem pretty strong (except no clerkships). The main factor is that my girlfriend won't leave Oklahoma City and refuses to date long distance. We've known each other for 6 years but are just starting to date because the last 2.5 years we've been in different states. I've got a lot of friends in Oklahoma, but no family.
(I should also note that in January OCU moved into a new 5-story building so they are now all under one roof, and closer to downtown - within walking distance of the federal and municipal courthouses. Before they were 2 or 3 miles further away in a few different buildings on OCU's main campus. Somebody told me that change alone would cause OCU to move up 40-50 places in the law school rankings, but I don't know how they would know that.)

Alabama offered me full tuition and a $1500 stipend. There's a possibility after I visit the campus and interview with the dean that I might get an even better scholarship - $5000 stipend and mentorship from the dean.

I am visiting Tuscaloosa, AL next week but I've tentatively committed to OCU. Is it completely foolish to reject a top-25 school that's offering more than full tuition to go to a "fourth-tier" school? Or because of my career goals, does that not really matter?

The other school I like is Northeastern, because of their co-op program and their focus on public interest. They also offered full tuition. It's close to home, but the idea of actually living in Boston both excites and terrifies me. I basically ruled out going there because of my girlfriend. I'm just worried with OCU about the types of jobs that would be available - that academia or clerkships would be a lot harder if I chose to go that route.


This is laughable. They will not be harder to find. You will not be able to find them. Academia is a pipe dream outside the t14, generally speaking, much less a TTTT.

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TheSenator
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby TheSenator » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:43 am

BVest wrote:I agree with everyone saying you should sit it out and retake, and I don't say that often. Look at it this way, with your GPA and just a repeat of that LSAT, you're already looking at nearly a full ride at OU (plus, an extra year in Oklahoma without school would likely give you residency if you don't already have it, making a full ride at OU an easier proposition).

Am I saying that to say a full ride at OU is your best option? No. WIth your GPA and just a small tick up in LSAT, you've got lots of money coming your way well into T14. But my point about OU is this: Stick around OKC, get a job, enjoy your relationship, and if the relationship looks like it's going somewhere a year from now (and she's not impressed by the T14s that are throwing money at you), you're still in a better place with a full ride at OU. Sure, that would mean a 20-25 mile commute, but if she's worth sticking around OKC at that point, she's worth the commute.


+1

OP you're doing yourself a disservice if you attend any one of these three schools imo. At the very least attend OU for free (assuming you're damn sure that you would be okay with living there with OR without your s/o). Like BVest said, try to obtain OK residency, consider retaking the LSAT, and when you get into multiple T14s next cycle take your girlfriend with you to show her there is actually a world outside of OKC.

Vermonster
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby Vermonster » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:41 am

Yeah dude these schools don't deserve you. I have similar numbers and got good money from the T14. I think you might regret it if you attend one of these places.

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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby Traynor Brah » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:58 am

Imagine you are a top 100 basketball recruit in Chicago.

For whatever reason, there exists an attractive prep basketball program in Montana. You play there all four years of high school. You have off/on relationship with townie girl who has never left Montana, thinks it's the best thing ever, and is never going to leave.

It's time to commit. With the right program to develop you, an NBA future is a very real possibility. Kentucky and Duke sniffed around, but the top developmental programs are really hounding you. Tom Izzo, Bo Ryan, and Thad Matta all want you real bad, and can make you a star.

You tell townie girl she can come with and enjoy the incredible opportunities before you. Not only does she say no, but she says LDR won't work -- you'll have to stay and lead the Montana State Bobcats to glory. They did make the NIT back in 2002, after all (but for the god damned Richmond Spiders, they would have even made the second round!).

What do you do?

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pancakes3
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:10 pm

Go to Richmond at sticker and try to walk on, duh.

Vermonster
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby Vermonster » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:12 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:Imagine you are a top 100 basketball recruit in Chicago.

For whatever reason, there exists an attractive prep basketball program in Montana. You play there all four years of high school. You have off/on relationship with townie girl who has never left Montana, thinks it's the best thing ever, and is never going to leave.

It's time to commit. With the right program to develop you, an NBA future is a very real possibility. Kentucky and Duke sniffed around, but the top developmental programs are really hounding you. Tom Izzo, Bo Ryan, and Thad Matta all want you real bad, and can make you a star.

You tell townie girl she can come with and enjoy the incredible opportunities before you. Not only does she say no, but she says LDR won't work -- you'll have to stay and lead the Montana State Bobcats to glory. They did make the NIT back in 2002, after all (but for the god damned Richmond Spiders, they would have even made the second round!).

What do you do?


perfect analogy

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lawdoggy
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby lawdoggy » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:24 pm

None of these are good options. I don't care if Alerbammy offered you a 50k stipend - it's a terrible option for you. Your numbers are very good bordering on great. Retake and head to a much better school next year.

Oh, and dump the chick. This is your entire life we're talking about here.

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stego
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby stego » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:31 pm

Everybody here is steering you in the right direction. Somebody with your numbers simply does not consider these schools. Are these all the school that you applied to (Bama seems very random)? UT would have given you a great package. SMU would have probably given you a full ride. I'm mentioning these schools because they are in the vicinity of OKC and maybe GF can transfer work or whatever. OCU is a pretty big waste of time, if you are looking at banking over 50k a year. Retake, if you can, and reapply next cycle.


I applied to 11 schools, but you would laugh at most or all of them. I got into 10 of them and got wait-listed at Duke. I applied pretty late in the cycle so that probably hurt me. Rankings wise Alabama is the second-best school I applied to. I considered applying to SMU but their program seems like it mostly focuses on things I don't care about.

To people saying Oklahoma City University and Northeastern have horrible placement rates, could you elaborate on that a little bit? Is the criticism mainly just that the kind of jobs people are getting are not good jobs? With Northeastern there seems to be a high percentage of people who don't have FTLTBR or JD Advantage jobs so I can see that, but the economy in Oklahoma City is really good. It makes sense that if I want academia or a federal clerkship I should go T14.

I will say in defense of Northeastern, they seem to have an absurdly high number of grads 9 months after graduation working in public interest jobs (34 out of 171) so if those positions are so hard to get for new lawyers and most of their grads are gunning for that type of work that might help explain why their employment numbers are so terrible.

You have off/on relationship with townie girl who has never left Montana, thinks it's the best thing ever, and is never going to leave.


I'm loving the Montana State basketball analogy. The funny thing is, my girlfriend's not even from Oklahoma. She's from Dallas-Fort Worth. But she has extended family in OKC, she has a full-time job she likes and is finishing a master's at OU, and she bought a house in OKC. I understand if someone doesn't like being in long-distance relationships 3 years of long distance is a big ask, but we'll have to see if she's willing to leave Oklahoma someday.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

BigZuck
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:36 pm

You're putting way, way, way, way, way too much stock in both US News Rankings and the types of "programs" or "offerings" or whatever at different law schools. This is painting in really broad strokes here but for the most part course offerings, what a school is "know for" or "good at," etc. rarely ever matters. It certainly won't matter at all for the types of schools you're talking about.

All that really matters is whether a school can get you the job you want in the place you want at an appropriate price.

adil91
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby adil91 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:41 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:Imagine you are a top 100 basketball recruit in Chicago.

For whatever reason, there exists an attractive prep basketball program in Montana. You play there all four years of high school. You have off/on relationship with townie girl who has never left Montana, thinks it's the best thing ever, and is never going to leave.

It's time to commit. With the right program to develop you, an NBA future is a very real possibility. Kentucky and Duke sniffed around, but the top developmental programs are really hounding you. Tom Izzo, Bo Ryan, and Thad Matta all want you real bad, and can make you a star.

You tell townie girl she can come with and enjoy the incredible opportunities before you. Not only does she say no, but she says LDR won't work -- you'll have to stay and lead the Montana State Bobcats to glory. They did make the NIT back in 2002, after all (but for the god damned Richmond Spiders, they would have even made the second round!).

What do you do?


Montana has a pretty solid program, I don't know why he'd settle for Montana State

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stego
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby stego » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:02 pm

By the way, it probably doesn't change anything but if it matters the areas I'm interested in are primarily civil rights or health law. I would be happy doing some other kind of public interest but civil rights interests me most.

I could see myself living and working in Oklahoma but I probably don't want to spend the rest of my life there.

kfh37
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby kfh37 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:06 pm

.
Last edited by kfh37 on Sat May 02, 2015 2:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stego
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby stego » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:11 pm

I'd suggest you look at the breakdown of firm size for graduates who go into private practice. Many graduates who can't find a job open their own practice or open a practice with fellow grads. They're counted as being employed at a solo or small firm, but the reality is that they're self-employed.


OK, so for OCU according to ABA numbers, 10 were in solo practice and 52 worked at firms sized 2-10 (out of 148 total graduates). Which does seem really high.

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stego
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby stego » Fri May 01, 2015 4:05 am

So another important question. Suppose I accept your argument that I need to get into a T14 next cycle. Is it an absolutely terrible idea to try to transfer from one of the schools I've already gotten into?

I think I know what you're going to say. I'm just worried. What if I put in all that time and money retaking the LSAT and I get the same score or even worse? And my 167 from 2010 will be too old to use. What if I can't find a decent job in OKC for a year?

If it makes any difference Alabama said I could defer for a year so if I retook and disaster struck that could probably still have that as a fallback option. I applied to Duke late in the cycle and got waitlisted.

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pancakes3
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby pancakes3 » Fri May 01, 2015 5:29 am

stasg wrote:So another important question. Suppose I accept your argument that I need to get into a T14 next cycle. Is it an absolutely terrible idea to try to transfer from one of the schools I've already gotten into?

I think I know what you're going to say. I'm just worried. What if I put in all that time and money retaking the LSAT and I get the same score or even worse? And my 167 from 2010 will be too old to use. What if I can't find a decent job in OKC for a year?

If it makes any difference Alabama said I could defer for a year so if I retook and disaster struck that could probably still have that as a fallback option. I applied to Duke late in the cycle and got waitlisted.


Then you retake again. Forgoing the 2010 score is the price you pay for not being diligent enough this cycle in applying but lesson learned. Also if you defer Bama, you're locked into Bama. They're not going to let you keep their admission in your back pocket AND let you test the waters.

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TheSenator
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Re: Alabama, Northeastern, or Oklahoma City University?

Postby TheSenator » Fri May 01, 2015 6:01 am

stasg wrote:So another important question. Suppose I accept your argument that I need to get into a T14 next cycle. Is it an absolutely terrible idea to try to transfer from one of the schools I've already gotten into?

I think I know what you're going to say. I'm just worried. What if I put in all that time and money retaking the LSAT and I get the same score or even worse? And my 167 from 2010 will be too old to use. What if I can't find a decent job in OKC for a year?

If it makes any difference Alabama said I could defer for a year so if I retook and disaster struck that could probably still have that as a fallback option. I applied to Duke late in the cycle and got waitlisted.



You don't necessarily have to go to a T14 if you don't want to - you just shouldn't go to the three schools you're trying to get people to pick from. I guess I would be worried about the 167 expiring too, but I'm sure you can score that again (if not higher) if you put in the time/effort.

Like everyone has said - with your numbers you should be deciding between strong regionals in your desired market for free or a T14 with some $. I'm sure you could find something to do in OKC for the year. What were you doing in WI?




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