USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

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harrissq
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USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby harrissq » Tue May 05, 2015 1:30 pm

Taking 're-take' off of the table, but I still thought it worth the ask:
USD has offered almost full tuition, but has an LST employment score of 46%. I grew up in San Diego, have connections within the law community there, but am not sure about the SD job market, especially in litigation or international law.
Colorado is full tuition for 1L and 11.5K for 2L and 3L. Their LST score is 70%. I have a handful of family in Boulder/Denver and no connections to the law community, but their ability to get their students hired in conjunction with the presence of multiple federal and state courts in the area is enticing.

Should I be more concerned by the lack of jobs coming out of USD or the higher debt and lack of connections coming out of CU?

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transferror
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby transferror » Tue May 05, 2015 1:34 pm

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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ILoveYou
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby ILoveYou » Tue May 05, 2015 1:37 pm

I'd be concerned about both, really. Both of those are pretty tough markets to crack, and neither school has stellar placement. You mention litigation and international law in your OP--can you give us a little more info about your goals?

harrissq
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby harrissq » Tue May 05, 2015 1:53 pm

In so far as litigation, I am interested in criminal law. I.e-District Attorney's Office, Federal Courts, etc.
For international law, I am interested in international business law and arbitration.
I've seen people get roasted for being either naively narrow or wide open. But I guess I'm leaving the actual experience of law school to introduce tangents of interests or career paths to what I have listed.

Mrandolph219
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Mrandolph219 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:44 pm

Thought I'd post because I am in almost the exact same position as you. Almost full ride to Oregon and the same scholarship you got from Colorado. Also interested in criminal law. Whah I have been told is to figure out where you want to live and make your decision on that. If you are interested in working in Colorado, then it is probably worth the extra debt to go to that school, especially since it's higher ranked. However if you suspect you'll want to end up in San Diego, I'd take the full ride at USD.

I'm still trying to answer this question myself.

Traynor Brah
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue May 05, 2015 2:57 pm

Well, you've taken the best option off the table, so there is little we can do to help you. San Diego has fucking terrible, devastatingly bad employment prospects. Colorado's legal market is tiny and insular as fuck, and though the stats are better, I would wager you'd have just about as hard of a time getting a job there as a non-local.

Give my regards to Ron Roenicke when you're in the unemployment line [heyo]

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue May 05, 2015 4:36 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:Colorado's legal market is tiny and insular as fuck, and though the stats are better, I would wager you'd have just about as hard of a time getting a job there as a non-local.


This is totally false. Colorado's legal market is probably one of the least insular in the country, and it's also larger than the legal market in every state it borders.

For what it's worth, I had no ties to Colorado when I enrolled at CU Law. Neither did about half of my classmates. I work as a prosecutor now, and "ties" never really came up, once, during all my interviews. Why would I have attended the state law school if I didn't want to work in the state? Was an easy sell. The only person from my circle in law school that didn't get a job failed the bar. He was from Colorado, born and raised.

OP, between these two schools, neither one is really "better." Go to USD if you want to work in California and CU if you want to work in Colorado. Enjoy yourself and best of luck.

Traynor Brah
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Traynor Brah » Tue May 05, 2015 5:16 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
Traynor Brah wrote:Colorado's legal market is tiny and insular as fuck, and though the stats are better, I would wager you'd have just about as hard of a time getting a job there as a non-local.


This is totally false. Colorado's legal market is probably one of the least insular in the country, and it's also larger than the legal market in every state it borders.

For what it's worth, I had no ties to Colorado when I enrolled at CU Law. Neither did about half of my classmates. I work as a prosecutor now, and "ties" never really came up, once, during all my interviews. Why would I have attended the state law school if I didn't want to work in the state? Was an easy sell. The only person from my circle in law school that didn't get a job failed the bar. He was from Colorado, born and raised.

OK well I've never heard anyone say anything like that. I've literally only ever heard (several) people say the opposite (i.e. that it's basically like Seattle or Portland).

Also I am talking about firms. Considering most DA offices dgaf whether you went to cooley or harvard, I imagine that might make a difference.

But if you're right, that's awesome news. I will mass mail the shit out of denver.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue May 05, 2015 6:21 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:OK well I've never heard anyone say anything like that. I've literally only ever heard (several) people say the opposite (i.e. that it's basically like Seattle or Portland).

But if you're right, that's awesome news. I will mass mail the shit out of denver.


This is kinda how the "ties" shtick gets started. Of course you are going to have trouble mass mailing Denver biglaw firms. Denver biglaw firms are absolutely going to care about ties to Colorado when reviewing applications from Duke. OP asked about attending law school in Colorado. This is completely different.

You are going to have trouble mass mailing biglaw firms in Denver, Memphis, Sacramento, anywhere where you do not live. This doesn't mean people are "insular" and that they distrust Yankees or something. 9/10 people on this site who go on about ties are really complaining about the lack of mobility from top schools. In fact, I have never heard anyone log on and say, man I should not have attended the University of Montana from out of state because these fuckers only employ locals. Not saying it doesn't happen, ever, just haven't heard it.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 05, 2015 7:20 pm

I agree with McDuff on this one - you can create ties to a place by going to school there, and that is very different from mass mailing from a non-local school if you aren't from there. Also, the issue with the biglaw market in Denver is that it's tiny. If you're at CU or DU and aiming for a small firm/state or local government gig, and you work in those positions during school, you're fine wrt ties. You shouldn't count on biglaw, but that's because there are very few slots, you need to be top 10%-ish to have a chance, and you're competing with locals who went away to T14s - not so much because you don't have ties.

Denver seems to be a tiny bit better than the PNW because I don't get the impression that people who go away to T14s get looked at suspiciously when they want to come back to Denver, and they apparently do when they they head back to the PNW. But how long you've been gone might make a difference. I also don't know how deep in the class Denver biglaw will go from what schools, either.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue May 05, 2015 8:10 pm

Going to CU to get biglaw is like moving to Nepal to learn to surf.

OP, check out CU's website for detailed career outcomes. The school might be the most transparent in the country, a fact I'm actually proud of. http://www.colorado.edu/law/careers/graduates

Notice how nearly everyone reported a salary. Call up other schools you are considering and ask them for the same statistic. Also ask about percentage of employed grads who are actively looking for another job. This is a hugely underrated stat on TLS, and you can find this info on LST or by asking the individual schools if they don't release the info to LST.
Last edited by Lord Randolph McDuff on Tue May 05, 2015 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby BigZuck » Tue May 05, 2015 9:58 pm

(obligatory "I think ties are harder to establish than Nony and Randy do" post)

(anecdotes start battling TO THE DEATH)

(I start wondering if maybe it's the difference between firm hiring and government hiring)

Anyway, I wouldn't go to a random market you don't have real, pre-existing ties to unless you have a really good reason and plan.

But yeah, they both know more about that market than I do so go for it I guess?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 05, 2015 10:59 pm

BigZuck wrote:(obligatory "I think ties are harder to establish than Nony and Randy do" post)

(anecdotes start battling TO THE DEATH)

(I start wondering if maybe it's the difference between firm hiring and government hiring)

Anyway, I wouldn't go to a random market you don't have real, pre-existing ties to unless you have a really good reason and plan.

But yeah, they both know more about that market than I do so go for it I guess?

Zuck, I do think there's a difference, but that it's between biglaw hiring and everything else hiring. Don't go to CU if you're biglaw or bust, because you can't guarantee you'll get the grades to get there. But outside biglaw, networking/experience/connections are much more significant than grades, and you can get those by attending CU and working/interning etc. throughout your time in LS (every semester, not just the summers), as well as joining Inns of Court, going to CLEs, joining the local bar, etc. You also usually get all three years to build those up because the jobs don't hire till post-graduation, so it's not like biglaw when they're hiring you based on one year's worth of grades and almost no relevant experience.

Besides, the OP does have family in Boulder/Denver. That's going to be fine. No one has to have bigwig connections in the local legal community or anything (anyone who does is going to have an advantage, but that's true everywhere - it's nepotism, not ties).

I do agree that someone should think about where they want to work, and why, and be able to be convincing about it. Don't go to CU because it's ranked better, go to CU if you want to live/work in Colorado and can articulate why.

BigZuck
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby BigZuck » Tue May 05, 2015 11:26 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BigZuck wrote:(obligatory "I think ties are harder to establish than Nony and Randy do" post)

(anecdotes start battling TO THE DEATH)

(I start wondering if maybe it's the difference between firm hiring and government hiring)

Anyway, I wouldn't go to a random market you don't have real, pre-existing ties to unless you have a really good reason and plan.

But yeah, they both know more about that market than I do so go for it I guess?

Zuck, I do think there's a difference, but that it's between biglaw hiring and everything else hiring. Don't go to CU if you're biglaw or bust, because you can't guarantee you'll get the grades to get there. But outside biglaw, networking/experience/connections are much more significant than grades, and you can get those by attending CU and working/interning etc. throughout your time in LS (every semester, not just the summers), as well as joining Inns of Court, going to CLEs, joining the local bar, etc. You also usually get all three years to build those up because the jobs don't hire till post-graduation, so it's not like biglaw when they're hiring you based on one year's worth of grades and almost no relevant experience.

Besides, the OP does have family in Boulder/Denver. That's going to be fine. No one has to have bigwig connections in the local legal community or anything (anyone who does is going to have an advantage, but that's true everywhere - it's nepotism, not ties).

I do agree that someone should think about where they want to work, and why, and be able to be convincing about it. Don't go to CU because it's ranked better, go to CU if you want to live/work in Colorado and can articulate why.


I think I disagree that it's big law vs everything else, but I am open to it possibly being law firms vs everything else. In my bag of anecdotes I'm also thinking of issues people have had with firms that aren't nearly big law. Super broad strokes here but in a lot of firm hiring it largely boils down to "I don't really have a sophisticated way to weed out candidates or figure out which of these blobs of clay can be formed into good lawyers. I'm only going to hire them if I like them. I like people who are like me and that I can stand to be around." (Of course that ignores special things the firm hirer might be looking for like diversity factors, exceptional hotness, etc. but broad strokes)

In PI/gov (at least from what I have seen in other's job search) I think it's less of the "Do I like this person?" thing and more of the "Does this person want to do this job?" thing.

I think the 3 year vs 1 year thing is a good point though. Maybe I'm wrong about smaller firms but I know of people having what (looks like) ties problems at those as well.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 05, 2015 11:32 pm

I agree that fit is a bigger thing with smaller firms, so I think some of the ties thing is a fit thing. I'm also mostly thinking of smaller firms that tend to hire people who've worked there as law clerks, not so much if you mass mail or reply to an ad. If you work somewhere as a student, they can find out if they like you before they have to hire you permanently.

But I promise to stop arguing about it. :D

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Wed May 06, 2015 12:02 am

If your goal is SoCal/San Diego, do not go to law school in Colorado. Try to get into USC or UCLA if possible. Retake if necessary. Deciding which law school to go to outside of the t-14 should be based on where you geographically want to work, not on some USNWR ranking or LST report (except as it applies to the law schools in your preferred geographic area). Good luck.

harrissq
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby harrissq » Wed May 06, 2015 11:31 am

Shocked by the lack of vitriolic "retake" responses, so a massive thank you for that.
But really thank you heaps for the insight. Priority of where I want to live/work is great to have reinforced, as well as hearing that there is a world outside of "biglaw."
Cheers guys.

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Poldy
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby Poldy » Wed May 06, 2015 11:45 am

I just want to weigh in on the BigLaw side of Denver as a local. Work connections brought me into contact with an associate at a V20 here in town. I had lunch with him when I was first starting to consider law school and his advice was that if you want to work in Denver BigLaw, go to CU. He said every single person they've hired in recent years had been a CU grad with a couple DU exceptions. That sounds about as insular as it gets. He even specifically commented that while they could hire from the top schools, they typically don't.

That said, I think you could establish decent ties to the area just by going to CU. People generally aren't looking to live in Denver as stepping stone to NYC or somewhere like that. I don't think they'd be concerned about people jumping ship since so many people genuinely want to live in Denver over anywhere else.

BigZuck
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby BigZuck » Wed May 06, 2015 11:55 am

harrissq wrote:Shocked by the lack of vitriolic "retake" responses, so a massive thank you for that.
But really thank you heaps for the insight. Priority of where I want to live/work is great to have reinforced, as well as hearing that there is a world outside of "biglaw."
Cheers guys.

Thread got sidetracked by the ties thing.

But yeah, answer probably is none of the above based on what you have said. Being interested in basically the full spectrum of legal jobs that exists (from crim to international transactions) isn't a great thing IMO, especially when talking about regional schools. Law school generally isn't an oyster opening and can close more doors than it opens. If you're going to regional schools with a relatively narrow range of options open to you then you need to understand that and be aiming for those types of jobs. That doesn't seem to be happening here.

So I say neither, retake.

lawschoolbound94
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Re: USD $$$ vs. Colorado $$

Postby lawschoolbound94 » Wed May 06, 2015 7:14 pm

Do you want to practice in Colorado or California?

There's your answer. Also I'd apply to UC Hastings and Davis ..they have a similar average LSAT.




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