Midwest vs. West Coast

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Halltheway

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Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Halltheway » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:29 am

MIDWEST
DePaul - T3
Loyola (waitlisted) - T2

WEST COAST
La Verne - T4
Whittier - T4
Southwestern - (they are unranked, but apparently a T3)

I also got into a few other California schools such as McGeorge, but the ones I listed are in my current vicinity.

I am having a hard time deciding which school to attend. I would eventually like to practice BigLaw. I want to stay on the west coast but ultimately I want to practice in the Midwest/East Coast. Solely going off of rankings, would going to DePaul (which is #111) be any better off that Southwestern? Is there really that big of a difference between T3 & T4? If I were to end up transferring after 1L, would top 10% at DePaul be seen as much better than top 10% at Whittier? I'm trying to take these factors into consideration:
- where I go to school v. where I want to practice
- if T3 is really that much better than T4 that I need to move half way across the country for it
- is it that much easier to transfer after 1L from a T3 than a T4? (Btw, I'm not banking on transferring. I've heard 1L is highly unpredictable, but I also want to keep it in mind.)
- how comparable is southwestern to DePaul
- which is more likely to give me better job placement? West coast or Midwest.

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bmathers

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby bmathers » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:41 am

I just want to give you a fair warning that some users may be a bit blunt about the schools that you are planning to attend and their job prospects, or lack-there-of, after graduation vs. the debt incrued,

Are any of these schools offering you any money to attend? What is your GPA/LSAT? What is your geographic preference? These are EXTREMELY regional/local schools and do not give you any shot at biglaw, FWIW. The general advice on this forum for this situation would be to retake your LSAT, and I completely agree with that advice in this situation. How many times have you taken your LSAT?

The difference between a T3/T4 is negligible. They both will most likely not give you the outcome that you are anticipating. By the time you get to T3/T4, rankings mean absolutely nothing.
Last edited by bmathers on Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Clemenceau

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Clemenceau » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:42 am

These schools are terribly unlikely to get you a biglaw job. I'm guessing in the range of 1-5% of the students at each school gets biglaw. Don't gamble 3 years of your life and a lot of money with those odds.

cavalier1138

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:05 am

Halltheway wrote:I would eventually like to practice BigLaw.


There are a lot of problems to unpack in your OP, but this sentence seems to be the center of it all.

You do not "eventually" get to practice biglaw. Biglaw is something you get right out of school or not at all. And you will not get it from any of the schools you're looking at. So you have three good choices:

1. Retake and reapply. I'd do this no matter what (even if you follow path number 2), because even though you didn't bother listing your COA at these schools, I'm guessing they aren't free. And you should only go to one of them if they're free. But these schools won't get you biglaw, so your only path is to get into a school that will.

2. Change your career goals. Again, retake to get more money from these schools, regardless. But if you think you'd be happy practicing with a smaller local firm or in a DA's office, then schools like DePaul and Loyola can get you there.

3. Don't go to law school. This is actually an option. If your overwhelming desire to be a lawyer stems from wanting to get lots of money from your cushy biglaw job, I'd just save yourself a few years and a few hundred thousand dollars. Don't go. Find something you're actually passionate about and do that instead.

And just a few side notes:
-All of these are local schools with no national reach. You will end up practicing in the region you go to school at any of these, so that needs to be factored in.
-Overall school rankings don't matter once you get outside of the T20. At that point, school's placement power becomes more regional, so the only way rankings should be considered (if at all) is relative to other schools in that state.
-T4 is objectively terrible. T3 is subjectively awful, depending on your career goals.

Halltheway

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Halltheway » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:28 pm

To be honest, my intent is to transfer. And I know that there is absolutely no guarantee and I know that I could very easily not be able to transfer and end up graduating from whichever school I choose. And I'm fine with that. If I am not able to transfer, I know that I would only be able to work locally, which would be in LA or Chicago, and I'm ok with that. So what I really want to know is if T3 or T4 makes that much of a difference when transferring.

cavalier1138

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:41 pm

Halltheway wrote:To be honest, my intent is to transfer. And I know that there is absolutely no guarantee and I know that I could very easily not be able to transfer and end up graduating from whichever school I choose. And I'm fine with that. If I am not able to transfer, I know that I would only be able to work locally, which would be in LA or Chicago, and I'm ok with that. So what I really want to know is if T3 or T4 makes that much of a difference when transferring.


So many alarm bells going off on this one.

You aren't going to be able to transfer. I know, I know. Someone always is able to transfer, like that guy you read about on that blog. But since you cannot, under any circumstances, count on coming in above your school's median, let alone the top 5-10% of the class, you are not going to be able to transfer.

It is equally hard (and an equally stupid idea to go to law school with) to transfer from a T3 or a T4. But there are massive differences in job numbers from those schools.

This advice is probably going to sound really harsh, and you're probably going to want to reject it because you totally know that you're going to be a star. Read the employment reports for the schools you're looking at. You are not going to get the job you want from these schools, and not retaking the LSAT for a shot at a decent school will be the most monumentally stupid decision of your life if you make it.

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pancakes3

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:45 pm

if you're fine with graduating from where you chose, then your intent wouldn't be to transfer.

Halltheway

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Halltheway » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:12 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Halltheway wrote:To be honest, my intent is to transfer. And I know that there is absolutely no guarantee and I know that I could very easily not be able to transfer and end up graduating from whichever school I choose. And I'm fine with that. If I am not able to transfer, I know that I would only be able to work locally, which would be in LA or Chicago, and I'm ok with that. So what I really want to know is if T3 or T4 makes that much of a difference when transferring.


So many alarm bells going off on this one.

You aren't going to be able to transfer. I know, I know. Someone always is able to transfer, like that guy you read about on that blog. But since you cannot, under any circumstances, count on coming in above your school's median, let alone the top 5-10% of the class, you are not going to be able to transfer.

It is equally hard (and an equally stupid idea to go to law school with) to transfer from a T3 or a T4. But there are massive differences in job numbers from those schools.

This advice is probably going to sound really harsh, and you're probably going to want to reject it because you totally know that you're going to be a star. Read the employment reports for the schools you're looking at. You are not going to get the job you want from these schools, and not retaking the LSAT for a shot at a decent school will be the most monumentally stupid decision of your life if you make it.


No, I totally get it. I'm not going into this assuming I'm going to be #1. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. So if I do want to transfer, I need to pick the school out of the options that I have that will give me the best odds of doing so. That being said, if I am not too X% or if I don't get in or whatever the case may be, I know I'm going graduate from the school I chose.

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pancakes3

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:21 pm

what's your LSAT/GPA?

favabeansoup

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby favabeansoup » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:23 pm

Halltheway wrote:To be honest, my intent is to transfer. And I know that there is absolutely no guarantee and I know that I could very easily not be able to transfer and end up graduating from whichever school I choose. And I'm fine with that. So what I really want to know is if T3 or T4 makes that much of a difference when transferring.


What is your LSAT score and your GPA?

I'll be more blunt. Transfers don't get that much of a leg up in hiring just because they are now at a good school. You are basically treated a little better than you would be at your original school, but not even by much. Schools don't like to advertise that fact because they want you to transfer and pay full tuition to them for the last 2 years. I went to UT law, and I knew several transfer students. A few of them got biglaw jobs, but those were in the top 5-10% at schools were those numbers already made them biglaw eligible, transferring just allowed them to interview with more firms at our larger OCI. The majority of transfer students did not get biglaw, and were in that much more debt.

All of the schools you mentioned (with the small exception of Loyola) won't really get you a chance at biglaw at all unless you are probably one of the top handful of students. But that really doesn't matter.

What matters here is you need to reevaluate entirely how you are approaching the law school admission process. Unless you are at much better law schools, your chances at biglaw (whether transferring or not) are slim to none, period, end of story. It could happen, but it is very unlikely. You say you aren't banking on transferring, but I really don't think you actually mean that given your recent comment. It seems like that is your plan, and you need to readjust that thinking.


With that in mind, you need to make sure you are not taking out large amounts of debt for law schools where you have basically a coin flip's chance of actually becoming a practicing attorney.See http://law.depaul.edu/career-services/e ... _final.pdf. Note in particular the "Full Time Bar Passage Required" section, i.e. how many students are actually practicing attorneys after graduation, 142/257 = 55.25%. Note as well that the average salary coming out of Depaul is ~50-60k/year, if you can actually get a law firm job. It is a TERRIBLE DECISION to attend this law school with anything less than close to a full ride scholarship. Southwestern's "FT/Bar Passage Required number is 36.9%. Well less than half of those law students are actually practicing lawyers.

I'm not trying to be mean here, I've just seen a lot of attorneys graduate law school with enormous amounts of debt in dead end jobs. I've seen biglaw attorneys with enormous amounts of debt hating their life too. I went to UT and am in biglaw, but I kind of wish I took an extra year to do better and get a bigger scholarship, because debt sucks. I really, really, really encourage you to study hard and retake the LSAT. Postponing law school by a year or two in order to get into a much better school and at lower costs will pay off so much more down the road.

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Sprout

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Sprout » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:26 pm

Halltheway wrote:To be honest, my intent is to transfer. And I know that there is absolutely no guarantee and I know that I could very easily not be able to transfer and end up graduating from whichever school I choose. And I'm fine with that. If I am not able to transfer, I know that I would only be able to work locally, which would be in LA or Chicago, and I'm ok with that. So what I really want to know is if T3 or T4 makes that much of a difference when transferring.

It is a better idea times 9 million to improve your LSAT score and get to a better school than it is to plan on transferring. There is literally no way for you to know that you will be top of your class in LS, and frankly, it is really unlikely. Retake or reassess your career plans. You won't get biglaw at any of those schools. If you're down to practice regionally and still game to hustle, okay fine. But I still wouldn't go to any of those schools without a full scholly. Pls listen to the advice on here.

ETA: and no offense, but no, there is no difference between T3 and T4 because they are both bad choices. Sorry.
Last edited by Sprout on Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:28 pm

Halltheway wrote:No, I totally get it. I'm not going into this assuming I'm going to be #1. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. So if I do want to transfer, I need to pick the school out of the options that I have that will give me the best odds of doing so. That being said, if I am not too X% or if I don't get in or whatever the case may be, I know I'm going graduate from the school I chose.


No, you don't get it.

You are going in with the intent of transferring, and you are focusing on that instead of on job outcomes. Focus on what schools give you a shot at your desired job. If the answer is "None of the above" (hint: that's the answer), then you need to retake the LSAT until you can get into a school that does give you a shot.

Let's put it this way: what do you think your chances are of landing a biglaw job from any of the schools you listed?

Halltheway

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Halltheway » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:00 pm

I have already taken the LSAT 3 times so I cannot retake. I really appreciate everyone's advice, even if it's harsh. I really do want to make the best decision with the options I have.

If I want to do BigLaw, I have a 1% chance from the schools I listed. So the only chance I have would be to transfer. And if that doesn't work, I will have to stay at the school I'm at and focus on a different sector of law. I know that I want to study law so I don't see how I could do anything different.

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Clemenceau

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby Clemenceau » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:34 pm

Halltheway wrote:I have already taken the LSAT 3 times so I cannot retake. I really appreciate everyone's advice, even if it's harsh. I really do want to make the best decision with the options I have.

If I want to do BigLaw, I have a 1% chance from the schools I listed. So the only chance I have would be to transfer. And if that doesn't work, I will have to stay at the school I'm at and focus on a different sector of law. I know that I want to study law so I don't see how I could do anything different.


Do you have strong ties to any of the areas where these schools are located? A solid network of legal professionals there? While you have acknowledged that these schools have terrible biglaw placement, what about the fact that less than half of their graduates even become lawyers?

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twenty

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby twenty » Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:19 am

Your chances of getting biglaw from whatever original school you go to are actually about the same as your chances of getting biglaw from transferring. Georgetown sometimes takes TTT transfers that are at the top 5% or so of their class, but outside of that, most top schools just really don't take TTT transfers.

Sit out the two years. Don't go yet. Retake.

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Re: Midwest vs. West Coast

Postby joeyc328 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:07 am

Halltheway wrote:I know that I want to study law


Then read books about the law or get a masters or Ph.D. You only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. If you want to be a lawyer do not go to any of these law schools.



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