BC or W&M

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helpmedecide222

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BC or W&M

Postby helpmedecide222 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:29 pm

I'm in at both with about 50% scholarships + 50k from family so I will incur little debt.

Waitlisted from GW.

I'm still waiting to hear from my #1 BU.

My ideal job would be in a larger firm in Boston or Chicago doing Health Law Litigation. I'm enamored with Constitutional Law but don't really know where it would lead me so a school that has a solid foundation in Con Law in their curriculum would be a bonus.

Also - general advice on picking a law school would be great aside from financials. What is most important to look at - specific programs or job placement? Clerkships/hiring firms? Locations?

Thanks for any advice and help!

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UVA2B

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby UVA2B » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:39 pm

First off, ignore curriculum. It largely doesn't change in comparing schools of this caliber (and even those ranked above it).

Second, if you want Boston, BC is a much better option than W&M. BU is equal to BC here, so pick cheaper option.

If you want Chicago, pick neither of these. They won't give you a realistically safe chance at Chicago.

BC/BU at minimal cost is a fairly safe investment for Boston Biglaw. It's by no means guaranteed, but it's the best thing you can do outside T14 for Boston.

I'd be curious to know GPA/LSAT, but in a vacuum, BC and it's not very close.

helpmedecide222

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby helpmedecide222 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:44 pm

UVA2B wrote:First off, ignore curriculum. It largely doesn't change in comparing schools of this caliber (and even those ranked above it).

Second, if you want Boston, BC is a much better option than W&M. BU is equal to BC here, so pick cheaper option.

If you want Chicago, pick neither of these. They won't give you a realistically safe chance at Chicago.

BC/BU at minimal cost is a fairly safe investment for Boston Biglaw. It's by no means guaranteed, but it's the best thing you can do outside T14 for Boston.

I'd be curious to know GPA/LSAT, but in a vacuum, BC and it's not very close.


GPA: 3.35 with a huge upward grade trend
LSAT: 164

I also applied to Illinois and Notre Dame for the Chicago area and Michigan/Georgetown as super reaches/fliers

Follow up question though, when you say curriculum doesn't matter what about program? For example, BU is ranked #2 in health law and BC doesn't appear to have a specialty in health law. How does that factor into career opportunities?

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UVA2B

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby UVA2B » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:52 pm

It doesn't. Specialties are a flame recruiting effort by the school. You will have the opportunity to study many different aspects of a legal education at any of these schools, and none of those studies will help you land a job.

You're talking about schools with strong regional influence, and regional influence is about it. If you want Boston, BC/BU if you refuse to retake for T14 (which would be close to sticker, but your chances of biglaw would be significantly improved. Not saying this is your best option, but just that it's the option that gives you tha best chance of practicing in Biglaw). If you want Chicago, you'll likely want to retake for NU, but otherwise ND/UIUC are equals in that market.

Ignore the classes offered though. Focus on the school's cost (more important in this tier) and their employment placement (still important, but it's limited to begin with, hence cost more important).

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby helpmedecide222 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:56 pm

UVA2B wrote:It doesn't. Specialties are a flame recruiting effort by the school. You will have the opportunity to study many different aspects of a legal education at any of these schools, and none of those studies will help you land a job.

You're talking about schools with strong regional influence, and regional influence is about it. If you want Boston, BC/BU if you refuse to retake for T14 (which would be close to sticker, but your chances of biglaw would be significantly improved. Not saying this is your best option, but just that it's the option that gives you tha best chance of practicing in Biglaw). If you want Chicago, you'll likely want to retake for NU, but otherwise ND/UIUC are equals in that market.

Ignore the classes offered though. Focus on the school's cost (more important in this tier) and their employment placement (still important, but it's limited to begin with, hence cost more important).


Thanks this helps a lot. I'm just surprised and intrigued by the reasoning as to why specializations wouldn't really matter.

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UVA2B

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby UVA2B » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:04 pm

helpmedecide222 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:It doesn't. Specialties are a flame recruiting effort by the school. You will have the opportunity to study many different aspects of a legal education at any of these schools, and none of those studies will help you land a job.

You're talking about schools with strong regional influence, and regional influence is about it. If you want Boston, BC/BU if you refuse to retake for T14 (which would be close to sticker, but your chances of biglaw would be significantly improved. Not saying this is your best option, but just that it's the option that gives you tha best chance of practicing in Biglaw). If you want Chicago, you'll likely want to retake for NU, but otherwise ND/UIUC are equals in that market.

Ignore the classes offered though. Focus on the school's cost (more important in this tier) and their employment placement (still important, but it's limited to begin with, hence cost more important).


Thanks this helps a lot. I'm just surprised and intrigued by the reasoning as to why specializations wouldn't really matter.


If I'm BC (for instance), and I want a recruiting tool, I might open up the piggy bank to the foremost legal scholars in healthcare law to bring them to BC. By bringing in those scholars, BC is now developing some of the foremost academia in healthcare law, which gives the school recognition and a selling point. But you know what those academics lack, almost universally? Connections to people who are the power players in healthcare law. This isn't meant to dismiss their academic achievements, but it remains that you can crush a professor's "Affordable Care Act and the Constitution" class, and their influence on you getting a firm job litigating high profile ACA cases is basically nil.

There are two separate legal economies you'll come to find: legal academia, and the practice of law. They both recognize one another, and barely deign to recognize the benefit of the other. It's two separate worlds.

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby helpmedecide222 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:09 pm

UVA2B wrote:
helpmedecide222 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:It doesn't. Specialties are a flame recruiting effort by the school. You will have the opportunity to study many different aspects of a legal education at any of these schools, and none of those studies will help you land a job.

You're talking about schools with strong regional influence, and regional influence is about it. If you want Boston, BC/BU if you refuse to retake for T14 (which would be close to sticker, but your chances of biglaw would be significantly improved. Not saying this is your best option, but just that it's the option that gives you tha best chance of practicing in Biglaw). If you want Chicago, you'll likely want to retake for NU, but otherwise ND/UIUC are equals in that market.

Ignore the classes offered though. Focus on the school's cost (more important in this tier) and their employment placement (still important, but it's limited to begin with, hence cost more important).


Thanks this helps a lot. I'm just surprised and intrigued by the reasoning as to why specializations wouldn't really matter.


If I'm BC (for instance), and I want a recruiting tool, I might open up the piggy bank to the foremost legal scholars in healthcare law to bring them to BC. By bringing in those scholars, BC is now developing some of the foremost academia in healthcare law, which gives the school recognition and a selling point. But you know what those academics lack, almost universally? Connections to people who are the power players in healthcare law. This isn't meant to dismiss their academic achievements, but it remains that you can crush a professor's "Affordable Care Act and the Constitution" class, and their influence on you getting a firm job litigating high profile ACA cases is basically nil.

There are two separate legal economies you'll come to find: legal academia, and the practice of law. They both recognize one another, and barely deign to recognize the benefit of the other. It's two separate worlds.


That clears it up a lot actually. But what about the lack of a specialized program. So for instance if I do decide that I want to pursue healthcare law, and BC does not have a healthcare law program, what impact would that have on my degree? Nothing or would I have to choose a specialization in something else?

I do believe that practicing will eventually be more important than the education itself, but my concern is getting that first job in a desired field.

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UVA2B

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby UVA2B » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:28 pm

To put it simply, specializations are meaningless in law school. You will never get a job based off the things you study while there. Not a single employer will say to you, "Wow, you took Bird Law with Professor Charlie?! You must be an expert on the subject!" This goes equally well with pretty much any other class/externship/academic experience. Law Review carries some weight, but even then it's largely a proxy for "my grades are shit hot."

It probably seems slightly opaque to you at this stage, but realize that most of the hiring you're concerned with will be based on your ability to differentiate yourself from your classmates in subjects like Contracts, Property, Constitutional Law, Torts, Criminal Law, and Civil Procedure. Not a whole lot of healthcare law in there.

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby Johann » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:24 am

UVA2B wrote:To put it simply, specializations are meaningless in law school. You will never get a job based off the things you study while there.


This is overstated. It's not going to get you a job for sure (I also don't know anything about the health law industry and how booming it is now), but of course the classes you take and how you do in them influence your interview story when applying for jobs. At T14, might not matter, but having a niche interest and compelling interview story can definitely help at that next level of schools.

there are groups in firms that hire based on the classes candidates took and how they did in them.

And to ops question yes BC over WM if Boston and Chicago are where you're trying to go, though your best chance lies in NYC.

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Re: BC or W&M

Postby mrtux45 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:43 am

Wait have you received scholarship info from BC? I thought it doesn't go out until late Feb.

I think it's important to wait on that final number before making a decision here. Regardless, if you want Boston, BC or BU is your move and like other posters say, pick which one costs less/you like more



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