Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

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J.Hwang

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Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby J.Hwang » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:25 am

Hi, I think I somewhat made up my mind but wanted to double check from you guys.

I'm an international applicant from South Korea with no ties in the US. Although I don't have any geographical preference, I do want to live in big cities. Coming back to South Korea is my last option; I hope to stay in the US or move to other foreign countries.
I'm interested in public international law, human rights law, and civil rights law, and hoping to pursue my career in related fields. Working for international organizations would be ideal, and I think I could also have other options like political/legal organizations research centers, or academia.
Luckily my parents are going to pay for my law school, but I don't want to pour their money too much, although I'm not sure how much is too much.

165 / 3.8 (Superior)
I've taken LSAT three times already, so please, no retake.


The schools I am considering; 'Name (three-year scholarship / COA)'
1. Notre Dame ($90,000 / $105,051)
Pros.
-Excellent programs in international law and public law with many courses about human rights.
-Relatively reasonable COA
-Strong alumni
-Equipped with on-campus housing
-Close to Chicago

Cons.
-Conservative vibe - maybe because of its affiliation to Catholic? I'm born Catholic so I'm ok with crosses on the classrooms walls or professors starting with a short pray before classes (still they don't expect the students to join their pray, do they?), however I'm afraid if the school's deep devotion to god would affect what or how they teach students in any sense.
-Chicago for jobs? I heard ND graduates competes for Chicago market with U Chicago, U of Michigan and WASHU graduates all of which are more prestigious or higher-ranked schools than ND, therefore, it is harder to get a job in Chicago than it seems. If not Chicago, what are the major cities do ND graduates normally go to?


2. Boston University ($60,000, negotiating / $154,830)
Pros.
-Located in Boston; big city, big market, more opportunities
-Mostly competes for Boston jobs with BC, its peer school. -> better chance than ND for Chicago

Cons.
- Pricey. Unless they beat the ND offer, I don't think I can go here.
- No on-campus housing. They have school-affiliated apartments but I can't go there just to find a room before the school begins. :(


3. University of Minnesota ($120,000 / $81,831)
Pros.
-Super affordable.
-Good curriculum & programs

Cons.
- I saw many people in this forum that not only twin cities but Minnesota in general are very insular that you got to be ready to spend decades in the region to find a job, which is a tough call to make at this moment where I've never been to the place with little knowledge about the region. As the school is very regional, I'm afraid if I might go there, don't like it as much, but end up stuck there. :shock:


3. Others
- George Washington ($105,000 / $143,832)
- Emory ($120,000 / $101,250) I identify myself very liberal so I don't think this is the best pick for me, considering majority of its students come from the South and stays in the South.
- Boston College ($45,000 non negotiable / $168,300)


Thank you in advance. :)

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Pomeranian

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby Pomeranian » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:59 am

J.Hwang wrote:Hi, I think I somewhat made up my mind but wanted to double check from you guys.

I'm an international applicant from South Korea with no ties in the US. Although I don't have any geographical preference, I do want to live in big cities. Coming back to South Korea is my last option; I hope to stay in the US or move to other foreign countries.


The fact that you are not a U.S. citizen makes things tricky IMO.

You will probably need a big law firm to sponsor you to stay in the USA. Big law out of all the schools listed are unlikely. Also, none of these schools are particularly well known outside the US. Notre Dame will probably get you blank stares in Asia... even Boston U probably has more name recognition internationally.

J.Hwang

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby J.Hwang » Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:49 am

Pomeranian wrote:
J.Hwang wrote:Hi, I think I somewhat made up my mind but wanted to double check from you guys.

I'm an international applicant from South Korea with no ties in the US. Although I don't have any geographical preference, I do want to live in big cities. Coming back to South Korea is my last option; I hope to stay in the US or move to other foreign countries.


The fact that you are not a U.S. citizen makes things tricky IMO.

You will probably need a big law firm to sponsor you to stay in the USA. Big law out of all the schools listed are unlikely. Also, none of these schools are particularly well known outside the US. Notre Dame will probably get you blank stares in Asia... even Boston U probably has more name recognition internationally.


I can't say about other countries but at least in Korea, people hardly recognize U.S. law schools unless it is either a top-of-the top school or a school named after a popular region like University of 'Minnesota'.
The chances of getting into a big law among those schools except UMN are pretty much similar (around one-third) and that's why I came to think that, considering the cost, it would be best for me to go to ND.

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:48 am

J.Hwang wrote:I can't say about other countries but at least in Korea, people hardly recognize U.S. law schools unless it is either a top-of-the top school or a school named after a popular region like University of 'Minnesota'.
The chances of getting into a big law among those schools except UMN are pretty much similar (around one-third) and that's why I came to think that, considering the cost, it would be best for me to go to ND.


You're thinking about the wrong factors in your list, and you're being way too optimistic about your chances of staying in the country from these schools.

You want PI, but PI organizations generally don't have the resources to sponsor your visa. The only places that are somewhat reliable for visa sponsorship are big law firms, which are relatively inaccessible from these schools. And the trouble is that you don't want to work for a big law firm in the first place, which means that even if you do go to a school that could get you the jobs you want (literally none of them are accessible from the listed schools), you probably still wouldn't be able to stay in the country.

I suggest doing some serious research about post-grad job opportunities and visa sponsorship, because based on your list, you're treating this like a second run at undergrad. Culture of the school doesn't matter. Political leanings don't matter. What matters is job placement and your ability to get someone to sponsor you.

P.S. Is Minnesota really a "popular region" in South Korea?

J.Hwang

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby J.Hwang » Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:36 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
J.Hwang wrote:I can't say about other countries but at least in Korea, people hardly recognize U.S. law schools unless it is either a top-of-the top school or a school named after a popular region like University of 'Minnesota'.
The chances of getting into a big law among those schools except UMN are pretty much similar (around one-third) and that's why I came to think that, considering the cost, it would be best for me to go to ND.


You're thinking about the wrong factors in your list, and you're being way too optimistic about your chances of staying in the country from these schools.

You want PI, but PI organizations generally don't have the resources to sponsor your visa. The only places that are somewhat reliable for visa sponsorship are big law firms, which are relatively inaccessible from these schools. And the trouble is that you don't want to work for a big law firm in the first place, which means that even if you do go to a school that could get you the jobs you want (literally none of them are accessible from the listed schools), you probably still wouldn't be able to stay in the country.

I suggest doing some serious research about post-grad job opportunities and visa sponsorship, because based on your list, you're treating this like a second run at undergrad. Culture of the school doesn't matter. Political leanings don't matter. What matters is job placement and your ability to get someone to sponsor you.

P.S. Is Minnesota really a "popular region" in South Korea?


Thank you for your advice. I definitely should dig in more about visa sponsorship and think of aiming at big law if that's my best chance.
I thought if I'm good enough, even if it's not a big law, the employer would sponsor me but maybe I was too naive...

P.S. by popular I mean people would've heard of the name, know it's somewhere in the U.S. but not as much to point it on the map. :)

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Dr. Nefario

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:00 am

OP just curious, is this for the JD or LLM program at these schools?

J.Hwang

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby J.Hwang » Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:02 am

Dr. Nefario wrote:OP just curious, is this for the JD or LLM program at these schools?


All of them are for JD.

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby favabeansoup » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:01 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
You're thinking about the wrong factors in your list, and you're being way too optimistic about your chances of staying in the country from these schools.

You want PI, but PI organizations generally don't have the resources to sponsor your visa. . The only places that are somewhat reliable for visa sponsorship are big law firms, which are relatively inaccessible from these schools. And the trouble is that you don't want to work for a big law firm in the first place, which means that even if you do go to a school that could get you the jobs you want (literally none of them are accessible from the listed schools), you probably still wouldn't be able to stay in the country.

I suggest doing some serious research about post-grad job opportunities and visa sponsorship, because based on your list, you're treating this like a second run at undergrad. Culture of the school doesn't matter. Political leanings don't matter. What matters is job placement and your ability to get someone to sponsor you.

P.S. Is Minnesota really a "popular region" in South Korea?


Not to go against TLS wisdom here, but to call biglaw "inaccessible" from these schools isn't accurate. The schools on his list have biglaw numbers ranging from 40% (BC) to low thirties. That's still a lot of people getting biglaw jobs from those schools, hardly inaccessible (relatively or not). Most often we advise that it's not worth it when people are paying $150k+ for it because of the debt burden, but here his parents are paying for his tuition so that's not a concern.

Fully stand by your other points though. OP you can't just go to school here and get any job you want. Especially considering the possible changes to the H1B visa program under a Trump presidency.

J.Hwang

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby J.Hwang » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:41 am

favabeansoup wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
You're thinking about the wrong factors in your list, and you're being way too optimistic about your chances of staying in the country from these schools.

You want PI, but PI organizations generally don't have the resources to sponsor your visa. . The only places that are somewhat reliable for visa sponsorship are big law firms, which are relatively inaccessible from these schools. And the trouble is that you don't want to work for a big law firm in the first place, which means that even if you do go to a school that could get you the jobs you want (literally none of them are accessible from the listed schools), you probably still wouldn't be able to stay in the country.

I suggest doing some serious research about post-grad job opportunities and visa sponsorship, because based on your list, you're treating this like a second run at undergrad. Culture of the school doesn't matter. Political leanings don't matter. What matters is job placement and your ability to get someone to sponsor you.

P.S. Is Minnesota really a "popular region" in South Korea?


Not to go against TLS wisdom here, but to call biglaw "inaccessible" from these schools isn't accurate. The schools on his list have biglaw numbers ranging from 40% (BC) to low thirties. That's still a lot of people getting biglaw jobs from those schools, hardly inaccessible (relatively or not). Most often we advise that it's not worth it when people are paying $150k+ for it because of the debt burden, but here his parents are paying for his tuition so that's not a concern.

Fully stand by your other points though. OP you can't just go to school here and get any job you want. Especially considering the possible changes to the H1B visa program under a Trump presidency.


Thank you for sharing your opinion.
I agree with you except assuming that I'm 'he'. :wink: Hardly ever thought the president would be the game changer of my career plan. (cry)
True, BC has the highest number, 38.1% in 2015 according to LST Reports, while ND has 32.4%. I wonder if the extra 5.7% would worth $63,000.

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zot1

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby zot1 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:48 am

I don't think anyone actually think biglaw is out of the question from some of these schools. Rather, it seems incredibly risky to "bank" on biglaw given these schools when so many immigrations issues are at stake.

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UVA2B

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby UVA2B » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:49 am

favabeansoup wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
You're thinking about the wrong factors in your list, and you're being way too optimistic about your chances of staying in the country from these schools.

You want PI, but PI organizations generally don't have the resources to sponsor your visa. . The only places that are somewhat reliable for visa sponsorship are big law firms, which are relatively inaccessible from these schools. And the trouble is that you don't want to work for a big law firm in the first place, which means that even if you do go to a school that could get you the jobs you want (literally none of them are accessible from the listed schools), you probably still wouldn't be able to stay in the country.

I suggest doing some serious research about post-grad job opportunities and visa sponsorship, because based on your list, you're treating this like a second run at undergrad. Culture of the school doesn't matter. Political leanings don't matter. What matters is job placement and your ability to get someone to sponsor you.

P.S. Is Minnesota really a "popular region" in South Korea?


Not to go against TLS wisdom here, but to call biglaw "inaccessible" from these schools isn't accurate. The schools on his list have biglaw numbers ranging from 40% (BC) to low thirties. That's still a lot of people getting biglaw jobs from those schools, hardly inaccessible (relatively or not). Most often we advise that it's not worth it when people are paying $150k+ for it because of the debt burden, but here his parents are paying for his tuition so that's not a concern.

Fully stand by your other points though. OP you can't just go to school here and get any job you want. Especially considering the possible changes to the H1B visa program under a Trump presidency.


You're right, and that's mostly an argument in semantics. But it's also important to consider the fact that ~40% chance of getting a job that will sponsor your ultimate goal is not likely, so whether it's "relatively inaccessible" or "more likely than not inaccessible" should really weigh heavily on the decision.

This isn't quantifiable, but I'd also be a bit wary of being overlooked in that ~40% because it's just easier to offer the job to someone not requiring an H1B visa. It probably won't be the deciding factor if you're the ideal candidate for that firm, but almost no law student is so distinguishable to a Biglaw firm to make them the clear-cut choice for an SA. We're all pretty fungible assets, so when arbitrary decisions are being made by hiring committees, "Candidate A needs H1B sponsorship, Candidate B does not. Let's go with Candidate B" probably happens.

Not trying to pile on here, but I think it's more than fair to say OP will have to have a little extra gas in the tank to make that ~40% shot of achieving their goals of staying in the U.S. and working at a Biglaw firm.

cavalier1138

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Re: Am I right to choose ND over BU, Minnesota, GW, Emory, and BC?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:50 am

I should add that the main point is less about the lack of reliable biglaw jobs from these options, and more about the OP having very different goals. Biglaw is not a channel to civil rights work. The reality is that international students likely cannot practice that kind of law in the US, so the OP should be comfortable with ending up back in Korea for that kind of work.



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