UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

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

Which school should I attend?

WashU STL
11
79%
UCLA
1
7%
BU
0
No votes
BU, but only if they offer more money
0
No votes
None of these/retake
2
14%
 
Total votes: 14

njdevils327

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UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:44 am

Hey all,

My goals are really not clearly defined after law school, since i have interest in many different areas of law and really want to decide after taking classes in law school what route would work best for me (EDITED FOR MORE CLARITY)I also know that while if the right opportunity came along to work in Big Law I would consider it, it would not be near my top list of priorities in picking a school. I also think having a clerkship would be a really unique experience and opportunity. As far as places to live, I've lived in New Jersey my whole life, so anywhere that's not here will be new and exciting for me, so I would factor location out of the equation.(thus California is not the biggest draw which removes one of the main reasons to go to UCLA). I also know that you end up most often practicing near where you went to school, though so factor that in as you must.

Anyway the 3 schools I've narrowed it down to are above but here are their scholarship offers:

Washington University in St. Louis - 50k/year for a total of 150k (on tuition of ~168k)
UCLA - 70k total (tuition ~148k out of state)
Boston University 90k currently but potentially more coming (tuition of 155k)

I had looked into Boston University's 3.5 year JD/MPH program, but I decided I would probably want to just get my JD right now and then if I decide I still want to get my Masters in Public Health after I get my JD, go back individually and get that from somewhere else.

I'm leaning towards Washington University in St. Louis, but I just would like to get some people's perspectives on whether I'm making the right decision. Also, if you say BU depending on money, how much would the money have to go up before you say that school.
Last edited by njdevils327 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:48 am

If you want to end up in DC, none of these schools give you a great foot in the door there, unless you do well enough to get government honors (which you can't count on). But that's also kind of a question mark for me, because you haven't given any clear career goals beyond some very vague fields of law.

Do you want to work in the public or private sector? Is DC your only goal market?

But the idea of going to law school somewhere else just to get out of town is a bad one. You can't choose your law school location on a whim, especially when you're not looking at schools with a national reach.

acr

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby acr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:49 am

Given your situation I think WUSTL or Retake are both good options.

Having said that, I think you need to more clearly define your career goals. I'm not sure what you mean by "Constitutional" or "Government" law, and if you mean what I think you do, then neither of those are realistic outcomes from these schools.

Since you're so unclear with your ultimate goals, I would choose WUSTL to minimize debt. That will leave you with options.

Don't pay that much for UCLA unless you need to be in Cali; don't pay that much for BU because WUSTL's a better school.

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Dr. Nefario

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby Dr. Nefario » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:49 am

Wash U is absolutely the right choice here. 150K scholly is fantastic, take it and run, though your goals should probably involve NYC biglaw, not DC.

njdevils327

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:54 am

Guys I gave vague goals because I wanted to deliberately keep it vague. I have fields that interest me, but I'm not going to post an exact course of action here

Obviously, NYC big law work would get me a foot in the door at a lot of places.

And, no, DC is by no means my only goal market. It was just one that I brought up because I could forsee myself wanting to work there someday.
Last edited by njdevils327 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

njdevils327

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:55 am

Dr. Nefario wrote:Wash U is absolutely the right choice here. 150K scholly is fantastic, take it and run, though your goals should probably involve NYC biglaw, not DC.


Thanks for this. This is where I'm at as well with it.

njdevils327

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:56 am

acr wrote:Given your situation I think WUSTL or Retake are both good options.

Having said that, I think you need to more clearly define your career goals. I'm not sure what you mean by "Constitutional" or "Government" law, and if you mean what I think you do, then neither of those are realistic outcomes from these schools.

Since you're so unclear with your ultimate goals, I would choose WUSTL to minimize debt. That will leave you with options.

Don't pay that much for UCLA unless you need to be in Cali; don't pay that much for BU because WUSTL's a better school.


It's unfortunate too because I was practice testing at 173-174 but in both my tries I never quite came close to my practice test scores. I just don't know if I can handle retaking/waiting a year. I'm already very tired of this process.

As far as clearly defining my career goals, I really would rather not do that right now. I'm the kind of person who prefers to do as well as I possibly can and allow the opportunities to come to me from there, instead of setting a very specific path in my head and being disappointed when I don't reach that career goal. There are a lot of differing schools of thought in the philosophy of achievement and I think the two of us are on opposite ends of that spectrum
Last edited by njdevils327 on Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:58 am

njdevils327 wrote:Guys I gave vague goals because I wanted to deliberately keep it vague. Because all of you guys have your careers set from the moment you step on a law school campus and I don't necessarily have that. I have fields that interest me, but I'm not going to post in this post "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M GOING TO DO THE MOMENT I GET OUT OF LAW SCHOOL".

Obviously, NYC big law work would get me a foot in the door at a lot of places.

And, no, DC is by no means my only goal market. It was just one that I brought up because I could forsee myself wanting to work there someday.


No one is asking you to nail down your specific career path, but "constitutional law" isn't an area of practice. Even providing a few actual, legal fields that interest you would be helpful, as would providing more information about where you want to practice. If DC isn't your only goal market, where else would you like to end up? These schools cover larger regions than schools lower down in the rankings, but you're still going to be confined to some particular markets without previous ties.

acr

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby acr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:58 am

njdevils327 wrote:Guys I gave vague goals because I wanted to deliberately keep it vague. Because all of you guys have your careers set from the moment you step on a law school campus and I don't necessarily have that. I have fields that interest me, but I'm not going to post in this post "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M GOING TO DO THE MOMENT I GET OUT OF LAW SCHOOL".

Obviously, NYC big law work would get me a foot in the door at a lot of places.

And, no, DC is by no means my only goal market. It was just one that I brought up because I could forsee myself wanting to work there someday.


lol no one is saying to have a precise, exact plan for the "moment you get out of law school." but you should probably have more of a concrete idea or sense of direction before investing three years and tens of thousands of dollars into an education. the fact that you suggested "Constitutional Law" indicates to me that you have little understanding of what the practice of law actually entails. we can't advise you on what's truly your best option without considering your goals.

Which is why I said you should minimize debt by going to WUSTL or retake

njdevils327

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:10 pm

I edited down my original post for clarity. I fear I may have tried to overexplain and that only made things worse.

njdevils327

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:14 pm

(I'm also considering waiting to see if I get off the waitlist at UPenn or Virginia)

cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:19 pm

njdevils327 wrote:I edited down my original post for clarity. I fear I may have tried to overexplain and that only made things worse.


"Overexplaining" wasn't the issue. And now you've created even more ambiguities.

You cannot just say that location is unimportant. This isn't about spending three years of your life on vacation in a cool place. If you've never lived in the Midwest, you have no idea whether you want to practice there for the foreseeable future. Same for California. Location matters for these schools, because you're not going to have the geographical flexibility that you would out of a T13.

And let's try and make the career question a little easier: why do you want to go to law school? Do you want to do private practice? Do you want to work in-house for a company? Do you want to work in public interest? Do you want to work for the government? Your goals can always change while you're in school, but it's impossible to give you anything resembling good advice if you can't provide some basic idea of what you want to do.

njdevils327

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby njdevils327 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:25 pm

Mods, just lock this thread. I've got my answer. Was just looking to see if there was an easy choice here or something I was missing in the difference between the three schools. Didn't realize I would spend my time getting lectured about why I want to go to law school and why I'm an idiot for wanting to live somewhere else than where I am and that its "not a vacation".

cavalier1138

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:31 pm

njdevils327 wrote:Mods, just lock this thread. I've got my answer. Was just looking to see if there was an easy choice here or something I was missing in the difference between the three schools. Didn't realize I would spend my time getting lectured about why I want to go to law school and why I'm an idiot for wanting to live somewhere else than where I am and that its "not a vacation".


JFC.

No one is telling you that you're an idiot. You're just making it impossible for anyone to give you any advice, because you keep ignoring the important questions that others are asking.

Incidentally, people have already pointed out that the major difference between these schools is that they don't place you in the same geographic regions and may not offer you the chance to work in some areas of government or biglaw that you want. Without you providing any information about what you want to do, there's no way to objectively tell you anything you don't already know: WashU is cheaper.

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Re: UCLA vs. WashU STL vs. BU

Postby Rigo » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:04 pm

WUSTL is the only acceptable price point, so either WUSTL or retake/reapply.



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