Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

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ManImCool
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Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby ManImCool » Tue May 02, 2017 10:24 pm

Hi all, I'm kind of torn on the right school choice. Right now I'm contemplating Santa Clara, Cardozo, Northeastern. Santa Clara I got into outright, but with no $. Yesterday, I emailed them asking for $, so fingers crossed. Cardozo and Northeastern, I am on their waitlists. I am very certain I can get off those waitlists because I'm retaking the June LSAT, and know I can increase my only score (February) up from 151 at least 10 points. I completely messed up 1 logic game which screwed up my entire section, when that's normally my strongest section. Anyway in practices I've been scoring low-mid 160s and still improving, so increasing my lsat score significantly is supposedly going to be a lock for getting me off those waitlists.

I'm from the San Francisco bay area. I want to eventually practice law here, but I don't necessarily need to go to school here. My dream job is to work in-house at a large tech company. Preferably doing IP but I don't have a STEM BA. If it's too difficult to break into IP without STEM/patent bar, then I'm definitely open to any number of types of in-house needs, whether it be contracts, transactions, employment/labor, corporate, product liability, et al. Just really want to work in a tech company. I understand I'll probably need to work at a law firm first for several years before heading to a tech company. So with IP in mind, Santa Clara seems like a good fit since it's top in IP and regional. Cardozo was top 10 in IP but apparently fell out of the USN 10 this year. Northeastern is pretty much on this list because they also waitlisted me, and are similarly ranked to Cardozo.

Another factor is that I 100% intend to transfer up to a better school, grades permitting. I know it's easier said than done with the competitive curve among relatively intelligent students, but I do genuinely think I have an advantage: I have also attended an ABA approved paralegal school, so I've already taken Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Research & Writing, Property, and cruised to an easy 4.0 in those classes. I still have all my notes, I've always been good at taking tests, and feel pretty confident that I have a better chance than the average student to be at least in the top 20% if not the top. Assuming this does in fact happen, I'll want to try and transfer into the T14 or T1, depending on my rank. Maybe even Berkeley. One of my friends transferred from U of San Francisco to Boalt so anythings possible?

I do of course need to factor in the possibility that I'm very wrong and I don't rank high enough to transfer up, so I wonder about just graduating from SCU/Cardozo/Northeastern. For now, at least, I'm pretty confident I want to practice in the Silicon Valley. For what it's worth, I'm not ruling out the possibility that I fall in love with Boston or New York and decide I want to practice there.

I applied very late to this cycle with my Feb LSAT score. I also am 32 years old and do NOT want to wait another year to get a 185 LSAT for next year's cycle. If I was younger, sure, but I just can't wait anymore.

So basically, here's my questions, assuming I worst-case-scenario DON'T rank high enough to transfer:

1. If I'm trying to get a job in the SF bay area, what helps more, the regional T3 school that is strong in IP, or the other-side-of-the-country T2s?
2. If I am transferring but not as high as I like, what helps more, a regional T2 (50-60s like Hastings), or a geographically distant T1, like an ASU/Alabama/George Washington/Fordham type?
3. Transferring from Cardozo/Northeastern, vs transferring from Santa Clara: will the schools I can transfer into be significantly different, assuming I can rank similarly?
4. Does Northeastern's lack of grades/ranking make the plan of transferring just a bad idea in general, and this conversation should really just be between SCU and Cardozo?

Veil of Ignorance
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Tue May 02, 2017 10:36 pm

If you can get your score up, do so, then reapply next year. Santa Clara is a no-go without a big scholarship.

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UVA2B
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby UVA2B » Tue May 02, 2017 10:42 pm

1. In-house jobs almost entirely hire out of law firms with few exceptions. And this will be almost entirely Biglaw firms.
2. None of these schools place well in Biglaw firms.
3. If you score that well on the June LSAT, sit out and reapply for better options. Your goals, as discussed here, will not be reasonably attainable from any of these schools, particularly when focusing on the bay area.
4. Don't go to law school even dreaming of transferring. You don't yet understand why this is completely untenable.
5. If you really want to get into IP without a STEM degree, you're especially going to need pedigree for law school to get into IP Lit. that could eventually parlay into IP in-house. None of your current options provide any realistic shot of it. Realistically you need T13 options.
6. Specialty rankings are meaningless. Santa Clara being #1 in IP just means they have some professors who produce good scholarship in IP, not that they place their graduates well into IP firms

You have bad options, and you should not go to law school with your general goals as you've indicated here.

ManImCool
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby ManImCool » Tue May 02, 2017 11:07 pm

Not sure if this makes a difference to the general advice that I should wait another year (again as mentioned in OP I REALLY don't want to wait another year, I'm 32), but I have a very weak GPA. Long story short a terrible thing happened to me, had very intense PTSD and it went untreated for years and as a result I have several quarters worth of F grades. I do have a fantastic personal statement, as well as 5+ years of work in law firms separating me from those bad grades, but I still think waiting a year and getting into T14 outright is impossible. IMO, my only shot at T14 is transferring.

If my dream job of working in-house at a tech company is just not going to happen, and I do set my sights lower but still want to work in the bay area, what would be better for job prospects, the regional T3, or the distant T2?

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Ferrisjso
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby Ferrisjso » Tue May 02, 2017 11:35 pm

ManImCool wrote:Not sure if this makes a difference to the general advice that I should wait another year (again as mentioned in OP I REALLY don't want to wait another year, I'm 32), but I have a very weak GPA. Long story short a terrible thing happened to me, had very intense PTSD and it went untreated for years and as a result I have several quarters worth of F grades. I do have a fantastic personal statement, as well as 5+ years of work in law firms separating me from those bad grades, but I still think waiting a year and getting into T14 outright is impossible. IMO, my only shot at T14 is transferring.

If my dream job of working in-house at a tech company is just not going to happen, and I do set my sights lower but still want to work in the bay area, what would be better for job prospects, the regional T3, or the distant T2?


I see very little downside to waiting a year to apply(and I never give this advice). While I think a year off from UG could be damaging, at the end of the day you've taken a lot of years, what difference will one more make? Chances are pretty good your score will be higher and at this point you don't even need to wait a year to apply you'll be waiting 4 months. Just doing nothing and reapplying next year will probably yield great results. I have an LSAT score 5 points higher than yours and I have a half schooly to Cardozo. I'm not telling you this cause I'm T-14 or bust, I have alot of problems with alot of the retake trolls on here who circle jerk the T14(it's T13 now bro), I'm telling you this so you don't pay sticker to a TT or TTT and end up obliterating your financial future. If your score goes up a few points you could be going to any of the schools that WL'd you with money. Even if you have like a 170 or some crazy thing like that, the truth of the matter is this cycles basically over, there is no money to be had this semester you will either be going for sticker or something really close to it.

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UVA2B
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby UVA2B » Tue May 02, 2017 11:39 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:
ManImCool wrote:Not sure if this makes a difference to the general advice that I should wait another year (again as mentioned in OP I REALLY don't want to wait another year, I'm 32), but I have a very weak GPA. Long story short a terrible thing happened to me, had very intense PTSD and it went untreated for years and as a result I have several quarters worth of F grades. I do have a fantastic personal statement, as well as 5+ years of work in law firms separating me from those bad grades, but I still think waiting a year and getting into T14 outright is impossible. IMO, my only shot at T14 is transferring.

If my dream job of working in-house at a tech company is just not going to happen, and I do set my sights lower but still want to work in the bay area, what would be better for job prospects, the regional T3, or the distant T2?


I see very little downside to waiting a year to apply(and I never give this advice). While I think a year off from UG could be damaging, at the end of the day you've taken a lot of years, what difference will one more make? Chances are pretty good your score will be higher and at this point you don't even need to wait a year to apply you'll be waiting 4 months. Just doing nothing and reapplying next year will probably yield great results. I have an LSAT score 5 points higher than yours and I have a half schooly to Cardozo. I'm not telling you this cause I'm T-14 or bust, I have alot of problems with alot of the retake trolls on here who circle jerk the T14(it's T13 now bro), I'm telling you this so you don't pay sticker to a TT or TTT and end up obliterating your financial future. If your score goes up a few points you could be going to any of the schools that WL'd you with money. Even if you have like a 170 or some crazy thing like that, the truth of the matter is this cycles basically over, there is no money to be had this semester you will either be going for sticker or something really close to it.


Proudly signing off on Ferrisjso's take on this situation.

ManImCool
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby ManImCool » Wed May 03, 2017 12:26 am

Ugh, I'll have to think long and hard about this. To me, it's not just 4 months away until the new cycle... it's 16 months away until I actually would start school. I'm 32 years old. Starting school when I'm still 32 this fall psychologically feels a lot better than starting next year and turning 34 shortly after. I know the logical correct answer is to wait a year, but I'm reaching for hope that I'm not completely SOL and destined for homelessness if I go to one of these schools this year. Simple solution is to invent a time machine but that will be difficult without the STEM background.

goldenbear2020
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby goldenbear2020 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:14 am

Retake, get your low to mid 160s, and re-apply next year for a likely full ride to Santa Clara.

cavalier1138
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed May 03, 2017 6:21 am

ManImCool wrote:Ugh, I'll have to think long and hard about this. To me, it's not just 4 months away until the new cycle... it's 16 months away until I actually would start school. I'm 32 years old. Starting school when I'm still 32 this fall psychologically feels a lot better than starting next year and turning 34 shortly after. I know the logical correct answer is to wait a year, but I'm reaching for hope that I'm not completely SOL and destined for homelessness if I go to one of these schools this year. Simple solution is to invent a time machine but that will be difficult without the STEM background.


Just quiet down the part of your brain squawking about your absolute need to graduate school at an arbitrary age line. It's getting in the way of you making a rational decision. Your career will not be affected by you graduating a year later, but it will be affected by graduating from a school that can't get you what you want. As pointed out earlier, you need to aim for a T13 school, because you don't have a background for IP, and your goals simply aren't possible without a degree from a school that can get you over that hump.

And just in case Ferris is thinking of coming back, that's not elitism. That's reality.

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Gitaroo_Dude
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby Gitaroo_Dude » Wed May 03, 2017 3:25 pm

Hey man, just wanted to chime in with a personal anecdote because I identify with your situation.

I originally planned on starting law school in the fall of 2016. I was already 28, and was itching to start school and begin my career. Took both the Oct and Dec 2015 LSATs and bombed both. I was facing the choice of Santa Clara or sitting out another year for a final retake. The latter option meant I'd be almost 30 when I began law school, and all my friends + family pushed me to go with Santa Clara. I ultimately chose to wait another year and retook the LSAT. Ended up with a good score, which opened up an entirely new world of options for me. Best decision of my life, no hyperbole. The anxiety of spending another year on the sidelines will wash away when you reap the fruits of a retake.

If you know you can do 10+ points better on the LSAT, retake and apply early in the cycle. You will get into better CA schools with money.

Check out Santa Clara's LST report:

https://www.lstreports.com/schools/santaclara/

It's a bad school; you shouldn't even attend it on a full ride. Attending with a small scholarship would be a disaster though. No need to dive into that pit. Exercising some restraint now will pay off in the long run.

arose928
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby arose928 » Thu May 04, 2017 12:21 am

Couple different thoughts..

1. Any of these at sticker seem like abjectly terrible options. Assuming you could re-take, get a better score, and get some money to /somewhere/, do the math on what your monthly payment would be for 10-25 years paying off the full sticker price for Santa Clara, which is probably in the realm of $200k-$250k. If you have to pay sticker for a school like Santa Clara, you just shouldn't go. That's saddling yourself with an enormous pile of debt for a very slim chance of the outcome you want.
ETA: Jesus christ, LST says the non-discounted cost for Santa Clara is $278,000. RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

2. If you are deciding between schools like Santa Clara v. Cardozo I don't think the relatively higher ranking of Cardozo would matter at all to an employer in the Bay Area. If you're out here you can do internships, summer placements, etc with local employers, who knows the school and what it produces. So you might as well go somewhere local to where you want to be.

3. A year in the grand scheme of things is not a big deal, even if it feels like it is now, and especially when there's hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake. Take your time.

4. Assume that every student going to Santa Clara, Hastings, Golden Gate, USF, etc has the same transfer plan as you, and ultimately it is a crapshoot that is not up to you. By no means should you go to law school with the plan to transfer somewhere else; you should only go to a law school that you want a degree from.

ManImCool
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Re: Santa Clara vs Cardozo vs Northeastern

Postby ManImCool » Thu May 04, 2017 12:01 pm

Thank you all for the input. Starting to lean heavily towards the rational business decision and wait. Just need to muster the courage to reschedule my LSAT date from June to September. Then it'll be official.




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