Best option for my (modest) career goals

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magnolia18

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Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby magnolia18 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:08 pm

This cycle I've applied to UChicago, Penn, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, WUSTL, BU and Tulane. Stats are 167 and 3.96, non-URM (and yes, I would be willing to retake and try again next cycle if I'm not blown away by my offers; I just went ahead and applied now because I thought my first-time LSAT might be good enough to get me some nice offers at these schools). I've already gotten a full Dean's Scholarship from BU and essentially a full ride ($50,000 a year) from Tulane, plus I'm in at Vandy (scholarship still pending).

I think I'm unusual on this site in that my career goals are pretty humble. I expressly do not want big law (the high pressure, no-balance lifestyle is not for me), and instead see myself working at a small to mid-size local firm or a local government agency. I'm from New Orleans and would like to end up back here in the long run (though I wouldn't mind attending law school and working elsewhere for a few years). The legal market here is pretty small and hiring is mostly from local schools (LSU, Tulane, Loyola NO, etc). I did not apply to LSU because I refuse to live in Baton Rouge or to Loyola because I think it offers zero job prospects outside of NOLA and I can do better. I applied to the other schools on my list based on their reputations and because I think I would enjoy living in those cities for a while (did not apply anywhere like Duke, UVA etc. because I would be very bored in a college town).

Given my career goals and likely future income, I do not want law school to be super expensive, but my family is able to pay for it up to a certain point, so I shouldn't have to take on debt as long as I get at least $35k a year in scholarships and keep COL low (which I think is possible at WUSTL and Vandy). Obviously, I'd prefer to save that money, so the full rides from BU and Tulane are very tempting.

My question is basically whether any of the schools I've applied to (especially Vandy, WUSTL and BU, where I will probably get $$$) are renowned enough that their prestige would override the local connections that I would gain by going to Tulane and ultimately make it easier to get the kind of job I want. Also, does Tulane have a good enough reputation outside of NOLA that I would be able to get the kind of job I want in another city if I ever do end up moving? Even though I'm not aiming for the most competitive jobs in the legal profession, I know that getting a job as a lawyer is competitive, period, and I want my choice of school to optimize my chances. Thanks for your input!

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existentialcrisis

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goa

Postby existentialcrisis » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:52 pm

I would do Tulane for free. I don’t think a T14 would help much with your goals, which really require local networking.

Also frankly if you go to Penn, Chicago, etc. you’re relatively likely to get roped into biglaw.

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UVA2B

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby UVA2B » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:35 am

I almost wrote a detailed response to this question, but it's actually pretty simple: If you want to start your career in LA, and you'd be comfortable practicing there long-term, Tulane for free is a good option.

If you're worried about the portability of your degree, just keep in mind: in the legal profession, the skill set and experience is increasingly portable. The degree is decreasingly portable because the experience starts to outweigh the degree. The longer you work in a given market, the more you become familiar with that market, so you might be getting experience that is uniquely focused on that market. But if you're getting substantive litigation experience at a firm in LA, and you need to make a move to another market for whatever reason, the experience and your abilities will have an impact on whether you are employable in that market. You might not be lateraling to a NYC V# with that experience, but if you want to move from NOLA to Houston, and you have 5 years of lit (or corp, or whatever practice area) experience, you're getting hired because of that experience, not because you graduated from Tulane.

That said, if starting in LA is what you want, not applying to LSU for any reason is really ill-advised. LSU does very well in that state.

mcmand

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby mcmand » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:03 am

Seems like you're on the right track to me. Free law school in the city you want to be in sounds good.
Last edited by mcmand on Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AJordan

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby AJordan » Thu Dec 28, 2017 4:11 am

If lifestyle while in school is a serious consideration then I’m not sure WashU is a particularly compelling choice. I personally like St Louis (ccscstl ftw) but it is more similar to a place like Durham than it is NOLA or Chicago. Like other posters I think Tulane for free sounds pretty compelling for your goals.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:17 am

I'm actually even more pessimistic about post-degree mobility than others here because you're talking about Louisiana.

If you're going to practice at the state level in Louisiana, you're going to be practicing in the United States' only civil law jurisdiction. So while an attorney from Virginia might be able to move to California and easily pick up the little differences between common law jurisdictions, I think the same would not be true for moving to Louisiana. Same goes for moving from Louisiana to another state.

So as mentioned, going to a flagship Louisiana school for free sounds like your best choice if you want to practice at the state level (which is what small-to-midsize firms in Louisiana will be doing).

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whodareswins

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby whodareswins » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:29 am

Full ride at BU is not a bad outcome...

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Barack O'Drama

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby Barack O'Drama » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:33 am

Tulane for free sounds like a great option for what your goals are!
Last edited by Barack O'Drama on Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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floatie

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby floatie » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:40 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:If you're going to practice at the state level in Louisiana, you're going to be practicing in the United States' only civil law jurisdiction. So while an attorney from Virginia might be able to move to California and easily pick up the little differences between common law jurisdictions, I think the same would not be true for moving to Louisiana. Same goes for moving from Louisiana to another state.


OP - this is really, really important. Other schools will not prepare you for this (since they don't really have a reason to).

To more directly answer your other question, a degree from Tulane will not be very portable outside LA. A degree from BU will be more portable, but only in/around the Northeast, unless you work hard to re-establish ties to LA (for example, through your 1L/2L internships).

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greatspirit

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby greatspirit » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:46 pm

No love for Vanderbilt? It is literally RIGHT outside the t-14 (or is the TLS-prestige machine calling it the "t13" now lol), and I think a degree from that school would be a "portable" degree.

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wmbuff

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby wmbuff » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:10 pm

greatspirit wrote:No love for Vanderbilt? It is literally RIGHT outside the t-14 (or is the TLS-prestige machine calling it the "t13" now lol), and I think a degree from that school would be a "portable" degree.


The most recent job numbers for Vanderbilt are great, and if they become consistent, it would be worth looking at them in the same light as the lower performing t13 schools. Right now, they look like the best job placement among the group ranked 14-19 in USNWR. I'm not disrespecting that group, and it's a likely landing spot for me (Vandy would have to let me in off their waitlist, alas, but it could happen). Vanderbilt (or its peers), with the right scholarship, is still a darned good outcome.
Last edited by wmbuff on Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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greatspirit

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby greatspirit » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:36 pm

wmbuff wrote:
greatspirit wrote:No love for Vanderbilt? It is literally RIGHT outside the t-14 (or is the TLS-prestige machine calling it the "t13" now lol), and I think a degree from that school would be a "portable" degree.


The most recent job numbers for Vanderbilt are great, and if they become consistent, it would be worth looking at them in the same light as the lower performing t13 schools. Right now, they look like the best job placement among the group ranked 14-19 in USNWR. I'm not disrespecting that group, and it's a likely landing spot for me (Vandy would have to let me in off their waitlist, alas, but it could happen). Vanderbilt (or its peers), with the right scholarship, is still a darned good outcome.


3L i know at Vandy got a 1L SA at a V10, is returning to said V10 FT, and turned down a V3 SA offer for that V10. Told me she actually had fun in law school too - nothing like suffering during finals in a warm climate, having all that Nashville has to offer, and above all - paying back Nashville COA living expenses with NYC biglaw money?

Vandy is sounding like the dream. I hope the non-t13 hate continues on this board so it remains the gem that it seems.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:42 pm

I don’t think you actually understand what people say on this board. People speak well of Vandy.

That said, one person’s success doesn’t tell you anything. There’s at least one person at pretty much every school who gets a great outcome.

cavalier1138

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:37 pm

greatspirit wrote: I hope the non-t13 hate continues on this board so it remains the gem that it seems.


In order:

I would do Tulane for free.

If you want to start your career in LA, and you'd be comfortable practicing there long-term, Tulane for free is a good option.

Free law school in the city you want to be in sounds good.

Like other posters I think Tulane for free sounds pretty compelling for your goals.

So as mentioned, going to a flagship Louisiana school for free sounds like your best choice if you want to practice at the state level (which is what small-to-midsize firms in Louisiana will be doing).

Tulane for free sounds like a great option for what your goals are!


So yes, if you can't read, I can see why you would think that there's a lot of "non-t13 hate" on this board.

BigZuck

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Re: Best option for my (modest) career goals

Postby BigZuck » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:14 pm

Kinda weird to fetishize the V3 while simultaneously hating on imaginary t13 prestige whore haters but you do you my bro



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