American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

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CA19

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American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby CA19 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:54 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm currently choosing between Howard (9k scholarship) and American (has not sent me scholarship info yet, but I'm guessing I will receive aid). I have to choose tomorrow! I definitely want to be in DC because I want access to externships on the hill, but I'm anxious about how much AU will offer, and I'm not sure which school has a better reputation in DC (I've read mixed reviews). What are your views and experiences with these schools?

Thanks!

cavalier1138

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:22 pm

What are your career goals? What are your current stats? What is your total cost of attendance at each school, and how will you be financing it?

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LSATWiz.com

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby LSATWiz.com » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:47 pm

Neither has a great reputation, and D.C. is the most competitive market in the country. $27k is small enough to not be a huge determinant for such a large investment. Regardless of your goals, it's impossible to say either is a good decision at that cost.

beinghuman

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby beinghuman » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:32 pm

I second the above. Neither is a good school in terms of outcomes. I'd urge you to retake the LSAT and try gain next cycle.

https://www.lstreports.com/compare/howard/american/

LawTweet

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby LawTweet » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:25 pm

Howard. It's much cheaper and has significantly better outcomes.

AdieuCali

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby AdieuCali » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:33 pm

The correct answer is retake and reapply.

But given the choice between these two schools, Howard by a mile. It's significantly less expensive with substantially better outcomes (relatively speaking) than AU.

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby LSATWiz.com » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:46 pm

AdieuCali wrote:The correct answer is retake and reapply.

But given the choice between these two schools, Howard by a mile. It's significantly less expensive with substantially better outcomes (relatively speaking) than AU.

I don't know how much you can generalize from Howard's employment outcomes given that a much larger percentage of its class is African American. If OP is not African American, that data point is probably irrelevant. It's likely just as objectively poor of a choice.

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby AdieuCali » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:16 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:
AdieuCali wrote:The correct answer is retake and reapply.

But given the choice between these two schools, Howard by a mile. It's significantly less expensive with substantially better outcomes (relatively speaking) than AU.

I don't know how much you can generalize from Howard's employment outcomes given that a much larger percentage of its class is African American. If OP is not African American, that data point is probably irrelevant. It's likely just as objectively poor of a choice.


Great point! If OP is not AA, then Howard is probably as bad/worse than AU.

CA19

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby CA19 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:44 pm

Hi everyone! So, I'm not AA, I'm hispanic. Primary career goal is to work in Capitol Hill or go into government/politics in some form. Re-taking is not an option I'm considering, because I've taken the exam 3 times and have spent an immense amount of money on the applications process. Furthermore, I just met several alumni from AU that are all working for the government (chamber of commerce, secretary of state's office, etc.) and had no issues coming out of a non-T20 school. I'm not sure why these forums are so obsessed with discouraging people from attending any school that isn't in that category, but I've certainly met successful lawyers that didn't attend a "top law school." I think networking is a really powerful tool and that's why I wanted to be in DC.

My question was more about what the reputation in DC was between American and Howard, which some of you answered, thank you.

In case you're curious, I put down my deposit at AU. :D

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby QContinuum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:59 pm

Too late for OP, obviously, but for other 0Ls who may come across this thread, a few notes:
CA19 wrote:Re-taking is not an option I'm considering, because I've taken the exam 3 times and have spent an immense amount of money on the applications process.

The potential tuition savings and increase in career prospects from retaking far, far outweigh the costs of retaking.

CA19 wrote:Furthermore, I just met several alumni from AU that are all working for the government (chamber of commerce, secretary of state's office, etc.) and had no issues coming out of a non-T20 school.

No one ever said it was impossible to succeed out of American. We just said it was very improbable. It's not surprising you'd be able to find a few successful AU alumni. You can find at least a few successful alumni from just about every school out there, even Cooley.

CA19 wrote:I'm not sure why these forums are so obsessed with discouraging people from attending any school that isn't in that category, but I've certainly met successful lawyers that didn't attend a "top law school."

We aren't. We frequently advise 0Ls to attend non-T20 law schools when they can do so at a reasonable cost and their goals - SmallLaw, state/local government, state/local PI - are commensurate with those schools' placement abilities. In one case, many TLSers even advised a poster to attend a local law school in Louisiana over Harvard.

Thing is, though, the vast majority of 0Ls who make their way here articulate BigLaw/BigFed/prestigious PI goals as their raison d'etre for attending law school. With such goals, it'd be irresponsible and frankly immoral for us to advise them to attend a non-T20 school. So, it's not us, it's them.

CA19 wrote:I think networking is a really powerful tool and that's why I wanted to be in DC.

So does every other 0L. Just like every 0L thinks they're going to be in the top 10/25/33% or "at least" the top half - yet inevitably, 90% of 0Ls aren't in the top 10%, three-quarters don't make it to the top quarter, etc.

OP, I wish you all the best and may you be the rare 0L who "beats the curve."

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby LSATWiz.com » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:51 pm

I still think that the Howard data point may be irrelevant. My hunch, which is based on nothing but a hunch is that Howard's legal employment #'s are higher because some firms send recruit from there for the specific purpose of hiring African-American law students insofar as the top quarter of that class could probably practice law and African-Americans are severely underrepresented at most law schools. Howard gives them a huge pool to recruit from.

OP: The flaw with your logic is that you found several people that came out of American who succeeded, and are concluding that therefore it is likely that American won't hold you back but these aren't indicative of the average American student. You met the best of the best. Let me clue you in on a secret. They would have also all succeeded coming from a t-14, and may be in better situations. You know nothing of the rest of their class and are concluding you'll be like them likely because you got along with them and saw portions of yourself in them.

After all, they are also human. They may like sports or fashion or even get a little self-conscious at a cocktail party. The thing is their former peers in doc review also have these qualities. Statistically, the latter is more common for any random person and there are two ways of looking at this:

(1) is to approach yourself as a statistic. (2) is to assume you will have the best outcome. I personally appreciate self-confidence. Self-confident people are more fun and make life more interesting. The thing is that (1) and (2) are not mutually exclusive. You can improve your odds as a statistic while remaining self-confident. In fact, accepting a 10% chance at what you want reeks of a lack of self-confidence. You don't think you can do it so are putting aside logic to make a major life decision. Think about that before attending. A $500 seat deposit? A $1,000 on applications? $2,000 on LSAT prep? That's nothing. Between the 3, we're speaking about a month's rent in a luxury D.C. apartment. We're speaking about your life here. You're speaking about less than a week's pay if you succeed.

On the networking front, some networking is necessary for everyone but to be able to network your way into a job you wouldn't have otherwise had probably requires you to be a top 5-10% networker. Everyone thinks they're an amazing networker, because most people could point to a situation where they used a social interaction to change their life in some positive way. We don't think about the opportunities we messed up or didn't get because they didn't impact our lives as greatly or we may not even be aware an opportunity was there.

Like improving your LSAT score to reapply, networking also requires hustle, albeit a different type of hustle that is less fun for many people. I just think it's a stretch. How much time will you really have to network as a 1L and who will you be networking with? Most networking events are attended by people who are specifically there to recruit law students, and while you can certainly get some preferential boost if someone likes you, they are going to favor those with the best academic profiles. Will you make genuinely personal connections? Why should they bend over backwards to help you if you're not top 10%? They know you're only networking to get something for your personal benefit. What's in it for them? Have you previously used your networking skills to outdo your experience and degree? If not, why will this time be different?

No one is saying you can't succeed but you are trading in a 65% chance for success for a 15% chance of success by attending these schools and results tend to be zero-sum. What's 40% of a career worth to you?

cavalier1138

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:20 pm

Well, that was equal parts predictable and depressing...

QContinuum

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Re: American vs. Howard?? (I have to choose tomorrow!!)

Postby QContinuum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:37 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:

Mucho props to LSATWiz.com for one of the most thorough, thoughtful posts I've seen in a while on this topic. I suggest all of us bookmark this post and quote it verbatim the next time a similar thread pops up.



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