Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

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donnamartin
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Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby donnamartin » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:09 am

OK, so after a pretty eventful cycle, I narrowed my list down to UVa (sticker), Vandy (~50K), WashU (~90k), and IUB (full ride). My stats are 3.78 and 164, 170 if you're curious.

I was pretty set on UVa before this weekend messed everything up. Three weeks ago I received an email from a 2L from Wash U who went to the same college as me. He was very nice and helpful and he insisted that I'd come to the Admitted Student Day this Friday. Then Wash U offered to pay for the flight and the hotel so I said let's give it a shot. I flew in on Thursday thinking I was just going to see what people in St. Louis looked like and what language they spoke, and I got back in love. The campus, and the law school buildings specifically, were just gorgeous. Everyone (and that includes faculty, current students, and other prospective students) I spoke to was super intelligent and friendly. I was really impressed by the rock star career services dean, admissions office staff, and overall I just had great vibes.

After the ASD events ended, we stuck around for the law school's weekly happy hour. After several glasses of free booze and several drunk 1L's hitting on me, I was in love. Sure, UVa's facilities are not bad and it's undoubtedly a more portable degree. I just... have a hard time with the thought of taking over 150k in debt over the next 3 years (I already have more than 40k unpaid undergrad debt). The thought of going to a school I really liked in a city with a ridiculously cheap COL (I am from Southern Cali) and a nice scholly is really tempting.

What do you all think? Am I crazy for turning UVa down for Wash U? I ultimately want to do IP (not necessarily BigLaw) and as for the geographic location-- any big city that is not too cold would be an option. No particular region in mind.
Last edited by donnamartin on Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PDaddy
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Re: I fell in love with the wrong school

Postby PDaddy » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:15 am

$90K at WUSTL? Go to WUSTL! You need to be happy and comfortable in order to perform at your best. UVA does have the more portable degree, but that may have little meaning in your case. It depends on your goals. The debt factor makes it a no brainer. Besides, if you are happy at WUSTL, you may be able to perform really well as a 1L and transfer if you decide you want to go somewhere else...that includes UVA. You may be able to have the best of both worlds and cut $30K in debt at the same time.

If you don't decide to transfer, you know you're at a school you love. But never go to a school planning to transfer, b/c you just never know. You have to be able to envision yourself there for three years.

FWIW, if I were you, the $50K at Vandy would also entice me.
Last edited by PDaddy on Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Herb Watchfell
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Re: I fell in love with the wrong school

Postby Herb Watchfell » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:19 am

I would visit UVA once more before making a decision.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: I fell in love with the wrong school

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:32 am

Another poster directed me to this thread and instructed me to say "ZOMG you're not going to get a jorb![sic]".
So, ZOMG you're not going to get a jorb!

09042014
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Re: I fell in love with the wrong school

Postby 09042014 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:55 am

Patent law, or IP in general?

Because you have a good tech background taking the money wouldn't be the worst thing.

Though I'd leverage IUB's full ride and the UVA offer to see if WUSTL won't make you a full ride offer as well.

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donnamartin
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Re: I fell in love with the wrong school

Postby donnamartin » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:59 am

Desert Fox wrote:Patent law, or IP in general?

Because you have a good tech background taking the money wouldn't be the worst thing.

Though I'd leverage IUB's full ride and the UVA offer to see if WUSTL won't make you a full ride offer as well.

IP in general, for now.
I was told by people on ASD that WashU didn't consider IUB a peer law school and so they wouldn't match an IUB scholly. But I think sending the UVa acceptance letter might be helpful....

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gwuorbust
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby gwuorbust » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:09 am

I'd choose UVA, but then I'd choose anything in the t-14 over any non t1-14 school full ride (except for GWU[terrible bias], UT, Vandy or UCLA... so quite a few really).

regardless, you shld do whatever you want to do ultimately, not what some rando ppl on the internet suggest.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:14 am

donnamartin wrote:After the ASD events ended, we stuck around for the law school's weekly happy hour. After several glasses of free booze and several drunk 1L's hitting on me, I was in love.


You know what they say, never drink and decide.

gwuorbust wrote:regardless, you shld do whatever you want to do ultimately, not what some rando ppl on the internet suggest.


This too
Last edited by quickquestionthanks on Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: I fell in love with the wrong school

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:16 am

donnamartin wrote:But I think sending the UVa acceptance letter might be helpful....

That's pretty bad form

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pearl_earrings
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby pearl_earrings » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:16 pm

.
Last edited by pearl_earrings on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

buckley
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby buckley » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:28 pm

You should be comfortable and happy during law school. UVA is great as well, maybe you should go visit UVA again, and then decide.

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summerstar
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby summerstar » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:48 pm

follow your heart.

sibley
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby sibley » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:50 pm

they speak English in St. Louis.

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kurla88
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby kurla88 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:54 pm

I would choose UVA, but with 90k, WUStL is not an irrational decision. Keep in mind that vibes/impressions from a single day are not necessarily the most indicative of your three-year experience, though. Did you find that you disliked anything about UVA?

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby OperaSoprano » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:14 pm

OP, I had a 164. Unlike you, I was stupid and didn't retake. I'm sitting in Charlottesville right now. I have to go back home, but you have a chance to come down here and stay in this glorious place. I would do it.

Bottom line... It makes sense to visit again before you make up your mind.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:16 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:OP, I had a 164. Unlike you, I was stupid and didn't retake. I'm sitting in Charlottesville right now. I have to go back home, but you have a chance to come down here and stay in this glorious place. I would do it.

Bottom line... It makes sense to visit again before you make up your mind.

See, even the Princess of Fordham thinks you should come here!

People choose UVA for a reason. Well, actually, several reasons. High QOL, low COA, and a T14 degree all in the same location. Is it worth more? Yes. I turned down a full ride at WUSTL to come here. I don't regret it.

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dvd
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby dvd » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:24 pm

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Last edited by dvd on Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cleareyes
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby Cleareyes » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:43 pm

I would just point out that two of the major pieces that made WUSTL appealing to you were the career services dean and the admissions staff. UVA places significantly better than WUSTL, so having a "rock star career services dean" won't make up that difference unless you're looking for guidance as to what job you should take, in which case you still have to GET it from WUSTL, which will be a little bit more difficult. Plus UVA career services might be equally appealing.

You will also likely not deal with the admissions staff of the school you choose ever again after being admitted, unless you like volunteer to give campus tours or whatever. Admissions staff are paid to make a school look good, but it ain't like you go on picnics with the dean of admissions after you arrive on campus as a 1L. Not that there won't be picnics, but they will be arranged by the dean of students or your section leader or someone else.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you with a vision of 3 picnic free years. That's my fault.

Anyway, you need to weigh out the promotional factors (This year they flew you out to the ASW. Next year they will fly someone else out on your dime.) and focus on the stuff that will be consistent. If you liked the students, that's a big plus. 2/3ds of them will be there next year, along with a decent portion of your fellow admits. If you like the facilities, they will be the same next year. Focus on those factors and the scholarship. If the school is still more attractive than UVA then no, you aren't crazy to make this decision. The two schools are not worlds apart in terms of the opportunities they offer.

The one other thing I'd caution you on is you say that you're a SoCal girl and you like the idea of living in a cheap city as a student. Are you willing to start your career in St. Louis? Are you going to be okay with the colder winters?

It isn't crazy to take the money. Smart people spend significant time coming up with a figure large enough to make it not crazy, otherwise offering scholarships would be pointless (assuming law students wouldn't make crazy decisions, which is a poor assumption.) I do think, however, that you should be confident WUSTL is a better choice for you. Personally I think that portability and job placement (coupled with LRAP) make for pretty powerful tiebreakers, because they mean that you have more room for error if your future needs and desires turn out to be different from what you expect.

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dvd
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby dvd » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:49 pm

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Last edited by dvd on Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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scribelaw
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby scribelaw » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:57 pm

I wouldn't turn down UVA for anything less than a full ride from WUSTL.

If you're really set on WUSTL, I would just be up front and them you're prepared to withdraw from UVA and turn down a full ride at IUB if they'll increase their offer to a full tuition scholarship.

Unadilla Kayaker
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby Unadilla Kayaker » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:48 pm

scribelaw wrote:I wouldn't turn down UVA for anything less than a full ride from WUSTL.

If you're really set on WUSTL, I would just be up front and them you're prepared to withdraw from UVA and turn down a full ride at IUB if they'll increase their offer to a full tuition scholarship.


I agree that there is no harm and this and would agree that a visit to UVA is warranted (even if it costs $1000). Its a pittance compared to the debt you'd be taking on.

I also believe that this has to be a personal decision, and I think going to a school you love is important. Perhaps you'd fall in love with UVA the second time as well. Talk to their Career Services dean and find their rock stars and compare.

Whichever way you decide, you won't go wrong. You have a difficult (but wonderful) choice to make.

junelsat
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby junelsat » Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:56 pm

The logic behind these decisions is simple - if you intend to chase money after you graduate, you want to go to the top-14 school, because you will be able to get a high-paying job and pay off the debt without worry. If you don't intend to chase money, then take the scholarship, because then you won't be pigeonholed working long hours in the private sector(although you might not even be able to get this job from a lesser school) and will have more financial freedom

sibley
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby sibley » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:02 pm

junelsat wrote:The logic behind these decisions is simple - if you intend to chase money after you graduate, you want to go to the top-14 school, because you will be able to get a high-paying job and pay off the debt without worry. If you don't intend to chase money, then take the scholarship, because then you won't be pigeonholed working long hours in the private sector(although you might not even be able to get this job from a lesser school) and will have more financial freedom


I read on here that PI jobs can be really hard to come by without a strong degree, that they're even more competitive than private sector since they don't have the funding to add on as they choose.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:20 pm

Missed this opportunity before...

DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES!
DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES!
DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES!

junelsat
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Re: Did I fall in love with the wrong school?

Postby junelsat » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:30 pm

sibley wrote:
junelsat wrote:The logic behind these decisions is simple - if you intend to chase money after you graduate, you want to go to the top-14 school, because you will be able to get a high-paying job and pay off the debt without worry. If you don't intend to chase money, then take the scholarship, because then you won't be pigeonholed working long hours in the private sector(although you might not even be able to get this job from a lesser school) and will have more financial freedom


I read on here that PI jobs can be really hard to come by without a strong degree, that they're even more competitive than private sector since they don't have the funding to add on as they choose.



Ok its obviously easy to get a PI job with a better degree, but the bigger point is that you might be too worried about your debt to actually take a PI job if you go to the top-14, whereas if you go to the school with a scholarship its not as big a concern. It you have 150k in debt after law school its going to be pretty tough not to go into private practice given the opportunity, even with the loan forgiveness programs and whatnot. So I still think its straightforwards -
Biglaw = Go top 14
PI=Take the scholarship




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