MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
MBH124
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:43 pm

MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby MBH124 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:45 am

So I am in the somewhat fortunate position of having a choice amongst what I consider to be some great schools. I'm concerned that choosing any school other than the top ranked school I've gotten into may hamper me in the short and/or long term. I know this question has been addressed many times but I'd like to hear your thoughts on my specific situation if you'd be so kind. NB: Financial issues are not of concern.

The schools from which I'm choosing are as follows:

UVA
Penn
Northwestern


I'm also waitlisted at Columbia and yet to hear back from NYU.

Maybe, if you could, provide your thoughts on a decision relevant to the schools I've already gotten into and a separate one considering the schools yet to make a decision.

Any thoughts you might have would be appreciated.

Thanks.

User avatar
holydonkey
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby holydonkey » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:52 am

What are you interested in doing? Where would you like to practice? Have you visited the schools? If so, did you like one more than another?

User avatar
toolshed
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:35 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby toolshed » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:53 am

THe three you listed are going to have fairly similar exit opportunities, yet they each place a little differently in the various markets in the country (though all place pretty well throughout). Where do you want to live/work after school, and what type of work can you see yourself doing? That is how you should choose between these three (after checking their placement numbers).

As for Columbia and NYU...you can hang on and wait it out if you like, but it would make sense to get your other choices in order first.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby 270910 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:56 am

Rankings only matter in broad categories.

Basically, any top 14 school will give you stellar, sterling, magnificent options as long as you do fairly well. The higher ranked, the greater the margin - but until you're looking at, say, Georgetown v. Harvard, the differences are slight enough that geographic/market preference, SO, financial aid, etc. should probably weigh at least as heavily as 'ranking'.

The employment differences between Penn and UVA are chiefly only relevant for internet pissing contests :P

MBH124
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby MBH124 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:57 am

Thanks for the responses.

I have lived in the Northeast my whole life. Born and raised in Philadelphia, school in New Haven, work in NYC.

UVA was a definite breath of fresh air and for that reason, amongst others, it seems to stick out in my mind as a favorite.

I can see myself involved in commercial litigation/real estate/corporate law. I think upon graduation I would shoot for a big firm in the Northeast or possibly West Coast and see what it's like.

270910
Posts: 2437
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 9:51 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby 270910 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:58 am

MBH124 wrote:Thanks for the responses.

I have lived in the Northeast my whole life. Born and raised in Philadelphia, school in New Haven, work in NYC.

UVA was a definite breath of fresh air and for that reason, amongst others, it seems to stick out in my mind as a favorite.

I can see myself involved in commercial litigation/real estate/corporate law. I think upon graduation I would shoot for a big firm in the Northeast or possibly West Coast and see what it's like.


Any of those schools will help you do that beautifully. Go to UVA if it makes you smile and none of the others are offering you fistfuls of cash money.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:59 am

UVA and Penn are peer schools and both recognize each other as such. I've had conversations with staff at Penn and at UVA where they've bluntly said as much. Treating these schools as anything other than that is pretty foolish. There are certain areas where one school is stronger than the other, and that should be your focus, if you have any specialty in mind. For example, I think UVA has a more nationally spread alumni network, which can make getting a job easier if you're not planning to stick to the NE Corridor for your job hunt. UVA is especially strong in the south compared to Penn. These are the things you should be thinking about, not a couple spots difference in rankings.

Also, you should consider visiting the schools and weighing QOL considerations. There's a big difference in feel at Penn and UVA, and you may find that you like one a lot more than the other. Given the other similarities between the schools, this is a very valid and important way of choosing between them; you want to make sure you'll be at the place where you feel like you'll be happy for three years.

MBH124
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby MBH124 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:02 pm

How about the difference in distinction/quality/etc of the law and business programs offered by both schools?

Penn has a certificate program of Business and Public Policy with Wharton

UVA has a Law and Business program (not certificate) that includes some courses with some pretty high profile names.

I was considering a JD/MBA but these seem like solid alternatives as I'm not sure I want to bog myself down in corporate finance/accounting/taxes etc...

User avatar
holydonkey
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby holydonkey » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:05 pm

From what you said, I'd choose UVA or Penn over Northwestern. If you really liked UVA, I'd choose UVA. If you are more interested in working in NYC or New England, I'd say Penn. For DC or Atlanta, I'd probably pick UVA. Really both are great choices either way.

Whether you're doing litigation or some kind of transactional work in business, it seems like random class or certificate x probably won't matter as much as your grades anyway, but here I guess Penn has a slight edge.

User avatar
JollyGreenGiant
Posts: 995
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:12 pm

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby JollyGreenGiant » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:57 pm

A note about JD/MBA from Penn is that I've heard they don't let JD students "backdoor" their way easily into Wharton. If JD/MBA is really a priority you might wanna think about how hard it would be to get from Penn.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: MOVING DOWN THE RANKS - Choosing a lower ranked school

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:08 pm

JollyGreenGiant wrote:A note about JD/MBA from Penn is that I've heard they don't let JD students "backdoor" their way easily into Wharton. If JD/MBA is really a priority you might wanna think about how hard it would be to get from Penn.

This is something to consider. It's a great advertising point, but they don't advertise how hard it is to get into that program. UVA has a similar program that involves an MBA from Darden, also. I realize it's not as well-known as Wharton, but it's still an option to consider.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests