This cycle vs. last cycle

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BlueJeanBaby
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This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:15 pm

I have been looking at a few of the helpful resources such as lawschoolnumbers.com and have noticed there have been a few drastic changes in the type of admissions numbers accepted by schools on a year to year basis. I've searched this site and seen that some people wrote it was because applications were down last year in comparison to the year before. Does anyone have any idea how this year is looking? Is there any way to know if the trend will continue or go back to the year before it? I ask because some schools that seem to be within reach to me based on last year's results seem completely out of reach when looking at the year before. Thank you for any information.

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MarcusAurelius
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby MarcusAurelius » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:27 pm

RETAKE

User has been warned for repeated off-topic comments.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:29 pm

MarcusAurelius wrote:RETAKE


?

BigZuck
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby BigZuck » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:52 pm

The only two schools that matter which have started accepting people are Duke and UVA. It is business as usual (aka splitter mania) at UVA and Duke has accepted a few applicants with numbers that have never been straight accepted before according to LSN. Do with that information what you will. Keep in mind that this cycle is still crazy ass early.

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ScratchableItch
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby ScratchableItch » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:10 pm

Check out these two threads if you haven't already:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=170835
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=190807

With such drastic decreases in recent LSAT tests administered, the general consensus is that less people are applying and so law school admissions has become marginally easier. This is especially true with higher ranked schools because the percentage decrease in higher LSAT scores was more than the percentage decrease in lower scores.

Like the poster above said, it's still very early in the cycle and so hard to tell what's happening this year. BUT, based off the trend that began with last October's LSAT administration, I think there will be less applicants again this year and it will again be marginally easier this cycle compared to last.

Like you said, it seemed like schools were admitting more students with lower scores last year. This appears to be true. As one example, Harvard's 25/75 percentile LSAT scores each decreased by a point, and many other schools reported similar trends.

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Br3v
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Br3v » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:14 pm

ScratchableItch wrote:Check out these two threads if you haven't already:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=170835
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=190807

With such drastic decreases in recent LSAT tests administered, the general consensus is that less people are applying and so law school admissions has become marginally easier. This is especially true with higher ranked schools because the percentage decrease in higher LSAT scores was more than the percentage decrease in lower scores.

Like the poster above said, it's still very early in the cycle and so hard to tell what's happening this year. BUT, based off the trend that began with last October's LSAT administration, I think there will be less applicants again this year and it will again be marginally easier this cycle compared to last.

Like you said, it seemed like schools were admitting more students with lower scores last year. This appears to be true. As one example, Harvard's 25/75 percentile LSAT scores each decreased by a point, and many other schools reported similar trends.



first, OP: I think this can only be good news if anything for those of us applying. In otherwords, I cant see it being detrimental unless schools drastically reduced class sizes.

Which is where Scratchableitch's expertise comes into play. 1) is reducing class sizes the only way the decrease in test takers could come back to hurt this years applicants? 2) Why would schools not reduce class sizes?

I have seen the debate on this here and there on TLS but for the most part stayed clear of it so forgive me if it has been wideley reparted why this would be.

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altoid99
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby altoid99 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:13 pm

Br3v wrote:
ScratchableItch wrote:Check out these two threads if you haven't already:
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 6&t=170835
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 1&t=190807

With such drastic decreases in recent LSAT tests administered, the general consensus is that less people are applying and so law school admissions has become marginally easier. This is especially true with higher ranked schools because the percentage decrease in higher LSAT scores was more than the percentage decrease in lower scores.

Like the poster above said, it's still very early in the cycle and so hard to tell what's happening this year. BUT, based off the trend that began with last October's LSAT administration, I think there will be less applicants again this year and it will again be marginally easier this cycle compared to last.

Like you said, it seemed like schools were admitting more students with lower scores last year. This appears to be true. As one example, Harvard's 25/75 percentile LSAT scores each decreased by a point, and many other schools reported similar trends.



first, OP: I think this can only be good news if anything for those of us applying. In otherwords, I cant see it being detrimental unless schools drastically reduced class sizes.

Which is where Scratchableitch's expertise comes into play. 1) is reducing class sizes the only way the decrease in test takers could come back to hurt this years applicants? 2) Why would schools not reduce class sizes?

I have seen the debate on this here and there on TLS but for the most part stayed clear of it so forgive me if it has been wideley reparted why this would be.


As for your second questions, some schools simply can't afford to reduce class size beyond a certain number. Particularly law schools part of a public university where state funding is a real issue. I mean, tuition increases can only go so far. It's much more tempting to accept more students who are going to get you 40K+/year.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:44 pm

Thank you for those links! It seems that even though class sizes decreased, LSAT and GPA medians decreased as well. I really hope that the October test proves the trend is continuing a bit!

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JCougar
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby JCougar » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:45 pm

Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:50 pm

JCougar wrote:Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


I've been out of college for quite some time and my husband works full time as well. We have a good amount of savings and will be able to pay my first year's tuition in cash. I'm hoping for a mediocre scholarship to a private school or acceptance into a solid state school with competitive in-state tuition. My husband will be able to maintain all of my living costs during law school. I have thought about law school for some years now and have considered the career prospects. I don't plan on taking more than $50,000 out in loans for the duration of my education and hope that this cycle will help me reach this goal. As for HYS, I don't even have the numbers to clean their floors.

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Br3v
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Br3v » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:51 pm

JCougar wrote:Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


Eh, idk if this is a good rule of thumb. Your saying you would advice against sticker at say CCN? I'd disagree. Yes the risk is there, but most of the t14 can get you places a flagship couldn't

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JCougar
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby JCougar » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:58 pm

BlueJeanBaby wrote:
JCougar wrote:Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


I've been out of college for quite some time and my husband works full time as well. We have a good amount of savings and will be able to pay my first year's tuition in cash. I'm hoping for a mediocre scholarship to a private school or acceptance into a solid state school with competitive in-state tuition. My husband will be able to maintain all of my living costs during law school. I have thought about law school for some years now and have considered the career prospects. I don't plan on taking more than $50,000 out in loans for the duration of my education and hope that this cycle will help me reach this goal. As for HYS, I don't even have the numbers to clean their floors.


If you stick to that goal of $50,000, you should be fine. Don't get lured into paying $200,000 for a degree from someplace like Penn or, god forbid, WUSTL.

75% of Biglaw associates leave within 5 years, despite being paid close to $200,000/year. I used to think that firms pushed these people out, but the more I learn as I get more experience in this industry, the more I realize it's more that most people simply can't stand it. No sense in doing that to yourself just to get a T14 degree.

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JCougar
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby JCougar » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:01 pm

Br3v wrote:
JCougar wrote:Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


Eh, idk if this is a good rule of thumb. Your saying you would advice against sticker at say CCN? I'd disagree. Yes the risk is there, but most of the t14 can get you places a flagship couldn't


If you strike out at OCI at CCN, you're pretty much just as screwed as everyone else. And a significant number of people at these schools strike out.

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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:32 am

JCougar wrote:
BlueJeanBaby wrote:
JCougar wrote:Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


I've been out of college for quite some time and my husband works full time as well. We have a good amount of savings and will be able to pay my first year's tuition in cash. I'm hoping for a mediocre scholarship to a private school or acceptance into a solid state school with competitive in-state tuition. My husband will be able to maintain all of my living costs during law school. I have thought about law school for some years now and have considered the career prospects. I don't plan on taking more than $50,000 out in loans for the duration of my education and hope that this cycle will help me reach this goal. As for HYS, I don't even have the numbers to clean their floors.


If you stick to that goal of $50,000, you should be fine. Don't get lured into paying $200,000 for a degree from someplace like Penn or, god forbid, WUSTL.

75% of Biglaw associates leave within 5 years, despite being paid close to $200,000/year. I used to think that firms pushed these people out, but the more I learn as I get more experience in this industry, the more I realize it's more that most people simply can't stand it. No sense in doing that to yourself just to get a T14 degree.


Why the hate on WUSTL? I'm looking at going there on 75%. I would never go there for sticker, but that holds true for all of the schools that aren't stanford. Is there a reason you singled out WUSTL or just for an example?

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Br3v
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Br3v » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:14 am

cahwc12 wrote:
JCougar wrote:
BlueJeanBaby wrote:
JCougar wrote:Keep in mind why less people are applying. The job prospects are absolutely terrible, and they're not getting measurably better. Even with the recent decline in applicants, there's still too many people going to law school.

It's foolish to pay sticker anywhere except for HYS. The rest of the T14 won't save you these days, and god forbid you go anywhere else short of a 50% scholarship or more. My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


I've been out of college for quite some time and my husband works full time as well. We have a good amount of savings and will be able to pay my first year's tuition in cash. I'm hoping for a mediocre scholarship to a private school or acceptance into a solid state school with competitive in-state tuition. My husband will be able to maintain all of my living costs during law school. I have thought about law school for some years now and have considered the career prospects. I don't plan on taking more than $50,000 out in loans for the duration of my education and hope that this cycle will help me reach this goal. As for HYS, I don't even have the numbers to clean their floors.


If you stick to that goal of $50,000, you should be fine. Don't get lured into paying $200,000 for a degree from someplace like Penn or, god forbid, WUSTL.

75% of Biglaw associates leave within 5 years, despite being paid close to $200,000/year. I used to think that firms pushed these people out, but the more I learn as I get more experience in this industry, the more I realize it's more that most people simply can't stand it. No sense in doing that to yourself just to get a T14 degree.


Why the hate on WUSTL? I'm looking at going there on 75%. I would never go there for sticker, but that holds true for all of the schools that aren't stanford. Is there a reason you singled out WUSTL or just for an example?


He goes to WUSTL so he was making a point.

Cougar to be honest, lately I have been looking at considering like a BU GW full scholarship ED option, though I'm unaware how truly competitive they are. What's your feeling on that? How else could you truly go about securing a 100% tuition scholarship? Also are there such things as true 100% scholarships for law school (stipends, etc)?

Paul Campos
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:28 am

My best guess is that you'll see a lot of respectable law schools throw in the towel this year on holding their LSAT medians in order to maintain class size. We saw a little of this last year -- for example American cut its median from 161 to 158 -- but mostly we saw places reducing class size while holding LSAT scores, or losing a point. From what I know about law school budgets I think a lot of places are now facing the choice of either making deep spending cuts or deep cuts in their admissions standards. I expect far more will choose the latter over the former.

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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Br3v » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:32 am

Paul Campos wrote:My best guess is that you'll see a lot of respectable law schools throw in the towel this year on holding their LSAT medians in order to maintain class size. We saw a little of this last year -- for example American cut its median from 161 to 158 -- but mostly we saw places reducing class size while holding LSAT scores, or losing a point. From what I know about law school budgets I think a lot of places are now facing the choice of either making deep spending cuts or deep cuts in their admissions standards. I expect far more will choose the latter over the former.


For some reason I imagined that law schools didn't rely on admission $ too greatly, I don't know where I am assuming they get the extra magic money from though. Donors? Spread the wealth type deal with rest of university?

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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:55 am

Br3v wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:My best guess is that you'll see a lot of respectable law schools throw in the towel this year on holding their LSAT medians in order to maintain class size. We saw a little of this last year -- for example American cut its median from 161 to 158 -- but mostly we saw places reducing class size while holding LSAT scores, or losing a point. From what I know about law school budgets I think a lot of places are now facing the choice of either making deep spending cuts or deep cuts in their admissions standards. I expect far more will choose the latter over the former.


For some reason I imagined that law schools didn't rely on admission $ too greatly, I don't know where I am assuming they get the extra magic money from though. Donors? Spread the wealth type deal with rest of university?


The percentage of a law school's operating budget that comes from tuition revenue varies quite a bit, from around 50% at elite schools and the declining number of state schools that get big subsidies from public money, to more than 80% at some low-ranked private schools. (The difference is largely a product of the fact that elite schools have significant endowments and raise a lot of money from annual donations).

Almost all law schools that are part of universities are net revenue positive for the university as a whole, which means they send some portion of their revenue to central campus (this portion varies enormously, from a few percent to as much as 45% in at least one case I know of). One big source of financial pressure on law schools is that universities expect them to make money for the university as a whole. This makes it quite difficult for a law school to freeze or lower tuition, since it's not a decision that the school can make without central's blessing (there are about 20 ABA law schools that are free standing, who really do have this sort of autonomy though).

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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:38 am

Paul Campos wrote:The percentage of a law school's operating budget that comes from tuition revenue varies quite a bit, from around 50% at elite schools and the declining number of state schools that get big subsidies from public money, to more than 80% at some low-ranked private schools. (The difference is largely a product of the fact that elite schools have significant endowments and raise a lot of money from annual donations).

Almost all law schools that are part of universities are net revenue positive for the university as a whole, which means they send some portion of their revenue to central campus (this portion varies enormously, from a few percent to as much as 45% in at least one case I know of). One big source of financial pressure on law schools is that universities expect them to make money for the university as a whole. This makes it quite difficult for a law school to freeze or lower tuition, since it's not a decision that the school can make without central's blessing (there are about 20 ABA law schools that are free standing, who really do have this sort of autonomy though).


(Are you actually Paul Campos? If so, you're my hero.)

One question I've had for a while is, should I judge the merits of a law school at least in part with how much weight they put on maintaining this profit?

For example, the University of Washington offers practically no fee waivers or merit scholarship of any kind, while schools like WUSTL, W&L, and UMinn seem to be much more generous with both fee waivers and merit aid.

Is this merely a product of applicants being more likely to want to attend school in Seattle versus Minneapolis, St. Louis or Lexington? Basically, what do you see as the driving factor in some schools being so much more generous with merit aid than others, and should this come under consideration when choosing to apply to a certain law school?

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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Paul Campos » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:03 am

cahwc12 wrote:
Paul Campos wrote:The percentage of a law school's operating budget that comes from tuition revenue varies quite a bit, from around 50% at elite schools and the declining number of state schools that get big subsidies from public money, to more than 80% at some low-ranked private schools. (The difference is largely a product of the fact that elite schools have significant endowments and raise a lot of money from annual donations).

Almost all law schools that are part of universities are net revenue positive for the university as a whole, which means they send some portion of their revenue to central campus (this portion varies enormously, from a few percent to as much as 45% in at least one case I know of). One big source of financial pressure on law schools is that universities expect them to make money for the university as a whole. This makes it quite difficult for a law school to freeze or lower tuition, since it's not a decision that the school can make without central's blessing (there are about 20 ABA law schools that are free standing, who really do have this sort of autonomy though).


(Are you actually Paul Campos? If so, you're my hero.)

One question I've had for a while is, should I judge the merits of a law school at least in part with how much weight they put on maintaining this profit?

For example, the University of Washington offers practically no fee waivers or merit scholarship of any kind, while schools like WUSTL, W&L, and UMinn seem to be much more generous with both fee waivers and merit aid.

Is this merely a product of applicants being more likely to want to attend school in Seattle versus Minneapolis, St. Louis or Lexington? Basically, what do you see as the driving factor in some schools being so much more generous with merit aid than others, and should this come under consideration when choosing to apply to a certain law school?


With trivial exceptions for a few endowed scholarships, "merit aid" consists of nothing but cross-subsidized tuition. In other words if half the class is paying $40K in tuition and the half that gets "merit aid" is averaging $20K in tuition, the real tuition for the school is $30K, and the half of the class that's paying more than that is subsidizing everybody who is paying less.

This kind of cross-subsidization is used exclusively to buy higher LSAT and GPA scores, in order to protect those numbers because of the role they play in the law school rankings. Some schools have chosen to advertise a very high sticker price and then discount it heavily to buy students, while other schools have a lower sticker and discount less. Both of these are strategic choices.

The only things you should pay any attention to when considering a law school are actual cost of attendance and employment outcomes.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:16 am

JCougar wrote:My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


A lot of people at CCN could only get a full ride at a place like Indiana, if that.

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cahwc12
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:48 am

Paul Campos wrote:With trivial exceptions for a few endowed scholarships, "merit aid" consists of nothing but cross-subsidized tuition. In other words if half the class is paying $40K in tuition and the half that gets "merit aid" is averaging $20K in tuition, the real tuition for the school is $30K, and the half of the class that's paying more than that is subsidizing everybody who is paying less.

This kind of cross-subsidization is used exclusively to buy higher LSAT and GPA scores, in order to protect those numbers because of the role they play in the law school rankings. Some schools have chosen to advertise a very high sticker price and then discount it heavily to buy students, while other schools have a lower sticker and discount less. Both of these are strategic choices.

The only things you should pay any attention to when considering a law school are actual cost of attendance and employment outcomes.


Is there a list somewhere of the "real tuition" for schools based on amount of aid given? And, more generally, is there a better place than self-reported LSN to look at aid garnered for applicants with various numbers?

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JCougar
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:51 am

cahwc12 wrote:Why the hate on WUSTL? I'm looking at going there on 75%. I would never go there for sticker, but that holds true for all of the schools that aren't stanford. Is there a reason you singled out WUSTL or just for an example?


I wouldn't call it hate. I go here, and I generally like it. I have a partial scholarship, but it's probably not big enough. The professors are great. I just mentioned it so people wouldn't get bent out of shape for me criticizing a T14 and call me a hypocrite. Going here at sticker is a bad econmic decision, as is going to any of our peers at the same price.

The point is that any law school is a rip-off at sticker price. If all the T14 prestige can get you is a terribly depressing Biglaw job that you have to stick with for 6 years just to pay off a monsterous debt, you might want to think twice about where you attend. As Professor Campos said, if you're paying sticker anywhere, you're basically paying double tuition--you're paying for your own and you're paying for the dude who got a full ride at the same school.

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JCougar
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:53 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
JCougar wrote:My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


A lot of people at CCN could only get a full ride at a place like Indiana, if that.


I would much rather get a full ride at Indiana than pay sticker at CCN.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: This cycle vs. last cycle

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:57 am

JCougar wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
JCougar wrote:My advice is to go to the best school that gives you a full ride.


A lot of people at CCN could only get a full ride at a place like Indiana, if that.


I would much rather get a full ride at Indiana than pay sticker at CCN.


I'm sure there are a few others like you. But for someone like me, going to law school for free at Indiana would be a far worse decision than just not going at all. Getting a real firm job is highly unlikely out of that school, so if you want a firm job and don't have a great GPA you either gotta pay or just pick another path.




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