BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Which one?

BU
6
27%
BC
12
55%
W&M
4
18%
 
Total votes: 22

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby secretagentman811 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:22 am

Edit: Looks like it is going to come down to BU, BC, or W&M.

Thoughts?


Hi all,
Unique situation... hoping to get an outside perspective.
I am active duty military and just got picked up for a program where the military will send me to law school. I'm extremely fortunate since I'll be getting all expenses paid in addition to full salary and benefits for the entire time I'm in school. In return, I'll spend 5 years as JAG after graduation.

That being said, does it "really" matter what school I go to? I won't be looking for employment outside the military for at least 12 years after graduating law school (I'll be 7 years shy of retirement when my payback is finished... might as well stay in at that point). The program's only guideline is that I go to an ABA approved school. Is it better to be at the top of a less prestigious school, or the middle of a highly regarded school? (cost and job placement are not factors in this case)

At this point, my goal is to get into the best school possible to get the most from the program.

Thanks for the input!
Last edited by secretagentman811 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
atcushman
Posts: 389
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby atcushman » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:31 am

First thanks for your service

Law school rank matters because of the poor employment prospects which cause people not to be able to pay back huge loans. Neither of these are a concern in your case law schools can matter for a few years out of school but most people won't have 5 years of JAG (isnt their acceptance rate under 10%?) Also grades matter so much for that first job which you already have. I would imagine the name on your degree combined with 5 years of JAG would matter more than your grades at that point. IMO take full advantage of the free ride get into the best law school you can and enjoy watching all the other 1Ls like me freak the fuck out about jobs, debt, and employment prospects.

Good on ya man

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby secretagentman811 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:35 am

Thanks for the info! That's kind of the direction I was going... not to say I'm still going to have to work hard once I get to school to ensure I graduate.

This year it was just shy of 10% for acceptance to the program; pretty amazed I got in.

Thanks again.

User avatar
TripTrip
Posts: 2740
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby TripTrip » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:51 am

No, it doesn't matter, but why wouldn't you go to the best school you can?

User avatar
bluepenguin
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:55 am

That's interesting. Last time I looked the Navy/MC version wanted acceptance letters in hand to apply to the Legal Education Program. The NAVADMIN (or whatever) specifically said selection would be primarily based on who got into the best schools. Maybe the other services aren't picky that way, but they still might care. Have you talked to current JAGs in your service? I've heard somewhat mixed things about school prestige on the USN/MC side (mostly secondhand).

If you're past that hurdle I think you'd still want the better school. Being above average at a certain school is no guarantee of good grades, especially without the motivator of fighting for a job. Might as well take the fancier degree.

Plus once you get out and Northrop Grumman etc come calling, I imagine certain schools might help you more in that regard, but I don't know much about such things.

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby secretagentman811 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:02 am

bluepenguin wrote:That's interesting. Last time I looked the Navy/MC version wanted acceptance letters in hand to apply to the Legal Education Program. The NAVADMIN (or whatever) specifically said selection would be primarily based on who got into the best schools.


You're probably right! But I'm Coast Guard, so all I needed was an LSAT score and to prove the "potential to succeed in law school." :wink:

All of the other folks selected had already applied last cycle. That said, I am a little bit behind.

Thanks for the take- I guess my real question would be how much (if at all) my school name would overshadow my work experience as a JAG down the road. Do you know of anyone who went looking for a job post-JAG?

User avatar
atcushman
Posts: 389
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby atcushman » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:06 am

go to the best school you can get into and you will be solid after jag

User avatar
thelawyler
Posts: 902
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby thelawyler » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:08 am

If you're looking for an excuse not to work hard to get into the best school you can, stop. You're fortunate enough to get a full ride to anywhere, so get the best damn education you can get. Don't squander an opportunity of a lifetime. I'd say if you've got good work product 5 years into JAG, the school name on the resume will matter more than the GPA, so go with that. Additionally, you can't count on being top of your class just by going to a lower school, so just go to the best school.

User avatar
bluepenguin
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby bluepenguin » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:11 am

Oh, you Coasties... I'm quite jealous. I would kill to go CG legal if I can get my medical issues sorted.

My ex-uncle actually did the CG funded program at Cornell. He seemed to do pretty well (long time ago... '99?), but after a couple years out actually went back in to do helos again.

Alas, this is outside my realm of expertise. What type of law are you interested in doing afterward?

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby secretagentman811 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:16 am

I'm interested in IP; I've worked part time and earned a masters in electrical engineering. It'll be a tough sell to break into that so long after law school, not much work with IP in the Coast Guard.

User avatar
suralin
better than you
Posts: 15080
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby suralin » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:31 am

I just want to point out that your poll is rather ambiguous. The "Yes" response can either be read as (1) go to the top-ranked school you can because that school name on your resume matters more later or (2) go to a low-ranked school because you can get a better GPA (questionable of course) and that matters more later.

muskies970
Posts: 340
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby muskies970 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:07 am

secretagentman811 wrote:
bluepenguin wrote:That's interesting. Last time I looked the Navy/MC version wanted acceptance letters in hand to apply to the Legal Education Program. The NAVADMIN (or whatever) specifically said selection would be primarily based on who got into the best schools.


You're probably right! But I'm Coast Guard, so all I needed was an LSAT score and to prove the "potential to succeed in law school." :wink:

All of the other folks selected had already applied last cycle. That said, I am a little bit behind.

Thanks for the take- I guess my real question would be how much (if at all) my school name would overshadow my work experience as a JAG down the road. Do you know of anyone who went looking for a job post-JAG?


Based off this I'm assuming you have a great LSAT, (top 10%) and above average softs already with the coast guard. It blows my mind why you would even consider not going to a top school you got into, especially if it is completely free to you.

Networking for after you leave the coast guard, better professors, the prestige...

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:48 am

What do you want to do after JAG? JAG is great experience, but know that a lot of people in the program now have very solid credentials. I know several people at my T6 who were turned down- one who was former active military.

If the whole thing is paid for no matter where you go, the question is just how much LSAT study time you want to invest.

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:55 am

If you can get into a top school, it will open more doors for you down the road. Yes, if you have JAG in hand, it makes it much less important because you'll be employed. But going to, say, SMU then going into JAG will prevent you from going down paths that would otherwise be open if you went to, say, Harvard and then went into JAG.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:58 am

Don't go in expecting to do better at a worse school and definitely not to the extent that it could outweigh school prestige. Also school is going to matter down the road much more than gpa

User avatar
SaintsTheMetal
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:08 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:44 pm

Go to the flagship the region you'll want to practice. Unless you want to practice in NYC or whatever huge market, no one gives a shit if you went to some ivy league. From Cinci? Go to UC. From Texas? Go to UT. Unless you really want to go JAG > NYC BigLaw (very hard according to practicing biglaw guys on this site,) then go to the "best" you can.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby wert3813 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:06 pm

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby IAFG » Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:14 pm

I'd still try to get into a great school (top 20 schools or so), because you will never regret going to a top program, but may well regret the reverse.

However, if you are not going to end up at a great school, I wouldn't go to a school ranked 40th over a school ranked 70th on that basis alone. If you're not going to a top school, I'd pick based on geography.

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

Re: Does it "really" matter what law school I go to?

Postby secretagentman811 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:23 am

Thanks for all the input. I have a safe shot at T25, so I'll be looking there.

I'll be searching through forums for life after JAG to see what that road looks like.

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

Re: BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby secretagentman811 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:16 pm

bump

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby wert3813 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:20 pm

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

secretagentman811
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:52 am

Re: BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby secretagentman811 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:29 pm

Main reason is better public schools in Williamsburg/Newton areas (2 kids).

Also, haven't heard back from either yet... assuming the worst.

rvadog
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:12 pm

Re: BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby rvadog » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:29 pm

Hey shipmate, I just shot you a PM.

Skipper_365
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:42 pm

Re: BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby Skipper_365 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:45 pm

Hey,
I'm in the same cutter you are, I say aim for the top. You only go to law school once, so go to the best one, that has the programs/culture you want, in the place you want to be.

:wink:

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: BU vs BC vs W&M: Does it "really" matter?

Postby wert3813 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:35 am

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests