Wake Forest or Tulane?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:31 pm

Dear TLS members,

I am in a dilemma between whether I should choose Wake Forest Law or Tulane Law to attend this fall. I am an international student, and paying for tuition and location are not very important to me. I have visited both schools and I like both very much. I would like to study IP law, and what what matters to me more is 1) future employment prospects, 2) Law school prestige.

I have paid deposits for both, but now I just need to make up my mind and choose one to attend. And I would love to hear some advice from you guys! Thanks a lot in advance! :)

User avatar
oidsedidy

New
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:02 am

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby oidsedidy » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:44 pm

If your primary concern is employment prospects, followed by prestige, I think Tulane is currently ranked higher than WF. However, once you get out of the top 17 or so schools ranking can be subject to wild fluctuations and prestige becomes much more tied to a particular region. I think if you have your heart set on attending one or the other then you might fair slightly better at Tulane.

BigZuck

Diamond
Posts: 11731
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:00 am

What do you mean by "prestige"?

User avatar
Pomeranian

Bronze
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 10:23 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Pomeranian » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:16 am

If by IP, you mean pursuing a career in patent law, you will need a STEM background to be competitive.

Wake Forest is has better legal employment figures, although New Orleans is very different from Winston Salem.

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:42 am

BigZuck wrote:What do you mean by "prestige"?


Like, which one of these two schools is more highly regarded as being "prestigious"?

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:45 am

Pomeranian wrote:If by IP, you mean pursuing a career in patent law, you will need a STEM background to be competitive.

Wake Forest is has better legal employment figures, although New Orleans is very different from Winston Salem.


Thanks for the input! But I do not understand very well, what do you mean by "although New orleans is very different from Winston Salem?"

And yes, I do have a STEM background, so this is why I am very interested in patent law.

User avatar
Pomeranian

Bronze
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 10:23 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Pomeranian » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:47 am

Sciencemeetslaw wrote:
Pomeranian wrote:If by IP, you mean pursuing a career in patent law, you will need a STEM background to be competitive.

Wake Forest is has better legal employment figures, although New Orleans is very different from Winston Salem.


Thanks for the input! But I do not understand very well, what do you mean by "although New orleans is very different from Winston Salem?"

And yes, I do have a STEM background, so this is why I am very interested in patent law.



Winston-Salem is a smaller and more Southern town culturally than New Orleans, which is more urban and has a unique culture. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but you will spend three years there so it's something to consider (although most of your time will be on campus). I've been to Wake and it's gorgeous.

GoneSouth

Bronze
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 am

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby GoneSouth » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:09 am

New Orleans and Winston-Salem are both great cities, but very different. I think either would be very livable though

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:18 am

GoneSouth wrote:New Orleans and Winston-Salem are both great cities, but very different. I think either would be very livable though


What about in terms of 1) employment prospects and 2) overall school prestige (in the US)? Feels like Wake forest (top 25) is ranked much higher overall than Tulane (50 sth)

GoneSouth

Bronze
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:00 am

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby GoneSouth » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:27 am

Sciencemeetslaw wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:New Orleans and Winston-Salem are both great cities, but very different. I think either would be very livable though


What about in terms of 1) employment prospects and 2) overall school prestige (in the US)? Feels like Wake forest (top 25) is ranked much higher overall than Tulane (50 sth)


As an overall university, I don't think there's any question that Wake Forest is more prestigious. Wake Forest's law school also was recently ranked in the top 30, so even though it's dropped now, a lot of people probably don't know that. As far as the law school, outside of the South, Tulane might have a little more name recognition, but I don't think either of those degrees are going to be very transferrable nationwide. You'd essentially be looking at jobs in Atlanta, or for Tulane: New Orleans, or for Wake Forest: North Carolina

I don't have any idea the employment stats, but I'm sure you can find it online. I'm sure neither school is killing it with big-law jobs

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:37 am

GoneSouth wrote:
Sciencemeetslaw wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:New Orleans and Winston-Salem are both great cities, but very different. I think either would be very livable though


What about in terms of 1) employment prospects and 2) overall school prestige (in the US)? Feels like Wake forest (top 25) is ranked much higher overall than Tulane (50 sth)


As an overall university, I don't think there's any question that Wake Forest is more prestigious. Wake Forest's law school also was recently ranked in the top 30, so even though it's dropped now, a lot of people probably don't know that. As far as the law school, outside of the South, Tulane might have a little more name recognition, but I don't think either of those degrees are going to be very transferrable nationwide. You'd essentially be looking at jobs in Atlanta, or for Tulane: New Orleans, or for Wake Forest: North Carolina

I don't have any idea the employment stats, but I'm sure you can find it online. I'm sure neither school is killing it with big-law jobs


Oh, now I understand! Because when i ask for suggestions from ppl outside of the legal field, everyone tells me that Wake Forest is much better compared to Tulane. Probably they only considered the overall ranking.

I did find out that according to ABA, Tulane has 50% graduating students staying in Louisiana, then 2nd most is Texas, then California. As for Wake Forest, 50% NC, then Virginia, then New York. I personally prefer to either practice in California or in mid-Atlantic/Midwest (New york, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC). I know that both of these schools are not ideal for these locations, but let's say that I only have these two choices, which one would give me a higher chance of practicing in the desired locations?

Another thing that I found out is that it seems that the quality of Tulane professors seems to be much better than Wake. A lot of them graduated from Harvard JD, and are active in the legal field (some of them are very well known), unlike Wake, which has professors from T14, but only one from Harvard. And Tulane has more diversity for professors and more student organizations. Should these factors be sth that I should put under consideration?

User avatar
KissMyAxe

Bronze
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:01 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby KissMyAxe » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:55 am

Post Deleted
Last edited by KissMyAxe on Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:22 am

KissMyAxe wrote:
Sciencemeetslaw wrote:Oh, now I understand! Because when i ask for suggestions from ppl outside of the legal field, everyone tells me that Wake Forest is much better compared to Tulane. Probably they only considered the overall ranking.

I did find out that according to ABA, Tulane has 50% graduating students staying in Louisiana, then 2nd most is Texas, then California. As for Wake Forest, 50% NC, then Virginia, then New York. I personally prefer to either practice in California or in mid-Atlantic/Midwest (New york, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC). I know that both of these schools are not ideal for these locations, but let's say that I only have these two choices, which one would give me a higher chance of practicing in the desired locations?

Another thing that I found out is that it seems that the quality of Tulane professors seems to be much better than Wake. A lot of them graduated from Harvard JD, and are active in the legal field (some of them are very well known), unlike Wake, which has professors from T14, but only one from Harvard. And Tulane has more diversity for professors and more student organizations. Should these factors be sth that I should put under consideration?


This is starting to sound like a flame. It's flat-out insane to choose a school for prestige. You should choose your law school based on how well it does at placing students into the kind of employment you want, not out of some vague sense of who's considered better by random people.

Neither school is great for IP law, so the correct answer would be to retake for a school stronger in that field, which I would suppose tend to also be more "prestigious" schools. Both of these are also regional schools. You nailed it in your second paragraph. If you go to Tulane, you better make sure you are happy practicing in Louisiana. Same with Wake Forest and North Carolina. Wake would certainly outperform Tulane across most of the mid-Atlantic (especially Atlanta) for the reasons stated in my next paragraph. That said, you'd have to finish at the very top of your class, which is always a risky notion. Neither school is getting you into California IP law, which is an extremely competitive field. At the end of the day, both schools have extremely similar employment outcomes, so your decision needs to be based on where you want to work and who gives you more scholarship money.

Now, since I know good and well you're going to ignore me and consider prestige anyway, let me speak on that. Neither of these schools is prestigious from any sense of the word, and I come from the same area as them. I doubt most people in the South have even heard of Tulane (including most lawyers), let alone know it has a law school. I didn't before coming to TLS. Wake Forest is only known because it has some well-known sports teams (though admittedly not very good ones), which is actually how a lot of schools tend to develop reputations. But, Wake Forest is at least known for that reason. So I think there's no question that Wake is a more well-known brand across the South and I assume the country, though it's like the third best law school in its own state, one that doesn't have a ton of legal employment, let alone IP employment.

But what really prompted me to respond is your insane last paragraph. Why the hell are you going through the faculty websites counting Harvard grads? If anyone becomes a law professor today, they are insanely qualified. They will have excelled at their law school, made powerful connections, published prolifically, and likely obtained a Federal clerkship, probably one on the COA. Their alma mater is irrelevant. Also, while a lot of my friends attend Harvard, it's still a Biglaw factory whose admissions office is only concerned about getting the high LSATs that do not commit to Yale or one of the full-rides (with a small handful of Californians who stay at Stanford). Do you really think the ability to answer five more questions on the LSAT makes someone a better teacher? Because that's all that separates most HLS and Cornell students, about 3 points on the LSAT. So, to answer your question, no, it makes no difference which school has more Harvard grads.

Choose whichever school gives you more money and is in the area you want to work, because you're probably not cracking competitive markets (DC, Chicago, California) from either.


Thanks for all the information, I find your answers very helpful!!

With what you have just described above, it seems that Wake is probably a better option if i would like to stay in a less South side of the U.S. I do know that both schools don't have a terrific IP law reputation, but from what i have read online, it seems that the law school's overall employments prospects etc... is more important than its strength in a particular field. Is that correct?

But what confuses me even more is that I have previously talked to a partner at a BigLaw firm in New York, and what he told me is that if I want to study and practice IP law, I should go to: 1) Fordham, 2) Santa Clara, 3) American. I did not apply to Fordham, but I did get admitted by Santa Clara and American. Though these two schools' overall law school ranking are so behind, and my scores far exceed their median. So I do not understand why he would recommend these two schools, as the concensus seems to be that the law school's overall ranking is more important than its ranking in a particular field. What he is saying here really confuses me a bit. Do you have any thoughts about this?

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:40 am

what's your GPA/LSAT?

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:27 am

pancakes3 wrote:what's your GPA/LSAT?


You can probably estimate from my admission at Tulane and Wake, lol

BigZuck

Diamond
Posts: 11731
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby BigZuck » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:53 am

Sciencemeetslaw wrote:
BigZuck wrote:What do you mean by "prestige"?


Like, which one of these two schools is more highly regarded as being "prestigious"?

I don't know what this means

How are you defining prestige? How are you quantifying it? Why does it matter?

User avatar
Johann

Diamond
Posts: 19699
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Johann » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:25 am

Neither of these schools are prestigious.

Leagles5161

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:33 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Leagles5161 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:39 am

Do you want to have a career practicing law or do you want to tell people back home that you go to a prestigious law school? This question matters.

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:44 am

Leagles5161 wrote:Do you want to have a career practicing law or do you want to tell people back home that you go to a prestigious law school? This question matters.


Not when it comes to choosing between WF or Tulane.

Leagles5161

Bronze
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:33 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Leagles5161 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:59 am

pancakes3 wrote:
Leagles5161 wrote:Do you want to have a career practicing law or do you want to tell people back home that you go to a prestigious law school? This question matters.


Not when it comes to choosing between WF or Tulane.


True. It still matters when considering a massive investment of time & money though. Going to law school to impressive Facebook friends is not exactly route towards career & life happiness

Sciencemeetslaw

New
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:40 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Sciencemeetslaw » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:35 pm

Leagles5161 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:
Leagles5161 wrote:Do you want to have a career practicing law or do you want to tell people back home that you go to a prestigious law school? This question matters.


Not when it comes to choosing between WF or Tulane.


True. It still matters when considering a massive investment of time & money though. Going to law school to impressive Facebook friends is not exactly route towards career & life happiness


I think you guys get me a bit wrong. What I mean by "more prestigious" is how people in the legal field would view these two schools, and how this would translate into better employment prospects. For example, which one of these schools is more well-known, and this recruiters are more likely to take into a more serious consideration. Thank you!

jduluoz54

New
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:00 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby jduluoz54 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:52 pm

Just a quick correction I fell compelled to make: the professors at Wake Forest are amazing. They are incredible teachers and well respected legal scholars. The "distinguished" comment above is flat out wrong. My first year professors attended Yale (3), Harvard (1), and Stanford (1).

More helpful comment: My experience with job search from Wake Forest may be insightful. I interviewed in different markets (NC, TX, IN, etc.). Wake Forest is respected everywhere --> meaning your resume will not get thrown in the trash because it says Wake Forest. You will also not get interviewed, or hired, because you attended Wake Forest. The dispositive factors will be how well you perform in school and what else is on your resume.

User avatar
BasilHallward

Silver
Posts: 536
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:19 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby BasilHallward » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:00 pm

jduluoz54 wrote:Just a quick correction I fell compelled to make: the professors at Wake Forest are amazing. They are incredible teachers and well respected legal scholars. The "distinguished" comment above is flat out wrong. My first year professors attended Yale (3), Harvard (1), and Stanford (1).

More helpful comment: My experience with job search from Wake Forest may be insightful. I interviewed in different markets (NC, TX, IN, etc.). Wake Forest is respected everywhere --> meaning your resume will not get thrown in the trash because it says Wake Forest. You will also not get interviewed, or hired, because you attended Wake Forest. The dispositive factors will be how well you perform in school and what else is on your resume.



Stop. Who cares. If by "respected," you mean people acknowledge its existence, then fine. The reality is that you will need to be top 5% student to have a WF JD escape the NC area. You will need to top 15%ish to be in a decent position for BigLaw. If those numbers are respectable, then fine. A median WF student's resume in a TX office will be thrown in the trash 99 times out of 100.

User avatar
KissMyAxe

Bronze
Posts: 352
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:01 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby KissMyAxe » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:01 pm

Post Deleted
Last edited by KissMyAxe on Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Pomeranian

Bronze
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 10:23 pm

Re: Wake Forest or Tulane?

Postby Pomeranian » Mon Jul 11, 2016 4:35 pm

KissMyAxe wrote:
BasilHallward wrote:
jduluoz54 wrote:Just a quick correction I fell compelled to make: the professors at Wake Forest are amazing. They are incredible teachers and well respected legal scholars. The "distinguished" comment above is flat out wrong. My first year professors attended Yale (3), Harvard (1), and Stanford (1).

More helpful comment: My experience with job search from Wake Forest may be insightful. I interviewed in different markets (NC, TX, IN, etc.). Wake Forest is respected everywhere --> meaning your resume will not get thrown in the trash because it says Wake Forest. You will also not get interviewed, or hired, because you attended Wake Forest. The dispositive factors will be how well you perform in school and what else is on your resume.



Stop. Who cares. If by "respected," you mean people acknowledge its existence, then fine. The reality is that you will need to be top 5% student to have a WF JD escape the NC area. You will need to top 15%ish to be in a decent position for BigLaw. If those numbers are respectable, then fine. A median WF student's resume in a TX office will be thrown in the trash 99 times out of 100.


Agreed, the emphasis on my post above was that people know of Wake Forest's existence, because a lot of football teams with large fan bases (Florida State, Clemson, Boston College, UNC) go to Winston-Salem each year to beat them. And I feel like my opinions toward leaving NC with a Wake degree was clear as well. Just wanted to clarify that in case someone was misconstruing my words. Although I will say that because of this sports fact, it is likely jduluoz is right in saying most people will not automatically trash a Wake resume, and I could see some firms being faster to put a Tulane resume into the circular file.

OP, to answer the questions you had for me. You are correct that specialty rankings mean nothing. You're getting the same education everywhere, and your real training will be on the job. So all employers do is look at your school's relative position among all law schools (or their perception of it, I can promise you Duke is considered better than #10 in the south) and your grades at that school and form their opinions from that. Once again, neither school is prestigious or "respected" by people out of the area. We just know there is a school called Wake Forest, and evidently they have a law school (I say evidently because that's what some hiring partners are going to think). So again, I'm not telling you which of the two to choose. I'm telling you to retake your LSAT. But failing that, think hard at where you want to practice, and compare that with the cheaper option.

As I just said, the ranking itself is largely irrelevant. All that matters is the employment numbers of those schools, which show what employers think of that school (which can be unrelated to the rankings). It's unfortunate you didn't apply to Fordham. It's a decent school with solid chances at Biglaw for its numbers. As for Santa Clara/American, maybe someone more familiar with them can weigh in, but I lean toward giving a flat "NEVER ATTEND EITHER OF THESE SCHOOLS." They do both have 10% Biglaw, but only around 40% of their grads find any legal employment, meaning that you have a better of a coin flips chance at being saddled with debt and unable to find any legal employment upon graduation.

Fun fact, apparently Wake and Tulane are playing to start the season this coming year. Maybe more reason to wait a year and retake. You can see who wins, since no one wants to go to a second rate football school (and by that time you'll have a better score and won't have to go to either).


I think you discount Wake Forest's overall reputation as a university. in the NY/CT suburbs, It's known for more than sports...their undergrad is viewed as one of the best in the country and very demanding ("work forest"). However, I agree with your sentiment that when picking a law school, you should focus on law school employment figures and where you want to work following graduation.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CarolinasLaw1992 and 29 guests