Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

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loquist
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Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:37 am

My stats are sitting at 3.61/163. I have applied to BYU, University of Utah, and University of Idaho. I currently live in Idaho and will be practicing here after graduation.

I have not heard back from any of the schools yet, but I am wondering what the consensus would be on taking a likely freebie at Idaho vs. paying to attend BYU (I'm LDS, honor code not an issue and tuition cheap) or Utah. It is very unlikely that any of the schools will affect my future employment as I will most likely be employed with my current employer (I work as a legal assistant), but I do like the idea of my degree having more recognizable name than UofI.


Loquist

shaville
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby shaville » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:33 am

Fellow Idahoan,
If you are going to stay in Idaho, go to UofI. I was facing that a similar choice myself (U of I for free or University of Michigan) and I chose Michigan because I'm not staying in Idaho. I have heard that the Boise legal market is largely made up of U of I grads, and employers tend to strongly gravitate to their graduates. For example, my brother graduated from Stanford Law and was beat out several times by U of I grads- there is a strong sense of school loyalty or something. To me, there is little question you should go to U of I.

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jsoell
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby jsoell » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:10 am

Sounds similar to the Mississippi market. The variable I see would be LDS. Are you hoping to practice within the LDS community in Idaho? If so, what sort of cachet do you get from having attended BYU?

loquist
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:49 am

shaville wrote:Fellow Idahoan,
If you are going to stay in Idaho, go to UofI. I was facing that a similar choice myself (U of I for free or University of Michigan) and I chose Michigan because I'm not staying in Idaho. I have heard that the Boise legal market is largely made up of U of I grads, and employers tend to strongly gravitate to their graduates. For example, my brother graduated from Stanford Law and was beat out several times by U of I grads- there is a strong sense of school loyalty or something. To me, there is little question you should go to U of I.


I had heard that as well for many years, but the building I work in has a number of firms in it, and only about half of the attorneys practicing graduated from UofI. The others graduated from Utah, BYU, Gonzaga, among other regional schools. It seems that the stranglehold that UofI has on the SBOE and the market is weakening, not due to a lack of credibility, but rather to more acceptance of portable degrees.


Loquist

loquist
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:56 am

jsoell wrote:Sounds similar to the Mississippi market. The variable I see would be LDS. Are you hoping to practice within the LDS community in Idaho? If so, what sort of cachet do you get from having attended BYU?


I am not particularly looking to practice amongst any particular group of people with whom I would be looking to gain influence, so the real benefit I see in BYU would be the reputation that BYU has for stiffer competition within the law school and their penchant for producing good litigators. UofI has a softer image of inclusion and friendship than does BYU. I'm not looking to spend three years making life-long friends (though I am sure I will find some) as much as I am looking to come out of law school chiseled and refined.


Loquist

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Eddieb317
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby Eddieb317 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:57 pm

I couldn't handle BYU... go visit the campus. If you are very religious and can handle that much religion in your daily life (not necessarily in the class room, but on and around campus and student life) you might be able to get along at BYU. I personally don't want to have religion anywhere near my education. It is a lifestyle that is not for everyone, so don't commit until you have enough information to make a decision that is right for you. Check out the TLS profile for BYU....

http://www.top-law-schools.com/brigham-young-law.html

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jks289
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby jks289 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:03 pm

I think it would be a nightmare to go to BYU if you weren't LDS. But since you are why wouldn't you. As long as you are devout and can handle the honor code and people who maybe take religion even more seriously than you do. If that is ok, you really cannot beat the Mormon networking system. Unless your heart is set on BigLaw, I'd do BYU. That said if you ARE thinking about the big firms, you should know that for better or worse BYU law on your resume lets every potential employer know about your religion. In regions like California, that could potentially be a really negative thing.

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wardboro
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby wardboro » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:51 pm

If you can get into BYU, you should probably go. It's the best of the three law schools you listed (I am a 2L at the U). Certainly you should consider whether or not you can handle it in Provo, but if you're married it's not going to seem that different than the other places you listed. There are a lot of BYU law kids from different places around the country, and the law school student body--while conservative--is not as conservative as the undergrad campus at BYU, if that's a concern. Plus, if you think Provo is boring and stifling, you should try Moscow--at least it's only a 45 minute drive to downtown SLC from Provo.

The BYU degree gives you more portability, and frankly it's a different degree than the Idaho degree. From BYU top 15% in a good economy you could have access to a lot of firms nationwide--probably better access than you would have as number 1 in your class at Idaho. In the Boise market, I don't think they generally favor Idaho over BYU (plus geographically, Moscow and Provo are about equidistant from Boise anyway) and there are a lot of BYU alums in Boise.

Don't worry about having BYU on your transcript--there's a good chance they'd be able to figure out your religious background from your resume anyway, and the BYU JD will open many more doors than it will close. Don't underestimate the Mormon mafia. Those Cali firms (if you even care) are full of Mormon partners who will look very favorably on a BYU JD.

Good luck with your decision. Full price at BYU (which in terms of law school tuition prices is unreal--even at full price) is still the best deal in law school education in the country given your numbers. Your only issue is getting in. Your GPA and LSAT are probably both a tiny bit below median, and if you're not diverse in terms of race/gender it might be hard to get in. The U is a fine school too, but I'd be reluctant to pay out-of-state tuition for it. Given that your LSAT is at/above 75th and your GPA is close to the median, you might get a modest scholly to help out. If you are in-state then I'd probably take that over Idaho as well--even if you're planning to practice in Idaho. Good luck with your cycle.

Moral of story. BYU is already so cheap taking into consideration the cost almost seems silly. Where BYU (even with significant tuition raises) will be a maximum of about 45k total tuition cost over all three years it seems like a no-brainer--if you can get in.

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erico
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby erico » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:06 pm

wardboro wrote:If you can get into BYU, you should probably go. It's the best of the three law schools you listed (I am a 2L at the U). Certainly you should consider whether or not you can handle it in Provo, but if you're married it's not going to seem that different than the other places you listed. There are a lot of BYU law kids from different places around the country, and the law school student body--while conservative--is not as conservative as the undergrad campus at BYU, if that's a concern. Plus, if you think Provo is boring and stifling, you should try Moscow--at least it's only a 45 minute drive to downtown SLC from Provo.

The BYU degree gives you more portability, and frankly it's a different degree than the Idaho degree. From BYU top 15% in a good economy you could have access to a lot of firms nationwide--probably better access than you would have as number 1 in your class at Idaho. In the Boise market, I don't think they generally favor Idaho over BYU (plus geographically, Moscow and Provo are about equidistant from Boise anyway) and there are a lot of BYU alums in Boise.

Don't worry about having BYU on your transcript--there's a good chance they'd be able to figure out your religious background from your resume anyway, and the BYU JD will open many more doors than it will close. Don't underestimate the Mormon mafia. Those Cali firms (if you even care) are full of Mormon partners who will look very favorably on a BYU JD.

Good luck with your decision. Full price at BYU (which in terms of law school tuition prices is unreal--even at full price) is still the best deal in law school education in the country given your numbers. Your only issue is getting in. Your GPA and LSAT are probably both a tiny bit below median, and if you're not diverse in terms of race/gender it might be hard to get in. The U is a fine school too, but I'd be reluctant to pay out-of-state tuition for it. Given that your LSAT is at/above 75th and your GPA is close to the median, you might get a modest scholly to help out. If you are in-state then I'd probably take that over Idaho as well--even if you're planning to practice in Idaho. Good luck with your cycle.

Moral of story. BYU is already so cheap taking into consideration the cost almost seems silly. Where BYU (even with significant tuition raises) will be a maximum of about 45k total tuition cost over all three years it seems like a no-brainer--if you can get in.


Thanks for the informative post. What is your perspective on BYU vs. BC or BYU vs. USC? Portability is great but I'm looking to return to Southern California.

twopoodles
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby twopoodles » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:31 pm

I had no idea there were schools in the U.S. that based tuition rate on religion. I am amazed. :shock:

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Stringer Bell
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby Stringer Bell » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:42 pm

twopoodles wrote:I had no idea there were schools in the U.S. that based tuition rate on religion. I am amazed. :shock:


If I really wanted to hijack and give this thread a shot at blowing up I could question whether it's that much different than schools basing scholarship awards on race, but I don't think I will do that.

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jks289
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby jks289 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:44 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
twopoodles wrote:I had no idea there were schools in the U.S. that based tuition rate on religion. I am amazed. :shock:


If I really wanted to hijack and give this thread and give it a shot at blowing up I could question whether it's that much different than schools basing scholarship awards on race, but I don't think I will do that.


You could argue that BYU is an entirely different case on the basis that all Mormons are obliged to tithe a portion (10%? Maybe 12%) of their income to the church. So theoretically they will be returning that money, and then some, throughout their careers.

loquist
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:20 pm

jks289 wrote:
Stringer Bell wrote:
twopoodles wrote:I had no idea there were schools in the U.S. that based tuition rate on religion. I am amazed. :shock:


If I really wanted to hijack and give this thread and give it a shot at blowing up I could question whether it's that much different than schools basing scholarship awards on race, but I don't think I will do that.


You could argue that BYU is an entirely different case on the basis that all Mormons are obliged to tithe a portion (10%? Maybe 12%) of their income to the church. So theoretically they will be returning that money, and then some, throughout their careers.


That's a fairly accurate assessment. BYU is roughly 50% funded by the LDS church out of tithing funds. The assumption is that if you are LDS you are paying tithing (it isn't mandatory) and thus you are already contributing 50% of your educational costs so they cut the tuition in half.

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kswiss
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby kswiss » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:36 pm

This is slightly off-topic, but I was thinking about this the other day in regards to BYU tuition. My wife went there for her Masters, and I am LDS.

The idea of subsidizing tuition, along with giving church leader's children free tuition, to BYU seems to have the effect of consolidating LDS power. Much like Ivy league schools are the playgrounds for the future power brokers in American society, BYU is the same for LDS society. Every member of the LDS church is supposed to pay 10% of their income, but only a few get the benefits of a subsidized education as a result. Most of these are white Americans from active LDS families. So in essence, you have a worldwide church with millions of members (many of whom are poor / don't have access to education) subsidizing the most affluent.

Like I said, I'm LDS, and I have benefited directly from this. I know that a lot of people will talk about diversity etc. at BYU, but take a walk across campus and you'll see a bunch of American white LDS kids receiving an excellent education at extremely low cost. It seems to me like graduates should pay like 15% or something, since in essence they are receiving a benefit that others are not.

loquist
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:40 am

kswiss wrote:This is slightly off-topic, but I was thinking about this the other day in regards to BYU tuition. My wife went there for her Masters, and I am LDS.

The idea of subsidizing tuition, along with giving church leader's children free tuition, to BYU seems to have the effect of consolidating LDS power. Much like Ivy league schools are the playgrounds for the future power brokers in American society, BYU is the same for LDS society. Every member of the LDS church is supposed to pay 10% of their income, but only a few get the benefits of a subsidized education as a result. Most of these are white Americans from active LDS families. So in essence, you have a worldwide church with millions of members (many of whom are poor / don't have access to education) subsidizing the most affluent.

Like I said, I'm LDS, and I have benefited directly from this. I know that a lot of people will talk about diversity etc. at BYU, but take a walk across campus and you'll see a bunch of American white LDS kids receiving an excellent education at extremely low cost. It seems to me like graduates should pay like 15% or something, since in essence they are receiving a benefit that others are not.


In truth it is easier to get into BYU if you are a minority or from out of country. Just about everyone who applies and meets those criteria gets in whereas people from Utah and the surrounding states tend to have the most difficulty getting in. It is natural that the kids from active LDS families are the ones who go there because the kids from families that are inactive in the church tend to not want to agree to the honor code.

I have many minority friends who attend BYU and I don't know of a single one who was rejected. On the other hand, I know a lot of white kids who had excellent scores and were rejected because every LDS individual and their dog in the mountain west region wants to attend BYU (and people in the mountain west region tend to be white).

With the limitations on the number of individuals that can attend the church education system, there will always be a large number of cases where people could not get into the school.

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TTH
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby TTH » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:46 am

What would be the total COA difference between BYU and Idaho and how much debt do you have from undergrad? If you're absolutely set on staying in Idaho, then it would seem natural to take the full ride there. However, if you want options, BYU will provide them. It depends on how much those options would cost you.

MJMD
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby MJMD » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:16 pm

I really find it odd that, as an LDS person who is supposedly devout enough to be able to handle the BYU honour code, you're seriously contemplating going to a third-tier law school (free or not) over BYU. That seems insane to me: the higher rank of BYU in the USNWR will give you much more national mobility even among non-Mormon employers, and Mormon employers will be immediately impressed by a law degree from BYU.

You can't seriously be considering the question people have raised of employers not hiring you because you went to BYU. Do you really think that, if you went to a different school, you would enjoy working in an environment with that kind of religious discrimination? I'm writing from Alberta, and maybe it's different in the States, but that kind of bigotry against Mormons is almost unheard of up here: people may say snarky things in private, but they respect the honesty and the work ethic. BYU is actually one of the few schools of its rank that is not strictly a regional school, because of its reputation among Mormons all over the world. You could probably breeze through the NCA process and get hired here in Western Canada, if you wanted to, or be in-house counsel at any Mormon-run company in the developing world.

And you'd be paying less in tuition as a Mormon at BYU than you would be as, say, a Canadian at almost any Canadian school; which is truly remarkable, when you consider that Canadian law schools are uniformly public, and cheap compared with median tuition costs in the U.S. Assuming you took out student loans on the whole sum, you'd graduate with somewhere between $30,000 and $45,000 in debt, wouldn't you? But you shouldn't need to take out loans on the whole amount, because summer employment ought to easily be enough to pay for half of that. The $25,000 remaining would likely vanish in the first year or two after law school.

So I can think of only three reasons that you would consider taking the free ride at Idaho instead: 1) your financial situation is already extremely dire; 2) you’re having second thoughts about the LDS lifestyle/culture, and secretly dread the thought of further immersion in it at BYU or with a Mormon employer afterward; or 3) you’re afraid of the extreme competition at BYU. If these are your real concerns, then you should address them openly and honestly with your friends and family before making your final decision.

loquist
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:20 pm

MJMD wrote:So I can think of only three reasons that you would consider taking the free ride at Idaho instead: 1) your financial situation is already extremely dire; 2) you’re having second thoughts about the LDS lifestyle/culture, and secretly dread the thought of further immersion in it at BYU or with a Mormon employer afterward; or 3) you’re afraid of the extreme competition at BYU. If these are your real concerns, then you should address them openly and honestly with your friends and family before making your final decision.


Wow. That was very presumptuous, and off the mark.

MJMD
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby MJMD » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:10 pm

Sorry, I didn't mean to be presumptuous. All I meant was that those were the only reasons I could think of to explain why you were even having a hard time making this decision; so if they're way off the mark, then that means you really are crazy, or at least that you would be if you went to Idaho (assuming you're in at BYU right now)

loquist
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Re: Freebie vs. Higher ranked school.

Postby loquist » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:46 pm

MJMD wrote:Sorry, I didn't mean to be presumptuous. All I meant was that those were the only reasons I could think of to explain why you were even having a hard time making this decision; so if they're way off the mark, then that means you really are crazy, or at least that you would be if you went to Idaho (assuming you're in at BYU right now)


One of the reasons involves future political endeavors. Idaho tends to hold to its own when voting when it comes to representative government. That isn't to say that it is impossible if you come from BYU, but it does make things a little more difficult. I am weighing portability on the one hand (leaving alternate avenues open is never a bad idea, and that favors BYU) and an easier path to my goals on the other.

The aforementioned factors are combined with LDS church leaders' counsel that debt be taken on for educational purposes only if necessary. I intentionally ignored more expensive law schools for that purpose.




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