Trap law schools

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NYC Law
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby NYC Law » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:56 pm

ITE I think it's safe being born is a trap

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby c3pO4 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:58 pm

emory

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Curious1 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:15 pm

Actually in his post he mentions HYS can be considered trap law schools too. So...kind of makes the whole thing questionable.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Gail » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:24 pm

NYC Law wrote:ITE I think it's safe being born is a trap


Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Going strong since 1988

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wallflower1987
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby wallflower1987 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:35 pm

Everybody who says law market is terrible needs to closely examine non-law market. After undergrad but before grad school, I sent applications for over 200 jobs, mostly safety and good fit with probably 5 or fewer that I never had a shot at. I got zero call backs. It is interesting that you guys think everything else is so much worse for law students. BTW, my brother graduated around the 60th percentile from a TTTT and it did take him awhile to get a job as a lawyer, but less than 9 months after his LLM, he makes above the 75th percentile for his school.

As for trap schools, it is a thought. I don't think Minnesota can be within a hundred miles of that list. Unless you are out of state, I guess... but there are much better examples. Incidentally, GWU ad Fordham are two of my top choices, and I would probably pay sticker. Because nothing is guaranteed, and no school is really free. So why not go where you WANT to be? These forums can make people so cynical because a bunch of people who wanted to get rich quick have to work a little longer... like every non-lawyer is getting there so much more quickly right now! I hate the elitist garbage... according to many TLS posters, if you aren't HYS, or at least Chicago, Northwestern, Texas, Columbia or Cornell, you may as well kill yourself. Funny that none of the richest people I know (many millionaires) went to any of the aforementioned schools. Law is a way to a better career, not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you look at it that way, feel free to ignore the whining of the future yuppies on this and many other threads.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby sunynp » Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:29 pm

wallflower1987 wrote:Everybody who says law market is terrible needs to closely examine non-law market. After undergrad but before grad school, I sent applications for over 200 jobs, mostly safety and good fit with probably 5 or fewer that I never had a shot at. I got zero call backs. It is interesting that you guys think everything else is so much worse for law students. BTW, my brother graduated around the 60th percentile from a TTTT and it did take him awhile to get a job as a lawyer, but less than 9 months after his LLM, he makes above the 75th percentile for his school.

As for trap schools, it is a thought. I don't think Minnesota can be within a hundred miles of that list. Unless you are out of state, I guess... but there are much better examples. Incidentally, GWU ad Fordham are two of my top choices, and I would probably pay sticker. Because nothing is guaranteed, and no school is really free. So why not go where you WANT to be? These forums can make people so cynical because a bunch of people who wanted to get rich quick have to work a little longer... like every non-lawyer is getting there so much more quickly right now! I hate the elitist garbage... according to many TLS posters, if you aren't HYS, or at least Chicago, Northwestern, Texas, Columbia or Cornell, you may as well kill yourself. Funny that none of the richest people I know (many millionaires) went to any of the aforementioned schools. Law is a way to a better career, not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you look at it that way, feel free to ignore the whining of the future yuppies on this and many other threads.


What are you talking about? This doesn't even make any sense. Why are you attacking me (who you know nothing about) or Paul Campos, who is a respected professor of law at Colorado as people who "want to get rich quick"?

I started this thread for meaningful discussion as to what schools might be included, and, also because i don't follow sports and don't really follow the "trap game" analogy.

I would never suggest anyone kill themselves. I had a friend who intentionally overdosed on anti-depressant medication. The cops found her body the next day in her car parked in her church parking lot. No one who knew her has ever gotten over it. I certainly don't think not getting into a specific law school is worth dying. I don't think that failing out of law school is worth dying. I don't think that not getting above median at law school is worth dying. I don't think that being unemployed even with 6 figures of debt is worth dying. Don't equate anything I ever post with if you don't do this, you might as well kill yourself. I find this really offensive.

The point of the article is to prevent people from going into a lifetime of debt for a degree from a school that gives them no solid options to repay the loans. These trap schools look respectable enough, but if you look closely, they charge high tuition and have terrible employment statistics. Many of their grads will struggle for years to repay the loans they took out to go there. If you equate that to a get rich scheme, then I don't know what to tell you. I think we have no common ground.

I don't think getting into massive debt to go to law school because you can't find another job is a mistake. If you think the law market is better, you are mistaken.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Flash » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:59 am

wallflower1987 wrote:Everybody who says law market is terrible needs to closely examine non-law market. After undergrad but before grad school, I sent applications for over 200 jobs, mostly safety and good fit with probably 5 or fewer that I never had a shot at. I got zero call backs. It is interesting that you guys think everything else is so much worse for law students. BTW, my brother graduated around the 60th percentile from a TTTT and it did take him awhile to get a job as a lawyer, but less than 9 months after his LLM, he makes above the 75th percentile for his school.

As for trap schools, it is a thought. I don't think Minnesota can be within a hundred miles of that list. Unless you are out of state, I guess... but there are much better examples. Incidentally, GWU ad Fordham are two of my top choices, and I would probably pay sticker. Because nothing is guaranteed, and no school is really free. So why not go where you WANT to be? These forums can make people so cynical because a bunch of people who wanted to get rich quick have to work a little longer... like every non-lawyer is getting there so much more quickly right now! I hate the elitist garbage... according to many TLS posters, if you aren't HYS, or at least Chicago, Northwestern, Texas, Columbia or Cornell, you may as well kill yourself. Funny that none of the richest people I know (many millionaires) went to any of the aforementioned schools. Law is a way to a better career, not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you look at it that way, feel free to ignore the whining of the future yuppies on this and many other threads.

I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.

sunynp wrote:What are you talking about? This doesn't even make any sense. Why are you attacking me (who you know nothing about) or Paul Campos, who is a respected professor of law at Colorado as people who "want to get rich quick"?

I started this thread for meaningful discussion as to what schools might be included, and, also because i don't follow sports and don't really follow the "trap game" analogy.

I would never suggest anyone kill themselves. I had a friend who intentionally overdosed on anti-depressant medication. The cops found her body the next day in her car parked in her church parking lot. No one who knew her has ever gotten over it. I certainly don't think not getting into a specific law school is worth dying. I don't think that failing out of law school is worth dying. I don't think that not getting above median at law school is worth dying. I don't think that being unemployed even with 6 figures of debt is worth dying. Don't equate anything I ever post with if you don't do this, you might as well kill yourself. I find this really offensive.

The point of the article is to prevent people from going into a lifetime of debt for a degree from a school that gives them no solid options to repay the loans. These trap schools look respectable enough, but if you look closely, they charge high tuition and have terrible employment statistics. Many of their grads will struggle for years to repay the loans they took out to go there. If you equate that to a get rich scheme, then I don't know what to tell you. I think we have no common ground.

I don't think getting into massive debt to go to law school because you can't find another job is a mistake. If you think the law market is better, you are mistaken.

FTFY.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby wallflower1987 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:41 am

d
Last edited by wallflower1987 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby PARTY » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:05 am

wallflower1987 wrote:Ok, well regardless of all that, either all law schools are a trap or none are... but I think it is interesting to say that FORDHAM and GEORGE WASHINGTON are traps... I would have to agree that Golden Gate and Cooley and New York Law may be "traps" in great locations that do not have the connections to get people a job that could justify the outrageous cost (especially NYLS). But if you really think calling two of the top 30 law schools in the country "traps" with "terrible career prospects" isn't elitist, then you are right. We have nothing to say to each other.

As for the suicide comment, sorry you are offended by that hyperbole. You aren't they only person who knows somebody who took their own life. But how do you think people on here feel (not myself; I made my bed with a 2.81, and my 167 will doubtless let me make up for that better than I deserve) when you belittle the schools that are the best hopes for them to continue toward what would be the culmination of their life's efforts? I don't know about you in particular because I don't "troll" so I have no idea or interest in who says what. I simply cannot stand the rampant elitism on this site. What does a person with a 3.95 and a 175 have to gain by belittling the schools that a peer with a 3.2 and a 155 attends?

I just was astonished that you call Fordham and George Washington traps... all schools in populated areas (therefore, big markets) have inflated salaries that reflect the cost of living, not the quality of the school. So in that sense, every non-Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Georgetown may as well give up on law... because those are the only schools with the name-recognition that goes beyond the legal profession. Most non-legal people have no idea that Texas, Minnesota, Chicago, Northwestern or Michigan are good law schools. To admittedly varying extents, the future will certainly be brighter for those who get into THE top school, and the job market is certainly highly competitive for lawyers, but the condescension displayed by those who pretend to care about anything but their own bitterness and cynicism (like the guy with the Israeli flag for his avatar, for instance) helps nobody, it only knocks the wind out of the sails of people who are trying to go after their dreams.

I know it is law, and people should be tough if they are going to be in it, but this isn't tough, it's cruel. I would certainly agree that law schools should have their accreditation ripped away from them until they are 100% transparent in all regards (that means admissions matrices from EVERY school, and extremely detailed and mandatory post-grad employment data). I would not say that everything that is not the biggest and the best is a trap. Is it a lot of money? Yes. Is it a lot of work and time, for a pay-off that may never happen? Absolutely. What else would you have people do, though? Go do something menial that they hate, just so they can avoid loans? Many of these people's alternatives are jobs in fields that are no more stable than law school and pay (at absolute best) as much as they would make coming out of a TTTT. Patronizing people and telling them that it's HYS or an embarrassing waste of everybody's time is not helping them.

Like I said, calling any school a trap is a little snobbish. Calling Top-30 schools traps is elitist as hell. And ignorant. So I'm not sorry if you are offended; you are belittling schools that may be other people's imperfect, best chance at their dream job. I could give a shit if you are offended by my pointing that out. :D


anti-mTal trolling.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby wallflower1987 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:18 am

sunynp wrote:Paul Campos has a definition of law schools that are "trap law schools.". The criteria are:1 very expensive. 2. Desirable location. 3. Superficially attractive employment and salary statistics. (the trap concept gas to do with a sports metaphor that I don't understand or care about- something about a game being harder to win than it seems on the surface just comparing two teams.)

Trap schools are schools that look good enough on the surface that reasonably prudent students will attend at sticker- but end up in financial disaster anyway.

He nominates-USC Fordham and George Washington as examples of this trap. Some commentators think Minnesota might also be included.

Thoughts? If you are thinking about attending one of these schools would you pay sticker?


To avoid arguing, and not a moment too soon ( :wink: ), I would probably unabashedly pay sticker at GWU, Fordham or Minnesota. Probably not at American, or at Brooklyn (but I have scholarship making that comparable to in-state TTTT for me)... there are certainly some schools not worth the price, but more important than the school is geography. If you want to work in South Dakota, don't go to school in New York. Not only is USD a better school than every one of the T14 for South Dakota jobs (fairly true statement, in my experience), it is also wicked cheap, even for a TTTT.

The trap is the rankings system in general, and the notion of "prestige" that people get suckered into caring about so much that they forget everything else. In that sense, even the T14 at sticker are not worth it unless you are extremely geographically flexible (or if you happen to live in their back yard). There is a legitimate point to be raised... but if you are going to drop the word "trap", don't draw arbitrary lines of distinction; there are none. Any school that lures you into paying too much for an education you cannot fully utilize is a trap, no matter what the reason. Geographic incompatibility, enormous price-tag that will chain you to Biglaw and 2500 billable hours for 15 years, like it or not, poor job placement history, lack of a reputation... anything could make a school a trap. I think the best words of wisdom would be to encourage people to learn EVERYTHING, spend the money to apply to enough schools, shop around, know what you want, have a plan, and make a contingency plan for when that plan doesn't work. But calling specific schools traps? No, I don't buy that. There are schools that are traps, but for every person, and for every set of circumstances, the trap could be any different school. Harvard can be a trap, too.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby johansantana21 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:25 am

Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby wallflower1987 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:33 am

johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.


Yeah, I actually have all my schools I applied to posted, none of which are in Chicago. And watch them plummet in the rankings as the bottom falls out of their legal market and they drop down next to Minnesota (where they belong). But yeah, if I disagree, it is pretty clear that I am a troll. Trolling around. And doing troll things.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby PARTY » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:34 am

wallflower1987 wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.


Yeah, I actually have all my schools I applied to posted, none of which are in Chicago. And watch them plummet in the rankings as the bottom falls out of their legal market and they drop down next to Minnesota (where they belong). But yeah, if I disagree, it is pretty clear that I am a troll. Trolling around. And doing troll things.


whoooooosh.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby sunynp » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:42 am

Yeah, I'm not sure why the word "trap" is so upsetting. It was an analogy to the concept of a "trap game" in college football. I have no interest in college football so maybe I got the analogy wrong- but the poster above probably has the right idea. The trap is based in part on the rankings system. These schools are "elite, or at least sub-elite" but still will end up in financial disaster for the majority of the class. Trap schools are the schools between the group of schools where paying sticker isn't "an extraordinary risky gamble" and the "huge numbers of schools where [paying sticker] is obviously risky behavior."

The employment numbers at these schools remain misleading. Campos estimates that a third (or fewer)get jobs that will enable them to repay their loans. You could also check the OCI threads for these schools from last august. A quick glance showed that about 30% at Fordham got biglaw jobs. On the GW website 188 salaries were reported out of a total of 484 employed graduates. That is a huge difference. From those limited 188 salaries they come up with the median of 160,0000. Note that gw doesn't just take the student reported numbers, but look at other factors.

I also don't know why understanding the reality of the job market before you spend tens of thousands of dollars is problematic. The posters here, Law school transparency and people like professor campos are trying to educate students. You can be upset by the realities, you can ignore the realities, but the job market is a fact- no one is making this stuff up.

Edit: About GW : there is a thread here by a student warning people not to go - has some relevant discussion-and some balanced discussion by people who had good outcomes (though it seems around 25% of GW gets biglaw): viewtopic.php?f=1&t=171568

The guy who started that thread had previously argued that GW was a top school:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=115188&hilit=fordham

Just to show you how ideas change after you've actually experienced law school.

Same guy, after striking out at OCI and looking for any small firm job he can get in DC.
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=168118


Read those and don't tell me that you shouldn't be forewarned before going to GW or similar schools
Last edited by sunynp on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:34 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby FryBreadPower » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:55 am

How in god's name have there been 39 posts and no Mtal sighting yet?

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby wallflower1987 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:27 pm

sunynp wrote:Yeah, I'm not sure why the word "trap" is so upsetting. It was an analogy to the concept of a "trap game" in college football. I have no interest in college football so maybe I got the analogy wrong- but the poster above probably has the right idea. The trap is based in part on the rankings system. These schools are "elite, or at least sub-elite" but still will end up in financial disaster for the majority of the class. Trap schools are the schools between the group of schools where paying sticker isn't "an extraordinary risky gamble" and the "huge numbers of schools where [paying sticker] is obviously risky behavior."

The employment numbers at these schools remain misleading. Campos estimates that a third (or fewer)get jobs that will enable them to repay their loans. You could also check the OCI threads for these schools from last august. A quick glance showed that about 30% at Fordham got biglaw jobs. On the GW website 188 salaries were reported out of a total of 484 employed graduates. That is a huge difference. From those limited 188 salaries they come up with the median of 160,0000. Note that gw doesn't just take the student reported numbers, but look at other factors.

I also don't know why understanding the reality of the job market before you spend tens of thousands of dollars is problematic. The posters here, Law school transparency and people like professor campos are trying to educate students. You can be upset by the realities, you can ignore the realities, but the job market is a fact- no one is making this stuff up.

Read those and don't tell me that you should be forewarned before going to GW or similar schools


The numbers I have seen show that a small number of overall grads from ANY school go Biglaw. Only four schools sent over half their class to NLJ250 firms: Chicago, Cornell, Columbia and Penn.

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/tag/nlj-250/

Now a lot of schools, like Yale, encourage students to self-select out of that life, and even offer insights into the Biglaw rat race, like this:

http://www.law.yale.edu/documents/pdf/C ... e_hour.pdf

So if you (rightly) assume that many grads self-select OUT of Biglaw for smaller firms, different locations, public sector work and clerkships, sending 30% of the class to Biglaw seems much less terrible. Especially considering that Fordham and GW are #21 and #22 in the nation even by that metric (although neither is 30% at this point; they are 25.68% and 24.76%, respectively). GW is especially respectable, then, since it is very likely that a substantial number of students who pay extra for a DC law school experience will also self-select into public sector, public interest, clerkships etc.

I guess I just take issue with drawing an arbitrary line of distinction where some schools are traps and some are not. Minnesota especially blew me away; yeah, it is ranked #39 nationally and it sends just under 12% to the NLJ250, but that does not directly translate to a lower standard of living. Minnesota places its graduates in a smaller market, in a city that costs less. $140,000 a year in Minneapolis is much more than $160,000 in NY or DC. Ditto for Creighton (a TTT)... their average starting salary of $60,000 is probably more like $110,000 in DC or NY because of the extremely low cost of living in Omaha. Yet US News, and everything that is based on it, considers salary numbers to be the same... even though a person making $160,000 in SD would be VERY wealthy, whereas in New York, they would not be; especially since any job in NYC would likely require a nearby home that would cost over $3,000 a month, compared to the $1,000 a month that would get you into some of the nicer apartments/lofts in Sioux Falls or Omaha.

So I guess that is my issue. I'm not sure how you are making the distinction of trap schools. Even with how you explain it, it makes more sense to me to include schools like NYLS, Golden Gate, etc. Schools that truly lack the reputation to back up the cost. In the legal community, whatever the numbers may currently be, I do not think that group includes George Washington, Fordham and Minnesota... at least not in my case. Harvard and Stanford and the T14 may offer more reliably stellar placement opportunities, but not for me (I'd be turned away at the gate). GW and Fordham do have strong placement, even if it is not as good as the T14, and their geographically inflated salary and placement data are no different from most of the T14 (which GW misses by a whopping 6 spots).

Like I said, there is relevant data, and if you want to go Biglaw, all that data is daunting. Placing in the top half of your class at one of the most competitive schools in the nation for the guarantee? And that's best case scenario? I don't think you can call GW and Fordham traps just because they require top quarter. They are a step below the best, for sure, but that does not make them traps.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Flash » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:36 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.

Chicago and Columbia give you the best shot at Biglaw outside of HYS.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby fatduck » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:36 pm

how has no one mentioned Emory yet?

--ImageRemoved--

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby johansantana21 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:40 pm

Flash wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.

Chicago and Columbia give you the best shot at Biglaw outside of HYS.


And NYU and PENN give you the best shot at biglaw outside of HYS CC.

Point?

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wallflower1987
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Re: Trap law schools

Postby wallflower1987 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.

Chicago and Columbia give you the best shot at Biglaw outside of HYS.


And NYU and PENN give you the best shot at biglaw outside of HYS CC.

Point?


And just 13 more great schools down the list, Fordham and GW give you the best shot at Biglaw other than the other 20... like I said, who draws the line?

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Flash » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
I don't know if this is Texas, NW and Cornell trolling or anti-BMVPD trolling.



Pretty blatant Chicago trolling here.

Chicago and Columbia give you the best shot at Biglaw outside of HYS.


And NYU and PENN give you the best shot at biglaw outside of HYS CC.

Point?

The guy never mentioned NYU or Penn.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby johansantana21 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:46 pm

Flash wrote:The guy never mentioned NYU or Penn.


And he shouldn't have mentioned Chicago or Columbia either without NYU.

Silly of you to think that CC is closer to HYS then NYU is to CC.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Flash » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:50 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:The guy never mentioned NYU or Penn.


And he shouldn't have mentioned Chicago or Columbia either without NYU.

Silly of you to think that CC is closer to HYS then NYU is to CC.

NYU is an MVP peer.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby johansantana21 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:57 pm

Flash wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:The guy never mentioned NYU or Penn.


And he shouldn't have mentioned Chicago or Columbia either without NYU.

Silly of you to think that CC is closer to HYS then NYU is to CC.

NYU is an MVP peer.


If that's true, so are CC.

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Re: Trap law schools

Postby Flash » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:58 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:
johansantana21 wrote:
Flash wrote:The guy never mentioned NYU or Penn.


And he shouldn't have mentioned Chicago or Columbia either without NYU.

Silly of you to think that CC is closer to HYS then NYU is to CC.

NYU is an MVP peer.


If that's true, so are CC.

Nope.




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