Help me choose please!!!

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NewLawStudent
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Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:26 am

OK, so here's where I'm standing: I'm in Chapman (sticker) and Seattle U (8K scholly). Also Waitlisted in Cardozo (They must be out of their minds to have waitlisted me considering my crappy LSAT!) and U of Miami. And I turned down offers from several schools. I visited Seattle U last month. I was kind of impressed but honestly I'm more impressed by Chapman to which I've already sent my second deposit. I live in Orange County, so attending Chapman is very convenient for me, considering the fact that I'm married, my wife works here, I have some friends and relatives in the area, and I'm very familiar with the area. So although SU is slightly higher-ranked than Chapman, the latter seems to be a more suitable option for me. Now my question for you guys is: if you were in my shoes, would you start preparing to attend Chapman (renting a place close to the school etc.) or would you wait for Cardozo and Miami (esp. the former) to eventually respond? What if say Cardozo pulls me off the waitlist a couple of days before classes start?! In that case, would it be worth it to deal with all the hassle of moving to NYC with my family to attend Cardozo (or U of Miami for that matter)? [Chapman(93), SU(86), Cardozo(52), U of Miami(60)] I know some of you are going to advise me to go to the school where I intend to practice upon graduation, but look at the huge difference in rankings! And the number of law firms hiring from Cardozo and U of Miami, compared to the number of firms hiring from Chapman!
Any constructive advice will be greatly appreciated.

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upalittletoolate
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby upalittletoolate » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:45 am

Numbers?

savagecheater
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby savagecheater » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:12 am

Constructive?

The rankings difference is completely irrelevant, and all of those schools are completely regional.

Ok, here goes.

Cardozo is in NY, which means it's behind the T-14 and Fordham. Enjoy trying to break into that.

Miami is in FL, which is pretty much locked down by UF, and the FL legal market is particularly mangled so it will be very difficult to get a job.

Finally, Chapman is in CA, which means it's behind Boalt, Stanford, Hastings, UCLA, and even UCI.

Do you like those odds?

If you do, find out where you want to practice, talk it over with your wife, and go there.

heinous boalt trolling

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:13 am

Thanks for your comment. I don't understand why you're saying the rankings difference is 'completely irrelevant'. Although these schools are all regional, it seems that some are more regional than others! Also, the average starting salaries differ greatly.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:13 pm

Any other comments?

total_loss
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby total_loss » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:06 pm

savagecheater wrote: The rankings difference is completely irrelevant, and all of those schools are completely regional. heinous boalt trolling


NewLawStudent wrote: I don't understand why you're saying the rankings difference is 'completely irrelevant'. Although these schools are all regional, it seems that some are more regional than others!


OP, as another poster has already indicated, the schools you have listed are completely regional. A better ranking in the T2 does not equate to better national employment options.

If you are concerned solely about employment post graduation pick the school that gives you the best employment prospects in its region.

If you are intent on practicing in a specific region (i.e., Seattle, Miami, Orange County, New York) go to the law school in that market. Period. Don't expect your T2 degree to travel across the country.

crossingforHYS
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:14 pm

I've heard rumors that Chapman will jump in rankings soon because of their dean...but might just be rumors

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kaydish21
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby kaydish21 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:36 pm

It's possible, rankings in the lower T2 greatly fluctuate every year, but at that level the rankings really are regional. The jump in rankings would only matter if it overtook a school in its area like the ASU jump over Arizona this year (but even then ppl arent all of a sudden swearing ASU is the better school). You seem very impressed with Cardozo, and it certainly is a great school, their salary figures though look sketchy and the cost of life is much higher than most other regions so salary's may also be higher.

As everyone in this thread has already insinuated, you need to go to school in the region you want to practice. Is your wife working? Can she be happy in any of these areas? Getting off the waitlist at the last minute is tough if you are moving a family. People on this message board can tell you about the schools, but it's your family that needs to make the right decision for you.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:53 pm

Is it possible to transfer from Cardozo to the powerhouses in NY, such as NYU etc.? How likely is that? Any idea?
Do they consider the LSAT score when reviewing your transfer application?

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kaydish21
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby kaydish21 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:57 pm

It certainly is possible and Cardozo loses about 10 people a year to Columbia/NYU, but the chances of this happening are very small. As has become the TLS mantra, you should never go to a school you would not be happy graduating from, this is double true with a family I would think as what schools I applied to were in part determined by proximity to my wife and where she could be. It is a very risky move to gamble on transferring, especially when you think of all the people Cardozo gives huge money to that are also trying to get in a position to transfer, that is a tough scenario.

dcm81
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby dcm81 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:03 pm

I would stay away from Cardozo. You think competition for jobs is fierce? Try NYC and the Northeast when you are attending a borderline T1 school paired up against all T-14 and T1 schools out there. There is less competition in Orange County as most T14 go east, not west, and most UCLA/USC stay in LA. UCI will be the main competition, but they are a small law school, so if you go to Chapman, you should find a decent market of jobs. I wouldn't pay attention to the rankings so much in T2. 75-100 is paired up very close. Chapman could easily jump up 30-40 spots in the next few years if they move up their admission numbers and continue to gain rep. That will help a little bit, especially if you are competiting against the next level of competition in Pepperdine/Loyola/USD.

If I were you, consider Miami if you get in if they take you off the waitlist soon. Less competition there in Florida, decent legal market, and they are good at sports and tax law. Otherwise, I say just go to Chapman if you are already living in Orange County. Seattle is a decent university, but 8k isn't all that much in the long scheme of things. But hey if you really like it up there go for it. Not a ton of competition in Seattle either, just dont expect to work for Microsoft.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:41 pm

Wow, thanks guys. A lot of good advice. My wife and I immigrated to the US less than 5 years ago (from Iran). Upon arriving here, we settled down in Orange County, CA; that's why when I visited Seattle last month, I felt I had gone to another country and felt totally lost (That's probably why I prefer Chapman to SU). Now, I've never been to New York, and the idea of moving my family to NY is just daunting. My wife is a nurse here and has a full-time job. There's also something else: OC and LA are full of Persians and Persian Americans, so considering the fact that the economy seems to be awful these days and may not pick up anytime soon, I've been thinking that if worse comes to worst, and I can't get a good job upon graduation, I'll probably be able to go solo and at least take care of the legal matters of the huge Iranian community here, (most of whom are more comfortable working with someone who understands their language and culture). Therefore, Chapman still looks like the best option, but if those of you who are familiar with Cardozo and Miami told me that these schools were much much better than Chapman and that Chapman were a completely waste of time and money (at sticker), then it would perhaps be worth it to consider Cardozo and Miami seiously.
Last edited by NewLawStudent on Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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gdane
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby gdane » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:36 pm

Dont get hung up on rankings. The ranking system is a joke after the top 25 or so schools. A school being ranked 60 as opposed to 81 doesnt mean much since both of those schools are probably regional to begin with. Evaluate why you want to go to law school. Its pretty well understood here that going to law school doesnt guarantee you riches and wealth.

In any case, out of all the schools you listed I'd say go to Chapman. It seems to make the most sense for you. The whole being able to communicate with other Persians idea isnt a bad one. It could work. It just depends on what you want to do.

Good luck!

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 6:57 pm

My understanding here is that I'm screwed anyway, right? None of these schools seem to be appealing to anyone here. :cry: I'm a teacher, making like 50K a year after working my ass off with all the preparation and stuff, and 50K/year is not much in OC. I was hoping I could make a lot more with a JD. But I received my financial reward letter from Chapman a couple of days ago. Over 70K for the first year!!! Only 16K for cost of living, which is less than what I'm paying for rent every year. Second thoughts about going to law school after all the time and money investment! But if I continue teaching, I'll be a teacher living in a small apartment for the rest of my life. What the hell can I do now? :x

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:02 pm

By the way, does anyone here have any idea why the heck the average starting salary is so much higher for Santa Clara graduates than for graduates from other similarly-ranked schools such as Chapman? I know those numbers are not that reliable, but still!

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dood
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby dood » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:12 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:21 pm

Thanks dood. Good to know that what I thought makes sense to someone else too. Have you ever come across anyone who is, like me, a relatively new immigrant to the US and is or was in law school? If so, how do they fare against others in law school? I've never been a student here and honestly sometimes it makes me worried because I think to myself there might be things that my classmates will know but I won't. Any ideas or experiences?

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:05 pm

Any other comments anyone? Please!!!!!!!!!!

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Grizz
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby Grizz » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:21 pm

None of those schools are worth going to for the amount of money you would be paying. Standard TLS advice applies: retake and reapply or don't go.

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gdane
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby gdane » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:23 pm

I understand your frustration, but understand that being a lawyer does not a guarantee that you'll make lots of money. It just doesnt. You end up with a lot of debt and employment prospects are limited. What I would recommend is retaking the LSAT so that you can score higher and possibly receive more money and better acceptances.

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twert
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby twert » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:27 pm

NewLawStudent wrote:My understanding here is that I'm screwed anyway, right? None of these schools seem to be appealing to anyone here. :cry: I'm a teacher, making like 50K a year after working my ass off with all the preparation and stuff, and 50K/year is not much in OC. I was hoping I could make a lot more with a JD. But I received my financial reward letter from Chapman a couple of days ago. Over 70K for the first year!!! Only 16K for cost of living, which is less than what I'm paying for rent every year. Second thoughts about going to law school after all the time and money investment! But if I continue teaching, I'll be a teacher living in a small apartment for the rest of my life. What the hell can I do now? :x


this does't sound right. are you sure the 16k isn't per semester. tuition is only 38, which leaves 32k left for cost of living.

average starting salary out of chapman is something like 70k, which probably means the real average is closer to 50k. there will obviously be more room to advance in law than in teaching, but don't expect law school to pay off right away.

anyway, i'll be at chapman in the fall so i guess its my responsibility to troll for my school and tell you that chapman is the only school on your list that really makes any sense.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:30 pm

Room and Board is like 16K. A few thousand bucks for miscellaneous expenses. And the rest for books etc. etc.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:36 pm

Retaking LSAT would be mostly useless in my case. Because I completed my undergraduate and graduate schools outside of the US, a lot of schools reject me off-hand; they say that my grades cannot be compared with those of other applicants. Some of them put me on hold for so long for the same reason, and then say sorry! No more available seats.

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gdane
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby gdane » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:45 pm

You should still try. Dont be so negative.

Also, keep in mind that the 16k a year for the cost of living applies to the school year, in other words 9 months.

Making 50k a year isnt that bad. Its not great, but honestly you may not be making that much more if you were a lawyer. There is a myth that all lawyers make 100k+, but this just isnt true. Dont put too much stock in the median earnings numbers that USNWR reports. Those numbers are very fabricated and are not indicative of the true earnings of Chapman graduates. Could be more, could be less, but dont take that number as a salary thats set in stone for all graduates.

NewLawStudent
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Re: Help me choose please!!!

Postby NewLawStudent » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:29 pm

The thing is I studied all Powerscore books (Bibles and class textbooks), took all the released actual tests, did pretty well on most of them. However, on the real test, I had this horrendous panic attach, which is so out of character for me. So here I am with a crappy LSAT and admittance to some T2s.




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