W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

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ds2203
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W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby ds2203 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:43 am

I live in New York now and am pretty sure I'd like to be in the East Coast job market (NYC or DC, probably). Hoping to do well and transfer into a T-14 or T-10, but obviously can't count on that when making a decision. Interested in human rights and international issues but would like to clerk and have the option (grades and economy willing) to start out in big law because of the debt. Obviously Fordham and Davis are ranked higher than American and Maryland, but I'm assuming American's better connected in DC. Advice? Don't know about cost yet for anywhere but Maryland, which offered me sticker.

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jrthor10
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby jrthor10 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:02 am

American job prospects in DC suck. Go to Fordham or W&M, with my rec. being Fordham.

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cogitoergosum
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby cogitoergosum » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:03 am

ds2203 wrote:I live in New York now and am pretty sure I'd like to be in the East Coast job market (NYC or DC, probably). Hoping to do well and transfer into a T-14 or T-10, but obviously can't count on that when making a decision. Interested in human rights and international issues but would like to clerk and have the option (grades and economy willing) to start out in big law because of the debt. Obviously Fordham and Davis are ranked higher than American and Maryland, but I'm assuming American's better connected in DC. Advice? Don't know about cost yet for anywhere but Maryland, which offered me sticker.

Well, everyone is going to tell you that going to any school with the intent to transfer is a terrible idea.

Now that that's out of the way... From what I hear, the DC market can be a pretty tough nut to crack, and I don't think American will allow you to do that even though it is in DC.

If you really want to start out in biglaw on the east coast, I think Fordham is the best of the schools you've stated, but it still only gives you a 25-35% shot at it, so I don't know if I'd call that a great option either.

Your current options might not get you where you want to be. What are your numbers? Can you do anything to make yourself more attractive and apply again next cycle?

ds2203
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby ds2203 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:17 pm

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I'm not considering attending any of these schools IN ORDER to transfer, of course, since there are too many variables to make that a guaranteed proposition in any way, but I mentioned it because I assume that, excluding 1L grades and the idiosynchracies of the transfer process itself, it's an advantage to be coming from a higher ranked school---is that true, or not even worth considering when making the decision?
Putting that aside, I have decent grades (3.58) from Columbia (though I'm not convinced the competitiveness of your undergrad institution matters all that much, does it?), 5 years of work experience, but I'm not an amazing LSAT-taker---took it twice and got a 166 both times, so I think it's pretty unlikely that a third try would yield anything better. In short, unless I can become Mother Theresa or cure cancer by next admissions cycle, I don't see how I could increase my competitiveness. I don't have my heart set on biglaw---or necessarily the East Coast---but I'd like to go to the place that will keep the greatest number of options open (tough, outside the top tier, I know). So, if I go, I think it's going to be one of these. It's very helpful to know that American doesn't seem to have an advantage in DC because of it's location. Thanks.

srfngdd6
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby srfngdd6 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:19 pm

cardozo full ride?

ds2203
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby ds2203 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:28 pm

re: Cardozo full ride---are you asking for yourself, or asking if I received a full ride at Cardozo? I didn't apply to Cardozo.

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JoeMo
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby JoeMo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:29 pm

American has no job prospects in DC. (A bit exaggerated) You have to keep in mind that there are many other schools in DC and they all pretty much have extremely large classes competing for placement in a very insular market.

Maryland, I would assume you have a decent shot at some small/mid-size B-More firms coming from Maryland.

UC Davis isn't going to bring you back to the east coast.

W&M is a school with a great reputation and they have decent enough placement in VA and sometimes in DC because of that reputation. (Or right outside of DC - think Tyson's Corner)

Fordham is probably your best option. I know several Fordham grads all working at firms (not all BigLaw) but all on the east coast (Philly, Jersey, NY but not NYC although I hear they do have a lot of alumni in NYC)

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sundance95
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby sundance95 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:35 pm

JoeMo wrote:Fordham is probably your best option.

Also, if you do well enough to at Fordham to be able to transfer into the T14, you probably shouldn't transfer at all.

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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby srfngdd6 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:36 pm

ds2203 wrote:re: Cardozo full ride---are you asking for yourself, or asking if I received a full ride at Cardozo? I didn't apply to Cardozo.


If you had it would be a better then option then any of these close to sticker

tennisking88
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:42 pm

ds2203 wrote:Thanks so much for your thoughts. I'm not considering attending any of these schools IN ORDER to transfer, of course, since there are too many variables to make that a guaranteed proposition in any way, but I mentioned it because I assume that, excluding 1L grades and the idiosynchracies of the transfer process itself, it's an advantage to be coming from a higher ranked school---is that true, or not even worth considering when making the decision?
Putting that aside, I have decent grades (3.58) from Columbia (though I'm not convinced the competitiveness of your undergrad institution matters all that much, does it?), 5 years of work experience, but I'm not an amazing LSAT-taker---took it twice and got a 166 both times, so I think it's pretty unlikely that a third try would yield anything better. In short, unless I can become Mother Theresa or cure cancer by next admissions cycle, I don't see how I could increase my competitiveness. I don't have my heart set on biglaw---or necessarily the East Coast---but I'd like to go to the place that will keep the greatest number of options open (tough, outside the top tier, I know). So, if I go, I think it's going to be one of these. It's very helpful to know that American doesn't seem to have an advantage in DC because of it's location. Thanks.


You have a 3.6 from Columbia? Why are you going to law school again?

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sundance95
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby sundance95 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:47 pm

Hate to be this guy, but if you got a 3.6 consider retaking in June and reapplying. Not only would you be able to get into an objectively better school (as well as apply to the Cardozo/BLS types to see if you get money), but the shrinking applicant pool trend is likely to continue, which would help your longer term career prospects.

ds2203
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby ds2203 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:00 pm

I'm guessing that none of these schools are particularly portable outside their local markets---but do you think any of them are (relatively) more portable than others? And, for clerking, think any of them are stronger than others (again, relative)?

I've considered retaking, but given that I've taken it twice with the same results, this just might be what I am destined to get on the LSAT. Not sure what you mean when you ask why I'm applying to law school with a 3.6 from Columbia.

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JoeMo
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby JoeMo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:12 pm

ds2203 wrote:I'm guessing that none of these schools are particularly portable outside their local markets---but do you think any of them are (relatively) more portable than others? And, for clerking, think any of them are stronger than others (again, relative)?

I've considered retaking, but given that I've taken it twice with the same results, this just might be what I am destined to get on the LSAT. Not sure what you mean when you ask why I'm applying to law school with a 3.6 from Columbia.


No, the most portable would probably be Fordham and that's because they have reach in the tri-state area. The rest of them are very limited. Honestly, I can't think of a single place you can work with a JD from American since you can't get a job in DC and it's not very portable. (Again, this is an exaggeration but I can't see their grads doing really well) Also, American is like the Community College of Law School. Do a walk-through and it's easy to see what I'm talking about.

As for Clerking, I assume pretty much all of these you'd have to clerk at the local level if that's the route you wanted to pursue. I'm not sure that many of these schools would do well at the Federal level for clerk placement.

tennisking88
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:19 pm

ds2203 wrote:Not sure what you mean when you ask why I'm applying to law school with a 3.6 from Columbia.


I mean if you're really interested in human rights-y stuff, a law degree will not really help you get a pertinent job, esp. from any of the choices you list. I just imagine graduating (with honors?) from Columbia is really impressive, and you risk sort of counterfitting that by going to much less prestigious law school, and who knows how well you'd do there.

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JoeMo
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby JoeMo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:30 pm

tennisking88 wrote:
ds2203 wrote:Not sure what you mean when you ask why I'm applying to law school with a 3.6 from Columbia.


I mean if you're really interested in human rights-y stuff, a law degree will not really help you get a pertinent job, esp. from any of the choices you list. I just imagine graduating (with honors?) from Columbia is really impressive, and you risk sort of counterfitting that by going to much less prestigious law school, and who knows how well you'd do there.


This is a VERY CREDITED response. Right now you have the lay prestige that comes with an Ivy undergrad degree and at that with honors. You could go into the workforce and really develop yourself professionally. If you go to law school (and you probably shouldn't given your choices) then nobody will care in the end that you went to Columbia for undergrad and all they will care about is that you went to American for law school. Working for a few years and then retaking or applying to a school that's of the same caliber as your undergrad once you have some solid WE is probably your best option.

ds2203
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby ds2203 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:41 pm

I've been in the workforce for 5 years---working mostly internationally in public health and human rights (with two years as a paralegal at Sullivan & Cromwell). So, it's not a question of building a professional resume, alas. And, yes, it's great to have the prestige of having done well at a name-brand undergrad, but I would really like a law degree. I guess I'll wait a bit longer and see what the financial packages look like from the rest of the schools.

ds2203
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby ds2203 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:43 pm

Also, I should have mentioned I was accepted at Brooklyn as well---not considering going there, but there's a chance they'll offer some money.

tennisking88
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:48 pm

ds2203 wrote: but I would really like a law degree.


It's not about the law degree, it's what it gets you. If you're positive that it will get you more than you can have right now, then by all means.

rad lulz
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby rad lulz » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:51 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JoeMo
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby JoeMo » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:56 pm

ds2203 wrote:I've been in the workforce for 5 years---working mostly internationally in public health and human rights (with two years as a paralegal at Sullivan & Cromwell). So, it's not a question of building a professional resume, alas. And, yes, it's great to have the prestige of having done well at a name-brand undergrad, but I would really like a law degree. I guess I'll wait a bit longer and see what the financial packages look like from the rest of the schools.


If this is true, then either you applied really late or have a really shitty application package otherwise. ED to UVA or Northwestern next cycle then.

B986
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby B986 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:34 pm

Why is everyone on here so self important and assured that they alone are THE preeminent expert on all things law school related? If this person wants to pursue a law degree and is asking for your opinion as to which school would suit their needs best, you telling them to rule out law school altogether makes no sense. I feel bad for people on TLS who ask for advice because the responses they get are usually along the lines of, "Don't go to law school. Idiot." Or "Retake the LSAT and magically score 10+ points better than last time." So many self appointed experts on here!

tennisking88
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:37 pm

JoeMo wrote:
ds2203 wrote:I've been in the workforce for 5 years---working mostly internationally in public health and human rights (with two years as a paralegal at Sullivan & Cromwell). So, it's not a question of building a professional resume, alas. And, yes, it's great to have the prestige of having done well at a name-brand undergrad, but I would really like a law degree. I guess I'll wait a bit longer and see what the financial packages look like from the rest of the schools.


If this is true, then either you applied really late or have a really shitty application package otherwise. ED to UVA or Northwestern next cycle then.


Not really -- 3.6/166 will not get you into either school. Both are below median. I'd suggest retaking the LSAT, but OP seems certain she can't break 166.

tennisking88
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby tennisking88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:39 pm

B986 wrote:Why is everyone on here so self important and assured that they alone are THE preeminent expert on all things law school related? If this person wants to pursue a law degree and is asking for your opinion as to which school would suit their needs best, you telling them to rule out law school altogether makes no sense. I feel bad for people on TLS who ask for advice because the responses they get are usually along the lines of, "Don't go to law school. Idiot." Or "Retake the LSAT and magically score 10+ points better than last time." So many self appointed experts on here!


No one is labeling themselves an expert. I have no dog in this fight. I do not know this person. OP asked our opinion and he/she received it. If he/she did not want it, she would not have asked, and he/she can most certainly choose to ignore it.

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cogitoergosum
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby cogitoergosum » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:48 pm

ds2203 wrote:I've considered retaking, but given that I've taken it twice with the same results, this just might be what I am destined to get on the LSAT.

FWIW, I took a prep class before my first LSAT, and worked fairly hard and got a 165. I decided to get back into it the following summer, and scored 165 three times in a row on practice tests. I gave up, and when I told a friend I had given up, he gave me a pep talk, essentially saying "I know guys who have scored 175+ and I really don't think they're 'smarter' than you. If you wanna give up that's your choice, but there's no way that 165 is the highest score you are capable of getting."

I got back to it and within a few weeks I was consistently scoring in 170's and by the next month I was consistently scoring over 175.

All of that's to say, just because you have plateaued does not mean you've hit your ceiling. If you hit it harder and increase your score by 5 points, which I would think is very possible, then you're in a whole new world.

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sundance95
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Re: W&M vs Fordham vs UC Davis vs American vs Maryland

Postby sundance95 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:01 pm

cogitoergosum wrote:FWIW, I took a prep class before my first LSAT, and worked fairly hard and got a 165. I decided to get back into it the following summer, and scored 165 three times in a row on practice tests. I gave up, and when I told a friend I had given up, he gave me a pep talk, essentially saying "I know guys who have scored 175+ and I really don't think they're 'smarter' than you. If you wanna give up that's your choice, but there's no way that 165 is the highest score you are capable of getting."

I got back to it and within a few weeks I was consistently scoring in 170's and by the next month I was consistently scoring over 175.

All of that's to say, just because you have plateaued does not mean you've hit your ceiling. If you hit it harder and increase your score by 5 points, which I would think is very possible, then you're in a whole new world.

This - I've taught the LSAT, and while there are those who do hit a 'maximum score,' usually because they simply cannot read fast enough to meet the time pressure requirements, anyone who can score 166 is capable of exceeding 170.

Sorry, I'll stop participating in the retake hijack now.




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