BYU 2010

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JuanaB
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby JuanaB » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:07 pm

What are your thoughts on the stigma of BYU having obsessively competitive students? (BYU ranks #3 most competitive on Princeton Review and several anecdotes have supported this)

How much does this factor into your decision to go there?

Torvon
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby Torvon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:04 pm

JuanaB wrote:What are your thoughts on the stigma of BYU having obsessively competitive students? (BYU ranks #3 most competitive on Princeton Review and several anecdotes have supported this)

How much does this factor into your decision to go there?


Here is my take on the competitiveness as BYU. Just glancing at the statistics its really easy to see that BYU sticks out like a soar thumb at its ranking of 41 because of the LSAT and GPA scores. According to this site, it ranks 13th in the nation for 75th GPA and 12th for 25th GPA. For LSAT it ranks 19th for 75th and 25th for 25th percentile. In other words, if you were to rank schools according strictly to LSAT and GPA of the incoming class, BYU would be much higher than where it currently sits. You are competing against students of the same caliber as those that attend schools like Fordham and above, and you're competing for less spots at the very top of the class because in order for you or your peers to get the same recognition as those that attend higher schools you have to rank in the highest part of the class. Now add to that competitive environment scholarships that are guaranteed for 2L and 3L years only if you score in the top 1/3 of the class and it can get pretty cutthroat.

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yeast master
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby yeast master » Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:32 pm

I got my admission/scholarship letter today. I was a bit worried about the scholarship because Dean Hernandez didn't mention anything about it in his phone call with me, but it came and it's good.

Re: competitiveness, I don't know for sure how to interpret that. It seems like you could see it as indicating that the students are very hard-working and dedicated to excellence. If that's the case, the only drawback is that it means that you will have to work that much harder to earn a high class rank. On the plus side, being surrounded by dedicated, hard working people tends to rub off on you.

Another way of interpreting the rep for competitiveness is that the environment is cutthroat/uncollegial. Maybe it means that people are unwilling to help one another by sharing notes, insights, etc. or may even actively sabotage one another. The drawbacks of that type of competitiveness are obvious, and the only possible plus is that it may prepare one for a cutthroat professional environment.

If the LDS grad/professional students that I have known over the years are representative of the type of people at BYU law, my guess is that the first interpretation of BYU's competitiveness is closer to reality. I've been around and been friends with a lot of LDS grad/professional students and they aren't the cutthroat type, but are hard-working and dedicated.

As for how this affects my decision, it doesn't factor in very much. It seems to me that law school success is as much about natural talent as it is about hard work. The hard work isn't an issue for me, so my success is probably about whether I have "it" or not. I figure if I have it, I'll succeed wherever I go.

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ashkenazy
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby ashkenazy » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:06 pm

Yes, in general, BYU law students will have to work harder to acheive the same overall class rank. I've had a brother and several friends attend BYU law and they all say that many students work mind-numbingly hard, but at the same time the environment isn't cut-throat at all. The people that say BYU is hyper-competitive might be the people who are bitter about not doing well after studying 75 hours a week. The people that say BYU is tough but not that competitive maybe the "smarter" people in the top 1/3 of the class who study and attend class a reasonable 30 or 40 hours a week.

This BYU competitiveness issue is discussed all over the internet, but I think that BYU gets a bad wrap about it due to the methodology of the Princeton Review rankings. The data upon which those rankings are based don't seem to make it an even playing field.

From what I've seen, those rankings are based on about 4 factors. 1) The average hours of sleep a student gets each night. 2) The hours students study outside of class. 3) The hours a student believes classmates study outside class. 4) The degree of competitiveness among students at the school.

First of all, BYU law probably has more married students percapita than any other law school. Second, the number of student children at BYU law is probably higher than any other school (percapita purposely omitted :D ). These two factors will throw off the number of hours slept.

Yes, BYU students study hard, and I think they will always do so, so measure 2 and 3 aren't completely worthless (although they are terribly subjective). I have seen it said, and I somewhat agree, that BYU students like to overestimate their workload so as to make themselves feel more "actively engaged" or less "idle." That might be especially bad at BYU, but I'd say such statistics are inherently flawed everywhere. I do not think, though, that the numbers are totally bogus. BYU students do study a ton, just maybe not as much as these two measures indicate.

The 4th measure can be misleading too. Degree of competitiveness doesn't necessarily mean degree of "cut-throatness." Desiring to do well doesn't imply desiring to take others down. It often does seem like a zero sum game, but at BYU the common theme is that the students are super-nice, and will help anyone as much as they need, but in the end "they will simply outwork you." So the 4th measure might be spot-on, but I feel it can also be misleading.

My brother said that some students study and are in class over 12 hours a day, but I think that's the case in many other law schools too. Because the nature of law school class rankings inherently lead to competitiveness, you'll see some people putting in insane hours at most every school. What my brother said is that the people that are putting in the most hours are often not the ones that are performing at the top of the class anyways.

I don't know if this is clear or not, but I am writing this post to help myself cope with the inevitable difficulties of being surrounded by so many boring, nerdy, married, driven, possible gunner-types at BYU law. I've been thinking a lot about this issue recently, but in the end I know that doing well at any law school is very difficult.

My brother also said that he knew several professors and transfers at BYU who said that BYU students did study much harder than students at other law schools. It's expected at BYU that the student body will be working their tails off, but my bottom line is that I think it's like that at most other top law schools, except maybe a few top 5 schools, and because of that I feel like the statistical/methodological problems in PR's rankings might be enough of an influence to be unfairly placing BYU at the top of the competitiveness rankings. It's going to be difficult where ever you go to law school.

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tyjole
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby tyjole » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:34 pm

Received my admit packet from BYU today! A good size scholarship tips the scales even closer to BYU. Acceptance letter came with the information packet. I'm really excited with everything I've seen and experienced with BYU, I'll most likely be attending, pending some kind of an offer from Duke or Cornell. But less than 5k/yr for law school is trully a great deal.

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ashkenazy
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby ashkenazy » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:49 am

So what are we all doing this summer before school starts up? Working? Resting? Traveling?

I wish I could do the rest all summer gig, but I've got mouths to feed so I'll be working. How about you other guys and gals?

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yeast master
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby yeast master » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:32 am

Mastering yeast. I've still got a lot of work left for the PhD. I'm also studying for the Patent Bar. And I may search for a patent agent job as an alternative to law school. So, not much rest or fun for me. I think after all that, law school will fell like a bit of a break.

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erico
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby erico » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:23 am

Ugh my status date was updated today but still 'under review.' Let me in please...

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justcap
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby justcap » Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:00 pm

Does anyone know how difficult or time consuming or rewarding it is to do the joint JD/M.Ed? I'm considering that possibility...

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tyjole
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby tyjole » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:13 am

justcap wrote:Does anyone know how difficult or time consuming or rewarding it is to do the joint JD/M.Ed? I'm considering that possibility...


I'm considering the JD/MPA and from what Dean Hernandez told me it is very smooth and fluid. He said the joint degree students don't really encounter any raised difficulty, but typically enjoy the experience a lot.

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ashkenazy
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby ashkenazy » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:27 pm

tyjole wrote:
justcap wrote:Does anyone know how difficult or time consuming or rewarding it is to do the joint JD/M.Ed? I'm considering that possibility...


I'm considering the JD/MPA and from what Dean Hernandez told me it is very smooth and fluid. He said the joint degree students don't really encounter any raised difficulty, but typically enjoy the experience a lot.


Does that mean no raised difficulty over the workload that one would expect while completing two separate graduate level degrees, or does that mean there is no raised difficulty over doing only the J.D.?

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guyincognito
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby guyincognito » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:33 pm

I just wanted to go out of my way to say that I would never ever ever go to law school at BYU. And I don't have to. In your face BYU. That is all.

Torvon
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby Torvon » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:39 pm

guyincognito wrote:I just wanted to go out of my way to say that I would never ever ever go to law school at BYU. And I don't have to. In your face BYU. That is all.


I'm gonna go out on a limb and say BYU got the better end of that deal.

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guyincognito
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby guyincognito » Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:43 pm

Torvon wrote:
guyincognito wrote:I just wanted to go out of my way to say that I would never ever ever go to law school at BYU. And I don't have to. In your face BYU. That is all.


I'm gonna go out on a limb and say BYU got the better end of that deal.


Right you are. Little do you know that had I attended BYU, I would have worked as a mole from the inside to corrupt and subvert it in every way possible. For all you know, maybe I still will. After all, I think there is still time to apply before the deadline...

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justcap
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby justcap » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:26 am

guyincognito wrote:
Torvon wrote:
guyincognito wrote:I just wanted to go out of my way to say that I would never ever ever go to law school at BYU. And I don't have to. In your face BYU. That is all.


I'm gonna go out on a limb and say BYU got the better end of that deal.


Right you are. Little do you know that had I attended BYU, I would have worked as a mole from the inside to corrupt and subvert it in every way possible. For all you know, maybe I still will. After all, I think there is still time to apply before the deadline...

Come and I bet we'll (they'll-I don't know if i'm going there) try and convert you to death before you can "corrupt and subvert it." So APPLY AWAY!! :D

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sundevil77
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby sundevil77 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:39 am

Just curious as to how some of you feel about passing up on better schools to go to BYU? I'm really torn on what to do. A potentially good size scholarship from a T14 would be really tempting, but you can't beat free. How are some of you dealing with this same situation in making your decision?

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yeast master
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby yeast master » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:40 am

sundevil77 wrote:Just curious as to how some of you feel about passing up on better schools to go to BYU? I'm really torn on what to do. A potentially good size scholarship from a T14 would be really tempting, but you can't beat free. How are some of you dealing with this same situation in making your decision?


I go back and forth. I have a ~1/3 tuition scholarship at a T14, and I don't expect I'll be able get much more than that at other T14's I've applied to. I already have a bunch of debt, so $80k - $90k for tuition, plus living expenses for a family of five would put me in it up to my eyeballs. That has me leaning pretty strongly toward BYU at this point. If all goes well with summer employment and such, I could end up borrowing only $30k - $50k more. Also, my parents are in the area, so if the debt gets overwhelming or I don't get good summer positions, I can live rent free.

But the thought of the more sure employment prospects from the top schools makes me wonder sometimes if big debt is justifiable. Right now, though, the big numbers are scaring me off. I've been thinking that if I could swing a $90k scholarship somewhere, that would put T14 back on the table, but that's not likely.

I think that if I didn't already have a bunch of debt I would definitely take the T14 scholarship, though.

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Padimud
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby Padimud » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:36 pm

The debt issue is a real issue. However, there are serious pros and cons to going either way. I have no T14 to speak of, but many 20- 45 that have given me just as good of a deal as BYU. So then what, do you still attend BYU (even though I did my UG there)? Or do you go for diversity of resume and move to another market? Debt seems to not be my major issue, but job prospects and perception.

My cost to BYU over three years I am guessing will be about $80K with my family. I have four other options at peer schools for that or less? So if the money is taken out of the equation then what? I have a full-ride to Iowa to push away as well.

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yeast master
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby yeast master » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:24 pm

It seems that as far as job prospects go, it's sixes between BYU and Iowa. They are currently placing almost exactly the same percentage of their classes in NLJ250 firms (just under 20%), and neither is located in a major legal market. It seems like prospects are pretty similar everywhere outside of the T20, but with a significant differentiating factor being the strength of the legal market in which the school is located. It would be nice to be able to get a job in the same city as your school. That consideration is keeping Houston in play for me, depending on what kind of scholarship they offer, if any. When you're deciding between schools in that range of the rankings, it's ultimately a question of where you want to live.

Torvon
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby Torvon » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:48 pm

sundevil77 wrote:Just curious as to how some of you feel about passing up on better schools to go to BYU? I'm really torn on what to do. A potentially good size scholarship from a T14 would be really tempting, but you can't beat free. How are some of you dealing with this same situation in making your decision?


While BYU has always been my top choice I've actually started leaning toward Georgetown for a number of reasons. Primarily because I want to work for the federal government and Georgetown puts me in a much better position to do that. Plus, with their amazing LRAP I will more than likely not be paying back any of my loans and just have them all forgiven which really makes it cheaper than BYU.

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Padimud
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby Padimud » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:57 pm

Torvon wrote:
sundevil77 wrote:Just curious as to how some of you feel about passing up on better schools to go to BYU? I'm really torn on what to do. A potentially good size scholarship from a T14 would be really tempting, but you can't beat free. How are some of you dealing with this same situation in making your decision?


While BYU has always been my top choice I've actually started leaning toward Georgetown for a number of reasons. Primarily because I want to work for the federal government and Georgetown puts me in a much better position to do that. Plus, with their amazing LRAP I will more than likely not be paying back any of my loans and just have them all forgiven which really makes it cheaper than BYU.


Pretty sound assumptions there I think.

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sundevil77
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby sundevil77 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:50 pm

You all make good points and I suppose, to a large extent, choosing a school depends on your situation. I'm graduating from UG with zero debt, but I'm still wary of taking on massive debt for law school.

For you, Torvon, I can understand wanting to be in D.C. if you want federal gov't law. I'm pretty set on making some money in the private sector, but I don't envision myself working in a huge, crowded market (D.C., New York, L.A., etc.).

The problem is, I'm not sure if it's necessary or advisable to take on debt at a T14 if my goal is to work for a large firm in a midsize market. Eventually I want to develop my own firm. Anybody facing a similar dilemna? That is, do any of you plan on not working in a huge market, but are still debating whether or not to go to a T14?

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yeast master
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby yeast master » Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:00 pm

sundevil77 wrote:The problem is, I'm not sure if it's necessary or advisable to take on debt at a T14 if my goal is to work for a large firm in a midsize market. Eventually I want to develop my own firm. Anybody facing a similar dilemna? That is, do any of you plan on not working in a huge market, but are still debating whether or not to go to a T14?


I'm hoping to avoid the biggest markets. I'd rather be in a place like San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, or even Salt Lake than NYC or SanFran. But that doesn't really change the equation too much for me because competition for the high-paying jobs in any market is going to be fierce, and the T14 degree will give you a significant leg up in every market. In addition, while I do have strong geographical preferences, I'm more concerned with just getting the kind of job I want (biotech patent law) than with where that job is. So the T14 is still alluring to me because it will make me most competitive wherever the jobs are available.

But there's no denying the advantage of graduating with minimal debt. It gives you a lot of freedom to choose to pursue whatever type of job you want. If you don't have a ton of debt you are free to pursue a $50k per year law job if that's what you want, and you'll be just fine. Most BYU students and recent grads I've spoken with have mentioned this specifically as a reason they are happy with their choice.

A T14 degree opens a lot of doors, but high debt closes a lot of other doors. And in BYU's favor, most of the doors open to T14 grads are also open to BYU grads, it's just that they're open wider for T14 grads. Besides debt, the consideration that adds a little more weight to BYU's side of the scale for me is that I will have credentials (PhD, USPTO registration) that I expect will put me in a competitive position to where my law school rank will matter somewhat less.

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erico
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby erico » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:12 pm

Just scheduled my interview with Dean Hernandez for Monday morning and am very excited about it. Hopefully it goes well.

Ecce
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Re: BYU 2010

Postby Ecce » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:34 pm

Has anyone been accepted without an interview with Dean Hernandez? Looking at previous posts it looks as though the interviews are reserved for $$$$cholarship recipients. I am just hoping to get in...




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