Boston College Law School or University of Houston? Forum

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HopeyDopey

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Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by HopeyDopey » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:14 pm

I was accepted to Boston College Law School about a month ago and I am hoping to receive some feedback from the TLS community. Also, if anyone here is a graduate/current student at BC Law or Univ. of Houston, please sound off and tell me anything you feel I should know. Please do not spare details, I want myself and whoever else discovers this thread to make as well-informed a decision as can be made. I think this forum could provide many people a good idea of which kind of school is best for them given the differences between these schools. For example, a student accepted to both UGA Law and BU Law might find this topic interesting.

-BC Law Cost of Attendance: ~$136,000 (This number includes Cost of Attendance minus my scholarship offer)
-UH Law Cost of Attendance: ~$89,000 (This number includes Cost of Attendance minus my scholarship offer)

-I will be financing my education through student loans

-I am from the south east. I would like to work in Texas or the north east. I have no significant connections in the south.

-Career Goals: I wish to find employment in the legal profession doing something I am passionate about while also making a decent (or you know, totally awesome) annual salary. I am not certain about what type of law I would like to practice, although Patent Law, Employment Law, and IP Law all interest me.

-LSAT: 163 GPA: 3.63

-I have taken the LSAT only once, and I do not plan on retaking.

General Questions:

1) Is BC Law a good school in terms of employment outcomes? I know that there are no guarantees for getting a job in biglaw these days, but is BC Law worth rolling the dice for?

2) Will Texas biglaw ever be able to catch up (or dare I say it) surpass northern markets (such as Boston)?

3) What is BC Law/UH Law really like on the ground? Is this a nice law school? What are the students/faculty like? Is Houston/Newton a nice place to spend 3 years?

One final note: I apologize about the length of this post, this is a complex topic and I think a lot could be said on this.

A@M_or_bust

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by A@M_or_bust » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:47 pm

HopeyDopey wrote:I was accepted to Boston College Law School about a month ago and I am hoping to receive some feedback from the TLS community. Also, if anyone here is a graduate/current student at BC Law or Univ. of Houston, please sound off and tell me anything you feel I should know. Please do not spare details, I want myself and whoever else discovers this thread to make as well-informed a decision as can be made. I think this forum could provide many people a good idea of which kind of school is best for them given the differences between these schools. For example, a student accepted to both UGA Law and BU Law might find this topic interesting.

-BC Law Cost of Attendance: ~$136,000 (This number includes Cost of Attendance minus my scholarship offer)
-UH Law Cost of Attendance: ~$89,000 (This number includes Cost of Attendance minus my scholarship offer)

-I will be financing my education through student loans

-I am from the south east. I would like to work in Texas or the north east. I have no significant connections in the south.

-Career Goals: I wish to find employment in the legal profession doing something I am passionate about while also making a decent (or you know, totally awesome) annual salary. I am not certain about what type of law I would like to practice, although Patent Law, Employment Law, and IP Law all interest me.

-LSAT: 163 GPA: 3.63

-I have taken the LSAT only once, and I do not plan on retaking.

General Questions:

1) Is BC Law a good school in terms of employment outcomes? I know that there are no guarantees for getting a job in biglaw these days, but is BC Law worth rolling the dice for?

2) Will Texas biglaw ever be able to catch up (or dare I say it) surpass northern markets (such as Boston)?

3) What is BC Law/UH Law really like on the ground? Is this a nice law school? What are the students/faculty like? Is Houston/Newton a nice place to spend 3 years?

One final note: I apologize about the length of this post, this is a complex topic and I think a lot could be said on this.
Where are you from? Do you have any ties to Boston or Houston?

Why don't you want to retake the LSAT?? You really should reconsider. You could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars by getting 3 or 4 point increase. Also, if you are from Texas, wish to stay here, and want big law, you need to go to UT to have a realistic shot.

BC has solid big law opportunities (see aba employment data), but it helps if you have ties to the area. Also, your coa is currently way too high based on my standards.

UH is a decent school but big law is tough to get. Typically 15-17% get big law.

HopeyDopey

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by HopeyDopey » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:58 pm

To be honest I just don't want to retake the LSAT. It was not a good experience the first time around (I was PTing in the high 160s and ended up in the low 160s) and while I am confident that I could improve my score, I feel like it is too late to do so and I'm not confident enough to say that my score would improve. I'd rather work over the summer and focus on prepping for law school.

I am from Georgia. I am getting in-state tuition at Univ. of Houston as well as a nice scholarship. I have no ties to either city, but I am absolutely determined to find a way to make things work going out-of-state.

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fliptrip

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by fliptrip » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:12 pm

Objectively, OP, you're could be heading for big time trouble.

First, there's nothing wrong with not getting where you want your first go around on the LSAT. The LSAT is an awful test and has caused many a breakdown, but it is an awful test that can be learned and mastered. If you could PT in the upper 160s you can definitely produce something like that on the real test. A higher LSAT would allow you to retake a more rational cycle that doesn't have you choosing between regionals that serve areas you have no ties to.

The truth is that both schools you have here are justifiable for the price you have them. BC is a bit too expensive for my tastes, but I don't think you're torpedoing your future if you end up there with that kind of COA, in a vacuum. Unfortunately, real life doesn't operate in a vacuum. I would not advise anyone without prior ties/experience in Boston to move there to begin practicing law there, which is essentially what BC will make available for you. You will essentially be stuck there and if you don't like it (and how can you really know), you'll be in a bad spot.

Do you want to go to law school or do you want to set yourself up for a long and successful career as a lawyer? If it's the former, then you literally can toss a coin here. If it's the latter, you really should sit this one out and first, come up with a rational school list (I don't know if you had one to start with and just had unfavorable cycle results) and then be ready and willing to retake the LSAT to get you into the best options on that list.

A@M_or_bust

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by A@M_or_bust » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:20 pm

HopeyDopey wrote:To be honest I just don't want to retake the LSAT. It was not a good experience the first time around (I was PTing in the high 160s and ended up in the low 160s) and while I am confident that I could improve my score, I feel like it is too late to do so and I'm not confident enough to say that my score would improve. I'd rather work over the summer and focus on prepping for law school.

I am from Georgia. I am getting in-state tuition at Univ. of Houston as well as a nice scholarship. I have no ties to either city, but I am absolutely determined to find a way to make things work going out-of-state.
I understand that LSAT prepping and sitting for the test is a stressful process. But seriously, if you want to go to law school, you have to force yourself to embrace the pressure. Final exams in law school is comparable to taking 3-4 LSATs (depending on the school) in one week. Especially since you were prepping 5/6 points higher, you shouldn't sell yourself short. I would just sign up for June, do a little prep to fine-tune your skills, and see what happens. Also, taking it a second time with a decent score already in the bag tends to alleviate the stress. Worst case scenario: you don't improve your score and are in the same position you are now.

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A@M_or_bust

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by A@M_or_bust » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:25 pm

HopeyDopey wrote:and focus on prepping for law school.
Oh, and please do not do this. Believe it or not, this will likely do more harm than good. I can explain if you want me to, otherwise I am too lazy to write it out. Do anything this summer (ideally LSAT prep), but don't prep for law school.

BigZuck

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by BigZuck » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:51 pm

Definitely prep for and retake June and see what happens. I did that and went from UH at sticker to UT with a good scholarship. I'd never get the same job I did out of UH. It's 100% worth it to retake and "I don't want to" isn't a good enough excuse.

HopeyDopey

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by HopeyDopey » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:58 am

Thank you all so much for the replies!

@fliptrip: the issue is that I want to go to law school this fall and I have no desire to wait another year (I took a year off). There really isn't a whole lot I could do with my degree beyond being a security guard given the fact that I plan on leaving for law school. There just aren't many opportunities around where I live for a person with my degree. Furthermore, I am making a trip to Boston in a few weeks. It probably won't be enough to guarantee that I'll love the city, but 3-4 days in the area might help me make an objective determination. I may not have connections there or Houston, but I have no connections where I live now either.

@A&M_or_bust: Will taking the LSAT in June affect my chances at BC Law or Houston? I assume it would have no effect. I'd really like to find a solution which doesn't require that I take another year away from pursuing law school. If I were thinking about University of Cashdump School of Nobucks I would probably be agreeing with everyone here, but these are both good programs. And no summer prep? My computer is under siege from prepcourse advertisements (not that they have convinced me). People have been attending law school for hundreds of years without prep courses...just sayin'. I hate to ask you to write it out though, but in your opinion, why is summer prep a bad idea? Could there be exceptions to the rule?

@BigZuck: But that does assume that I do improve. Congrats on going to UT (I applied and am yet to hear back haha), but I've taken every practice test available and still ended up where I am now. I know I could do some things differently, but as I said above they are both good programs and I'm not paying sticker price at either one.

A@M_or_bust

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Re: Boston College Law School or University of Houston?

Post by A@M_or_bust » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:55 am

HopeyDopey wrote:@A&M_or_bust: Will taking the LSAT in June affect my chances at BC Law or Houston? I assume it would have no effect. I'd really like to find a solution which doesn't require that I take another year away from pursuing law school. If I were thinking about University of Cashdump School of Nobucks I would probably be agreeing with everyone here, but these are both good programs. And no summer prep? My computer is under siege from prepcourse advertisements (not that they have convinced me). People have been attending law school for hundreds of years without prep courses...just sayin'. I hate to ask you to write it out though, but in your opinion, why is summer prep a bad idea? Could there be exceptions to the rule?
(1) Taking the LSAT in June is the smart thing to do for a couple reasons. First, taking again in June could potentially (if you improve your score) lead to more scholarship money (possibly full rides) at UH and BC. Also, if you get a 5+ point increase, it is the smart decision to sit out a year and reapply to T14 and that second tier of UT, Vandy, UCLA and Emory (since you are from Georgia). The legal field is all about prestige. UH is a decent program if you are from Houston and do well (which is nearly impossible to predict). BC is a solid school if you have ties to Boston and again, do well. Which school you attend might be the biggest decision you make in your legal career; it's all about which doors these schools open.

Takeaway: You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by sitting for the LSAT in June.

(2) Law school prep is a bad idea. First, these advertisements for law school prep are trying to take advantage of incoming students' insecurities. Hypothetical: you learn the basics like the elements of negligence, subject matter jurisdiction, what consideration is, etc. Everyone in your class will have a tight grip of these concepts come exam time. So it makes little to no difference if you learn them a few weeks earlier. Also, you risk the possibility of burnout because studying the law (for most people anyway) is boring as fuck. The burnout is real. This is why it good to just relax for the summer and do what you find fun. Hypothetical 2: You learn concepts that are a bit more complex and you develop certain applications of such concepts and doctrines that are most likely not going to be consistent with how your professor likes to apply them. Your professor is like your boss and you need to focus on what he wants on the exam, as the exams are all that matters.

Sorry if there are typos or I am confusing at points, as I typed this in a hurry.

Full disclosure: I go to UT as well.

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