GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

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lala1818

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GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by lala1818 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:41 pm

Hi guys,

Like everyone else in this situation I am trying to make my final decision about law school but am completely lost. I am interested in International Law, specifically human rights and want to live in New York. This interest might change but I am rather certain I want to end up in NY.

I received 40k/yr at GW (although from the tone of their email I may receive more after deposit deadlines) 35k/yr at Fordham, and 55k/yr at Emory. Factoring in cost of living I would come out of Fordham with 168k of debt, 161k at GW, and 78k at Emory. I like all of these schools and Emory's large scholarship is tempting as I will be taking out loans but I worry about limiting my ability to return to NY with attending school in Atlanta, and the opportunities for international law do not appear as strong as they do at GW and Fordham. Would love any advice anyone can give on this. Is it worth doubling the amount of debt to go to Fordham and remain in NY? Thank you!

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trebekismyhero

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by trebekismyhero » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:56 pm

lala1818 wrote:Hi guys,

Like everyone else in this situation I am trying to make my final decision about law school but am completely lost. I am interested in International Law, specifically human rights and want to live in New York. This interest might change but I am rather certain I want to end up in NY.

I received 40k/yr at GW (although from the tone of their email I may receive more after deposit deadlines) 35k/yr at Fordham, and 55k/yr at Emory. Factoring in cost of living I would come out of Fordham with 168k of debt, 161k at GW, and 78k at Emory. I like all of these schools and Emory's large scholarship is tempting as I will be taking out loans but I worry about limiting my ability to return to NY with attending school in Atlanta, and the opportunities for international law do not appear as strong as they do at GW and Fordham. Would love any advice anyone can give on this. Is it worth doubling the amount of debt to go to Fordham and remain in NY? Thank you!
What type of human rights law do you want to do? To the extent these jobs exist, they are going to t14 (HYS especially) grads and those with deep connections to the human rights field. What's your LSAT/GPA? Right now, I'd probably lean Fordham cause it would be the easiest to get you NY. But that is a lot of debt for GW and Fordham and as you say, Emory is not going to get you NY so easily.

lala1818

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by lala1818 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:21 pm

I have a 3.98 GPA and a 166 LSAT. I am honestly pretty open as to what I want to do, but I imagine work in an NGO or another similar entity. Right now I am interested in International Humanitarian Law. I guess I am just trying to weigh the opportunities that remaining in NY would offer and if its worth the larger amount of debt. In addition, I am interested in studying abroad and Fordham seems to offer the largest amount of programs oversees. I am slightly biased to NY and Fordham though so I want to make sure I make the best decision with all the relevant facts. Thank you!

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by bob311 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:00 pm

With your gpa, you need to retake. If you score a 166, you can easily score a 176 - then enjoy Harvard. No excuse not to retake here.

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by QContinuum » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:15 pm

International human rights law is achievable from YSH (competitive but achievable from Y/S; very competitive but still realistic from H) and basically that's about it. If international human rights is your raison d'etre for law school, don't attend any school ranked below Harvard, and even then, seriously think about what else you might be happy doing should you fail to secure an international human rights position (which is entirely possible even from Yale Law, let alone HLS).

That's the bad news. The good news is, with your 3.98 GPA (assuming that's your LSAC GPA), you can assure yourself of admission to Harvard - and possibly Y/S, depending on your softs - if you get your LSAT up to the 170+ range (obviously the higher the better).

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trebekismyhero

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by trebekismyhero » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:52 am

QContinuum wrote:International human rights law is achievable from YSH (competitive but achievable from Y/S; very competitive but still realistic from H) and basically that's about it. If international human rights is your raison d'etre for law school, don't attend any school ranked below Harvard, and even then, seriously think about what else you might be happy doing should you fail to secure an international human rights position (which is entirely possible even from Yale Law, let alone HLS).

That's the bad news. The good news is, with your 3.98 GPA (assuming that's your LSAC GPA), you can assure yourself of admission to Harvard - and possibly Y/S, depending on your softs - if you get your LSAT up to the 170+ range (obviously the higher the better).
I generally agree with you about YS, but I do know several people that are doing international human rights law that went to NYU and Michigan. So I definitely agree OP needs to retake and reapply for next year, I think NYU and Michigan would still be realistic to have those goals

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by nixy » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:07 am

I agree that school pedigree is important, but I know people doing this work from Berkeley and NYU. What they have in common, which I think is perhaps more important than school name, is pertinent connections/experience/skills from before law school (including language ability).

Big picture, I agree that Fordham, GW, and Emory aren’t going to be the best schools for these goals. I’m more pushing back on HYS being the only options out of the T14. Maybe if you don’t have any pertinent background going into law school, HYS are the best bet to help get you there without the previous background, but I think for these kinds of jobs, fit and commitment and experience are still extremely important regardless of your school.

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:19 am

[scooped by nixy as usual]

Yeah, it's not like Amnesty International does on-campus recruiting at Stanford, giving that school an edge over Berkeley. NYU in particular might have the single best network for this stuff. But Fordham, GW, and their ilk only ever place people into these positions accidentally.

A lot of the key qualifications for international human-rights roles are exogenous: fluency in foreign languages (ideally something like Hmong that is relevant to a human-rights hotspot but hard to find in the West; vehicular languages like Swahili or French are also useful); earlier education in topics like economics or medicine; experience with things like crisis counseling and mediation. HYS(/NYU) have prestige, connections, and funding that help immensely, but someone who has these skills and goes to Northwestern is going to be more in-demand than the average Yale grad.

OP, if you are just "open" to the idea of working for an NGO, and don't have anything resembling the background I just described, then law school won't get you an inch closer to this kind of work. Going to a middling T1 law school probably gets you farther from this sort of work, because instead of building skills and connections you'll be in a doc-review dungeon somewhere beneath midtown Manhattan (or, nowadays, working remotely! yay!) trying to pay off your loans at $20/hr.

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by lala1818 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:32 pm

Thank you for all the advice. I would like to say at this time I do not plan on retaking as I near deposit deadlines. Additionally, I received 15k/yr at Cornell and am waitlisted at Harvard. I never highly focused on T14 due to the large number of debt. International human rights law is not the only field I could see for myself, but was what I was most interested in. Thanks!

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by nealric » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:40 pm

lala1818 wrote:Thank you for all the advice. I would like to say at this time I do not plan on retaking as I near deposit deadlines.
Nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you to go to law school this year. In fact, I'd consider waiting a year for COVID-19 to be firmly in the rear-view mirror. Hiring will likely be bleak this year, and there will be a huge overhang of class of 2022 students scrambling for jobs against 2023 grads. A lot of people thought starting law school in 2009 was a good plan to wait out the recession, a lot of them faced a pretty tough hiring market because hiring wasn't yet back to normal by the time they did recruiting in Fall 2010.

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by Kosmopol » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:58 am

Re: YSH and human rights law, it depends on whether you hope to live in New York immediately after law school or would be alright with spending a few years working abroad first. The latter is generally expected no matter where you go to school, and graduating from HLS can actually help in that case because it still has more of an international cachet than the others. (At least that's been my experience as a human rights lawyer and HLS alum.)

Also, wherever you go, your route to working in human rights law will involve spending as much time in the school's human rights clinic as possible and demonstrating your competence and commitment to the clinical professors. They're the ones who will recommend you to employers.

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Re: GW($$) vs. Fordham($$) vs. Emory ($$$)

Post by Dcc617 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 5:22 pm

OP, unless you're sure that you've absolutely maxed out your LSAT score, you should retake for your goals. You're at the level of score where every point can equal tens of thousands of extra scholarship money and acceptances to higher ranked schools with good money.

If you've only taken once and think you possibly left points on the table you'd be dumb to rush.

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