US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

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pjulk

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US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by pjulk » Wed May 05, 2021 7:36 pm

Hello,
My eventual career goal is to practice law in the USA. For undergrad degree I have the choice between CU Boulder and the University of Bristol.
I am leaning towards Bristol due to the higher academic depth and rigor in my chosen subject of Philosophy.
1) Is the 3 year UK degree acceptable/welcomed when applying for law school?
2) Will the Bristol degree be seen as stronger than the CU Boulder degree (assuming similar grades) because it is a much higher ranked university?
I am a USA citizen.
Thanks for your guidance!

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cavalier1138

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu May 06, 2021 6:27 am

1) It's too early for you to be thinking about law school.

2) It's too early for you to be thinking about law school.

Do not make decisions about where to go to undergrad based on your plans for 3-4 years from now. Those plans are almost certainly going to change.

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by crazywafflez » Thu May 06, 2021 12:40 pm

pjulk wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 7:36 pm
Hello,
My eventual career goal is to practice law in the USA. For undergrad degree I have the choice between CU Boulder and the University of Bristol.
I am leaning towards Bristol due to the higher academic depth and rigor in my chosen subject of Philosophy.
1) Is the 3 year UK degree acceptable/welcomed when applying for law school?
2) Will the Bristol degree be seen as stronger than the CU Boulder degree (assuming similar grades) because it is a much higher ranked university?
I am a USA citizen.
Thanks for your guidance!
It won't matter, go to whichever Uni you want to go to more. If you choose Bristol your grades will be less important (just try and get a 2:1) and your LSAT will be way more important (I went to foreign Unis for my UG and Grad). If you go to boulder just make sure you get good grades. Law schools care a lot more about good grades than they care about what undergrad you went to. They don't care if you went to Cambridge or York, or NYU or Arizona State- they care that you performed well- regardless of major or rank.
I think you should go to Bristol though cause you seem like you want to go there more (plus, I think it'll actually be cheaper- as it is 3 years, I believe and cheaper tuition unless youre from CO, but even then, 3 years vs. 4). Does Bristol have a PPE program? Just think it could be fun, you don't need to study anything special for law (and I'd recommend you don't study law at all till you head to law school).
I'd also suggest Uni of Bath (beautiful area and also an RG uni), St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Durham, and Warwick, maybe York. All in beautiful locations and great looking Unis. I went to LSE and it was a shit looking Uni- certainly do not recommend going to school in London. Good lucky, enjoy your undergrad and don't think too hard about law school- keep an open-mind and certainly be willing to change course if you find something you enjoy!

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by pjulk » Fri May 07, 2021 12:35 am

Thank you for the great advice. You are right, I do want to go to Bristol more. Unfortunatly, it's quite a bit more expensive than CU-Boulder since I'm both in-state and got a $20,000 scholarship so I have to be sure Bristol is right for me.
I've been accepted to Bristol, Durham, York and St. Andrews - all for pure philosophy. I decided to stay away from London. Durham is interesting too.

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by pjulk » Fri May 07, 2021 12:38 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 6:27 am
1) It's too early for you to be thinking about law school.

2) It's too early for you to be thinking about law school.

Do not make decisions about where to go to undergrad based on your plans for 3-4 years from now. Those plans are almost certainly going to change.
Thank you. Recognizing plans may change, I do want to make sure that I don't make the path to law school significantly harder if I do go to Bristol. I'd feel very stupid if I hadn't done the research and it limited my options.

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cavalier1138

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by cavalier1138 » Fri May 07, 2021 9:00 am

pjulk wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 12:38 am
Recognizing plans may change, I do want to make sure that I don't make the path to law school significantly harder if I do go to Bristol. I'd feel very stupid if I hadn't done the research and it limited my options.
It won't have a negative impact, and you will feel much dumber if you decide to forego the undergraduate experience you want because teenage-you is convinced that you already know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life.

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by crazywafflez » Fri May 07, 2021 5:47 pm

pjulk wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 12:35 am
Thank you for the great advice. You are right, I do want to go to Bristol more. Unfortunatly, it's quite a bit more expensive than CU-Boulder since I'm both in-state and got a $20,000 scholarship so I have to be sure Bristol is right for me.
I've been accepted to Bristol, Durham, York and St. Andrews - all for pure philosophy. I decided to stay away from London. Durham is interesting too.
Boulder is supposed to be a great and fun school, so don't write it off! As far as the UK goes, don't go to Bristol or any of the others thinking they are more "prestigious" than Boulder or Alabama or UNC, whatever. They are absolutely fine schools (and perhaps Bristol has a great teacher you want to work with and you like the area!), but don't go prestige chasing!
Nobody in the US will know Bristol, go cause you want the experience, you like the Uni and the area, and you have the ability to do it; not because you think it is uber prestigious or better than Boulder or York etc.
Make sure to chat with students from each school if you can and if you can't visit before attending to talk to as many folks as possible and look at pictures/read forums about dorms and things to do/study!

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by rqin37 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:16 am

As a foreign applicant, I've learned that US law school won't count foreign school's gpa. I went to US for undergrad and grad school. Lucky for me, my gpa is counted. For many of my friends who have no US degree, their only chance is LSAT, which held fewer times outside North America.

I know little about you, but I would came to US as early as possible if I was you. I also did some research on England law market. It's a totally different system. Here is one more tip: US colleges are pretty welcomed to transfer students. When you study in US, you can easily transfer to a better school, like Brown, or Emory. If you have a 3.9 gpa from Brown, I am sure that helps you more, comparing to a gpa from British college.

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by Fenella9 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:39 am

I'd echo what some others have said: you'll be able to get into US law schools from either, so go where you're excited to go. I'd also agree that LSAT matters more when you're coming from the UK because I don't think law school admissions people understand UK grades. I'm in a similar situation: US citizen, went to UK university for undergrad (and studied philosophy!) and now I'm at HLS. Philosophy is also a great choice pre-law school. Good luck and have fun!

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by ManhattanElitePrep » Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:28 pm

Hello!
We would suggest a US Undergrad degree.

The idea of going to another country to get a college degree is really tempting… it’s an exciting opportunity to travel at the same time as getting an education, but if your ultimate goal is a career in law in the U.S., I highly recommend spending your $$ and efforts on a degree from the US, then it is easier to get admitted into an accredited U.S. law school, getting a license to practice here, and saving some part of the wonderful salary that comes with such a degree and license, to travel and relationships as you will…

If you plan to explore British law schools vs American law schools for your grad degree in a few years, I also want to point out the differences between the two systems. In a U.S. law school, you’ll start by examining cases such as Marbry V Madison for forum selection, etc. I doubt the British law schools care a bit about ancient legal rulings about our own constitutions’ distribution of power and exercise of power between the various parts of our government (and through our changes of government after our electoral process). You’ll learn about Miranda v. Arizona in a criminal law class, and about whether someone who shoots a gun in Ohio, in the direction over the Ohio river, and kills a person in Kentucky, without ever setting foot in Kentucky… WHICH state is allowed to prosecute that murder? And doesn’t it cause a crisis if the state where the victim lives has the death penalty and the state where the murderer lives does not, and the victim’s family is demanding the death penalty but the defendant wants to say he ever set foot there so that the death penalty can’t possibly be imposed? You’ll discuss the difference between procedural and substantive jurisdiction, between search and seizure versus right against self incrimination… You'll learn about common law in the US because where the constitution and statute do not address an issue, we fall back on principles of common law to make the decision on how to handle it.
Last edited by cavalier1138 on Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by nixy » Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:47 pm

1) what is your support for the claim that it’s easier to get into law school from an American school than from an overseas school?

2) why are you assuming that if they go to law school they’ll end up with a wonderful salary?

3) why are you comparing US vs. British law schools when the OP was asking about undergrad?

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by crazywafflez » Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:28 pm

ManhattanElitePrep wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:28 pm
Hello!
We would suggest a US Undergrad degree.

The idea of going to another country to get a college degree is really tempting… it’s an exciting opportunity to travel at the same time as getting an education, but if your ultimate goal is a career in law in the U.S., I highly recommend spending your $$ and efforts on a degree from the US, then it is easier to get admitted into an accredited U.S. law school, getting a license to practice here, and saving some part of the wonderful salary that comes with such a degree and license, to travel and relationships as you will…

If you plan to explore British law schools vs American law schools for your grad degree in a few years, I also want to point out the differences between the two systems. In a U.S. law school, you’ll start by examining cases such as Marbry V Madison for forum selection, etc. I doubt the British law schools care a bit about ancient legal rulings about our own constitutions’ distribution of power and exercise of power between the various parts of our government (and through our changes of government after our electoral process). You’ll learn about Miranda v. Arizona in a criminal law class, and about whether someone who shoots a gun in Ohio, in the direction over the Ohio river, and kills a person in Kentucky, without ever setting foot in Kentucky… WHICH state is allowed to prosecute that murder? And doesn’t it cause a crisis if the state where the victim lives has the death penalty and the state where the murderer lives does not, and the victim’s family is demanding the death penalty but the defendant wants to say he ever set foot there so that the death penalty can’t possibly be imposed? You’ll discuss the difference between procedural and substantive jurisdiction, between search and seizure versus right against self incrimination… You'll learn about common law in the US because where the constitution and statute do not address an issue, we fall back on principles of common law to make the decision on how to handle it.
OP, please do not listen to the comments made quoted above.
It is absolutely fine to attend a foreign institution for undergrad. Go to whatever UG Uni you want and study whatever you'd like (I'd recommend something you find interesting and attending the cheapest place you actually want to go to).
Law schools largely do not care what UG you went to.
The only caveat is law schools will not give you a GPA for LSAC purposes if you attend a foreign institution, LSAC will just evaluate your foreign transcript and assign you either a superior, above average, average, or below average. These really don't matter as long as you get an average or higher you'll be fine (albeit, the higher the better!). The LSAT will be a large portion of your application package (it normally is even for folks who have US UGPAs- but you will not have an UGPA to help or hinder you and you will rely much more on your LSAT score).
And finally, law does not = super high paying job. Legal salaries are mainly bimodal- you'll either be working in biglaw (the big firms in NYC with 100+ attorneys) making 180k+ (and these sort of jobs usually go to graduates of the T14) or you'll be working as an ADA or in a small firm shop making 45-70k depending on where you live.

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by cavalier1138 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:43 am

ManhattanElitePrep wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:28 pm
If you plan to explore British law schools vs American law schools for your grad degree in a few years, I also want to point out the differences between the two systems. In a U.S. law school, you’ll start by examining cases such as Marbry V Madison for forum selection, etc. I doubt the British law schools care a bit about ancient legal rulings about our own constitutions’ distribution of power and exercise of power between the various parts of our government (and through our changes of government after our electoral process). You’ll learn about Miranda v. Arizona in a criminal law class, and about whether someone who shoots a gun in Ohio, in the direction over the Ohio river, and kills a person in Kentucky, without ever setting foot in Kentucky… WHICH state is allowed to prosecute that murder? And doesn’t it cause a crisis if the state where the victim lives has the death penalty and the state where the murderer lives does not, and the victim’s family is demanding the death penalty but the defendant wants to say he ever set foot there so that the death penalty can’t possibly be imposed? You’ll discuss the difference between procedural and substantive jurisdiction, between search and seizure versus right against self incrimination… You'll learn about common law in the US because where the constitution and statute do not address an issue, we fall back on principles of common law to make the decision on how to handle it.
In addition to the questions that have already been asked: Have you ever set foot in a law school? At least half of that was gibberish and/or flatly incorrect.

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iar

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by iar » Thu Jul 15, 2021 12:07 pm

Seconding that it makes absolutely not difference. I'm at T-14 with foreign degree, and if anything, it helped me because I had stories to tell/a different perspective. Also seconding that you should not make a decision about your undergrad based on a possible future plan of law school.

Bristol is a great city, Bristol is a great school. If you want to go and can afford it, go. I don't think you'll regret the decision to have exciting and new experiences. And a plus: you'll be done with your undergrad sooner.

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Re: US or UK Undergrad degree better for Law School Admissions?

Post by bob311 » Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:18 pm

I appreciate your desire to study philosophy in the UK. It is significantly more rigorous than almost all US school, with the exclusion of maybe NYU and Rutgers.

That said - why are you even considering Bristol over St Andrews or even Durham? St Andrews has a way better program than Bristol. I would also say Durham does too. Plus both have more cache as schools generally.

Source - have a graduate degree in philosophy from one of those schools.

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