Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: thirstyice on January 14, 2008, 10:56:28 PM

Title: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: thirstyice on January 14, 2008, 10:56:28 PM
Hi,
As of right now, I've narrowed down my list to 3 universities (of which I got accepted to)

Emory (major: finance) <Dream school since freshman year>
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (undeclared biz) <Wanted to get out of Texas> <Nationally well-known> <Acceptance to biz program hard to come by>
Villanova (finance) <Known for extensive finance recruitments>

Of course, these colleges are my top 3, but there are others that I'm also considering to some extent.

University of Texas at Austin (Texas resident)(major: yet unknown) <Lots of friends there> <Well-known nationally>
Loyola University at Chicago (Biz) <love the location>
Texas A&M (Finance) <Great alumni network>
Fordham (Finance) <New York City>

I plan on majoring in Finance to have my options open for the future since I'm not fully sure if I'd like to go to Law school.
Career-wise, Emory would be my best option since its undergrad business school is currently ranked 4th in the nation, but if I do decide to attend, I'm going to be facing intense competition, and might not be able to acheive high GPA as I could get in other universities.

What would you do if you are in my situation? Would you choose a college that is somewhat reputable but where you are sure to get a high GPA? or throw yourself into the fire and see yourself bringing a 6-pack of Red Bulls into the library? Should location be seriously put into consideration, as in the same plateau as the prestige of a school? (I really want to be able to land a good job should I not decide to go to Law school). Is GPA that important of a factor in law school admission that may make someone give up his acceptance to prestigious colleges?

What about state universities? Will it be harder to get an A since there's alot of people?

Thank you
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: siski on January 14, 2008, 11:19:23 PM
GPA is a very important factor. You should definitely enjoy your undergrad years and go to a school you'd be happy at and major in a field that interests you. That said, do everything you can to keep your GPA as high as possible. Never underestimate the power of a 3.9. Which undergrad you go to is not as important as your GPA.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: doos13 on January 14, 2008, 11:32:30 PM
Hi,
As of right now, I've narrowed down my list to 3 universities (of which I got accepted to)

Emory (major: finance) <Dream school since freshman year>
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (undeclared biz) <Wanted to get out of Texas> <Nationally well-known> <Acceptance to biz program hard to come by>
Villanova (finance) <Known for extensive finance recruitments>

Of course, these colleges are my top 3, but there are others that I'm also considering to some extent.

University of Texas at Austin (Texas resident)(major: yet unknown) <Lots of friends there> <Well-known nationally>
Loyola University at Chicago (Biz) <love the location>
Texas A&M (Finance) <Great alumni network>
Fordham (Finance) <New York City>

I plan on majoring in Finance to have my options open for the future since I'm not fully sure if I'd like to go to Law school.
Career-wise, Emory would be my best option since its undergrad business school is currently ranked 4th in the nation, but if I do decide to attend, I'm going to be facing intense competition, and might not be able to acheive high GPA as I could get in other universities.

What would you do if you are in my situation? Would you choose a college that is somewhat reputable but where you are sure to get a high GPA? or throw yourself into the fire and see yourself bringing a 6-pack of Red Bulls into the library? Should location be seriously put into consideration, as in the same plateau as the prestige of a school? (I really want to be able to land a good job should I not decide to go to Law school). Is GPA that important of a factor in law school admission that may make someone give up his acceptance to prestigious colleges?

What about state universities? Will it be harder to get an A since there's alot of people?

Thank you


You're setting yourself up for nerd-dom/unhappiness. Have fun, whether that means joining a frat or majoring in art history. Worry about professional aspirations when you're our age.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: thirstyice on January 15, 2008, 12:28:20 AM
wait, so law school admission officers would rather choose a student from, say, Loyola Chicago with 3.8 GPA than a student from Emory with lower GPA?
Then what's really the point of trying to get into good undergrad?

Interesting...
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: doos13 on January 15, 2008, 01:20:02 AM
wait, so law school admission officers would rather choose a student from, say, Loyola Chicago with 3.8 GPA than a student from Emory with lower GPA?
Then what's really the point of trying to get into good undergrad?

Interesting...

Stop. Just, stop. Let's say you're 18. You finish school at 22 and male private part around for a year. You're 23 and apply to school. You matriculate at 23 or 24, and are employed at 26 or 27. That is ten years from now! Relax, enjoy school, and if you want to become interested in something weird, let it be philosophy or math or physics or something like that. Don't get so bogged down in angst over your profession. Not now, at least! Oh, and go to Emory over Loyola.

I really really HTH
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on January 15, 2008, 05:24:28 AM
Hi,
As of right now, I've narrowed down my list to 3 universities (of which I got accepted to)

Emory (major: finance) <Dream school since freshman year>
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (undeclared biz) <Wanted to get out of Texas> <Nationally well-known> <Acceptance to biz program hard to come by>
Villanova (finance) <Known for extensive finance recruitments>

Of course, these colleges are my top 3, but there are others that I'm also considering to some extent.

If you are interested in finance, go to Villanova.

In thanks for this advice, I expect to receive free basketball tix.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on January 15, 2008, 08:58:55 AM
But seriously, the correct answer from that top-3 is Villanova.

Emory is ranked well, but Villanova gets respect from the New York market... which is the biggest, best, highest-paying market for finance. ;-)
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: thirstyice on January 15, 2008, 05:46:08 PM
ah...
wow I never thought UT gets so much rep even from non-Texan people.
Thank y'all for the thoughtful responses, I'll be sure to consider all these before I make a decision.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: jalex519 on January 18, 2008, 09:42:14 AM
If going to Emory will require you to take any debt or work like a dog so you don't have any debt, don't do it, if not I would say go for it. And yes, a 3.8 GPA at UT would be better than a 3.4 at Emory.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: JSMnyny on January 18, 2008, 10:28:54 AM
I think the "point of trying to get into a good undergrad" is that you may very well decide that law school is not for you at some point down the road.  Say in your finance classes, you develop a real interest in private equity.  Well, when you graduate and go to get a job, potential employers will care very much about what school you went to.  I'm saying this as a fund of hedge fund analyst and finance major who went to a moderately ranked school (American) on an academic scholarship.  I routinely made it to the last round of interviews at investment banks and hedge funds before being told that I had lost out to the other remaining candidate, a Columbia or NYU grad with a significantly lower GPA.  But to answer your original question, yes, law school admissions offices will probably prefer the opposite result, a 3.8 at a lower ranked school vs. low 3's from Emory. 

Speaking of Emory, I think its a very good school, but you should be aware that the #4 ranking has made it MUCH harder to get into the business school.  Its not a sure thing.  My younger brother is a junior there and he wound up going econ because it became impossible to get in to the B school. 

If you're interested in working in NY (in finance) I would also give more serious consideration to UT and Fordham.  In NY UT, and not A&M, has a VERY strong alumni base, although I could understand if you want a change of scenery for a while.  Also, my personal opinion is that Fordham has a stronger presense and better recruitment potential than Villanova, although its not in the greatest part of NY. 

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: ........... on January 18, 2008, 10:54:07 AM
I'd probably pick Emory.

UIUC close second.  You'll feel like an outsider there.  90% of the students are from Illinois and the first question you get asked when meeting someone new is what suburb your from.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: turkfish on April 04, 2008, 09:47:50 AM
One thing I would really stress is cost of undergraduate institution, especially if you plan on attending law school.  UT's in-state tuition is an excellent deal, and if you want business/finance the McCombs school has a great reputation that would be respected by both law school admissions committees and potential employers (if you did not decide to go to law school) alike.

I understand your desire to get out of Texas, but if you are a Texas resident UT's tuition is most likely the best deal you can get.  What I would recommend is going to Texas and save money, that way you won't have to work during the school semesters, freeing up time to study for the LSAT if you so desire.  The extra savings definitely won't hurt if you decide not to go to law school as well.  If you get scholarships schools higher on your list though, this advice becomes less relevant.

Choosing any of these undergrads will allow you to go to a prestigious law school with the right GPA/LSAT combo, so if you can wait to escape from TX for another four years it might pay off.  I personally have friends who shelled out big bucks for MIT over UT for engineering/science, and they have significantly more debt out of UG and their starting salaries might be 70k compared to 65k if they would have gone to UT.

Good luck with your decision!
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on April 04, 2008, 01:08:39 PM

If you're interested in working in NY (in finance) I would also give more serious consideration to UT and Fordham.  In NY UT, and not A&M, has a VERY strong alumni base, although I could understand if you want a change of scenery for a while.  Also, my personal opinion is that Fordham has a stronger presense and better recruitment potential than Villanova, although its not in the greatest part of NY. 

Hope this helps.

Your opinion is trumped by my KNOWLEDGE. As a Villanova alumnus, I don't actually know ANYONE from our finance program who isn't currently working on Wall Street. All of the big prestigious firms come to Villanova to recruit and the Villanova School of Business' undergraduate program is highly respected in NY.

Am I biased? Perhaps, but I am not just guessing based on geography. Villanova is every bit as much a "New York" school as Fordham in terms of footprint, it is more highly respected, and has a reputation that extends much further.

I can't comment on UT.

As far as Law School admissions is concerned: Where you go to undergrad doesn't matter so much as your GPA and LSAT, so don't let that factor in at all.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: bt on April 04, 2008, 02:38:37 PM
Texas resident here that now goes to Wesleyan in CT.

If you want Finance, I can't see much of a reason not to pick UT and internally transfer to McCombs.  Villanova and Emory might be good, but by nearly every undergrad business ranking, UT is one of the top 5/10 and excels particularly in Finance. 

BUT, you're pre-law?  Why do you want to do Finance undergrad?  I'm pretty sure that top law schools look down on pre-professional majors.  Anyways, if you want the best deal, UT by far: cheapest, best college town, best Finance program.  But, be warned that McCombs is really competitive because it is so good, and keep in mind that GPA is more important than any difference in quality that you're gonna see between Villanova, UT, or Emory.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on April 05, 2008, 09:52:41 PM
If you want Finance, I can't see much of a reason not to pick UT and internally transfer to McCombs.  Villanova and Emory might be good, but by nearly every undergrad business ranking, UT is one of the top 5/10 and excels particularly in Finance.
Villanova Business School has a higher median starting salary than UT. ;-)

Quote
BUT, you're pre-law?  Why do you want to do Finance undergrad?  I'm pretty sure that top law schools look down on pre-professional majors. 
Discredited. This is untrue. In fact, depending on your legal specialty, a finance degree could be very helpful.

That said, I think you'll be a more well-rounded person if you get a liberal arts degree.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: bt on April 06, 2008, 01:55:25 AM
The average salary for a McCombs Finance major is $50,583.  http://fcc.mccombs.utexas.edu/bba/bba07_salary.asp

The average salary for a Villanova Business major is $50,000  http://www.villanova.edu/business/undergrad/

So, no, I wouldn't be so certain that Villanova business undergrads make more than McCombs undergrads.  But this is a moot point.  I was saying that McCombs is a very highly ranked business school, and it is.

Businessweek - #10
US News Overall - #5
US News Finance - #6

Regarding pre-professional majors, obviously Finance could be helpful to certain people (depending on what area of law they would like to go into).  However, the general consensus that I have heard (after several years of being involved in this) is that the best law schools would nearly always prefer a liberal arts major to a pre-professional major. 
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on April 06, 2008, 10:24:46 PM
FWIW, Business Week lists UT's Median Salary at $49,500 and Villanova's at $50,000. UT places 48% of it's grads in finance and/or accounting positions, while Villanova places 66% in those positions. 19% of UT grads accepted jobs in the Financial Services industry, while 34% of Villanova grads accepted those jobs.

And the big difference: UT grads overwhelmingly ended up in the Southwest (almost 80%). Villanova grads overwhelmingly ended up in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Villanova is the better pick for Wall Street.

Regarding pre-professional majors, obviously Finance could be helpful to certain people (depending on what area of law they would like to go into).  However, the general consensus that I have heard (after several years of being involved in this) is that the best law schools would nearly always prefer a liberal arts major to a pre-professional major. 

And I am telling you, as someone in law school that that is one of the biggest myths on the pre-law board. Your major doesn't matter for admissions purposes. What matters is your GPA. One exception is that if you study certain subjects (engineering, particularly) they will usually forgive a lower GPA.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: bt on April 07, 2008, 08:25:48 AM
Quote
And I am telling you, as someone in law school that that is one of the biggest myths on the pre-law board. Your major doesn't matter for admissions purposes. What matters is your GPA. One exception is that if you study certain subjects (engineering, particularly) they will usually forgive a lower GPA.

I don't see how you being a law school student gives your statement any more weight than my own.  As I have heard that top law schools (and I mean, T14) prefer liberal arts majors, both from discussion boards and from several law schools themselves, I will continue to believe it.  I'm sure there are many pre-professional majors in law school, though that does not detract from the idea that law schools would prefer a liberal arts major to a pre-professional major.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: nicole1220 on April 07, 2008, 08:34:23 AM
If you are going to be taking out loans to pay for school, you may want to also consider attending one of your less expensive options. It will be a lot easier to decide to take out loans for law school if you don't have 80K in debt from undergrad hanging over your head.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on April 08, 2008, 11:35:41 AM
Finance might be a great program for you, but you might also find that it's bad for your GPA and/or not really where your heart is.  It's worth giving a try, and some people love it, but I would just recommend being careful not to get into the mindset of "Well, I need to stay in finance/accounting/etc because it will be a good backup plan"... or, worse, get caught up in the superiority complex of undergrad b-school students.  Many people get liberal arts degrees and, in the end, do great things after graduation, having spent four years studying what they were really interested in.
Correct.

Honestly though, just make sure you have fun in undergrad. You'll never have a better time to do so. Go to a school with a good basketball team (...one that made the sweet 16 three out of the last four years).
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: Captain on April 08, 2008, 11:37:13 AM
I don't see how you being a law school student gives your statement any more weight than my own.  As I have heard that top law schools (and I mean, T14) prefer liberal arts majors, both from discussion boards and from several law schools themselves, I will continue to believe it.  I'm sure there are many pre-professional majors in law school, though that does not detract from the idea that law schools would prefer a liberal arts major to a pre-professional major.

Other than the fact that I actually know who law schools admit, because I can look at my classmates?

But go ahead, believe everything you read on a message board.
Title: Re: Choosing among various undergrad universities... NEED HELP
Post by: bt on April 08, 2008, 01:50:53 PM
My point is that your evidence is your classmates at a particular law school.  My evidence is the statements from adcoms at several top schools; that this is also believed to be the case on message boards is just an added bonus.

It may be true that there are many pre-professional majors at your law school, but I don't think that's evidence sufficient to say that liberal arts majors are not preferred by pre-professional majors at most top law schools, especially given the evidence to the contrary.

Anyways, this is a rather moot point.  If the OP really wants to major in Finance, he should not let law school preferences get in the way.  But if the OP thinks Finance will give him an advantage over someone with a liberal arts degree, I would urge him to reconsider.