Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: veganchick on March 04, 2006, 03:42:42 PM

Title: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 04, 2006, 03:42:42 PM
Quote from: pinkybella on February 23, 2006, 12:29:41 PM

Also, if you go to TJ with any type of scholarship and you end up in the top 5% of the class and you want to transfer to a better school, you have to pay back your scholarship.

So if you go to TJ, with a scholarship & hopes of transfering to a better school, be careful. It may end up costing you..... end quote.
 :o

Does anyone know if you have to pay back Whittier if you have a scholarship and want to transfer?  It was my understanding that you don't.

Also - any opinion on which school to accept if it's between:

1)  100% scholarship to Whittier

or...

2)  Pepperdine, without any scholarship

Thanks!
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: Perversely on March 04, 2006, 05:28:48 PM
i have a really smart friend who started school at a "top school." it will remain nameless because i want it to be...anyway, she went there for a semester and hated it. she left.

she reapplied and decided on the school that she originally had her "heart" set on and she's happier and she's doing exactly what she wanted to do.

long story short: you decide your destiny. if you want to decide on a nearly debt-free, right out of LS existance, then i say go for it. also, remember that you won't need to worry about $$$ during LS as much, so you can concentrate on your studies as well...

the more money you earn, the more money you spend....it's all just stuff anyway.

i'm probably the wrong person responding because i can honestly care less about "stuff."

when it all boils down to it, people decide on the "higher-ranked magazine school" because they think they can make more $$$$.

sounds like you've gotten in to solid schools that will take you far.  hey nixon went to whittier (not that i'd brag about that too loudly).

best of wishes deciding. & congrats on the acceptances.

i say, VISIT each school and you'll know in a heart beat...
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: Tulane1L on March 04, 2006, 05:37:26 PM
isn't whittier on aba probabtion?  Have you looked into what will happen (as a law student and future attorney) if they loose their accredidation during your time in law school?  That might be a good starting place to think about where you should go.

If it were me, pepperdine, no question.

Best of luck!
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: tcs5384 on March 05, 2006, 01:15:09 PM
Quote from: pinkybella on February 23, 2006, 12:29:41 PM

Also, if you go to TJ with any type of scholarship and you end up in the top 5% of the class and you want to transfer to a better school, you have to pay back your scholarship.

So if you go to TJ, with a scholarship & hopes of transfering to a better school, be careful. It may end up costing you..... end quote.
 :o

Does anyone know if you have to pay back Whittier if you have a scholarship and want to transfer?  It was my understanding that you don't.

Also - any opinion on which school to accept if it's between:

1)  100% scholarship to Whittier

or...

2)  Pepperdine, without any scholarship

Thanks!


I'm facing a similar situation (Alabama and Baylor have offered full tuition scholarships, and I've gotten into Vandy with no scholarship offer as of yet) so all I can really tell you are three things:

1.  Go where you really want to go.  From what I've heard from lawyers, reputation matters a lot only immediately out of law school (i.e., when you have no case record to go on.)  Down the road it's not going to be that big of a deal.  I don't know whether that's true or not, but it's what I've heard.
2.  I'm assuming from the law schools you're looking at that you want to stay in SoCal, so ask around with some people and see which of the two is held in better esteem in the LA area.  You could be surprised.
3.  Is the scholarship guaranteed?  If not, you might want to think twice about taking it.  From what I've heard, a lot of people lose scholarships after their first year, so you might end up paying for Whittier the second and third years.  Staying in the top 25% of your class, or keeping X gpa, is harder than it sounds.

Hope this helps.  Good luck!
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: aquafinaisbetter on March 05, 2006, 03:12:06 PM
Pepperdine
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: Stephon Devante on March 05, 2006, 03:15:09 PM
Def. Pepperdine
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 05, 2006, 03:41:04 PM
Thanks for everyone's comments!  Very helpful.  I agree, it's easy to lose the scholarship after the first year - regardless of where you go. The other thing is that Pepperdine had about 220 employers come to visit the campus, and Whittier had 10.  Professors at both schools are top notch - but I just think I may be limiting my options (not just monetarily) by going to a school that everyone knows is on ABA probabtion.  I got a 80% scholarship to Chapman, which is a great up and coming school I hear... but I think I'll go with Pepperdine sans scholarship....unless miracle, of miracles I get into UCLA... Supposedly they only take about 25 out of close to 600 applicants for their public interest program.  Anyone gotten into that program that you know of???  Drool...

Thanks again!
 :-*
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: shae on March 05, 2006, 05:30:38 PM
pepperdine

if it was another school besides whittier and could understand giving some thought to making the decision; but whittier is on probation, you do not want to mess with that.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: joespecial on March 05, 2006, 10:03:22 PM
I think pretty much everyone deals with this question, because the lower-ranked schools where you are at the 75th percentile will give you $$, and the high ranked school where you just squeak in will not.

I always consider 5 years after law school when I decide I hate my job and hate my firm and want to get a new job. Which school on my resume is going to open doors? If you choose the lower-ranked school, you will have saved money, but you are going to have to knock on more doors when the time comes, maybe a lot more.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: bobcat on March 07, 2006, 08:12:43 PM
Bonkers: I wonder if, 5 years from now, most local employers will care where you went to school, if you have a good track record in your career.  5 years will give you time to build up a decent resume that might be able to overcome having gone to a lower-ranked school.

That said, I would ask a couple of additional questions before I offer my advice.  As mentioned, what is your scholarship offer?  If it's contingent on X GPA or Y class ranking, I wouldn't put as much importance on it.  But if it's like the one that I got from Illinois, that simply requires "good academic standing" (i.e. don't flunk out), I would consider that to be (essentially) guaranteed money.  I would also consider what Whittier's ABA status is, and where it seems likely to go.  Why are they on probation?  And have they taken steps that are likely to remedy that? 

Another question: how do you feel about the conservative Christian atmosphere at Pepperdine?  Will it bother you?  I know it would bother me a lot, but that other people love it, and others are impartial.  You don't want to end up anywhere where you'll be unhappy.

Now, I'll offer my advice.  All things being equal, I'd take Pepperdine.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: joespecial on March 08, 2006, 03:09:30 PM
Bonkers: I wonder if, 5 years from now, most local employers will care where you went to school, if you have a good track record in your career.  5 years will give you time to build up a decent resume that might be able to overcome having gone to a lower-ranked school.

To a point I think it doesn't matter, and to a point I think it does. Sometimes it is hard to judge the work someone has actually done at a job. Suppose you spend 3 years at a firm doing work that is not very significant and you hate it. When you look for a new job, what you going to say?

I think the better the school on your resume, the more likely you are to be given the benefit of the doubt that you can do what they're looking for at the new job.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: pappy13 on March 08, 2006, 03:13:50 PM
i have a really smart friend who started school at a "top school." it will remain nameless because i want it to be...anyway, she went there for a semester and hated it. she left.

she reapplied and decided on the school that she originally had her "heart" set on and she's happier and she's doing exactly what she wanted to do.

long story short: you decide your destiny. if you want to decide on a nearly debt-free, right out of LS existance, then i say go for it. also, remember that you won't need to worry about $$$ during LS as much, so you can concentrate on your studies as well...

the more money you earn, the more money you spend....it's all just stuff anyway.

i'm probably the wrong person responding because i can honestly care less about "stuff."

when it all boils down to it, people decide on the "higher-ranked magazine school" because they think they can make more $$$$.

sounds like you've gotten in to solid schools that will take you far.  hey nixon went to whittier (not that i'd brag about that too loudly).

best of wishes deciding. & congrats on the acceptances.

i say, VISIT each school and you'll know in a heart beat...

Nixon went to Whittier undergrad and Duke Law.  There is a difference. 
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: tcs5384 on March 09, 2006, 11:54:26 AM
i have a really smart friend who started school at a "top school." it will remain nameless because i want it to be...anyway, she went there for a semester and hated it. she left.

she reapplied and decided on the school that she originally had her "heart" set on and she's happier and she's doing exactly what she wanted to do.

long story short: you decide your destiny. if you want to decide on a nearly debt-free, right out of LS existance, then i say go for it. also, remember that you won't need to worry about $$$ during LS as much, so you can concentrate on your studies as well...

the more money you earn, the more money you spend....it's all just stuff anyway.

i'm probably the wrong person responding because i can honestly care less about "stuff."

when it all boils down to it, people decide on the "higher-ranked magazine school" because they think they can make more $$$$.

sounds like you've gotten in to solid schools that will take you far.  hey nixon went to whittier (not that i'd brag about that too loudly).

best of wishes deciding. & congrats on the acceptances.

i say, VISIT each school and you'll know in a heart beat...

Nixon went to Whittier undergrad and Duke Law.  There is a difference. 
Nixon also went to college/law school in the 1930s.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: JamesD on March 09, 2006, 01:46:18 PM
Given that Whittier has a horrible bar passage rate and is at risk of loosing its ABA accredidation...  I think Pepperdine is a much better choice.

Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 09, 2006, 07:06:15 PM
Thanks again for everyone's advice.  Regarding Whittier's ABA probation.  Honestly, I'm 99.9% sure they will not lose their accreditation.  If they did, the ABA would face a big lawsuit, since other schools have lower bar passage rates, yet still remain ABA approved.  So although it's not great to be at a school on probabtion, according to insiders, this probation seems to be politically motivated.  But still kinda sucky that less than 40% pass the bar there.  As for Pepperdine being a conservative school - I actually think that that's sometimes more of an incentive, not less, for a liberal to go there... after all, if we always shy away from opposite views, how will anything ever change.  I welcome the challenge.  I'm going up there to meet with financial aid tomorrow...  it is scary giving up a full scholarship though (although dependant on my grades)... especially when I saw on another posting someone got a full ride, plus 5K stipend to go to Pepperdine this fall.  Sounds like they're choosing the money over prestige - and turning down Duke.  These decisions are never easy... good luck to everyone!  And thanks for all the great advice :-)

Anyone else going to Pepperdine?
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: tcs5384 on March 09, 2006, 07:30:32 PM
Thanks again for everyone's advice.  Regarding Whittier's ABA probation.  Honestly, I'm 99.9% sure they will not lose their accreditation.  If they did, the ABA would face a big lawsuit, since other schools have lower bar passage rates, yet still remain ABA approved.  So although it's not great to be at a school on probabtion, according to insiders, this probation seems to be politically motivated.  But still kinda sucky that less than 40% pass the bar there.  As for Pepperdine being a conservative school - I actually think that that's sometimes more of an incentive, not less, for a liberal to go there... after all, if we always shy away from opposite views, how will anything ever change.  I welcome the challenge.  I'm going up there to meet with financial aid tomorrow...  it is scary giving up a full scholarship though (although dependant on my grades)... especially when I saw on another posting someone got a full ride, plus 5K stipend to go to Pepperdine this fall.  Sounds like they're choosing the money over prestige - and turning down Duke.  These decisions are never easy... good luck to everyone!  And thanks for all the great advice :-)

Anyone else going to Pepperdine?

Although I don't think you should base your decision on political leanings, I would caution you a bit on Pepperdine if you are very liberal.  While it's true that we shouldn't be shying away from opposite views, the fact is that if you are very liberal and attending a conservative Christian school, that will just make it more difficult to fit in -- and it's not as though there are a shortage of other law schools in California where your views would probably fit better.  That said, I think Pepperdine is a great choice for you considering what everybody else has said on here.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 09, 2006, 08:49:14 PM
I enjoy hearing different opinions... and it's especially important in the field of law.  I am super liberal - but not worried about fitting in.  I think the more I hear from the "other side", the better attorney I'll become.  But we'll see how I feel about that a year from now  ;)

Whittier is great for liberals though, despite being in Orange County - awesome vegan food in the cafeteria, and super liberal profs.  It just might come down to that amazing Pepperdine ocean view.  Honestly, it's hard to not let that factor into the decision...  It's breathtaking from the law library!
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: queencruella on March 09, 2006, 08:58:23 PM
Veganchick, I agree with you completely. I'm generally liberal and leaning toward going to Notre Dame. I think it's important to hear all points of view, not just your own. Fitting in is not something I worry about either.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: tcs5384 on March 09, 2006, 09:07:36 PM
I'm middle of the road, and leaning toward Colorado (liberal) but would be perfectly fine at Alabama or Baylor (both conservative.)  Of course, I have no idea about Vanderbilt's political leanings... I've heard most top law schools are pretty liberal, but then Vandy is in the middle of Nashville.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 12, 2006, 04:54:15 PM
Anyone else think it's a slam dunk for Pepperdine?  I didn't realize until last week that goverment loans won't cover 40K+/year for law school expenses.  They're capped at around 28K, I think.  Then it's all private loans... unless you can get a scholarship.  No wonder so many people go to schools that offer $$$.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: Stephon Devante on March 12, 2006, 05:08:42 PM
I'm middle of the road, and leaning toward Colorado (liberal) but would be perfectly fine at Alabama or Baylor (both conservative.)  Of course, I have no idea about Vanderbilt's political leanings... I've heard most top law schools are pretty liberal, but then Vandy is in the middle of Nashville.

Was told by Ryan Willard, coordinator of recruitment, that Vandy is a fairly moderate school. The latest National Jurist lists Vandy profs in the top 10 for financial giving to conservative political groups.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: bobcat on March 13, 2006, 04:29:43 PM
On political leanings of your classmates: it's not dealbreaker, but when I was at a very conservative UG as a moderate/liberal student, I found it to be very difficult.  It wasn't because of the alternative viewpoints them, as I am surrounded by those every day of my life.  I just found it to be mentally exhuasting to be one of the ONLY people who saw the issues from a different perspective than my classmates.  I felt almost obligated to participate in every debate and discussion, just because no one else would take up my viewpoint.  This meant I spent as much time trying to figure out counterarguments to my classmates' ideas as I did trying to digest the material.  Plus, when I didn't jump in the conversation, I often got frustrated with the direction it took, as everyone pretty much agreed with each other until the class had become hopelessly mundane.  And, the "fitting in" factor shouldn't be underestimated. 

That's just my opinion, of course.  Personally, if presented with the chance to go to Pepperdine, I would not.  But, if you feel that you'll handle the conservative nature of the school with less difficulty than i did, by all means, go for it.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 13, 2006, 10:43:18 PM
That's a really good point Bobcat - thanks.  I'm waiting to see if there's some way I can get a scholarship.  It's really hard to turn down a full one for a school that offers no $.  Looks like a lot of people on this discussion board are in similar situations.  I guess one way or another, most of us will have to make some sort of a decision before those deposit deadlines roll around in April.  Yikes.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: l1lshady0 on March 14, 2006, 01:08:12 AM
Just had to chime in about Nixon since I grew up in Yorba Linda, his birthplace, and I'v been to his presidential library.  If I remember right, he graduated second in his class at Duke Law in one of the first years it was open... maybe the first year, or second?
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 14, 2006, 01:33:11 PM
Yep - Nixon did go to Duke for law school - and ironically, Whittier for undergrad  :o
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: tcs5384 on March 14, 2006, 09:02:26 PM
If you can't tell from my sig, I took the money (of course, in my case the money was coming from a top-tier school... still really good!)
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: FarmerMo on March 15, 2006, 01:17:11 AM
Anyone have info on Chapman's reputation with employers in SoCal?  Trying to decide between $ there and no $ at Loyola-LA or University of Miami (my hometown.)  Any advice appreciated, thanks-
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 15, 2006, 04:05:50 PM
I've heard Chapman has a great reputation if you want to practice in Orange County... supposedly an up and coming law school.  But if you want to practice in Los Angeles County, Loyola is supposed to be much better.  Always a tough choice as soon as one offers $$$ and the other doesn't.  I got an 80% scholarship to Chapman... but may take Pepperdine despite them offering nothing thus far.  One other thing to consider is the location of Loyola, L.A.  I've never been there - but it's smack in the middle of downtown.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: FarmerMo on March 15, 2006, 08:35:42 PM
Veganchick - thanks for the reply. I also got that Chapman 80%, we should start a  club.  I'm going to take their offer to fly down and do the whole scholar weekend, figure it'll get me out of the wyoming snow and give me a chance to finally make up my mind.  I'm actually leaning towards Chapman b/c i have a baby on the way this May and Orange might be a better environment than LA for her, where i've lived before (and really enjoyed).  Also, looking into Tax Law which is one of Chap's strong suits, although Loyola has great tax law too.  Decisions, decisions.  Pepperdine is very pretty and you can study contracts on your surfboard.  But if I decide on Chapman, I'm taking all the 80 percents with me.  ;)  Nice to share with others on the same crossroads.  Thanks, and let us know what you decide when you decide.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 16, 2006, 12:26:49 PM
Congratulations  :)  Sorry to bring up a super sad story...  but I just had a still birth at full term, and the only reason I'm mentioning it is because I moved away from L.A. a few months ago to Orange County specifically because I thought OC was a much better place to raise a child.  So I 100% agree with you.  It's not perfect here, but at least it's away from the horrible congestion of L.A.  I'm walking distance from the beach and love it.  I have no idea what I'm doing in the fall though... I think you'll have fun at scholars weekend.
(p.s.  autopsy found nothing... perfectly healthy)
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: FarmerMo on March 18, 2006, 12:55:58 AM
Wow.  That is hard, I am so sorry.  Thank you for sharing that, though.  Life is so frail.  Every loss is so different too, I want to say I understand because I lost my sister recently and there was also nothing found in autopsy, her heart just stopped and that was it.  She was 32 at the time.  But I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a child after carrying.  I look at my wife and I just want to build an impenetrable wall around her to protect this little thing inside, but I know it's out of my hands for the most part.  I'll keep your comments on the OC in mind, and thanks again for sharing.
Title: Re: full scholarship or better school without scholarship?
Post by: veganchick on March 22, 2006, 09:57:15 AM
I'm sorry about your loss.  Yes, life is all too fragile and unpredictable, and nothing can make some things any better.  You don't really heal, you just survive.  But how wonderful that you'll have a bundle of happiness to hold shortly.  Today is the 6 month anniversary for me.  Trying to hold it together...

Here's to law school!