Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 05:17:13 AM

Title: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 05:17:13 AM
Hey guys, I just found out I didn't get into my hometown university (UBC in Canada), so now my sights are set on an American school. I got accepted to NYLS with 22.5k (renewable with a 3.3gpa) and I'm still waiting on Harvard (I won't hold my breath), Columbia (same), Georgetown, George Washington, UC Hastings, UCLA and USC. I still have a few safeties in Canada just in case as well.

I went to McGill in Montreal and got a BA Honors in political science. I did a year on exchange at Sciences Po Paris ('the' French elite school) and now I'm doing a MSc in comparative politics at the London School of Economics in England. I speak French and Farsi fluently, and I know basic Spanish. I have a published article about marijuana and Canadian foreign policy (that's right).

I'm feeling like my numbers and soft factors are too good for NYLS, but it is quite tempting to live and work in NYC, especially because I'll at least get the first year tuition discount and I also have several well-connected NY buddies from my McGill days too. The $$$ and debt issue is not a HUGE deal for me, as I'm one of the lucky ones that benefits from generous parents, and I've been living in London and Paris for a couple of years so I'm (and my parents are) used to high prices.

I'm looking to work in international law (I think), so I think that means NYC and DC are my best bets. Is it possible that since I went to such high-ranked undergrad, exchange and grad schools, and focused so much on the poli sci, that just getting that JD from a place like NYLS and passing the bar is all I need to land a good job in int'l law? If I want to work in int'l law, is it better to be in NYC at a shittier school (NYLS) or to go to a better school in California and then come to NYC or DC after graduation? And are int'l law salaries in general significantly different (ie. less) than other fields?

I think my best bets in terms of numbers and reputation in int'l law are probably Georgetown and GWU, so I'm crossing my fingers.

Any opinions/ideas/thoughts?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: ě on April 22, 2007, 05:26:56 AM
Well, I wouldn't expect to get lucky with Harvard or Columbia. Your undergrad will certainly help in getting a job, but "just getting a JD" from NYLS won't cut it. If you manage to go top 10% at NYLS, I'd say your chances are decent, but you really need to be all the way up there.

Georgetown, George Washington, UC Hastings, UCLA and USC are all steps ahead of NYLS when it comes to quality, if either one of those schools accept you, go there.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 05:43:54 AM
Anyone know if the California schools are good for a career in international law in NY or DC?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: Nickledime85 on April 22, 2007, 06:00:51 AM
I know nothing about Cali schools, but do NOT go to NYLS. You're numbers set you way apart, and you should be aiming way higher. I would suggest applying to Fordham, and then Brooklyn as a safety. NYU and Columbia are tough. In terms of DC, you have a decent shot @ GW; don't know about GULC.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 06:24:19 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Is NYLS THAT bad? I've read some of the other threads on this topic but I remember seeing somewhere that their 2006 bar pass-rate was something like 80% (albeit rising from somewhere in the 70s and 60s). I could be wrong. Can I assume that a job in international law might be less competitive, and thus easier for a NYLS grad with other relevant credentials?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: ě on April 22, 2007, 06:29:20 AM
No, NYLS isn't _that_ bad in itself. Truth be told, if NYLS had been anywhere but in NYC, it would have been a pretty decent school. The things that work against it is first and foremost the location, within the NYC area job market you have Columbia, NYU, Cornell, Fordhamn, Cardozo, Brooklyn, Rutgers-N and Seton Hall who all are better or at the very least equal to it, meaning it's a tough school in terms of job placement. The second, and to some people the main problem, is the tuition NYLS charges. While it's a Tier 3 school, their tuition fee is the 3rd highest (I believe) in America, for 2007/08 I believe their tutition is just above 40k a year, which means only Stanford and NYU are more expensive (if I remember the statistics right). NYLS has a good bar pass rate, and really not bad OCI/job placement for a T3 school.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 06:51:51 AM
I keep hearing how NYC is such a competitive market and if you're at a place like NYLS, you're at the bottom of the barrel for jobs and basically screwed unless you're in the top 10%. But isn't the reason why there are so many law schools in the NYC area because there's an insatiable demand for lawyers? I mean, everyone who passes the bar ends up working in a decent law firm somewhere eventually, right? Can there be any BAD law degrees?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: iscoredawaitlist on April 22, 2007, 07:11:39 AM
I wouldn't hold your breath on any of the schools you've applied to, honestly. You really ought to have applied to places between NYLS and GW. Hastings may come through -- i don't know about what you need -- but the rest are a huge long shot unless you're a URM.

You should have applied to schools like Fordham, Brooklyn perhaps Cardozo if you wanted New York. I'll echo everyone else, your numbers are too good for NYLS, but they're probably not good enough for the other schools.

i think international law in cali is based around the pacific rim.

PS. Quickly ask to be considered for PT at GW.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 07:21:19 AM
Well the thing is that I have a few schools in Canada that would be in that range in between NYLS and GW. I'm still waiting on four of them (Queen's, Western, Windsor, York). Going to one of those would allow me to live and work in Vancouver, my hometown. I would obviously have to decide between living and practising in the US or Canada, but at this point an acceptance from one of my remaining applications in the US would probably be enough to get me south of the border.


How much of a difference would PT at GW make for my chances at this point?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: iscoredawaitlist on April 22, 2007, 07:27:04 AM
Well the thing is that I have a few schools in Canada that would be in that range in between NYLS and GW. I'm still waiting on four of them (Queen's, Western, Windsor, York). Going to one of those would allow me to live and work in Vancouver, my hometown. I would obviously have to decide between living and practising in the US or Canada, but at this point an acceptance from one of my remaining applications in the US would probably be enough to get me south of the border.


How much of a difference would PT at GW make for my chances at this point?

huge. are you a minority, first of all? if not, I'd say PT is one of your ONLY chances at GW. Maybe that's unnecessary negativity due to my own wait list at considerably better GPA and slightly higher LSAT, but take a look at LSN: http://lawschoolnumbers.com/search_schools.php?action=search&cycle=4&school_code=5246&status=3&sort=lsat&order=d&status=3&application_type=0&program=1&urm=1

then there's the fact that you applied late which won't be good.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: ě on April 22, 2007, 07:37:48 AM
I think you're being overly negative about his chances at GW. A 164/3.34 isn't unheard of at GW full-time, and with a quite remarkable background. While a BA in political science isn't exactly original for law school, a year at Sciences Po is highly impressive, it is without doubt one of the most prestigeous schools in the world. McGill is also a very good school, and a MSc from LSE is also impressive. If you don't mind doing first year part-time, I'd say changing your application to PT from FT would increase your chances a lot, I would actually be surprised to see you not get admitted.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 07:40:39 AM
Thanks for the info guys.

My parents are both Iranian immigrants but I was born and raised in Canada, so I don't know how that qualifies me for URM status. Does it even work for international applicants?

And is it normal for people to switch their applications from FT to PT at this point in the cycle? What do you tell them? Can you say you'd still prefer FT if it's available?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: ě on April 22, 2007, 07:44:49 AM
Well, URM isn't an official status of any sorts. You simply check what your ethnic background is, and then the adcomms decide if you're URM or not. As far as I can tell only African-Americans and Native Indians tend to get URM preference, but it never hurts to hope.

I'd suggest calling them about the FT to PT switch and ask how it works, it's a bit different from school to school. Some schools will accept considering you for both programs, others will ask you to make a decision. Some schools even accept a request for 'reconsideration to PT' if you are rejected to their FT program.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: iscoredawaitlist on April 22, 2007, 07:56:31 AM
i hear switching from PT to FT is very easy at GW.

your backround may very well help, but it's not a shoe in of course.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 11:46:58 AM
What about San Diego? I figure my chances are pretty good and I could easily see myself living and studying by the beach. If they were to offer money like NYLS, it's a better choice, no?
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: ě on April 22, 2007, 11:53:45 AM
Well, San Diego is a better school, but as most schools in the lower end of T2, it's quite regional. If you're happy working in the SoCal area (and who wouldn't be) its a fine choice, but getting into the NYC job market could be quite difficult.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: keelee on April 22, 2007, 01:56:14 PM
What about San Diego? I figure my chances are pretty good and I could easily see myself living and studying by the beach. If they were to offer money like NYLS, it's a better choice, no?

Your chances are excellent at San Diego, and you would have most likely been offered a very good scholarship. I have a 3.25/160 and got $19k a year from USD, which is roughly a 1/2 ride; you'd get at least that, if you had applied earlier (I applied 4 December). However, since you applied late, there might not be scholarship money left for you (though who knows, there still might be). If you go to USD, be prepared to live in San Diego for the long-haul (the degree is not very portable, and it won't even easily take you to Los Angeles), but San Diego is perhaps the definition of the perfect US city, so that is nothing to complain about.

Forget NYLS. Seriously, don't waste your time. Successful students at NYLS are coming from the NYC business world and going to get a JD. Many of the students are older, non-traditional, and already have internships/jobs lined-up for them before they even start, because of connections.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law
Post by: artvandelay on April 22, 2007, 03:11:08 PM
What about San Diego? I figure my chances are pretty good and I could easily see myself living and studying by the beach. If they were to offer money like NYLS, it's a better choice, no?

Your chances are excellent at San Diego, and you would have most likely been offered a very good scholarship. I have a 3.25/160 and got $19k a year from USD, which is roughly a 1/2 ride; you'd get at least that, if you had applied earlier (I applied 4 December). However, since you applied late, there might not be scholarship money left for you (though who knows, there still might be). If you go to USD, be prepared to live in San Diego for the long-haul (the degree is not very portable, and it won't even easily take you to Los Angeles), but San Diego is perhaps the definition of the perfect US city, so that is nothing to complain about.

Forget NYLS. Seriously, don't waste your time. Successful students at NYLS are coming from the NYC business world and going to get a JD. Many of the students are older, non-traditional, and already have internships/jobs lined-up for them before they even start, because of connections.



Thanks for the info. You got accepted to USC and Fordham? Where else if you don't mind me asking? I'm still waiting on USC.
Title: Re: Where to go? 164 LSAT/3.34 GPA: NYC, DC, California? (for International Law)
Post by: The Legal Super Trooper on April 22, 2007, 03:31:49 PM
Well, URM isn't an official status of any sorts. You simply check what your ethnic background is, and then the adcomms decide if you're URM or not. As far as I can tell only African-Americans and Native Indians tend to get URM preference, but it never hurts to hope.

I'd suggest calling them about the FT to PT switch and ask how it works, it's a bit different from school to school. Some schools will accept considering you for both programs, others will ask you to make a decision. Some schools even accept a request for 'reconsideration to PT' if you are rejected to their FT program.

Some Hispanics get URM status.