Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 06:41:20 AM

Title: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 06:41:20 AM
So I was rejected from UT, my top choices are either University of Houston, or Temple/Penn State.  I've lived in Texas all my life, but boyfriend's family is in PA.  Has anyone else made the move from a warm to cold area... I'm up for trying new things but am worried I will hate it, and then be stuck in PA! Opinions of living in Philly or Houston? Commuting to school?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: kcf on February 29, 2008, 07:08:34 AM
I would call Brad Lidge and see what he thinks.

Are you planning on living in Philly proper if you go to Temple? If you go to Penn State, is Philly the only place you'll be looking for a job?
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 07:19:58 AM
I live in Austin now and LOVE it. I'm also a baby about cold weather... mainly just driving in the ice. I wouldnt say I LOVE Houston, I could probably get adjusted to it though. I would hate the Houston traffic. I like living somewhere large enough to have things to do, jobs available... but I hate traffic - which obviously could be avoided to some extent depending on where/how close you'd live to a school.

How is Philly very different from Houston? To me it would seem they are both very large cities... I would assume they would resemble each other? 

I'm in at Penn State, waiting on Temple, but semi-positive I will get it.  If I decide to move to PA, choosing between Temple and Penn State will be another topic :) I really like Penn State but from what I hear Temple is the way to go. I'm planning to make a visit up there for ASD end of March. 

In response to kcf, I'd be open to finding a job whereever if I went to Temple or Penn State.  I've even looked into the possibility of coming back to Texas after law school, and taking the Texas bar.  I realize it would be much harder to find a job, but if I stuck with public interest/government, as I am considering, I already work for the State of Texas and know many people who attended law school out-of-state. Just an idea. Right now I'm at the "I have no clue where I want to live/work for the rest of my life..." Rather stressful :)

Thank for all replies!
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: Yossarian on February 29, 2008, 07:26:15 AM
Im not really interested in the houston v. philly part, just info on philly.
How is the cost of living in philly? Avg rent for 1br in a decent area? How is the parks system? Public transportation? Which areas are good places to live as a student?
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: cisforcookie on February 29, 2008, 07:27:06 AM
Imagine the coldest day you can ever remember in texas. Maybe on that day everything shut down because people were so frightened of the cold. I think the record low for houston was like 5 degrees F. With the wind chill, philly will frequently approach that temperature in the winter. people bundle up, and use alot of moisturizer. It'll snow every year, but not _that_ much. WHen there's ice on the roads, people avoid driving.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 07:35:15 AM
Thats good, I wont be the only one in hibernation :) I think the lowest temp in Austin it was this year was around 28-30 degrees... we never had solid ice (yet) this winter! And I LOVE it :) But I also love trying new things...
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: kcf on February 29, 2008, 07:36:03 AM
I'd say anecdotally that Philadelphia traffic is much, much easier to deal with than Houston. I could back that up if I could just find... ah, here we go. http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility_report_2007.pdf

(But you still have to be awfully alert when driving through the city because oftentimes drivers from New Jersey will find their way across the river and pretend that one-way streets are actually traffic circles.)

I would say certain areas of Philadelphia are more walkable, generally speaking, than Houston. Someone else noted in another thread, correctly, that Philly has bad pizza, which is an important consideration.

Houston is probably a little bit cheaper, though Philly experiences nowhere near the COL of, say, New York.

People in Philadelphia aren't jerks, but you may have to deal with a certain level of surly from your cheesesteak guys.

Right now I'm at the "I have no clue where I want to live/work for the rest of my life..." Rather stressful :)

I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU.  :-\
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: Yossarian on February 29, 2008, 07:54:40 AM
thanks dischord your post was very helpful! I did mean the parks in the city, i like to run/bike and enjoy doing so in a park as opposed to the street. i have lived in nyc for the past 6 years but i dont really know the ins-and-outs of philly neighborhoods and how they would compare to say the lower east side(somewhat affordable, residents are mostly students and older working class people while nightlife/restaurants in area are somewhat trendy and always crowded). 550-650 for a 1br makes me very excited haha.

if living in philly i would be going to Rutgers-camden and commuting across the river, so i would probably limit my housing search to areas within walking distance to the patco or a quick train/bus to it. don't know how much you know about those areas but any info is appreciated! 

edit: also how would you recommend finding apartments? craigslist? realtors?
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: cisforcookie on February 29, 2008, 08:04:03 AM
heh. i didn't mean to suggest that philly was an iceberg, but, being from the general area, I can definitely attest to wind chills below 20, especially in the morning, being not uncommon. the straight temperature average low is going to be in the mid 20s in the winter. I think the wind chill here was like 5 degrees a week or two ago. the only time i care about temperature is usually in the morning when I'm going to my car to drive to work, and it will usually warm up throughout the day. i often wear a ski mask during my commute in the winter because walking from the house to the car and from the car to the office is very uncomfortable on my face. I imagine that it'd be a pretty large difference from texas. personally, i'd take more cold days to get rid of some of these hot and humid days that pretty much ruin large portions of the summer for me.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 08:20:31 AM
Quote
cisforcookie -- you are right that Philly is windy.  VERY windy.  I don't think the summer is hot OR humid enough, but I'm from DC 

I did a summer internship in DC - I COMPLETELY AGREE!

If I went to Penn State - Carlisle Campus, would it be possible to live in Philly? I was thinking I'd have to live in Harrisburg? My boyfriend's family and friends are all from Sckyukill County - however you spell it.  Not that I care to live THERE but ultimately closer than farther would be most desired.

I'm thinking I'd be happy in Philly... just cant come to terms with telling my parents/family that I'd be moving several states away! I suppose its reality that most people come to deal with...
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: kcf on February 29, 2008, 08:25:50 AM
If I went to Penn State - Carlisle Campus, would it be possible to live in Philly?

That'd be one hell of a commute.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: remiz22 on February 29, 2008, 09:09:55 AM
Neither is that great of a city IMO. But between the two, I would much rather live in Houston. Philly is depressing, dangerous, and cold.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: remiz22 on February 29, 2008, 09:33:37 AM
Neither is that great of a city IMO. But between the two, I would much rather live in Houston. Philly is depressing, dangerous, and cold.

Not really true.  The murder rate is redonc high, but street crime is lower than a lot of other cities (DC comes to mind . . .). 

Not much of a compliment to say that Philly street crime is below DC.

The big difference is that the schools in DC are mainly in nice areas whereas the schools in Philly (especially Temple) are mainly in the less safe areas.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: lovethelaw2010 on February 29, 2008, 10:08:49 AM
I currently go to University of Pittsburgh and before that lived in Houston all of my life except for college.  I'll say the weather is pretty tough to get use to.  It's not the fact that it is just cold it is the fact that it lasts so long which just wears you down.  I am probably going to transfer and have been thinking about GULC or Columbia but UCLA is moving up on that list fast because of the weather.  I love the cold but just not for four or 5 straight months of it.

I don't have much experience as my only experience was visiting Villanova.  Seemed like an alright city but nothing spectacular.  Didn't find it any easier to get around in than Houston.  But personally I don't think traffic in Houston is that horrible and most people just talk it up to be much worse than it is.

The COL is going to be much cheaper in Houston.  Houston is one of the cheapest cities to live in anywhere.  This is one reason why I am thinking about moving back there after school.  Your money will go a lot farther in Houston than anywhere else.  On that note UH is one of the best deals on law school in this country.  Large firms like V&E, Baker Botts, etc. recruit pretty heavily into their class.  I have been told by senior partners there that they recruit from about the top half of UT and top 1/3 at UH. 

I have spent a good deal of time in Austin and one of the reasons why I chose Pitt is because the city reminded me a lot of Austin but had four seasons (Kind of regretting that now).  The city here is pretty coool.  Lots of cool urban areas, very similar to Austin.  It also has some great outdoor opportunities to escape to similar to Austin.

Anyways I can't directly comment on how easy it is to get back to Houston from Philly but I haven't had a hard time at all coming from Pitt.  Anyways best of luck.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 10:36:09 AM
Thank you Lovethelaw2010 SO much for that reply. Helped a lot.  Do you have any job prospects in Texas lined up or are you just hoping to come back and find one? Also, you mentioned your firm hiring top half of UT and top 1/3 of UH... is this your firm in PA? Thats awesome if so.  Thanks again.

does anyone know of a good area to live in (nearby, safer, semi-nice atleast) if attending UofH? 
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mpk1516 on February 29, 2008, 11:07:05 AM
As some people have said, when discussing Temple/Philly versus Penn State you are really talking about two very different areas. The Penn State Carlisle Campus is roughly 2 hours west of Philly and the (soon to be) main Penn State Law Campus is in State College, which is 3+ hours away from Philly. State College is in the "mountains" (nothing like mountains out west) and marginally colder and snowier than Philly.

That being said, there has only been one "snow" day here in Philly this year and one "ice" day. However, there have been some pretty cold and windy days (like yesterday) where the temperature is in the teens and it is really windy in the morning.

Traffic can be pretty bad in Philly, although it's really not worth driving much if you are going to Temple. The best way to get to the campus is the regional rail train system, which I ride straight through Temple's campus twice each day on my way to and from work in Center City. I had friends who went to Temple Law and felt this was the easiest and safest way to get to Temple because it drops you off right on campus, thus avoiding the bad neighborhoods surrounding the school. For Law school purposes, public transit is probably above average in Philly.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on February 29, 2008, 11:18:47 AM
Yes I would either be at Carlisle or Temple, but Ill figure that one out after I conclude I am positive I want to move to PA :) Where would you recommend living if going to Temple?
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: ljk2171 on February 29, 2008, 11:31:18 AM
Queen Village is a great are, but is getting a little pricey, not as expensive as Old City though. The Graduate Hospital area is also pretty nice and is improving. Temple is along the Broad Street Line, so the closer you are to Broad Street, the easier the commute. Also Fairmount Park is very close if you live in the Fairmount/Art Museum and is great for running and biking, while also being a nice area to live, just might be a little tougher to catch the train, although there might be a bus, I'm not too familiar with the bus system in Philly. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: lovethelaw2010 on February 29, 2008, 11:48:03 AM
Thank you Lovethelaw2010 SO much for that reply. Helped a lot.  Do you have any job prospects in Texas lined up or are you just hoping to come back and find one? Also, you mentioned your firm hiring top half of UT and top 1/3 of UH... is this your firm in PA? Thats awesome if so.  Thanks again.

does anyone know of a good area to live in (nearby, safer, semi-nice atleast) if attending UofH? 

No problem.  No the firm that recruits top half at UT and 1/2 at UH is Vinson & Elkins in Houston.  I have a job lined up and I am splitting my summer between a firm that has a NY office and their Houston office.

If I were to attend UH I would probably live in the midtown area.  it's safe and you can find reasonable rent for around 1000 a month.  A really easy commute to UH there and there would be plenty of nice restaurants and bars close by for when you need to relax.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: Yossarian on February 29, 2008, 12:05:43 PM
All really nice areas, but all are very expensive (as an aside, what is with the people on this board who live in cities and pay ridiculous rent?!!  I make pretty good bank as a paralegal and I cannot afford more than $650/mo, I don't know what these peoples' jobs are where they're making enough to pay $800 or even $1000+).

TITCR - 650-700 is also my range for off campus. internet+cable+utilities adds up  :-\
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: lovethelaw2010 on February 29, 2008, 12:20:55 PM
All really nice areas, but all are very expensive (as an aside, what is with the people on this board who live in cities and pay ridiculous rent?!!  I make pretty good bank as a paralegal and I cannot afford more than $650/mo, I don't know what these peoples' jobs are where they're making enough to pay $800 or even $1000+).

TITCR - 650-700 is also my range for off campus. internet+cable+utilities adds up  :-\


I thought the person said that she was married but i could be wrong on that.  I am married and choose to pay a little more in rent to have a nicer bigger apartment that is comfortable and quiet enough to study in.  Even though I study a lot being able to study in the same room with my wife at least helps us feel like we are not missing out on one another nearly as much as if I had to study at the library.  In the end though everybody knows what their budget is and what they prioritize spending money on.  I prob. prioritize housing more so than other things.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: lovethelaw2010 on February 29, 2008, 12:51:06 PM
All really nice areas, but all are very expensive (as an aside, what is with the people on this board who live in cities and pay ridiculous rent?!!  I make pretty good bank as a paralegal and I cannot afford more than $650/mo, I don't know what these peoples' jobs are where they're making enough to pay $800 or even $1000+).

TITCR - 650-700 is also my range for off campus. internet+cable+utilities adds up  :-\


I thought the person said that she was married but i could be wrong on that.  I am married and choose to pay a little more in rent to have a nicer bigger apartment that is comfortable and quiet enough to study in.  Even though I study a lot being able to study in the same room with my wife at least helps us feel like we are not missing out on one another nearly as much as if I had to study at the library.  In the end though everybody knows what their budget is and what they prioritize spending money on.  I prob. prioritize housing more so than other things.

I don't know the OP's relationship status, but I wish people would be clearer about this.  $1000/mo. for a couple is per person cheaper than my current cheap-assed room, but I think $1000/mo. is ridiculous for a single individual (and I would NEVER consider sharing a 1 BR, I'd rather just live in the ghetto).  I think I'd feel uncomfortable paying that much for housing even if I were making 200K and could afford it, because I just think it's ridiculous.

Other people on this board seem to disagree, though.  I'm trying to clear this up in some threads about DC -- people are suggesting to prospective GW and GULC kids that they live in, like, Dupont Circle or Foggy Bottom, and I think that's just totally outside the affordable range for any law student unless they're sharing household expenses with an SO.

Oh I agree with you there.  I (1) would never share a 1 bedroom with another person that isn't my SO, that is weird, and (2) 1000 bucks isn't too bad when you are married.  My wife hardly makes any money and we cover our bills just fine.  However, if I am making 200K I'll be living in a much nicer place than you can get for 1000 a month.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: lovethelaw2010 on February 29, 2008, 01:21:30 PM
All really nice areas, but all are very expensive (as an aside, what is with the people on this board who live in cities and pay ridiculous rent?!!  I make pretty good bank as a paralegal and I cannot afford more than $650/mo, I don't know what these peoples' jobs are where they're making enough to pay $800 or even $1000+).

TITCR - 650-700 is also my range for off campus. internet+cable+utilities adds up  :-\


I thought the person said that she was married but i could be wrong on that.  I am married and choose to pay a little more in rent to have a nicer bigger apartment that is comfortable and quiet enough to study in.  Even though I study a lot being able to study in the same room with my wife at least helps us feel like we are not missing out on one another nearly as much as if I had to study at the library.  In the end though everybody knows what their budget is and what they prioritize spending money on.  I prob. prioritize housing more so than other things.

I don't know the OP's relationship status, but I wish people would be clearer about this.  $1000/mo. for a couple is per person cheaper than my current cheap-assed room, but I think $1000/mo. is ridiculous for a single individual (and I would NEVER consider sharing a 1 BR, I'd rather just live in the ghetto).  I think I'd feel uncomfortable paying that much for housing even if I were making 200K and could afford it, because I just think it's ridiculous.

Other people on this board seem to disagree, though.  I'm trying to clear this up in some threads about DC -- people are suggesting to prospective GW and GULC kids that they live in, like, Dupont Circle or Foggy Bottom, and I think that's just totally outside the affordable range for any law student unless they're sharing household expenses with an SO.

Oh I agree with you there.  I (1) would never share a 1 bedroom with another person that isn't my SO, that is weird, and (2) 1000 bucks isn't too bad when you are married.  My wife hardly makes any money and we cover our bills just fine.  However, if I am making 200K I'll be living in a much nicer place than you can get for 1000 a month.

Haha, fair enough.  I'm so cheap it's not even funny.  I just think if anyone's going to be suggesting places for people to live on this board, they should be suggesting the most reasonably priced neighborhoods possible for a single person.  I mean, if someone wants to take out the loans to pay for a ridiculously high priced apartment in law school, that's their decision.  But I don't think it's in very good faith to tell someone who knows nothing about a city to look in more expensive neighborhoods when there are decent and more budget-friendly alternatives. 

Agreed.  I would never recommend a law student live in foggy bottom or something in D.C.  I don't think midtown houston is too expensive and in all honestly couldn't point to the cheaper and safe areas close to UH.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: Sergio on February 29, 2008, 02:28:49 PM
Good thread.  I got into Temple PT and applied to Penn State.  I was wondering about areas to live near Temple as well.  Since I would need to start PT, I am also worried about the safety of the area.   I believe the Philly COL is substantially less than NYC, and living in a safe area (hopefully with other young, single people) would be important.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mpk1516 on February 29, 2008, 03:39:50 PM
Using those criteria, I would recommend looking at Manayunk. It's a 15 minute train ride into Temple, the area is predominantly 20 somethings and you can find comparitively cheap apartments for city living. It is on the outskirts of the city so you won't get the Center City feel, but it is the safest neighborhood within city limits (literally).
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: ljk2171 on March 01, 2008, 05:55:59 AM
True, Queens Village could be a little expensive, but you can still find studio's or smaller 1 BR for <$700, but that may still be on the high end. The Manayunk suggestion was a good one, and I would still consider South Philly. If you are living with someone else, you could still find 2 BR apartments in most areas for <$1100 which would bring you in your range. Good luck though, Philly is a great city and I think a lot of people are scared of it for no reason. Congratulations on the acceptances!!!!
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: Majmun on March 01, 2008, 08:07:51 AM
Neither is that great of a city IMO. But between the two, I would much rather live in Houston. Philly is depressing, dangerous, and cold.

Not really true.  The murder rate is redonc high, but street crime is lower than a lot of other cities (DC comes to mind . . .). 

Not true, per capita Philly and DC have very similar rates of street crime.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate

Apparently property crime is much higher in houston while violent crime is higher in philly.  Notice all of the Arson in Houston wtf?
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on March 04, 2008, 05:50:07 AM
Thanks so much for all the advice! Guess the next step is to take a visit and see what yall are talking about!
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: amk320 on March 08, 2008, 06:34:48 PM
Just thought I'd chime in.  I haven't heard back from any schools, but I'd like to go somewhere in Philly because I was born and raised in Bucks County, one of the Philly suburb areas.  The friend I plan on living with is also from my area, and we have both heard Manayunk is the safest and best place to be looking for a place to live.  As for the weather, I can tell you that I have spent the last five years in State College doing undergrad at Penn State, and it is so unbelievably cold here compared to the Philly area only 3.5 hours away, it's not even funny.  We routinely get snow here that never materializes around Philly, and it is not uncommon for this area to be a full 10-20 degrees colder.  But what makes State College the worst is the WIND.  Horrible wind, all winter long.  There is no Spring and no Fall in this town.  It's 7 months of brutal cold from October to April, and then it's just as hot/humid as everywhere else in PA from May to September.  And when you wish that wind that made your year so awful was around to cool you off, it's nowhere to be found.

For these reasons and more, I applied to every school in PA *except* Penn State.
Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: GringoBob on March 09, 2008, 01:29:43 PM
I submit that the question you really need to ask yourself is where do you intend to settle down after law school.  Temple, UH, and Dickinson are T2 law schools and are recognized more as regional than national schools.  That being said, there's a good chance you'd be landing a job in the local market.  So, do you want to live in Texas or the north east?  Both regions are very different from one another in terms of diversity, culture, politics, history, and weather (which interestingly enough seems to be getting the most amount of attention as a deciding factor, right after crime, which anyone who has lived in a major city realizes is a fact of life).  If you're really concerned about safety then live in Carlisle. Something tells me you'll eliminate Carlisle once you see it. If you're cold, buy a warmer jacket.   ;)

Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: Cabra on March 09, 2008, 02:19:10 PM
Using those criteria, I would recommend looking at Manayunk. It's a 15 minute train ride into Temple, the area is predominantly 20 somethings and you can find comparitively cheap apartments for city living. It is on the outskirts of the city so you won't get the Center City feel, but it is the safest neighborhood within city limits (literally).

I have a huge crush on Manayunk:
http://cheapdatesphilly.blogspot.com/2007/07/episode-12-manayunkroxborough.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kEtkEIIHcg

and Mt Airy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il-i-Ecza8Y
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSlaiDTo5sk

I love a renter's market...


Title: Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
Post by: mm1405 on March 10, 2008, 05:43:56 AM
Decided I will attend ASD March 28th/29th and just see for myself what you guys are talking about... :)