Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: jinc1019 on February 10, 2011, 01:48:05 PM

Title: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 10, 2011, 01:48:05 PM
I don't really have the money to go visit John Marshall in Chicago and I was hoping someone could help me out by telling me what it was like on a visit. I would also love to hear from a student who goes there now or who graduated there recently. I really know very little about it except that they are offering me a full scholarship in a city I love and that John Marshall Law does NOT have a good reputation on U.S. News and World Report. Can anyone give me a school that is similar to John Marshall on the east coast somewhere, or really anywhere for that matter, because I am not from the Chicago area and I just cannot gauge what kind of a school it is. I am originally from New England and have lived 3 years in Virginia now so I have a good understanding of the law schools in the Virginia/D.C. area and the Boston/New England/New York area. Any comparisons to schools in those areas would really help me have a better understanding of the kind of school it is.

I know it is a Tier 4 school and I have a lot of other options I am weighing in the Tier 1, but they offered me a full scholarship so I have to at least consider it. Right?
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: john4040 on February 11, 2011, 06:32:30 AM
I don't really have the money to go visit John Marshall in Chicago and I was hoping someone could help me out by telling me what it was like on a visit. I would also love to hear from a student who goes there now or who graduated there recently. I really know very little about it except that they are offering me a full scholarship in a city I love!
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http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/2010/03/grab-air-freshener-john-marshall-law.html
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 11, 2011, 09:36:18 AM
Thanks for the blog, I checked it out and obviously, it is extremely critical of John Marshall and basically becoming a lawyer at all. However, if I were to go to John Marshall, I would be getting a full scholarship so the cost of the school does not really apply to me (which is the majority of what that particular person was ranting about) and he seemed critical of becoming a lawyer at all. He actually said unless you go to a top 8 school, don't bother going. That is, needless to say, a pretty ridiculous comment to make and reeks of a bitter experience on his part.

Further, I love how the author rants about not being able to get a job with a law degree when the truth is that people without law degrees are in even worse situations! I realize John Marshall has a poor reputation on U.S. News and World Report but since I have a full scholarship offer there, wouldn't it make more sense to go there for free than to not go to law school at all? Obviously, yes.

That's not to say I don't have other offers, I actually have dozens of other offers but none for as cheap. And the truth is, I worry about having huge amounts of debt and not being able to land a job capable of paying it back. In a lot of ways, I feel like if I am going to take the risk of going to a good law school with a lot of debt and risk not being able to find a high paying 100k job to pay it back OR going to a law school for free but having trouble finding a job, I would be better off taking the risk where I am not in substantial amounts of debt. With that said, I don't know for sure that this is true and it is just an opinion. Quite frankly, I don't know what to do. 
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: NonTradInSATX on February 11, 2011, 10:56:22 AM
To clarify, TTR's own quote says Top 8 OR full-tuition.  You have one of those.  TTR is just making money critiquing any school it can get it's hands on thats not in the T1 category.

I dont know anything about JM, but I'd suggest you take a look at some of the T1 vs full-ride to T3/4 threads that pop up all the time, similar considerations in your case. 

TTR's quote:
Quote
DO NOT ATTEND UNLESS: (1) YOU GET INTO A TOP 8 LAW SCHOOL; (2) YOU GET A FULL-TUITION SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND; (3) YOU HAVE EMPLOYMENT AS AN ATTORNEY SECURED THROUGH A RELATIVE OR CLOSE FRIEND; OR (4) YOU ARE FULLY AWARE BEFOREHAND THAT YOUR HUGE INVESTMENT IN TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY DOES NOT, IN ANY WAY, GUARANTEE A JOB AS AN ATTORNEY OR IN THE LEGAL INDUSTRY.

Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: john4040 on February 11, 2011, 11:25:17 AM
Hey, if you've got a full ride, you've only lost living expenses and opportunity costs by attending.  That's not bad at all.  Just make sure you realize that you're going to have to bust ass just to get a decent paying job (top 25%).  Also, make sure there are no ridiculous GPA stipulations to the scholarship.  If you end up going and lose your scholarship, immediately cut your losses and drop out.
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: NonTradInSATX on February 11, 2011, 02:40:42 PM
General agreement with john on this one. 

A free (minus opportunity cost and expenses) law degree cannot be complained about, but I'd consider other places first.
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 11, 2011, 03:15:07 PM
To clarify, TTR's own quote says Top 8 OR full-tuition.  You have one of those.  TTR is just making money critiquing any school it can get it's hands on thats not in the T1 category.

I dont know anything about JM, but I'd suggest you take a look at some of the T1 vs full-ride to T3/4 threads that pop up all the time, similar considerations in your case. 

TTR's quote:
Quote
DO NOT ATTEND UNLESS: (1) YOU GET INTO A TOP 8 LAW SCHOOL; (2) YOU GET A FULL-TUITION SCHOLARSHIP TO ATTEND; (3) YOU HAVE EMPLOYMENT AS AN ATTORNEY SECURED THROUGH A RELATIVE OR CLOSE FRIEND; OR (4) YOU ARE FULLY AWARE BEFOREHAND THAT YOUR HUGE INVESTMENT IN TIME, ENERGY, AND MONEY DOES NOT, IN ANY WAY, GUARANTEE A JOB AS AN ATTORNEY OR IN THE LEGAL INDUSTRY.

Great Point, I completely misread it...I was thinking he said only go to law school if you qualify for ALL of those things, not just one...so a full scholarship at a top 8 school...but what you said makes a lot more sense. Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 11, 2011, 03:19:04 PM
General agreement with john on this one. 

A free (minus opportunity cost and expenses) law degree cannot be complained about, but I'd consider other places first.

Good points and I appreciate it a lot. The scholarship does not require a specific GPA, only that I am in the top 33% of my class. I don't have a whole lot of experience with this considering this is my first time applying to law schools and most of the schools I have applied to are high to mid Tier 1s that won't give me a full scholarship so can either of you, or anyone else for that matter, let me know if scoring in the top 33% is a "ridiculous" requirement. I have heard many stories about how hard law school can be but as far as scholarship requirements are concerned, is that unreasonable?

Thanks again for the help by the way!
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: bigs5068 on February 11, 2011, 06:11:13 PM
Third tier reality is a ridiculous website and should not be taken seriously. If someone spends time building a website and blogging how hard it is to find a job I always wonder how successful their search would have been had they spent that time looking for a job. Certain people are born to complain and you could give them 100k in cash and they would find a way to complain how it is unfair to them.

I know nothing about JMLS or Chicago. I do attend a tier 4 on a scholarship and I have been satisfied up to this point. I have received several job offers and done some pretty interesting stuff in my internships. My school GGU is not Stanford or Berkeley, but last summer I filed to get certified to appear in court by the bar and going to an ABA school was sufficinet for the bar to allow me to appear in court. I even won some of my motions etc. At no time when arguing did the judge ask me what school I went to. The judge never asked what school the opposing attorney went to either. When I was writing motions and briefs I also did not write the name of my school and the responses did not have the opposing counsels school name on either. There were some lawyers that were better than others and I have no idea what school they went to I just thought some were good and some were not.

There is no dispute going to Stanford or Harvard looks pretty good on a resume and will open doors for you. However, if you got to an ABA school and want to be a lawyer things can definitely work out.  It is great you have a scholarship, but do be wary of that 33% requirement. There is a 67% chance you will lose it. At any ABA school 100% of law students think they will be in the top 10% and you don't need to be a math major to figure out how that will turn out. The majority of students at any ABA school are pretty damn smart and if you scored a few more points on the LSAT than your classmates it will not have much relevance on how well you rank.

If I was you I would try to negotiate with JMLS and ask for a more protective scholarship. Either guarantee a certain amount or say if you finish in the top 75% etc. Law school is ridiculously expensive and unjustifiably so in my opinion, but if you can get out with minimal debt it is great. Well good luck to you.
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 11, 2011, 06:54:54 PM
Thanks a lot for the kind words and the advice. I think you made several very, very good points. I will absolutely try to get them to make the scholarship a little more reasonable. I have heard a lot of nightmare stories about students losing their scholarships at lower ranked schools simply because law school rankings are unpredictable. At any rate, it was good to hear from someone who is going to a Tier 3 or 4 school and has some knowledge about what the experience is like. Honestly, so many people spend all of their time bashing them when there are many lawyers who attend them and go on to have successful careers, it just may be harder at first to get your foot in the door. Thanks again for the advice and good luck on the job search when it comes time for that.
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: IPFreely on February 15, 2011, 04:44:40 AM
The scholarship does not require a specific GPA, only that I am in the top 33% of my class.
Umm . . . clueless post of the month, strong contender for clueless post of the year.

All 1L classes are curved.  You can calculate exactly what GPA is required in order to be in that "top 33%".

Not only that, but some law schools put all of their "scholarship students" into a single section to compete against one another.  It's sort of like starving rats being thrown into a pen to eat each other.  I don't know if JM is one of those or not, but if so, "Look to your left, look to your right, only one of you will be here next year."

That said, JM-Chicago has some rather unusual stats in general, and seems to be well regarded in patent law.
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: bigs5068 on February 15, 2011, 12:11:13 PM
My school did that putting the scholarship students all in one curved section. It was pretty messed up, but thankfully I finished high enough to keep the scholarship. Still anytime there are restrictions on a scholarship it is something to really be wary about. There is a 67% chance you won't be in the top 33%. At least they don't hide it under a 3.0 GPA, which is even worse. It is possible for a school to have a curve that makes it almost impossible to get a 3.0. Conditioned scholarships are a big trap and any 0L should really consider the implications of it before attending a school for a condition based scholarship. You might be able to negotiate with the school to ensure you keep it the whole term etc. They want you there for your numbers so they can boost the b.s. U.S. News ranking of their school. Before you lock yourself in and attend you have a bit of bargaining power and it is worth using to your advantage.
Title: Re: What is it like to go to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 16, 2011, 09:25:55 AM
The scholarship does not require a specific GPA, only that I am in the top 33% of my class.
Umm . . . clueless post of the month, strong contender for clueless post of the year.

All 1L classes are curved.  You can calculate exactly what GPA is required in order to be in that "top 33%".

Not only that, but some law schools put all of their "scholarship students" into a single section to compete against one another.  It's sort of like starving rats being thrown into a pen to eat each other.  I don't know if JM is one of those or not, but if so, "Look to your left, look to your right, only one of you will be here next year."

That said, JM-Chicago has some rather unusual stats in general, and seems to be well regarded in patent law.
Well, obviously I am clueless about it or I wouldn't have asked! How would I be able to calculate the GPA needed for the top 33%? Would student handbook have that or something? If I asked the school, would they even tell me? I am glad you informed me but I am still pretty clueless about how I would calculate it.
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 16, 2011, 09:27:59 AM
My school did that putting the scholarship students all in one curved section. It was pretty messed up, but thankfully I finished high enough to keep the scholarship. Still anytime there are restrictions on a scholarship it is something to really be wary about. There is a 67% chance you won't be in the top 33%. At least they don't hide it under a 3.0 GPA, which is even worse. It is possible for a school to have a curve that makes it almost impossible to get a 3.0. Conditioned scholarships are a big trap and any 0L should really consider the implications of it before attending a school for a condition based scholarship. You might be able to negotiate with the school to ensure you keep it the whole term etc. They want you there for your numbers so they can boost the b.s. U.S. News ranking of their school. Before you lock yourself in and attend you have a bit of bargaining power and it is worth using to your advantage.
Good advice, I will talk to them and HOPEFULLY they will guarantee the scholarship amount. I agree that these conditioned scholarships can be a big trap.
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: bigs5068 on February 16, 2011, 12:49:34 PM
You should be able to go to the student handbooks at JMLS and do a control find for grades or curve and it should appear. Even when you see it is not explicit in regards to the grades, but 33% is a pretty clear numbers you need to do better than 67% of other students. This is difficult so I would recommend asking for a different scholarship etc. Maybe even applying to some other schools right now that would offer you scholarships and you use that to your advantage. Maybe Northern Illinois or Ohio Northern just to get a bigger scholarship offer from them. Hell maybe you will end up taking it, but there is nothing wrong with tryin gto save a bit of money. I myself was scared of the whole admissions process as a OL, thinking man I don't want to be to annoying etc. You are going to end up paying the school 100k plus if no scholarship is present and they think you are capable of passing the bar and have something to offer and that is why they let you in.

After I did well my first year I had this realiziation and so did my friend and we both got more scholarship money, because we implied we were going to transfer to another school. All schools care about getting their money and if you have good numbers you will make them look good. The student gets screwed you are paying 100K + and they are going to use you passing the bar, LSAT, GPA to attract other students. It is a vicious cycle, but that is higher education in every field.

The school wants you to succeed, but not without paying them and you should try to save as much money as possible, because as soon as you graduate they will start asking for more money from you donations etc. If you can't find a job or don't pass the bar they won't give you your money back.

I am not trying to say law schools or any universities are evil. They will provide you with an education, which is valuable. However, it is a business and you should try your best not to get ripped off, because schools will try to find ways to get some extra money from you, but playing within the rules. You should do the same.
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 16, 2011, 04:04:15 PM
Excellent points...I will be sure to look for more. I agree completely in regards to feeling guilty about the whole thing. I mean, you don't want to ammpy them but the truth is, you probably should just because they are in it to make money off the student's efforts so the student is entitled to get the most out of the experience that he or she can. I am going to try to negotiate a little more with them. Worst case scenario is that they don't give me what I ask for. I can live with that!
Title: Re: What are some similar schools to John Marshall in Chicago?
Post by: jinc1019 on February 16, 2011, 04:06:02 PM
And thanks for the help with finding the grading policies. I did find them in the student handbook and I am looking them over. Ultimately, like you said, 33% is 33% anyway you figure it and it would be tough to keep the scholarship.