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Messages - oldblackman
« on: April 22, 2006, 07:02:21 PM »
This is a tough one. I am still struggling with my final decision.
I have applied to a bunch of schools, most in the midwest and a few on the east coast. Since I have aspirations of becoming a law professor one day, I have to consider rank & prestige as much as employment prospects afterwards. However, as a husband and father, I also have to consider my wife's career opportunities, quality of life for my children, cost of living, and long-term debt. Because of this, schools that are ranked in the top 10 (by USNWR) are virtually off of my list. All of them are in areas where the cost of living is high and the public school system is struggling (especially the schools in NY, Chicago, and Boston).
All things considered, U of Illinois appears to be a nice compromise. Since my UG GPA and LSAT scores were not off the charts, the only full-ride offers I received were from tier-3 schools. As an Illinois resident, I can get a very good JD with some name recognition without incurring as much debt as I will from the elite schools. This is critical because I will not stay with a law firm very long and will not make a lot of money as a law professor.
Ultimately, the decision to pick-up and move your family across the country to a strange land depends on your career goals (public interest, private practice, government, academia, etc.) and resources (outstanding debt, scholarships, spousal support, age, etc.).
« on: April 22, 2006, 06:37:51 PM »
I'm planning to give my official notice on May 1. I've talked to everyone who matters except my immediate supervisor. I hear he is out looking for a job too so he wouldn't care anyway.
With the warm weather coming and my decision being nearly set in stone, I feel a little bored myself. Usually, I'd be making long-range plans and trying to find ways to be more effective on the job. Now, I find myself watching the clock all day.
As a matter of principle, I try never to wish for time to pass (because time is one of the few things that we can never replace), but I am anxious to get started like the rest of yall.
« on: April 16, 2006, 03:21:04 PM »
Well, law school is a means to an end for me. I've worked as an administrator at a large, public, research institution for the last 4 1/2 years. In particular, I direct an academic support program. While working on a doctorate in educational administration part-time, I've learned a few things. First, even with a PhD, my options for advancement as an administrator are limited to student affairs (admissions, financial aid, student development etc.). I really don't want to do any of these. Second, my ability to go into a tenure track professorship is limited because I have not published anything while earning my PhD (that's hard to do while working full-time and raising kids). Third, assistant professors in educational administration are not paid very well anyway. Fourth, most of the top administrators at my university are tenured professors.
In light of these discoveries, I decided that I would rather join the faculty at a 4-year institution than remain a career administrator. This would require that I earn one last degree to move into the discipline that would bring me the best combination of challenge, flexibility, pay, and satisfaction. I considered business because I have already earned an MBA, but decided that I did not want to invest 4 to 5 more years of my life in school (I'm getting old). Moroever, I have a family to feed. Law seems to be a perfect fit because it will give me the credentials to consider tenure track positions in law, business, or education. In addition, it will only take 3 years and my options outside of academe are much better than they would be with my PhD in education administration.
« on: April 14, 2006, 11:59:59 PM »
- Mid 30s
- Married w/3 Kids
- $95K in debt from UG and Grad School
I am not worried about additional debt from law school. Of course, I am going to have to compromise a little. I may attend a school that is ranked a little lower, but is offering some scholarship money. Also, if you one has a spouse who is working, they will not have to borrow for living expenses. My wife will be finishing her doctorate next year so we will only have to borrow extra for one year. Altogether, I hope to borrow no more than another $50K on top of what I aready owe.
You also want to consider that inflation will make our law school debt look really good in 10 or 20 years. For example, in 1996, one year of tuition at Harvard was approximately $21K. Today, it is $37K. In my opinion, the value of some degrees appreciate as does real property. As for law, your earning potential will far outstrip your debt, but it really depends on what you plan to do after you earn the JD. Are you going into public interest law or private practice? Are you planning to invest your earnings in a way that will bring you a decent return on the dollar or spend frivolously (BMWs, Rolexs, and DKNYs)?
Either way, I wish all of my fellow non-trads the best of luck!
« on: April 14, 2006, 11:34:52 PM »
If they did, you would never find it in writing. I'm sure no school wants to be the next Michigan or SIUC.
Only those who have access to a school's database of applicants/admitted students could provide you with a definitive answer. However, I think your assumption is probably true (at some schools), but minority applicants still have to be exceptional in some other way if their GPA and LSAT are lower.
« on: April 14, 2006, 11:17:50 PM »
Like Jtrich, I was waitlisted by HUSL. I thought my credentials were pretty good. My UG GPA is average, but my LSAT is above the 75th percentile for HUSL. I also have advanced degrees, 12 years of work experience, and I have owned a small business. What the heck does the HUSL admissions committee value the most? Do I have to have to be the son of a distinguished alumnus to tip the balance in my favor?
So far, I have been accepted at:
St. Louis U. ($15K)
Michigan State ($0)
Univ. of Dayton ($19K)
Ave Maria ($15K - but too conservative)
As it stands, I am going to U of Illinois. But if Howard had come through earlier (with $$) it would have been a tough decision. Jtrich, I agree with what appears to be the concensus: determine what is most important to you and find out if HUSL could get you there better than Rutgers. If so, wait...if not...don't look back!