Law School Discussion

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Messages - user80

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1
Thanks for sharing.  I have done quite a bit of research on both schools.  I attended their open houses, met with professors and students and even gathered stats on employment and clerkship placement.  I found the facilities at the T14 a step above those at Howard (not surprising).  However, the wireless connectivity and lounge area complete with fireplace at the T14 comes at a cost... :-\  The fact is - none of those extras are necessary for my study of law.

I thought by now, this decision would be made...I've come across quite a few people who selected Howard over higher ranked schools, but none (yet) that selected it over a T14.  Ultimately, I'll need to make this decision based on my own needs and goals.  However, a little market research would hurt.

Would you mind answering a few questions?

Where do you fall in Howard's class and how has your rank impacted your job search?  Do you have a job following graduation?  If so, in which city?

Thanks again for your comments Gross Negligence. I appreciate your input.

Mila.

2
Can anyone share a personal experience of someone who was faced with the decision between Howard w/ $ and a T14 w/o any?  My dilemma is this - Often people assume (generally speaking) that a JD from a T14 provides more opportunities than one from Howard.  However, one could argue that due to the debt incurred at the T14 vs. (in my case) practically none at Howard, a student could be more limited with the JD from a T14 because he/she would almost have to go to work in big law or into a (low paying) public/government situation, as the T14 (in this case) has a solid loan repayment program.  That rules out career tracks that fall in the middle of the pack.  Howard, although a third tier school, gets attention from firms who would not otherwise visit similarly ranked schools.  That said, the school also has a great alumni network. 

Has anyone selected Howard over a T14 or, conversely, rejected a full ride (particularly from Howard) for the full loan package at a T14?  Am I insane for even considering it?

Please, I'm not really interested in personal opinions or negative commentary  - I have heard more of those than I care to consider - but I would greatly appreciate any first hand knowledge of someone's actual experience.

Thank you kindly,
Mila.

3
If you decide on Howard, do let me know.  Either way, I'll be interested to know where you'll be since I'm in DC.  Are you doing the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights summer prep?  I heard its a really good way of getting in gear.

I've decided to pay the seat deposit at Howard and feel pretty good about it.  I think Howard is a great school and it fits with my personal needs and career goals.  Congrats to you on your decision, as well!  I hope to see you this fall or perhaps even before then, if you're in the DC area.

Are you considering the summer Intro to Legal Reasoning Program?  It sounds like a great opportunity.  Did the flyer leave you with th impression that there are 4 meetings each week or alternate sessions that meet only once a week.  Four meetings/week sounds like a bit much.  I'll be working full time through July and now that I am done with my Master's, I am looking forward to a little break before starting up in the fall.  Still, I think this would be a good opportunity and could possibly open some networking opportunities.

Let me know if your sending in the application.  I think I may send it in at least to find out more info.

Thanks again for sharing your experience.

4
OK, so I know you were asking for someone with experience with this question who doesn't just want to give their personal opinion...and I have no experience with this question, and I'm just going to give you my personal opinion.  Sorry :)

No problem - To be honest, the opinions of my peers faced with similar dilemmas could prove very helpful.  I was a bit frustrated when I posted the message.  Thanks for your comments - You raise several good points.  Particularly, the question of what better to invest in than my education?  You're right.  The truth is, I was soooooo happy when I received the letter of admission from Georgetown.  It was a reach and I half expected to be rejected.  When I received Howard's letter with the scholarship award, I was surprised, but not ecstatic.  It wasn't until I visited Howard and spoke with a few students that I started to see what an opportunity it could present.

That said, the last thing that I ever wanted to do was attend a law school where I HAD to place well (top 10%).  I plan to put 110% into being successful in law school, but I'm not naive/arrogant enough to believe that everyone else there isn't just as capable and determined.

Quote
Here, do this for me.  Think of five types of jobs that you'd like to have 10 years from now.  Let's say this list includes: 1)big law firms, 2)small/medium size law firms, 3)governmen agencies, 4)in-house counsels, and something else.  Go to the websites of these types of employers.  You will find many, many more Georgetown grads than Howard grads.  Don't assume that public interest/government type jobs aren't snobby about what schools they hire from.  Many are even more elitist than big law firms.

In the 5-10 years following law school, I would like to be employed in the following:

1) self employed - using my BS in EE, MBA and/or JD
2) Consulting
3) real estate investing/development
4) working in house for a corporation
5) small/medium sized firm

I'm not really all that interested in big law, but I am into big $$$ - Just kidding.  But, I'd be open to and able to stick it out in big law if necessary to repay loans or to maintain a certain lifestyle.  It's hard to say what my priorities will be then.  I certainly value my free time and have interests outside of work and school.  I also value having a comfortable lifestyle - I know that's a relative term and I've considered what "comfortable" means to me.

Thanks for sharing your 2 cents V00Jeff  ;)

5
The financial debt is exactly what I've been considering.  At this point, it seems, I really am not looking for a reason to go to Howard.  I have plenty.  I'm looking for a reason not to.  I don't think the difference in ammenties justifies $150k in debt.  Nor does the wireless connectivity or the out of this world gym.  But... I do wonder about school reputation and the outside the class room experiences that the profs will bring to class.  Many of the profs at Georgetown are actively engaged in the field of law.  Several have argued cases in front of the Supreme Court and serve as consultants on current cases.  I'm not saying that these facts are core to my decision.  Just ad hoc information that I've come across and am factoring into my decision.

It really is helpful to have ya'll as a resource.  Many people in my environment have little to no exposure to law school and are basing their advice off of dreamy ideas.  However, this next step is very real for me and I can't afford to not look at all my options.  As blk_reign said, I'm the one who will have all that debt to pay back - not them.

Thanks -
Mila.

6
The lengthy post?... This is exactly the sort of information I was fishing for.  I can't thank you enough for providing such detailed info on a Saturday morning!  My gut tells me that I could be just as successful at Howard, and perhaps even more so due to the decreased debt load after graduation.  This is why I'm at an impass...  I think in the end I'll have to have the courage to do what's best for me and not what everyone else thinks they would do if in my shoes...

Thanks again blk_reign.

7
Thanks for your input.  At times this decision does seem like a no brainer, but I do also have periods where a free law school education seems attractive, even if from a Tier 3 school.  I suppose it boils down to me being uncomfortable with $150,000 of debt.  I've heard that 10 years from that number will seem so small and insignificant, but now it feels like I'd be signing my life (or rather my potential for having one) away.

Thanks again...
Mila.

8
Sorry for being elusive - it's Georgetown.

9
Thanks for the advice blk_reign.esq - at this point I can use all that I can get.  I have done quite a bit of research on both schools.  I attended their open houses, met with professors and students and even gathered stats on employment and clerkship placement.  I found the facilities at the T14 a step above those at Howard (not surprising).  However, the wireless connectivity and lounge area complete with fireplace at the T14 comes at a cost... :-\  The fact is - none of those extras are necessary for my study of law.

I do know, however, that my alma mater is something that will follow me throughout my law career, and while I believe Howard can provide me with an adequate education, I do understand that this is a field that is very discriminate in such matters as the legal institution attended.

I'm getting down to the wire with this decision.  As much as I don't want to pay both first seat deposits, I think that is exactly what I may end up doing.

I don't mean to sound so down.  I realize how wonerful an opportunity it is to be accepted to such fine instituitions and to receive a merit scholarship at one.  I doubt that I can go wrong either way - but therein lies the dilemma...

Thanks again...
Mila.

10
Can anyone share a personal experience of someone who was faced with the decision between Howard w/ $ and a T14 w/o any?  My dilemma is this - Often people assume (generally speaking) that a JD from a T14 provides more opportunities than one from Howard.  However, one could argue that due to the debt incurred at the T14 vs. (in my case) practically none at Howard, a student could be more limited with the JD from a T14 because he/she would almost have to go to work in big law or into a (low paying) public/government situation, as the T14 (in this case) has a solid loan repayment program.  That rules out career tracks that fall in the middle of the pack.  Howard, although a third tier school, gets attention from firms who would not otherwise visit similarly ranked schools.  That said, the school also has a great alumni network. 

Has anyone selected Howard over a T14 or, conversely, rejected a full ride (particularly from Howard) for the full loan package at a T14?  Am I insane for even considering it?

Please, I'm not really interested in personal opinions or negative commentary - I have heard more of those than I care to consider - but I would greatly appreciate any first hand knowledge of someone's actual experience.

Thank you kindly,
Mila.

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