Law School Discussion

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - WSUAlum1

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5
31
Law School Admissions / Re: Time to make a decision...
« on: May 13, 2008, 10:35:02 PM »
I think this article has a lot to say about the cost/benefit analysis you are facing:

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1207904889498

Hope it helps.  You should also understand that the odds of keeping your scholarship at wayne into the 2d year are about 50%.  (if you make it into year 2, odds of getting to year 3 are better)  I know you are at the top of wayne's 'credential pool' but so are all of the other students who are getting offers like yours, and the odds I'm giving you are recent historical #s. 

32
Incoming 1Ls / Re: Wayne State Law School Class 2011
« on: May 13, 2008, 09:31:26 PM »
Nobody, apparently.

Good luck

33
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Complete T3 & T4 Rankings
« on: May 09, 2008, 05:29:52 AM »
good Q, Multiple LSAT Taker (& I wish you luck on your LSATs)

Lots of people in exactly your position 3 and 4 years ago were sold a bill of goods about WSU.  They were told: Wayne was v. inexpensive, it was the best school in Mich after U of M, it was about to break into T2, etc.  Then the school significantly increased tuition (to hire more profs to improve fac/stud ratios to get into T2).  It created a scholarship program to raise GPA/LSAT, also to get into T2. (Students in this program not only get reduced tuition, but also get other privileges denied even to students who work hard and get good grades.  A caste system).  The result is that the average Wayne State student today pays a lot more in tuition, so that a few high LSAT/GPA students can go to cocktail receptions with big firm lawyers and leave the school debt free.  Nice.

As I've said in other posts, there used to be something idealistic about the school.  Students could leave w/ low debt and do the things they came to law school to do.  That is all becoming harder.

The school has sold its soul to US News, and lost.  It is now deep in T3, way behind where it was when this whole adventure started.  I hope it returns to where it started, but 17 places in US News is a lot of ground to make up.  The only way to make up that many places is an infusion of new $.  Will it come from students? (more tuition hikes)  Alums? (they are still being dunned for the new building that isn't close to being financed)  The university? (not likely--w/ declining enrollments)

I could go on, but I'd just be repeating other posts.  Best of luck making a hard decision.  Assemble all of the information you can--from school visits, admissions people, lawyers in the community, newspaper stories about the schools, etc.  My posts are just a few 'data points' among many.  You get to decide how much credence they deserve.

Wherever you go--if you work hard, you will develop skills that will help you for a lifetime.  Good luck on your career.

34
Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Complete T3 & T4 Rankings
« on: May 08, 2008, 09:55:17 PM »


View Profile Email Personal Message (Online)
   
   Complete T3 & T4 Rankings
on: Today at 12:34:07 AM
   Reply with quote Modify message Remove message
I know this info is available elsewhere on this board for those who want to search, but as folks are finishing their UG final exams and turning their thoughts toward picking a school, I thought it might be useful to collect the rankings here.

Also: I'd like to make a plea to people who might have similar rankings for prior years.  Almost every school in tier N will tell you that it has some new program that will move it up to tier N-1 by the time you graduate.  Knowing where schools have been for the last few years would give us all some idea about whether these promises are at all credible.

(To give the one eg I know: Michigan State was T4 two years ago.  Last year it went T3.  It is now ranked 108--near the top of T3 (since T2 extends to 104 b/c of ties).  It will likely be T2 b4 long.  Cross-state rival Wayne State was at the top of T3 a few years ago, but has now fallen into a tie for 125--well behind.  Two years ago, Wayne State was telling incoming students that it was about to crack T2.  Not even close)

Please feel free to follow up w/ other similar stories.

Here are the #s:

Third Tier

105. (Tie) Creighton, U. Arkansas (Fayetteville), U. Maine
108. (Tie) Michigan State University, Quinnipiac U., U. Mississippi, U. Toledo
112. (Tie) Albany, U. Akron, U.  Montana, U. San Francisco, U. St. Thomas (MN), Vermont
118. (Tie) Drake, Gonzaga, Howard, New York Law School, U. Idaho, U. Missouri-Kansas City, W. Virginia
125. (Tie) Cleveland State, Loyola - New Orleans, Texas Tech., U. Baltimore, U. Wyoming, Wayne State U.
131. (Tie) Chapman, Franklin Pierce, Hamline, Pace, U. Arkansas-Little Rock, Washburn
137.  (Tie) Ohio Northern, Samford (Cumberland), Suffolk, U. South Dakota, Willamette

Fourth Tier

142. U. North Dakota
143. (Tie) Campbell, So. Illinois, Southwestern, U. Memphis, U. Tulsa, Valparaiso
149. Northern Illinois
150. (Tie) CUNY,  William Mitchell
152. U. Dayton
153. (Tie) Duquesne, Florida International, John Marshall
156. (Tie) California Western, Northern Kentucky
158. (Tie) Nova Southeastern University, Roger Williams U., Widener
161. (Tie) Capital, Whittier
163. (Tie) Mississippi College, South Texas, St. Mary's, Texas Wesleyan, U. Detroit
168. (Tie) N.C. Central, Oklahoma City U., Texas Southern
171. (Tie) Florida Coastal, Regent, Western New England
174. (Tie) Golden Gate, New England, Southern, St. Thomas (FL), Thomas Jefferson
179. (Tie) Ave Maria, Touro
181. (Tie) Barry, Thomas Cooley, U. District of Columbia
184. Appalachian

Source: http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2008/03/us-news-hacked.html

35
Choosing the Right Law School / Complete T3 & T4 Rankings
« on: May 08, 2008, 09:34:07 PM »
I know this info is available elsewhere on this board for those who want to search, but as folks are finishing their UG final exams and turning their thoughts toward picking a school, I thought it might be useful to collect the rankings here.

Also: I'd like to make a plea to people who might have similar rankings for prior years.  Almost every school in tier N will tell you that it has some new program that will move it up to tier N-1 by the time you graduate.  Knowing where schools have been for the last few years would give us all some idea about whether these promises are at all credible.

(To give the one eg I know: Michigan State was T4 two years ago.  Last year it went T3.  It is now ranked 108--near the top of T3 (since T2 extends to 104 b/c of ties).  It will likely be T2 b4 long.  Cross-state rival Wayne State was at the top of T3 a few years ago, but has now fallen into a tie for 125--well behind.  Two years ago, Wayne State was telling incoming students that it was about to crack T2.  Not even close)

Please feel free to follow up w/ other similar stories.

Here are the #s:

Third Tier

105. (Tie) Creighton, U. Arkansas (Fayetteville), U. Maine
108. (Tie) Michigan State University, Quinnipiac U., U. Mississippi, U. Toledo
112. (Tie) Albany, U. Akron, U.  Montana, U. San Francisco, U. St. Thomas (MN), Vermont
118. (Tie) Drake, Gonzaga, Howard, New York Law School, U. Idaho, U. Missouri-Kansas City, W. Virginia
125. (Tie) Cleveland State, Loyola - New Orleans, Texas Tech., U. Baltimore, U. Wyoming, Wayne State U. 
131. (Tie) Chapman, Franklin Pierce, Hamline, Pace, U. Arkansas-Little Rock, Washburn
137.  (Tie) Ohio Northern, Samford (Cumberland), Suffolk, U. South Dakota, Willamette

Fourth Tier

142. U. North Dakota
143. (Tie) Campbell, So. Illinois, Southwestern, U. Memphis, U. Tulsa, Valparaiso
149. Northern Illinois
150. (Tie) CUNY,  William Mitchell
152. U. Dayton
153. (Tie) Duquesne, Florida International, John Marshall
156. (Tie) California Western, Northern Kentucky
158. (Tie) Nova Southeastern University, Roger Williams U., Widener 
161. (Tie) Capital, Whittier
163. (Tie) Mississippi College, South Texas, St. Mary's, Texas Wesleyan, U. Detroit
168. (Tie) N.C. Central, Oklahoma City U., Texas Southern
171. (Tie) Florida Coastal, Regent, Western New England
174. (Tie) Golden Gate, New England, Southern, St. Thomas (FL), Thomas Jefferson
179. (Tie) Ave Maria, Touro
181. (Tie) Barry, Thomas Cooley, U. District of Columbia
184. Appalachian

Source: http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2008/03/us-news-hacked.html

36
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wayne State v. Michigan State
« on: May 07, 2008, 03:11:41 PM »
beamcnally:

No Vault 100 firms come to WSU.  I'm sure the poster you quote was speaking more colloquially (biglaw = Detroit firms of 100-200).  U of Detroit Mercy has a v innovative program that teaches big firm practice skills, and that's why it places students in true biglaw firms, even if those firms do not show up and recruit there.  Hit UDM's website and read the Wall Street Journal article for more info.

Re: Wayne State, the poster you quote is really drinking the Kool Aid.  Wayne used to be near the top of T3, and its in-state rival MSU was in T4, so Wayne could boast it was the best regional school in MI. Last year, Wayne State fell to T4, and MSU got to T3.  This year, Wayne crawled back into T3, but far down: it's tied for 125 w/ 5 other schools.  MSU moved up to a tie for 108--close to the top, since T2 this year extended down to 104.  MSU is now the #1 regional school in Michigan.  Given its "trajectory" it will likely be T2 v soon.  You can get an out of state job at a T2 (though probably not a Vault 100 job).  People at Wayne (if you can get them on the phone!) will tell you that they are headed back to T2, but that's a fantasy, and the numbers/rankings show just how unrealistic that is.  Read my posts upthread for more about WSU v MSU.

Good luck making a tough choice

37
My advice is similar to that of other posters, albeit more long winded.  I apologize for the wind.  Please appreciate that i'm only trying to help you

First--engage in all of the fantasies you'd like.  Transferring from a T3 to a 'name brand' school is very difficult.  Only top 5% or so have any chance.  (I know--you'll be one of those 5%.  Half of your classmates will swear to the same).  The smartest thing to do is to ask: which school would I be most willing to attend if I had to stay there for all 3 years?  Pick that school. That's the A answer.  If you would not be willing to attend any of these schools for 3 years, b/c their cost is not worth the financial benefit of a T3 degree, then either 1) do something else, or 2) step out of the process for this year until you can do something that will get you into a school that you would be willing to attend (improve LSAT, get masters degree to improve GPA, etc).  Then try again.

If you insist on ignoring what I said above (& god help you if you do), then pick the T3 nearest to the name brand school you really want to attend by transfer.  If you want to transfer to a fancy school in NY, then attend a NY T3.  Same for California. 

I'll speak for the MI market by eg, b/c that's what i know best.  The top Wayne students (top 5%) can and do transfer to U of M after 1L.  U of M gets lots of those applications, and can compare you to previous apps and decide if you'd likely succeed.  The profs at Wayne can write letters that say "Jones is as good as Smith, who transferred 3 years ago, and did well at UM."  Also, the best Wayne profs will spend their sabbaticals at UM, since it is convenient and does not disrupt family life.  When UM sees a LOR from WSU profs who have taught at UM, they know that those LORs are reliable.  There is a pipeline, so to speak, from a T3 to neighboring national schools.

Since you want to end up in NY and Cali, pick one of those states, and attend a T3 there.  Since you don't want to go to a national school in MI (U of M), don't go to wayne.

Since you seem pretty stubborn, allow me to make a prediction.  You'll pick a school in the state w/ the nat'l school to which you'd like to transfer.  You will not be able to, or will not want to transfer after 1L (I'd tell you why you might not want to, but you won't believe me).  If you have energy and drive, and hustle to make contacts by clerking during law school w/ small local firms that do entertainment law, and join the entertainment law society, and make sure to meet all of the speakers who come to your school, and talk to then and impress them w/ your hustle and hard work, you will have as good or better a chance to achieve what you want than if you had transferred to nat'l school and had just relied on your fancy credential to get you through.

Five years out of school, the practice of law is much more about energy, commitment and people skills than it is about your credential. Right now, you think I'm full of *&^%.  But print this response.  When you are a lawyer, it'll be hanging on your wall.

38
Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Tier 3 rankings
« on: April 25, 2008, 11:36:07 PM »
Sorry Plex--that is the full list.  Thanks.  I remember seeing it too, when the rankings were released "prematurely."

39
Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Tier 3 rankings
« on: April 25, 2008, 11:56:52 AM »
Thx Plex:

Do you have the full list?

40
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: in at wayne state
« on: April 25, 2008, 07:09:08 AM »
More on Wayne, lifted from another thread (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4009808.0.html)

It's a collection of info from other parts of this blog.  Links refer to the posts below 'em

See: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,104032.10.html

Unfortunately, the problems at Wayne go far beyond Dean Wu.  (I hope his replacement is good, but I know he's a 2d choice--their 1st choice turned them down)  Six faculty members left this year or are leaving at the end (including two of the school's best teachers)--they will be lucky to replace 2 of those 6, because good young profs don't want to go there.  There are only 1 1/2 clinical profs for the whole school.  The school fell into the 4th tier last year.  It has returned to T3, but it is now well behind MSU, and is unlikely to catch up. Much as I hate to say it, Wayne is now the #3 school in MI.  The real problem here is that Wayne's program is far out of date.  Law firms want to hire lawyers who are ready to practice "out of the box."  They don't want to spend years training lawyers who come from schools that stress theory to the exclusion of practice.  MSU has gotten with that program (and UDM has done so with a vengeance!  Go to their website and read the story the Wall Street Journal did on them).  Wayne's legal writing program is 10 years old, and there are not enough clinical/pretrial ad courses for everyone, or even for most students.  Its profs have heavy publishing obligations.  They are very bright (and some of them are quick to let you know it), but their obscure law review articles don't help you practice law.

Over many years, Wayne was the unquestioned #2 school in MI.  Also--its tuition used to be 1/2 of the other schools.  It was a great bargain, and it has many proud and successful alums, which will help you in future job searches.  But it is now #3 in US News, and won't catch MSU.  The dynamics are against the school.

Last point: if you tell MSU and UDM that you are serious about WSU, they'll usually give you $ to make up the tuition difference.  Then make your choice on the merits.
Truly last point, as many posters have noted: the customer service at UDM/MSU is much better.  Wayne's people in admissions, etc are fine, but they are grossly understaffed and have been for years.  I doubt it will change

See: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,104032.20.html

Wayne State's new dean is coming from my law school.  He is a pompous, arrogant man.  I would avoid going anywhere where is he located.

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,104032.30.html

As for faculty running for the exits at wayne, they are, and anyone w/ ties to the school knows it.  There are plenty of open slots @ wayne, and the school can't fill them.  People are leaving faster than they can be replaced, and many who are leaving are v good (Litman, Moran, Bambauer and Davidoff, just to name a few.  Family law prof won't be far behind, of course.  If Hall and Peters are still there in 3 years, I'll buy you lunch anywhere you like).  It's true that wayne tries to get coverage by hiring 'people w/ a look' when they can't fill the slots w/ perm folks, but that just highlights the problem--they can't find people to come for good.  When the 'lookers' leave, that's still a slot they couldn't fill from a year or 2 b4, and have to try (probably in vain) to re-fill again.

I keep in close touch w/ several current students and faculty members.  (I hear the word 'demoralized' a lot.) Everyone is glad that we're TTT again, but we're a lot farther down the list than we were before the fall, and everyone knows it.  MSU is ahead of us, and that won't change.  UDM is getting great press b/c it is committed to teaching students how to practice law (nuts and bolts), and serving the community at the same time.  Check out their website, or just read the  News/Free Press.  Wayne has a v tiny clinical program, LW is only 2 semesters and ungraded (its 3 and graded at many schools), and there aren't enough pretrial ad courses to come close to making up the difference.  Wayne is offering a solid version of legal ed 2000, but it's now 2008.  It's time to get w/ the program (teaching practical skills), and wayne hasn't budged.  It has a great rep, much deserved in its day, but if you read the posts here and on other sites, you'll see that people are starting to see that the rep does not match the (current) reality

I spoke to a 3L last week who said this (paraphrase): When I came here, I thought I was coming to a school that was T3, about to go to T2 (that's what admissions told me).  I figured I could apply outside of Det from a T2.  It cost $10-12K less than the other schools in the state.  I had a 170 LSAT, and I turned down $ from MSU to come here.  Wayne jacked up the tuition as soon as I got here, we fell to T4, and even now we are behind MSU.  MSU has a better rep, more schools come to their OCI, both in and out of state.

WSU2--I'm glad you're still drinking the kool-aid.  But a lot of current students and recent alums are PISSED OFF. The school better recognize that

(If they weren't so pissed off, you might have scraped together the $ for that glittering new building by now.  If the shovels go in the ground by '09, you'll be lucky.)

I might add: the customer service complaints that have appeared on these boards for a long time are still here.  All that extra tuition ($7K in the last 3 years?  Maybe $8) hasn't changed any of that.  People still can't get their calls returned, or get answers to Qs, on and on.

Final point: I had a lot of complaints above, and the only one you disputed was (what you claimed was) a slight miscount in the # of profs leaving.  That makes it pretty clear that even a 'slappy' would admit that what i'm saying is true.

Please reply again, and i'll tell you more.

Next post:

Thanks for the reply, and I agree w/ much of what you say, so i hope we can shake hands here.  Re the faculty: I agree there are a few more profs listed on the website than a few years ago.  That won't be true after everyone leaves in May.  But even if you were right: my beef (and not just mine) is that the law school jacked up tuition $5K per year, plus more for inflation, etc, a few years ago on the pretext that it would hire lots more faculty, which would raise fac/student ratios, and that this master plan would push us into T2.  But the school has not been able to fill all of these extra slots, b/c we hire folks w/ great credentials from the east coast who went to east coast law schools and have no connection to SE MI and leave as soon as they can.  The master plan did not work b/c we are now deep into T3 (behind MSU, as you seem to acknowledge by silence).  But--current students are still paying the higher tuition, and getting nothing for it.

The great thing about Wayne used to be that it was so cheap compared to the other MI law schools.  Literally 1/2 the tuition of MSU and less than 1/2 of UDM.  You could go to wayne, leave w/ low debt, and do the kind of work that made you want to go to law school in the 1st place: civil rights, crim defense, prosecutor's office, AG, whatever.  Small law.  Many wayne grads are solos soon after grad, and enjoy the freedom.  (Sorry Big Law lovers, but you'll hate your life soon enough)  It was a great opportunity school for people of modest means.  Now it costs almost as much as MSU/UDM, and if you tell those schools that you are considering WSU, they'll instantly give you $ to make up the difference (which ain't much), which means that basically there is no cost advantage at all. When a state school offers no cost savings over private schools, something is wrong.

I'm also worried about the long term.  Firms want students who are ready to practice law as soon as they graduate.  They aren't willing to write off hours while newbies serve an apprenticeship, carrying briefcases as in the old days.  The ABA (of course!) is pushing law schools in this direction, and most are following suit.  Look at UDM's website.  Their dean has brought partners from Wall Street firms to the school to simulate a law firm environment in year 3, and Wall Street firms are paying some UDM grads $160K to start b/c they know how to practice law.  Do you appreciate how ridiculous this is???  Wall Street firms are taking UDM grads over Ivy grads b/c they know what the hell they are doing, and can start billing on day 1. This would never happen at wayne--the profs would burn that dean at the stake if s/he suggested bringing practitioners vs. researchers into the school.

I'm not saying that wayne should remake itself to send grads to wall street.  But wayne should teach its grads to practice law from day 1, as other schools are doing. When you took civ pro, did you ever see pleadings?  When you took family law, did you learn what to ask a couple w/ no kids to draft divorce papers?  Did you see divorce papers?  If you took bankruptcy, could you file a simple one?  I expect you took corps--could you incorporate a business?  If the answers are no (and they are), and you are paying $22K a year for a 'legal education,' then what are you paying for??

Here's a hint: you are paying for your profs, who are often unavailable during their meager office hours, to write law review articles on subjects that interest them.

I agree w/ you, WSU2, wayne's profs are studs.  If I had a Q re an obscure area of law, I'd call a WSU prof b4 MSU.  No question.  I suppose it's good for a segment of the practicing bar that WSU students are spending big $, and taking on big debt, to support WSU faculty who want to research the minutiae.

Great deal for them, (and us) but what about their students?

Sorry to repeat, but: reply again, and I'll tell you more.

Goodnight & goodluck

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5