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Messages - BigRig

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Arguably, Villanova has a more well-rounded, broad legal curriculum than Temple, albeit smaller in size.  Temple really stands out for Trial Advocacy, which seems to dominate other specialties offered.  Villanova also has a really strong public interest law cohort that may not have made itself as present on admits day, but it's there.  Also, over 20% of the '05 class received clerkships, which is very high.  I am not arguing with the previous post, rather explaining that Villanova isn't just a Big Law track school.  With that said, when anyone attends a school as expensive as Villanova w/out scholarship he/she faces a reality that corporate jobs are about the only ones that will support his/her payment. Public Interest kids benefit from a strong LRAP, but in now way does this account for Villanova's much higher price than Temple and hence, larger numbers pursuing Big Law (don't have any numbers suggesting this though).

I think Villanova's moot court, strong professors, broad curriculum, both unique and traditional clinics and journals (sports and entertainment law, tax law clinic, civil justice clinic), respected law review, and high% placed in clerkships all demonstrate that a student will receive a highly regarded legal education.

One final note on the day that impressed me.  Every 1L and 2L I talked to (6-7) already had summer jobs lined up, and not BS ones either -- I thought that was a pretty good sign.

I also had a better-than-expected experience at the open house and agree with most of the statements here.  The law school building, while clearly outdated and aesthetically unintersting on the inside, seems to provide for the strong community feel that came across during presentations, etc. A such, I don't think it would bother me much. The only thing I am worried about is the cost.  Very few students I talked to received scholarship, especially caucasian, and most borrowed between $40,000 and $44,000 per year.  I am anxious to see how the bottom line will pan out before I commit.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Prestige vs Quality of Life
« on: March 16, 2006, 08:03:55 PM »
$100,000+ debt is a lot and you better be prepared for type of job capable of supporting it. A T-14 will give you more exposure to high-paying firms right out of the gate and you won't have to network as hard. However, a T-14 degree will not offer a significantly stonger legal education persay. With that said, certain programs and/or specialties may be much stronger if you're certain as to what you want to do with your law degree. If advancing your education is the goal, especially in regard to knowing one's rights in the event that the world economy goes to hell, a T30-T50 will give you everything you need.  Arguably, the freedom of the extra hours and benefit to your personal self as a result of opting for the better quality of life could help you to make more money. Also, has anyone been following the residential real estate market?  I don't think a T-14 degree is appreciating over and above a T-30-50 degree at a rate even comparable to the rate of return in an average residential market. You cannot compare paying $100,000 for a slight initial advantage to $100,000 in real property.

Absolutely not insane unless you are certain of a particular track and one school offers a significant advantage.  UF is very well respected and as far as Big Law/Money in NYC (which I can tell you is highly overrated).. I know a UF alum who works at Skadden and one at Schulte, Roth; both are second year associates straight outta law school. As mentioned earlier, pick where your surroundings will be most comfortable for three years, make sure the programs you're interested in are well supported, and perform to the best of your ability. Debt sucks and if you're motivated, have a personality, and know how to network (which anyone who's had significant work experience should) you'll make your mark and money for that matter. I would listen to people who are older on this issue and take the straight-outta-undergrad, ranking-obsessive comments for what they are worth; inexperienced and uninformed.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Screw it...I'm going Tier 3...
« on: March 16, 2006, 04:55:15 PM »

Hey, do you mind if I ask what your GPA/LSAT was? I applied to 'Nova as well and they are the only school I still need to hear from.  I have a 152/3.35 but it doesn't look like I'll be able to get in. 

Higher LSAT (Nova accepts) = 161/3.21 LSDAS -- I am on law school numbers, same name.

Also, you sis who is now making the big bucks (while going insane)...can you tell me a bit about her? Where did she go to school and is it the time committment to her job that makes it as bad as it is?

She attended Tulane with 1/2 scholarship still had to borrow $60,000+ and had ~$20,000 from undergrad.  Honestly, I could go on and on explaining what makes her job so bad.  It's a confluence of factors really, but ultimately it boils down to too much stress, a lack of control, a workload that continues to grow no matter how hard you work, and nothing to tangibly show for it at the end of the day. The idea is to put in the hard years in hopes of making partner, which the percentage of associates making it to partner level is very low. I suppose there are some who might enjoy this environment and personalities that will survive better than others.  You never get positive feedback, never have time to take a personal call, never feel as though you are away from work even the few hours that you are (especially with the advent of the blackberry) and then you're faced with median-priced homes over $1,000,000 and a beautful, interesting city that you never have time to see.

It does look great on a resume, however, and she currently has a job offer with Alston & Bird in Atlanta and three interviews after having worked there for 2 years; the job certainly helped in this regard. I am not saying there aren't some positive developments that will spur from it just know what you're getting yourself into and know that those high-priced jobs right out of law school aren't necessarily the only path to an important, successful, and well-paid legal career.  Also, the longer you stay, the harder it is to leave. That is why she is leaving, she sees 30 somethings stuck, who will never make partner with little to show for their efforts.

I don't know if it's that bad but it certainly is a very serious consideration. You can go to the following link and play around with what you expect to borrow.

If you're going to borrow I am sure it will be because you'll want to attend an elite school, which could run you near $120,000 over three years = $1380+/mo. over 10 years or $780+ over 30.  Either way, these are sizable payments and will be a part of your life for some time. Even if you land a top job, most are in markets with an extremely high cost of leaving and these loans will not be easy to pay down (don't forget a lot of those $100,000+ salaries goes to taxes).

I do not know your position, but if you're coming straight from undergrad and haven't managed a budget, debt, etc. I would be cautious.  If, however, you are more experienced managin finances and are fortunate to have a lot of money saved, a trust fund, or other investment/asset that is bearing interest I wouldn't be as worried.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Screw it...I'm going Tier 3...
« on: March 16, 2006, 03:33:07 PM »
Agreed, good decision.  I am leaning toward a similar decision myself.  While I love Villanova I don't believe I can justify the $100,000 in debt over a full scholarship at Toledo.  I mean, if it were T14 it might be a different story, but it's not.  There are only a set of jobs that will allow one to carry that type of debt and frankly, those are not for me.  I've watched my sister kill herself at a tier 1 lschool and take on a ton of debt which got her a $150,000 (w/bonus) job in NYC and she's getting nowhere except closer to insanity. The Midwest is a better place than most give it credit and if you're in the top of your class, blessed with any set of social skills, and make a good faith effort to network you'll find solid employment in most markets. All the while having freedom, flexibility, and arguably the ability to build wealth more quickly. Congrats!

As I understand it the US News rankings adhere to the same principle as the ABA = a straight average, no matter the degree of improvement, which makes sense because the new April 1 rankings follow the recently released ABA data. I do not believe they'd transform these data in any way, they are purely inputs. 

Additionally, it has been my experience that a school will deny a candidate based on these numbers alone. I myself had a 12-point jump the second time around, a reasonable explanation, attended a top undergrad institution while taking a broad and range of challenging courses, and have significant and meaningful research and work experience. Thus far, however, I have found no luck with these schools placing more weight on the second score.  It definitely is a numbers game to these schools, which most certainly is a consequence of rankings.  The only truly subjective measure that will change that is, of course, minority status.

I would think you're a lock at MSU, however, at best I think you'll receive a waitlist at Pitt and Richmond.  I hate being pessimistic, but unless you are a URM your numbers won't add much to the school's group they are trying to assemble on paper.  Also, a waitlist/rejection seems to be the corollary of a response this late in the game.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Florida State University
« on: March 15, 2006, 10:21:40 AM »
I haven't heard anything either.  I went complete late Jan. and am told that my app has yet to go to Committee, which I find hard to believe. I thought I'd be a competitive applicant with a 3.3/161 from Emory.  I am not sure what to expect, but I am not too optimistic considering the decisions I've been receiving this late in the game. Keep me updated.  What are your numbers?

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