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Messages - tcs5384

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51
Uh, no, I think if anything location would have the opposite impact on a school.  Schools like Iowa might actually end up being underrated a bit because they aren't located anywhere near New York or Boston, etc.  Some have said that USNWR overrelies on the opinions of lawyers in the metro areas on the East Coast, L.A., Bay Area, etc.  This means that schools like Fordham get overrated because of their location in NYC.

52
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: How valuable is a full ride?
« on: March 21, 2006, 07:33:38 PM »
I posted about WNEC because I thought it might be helpful to someone. Not everyone is going to be able to get into a top 50 school, so there may be some people deciding between lower-ranked schools. And when you're faced with monumental debt, the money is very tempting. On the other hand, I may be crazy; I'm going to Syracuse with about a 3/4 scholarship over Case with a $20k/year scholarship or UCONN.

That's true.  But even I'm taking some considerable crap for choosing one top 50 (Alabama) on a full ride over another top 50 (Vanderbilt) with a $10k/year scholarship.  Maybe it's because Alabama is the one state that people up north just love to crap on.

Actually I love to crap on Mississippi, Florida and California also. :D

If somebody is trying to keep track of who is choosing what, I am trying to decide between Lewis and Clark full ride and NYU no ride.

Add Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and West Virginia to Alabama.  Those are the states that are usually the butt of backwater/inbred kind of jokes.  Maybe if I had taken the full ride at Baylor... at least that's in Texas and not Alabama.

53
I liken standardized tests to the NFL combine (NBA pre-draft camps, whatever sports analogy you want to use.)  There are lots of players who put up great stats in college, but those stats aren't always equal.  Rushing for 2000 yards for a D-II team that hands the ball off to you on every play is not the same as rushing for 1000 yards for a D-I-A team that has three very good running backs on the team.  The combine attempts to let the scouts sort out all the players with great stats from college by getting some raw numbers: 40 time, bench press, the "Wunderlic" test, etc.

Are these raw numbers an accurate predictor of NFL success?  No, but they give the scouts an accurate bar to measure guys who played against different levels of competition, different systems, etc.

Law schools can't rely on GPA alone in making decisions, because GPA is subject to so many other different factors.  Some schools inflate grades; others don't do it so much.  Some students will have great GPA's in easy majors; others will have not-so-great GPA's in difficult majors.  The LSAT gives schools a bar by which they can measure all these different students.

Of course, the difference is that there's really no way you can (legally) increase your performance for the combine.  But you can increase your LSAT score through intensive prep (though for some, intensive prep doesn't really do all that much, and some like myself do very well on the test with little or no prep.)  Unfortunately an entire business has been made out of this.  If the LSAT really is a good predictor of law school success, I'd hate to think that I got rejected from t14 in favor of somebody whose LSAT would have been ten points lower than mine if not for a prep class.

54
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: withdrawing from schools
« on: March 21, 2006, 05:58:02 PM »
I agree with azstudent.  I seriously doubt that law school adcoms are so naive as to think that EVERY student they admit is going to attend.  If a school admits 500 students for a class of 200, that means that they fully expect that 300 students will turn down their offer of admission.  If that's true, then withdrawing would have no effect on somebody on the waitlist or somebody whose application is still pending.

Now, if you have a scholarship, withdrawing would allow the school to give said scholarship money to somebody else.  But that still doesn't affect people whose applications are still being decided on.

Waitlists -- being on a waitlist isn't affected by withdrawals, either.  From my understanding of the waitlist process, it doesn't even begin until after the initial deposit deadline.  At that point, the school goes to its waitlist -- say in the above example, only 180 people sent in seat deposits for the class of 200.  The school then calls the first 20 people off its waitlist.  If, later in the summer, somebody who had initially said they were coming decides not to (maybe they were still mulling the decision and picked another school, or they got called off ANOTHER school's waitlist and decided to attend) that opens another spot in the class; the school goes to its waitlist again.  Heck, I've heard of people being called off the waitlist the day before classes begin if somebody just doesn't show up.

So I don't think withdrawals affect anybody else's application.  If the deposit deadline passes and the school hasn't received your seat deposit, they're assuming that you're withdrawing.

55
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: How valuable is a full ride?
« on: March 21, 2006, 02:48:37 PM »
I posted about WNEC because I thought it might be helpful to someone. Not everyone is going to be able to get into a top 50 school, so there may be some people deciding between lower-ranked schools. And when you're faced with monumental debt, the money is very tempting. On the other hand, I may be crazy; I'm going to Syracuse with about a 3/4 scholarship over Case with a $20k/year scholarship or UCONN.

That's true.  But even I'm taking some considerable crap for choosing one top 50 (Alabama) on a full ride over another top 50 (Vanderbilt) with a $10k/year scholarship.  Maybe it's because Alabama is the one state that people up north just love to crap on.

56
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wake (full ride) vs Vandy vs GW
« on: March 21, 2006, 02:35:14 PM »
Okay... well there are a few things we need to know to help.

First, is the scholarship money from Wake guaranteed?  (Not "you have to remain in x percentile of the class, or keep x GPA.")

Second, what do you want to do?  Where do you want to live?  If you want to live in North Carolina, I'd probably take Wake.  If you want to live in New York, I'd go with one of the other two as they have stronger national reputations.  I've heard that Wake does not place particularly well in the Northeast.

57
This thread needs a skeptic.

Respectfully:  How do y'all know that your gut feelings are accurate? I'm sure we've all made decisions that "felt right" that we later came to regret. (For example, my decision to post on LSD now instead of finishing my thesis...)

I don't see anything wrong with basing a decision (in part) on the quality of a city or town, architecture, regional preference, workoad, personal attention, social life, and other things you can learn about when you visit a campus. But when I see reasons like, "The people at GULC were nice," or "Rutgers just seems to fit me," I cringe a little, because it seems so much like guessing. Could it be, maybe, that you loved the school because the weather was nice, or you hated it because you were sick that day? You get the idea.

Anyway, this is long-winded, but I make no claim to psychic powers and will try to base my decision on measurable criteria as much as possible.

Have to agree a bit on this one...I moved into a house and neighborhood I hated because the day I checked out the apartment, it was sunny and warm and people were walking their dogs and everyone was in a good mood. Turns out the other 354 days a year the neighborhood is freezing, isolated, and the only people on the sidewalks are cranky.
Where do you live that there are only 355 days in a year?

Sorry, just had to be a smartass on that one. :)

58
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: withdrawing from schools
« on: March 21, 2006, 02:27:03 PM »
I just mailed back the deposit forms and checked the box that said I wouldn't be attending.

59
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Duke, anyone?
« on: March 21, 2006, 02:04:26 PM »
So at least we all agree that Duke sucks...

I got waitlisted today... I had already made my decision, anyway.
tcs5384 - I'm kinda stumped by your decisions, I would think that with your #s you'd have more options. Did you apply late?

No -- applied very, very early, actually.  I can kind of understand; other than numbers I'm pretty much your average law school applicant (white male, upper-middle class background, pretty average EC's.)  It didn't really help my cause that I didn't do the extra "optional" essays that Duke and Michigan wanted, I guess, and I was hurt at Northwestern because I'm coming straight from UG.  BC, I can't really explain since my index is higher than most of the accepted students there on LSN.  Best explanation I got (not from them) was that since I'm from Tennessee and had good enough numbers to get into Vandy they probably just assumed that there was no way I was going to go there anyway, so they padded their acceptance numbers for USNWR at my expense.

Other possibility is that my UG isn't all that highly-regarded -- maybe even unheard of if you're not from the South.  This wouldn't hurt at Vandy, Alabama, WUSTL, etc. but might have hurt at some of the Ivies.

60
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: The National Vs. Regional Debate
« on: March 21, 2006, 01:46:34 PM »
I think any ranking of whether a school is national or regional is bound to be flawed.

Consider that many law students CHOOSE a school because of its location -- particularly if we're not talking about the kind of students who can get accepted to a t14.  For example, if you grew up in Mississippi and want to practice in Mississippi, then the University of Mississippi is an obvious choice (not to mention because of the in-state tuition.)  Are Ole Miss grads staying in Mississippi because they WANT to stay in Mississippi or because they simply can't find jobs anywhere else?  Maybe a bit of both, but perhaps more of the former than the latter.

For private schools, though, because they don't get nearly as many in-state students since they don't have the draw of in-state tuition, students are less likely to go because of location.  Tulane and Alabama have similar rankings in USNWR (which would mean roughly similar reputation) yet Tulane is more "national" while Alabama is more "regional."  Why?  I think it's just the students that the two schools draw.  Tulane draws students from all over the country, and those students are not necessarily going to Tulane because they want to practice in Louisiana (or even anywhere in the South.)  Alabama primarily draws students from in-state and, at best, some of the surrounding states, who more than likely want to remain in the South anyway.

I think to some extent these reputations play off themselves.  A student from Chicago who's concerned about whether or not his degree will "travel" is unlikely to go to Alabama for fear that that degree will not "travel" outside the South.  All of this tends to inflate regional placement, particularly for state schools.

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