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Messages - Miami88

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Yeah... this really is a non-question. Go to UPenn and be done with it. That said, this is assuming you don't already have a job lined up right now come graduation. In other words, if you are planning on working in your dad's firm for the rest of your life and you are just going to law school so you can practice... save yourself the money and go to the cheapest school possible. Basically any other life scenario... for goodness sake, go to UPenn.

For so many reasons... check out:

UPenn places approx. 3/4 of their class in literally the most competitive (and high paying) jobs at graduation. Yes, you are looking at about $250k of debt on graduation. You will be able to pay that off well within 5 years of graduation working in BigLaw (starting salaries at $160k plus some bonuses and raises). And from there, you will basically be free to transition into any area of law: partner in big law; mid law or small law; in-house; flipping burgers at burger king...

All these other schools, you are looking at about $80-90k of debt (cost of living!). You would HAVE to graduate in the top 5-10% of your class in order to have a shot at big law. Realisitcally, you would be working in a small law firm or for the government (if you can find a job at all) making $60k. It will take you 10-20 years (if that) to get out of debt and you will be bottlenecked to work only in those legal sectors (lateraling up from a small firm to big law could happen, but so could winning the lottery).

Granted, the above is a bit blunt - but not that far off from average (in other words, it is not a best case/worst case thing).

Those are all the quantitative reasons for UPenn. Qualitatively, you will be challenged intellectually more so at UPenn than the other schools. Yes, you will end up learning the same things and reading the same cases. But the real difference will be what you take away from your peers. The average intellectual caliber at a school like UPenn is undoubtably higher than the average at these other schools. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying UPenn kids are smarter than Temple kids. I am saying that it is far more likely the kids that did really well on the LSAT and did really well in undergrad (read: were motived to study hard) will, on average, be the kind of people that will push you intellectually in a far high degree than at the other schools. This is seemingly a trivial factor, but when you are living and breathing off of 80+ other law students' thoughts for 5+ hours a day for three years... it becomes much more important than you would think.

Finally, have you tried asking UPenn for scholarship money? You might be able to squeeze something out of them using the other offers (and by begging). Worst case, they say no.

Good luck and congrats!


Where should I go next fall? / Re: UIUC v. Wisconsin
« on: March 18, 2015, 04:54:31 PM »
I respectfully concur.

Law School Applications / Re: Need help applying
« on: March 13, 2015, 02:16:37 PM »
Call and ask the schools directly.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: UIUC v. Wisconsin
« on: March 13, 2015, 02:12:42 PM »
1) Nice!

2) As it sounds that you have personal savings that will offset the COA, let me rephrase the question... How much will you have to spend out of pocket to attend both schools? I ask because, if UI is going to cost 5x W, your feelings may be different about it.

3) I would call up both schools and be as candid with them as possible (respectful, but upfront with your situation and concern). Say that you are planning on living and working in Chicago and you have xyz concern. Also try and get the admissions staff to put you in contact with a current student. Plead with them for their honest opinion on what is up. Also, if you have any connections to the legal market in Chicago... call them up and ask them what they think.

4) How much? Like... is UI employing 60% of their kids with 100% of that being in Chicago while W employs 65% of their kids with 1% of them in Chicago? I would ask the schools when you call them for stronger stats. If they tell you they don't have those kinds of stats, they are lying b/c they do.

Hard factors will amount to - at minimum - 2/3 of your chances. The other 1/3 include everything else - your letters of rec., essays, diversity, etc. The fact that you got high 3.0s in graduate school is not that impressive (this is by no means a judgment call - even if you were to get a 4.0, in most grad program that is to be expected). This is not meant to devalue your graduate studies - they do offer you competitive advantages, just not in a GPA sense - they certainly are not going to counteract your Undergrad GPA. Of course, in your essays, I would speak to your increased work ethic in grad school. But I would spend more time focusing on the valuable perspectives that you will bring to the classroom as well as the benefit you will bring to future employers given your expertise. Just know that your grad. studies will be a small soft factor boost and will not substantively affect the 2/3 hard factor part of your candidacy.

All that said, given your UGPA, your LSAT will really be indicative of where you have a realistic shot. A lot of schools are, sadly, closed off to you even if you were to get a 180. All I can say is get as high of an LSAT score as possible. After you have a real LSAT score, we will have a stronger idea of where you will have a good shot at. If you end up getting a 170, you are looking around schools ranking in the 40-70s range. With a 160, you are looking around the 100 range. With a 155 and you are pretty much confined to unranked schools. Anything less and your shot at any law school is minimal.

So... practice your butt off for the LSAT!

Good luck!

Where should I go next fall? / Re: UIUC v. Wisconsin
« on: March 12, 2015, 01:49:45 AM »
1) What, if any, are the conditions on the scholarships?

2) Assuming you keep your scholarships, what is the total debt load you are looking at after three years at each school (including cost of living, interest on loans, projected increases in tuition, etc.)?

3) Not sure what to do given its recent drop... part of me thinks it will stabilize - the other part of me is cynical...

4) What are the placement stats, specifically for Chicago?

My gut would tell me, if your goal is Chicago and you have a full ride to a (relatively speaking) solid Chicago school... go for it. The only reason it sounds like Wisconsin is a contender is because of Chicago's recent drop in ranking. I'm not saying that is a non factor, but I don't think it should dissuade you away from the school. In other words, I'm not sure Wisconsin will offset the risk. I am going to assume they don't place as well in Chicago (but that is speculative).

Law School Applications / Re: Need help applying
« on: March 10, 2015, 10:43:15 AM »


The more pressing question is: where do you want to live/work after law school?

It's not until you get into the T14 (and even then) that you get schools that truly place students in jobs throughout the US. In your range, you are looking at schools that will have solid local pull up to, maybe, regional pull. In other words, if you go to school at FSU, you will be practically limited to having the strongest shot at landing a job in the northern Florida area. If that area is not a place you see yourself spending your foreseeable future living and working in - do not even apply.

I say this because your school list is literally all over the map. There is nothing inherently wrong with this - just make sure you actually want to live/work in any given school's respective region.


Note that in the eyes of law schools, the only true URM hispanics are Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Any other hispanic (South American, Cuban, etc.) and you may get a "diversity" soft-factor boost, but it will be minimal (at least compared to a true URM boost).

What School

Once you know the cities you can legitimately see yourself living in post law school - check out what your rough chances are at:

I would personally apply to all the top schools in the cities you want to live/work in that you have some glimmer of hope that they would accept you. In other words, if you want to live in New York City, at least apply to: Fordham; Cardozo; and Brooklyn... if you want to live in Chicago, at least apply to: Illinois Inst. of Tech. and Loyola Uni. Chicago... you get the picture.

Selecting Schools that Admit You

This is a separate beast, one that will involve weighing several factors that are of legitimate importance to you. I would at least consider the relative total debt (post interest) and job statistics of each school. School A may end up costing you about $50k more than School B, but if School A also places 50% more of their grads in the kind of job you want... then it may be worth it (that is a personal choice call - no one can decide how debt adverse you should be but you). But this is clearly a ways away. For now, just focus on figuring out what schools are on your radar and getting your application/essays as strong as you can get them.

Good Luck!

Law School Applications / Re: 2.39 GPA 151 LSAT Should I even try?
« on: January 26, 2015, 12:12:24 AM »
I'm not sure how competitive it is to get the positions, but from all the recruiters I have spoken with, they are always saying that (that there are more jobs than qualified candidates). Also, literally everyone I know that is qualified has been able to find solid IP work.

Again, I'm not sure how competitive these jobs are to actually get. In other words, I'm not sure if they are only looking for Top 14...Top 50... Top 100 school kids. If I were you, before you go into debt, speak with IP law recruiters. Are they schools you are looking at going to be competitive enough?

Law School Applications / Re: 2.39 GPA 151 LSAT Should I even try?
« on: January 25, 2015, 05:13:03 PM »

Do your research on those websites to figure out your chances of getting accepted and the chances of employment post graduation. As is right now, you are likely looking at unranked schools. The positive side is you may qualify for intellectual property work (one of the few sectors in the legal industry that has more jobs than qualified candidates). Check out the website below for more info on the requirements.

I would try and get your LSAT up as much as possible. Your GPA will send lots of red flags to almost any accredited school, but maybe a really strong LSAT would add to your argument that your program was really hard and your were going through a rough time. I would also talk to your school's law school advisor as well as the admission departments for schools you think you would have a real shot at (per the above websites).

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