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Messages - nerfco

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If you think you would have a legitimate shot at raising the LSAT by 5+ points through intensive study, I would go for the study.

Even if you end up attending the same school (unlikely), you'd save a ton by getting scholarships/etc. Going to law school a year later might suck a bit, but it's better than entering the job world with 50k more debt.

Worst case, you get a great job in Chicago and then transfer after a few more years to a different office.

I am reasonably sure that "worst case" at UofI isn't a great job in Chicago at a firm that also has office in California (ie. a big national firm).

Hello everyone,

Any help really appreciated.

I've been admitted to U. Illinois-Urbana with a full scholarship. Being a T1 (23) I assume that it places well on the Chicago market. But I'm not sure if I want to live there after graduation.

Does anyone have any information about how this school places nationally? The full scholarship is very tempting :) Im also considering Minn with no $$.

Thank you :)

If these are your only two options, UofI easily. Minnesota might be a marginally better school (I haven't checked the rankings lately), but I really doubt it places better in California than UofI. Certainly not enough better to turn down a full scholarship to pay sticker...

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: DePaul Vs FSU Vs GSU VS Denver
« on: March 10, 2010, 07:30:44 PM »
If you don't care where you end up after graduation, pick the school with the lowest overall cost.  If you care about location, pick a school that's in that location or very near it. 


(These are all good schools, but regional schools. Don't go to Depaul hoping to find a job in Denver, or vice versa.)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wisconsin v. John Marshall
« on: March 10, 2010, 07:27:40 PM »

Don't forget about University of Illinois grads...

I know a guy who took a full ride at Roger Williams instead of going to an elite school. You know what he's doing now?  He's unemployed wishing that he had went to a better school despite incurring a higher debt load.

To be fair, I know at least a few people who wish they had attended a lower-ranked school on a full ride rather than amass a large amount of debt. It's a bad economy, and there are people without jobs from all sorts of schools.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wisconsin v. John Marshall
« on: March 10, 2010, 02:56:43 PM »
The JMLS scholarship is dependent on remaining in the top third of my class.  I figure, 18K/year tuition, plus about 12-15K/year in living expenses leaves me with around 90K in debt after three years.

You should find a JMLS student and determine if they do anything funky like place all students on scholarships in the same section, which would lower your chances of keeping the scholarship.

That said, I would think that Wisconsin has a much better reputation than JMLS. From talking to people in Chicago, JMLS is widely considered to be worse than Loyola/Depaul/Kent. So you'd be competing for jobs against grads of five different schools that people think more highly of than JMLS (counting UofC and NW). Sounds like an uphill battle, depending on what type of job you would like to do upon graduation.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: DePaul Vs FSU Vs GSU VS Denver
« on: March 09, 2010, 05:47:35 PM »
3. Go to a school you are positive that you can come out on top of your class unless there is one dream school in that mix.  Graduating the top of your class will mean more than average stats at an average school.  You can make the most of it anywhere you go in your choices.

There is NEVER a guarantee that any student will be top of their class, prior to law school. Everyone that goes to law school thinks they can work harder and smarter than others, and end up top 10%. Only 10% do.

Don't go to a law school expecting to be top of your class. Go there expecting to be median, or so, and work hard and be happy if you do better.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wisconsin v. John Marshall
« on: March 09, 2010, 04:55:43 PM »
How much debt would you be in at graduation, if you chose Wisconsin? What class rank/GPA strings are tied to the JMLS scholarship?

This is why it's useful NOT to think of rankings as linear--as we tend to do (T14, etc...).

Strongly agree with this point. The difference between the #1 school and the #6 school is substantial and real--YLS students have better opportunities than UofC students.

But as you go down the list, a ranking difference of 5 becomes meaningless. No one cares if you attend, for example, the #91 school instead of the #96 school. They are likely very comparable schools, and the rankings difference doesn't tell you anything useful. (Schools in these rankings can also jump around a lot more--it wouldn't be shocking if #91 and #96 swapped places next year, but it would be shocking if YLS and UofC moved up or down even a couple spots, much less swapped places.)

I do want to say I am shocked at how ridiculous the formula for the rankings is. To have 40% based on completely subjective opinions of unidentified agents of a private company is shocking.

It is a bit less shocking if you consider that many people get jobs by sending resumes for open positions. Going to a school that lawyers consider great is likely to get you more interviews than going to a school lawyers think is poor. Of course, US News doesn't take into account regional reputations, which is problematic. If you only want to work in San Diego, it really doesn't matter if lawyers in NYC have a low opinion of your school (or have never heard of it), if people in San Diego think it is a good school.

But, it's hard to correct for that factor in these lists, unless you want separate reputation rankings for each different city/region... but that is more difficult.

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