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Messages - oudidntno

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Next rankings - predictions
« on: March 14, 2007, 06:07:10 PM »
who here is going to use the next rankings to decide where to go?

Not exclusively, but I definitely plan to take any movement into account.

Finally, back to subject...Somebody may have already mention this, but what's the word on the street about George Mason.  Will it continue its fast climb or stabilize?

Stabilize. If they go up it won't be much. There is too much snobbery involved for Mason to go that much higher.

You think?  I thought the only thing holding them back was the fact that they were so new and they haven't had time to establish an academic reputation amongst the stogey older legal community who take these surveys.  Their acceptance rate is good and their student academic numbers are better than average and 1st salary is pretty high.  I really don't know, that's just what I've heard.  Am I incorrect?

P.S. Just like ESPN, posters on this thread talk way too much about the Yankees and Redsox.  Its like a argument among the Titanics' violinists about who plays better.  Baseball is dying.  As a pre-1994, pre-interleague play fan, I have my shovel ready to bury it. 

I don't have the premium subscription to USNEWS but does anybody know if they publish the scores for the individual categories for all schools.  To be honest I could care less how many books are in the library or how much money the schools spends for students.  I'm mostly concerned about reputation of school in the legal field.  And as I said before, I wish I could see the surveys on academic reputation on a region by region basis

I have always thought one way to improve the rankings and make them more useful to law school applicants is to have a separate ranking set for each region of the country.  Meaning instead of asking the entire nation of lawyers what are the best schools and then averaging the entire nation's input into just one national ranking set, they should ask Southeastern lawyers for example, "what are the best law schools to attend if you plan to practice in the Southeast?" and ask Northeastern lawyers about practicing in the Northeast, Midwest about the midwest, etc.  Then take that input and use the other data USNews has to complete their calculations and produce several rankings sets based on region of planned practice.  Afterall, while I'm sure Harvard, Yale and the others would still top every region's list since they have such national prestige, others will not.  For example Iowa is ranked higher than Georgia on the national polls, but that's useless info to you if you plan to practice in the Southeast where Georgia would rank as the better school to attend.  

Just a thought

I do think movement in the top ten means a lot more than movement in the 40s or 50s.  In the 40s and 50s you're looking mainly at strong regional schools.  Does it really matter if Arizona is now higher-ranked than Vermont?  Probably not--they serve totally different markets.  But if Virginia moved ahead of Stanford, many things would change with regard to what firms interviewed where, what students would get what clerkships, etc. 

Mschuell posted this back in 2005 and I think its still a pretty good break down of rankings
"The U.S rankings past the top 30 or so are not incredibly helpful; after that point, the schools are seperated by a point or two, making huge jumps and drops likely year after year.

I remember last year around this time when I started the process, I thought the U.S News rankings were law. I barely considered Seton Hall, the school I ended up at, strictly because it was #89.  Now I know that the Tier 2 school's are very similiar, and if you are deciding between Tier 2's choose the school that you feel the most comfortable with and that gives you the most financial assistance.

Here is how I would rank the "tiers" of schools, at least in the top 100 or so.

1- Top 14.  Completely national, the elite.
2- 15-30 (roughly)  Elite in their religion with some national pull.
3-31-50 (roughly) Somewhat elite in their region, no real national pull, with the exception of Tulane
4- 51-85 (roughly)  Very well respected regionally and especially in-state.
5-86-110 (roughly)  Respected in-state and somewhat regionally.

The first group is in a league of their own, the second and third are pretty similiar, and groups 4 and 5 even more so.

Just my opinions.."

Financial Aid / Re: An EFC of 0 ????
« on: March 13, 2007, 07:48:43 PM »
I'm also a bit older and will be married when I start.  The impression I get is that you don't have to live on ramen, but you also can't go crazy and shop only at Whole Foods or whatever.

A couple things to note for the poster considering Georgia: the $10k is for nine months, not the whole year.  You can do okay in Athens for $1100/month.  Also, every school I've looked at is VERY clear that financial aid will NOT cover the cost of car payments or consumer debt, which is why they all tell you to pay such things off before you start.  Health insurance, on the other hand, is required by law for most (if not all) schools, so if you don't want to go on the plan they offer, they will definitely be able to readjust your budget for the cost of staying on your current plan.

Thanks for the info.  I didn't factor in the 3 months after my 1L that I can work.  I guess that would add something to the coffers in addition to the $10k.  Still I think its slightly ridiculous that they don't factor in something for automobile expenses- not just car payments but insurance and gas too.  You could pay off your car loan before starting school but I think for the average 1l's age group a car payment would be the norm.  Right now my monthly car pay is just $205, but insurance is an extra $100 and then I spend about $100 a month in gas for the type of commuting I would do for school.  That would be over 36% of my budget there.  Oh well, if we are smart enough to get to law school then we ought to be smart enough to find the way to pay for it, I guess. 

howz about you do better in school and on the LSAT and just get accepted and not blame other people because you're anxiously waiting on the bubble?

I'm confused, who are you addressing?

Financial Aid / Re: An EFC of 0 ????
« on: March 13, 2007, 06:45:58 AM »

Does the website say who is to calculate the student budget or how its calculated.  Being a non-traditional student, I can't go back to ramen noodles and a dumpy apartment just to stay within my school's low,low COL.  So I figure I'm going to have to budget above that amount.  I don't plan to live like a king but I would like to be able to keep making car payments and have health insurance.

From my experiences, you are expected to go back to ramen.  It's your decision to go back to school, and it's your decision to buy expensive foods.  Therefore, it's on you to borrow to pay for your foodie habit.

Generally, the only exceptions for a school's budget are if you have children and need daycare expenses or if you have medical expenses above the cost of your insurance. 

But just to keep up your quality of life won't cut it. For those, you're going to need private lender Cost of Living Loans.  Generally, they're tied to the prime rate, require a full-time employed cosigner, and are limited to $30K/year.

Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.  Correct if I'm wrong but Georgia's COL is $10,000 per year.  As anybody ever tried breaking that down to meet monthly car payments, grocery bills, health insurance, rent, gas, cell phone bills, etc.  That might work for dependent undergrads who can work in college but for late 20 something, married 1Ls, I don't see that in the realm of reality.   

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Anyone bringing pets?
« on: March 12, 2007, 07:52:03 AM »
I've got a teeny poodle.  Full-grown, she weighs 3.5 lbs (hey, I needed a sissy dog since I'm allergic to everything -  she's hypoallergenic and doesn't need to bound around outside in all the pollen.  Oh, and I can bathe her in the sink.)

I'm hoping to bring her with me, but I'm worried that I won't be able to find an affordable apartment that will allow dogs.  She's barely a dog anyway!  I'm planning to litter box train her, she doesn't bark and she doesn't shed at all (I wear black to work every day, and she's white, and I never have fur on me!)

I'm really hoping that I find a sympathetic landlord who will let me bend the rules with her.  Or just luck into a great apartment that allows dogs.

You might have to do some searching, but I'm sure you will be able to find something.  I looked around the net for something

Financial Aid / Re: An EFC of 0 ????
« on: March 12, 2007, 07:49:27 AM »
This is a paraphrase of the "Estimating Financial Aid worksheet from one of my schools:

Enter student budget: _$_______________

If you have received a scholarship, subtract that amount: _$_______________

The Stafford loan is guaranteed, and not based on credit.  Subtract this amount: ___$20,500.00_____

Any remaining amount is an estimate of your GradPLUS or private loan eligibility: _$_____________

The Stafford loan line is pre-filled-in on the worksheet, and there is no mention of EFC anywhere.  The only edits I made were to take out some superfluous wording.

DISCLAIMER: This might not be true for all schools, but I'm posting this because it's directly from one school's admitted student website, and I would think it would be similar elsewhere.

Does the website say who is to calculate the student budget or how its calculated.  Being a non-traditional student, I can't go back to ramen noodles and a dumpy apartment just to stay within my school's low,low COL.  So I figure I'm going to have to budget above that amount.  I don't plan to live like a king but I would like to be able to keep making car payments and have health insurance.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: The Alabama Thread
« on: March 11, 2007, 02:03:05 PM »
Just based on pop. changes this link may be useful

And don't forget to click on the "Back to the United States" link at the bottom for a look at the U.S. on a state by state basis for population

Actually the more I peruse it the more I think is great info when comparing COL and quality of life.

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