« on: March 18, 2011, 04:00:29 PM »
Ohio vs Malibu? This is a question? Of these two Pepperdine would be a no-brainier for me.
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Oh, contrary to big's assertaion, all graduate education isn't a big investment of time and money. Most do require a lot of time, but many PhD programs range from free to modestly lucrative. I've known plenty of PhD students who had sufficient stipends and grants that they made more than most non-big-law lawyers as students and huge debts are pretty unheard of out side of vocational schools (i.e., law, medicine, business, etc).
I'm not a pepperdine student or alum, but I'm pretty familiar with the legal job market. I'll second that Pepper is a really nice school, great faculty and reputedly a great student body. The job market kinda sucks though and you definitely can't count on biglaw employment out of Pepperdine just yet. Whether its worth it really depends on your alternatives. When I was making a similar decision 4 years ago, before I applied to schools, I decided that I wouldn't go into serious debt to go to a school outside the top 3 and wouldn't go at all if I didn't get one of my four choice schools (lowest ranked of which was UVA). I had a decent job as an economist with a think tank and had the opportunity to move to consulting and work modest hours for about half what a first year in biglaw makes (market). As it happened things went well for the lsat and I ended up going into debt to go to a great school, loved it there and am now in big law working on paying down the debt. My standard of living now is about the same as before law school and certainly worse than if I hadn't gone at all, but the future is bright and I'm perfectly happy with my choice. Obviously now the job market is way worse both for legal and non-legal employment than when I was making this decision.
If I didn't have a great job before law school in a career field i liked just fine, I'd have been less picky I'm sure. I'm pretty indifferent to working as an economist or lawyer - both suit me fine.
If you absolutely want to be a lawyer and don't care if your standard of living is crap for 10+ years after school definitely go, you'll manage to pay the loans off one way or another. If you are making $80k now in a cushy job you love don't go.
« on: March 07, 2011, 06:19:06 PM »
I rather doubt there is a huge practical difference between Tulane and Temple, especially in DC and areas not immediately local to either school. I think I'd save the $$, go to Temple and do your absolute best to graduate at the very top of the class and be sure to take all the classes, seminars etc offer by top, well connected faculty members (their international law superstar in particular). A government job isn't usually going to pay enough to allow you to pay back the type of student loans you'll end up with paying full ticket if you don't have the cash to pay for law school outright.
I think MP is right - you should have a shot but you'll need an excellent LSAT (try really hard for 170 plus), a convincing letter explaining your situation and LORs that explicitly target your situation and stress why the law school should weight more heavily the last-half of your UG performance. The typical LOR that says Student X got an A in my class and would be a great asset bla bla bla isn't going to cut it.
Unless there is specific instruction otherwise, I'd probably do an "Education" header with all your for-degree work listed under it, then a "continuing education" or "professional education" or something like that with your random odd classes listed there.