Hi everyone, I'm thinking about moving to Portland, Oregon if I get into Lewis and Clark for law school (with some money). They sent me a fee waiver and they are ranked 77th, which is higher than half of the schools I applied to in California. Plus they have a monopoly on Portland externships, and have the number one environmental law program in the country, so that is a major plus. Environmental law includes animals as well. So since I am interested in animal rights and the way we use our natural resources this would be a top choice (although I might want to do criminal law so Loyola might be better). Still, even if I get into Loyola Law School, the University of Indiana Ė Bloomington, and the University of San Diego, I might still go to Portland because I always wanted to move up north to get away from the California hustle and bustle. Clean air, green trees, nice people, and animal friendly environment are what I am looking for.
The law school is actually located across the street from a 645-acre wilderness state park and is in the forest basically (I can hike, bike, go camping, and fishing anytime). You study in the law library while looking down from the canopy. Plus dogs are allowed in class and in the library according to what I have read from students on Vault. I really like their stance on this. Plus many of the other law schools in California come from a religious foundation and do not appeal to me. So is California really the best place to live in? Since the Pacific Northwest legal market is very hard to get into if you come from out of the region and did not go to a top 14 school, this may be my only chance to go there. How drastic would this change be and would I have a culture shock from the state next door? It seems to me that I have been complaining my whole life about traffic, bad neighborhoods, an unclean environment, the high cost of living, and just recently about not being able to take my dog to places I go to.
Now I can probably get into this tier two school with a decent scholarship and have the privilege to learn from the #1 school on environmental law while having my dog in class on occasion. Is this a dream come true of am I missing something like the weak Oregon job market? Any suggestions or comments? I know I am making some serious life choices that will last for at least the next 5 to 10 years. So it is it worth going to a good school but not the highest ranked one you can get into and have worse job prospects in a place you really want to live in? The salary may be lower but I can practice the law I really want to. Plus cheap living costs and a cheap housing market offset the lower salary. So I am most likely going to be stuck choosing between a place that I would be happy at but financially poorer in and a place like LA where I can keep living close to my family and make a lot more money but probably hate it. You must be making similar choices. Please indulge me if you have the will and time. Thank you for your responses.