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Messages - Revenant

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Leiter vs USNEWS
« on: April 14, 2004, 01:00:19 AM »
A lot of people tell me the Leiter rankings are a good alternative to the USNEWS.  There are some overlaps (obviously the top schools), but there are some major differences in the rankings as well.  One of them happens to be a school I am considering, USD, which is pretty high on the Leiter but a mid-2nd tier on the USNEWs.  What does such a big difference mean, and can someone explain the methodology Leiter uses?

USNews and Leiter rank schools based on different criteria, so the results would differ just as the USNews rankings would differ if you adjusted the weights.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cardozo Part Time Program
« on: April 13, 2004, 11:04:46 AM »
There are two May programs -- one is accelerated and the other is part-time.  The accelerated version is probably self-selective.  First, it begins right away in May and this would be a disadvantage to those just graduating from undergrad.  Most people want to have at least a summer break before school starts.

The program the OP was asking about is the part-time program that also begins in May.  You take the first two semesters of your law school career over the span of three semesters (summer being the third).  This allows for either a sidejob during the first year of law school or extra time to study.

From what I understand, USNews only takes into account Fall admissions stats.  This would allow Cardozo (and other schools that offer the option of starting in May) to admit students they would otherwise be hesitant to admit as they would not count against the 25-75th percentile ranges for GPA and LSAT.

pinktinker, were you invited to join the full-time May program or the part-time one?

Interestingly enough, I was invited to join the May program after I was accepted into the full-time fall program.  Don't know what that means; maybe they didn't get enough app.s and wanted to boost the number of students for the May program?

The May program takes far fewer students than the fall program (about 60-70 students versus 250), but I do believe that this is entirely because of available resources at the school (after all, the entire faculty is not necessarily available to teach during the summer).  I doubt that it is any more/less academically selective to get into than the fall program.  If one's scores fit into the school's overall desired averages, and there are available slots in the May program, then I'm sure that acceptance isn't an issue.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Chapman v. Whittier
« on: April 09, 2004, 12:18:55 PM »
Revenant:  I've combed the Deloggio site, and I can't find the chart you are referring to.  Hook me up with a link, please?

Here you go:


Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cardozo Part Time Program
« on: April 09, 2004, 09:51:05 AM »
Trying to figure out if it is easier to get into.

Has anyone heard?

Probably a little easier than the normal program, since fewer people usually apply for May start.  However, depending on when you applied, it would probably be harder as spots are taken up.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Take the money or Move up a tier?
« on: April 09, 2004, 09:20:21 AM »
Well, the reason some of us still disregard the 2nd tier school is because, at least from what we've read, the school you go to will still affect you if you want to do Public Interest work.  It'll affect your ability to obtain a federal clerkship, for one, and as you mentioned yourself, that's one of the things that matter.  Also, from what I've heard, your school will also affect your ability to obtain a job in the public sector.  There's also tons of different types of public sector work, but most will probably still seek applicants from top schools.  Yes, it's not just the BigLaw firms that draw from top schools.  Certainly Denver would not be a barrier.  Since everyone's situation is unique, nothing's ever impossible, just harder.  You'll have to decide whether the extra prestige that gives your resume that extra oomph (or perhaps gets your resume in the door where it would otherwise be quickly dismissed) is worth the extra money.

I wouldn't consider UT at all, considering the choices you have.  I don't know what UCLA's tuition is this year, but USNews 2004 reported it as under 12k, with living expenses around 16k.  In my experience, more schools overbudget for living expenses than underbudget, so how much you actually pay for living expenses will be up to you (for example, I'm going to NYC and its 33k tuition and 21k living expenses... 54k for the year... however, by living frugally I can shave off almost 4k of that).  If you can bear with living with the bare necessities to cut down costs, then by all means I'd still choose UCLA.  Most people are comparing top 20 privates at 50-60k cost of attendance per year versus lower tier full-rides.  Frankly, you're lucky that you have an awesome in-state school to fall back on.  Looks like you'll be spending 30-35k a year at UCLA, which is amazing for a top school.  Is 100k worth the open doors that would otherwise be closed to you?  (By closed, I don't mean impossible to get through, just harder... like your ability to find a job outside of Colorado.)  I know 100k sounds daunting, and I would definitely still have trouble deciding between the two school.  I don't know if this helps much, but if you make less than 50k or less a year, you can claim a $2,500 student loan interest deductable each year.  Good luck on your decision.

Its nice to finally see people giving real thought to the rankings/scholarship question that is plaguing so many of us.  A month or so ago I posted with my dilemna of having to choose between a top 20 law school, and a second tier law school that was offering me a full ride scholarship and had an incredible program for what I wanted to do.  Even knowing that I wanted to do public interest law (and had NO intention/desire to work for a law firm) people still dismissed the tier 2 school out of hand.  So, thanks to all of you who are giving serious consideration to peoples' situations and trying to offer advice about what you would honestly do in the situation.

Along those lines... might as well throw my dilemna into the mix.  I have to decide between a bunch of schools along a broad spectrum in everything- location, ranking, and cost.  I know variations of this questions have been asked numerous times but now being in this situation myself, I am asking for all the input I can get.
I am from California/Colorado (so I have family and some friends out there) but went to school down south and have been living and working in DC for the past two years and love it.  I think it would be great to work here for a couple of years after law school, but don't see myself settling here permanently. 

My first choice is UCLA- in that they have an incredible public interest program, great location, top 20 law school, national reputation etc.  Problems with UCLA- while in state tuition will keep costs down, still pricey area, far from friends, and have heard is a pretty competitive environment. Also, I know I do not want to settle in CA permanently.  I visited the school, and while it was nice, was less than thrilled with the location, or the technology.  But, was impressed with the student body.

I have also gotten into UT-Austin.  Great school but costs are astronomical (over $120,000 debt), and they have virtually no public interest classes, or any kind of loan repayment options.

The dilemma comes in in that I have received a full ride public interest scholarship to the University of Denver. Which is great- in that they have a great public interest program, my family is there and I love Denver.  BIG plus- with my savings and some help from my parents in honor of winning the scholarship, I would be able to graduate debt free!   (This is almost as hard to grasp as going into $100,000 into debt in the first place).  But, it is not nearly as good of a school (tier 2), has very little name recognition outside of Denver hence potentially causing problems getting a job outside Colorado after graduation.  I will have a better chance of being in the top 10% of my class, and participating in Moot Court and clerkships during the year and such though, so there are things to do to make up for going to a "lower" school.

I have talked to people at public interest organizations and while they admit that the school matters, so does experience (such as federal clerkships), summer internships, placement in class, etc.  They admit that coming from Denver will be a hurdle to cross, but not a barrier.

I KNOW I want to go into public interest (and have absolutely NO interest in working for a firm).  I've been dedicated to these issues throughout high school, college, and for the past two years at the DOJ, so all talk of possibly changing my mind in school should be skipped.  Keeping in mind that I will make between $30,000-50,000 a year in my ideal jobs (hence the debt issue is HUGE) and that each schools' location has its disadvantages and advantages, what would you do? Any and all input is welcome!!!!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cardozo Part Time Program
« on: April 09, 2004, 08:58:47 AM »

Does anyone know anything about Cardozo's part time May program. I applied and haven't heard, but want to know more about it.

Hmm, can you narrow down what you'd like to know?  =P

The basics:  you take 11, 11 and 10 credits in the summer, fall and spring semesters, respectively, and you pay the same tution for all three semesters as you would for a regular fall/spring year.  After your first year,  you automatically merge into the full-time program and finish your coursework like normal.

Thanks for the reply.

My biggest hang-up is that I've heard that Winston-Salem is incredibly boring and homogenous.  Personally, I could live with this but my fiance is not excited by the prospect of living in NC.  She is a minority and I think NC freaks her out.

Ohio and CT don't sound that much better... which would your wife be happier with?  Good educational opportunities or good job opportunities, cuz that's what it looks like it's down to.  Disregard that UCONN is good for enviro law -- you should always go for the best school cuz all that matters is the foundation of your coursework, not a specific field, etc.  I'm guessing your wife would be happier with more educational opportunities (happy enough perhaps to work at a Starbucks?), so I'd go with Wake Forest unless she'd rather have a better job and go to Cleveland State.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Chapman v. Whittier
« on: April 08, 2004, 11:12:11 PM »
"To the poster who received the full-ride at Whittier and half-ride at Chapman, do try to get the class rank requirement lowered"

how do i get the requirement lowered? im not good at bargaining at all, so how do i go about approaching chapman either to give me more money or whittier to lower their top20% requirement?

:)  I'm actually in the same boat you are (in regards to bargaining).  Someone on this board mentioned that it was very possible to do, and I don't doubt it.  However, I think the best leverage is if you have a better package somewhere else or are on the higher end of a school's applicant pool.  In this case, you could try talking to Chapman regarding how you really want to go there but your financial situation is making it hard for you to turn down Whittier's offer.  The problem with this is, if you're like me at all, I wouldn't be able to say that unless I really wanted to go to Chapman.  I'm not sure how you would get Whittier to lower their requirement -- the other dude who suggested it might offer better advice.

I saw this chart thingie on the Deloggio site and it seemed to suggest that Whittier was superior to Chapman, at least in terms of what school draws off what other school's waiting list.  They had Chapman waaaay down at the bottom with Thomas Jefferson of all the West Coast schools.  Then again, the chart thingie looked a bit old, prolly from a couple years back, so the data may be a bit outdated.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: BC vs. BU vs. Fordham
« on: April 08, 2004, 10:18:29 PM »
Probably not, except the length of time to get into Boston ;)

You are truly one lucky gal!

I don't know about hiring, all I know is when I talked to lawyers here in NC, they all thought highly of BU and asked "why is BC ranked so high, anyway?"

Not that I have a problem with BC, it's just surprising to see people talking nicely about it.  A new experience for me!

I am not from NC, and I don't know how they operate in the South, but I certainly do not think that BC's ranking is surprising.  I know many people attempting to decide between BC and BU, and nobody has suggested that BC's ranking was completely inflated.  Maybe people in the south have problems with the school's religious affiliation?  Further than that, I have heard nothing else to suggest that BC's high ranking was odd.
And, thanks to everyone who posted for this topic--I have found it very helpful. I am still not decided between BU and BC, but I feel much more comfortable b/c I don't really think that, in the end, it will make any difference.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: hasting vs santa clara
« on: April 08, 2004, 04:43:36 PM »
I have a BS in molecular biology and was wondering which of these schools would give me more opportunities. I know santa clara is highly ranked in IP but hastings is more esteemed overall. Any thoughts?

Hey there,

Definitely Hastings.  As advice from patent law sites have reiterated, being ranked high in IP doesn't mean much.  Perhaps it would make a difference between two schools of equal reputation, in terms of courses available to you, but you're comparing Hastings with Santa Clara here.  In the end, what matters most, regardless of whether you want to pursue IP law or Commercial Law, is the name of the school you went to.  The name of the school will get your foot in the front door.  If you don't have a foot in the front door, then how will you get your resume to the desk of the hiring director?     Most hiring directors will not care that you went to such and such a school that is tops in IP.  You will need a strong foundation in all the other areas if you are to be a successful lawyer.

I'm not sure what firms require nowadays but the BS may not be enough.  Seems like alot of Patent Firms employ attorneys with PhDs in science areas.

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