Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion

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 on: April 08, 2014, 01:21:50 PM 
Started by LSAT Blog - Last post by LSAT Blog
From Excess of Democracy:

Of course, it's unclear whether majoring in a particular subject leads one to score better on the LSAT, or whether those who are already likely to do well on the LSAT choose certain majors. Perhaps a combination of the two.

 on: April 08, 2014, 01:20:37 PM 
Started by Dgren - Last post by LSAT Blog
I've also posted free video explanations for many LSAT Logic Games. They're available here:

 on: April 08, 2014, 10:20:57 AM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by functionial drunk
So guys sorry for doing a total 180 degree turn but this application process has been confusing and full of ups and downs. I visited FSU law this past weekend for admitted students day and the campus is much larger and well equpped than FIU Law's campus. The faculty also seems to be slightly more qualified, with many teachers coming from the nation's top legal institutions. Although FIU's dean comes from Harvard and has many connections, FSU's dean comes from Texas and seems to have just as many hookups within the state of Florida. The student body also was very receptive with everyone willing to answer any questions I had about the law school and its opportunities. I am aware that you all preach that rankings do not matter but it seems like FSU has a better reputation throughout the state and is more regionally recognized. FIU on the other hand is a great institution, but it is only really recognized in South Florida. Bottom line is when I graduate I feel like FSU can give me job opportunities all over the state and maybe in another southeastern state such as Georgia whereas if I go to FIU I will be forced to stay within the confines of South Florida. The decision is not final yet because I still need to weigh out the financials but for now I am leaning towards another three years in Tallahassee.

 on: April 06, 2014, 02:15:01 PM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by Miami88
As usual, I'm only an anonymous internet poster. You should assume that I and other posters on this forum are by no means qualified to comment. You should simply take our perspectives as just that, a perspective. Factor this in to your end decision with your own judgement...


Thats great about UF! And Im glad you enjoy Stetson. In the end, as noted by lawschooltransparncy, the end careers are basically the same. UF does seem to have a little bit of an edge. I personally would go with the cheaper option. Given that the cheaper option is UF AND that has a stronger employment prospect, I would go with UF. However, if you really don't like UF's enviroment and love Stetson's, then maybe the higher cost is worth your psychological, emotional comfort. Your call... :)

Finally, unless you are at the top top of your class, class rank isn't really THAT big of a factor. In other worse, basically everyone between the 25-75th percentile class rank at these schools are basically in the same boat. Someone who is in the 60th percentile at Stetson is prob having a similar career prospect (if not worse) as someone at the 40th percentile at UF. The top 25% might have an edge while the bottom 25% might have a bit of a harder time. The lower the school is in general ranking, the more extreme these class ranks need to be in order to have an effect.

Regardless, unless you seriously predict you will be the valedictorian at Stetson, I don't see this speculative class rank as a significant factor. Of course, if the employment prospects and cost were exactly the same (like FSU v. UF) and you have a stronger shot at getting a higher class rank at one over the other, then ok. But UF and Stetson are not exactly peer schools.

Good luck!

 on: April 06, 2014, 09:51:58 AM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by ItsTribbey
Also, my visit to UF is this Friday, like you said, after visiting both schools, I should be able to narrow things down a little more.

 on: April 06, 2014, 09:38:50 AM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by ItsTribbey
Thanks for the advice!

Being close to Orlando is important to me (family, girlfriend, etc.) but I also understand (as do they) that I will pretty much be locked up for my first two semesters. 

I went and visited Stetson yesterday, and I've got to say I really liked the campus and the vibe.  I feel like they have some respected programs and they do dominate the area. 

On the other hand, I feel like UF is a more versatile degree in general, and they have a massive alumni network.

UF came back to me with an offer of $11,000 1L, $9,000 2L & 3L with a 2.0 stipulation.  This makes it cheaper than Stetson, and make the odds of retaining my scholarship better (not that I'm really too worried about a 2.25 stip either).  I asked Stetson to reconsider the amount of my financial award, and want to see what they come back with, I'm counting on them changing my stipulation if they offer me more money, which could probably be the deal breaker.

Here's the thing, I acknowledge that UF is a more well known school and all of that, but I feel like my odds of being in the upper register of the class are greater at Stetson.  Also, this would increase my odds of being selected for things like moot court, trial teams, and other co-curriculars.

I've been a dependency case manager for the last three years and I already have a lot of court room experience and time speaking to and in front of judges, mostly DJJ and dependency, but hey it's probably more than most people will have, no?

 on: April 03, 2014, 08:50:19 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Citylaw
Good I am sure these visits will clarify the decision significantly. These are both very different areas of the Country and I am sure one will appeal to you more than the other.

Again, congrats on your acceptances those truly are impressive schools and you are likely to have a bright future in the legal field as long as you stay motivated, ethical, and accountable, which I am sure you will.

Good luck and have fun during your visits.

 on: April 03, 2014, 05:19:37 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Class_of_2017
Wow.  Thanks for the thoughtful/helpful replies you guys!  It's a big decision for sure and I appreciate the input.   I'm going to visit Duke this weekend and Chicago the next.  Hopefully seeing the two schools back to back will help make the right answer more clear.   :D

 on: April 03, 2014, 11:29:21 AM 
Started by Dgren - Last post by mrmock
Hi everyone,

I recently took the LSAT for the first time and did not do as well as I had hoped on the logic games section. I read this forum to find some useful LSAT logic game study tips but the links in this discussion thread below are broken.  That being said, I took some time to do research and find my own resources to share. 

7Sage is one of my favorite free LSAT prep sources. You can find their logic games here:

They also offer free study materials, a LSAT scorer tool, a preparation calendar and testing simulation app.  I have found their blog really helpful in my preparation for the big test.  With this next test, I'm hoping to move my score up at least 10 points from 165 to 175.

 on: April 02, 2014, 08:24:23 PM 
Started by Class_of_2017 - Last post by Citylaw
First off Congrats on your acceptances and scholarship offers those are some impressive schools.

With that said realize that I or anyone else on anonymous internet poster board knows anything about you or your situation, and is certainly not capable of knowing what choice is best for you. What anonymous internet posters like myself can offer our some factors to consider when choosing a law school.

With that said I think any potential 0L should consider the following factors in this order when choosing a law school (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the School; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; (5) last and least U.S. News and employment stats

I will analyze each factor to your particular situation and do with my anonymous internet poster advice what you will.

(1) Location:

I do not know where you are from, if you have friends in Chicago or Durham N.C, but your personal situation in regards to location is something to consider.

Additionally, as you likely know Chicago and Durham North Carolina are very different places, but many law students including myself when I was a 0L do not fully grasp the importance of where their law school is located. You will be spending three years of the prime of your life in Chicago or Durham North Carolina. What it really comes down to is are you someone that wants to spend their prime in a big City or a College town. I personally love College towns and Duke Basketball and think North Carolina has a more laid-back pace, which I enjoy.

However, I am not you maybe you are someone that woudl love going to Wrigley Field, Museums, Plays, etc and there is no right or wrong answer, but do realize law school does not exist in a vacuum and the City you attend law school in will have a major impact on your life.

On top of that odds are you will end up in the state or at least nearby where you attend law school. If you want to be a Federal Clerk in Chicago the Federal Judges in Chicago are more often than not U of Chicago Alumni and will hire locally. In the Carolina's many Federal Judges are Duke Alumni and will hire Duke Alumni. You will also likely take the NC Bar Exam if you attend Duke and the Illinois Bar Exam if you attend Chicago.

On top of that during your three year law school career you will make friends, get an apartment or house you like, enter into a serious romantic relationship, etc and it will be very difficult to leave somewhere you have spent three years of your life. Of course there are exceptions, but the odds are if you attend Chicago you will end up living in Chicago and if you attend Duke you will end up in the South. Both are fine, but really ask yourself where you want to be.

(2) Cost

Duke 49k (tuition)
Living Expenses (17K) 

66k x 3 years = $198,000 - 90k scholarship= $98,000 debt

Chicago 47k (tuition)
Living Expenses (22k)
69k x 3 years= $207,000  - 45k scholarship = $162,000 debt

That is assuming you keep the scholarship years 2 and 3 of course. One thing to really watch out for are the scholarship conditions. Often it will be something along the lines of maintaining a 3.0 GPA or finishing in the top 50% of the class. I am sure that sounds like a piece of cake to someone who is being offered scholarships to these schools, and you probably could have obtained a 3.0 in undergrad without even trying, but law school is much different. 100% of students are smart, hard-working, and motivated and truly believe they will finish in the top 10%, but 90% won't. In regards to the 3.0 many schools have a stiff curve that allows only 35% of first year students to have a 3.0 GPA, which means in that scenario there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship for years two and three.

This New York Times Article does a better job of explaining the situation than I can.

With that said I encourage you to negotiate for more money from these schools and carefully read the conditions and negotiate for better ones. If both of these schools are offering you scholarship money you have a lot of bargaining power and you should use it, once you enroll it is gone.

(3) Personal Feelings About the School:
Your post indicated some thought to this in that you thought U of Chicago would be more competitive. I do not know if that is true or not, but I do know that each school has a culture to it and whether a school is the right fit for you personally is a decision only you can make. I strongly encourage you to visit both U(Chicago) and Duke talk to professors, admins, students, walk around the campus, walk around the neighborhood, and see what feels right. I am sure one will leave you with a better feeling than the other and you should really listen to that feeling.

(4) Reality of Legal Education:
No matter what ABA law school you attend you will receive a quality education, and you will learn the same exact thing at any school. Your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, and LRW. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools. In Torts you will read the Palsgraf case to learn Proximate Cause, Civil Procedure Pennoyer v. Neff, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale so on and so on. You will also learn how to cite cases and statutes in LRW.

At the end of your three years at Duke or Chicago you will sign up for either Barbri or Kaplan to help you pass the bar exam and study your ass off with students from schools all over the world. Then on the day of the bar exam you will be crammed into a room with a bunch of very nervous and stressed out recent law graduates taking the bar exam. If you pass that exam you are a licensed lawyer if not you are not a lawyer.

(5) U.S. News and Stats:

U.S. News is a for profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and both Duke and UChicago were well regarded schools long before this magazine existed and will be well regarded if and when U.S. News stop publishing. As a tiebreaker use U.S. News, but nothing more since odds are by time you graduate these schools will have likely changed positions and one will be higher than the other at the time of graduation.

Employment Stats again these are fine to look at, but they do not really mean anything. Simply because 90% of people at X school pass the bar exam does not mean you can slack off or that a job will be handed to you. 10% of that 90% didn't pass or find a job etc. Stats are nice to look, but the reality is whether you succeed in the legal profession or not will have far more to do with you as an individual than the school you attended.

I know when I was a 0L I wanted someone to tell me X school was the right choice, but no "right" choice exists. Both of these schools are amazing and will offer you an abundance of opportunities, but no matter, which school you choose your life will change and to some extent you will always wonder "what if' I chose the other one. I really think your best bet is to visit each school and really ask yourself if you want to live in a College town or Big City all other things considered are more less equal.

Good luck in your decision and congrats on your acceptances.

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