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Author Topic: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)  (Read 1108 times)

mconnett

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ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« on: April 07, 2008, 07:29:06 PM »
It took a while, but I just got an acceptance letter from Notre Dame, with a 14K annual scholarship. This now raises the ever perplexing $$-vs-rankings question as I have a full-scholarship offer from Temple.

My interest in law is public interest (working for an advocacy organization like ACLU, Innocence Project, or Center for Constitutional Rights) and teaching. Ideally, I would work for 5-10 years in PI after graduation, and then return to law school for an LLM or JSD and become a professor.

With that as background, I'd be interested in any thoughts on what would be the better choice: Notre Dame (with 100K debt) or Temple (with 40K debt)?

iceepop

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 09:22:47 PM »
Notre Dame for sure, especially if you want to be a professor.

Khannon

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 09:35:27 AM »
Another thing to consider is that ND's loan repayment program for PI type work after graduation has actually started to pick up.  It was pretty lame a couple of years ago but has actually gotten meatier over the past couple of years.  I am not completely down on the specifics, but it is something to think about.

DCLabor25

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 10:01:47 AM »
I think you should really think long and hard about which goal is more important to you --- being a professor or working in PI?  Which do you really want to do more?  If you have a real burning desire for being a full-time professor, then Notre Dame is the better choice -- though you should also probably realize that even though Notre Dame is a great school, the top-notch professors usually come from a T14 school.

However, if you are more focused on doing PI and want to maybe just teach on the side as an adjunct at a third tier or fourth tier school or something, then I think Temple is much better.  A $100K in debt is going to be hefty payments and the type of organizations you listed do not pay that well, relatively speaking -- plus too, they are almost all located in big cities with high costs of living, so those student loan payments are going to really be a huge chunk of change.  Temple is a perfectly fine school and I am sure you would be able to find decent PI jobs coming from there.   

The bottom line though is that you should probably really take stock of the situation and consider which goal you want more.  There are real tradeoffs in this situation and you have to balance them (for what it's worth too, I really wouldn't try planning 10-15 years down the road.  There are just WAY too many variables that can influence how things will work out.  If that is your major consideration, I would put more weight on what I want to do now, unless, as I stated above, you are ABSOLUTELY sure that you want to do the other thing in the future.) 

Maddie

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 10:22:17 AM »
I think you should really think long and hard about which goal is more important to you --- being a professor or working in PI?  Which do you really want to do more?  If you have a real burning desire for being a full-time professor, then Notre Dame is the better choice -- though you should also probably realize that even though Notre Dame is a great school, the top-notch professors usually come from a T14 school.

I'm with you... it's a personal decision, but in terms of being a professor it would still be a reach coming from ND.

I would go with money in this case, since it would give you more flexibility, but that's just me.  If you do really well you can apply for an LLM at a top school and still have a chance at being a prof.  :)

mconnett

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 11:07:16 AM »
Thanks everyone. (This has given me some good food for thought. (DCLabor, I've found your posts here and elsewhere on the board, particularly helpful in their sober clarity. I sometimes need a good dose of that...)

On a bit of a lighter note, I'd be interested to hear from any ND'ers on how unbearable social life would be for someone (like myself) who doesn't like college football at all? (From what I've read, football plays a pretty big part in the campus culture, and this makes me slightly wary.)

Also, is there truth to the claim that the student body is pretty conservative?

Thnx again!

stewie griffin

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2008, 12:13:34 PM »
I agree with what some of the other have said so far.  I don't think ND gives you a huge leg-up when it comes to legal academia, and I also know that Temple is a great place to do public interest law (and not just because you'd graduate with far less debt).

Let me add the obvious: your decision depends on whether or not you'd rather be in a major city, and it also depends on where you want to practice.  On a less obvious but related note, consider the large number of work/internship opportunities available to you in the Philly legal market, especially with respect to non-profits and government.  Given your interest in PI, it's not a small consideration.
Temple University Beasley School of Law 2011

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mconnett

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2008, 12:53:12 PM »
Do you know where you'd like to practice?

I really don't have a strong preference yet -- which makes picking a school a little bit more tricky. This is actually one of the concerns I have with Temple: that while it's great for landing jobs in Philly, it doesn't give as much geographic flexibility as ND.

However, then again, I've heard that after you land your first job, your school becomes less important, and progressively less so with the more work experience you accumulate. So, if I do go to Temple, I may try to first land a job in Philly, and then use that job as the launching pad for something else.

All said, I'm starting to think my best course is to go to Temple, and try my best to excel (e.g. top 10-15%) rather than go to ND where I may end up in the 50% region, or less.

Before giving up on ND, however, I'm going to give them a call to learn more about the LRAP and try to negotiate an increase in scholarship if possible (a long shot, but worth a try).

mconnett

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2008, 01:25:23 PM »
Do you know where you'd like to practice?

Just curious why do you think you would do better at Temple than ND?

Well, I guess I'm just looking at the average LSAT scores and assuming that the higher LSAT scores among ND students would translate into a more competitive academic environment. That said, I don't expect Temple to be easy whatsoever. Indeed, I think both will prove extremely challenging to me -- and I just hope my 1L experience doesn't mirror this YouTube video too closely!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8ABhatAfsA

mconnett

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Re: ND ($) vs Temple ($$$$)
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2008, 01:28:16 PM »
Well, I guess I'm just looking at the average LSAT scores and assuming that the higher LSAT scores among ND students would translate into a more competitive academic environment. That said, I don't expect Temple to be easy whatsoever. Indeed, I think both will prove extremely challenging to me -- and I just hope my 1L experience doesn't mirror this YouTube video too closely!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8ABhatAfsA