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Author Topic: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools  (Read 1179 times)

The Bodleian

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Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« on: April 13, 2008, 11:33:00 AM »
I've got a specific school in mind that I believe is the best choice of the bunch, but have decided to fall back into my lemming-like tendencies to receive affirmation from the group to reinforce my decision. Therefore, I pray to the lemming-god give me your wisdom. For what I'd like to do with my JD I'd like to do biglaw either in NYC, D.C, LA, or Chicago. To be honest though, 70% of us 0Ls really donít know what we'll end up wanting to do, so this is a superficial appraisal at best.

The following list has the school, location, scholarship, and scholarship reqs.

Fordham University, NYC, No Money. ~$39,500 a year tuition
George Washington University. D.C. $5,000/yr. for 3 years requisite on placement within the top half of class. ~$34,000 a year tuition.
Indiana- Bloomington. Indiana. $19,000/yr for 3 years requisite on 3.0 GPA. ~$18,000 a year for tuition
William and Mary. Virginia. $24,200/yr for 3 years requisite on 2.0 GPA. ~$3,300 a year for tuition.
George Mason. Virginia. $19,700/yr for 3 years requisite on 3.0 GPA.  ~$12,000 a year for tuition
Washington and Lee. Virginia. $17,400/yr for 3 years requisite on 3.0 GPA. ~$15,600 a year for tuition.
University of Southern Cali. California. No Money. ~$42,600 a year on tuition.

You can pick one, pick three and rank them, or just flame me for being indecisive. Happy Sunday.

Resident CLS Troll

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2008, 11:36:14 AM »
At the risk of showing my biases,

1. USC
2. GWU
3. Fordham

Adjust accordingly depending on whether you have a strong preference for one of these cities.

The Bodleian

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2008, 12:01:02 PM »
By the way, after several PMs, I'm going to add the note that I applied rather late and the difference is scholarship money is likely due to that. I also applied to several of the top 14 and have either not heard from them yet or have been waitlisted. For the purposes of deciding where to put down my deposit I'm going to assume anyone who has lovingly welcomed me into their arms yet will not accept me. Hypotheticals can become tedious at best when deciding these things and I like things nice a neat.

happypeople

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2008, 12:05:10 PM »
GW! Best for biglaw that offers you $

UGAfootballfanatic

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 12:16:39 PM »
William & mary
Washington & Lee
GW

I'd suggest picking the places which gave you the most scholarship money with the least future restrictions, since you're right--most 0Ls won't know what htey want to do after graduation. at any of these 3 you'll graduate with less debt and virtually equivalent job options.

Stuje1

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 01:46:05 PM »
Depends on how much money is a factor for you (do you have any help or is it all loans)...since biglaw is your aspiration, it shouldn't be as big a factor either.

I would say:
1-IU
2-William and Mary
3-Wash Lee

If $ is really no concern, then I would put USC and GW up in that list too.   

I put IU first because it is a good school, in a fun city and is giving you decent money.   

Unless you are set on NYC, I would say GW should knock Fordham off the list
Wash Lee should knock george mason off the list...around the same price for quite a bit better school in the same geographi carea.

Definitely a tough choice though
8) Boston College
;D Colorado $, Wisconsin, OSU $, Indiana $, Case $$, Tulane $$$, Davis, Iowa, Hastings, UWashington
:-\ GW, WUSTL, Emory, WashLee, BostonU, Ariz, Minnesota
>:( Gtown, Mich, Nwestern, UIUC, Berk

hbb

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 02:44:19 PM »
It is probably easier to understand the financial impact of your choices if you consider total cost of attendance rather than the tuition - scholarship award.

jammer

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 03:24:38 PM »
It is probably easier to understand the financial impact of your choices if you consider total cost of attendance rather than the tuition - scholarship award.


Yeah, good call. I don't know too much about the schools you listed, but, as a general rule, with similar ranked schools, go with the cheapest/and or the school that places well in the region of the country you want to live. I'm not sure the career prospects at a higher ranked school on your list are THAT much better that you'd want to take out more debt than you had to. Good luck. You have to make a tough decision, but you can't really make a wrong choice here.

The Bodleian

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 07:16:05 PM »
The total cost is still a bit subjective and therefore unknown. If I live in NYC I'll be living in a hovel and eating McDonalds everyday, which should cost about the same as living in Williamsburg or Bloomington in a nice 1 bedroom eating at a steak house every night. As I said before, it's best to stay nice and neat because when you get into hypotheticals it gets a bit hodgey-podgy.

Assume the COL will be the same and the difference will be the level of comfort or opulance one enjoys.

For ranking the cities for most expensive to least expensive...I'd say
NYC, DC, LA, NOVA, Bloomington, Williamsburg, Lexington

Which translate for schools...
Fordham, GW, USC, GMU, Indiana, W&M, W&L

AllTimeLow

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Re: Choosing Between Similarly Ranked Schools
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2008, 10:54:27 PM »
That's a good point about 0Ls knowing the exact career paths we'll want to follow. Also it looks like you've got a lot of great choices. I'd visit the schools and see if one seems like an amazing fit to you personally. I can speak from experience that there's a large difference between Lexington and New York City.

Can you live in a big city and not be distracted and concentrate on your legal studies?

Is a small town the perfect environment for you to study or will it make you go crazy?

In terms of schools ranked 17-30 you've managed to get yourself as big of a mix as possible. East Coast, West Coast, City, Town, North East, South. Find the kind of flavor you like the best and go with it.