Law School Discussion

Law where did ugrad == bad?

Law where did ugrad == bad?
« on: April 04, 2004, 04:03:12 PM »

Is is a bad idea to go to law school at the same school where you did your undergrad work?  I did my ugrad and grad at BYU and now stronly considering attending law school there.  For me it is really hard to pass up since I already have a house here (I've worked as an engineer in the area for 6 years) and it would be MUCH cheaper than any of the other schools I'm considering.. however if going there would be bad for me then its not worth it.  My goal is to practice IP law in the western US

As per the suggestion of the moderators, my application stats are:

LSAT 164
UGPA 3.4, Elec\Comp Eng. BYU
GGPA 3.7, Elec\Comp Eng. BYU

Other schools I'm considering:
1) GW: waitlisted
2) UMinn: small $$ and good FA
3) USC (yet to hear back but I think my changes are probably slim)
4) UCLA (yet to hear back but I think my changes are probably slim to none)
5) UC Davis (yet to hear back)
6) Santa clara, good $$, but still MUCH more than BYU

Thanks in advance for your help.


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Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2004, 04:18:29 PM »
There is nothing wrong with attending same school for undergrad/law.

BYU is grade A+.

Good luck.

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2004, 04:25:03 PM »
I will preference this with these are only *my* personal feelings on the subject  :)

I see no reason not to get your JD from the same place you got your BA/bs.  If you went to Yale for a BA, would you really turn them down for a JD?  I highly doubt it.

You should get your JD at the best place for you.  If you plan on working in a certain state, why not get your JD in that state?  You will probably be better prepared for the bar when you graduate.  It doesn't make much sense to go to Florida when you plan to practice in Washington when you graduate.  Also, the trend I've seen seems to be that places hire graduates from the schools in the area.

Another thing to consider - if you are already settled, why not stay there?  You don't have any added stress when you go to law school of finding a place to live, learning your way around a new city, meeting new people (other than your fellow students) and if you have a family - finding new stuff for them (schools, activities, church, grocery stores, on and on).

One thing to note - from what I understand law school is nothing like undergraduate school.  If you are going to the school to "relive your glory days" don't plan on it.  If you are going because you thought the professors were great, your new professors may or may not hold up.  You are not living in the dorms, partying 24/7, and skipping class this time around (if you did your first time and I assume that you probably know this already  ;) )

However, if you want to practice where you live, stay there.  I see nothing wrong with it.  And in-state tuition rocks!

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2004, 04:37:44 PM »
When it comes time to get a job, you will have two advantages-

1) BYU alumni will love you even more.  I mean, three degrees?  They'll eat it up, especially given that it is BYU, a school geared toward that sort of thing anyway.

2) ANY employer will see that you are loyal.  No worries about you leaving the firm after two years.

Especially since BYU seems to have been a good fit for you so far, I'd stick with it.  Heck, if my undergrad school had a decent law school, I'd wwant ot go there, too!

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2004, 06:16:17 PM »
To answer the main question.  It isn't a bad idea to get your  law degree from the same instituition.  As mentioned, it only stengthens your prospects with BYU alumni and Salt Lake City alum.

Having said that, I think what you really want is a reason to leave BYU and Salt Lake City. 6 years, if not more is a very long time to spend in one place, or one school.  It's pretty obvious from a financial standpoint, and if you do want to stay in Salt Lake City or Utah, that BYU is easily the best choice.  But the fact that you've applied to all these coast to coast schools, and are asking questions about BYU, indicates to me that you don't want to go to BYU.

My instinct tells me, and I could be wrong on this, is that you're ready for change and that you want to move.  Sometimes change is good just for the sake of change, to increase productivity and attitude.  (Fredrick Taylor said this, I believe)  When you say you want to do IP in the Western States, I suspect this means California or Washington State.

If this is true, then I think it changes the analysis.  There is alot more to consider.  The following is assuming that you want to work in California after law school.  Looking at the schools . . .

GW:  I think you'll get in off the waitlist with your numbers and experience.  GW is strong in IP.  And will place nationally but the distance between the coasts will cost $300-$199 roundtrip for interviews.  And GW is obviously, stronger in D.C. and the East Coast.  Also, consider that the Wash Metro area is one of the most expensive areas for rent and real estate.  (maybe even second to Califronia).  Having said that I would choose GW over BYU. 

UMinn:  Good School.  Minny is cheaper but not that cheap.  Really cold and alot of snow.  Places okay in Cali.  If you absoultey need a change of scenery, then I'd pick it over BYU.

USC:  I actually think you'll get in here with your numbers and experience but no money.  I don't want to get your hopes up too much.  But I would go here.  Places well in SOcal and California.  Expensive tuition, land/rent is LA is expensive, but I think it's well worth it.  And you'll have a blast in LA.

UCLA:  I don't think you'll get in here.  Good school, great campus.  State budget cuts may effect the school in the future.

UC Davis:  Alright school.  Campus is alot like BYU.  Alot of plain white concrete buildings.  I'd pick BYU over Davis.

Santa Clara:  Campus was smaller than I expected.  Santa Clara-San Jose is probably the most expensive place in the country for rent/land.  Alot of IP opportunities in Silicon Valley.  But the computer industy in general is in flux, so alot of unemployed comp programmers.  Santa Clara is great for IP.  But I'm really turned off by their high attrition rate.  That is indicative of a potential competitve, nervous environment among 1L's. I would pick BYU over Santa Clara.

So here is how I would rank things.
1. USC
3. GW
4. Minn
5. BYU
6. UC Davis
7. Santa Clara

I'd keep a deposit at BYU just in case of financial diffculty.  But it sounds to me like you have no intention of staying in Salt Lake City-Provo after law school.  And that you're looking for a reason to leave.  Obviously, finanically and from a cost of livnig perspective BYU and Utah are easily the best choice.  But if you're not going to be happy at Provo anymore, and you're just counting the days till you graduate for 3 years then you'llbe less productive. I think this is one of those major decisions or forks in the road in your life.  I think if you stay at BYU, you'll stay in Salt Lake City/Utah for life becuase the decision will only become harder when 3 years from now, you have a BYU law degree, and your best job opportunites, alumni network and interview travel cost will all favor staying in Utah even more than it is right now.  If you stay in Utah, you're just postponing the inevitable decision you'll eventually have to make. Good Luck.

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2004, 06:53:57 PM »
this isnt like if you were going for a career in academia.... If you wanted to be an Economist, it would be a very bad idea to go to Harvard for your BA, your MA and your PhD... Why?  Because as a career academic you need to be exposed to MANY view points, if you do all your training at the same place, you will be one dimensional, because all of your training will be by the same people, and it is possible to have the same advisors for 10 years!

Law school stands alone, even if you were on or near the same place as the law school there, law school will be an entirely new experience for you, if BYU suits your needs best, by all means, go to BYU.

All that matters is where your JD came from.;

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2004, 07:13:15 PM »
Thanks to everyone who responded, this is good insight from 'unbiased' third parites. I will be putting a deposit down on BYU and will wait and see with the other schools. 

One of the schools I am interested in but haven't heard back from yet is Vandy, CoolMe how would you rate them against those I previously listed?

Thanks again everyone for your time,
Best wishes,

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2004, 07:46:27 PM »
Any idea where you want to practice later (after school is over)?  I would think that would be the biggest thing you should consider... and how nice your house is!!!  :P

Re: Law where did ugrad == bad?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2004, 03:13:21 PM »
I will add this about BYU.  I heard their law school alumni are extremley loyal, and that BYU alumini are spread out throughout the country.  (Sort of luck Notre Dame)

However, I surmise that there would only be a handful of BYU alum in California and even a smaller number who are practicing IP in California.  So this would limit you're opportunites in IP in California.  This is something you could probably investigate on your own by either going over to the Law School or looking up on or NALP.

Vandy:  Very good school.  Private, so I think they'll be able to maintain their spot at 17.  Don't have to worry about state budget cuts.  In fact I wouldn't be suprised if they overtook UCLA for the 16 spot in a couple years.  Sort of National.  Really a southern school.  Probalby UVA, Duke, then Vanderbilt.  But you're looking at a region south of the Mason-Dixon Line and East of the Mississippi.  I think Vandy will domiante in this region, but will not be very strong on the West Coast, or NorthEast (which if you think about it are the two IP strongholds.  Like Minnesota, I'd probably only go to Vandy if you are in a dire need of a change of scenery over BYU.  These two are good schools but the tradeoff between the money at BYU, and you're ultimate goals is not as great.

So here are the rankings specificlly tailored for you.
Tier 1 (Ideal situation)
1. USC
Tier 2 (Probably should go here over BYU)
3. GW
Tier 3 (Go here if a change of scenery is important to you)
4. Minn
5. Vanderbilt
Tier 4 (Default, go here)
6. BYU
Tier 5 (Don't go to these schools over BYU)
7. UC Davis
8. Santa Clara