Law School Discussion

Scholarship vs. Prestige


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Scholarship vs. Prestige
« on: November 15, 2002, 02:21:44 AM »
I've been accepted to 4 schools in my state and narrowed it down to 2 choices for next fall. One is a nationally ranked top 100 law school generally recognized as the best in the state. the other is a local 4th tier school that only this year won accreditation. This would be a no brainer except that the 4th tier school just offered me a full scholarship (tuition, books, living expenses), while the nationally ranked school will send me to loansville.

So the question is this: will going to the nationally ranked school give me enough of a career advantage upon graduation  to make it worth forgoing a very nice scholarship?

FYI: I'm a non-traditional student, returning to school at 35 with one career behind me, and I am less interested in working at a big name firm than in working either at a small firm or independently if that makes any difference. I am planning on practicing in this state and I don't have any political aspirations.        

Candy Cane

Re: Scholarship vs. Prestige
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2002, 05:40:22 AM »
I think it depends on what type of practice you are going into. You say you don't want to get into politics but do you want a job at a major corporate fund or just public service. The top law school will only make a difference if you are going after the top jobs. If you plan on doing public interest law there is no need to go into debt. And if you do decide to go into debt that may limit your options as to what jobs you can accept as much as just going to a lesser known school because you'll have to take a job that will allow you to pay off the loans.


Re: Scholarship vs. Prestige
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2002, 09:36:39 AM »
I faced a similar decision, and went with the lower school that offered me a full scholarship.  It is very freeing to know that I will graduate from law school with no debt.  I am also a non-traditional student, 39 years old.  I am very happy at the local school, but I am still keeping my options open as far as transferring to a different school, but only if I can get into a top 4 or 5 school.  For now, I am just focused on being the best I can at this school.  Hope it works out for you, whatever school you choose.