Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Please Help Me Decide...USD?  (Read 1473 times)

wiscgrad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
  • 3.25/164
    • View Profile
    • Email
Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« on: May 01, 2004, 02:04:37 PM »
I did my undergrad at Wisconsin, and really want to move to California for school. I have a 3.25/164. I have been accepted at Pepperdine, USD and Depaul(Chicago) and waitlisted at Wisconsin and Minnesota. After visiting campuses, I think I would much rather go to USD over Pepperdine. Both campuses were beautiful, but I felt something at Pepperdine was a little creepy. Its on the ocean in Malibu and nobody i talked to was tan or went to the beach. I understand there is studying to be done, but come on! So, when looking at loans over $100,000 plus interest plus the $40,000 or so a year I would not be making for three years, I have been questioning my decision to attend law school at all. I have read everything I could find on the subject and was also alarmed by the large number of depressed, overworked lawyers out there who cannot quit because they have such a large amount of debt to support. That being said, I would love the challenge of law school and an interesting career. USD's average starting salary is around $80,000 which sounds good, but after tax and loan payments, it could take years of hard work just to make it back to where i would have been without law school. So, as crunch time approaches my options are:
1.don't go to law school, get a "normal" job
2.defer enrollment for a year, (does anyone know if fin aid can be increased yr to yr?)
3.go to USD, and hope to get more money as an l2 or l3
4.go to USD possibly transfer to a better school if i can do really well
5.reapply to schools next year, maybe USC - could I get in there? retake the LSAT?
6.bite the bullet and take out massive loans for school

Sorry this got kind of long. Any and all feedback would be great. Any questions about WI just ask.

SpeakerDave

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
  • 3.35 / 161
    • View Profile
    • SpeakerDave
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2004, 02:22:45 PM »
Sounds like you have already "dumped" Pepperdine in your mind, so stick with that decision.  That leaves USD or a school that is not in California.

If you truly want to move to California, and you are still young enough to put off law school for a year, then do that.  You should have a shot at the better LA area schools.  Also, don't forget to apply to the schools in the SF Bay area.

On the other hand, you went through a lot to apply to school this year, you are accepted at USD (A good school where you want to be), so if you must make a decision this year, then go with USD.

I'm sure you will hear from thechoson soon...

thechoson

  • Guest
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2004, 03:18:55 PM »
Minnesota would be an excellent choice, hope you get off the wait list, I am on that waitlist as well.

3. Go to USD, hoping for money.  Bad idea.  You have to be almost at the top of the class to get money, and that's difficult to do, cause everyone wants a piece of that.  Transferring is also risky as well.  You go to USD, at least prepare to stay 3 years and pay the entire way.  I would want to transfer as well, but if I make the decision to go to USD, I would make it knowing I can stomach 3 years there if need be.

4. Reapply next year.  Maybe USC?  I had this idea as well, and you are in a tough spot.  Your numbers are almost identical to mine (3.28/ 165) and it's kinda tough.  Numbers wise (I can comment on anything else about you) you are out for Stanford, Boalt (the top dogs)  UCLA and USC are almost a pipe dream as well.  That leaves the other UCs, which you have a fair shot at.  And then, I'd think you are solid at the next rung of cali schools, like USD and Loyola.  But you are already in USD, and I think it would be a risk reapplying next year hoping for UC Davis or Hastings, and really reaching if you are hoping for USC.

I'd say you could defer (don't know if USD  allows you to do this), and I doubt fin aid will go up.  But you have a job, and you can save up.  Or bite the bullet and take out massive loans.

thechoson

  • Guest
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2004, 03:23:04 PM »
But yes, I am not extremely high on USD. If you get into Minnesota, you should go there.

wiscgrad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
  • 3.25/164
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2004, 03:41:06 PM »
I almost hope I don't get in to Minn as it will complicate my decision. Don't get me wrong, it is a great law school, and Minneapolis is a fun town, but it gets cold there. I mean really cold, and keep in mind I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life. But maybe that lends itself to studying. Have any thoughts on Loyola? I don't know too much about it. Also, I checked with USD and they will hold your spot for a year if you get a dean's permission. But i really would like to get started if that is what i am going to do.

thechoson

  • Guest
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2004, 03:52:05 PM »
Loyola is excellent.  But heck, you seem deadset on USD, you just need convincing.  So just go to USD

wiscgrad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
  • 3.25/164
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2004, 03:55:55 PM »
Another thought, farfetched, but nonetheless:
I believe USD takes your highest LSAT score as opposed to averaging them. Reading through the posts it seems 165 there is the cutoff for most $$$. I have considered, although it makes me physically ill, taking the LSAT again and going to school next year. I practice tested as high as 169 in a free proctored exam i took. I didn't study very much otherwise and i think i could get a 166 or more if i took a class or put some serious studying time in. I should send an email over there seeing what there policy is at looking at new lsat scores for already admitted students. I don't know if i would have to reapply entirely or just defer, but if i can get thousands more in aid, it may be worth it.

thechoson

  • Guest
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2004, 04:27:18 PM »
Another thought, farfetched, but nonetheless:
I believe USD takes your highest LSAT score as opposed to averaging them. Reading through the posts it seems 165 there is the cutoff for most $$$. I have considered, although it makes me physically ill, taking the LSAT again and going to school next year. I practice tested as high as 169 in a free proctored exam i took. I didn't study very much otherwise and i think i could get a 166 or more if i took a class or put some serious studying time in. I should send an email over there seeing what there policy is at looking at new lsat scores for already admitted students. I don't know if i would have to reapply entirely or just defer, but if i can get thousands more in aid, it may be worth it.

Yes, USD does take the highest LSAT, and yes, they take that into consideration for AID. BUt if you defer, they aren't going to do that, because like I said, they have a committment from you anyways, they won't throw money at you.

Sure you can gamble, trying to get a higher score and reapplying next year. It is very risky, considering you are doing it not to get into a better school, but to get MONEY from another school.  You scored in the mid 160s, and I don't know if you'd be able to improve much, you might end up screwing your score over, and risk not even getting into USD the 2nd time around. But if getting aid is that important to you, then do it.

thechoson

  • Guest
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2004, 04:37:31 PM »
wiscgrad, seriously, I think you should just go this year.  I think the odds of you going in there kicking ass and getting money for 2L are higher than taking the LSATs again trying to get a higher score all in the hopes of USD giving you money.

You seem very high on USD, so why hold off when you really want to go there?

USD is an excellent school, and I think they will only get better (probably be 1st tier eventually)  Obviously the quality of the school is based of faculty and the quality of student they can attract.  The faculty there is solid, and I am sure they can attract awesome faculty for years to come because of their location in San Diego.  And obviously, they get great students who want to go there to be in San Diego as well.  so things look good for USD.

In a sense, they remind me of UCSD.  They have had a metoric rise up the rankings, and are now on par with CAL and UCLA in the UC system.  They took full advantage of their San Diego location to attract an awesome faculty, which helped their prestige and enabled them to attract better and better students.

So yes, things look very good for USD, so you should go there, and don't delay

wiscgrad

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 23
  • 3.25/164
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Please Help Me Decide...USD?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2004, 04:40:30 PM »
A well reasoned response, I don't mean to seem hung up on the finaid thing, but i just think that after 3 years of school and putting in long hours at work just to pay back loans year after year would be nice to avoid or at least minimize. (obviously)