Law School Discussion

Poll

$30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame

$30k @ Pitt
29 (55.8%)
$150k @ Notre Dame
23 (44.2%)

Total Members Voted: 42

$30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame

jpo53

$30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« on: May 06, 2005, 01:30:35 PM »
$30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame

22 year old, Pitt undergrad, with a scholarship, tuition, and health benefits at Pitt.  Accepted to ND off the provisional list.  Are the quality of education and career options at ND worth the loans?

Will visit ND in a week.

Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2005, 02:47:42 PM »
In short: Yes, it's worth it.

Go to Notre Dame.  You will love it.  I could go somewhere else far cheaper, but I'm taking the debt at ND because ND is an experience like no other academic institution in the country.  It's too special a place to give up.

Good luck.

Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2005, 02:53:43 PM »
If you want to stay local and are not interested in BigLaw, then no,it's not worth it. Pitt places well in mid-sized firms on a local level. The lack of debt will allow you to practice public interest, government,some types of criminal,etc. 150k can prevent you from doing that...at least for a few years.
 If you want BigLaw and national mobility,then choose ND and stay in the top half of the class.

SleepyGuyYawn

Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2005, 12:21:29 PM »
Hmmm... do you really want to be living in South Bend for three years?  Are you a wacky conservative catholic?

Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2005, 01:29:17 PM »
Pitt, not worth the money at ND.

Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2005, 08:49:36 AM »



Hmm... looks like the majority of my peers would go with Pitt. 

I am comfortable with the location of ND (b/c of proximity to Chicago), but my concerns are the price and the Catholic nature of the institution.  I have no problems with a crucifix in the classroom and places to worship on campus, but I am a little concerned that there may be a conflict between the Catholic viewpoint and an objective viewpoint when analyzing cases.  Hopefully visiting ND May 16-17 will sort that out and either strongly confirm or completely resolve my worries. 

I'm also thinking about going to Pitt/ND for one year, then trying to transfer to a T14.  I have 3.95 / 163 (June 2003) --- But I registered for June 2005 LSAT and just started prepping this week. Scored 167 timed, 173 untimed on most recent practice exam. 166 timed, 171 untimed on the test before that.  (I didn't rush on the tests, and I finished them both, but I noted where I actually ran out of time). 

Think I have to be top of my class at ND to transfer?  Or would top of my class at Pitt & 170+ LSAT on the retest & 3.95 UGPA be enough??

I'm also on the Penn WL, and they said they'd look at a June 2005 LSAT. 

jpo3 on LSN

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2005, 11:19:19 AM »
jpo53:

I'd like to quibble with what I take you to mean when you indicate the gap between an "objective" vs. "Catholic" viewpoint. 

First, there is no completely "objective" viewpoint, if by objective you mean completely free from all biases, whether religious or otherwise.  Even an agnostic and an atheist comes to the table with his or her own "faith": he or she has a set of assumptions about the way the world is.  At a school with no religious affiliation you don't have a school committed to a search for knowledge completely without bias; what you have is a bunch of different biases competing for attention.  At ND, the institution says that what the Catholic Church says about history, man, etc. is the fullest expression of what we know to be true.  And, again, an atheist may think the Catholic Church to be complete B.S., but he or she is bringing a "faith" of sorts to the mix.

Second, the beauty of Catholicism (and therefore ND) is that the Catholic intellectual tradition emphasises the small "c": catholic meaning "universal".  The Catholic Church, although sticking to its position about humanity, nature, God, etc., is willing to discuss the great questions of truth and justice, law, etc.  It takes seriously the claims of other traditions: Augustine and Aquinas, for example, drew heavily on Plato and Aristotle respectively.  And Aquinas, moreover, drew much of his metaphyics from the writings of the great Muslim philosophers.  There is a good reason why Augustine and Aquinas, especially Aquinas, are considered some of the greatest philosophers in Western history: it's because they embraced the small "c" aspect of Catholicism as well as the denominational aspect.

And, finally, I'd point this out: a lot of secular instituions preach the idea that there is no "ultimate truth"; in other words, all truth claims are relative to something, be it class, race, gender, etc.  And this, again, is a sort of faith, and in fact it's a faith that tends to close down the very signifcant, universal questions that Catholic institutions seek to explore.  In many ways, Catholic institutions are more hospitable to many different viewpoints than secular ones.

Sorry to be preachy and to go on too long, but there seem to be too many misconceptions about ND and other institutions like it.  If I have completely misunderstood your point, I apologize.

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Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2005, 12:00:20 PM »
Unless you are really dedicated to Biglaw go to Pitt.

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Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2005, 03:23:07 PM »
I think you really have to consider what you want to do with the rest of your life when you make this decision.  Really, I think most of it has to do with your ambitions. 

If you have high ambitions and expectations for yourself (in the "biglaw" style, though not necessarily in the field of law), go with ND. It will open more doors nationally, which is important if you're looking to someday be the big cheese somewhere. Besides, those big salaries will help you pay off the debt quickly.

However, if you want a more "normal" life (which many, many people do, and with good reasons), go with Pitt.  Smaller debt is necessary for a "normal" life because you won't be getting the "abnormally" large salaries...

It's really that simple.

Also, regarding transfering: I would suggest not doing anything where your happiness or future (according to your ambitions and expectations) DEPENDS on your ability to transfer somewhere else.  You never know what will happen, and while you might get in, you might not--and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush....

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Re: $30k in loans @ Pitt vs. $150k in loans at Notre Dame
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2005, 03:31:12 PM »
jpo53:

I'd like to quibble with what I take you to mean when you indicate the gap between an "objective" vs. "Catholic" viewpoint. 

First, there is no completely "objective" viewpoint, if by objective you mean completely free from all biases, whether religious or otherwise.  Even an agnostic and an atheist comes to the table with his or her own "faith": he or she has a set of assumptions about the way the world is.  At a school with no religious affiliation you don't have a school committed to a search for knowledge completely without bias; what you have is a bunch of different biases competing for attention.  At ND, the institution says that what the Catholic Church says about history, man, etc. is the fullest expression of what we know to be true.  And, again, an atheist may think the Catholic Church to be complete B.S., but he or she is bringing a "faith" of sorts to the mix.

Second, the beauty of Catholicism (and therefore ND) is that the Catholic intellectual tradition emphasises the small "c": catholic meaning "universal".  The Catholic Church, although sticking to its position about humanity, nature, God, etc., is willing to discuss the great questions of truth and justice, law, etc.  It takes seriously the claims of other traditions: Augustine and Aquinas, for example, drew heavily on Plato and Aristotle respectively.  And Aquinas, moreover, drew much of his metaphyics from the writings of the great Muslim philosophers.  There is a good reason why Augustine and Aquinas, especially Aquinas, are considered some of the greatest philosophers in Western history: it's because they embraced the small "c" aspect of Catholicism as well as the denominational aspect.

And, finally, I'd point this out: a lot of secular instituions preach the idea that there is no "ultimate truth"; in other words, all truth claims are relative to something, be it class, race, gender, etc.  And this, again, is a sort of faith, and in fact it's a faith that tends to close down the very signifcant, universal questions that Catholic institutions seek to explore.  In many ways, Catholic institutions are more hospitable to many different viewpoints than secular ones.

Sorry to be preachy and to go on too long, but there seem to be too many misconceptions about ND and other institutions like it.  If I have completely misunderstood your point, I apologize.

I agree completely (and I'm not even Catholic--or Christian, for that matter).

In my experience, the people at high caliber religious universities (such as Notre Dame) are very open to hearing other perspectives.  That's what makes them high caliber--and not some podunk, barely-acredited excuse for a school.

So while you may not be Catholic or agree with all Catholic doctrine, don't sweat it. 

You don't have to become like them any more than they have to become like you... Just enjoy the school for what it is: an institution of higher learning with a quality faculty and quality facilities...