Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Current law students - post your reasoning!  (Read 1780 times)

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Current law students - post your reasoning!
« on: June 15, 2008, 07:48:40 PM »
After reading several other threads on here and considering my options further, I had a thought that I wanted to ask you all about on here.  This is for those on this board that have already accepted an offer at a school and are either starting this fall or have been in law school for a little bit.  If you could please post a little about how you made your decision, what factors went into it, what your numbers were and whether you feel good or regretful about it, I think it would certainly help me a bit, and probably others on this board as well.  Any takers?

-Netopalis
Mercer University School of Law '12

jammer

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 11:45:31 PM »
Wow, a helluva question here. I'll be going to school in the fall, and after working, I'm chomping at the bit to get back to school. As of now, I'm excited about the prospect, but that may change once this year starts!

After 4 years of education in the liberal arts, I was ready for "real world," practical education. The fact that law school is boot camp for the professional legal world really appealed to me. Out of all the careers I looked at, I felt that law was the most suited to my abilities and interests...critical thinking, analysis, reasoning, etc. So, I talked to every lawyer I could. If the professor teaching my undergrad class was a lawyer, I made sure to ask them what they did and what they liked. At work, I've asked the lawyers there the same questions. I read news articles and anything else I could get my hands on about the legal profession. Anything to get a sense of what I'd be doing as a lawyer. I recommend the same for people considering law, particularly talking to current lawyers. They're much more knowledgeable than us LSDers!

As for school choice, I knew I wanted to live and work in St. Louis, where my family, friends and the St. Louis Blues are. So, my list of schools was exclusive to the Midwest and St. Louis, and I had to choose between Missouri and SLU. I'm glad that SLU's money worked out so I don't have to move to Columbia, and I can be in the legal market I want to work in. SLU is darn near unbeatable in the St. Louis area legal market.

I hope this is what you're looking for. I sort of rambled here a bit.

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 12:16:38 AM »
Yeah, it's pretty much what I was going after, but I'm more focused on the choice of law school, since I think most of us here understand why we want to go into law...if we didn't, we'd have more fundamental questions than which to go to.  Still, interesting story!  Thanks for posting!
Mercer University School of Law '12

jammer

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 01:36:39 AM »
Yeah, it's pretty much what I was going after, but I'm more focused on the choice of law school, since I think most of us here understand why we want to go into law...if we didn't, we'd have more fundamental questions than which to go to.  Still, interesting story!  Thanks for posting!

Sorry about that. I read it like you were "considering your options further" outside of law and looking for reasoning behind going to law school from current students! Surprisingly enough, I think some people on this site STILL don't know why they want to practice law, or went into law expecting a guaranteed big payday.

Betsy 1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 02:30:26 AM »
I'm jumping up, mostly because I'm still on a "decision high" - it took me about 14.7 billion years to make it.  I finally decided several days ago.

I'll start by saying I'm a financially conservative person (you know the story, lots of us have it: working class parents, no "backup" funds).  I ruled out Duke and Cornell because they offered $$ that was essentially equal (bc of the actual amount of tuition) to what Michigan offered me, and I felt that Michigan was a better school for the debt.  I got in NYU off the waitlist, no $$.  And I had a strong scholarship at Vandy, and the full scholarship at WUSTL.  I was living abroad, so I put down a deposit at Mich, Vandy, and WUSTL so I could visit when I got home and make the final decision.  NYU only gave me a few days to decide, and while I was tempted by the nice LRAP and excellent international PI/PS connections, I'm not sure what I want to do (most students change their minds) and didn't want to be stuck with biglaw or a PI job I didn't want.  So I withdrew there.  Although it would have been nice to say I went to NYU.

I withdrew WUSTL after visiting the schools; it was a nice school, and I liked StL, but it wasn't for me, and the employment strengths there didn't match up with my preferred regions (southeast, DC), at least not to the degree that Vandy does.  So then I was pretty sure I wanted to go to Michigan.  But the debt I calculated, should I not qualify for the federal or institutional LRAP ($1200/month), became more and more intimidating, until I realized that I simply wouldn't be able to stop panicking and being distracted by money at Michigan.  Vandy is strong in my region, close to family, and significantly cheaper (I will most likely only take out the staffords).

A lot of posters here might disagree with my decision, but I finally had to accept that I am not all law school applicants, and this was the right decision for me.

The End.

UnoriginalAndrew

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • I found a Moonrock in my nose!
    • View Profile
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 04:42:53 AM »
My decision process was kinda weird.  Originally, I planned to apply only to CA schools.  USC was my dream choice.  However, I got my LSAT and it was slightly lower than I had thought.  I decided to stick with it, and apply to a wider range of schools.  I applied to many CA schools, but also threw in a couple in the South. 

Then, Thanksgiving break came, and I wasn't happy with everywhere I'd applied.  I decided that I should throw in an application to a Boston school at the last minute.  Why not, right?  Well, I heard back pretty quickly and I got in.  Now there was the possibility I could go somewhere in "the cold".  I looked into the employment prospects, and loved it.  I knew there was a decent chance I could go to CA or FL (home state), but a great chance that I could get a good job.  Plus, prestige is important to me. 

It came down between BC, and Davis.  UF and Umiami were in the mix because of the low price ($$$ at UM), but ultimately I decided I needed a change.  I went to BC with the thought that I wanted BC.  I said "If the FinAid package is good enough, I'll take it".  During the ASD I went up to the finaid office, and asked to see my package.  I hadn't seen it online before, but I learned that the package was favorable.  I had a great scholarship, and I was thrilled.

 I took BC on the spot.  I look forward to three more years in the snow  :)
I Choo-Choo-Choose you:  Boston College Law School, Class of 2011

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 10:01:35 AM »
Very interesting....

Betsy,  what factors do you think would have changed your mind if they had been different?  More scholarship money at another school?  Something more intangible?  Any advice you can give to someone who's getting ready to go through that process?

Andrew, I'm a bit confused about the logical jump from going to only CA schools to Boston.  What made you consider Boston so heavily and so suddenly?  As above, any advice you can give to someone starting the application process?

To both of you, how important do you think your personal statements were to your successes?
Mercer University School of Law '12

UnoriginalAndrew

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 330
  • I found a Moonrock in my nose!
    • View Profile
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 05:50:04 PM »
Very interesting....

Betsy,  what factors do you think would have changed your mind if they had been different?  More scholarship money at another school?  Something more intangible?  Any advice you can give to someone who's getting ready to go through that process?

Andrew, I'm a bit confused about the logical jump from going to only CA schools to Boston.  What made you consider Boston so heavily and so suddenly?  As above, any advice you can give to someone starting the application process?

To both of you, how important do you think your personal statements were to your successes?

I'm not so certain myself, haha.  I have a friend who works at a large firm in NYC, and he encouraged me to apply to at least one school in the range of Fordham/GW/BU/BC.  I knew I didn't want to live in New York, or in DC.  I also knew that I loved Boston, and strongly considered going to school there for undergrad.  After doing some research on BU and BC, I decided to apply to BC.  I did not apply to BU.  I thought to myself that if I got in, I would be silly to not strongly consider the school.  I realized that going to BC would not guarantee me a job in CA or FL (home state).  However, I felt that a BC degree was more mobile than a UF or Davis degree, should I ever change my mind and wish to live somewhere outside of the area of the law school. 

In short, I don't really quite know what made me throw out an application to BC.  There's not one factor that pushed me over the edge.  However, I also applied to the undergrad at which I ended up on a whim, sort of as a "Why not this one?" kind of thing.

As to my personal statement, I don't believe mine was all that stellar.  I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during the deliberation of my application package, though.  FWIW - my personal statement for BC was written specifically for BC.
I Choo-Choo-Choose you:  Boston College Law School, Class of 2011

Ninja1

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3089
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 10:27:03 PM »
I picked Florida State for a number of reasons. I'll just break them down bullet-point style:

-I want to live in Florida.

-I want to live in the South.

-Florida's lack of personal income tax. Assuming I stay in the state after I graduate (current plan), this is a HUGE incentive.

-I've been a long time FSU fan, so naturally I took a shot when it came time for law apps.

-Awesome weather.

-I really hate snow.

-It was the best school I got into.

-It's one of the cheaper schools I got into.

-Early on, I'm thinking I want to get into government work, and FSU places incredibly well into government.

-Good football program.

-I wanted to go to a big (30k+ students) school at some point in my life.

-Water. I really want to live somewhere where there's a lot of water.

Also, I saw you asked about personal statements. I don't think mine made a huge difference, it was a real low risk/low reward sort of statement about why I thought I would do well as a lawyer and in law school. It was a pretty vanilla PS that I thought wouldn't help me and wouldn't hurt me. Syracuse did cite it when they gave me a half tuition scholarship though, so I guess I at least wrote it well. ;)
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

sinkfloridasink

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 722
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Current law students - post your reasoning!
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 07:48:22 PM »
This will help me figure out my actual thought process. ~3.0/164, born and lived my entire life in FL

-Location was a factor, but not a huge one. I knew I wasn't gonna head out West, but I didn't know if I wanted to stay in the Southeast or go up North. However, I at least wanted the option of coming back to the Southeast if I wanted to. I eventually went with schools in the Southeast as well as a couple in Chicago.
-I applied fairly late (mid-January) in a sort of scatter-shot way. Tulane was one of the first ones to get back to me, and they were consistently pleasant and professional. They definitely went above and beyond any other school in trying to woo me, as well.
-Tulane gave me more money than I had expected. Taking that into consideration, only a Florida school would have realistically offered a comparable education for a cheaper price. UF waitlisted me (I think due in large part either to an outstanding criminal charge against me that only got resolved by the end of the cycle, or the extreme lateness of my application, on the same day as their deadline). FSU got back to me way late.
-On top of all this, Tulane's better-than-expected reputation and job placement in the areas I was interested in, as well as in a kick-ass city where I had good friends, and it was pretty much a no-brainer.
Tulane c/o 2011