Law School Discussion

full tuition scholarship to RWU

full tuition scholarship to RWU
« on: December 29, 2008, 03:24:36 PM »
I have received a full-tuition merit scholarship to RWU.  I am seriously entertaining the idea of attending this fall, but have read some things online that have me worried.  I noticed that most of these posts are a couple of years old.  Is anyone currently attending RWU that can give me some advice about the school and some information concerning job prospects for RWU graduates.  It seems that in the past couple of years the bar passage/employment rates have gone up. I cannot decide whether I should take the free ride to RWU or fork over the big bucks to attend a more reputable school.  Any help would be appreciated.

Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 02:47:55 PM »
What other "more reputable schools" are you thinking of attending? I did not go there, but I am from RI and know some grads. The grads I know are happy about thier education and they all got jobs. From what I have heard, it is no different the any other T4 (hiring is pretty regional).

I have been to the campus, which is very nice, and the town of Bristol is a cool place to live or go to school. It is is the only school in RI, which is both good and bad - good because there are a lot of opportunities, bad because the RI and SE MA legal market is flooded with new lawyers every year. There are a good amount of RWU grads working at RI's bigger firms (which aren't big in the BIGLAW sense), but there are a lot of graduates every year to compete with, and its seems a lot look to stay in the RI area.

Upside, from what I can tell, is that the school is relativiley new, so it has some potential to move upward (whereas school like Suffolk and NE SOL have been T3/T4 forever), education seems solid, they do place attornies in RI firms with regularity.
. They are always hosting events for RI/MA attorneys and are actively involved in the legal community around here.

Downside, alumni network is not near as big a either of those two other school, especially in MA. In MA you also have to compete with Harvard, BU, BC, NE.

My thoughts, if you want to go to law school and your choice is between $ at RWU and paying at another T3/T4 take the free ride. If you choice is between $ at RWu and paying for a T25, go to a T25. If your coice is between $ and a lower T1 or T2, it depends on the school and what you want to do when you graduate.


Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 08:29:09 PM »
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my question.  The information you provided is very helpful.  My UGPA/LSAT is not high enough to get into a top 25. (3.2;161)  I have applied to Arizona(pending review) and been accepted to the University of the Pacific McGeorge.  It would cost 22k/ go to McGeorge and if I get into Arizona it would cost around 30k because I would not get a scholarship and pay out of state tuition.  These are the more reputable schools to which I was referring.

It is very reassuring that you know RWU grads who got jobs.  Bristol looks like a great town and the faculty come from a variety of Ivy League/T1 schools. My main concern is that I wouldn't be able to gain employment because, as you stated, RI and MA are flooded with attornies.  I will probably attend RWU because I do want to keep the debt load down. Thanks again ksully.

Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2008, 11:40:43 AM »
Unless you want to practice in Arizona or do not want to practice in New England, I would take the money. I don't think either school has a national reputation that is going to help with a job search outside of their repective region. Plus, if you do well and look to transfer, there are several school realtively closeby in MA that you might be able to get into and not have to make a huge move. But thats just me. 


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Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 06:28:29 AM »
You should also take into account what it takes to KEEP your full ride.  If your scholarship requires you to be in the top 1/3 or top 1/2 or to maintain a specific gpa, you need to assume that you'll lose it at the earliest possible time.  Looking at THAT amount of debt is what you should be basing your decision on, not the amount of debt after having a full ride for all 3 years.

Be especially careful with scholarships that require you to maintain a certain gpa; many schools use this to ensure they will only have to continue to pay out a handful of scholarship after first year.  If your curve is a 2.9, but you need to maintain a 3.3 for your scholarship, odds are you will lose it (and frankly, just looking at the odds, you're likely to lose any scholarship that requires you to be ranked higher than top half).

So after looking at RWU as a free ride for 1L, and you paying full tuition for the next 2 years, does it still seem like a sound investment to you?  Knowing what I know now, I'm thinking that NO school is worth that kind of money in our over-saturated legal profession.

Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2009, 12:59:59 PM »
I have to stay in the top third of the class to maintain my scholarship.  While I do not think it will be easy, I have confidence that if I put forth the effort, I will be able to do so.  If I cannot stay in the top third of my class, chances are that I would not have what it takes to make it as an attorney anyway.  It is a valid point of concern, however.

Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2009, 09:02:54 PM »
My goal is to be in the top 5 percent of my class, so if I fail to stay in the top third I would view it as an abject failure.  I do not think that Roger Williams University is worth 32k/yr., so if I do lose my scholarship, I would drop out.  I do not anticipate this happening, however.

Re: full tuition scholarship to RWU
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2009, 10:17:43 PM »
Thanks for the advice 'stole your nose.' I am not betting on being in the top 5 percent - that is just a goal.  But  betting on being in the top third is precisely what I am doing.  You may think this is risky, but I have a lot of confidence in myself.  It's a gamble, but I think it will be one that pays off.  BTW, what school do you go to?