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Author Topic: Widener?  (Read 1391 times)

BeeBopBooBop

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Widener?
« on: February 10, 2009, 04:10:26 PM »
So I took the LSAT in December and I got a 152 (I know, not great).  My LSAC GPA is a 3.36.

I have already gotten into Widener and am waiting on both my Feb LSAT scores and to hear back from the other 12-14 schools that I applied to.  I am wondering if anyone on here has any information on Widener.  I am pretty close to the law school and if I had the opportunity I would probably transfer to a higher ranked school like Temple or Rutgers after my 1L.  I have heard that Widener does relatively well for being a T3/T4 school, but I would like some other opinions on it.  I am interested on any information that people may have (if you know somebody who goes/went to widener, etc.) about Widener school and how it places in the DE, PA, NJ market.  Thanks a lot.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2009, 05:04:43 PM »
I'm assuming that you're talking about the DE campus; am I correct?


dagreat1

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2009, 05:42:32 PM »
I thought very strongly about widener, since they gave me a full ride. a lot of people cautioned against it, as a result i'm going to rutgers.

sorry that doesnt really answer your question but...
Rutgers Camden. 2012

BeeBopBooBop

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2009, 06:46:10 PM »
Yes, I am talking about the DE campus.  I was thinking say I end up going there and manage to get in the top 15% of my class or so... would it be worth transferring or do you think I would actually be able to get a job making 80k+ a year? I am somewhat interested in BigLaw or a clerkship so I don't know if Widener should even be in my options...any thoughts?

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2009, 08:08:21 PM »
Yes, I am talking about the DE campus.  I was thinking say I end up going there and manage to get in the top 15% of my class or so... would it be worth transferring or do you think I would actually be able to get a job making 80k+ a year? I am somewhat interested in BigLaw or a clerkship so I don't know if Widener should even be in my options...any thoughts?

I know much more about the Harrisburg campus than the DE campus, but I'll give you my take.

Even if you weren't set on "biglaw," I'd think twice about going to Widener.  The first thing a firm sees on your resume is your school.  In a competitive market like Philly, where it is ranked behind UPenn, Temple, and Villanova, that's strike one against you.  Strike 2 against you is the fact that many other grads from top-notch schools will be looking for jobs in Philly. 

"Biglaw" and clerkships are highly competitive.  You need every advantage you can get.  But decent jobs in general are also hard to land. 

You also need to remember that most people are gunning for the top 15%, especially at a lower-ranked school.  Most of those people are going to be disappointed, and statistically you probably will be one of them.  You need to be realistic. 

However, you're realistically stuck with schools like Widener most likely unless your Feb. score is significantly better.  That means you're probably going to be paying (I'm guessing based on the Harrisburg campus price) 25 grand or so in tuition alone per year.

So let's add on a very conservative estimate of 5 grand per year for housing and food.  You owe $90,000, and the opportunity cost of not being able to work. 

What do you think the median salary from Widener is?  I'd say 40-50 grand, although I could be mistaken. 

(I do NOT have stats to back this up.  However, I go to a T50 and our median is around 60 grand for private practice.  My guess is that theirs is lower, with all due respect.)

I think you need to ask yourself if the Feb. LSAT score doesn't pan out: is it really worth 90 grand of debt combined with the opp. costs that were lost to most likely earn 40-50 grand starting?

And obviously none of us can answer that for you.  For some, it's a good decision.  For many, though, I'd say it's a mistake.  (And I think the stats showing the depression of many lawyers lends credibility to my assertion.) 


This is just my 2 cents.  I wish you the best of luck!



BeeBopBooBop

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2009, 08:26:45 PM »
Thank you for your reply.  I am definitely aware that everyone is shooting for the top of the class so I do not by any means think that it is a shoe-in to be up there.  I will absolutely try my hardest to get up there, but obviously anything can happen.  I guess my question is this... say I was able to overcome the statistics and get in the top 15% of my class...do you think there would be solid job opportunities?  Do you think it would be smart to stay at Widener and use my high class rank to help me with my 1L summer opportunities?  Or would it be better to get out now and transfer to higher ranked school in the T30-T50 range?  Your opinion is definitely appreciated.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2009, 08:39:40 PM »
Thank you for your reply.  I am definitely aware that everyone is shooting for the top of the class so I do not by any means think that it is a shoe-in to be up there.  I will absolutely try my hardest to get up there, but obviously anything can happen.  I guess my question is this... say I was able to overcome the statistics and get in the top 15% of my class...do you think there would be solid job opportunities?  Do you think it would be smart to stay at Widener and use my high class rank to help me with my 1L summer opportunities?  Or would it be better to get out now and transfer to higher ranked school in the T30-T50 range?  Your opinion is definitely appreciated.

You're welcome. 

(In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I turned down a full-ride to Widener and went to a higher-ranked school.)     

One reason (among many)that I chose another school was that grades are arbitrary.  One grade can mean a large drop in rank.  Since my scholarship was contingent, and the curve there is tough, that makes a big deal! 

Of course, arbitrariness is true at a higher-ranked school also.  However, you have more room for error because you can have a lower class rank and still land a decent job.  At a place like Widener, you probably do not have that room for error. 

For a risk-adverse person like me, Widener was not a good decision.  (And I don't have anything against Widener. It is what it is.)

However, I think if you're top 15%, your opportunities will at least be "decent."  What that means to some people means something totally different to others.  For me, it means a job that pays the bills and that I enjoy.  You might be able to pull biglaw, but it's an uphill battle. 

Still, your opportunities at a higher-ranked school might be better if you transfer from Widener.  I can't honestly say this definitively, but if I was betting I'd say it would be in your best interest to transfer. 

I stress, however, that it's not wise, in my opinion, to go to a school with the intention of transferring.  It's a large risk. 

BeeBopBooBop

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2009, 09:08:17 PM »
I really appreciate your responses and they are definitely helping me out.  So my plan is this... I am going to wait for my Feb LSAT and if I don't break the 160 mark I am going to email all of the schools I applied to who I won't get into with a 152 and ask them to change my application to a part-time applicant.  I will see where I get accepted from in the PT programs and then evaluate my choices better.  What do you think about this?  I am applying to mostly local schools in the PA/NJ area so I will most  likely stay in this area either way.  Do you think attending a part time program, at say, Rutgers or Seton all would be more beneficial to me in the long run that a JD from Widener?  Thanks.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2009, 10:04:56 PM »
I really appreciate your responses and they are definitely helping me out.  So my plan is this... I am going to wait for my Feb LSAT and if I don't break the 160 mark I am going to email all of the schools I applied to who I won't get into with a 152 and ask them to change my application to a part-time applicant.  I will see where I get accepted from in the PT programs and then evaluate my choices better.  What do you think about this?  I am applying to mostly local schools in the PA/NJ area so I will most  likely stay in this area either way.  Do you think attending a part time program, at say, Rutgers or Seton all would be more beneficial to me in the long run that a JD from Widener?  Thanks.

Honestly, I do not know really anything about part-time J.D.'s.  At the very least, you'd be able to work and offset some of the cost of law school.  My guess, however, is that it would be more beneficial, as long as you have a "legitimate" job during the time.  (If you're just doing the PT so you can go to a better school because the standards are normally lowered for PT students, employers may not be impressed.)

Hopefully somebody else here will be able to answer this question. 

cpajd

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Re: Widener?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 12:31:36 PM »
I've been accepted at Widener Harrisburg.  I understand they do pretty well in PA (probably less in the Philly and Pittsburgh markets than the rest of the state).  I don't really have anything to add, other than I'm going to consider all my options after I get responses to the schools I've applied to, and maybe I'll go part time so I don't accumulate debt during school.