Law School Discussion

Need Help! Less than 48 hours! *UPDATED* with decision. Thanks for replies.

Mercer Law Full-time Program (Ranked 100, 33k Tuition, no scholarship)


Georgia State Law Part-time Program (Ranked 77, 9k Tuition, no scholarship)

I have less than 48 hours to make a decision...well, at least a seat deposit.  The answer might seem obvious, but I'm having trouble because of the following:

1)  3 years at Mercer vs. 4-5 years at GSU.  I'm 28 years old atm.

2)  Mercer has less attrition and significantly higher clerkship placement, although Georgia State places more grads into the NLJ 250 by a very small margin.

3)  Mercer has the #1 Legal writing program in the nation.  (Which I actually care about)

4)  I don't think there is much of a difference between 77 and 100 in the rankings.

5)  I feel like my chances for moot court and law review would be enhanced at Mercer both from the standpoint of competitiveness and the distinction between PT and FT.  I'm not sure about the latter, I'm hoping someone can fill me in.

6)  I went to GSU as an undergrad and their law campus leaves much to be desired while the Mercer Law school building is much more inviting.  I know this isn't all that important, but it deserves some attention.

All comments and advice will be appreciated.  Please spare me the "don't go to law school" comments.  I know it's bad out there but I'm much more concerned about a long term career than instant NLJ 250 success.  By the way, I'm looking at roughly 75,000 in debt coming out of GSU as opposed to 150,000 out of Mercer.


Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2009, 07:00:29 AM »
This is a hard choice, but I would lean more towards GSU.  The reasoning is the money, at only 9K a year even if it is 4-5 years is going to save you a ton of money to go to a better school.  It is hard to turn down FT though, especially being a little older than the average law student.  But ultimately I would say GSU.

Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2009, 07:03:12 AM »
For what it's worth,

Georgia State

If you are more concerned with attending law school, i think this is the best choice. If you have a successful first year you can then transfer to the full-time program.

Good luck

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 07:06:56 AM »
no one else actually cares that mercer has the top writing program in the country. go to gsu. this is a no-brainer.

Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 07:30:48 AM »
Yeah but you get a free laptop at Mercer...Damn they're good.

Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2009, 12:04:57 PM »
Sounds like Mercer is where you want to be, that's worth a lot. I don't know much specifically about either school.

As for the legal writing thing, I wouldn't put much weight on that factor. Legal writing courses tend to be a joke. You'll learn plenty of legal writing in law school, just not though LRW. You'll learn when you have to write briefs for litigation courses, when doing research with professors, by taking seminars where you read a lot of good legal scholarship and write weekly response papers and of course from doing your own scholarship. Good writing happens more though practice and lots of it than though a structured course on the subject.

Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 12:23:35 PM »
FWIW, I think you should pick Mercer.  You seem to prefer that school.  Plus, 3 years is long enough - are you really interested in spending 4.5 years in law school?

Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2009, 12:42:21 PM »
send a letter to Mercer telling them of your desire to attend, but explaining the cost disparity between their school and your GSU option.  plead for some sort of scholarship.

then go to mercer regardless of what they give you. 


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Re: Need Help! Less than 48 hours!
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2009, 01:52:24 PM »
FYI part-time law school is four years, not five. Many do it in 3.5 or even 3, about half my PT class graduated before four years. If its like my school PT has no effect on LR or moot court, in fact if your not working fulltime you have more time fo these activities. But go to the school you like most, law school can suck at time, not liking where you go makes that worse.

Thanks much to everyone who had something to say.  To my surprise, I realized that my GSU acceptance letter did not limit me to the part-time program that I had selected as my first choice.  I was actually given the opportunity to choose between 2 full-time programs and 3 part-time.  I chose full-time day, sent the seat deposit, and withdrew from all the schools I had applied to.

As for Mercer, I was actually considering sending a handwritten letter to thank them.  If you guys knew my personal story, you would probably understand why.  I was more than a long shot for any law school just a few years ago for a number of reasons.  I was far from a shoe-in and they accepted my application 3 days after it went complete.  I sent them an email thanking them for their consideration and how much I loved their law school and how I was withdrawing due to financial factors.  I don't know if they actually read beyond, "This is...I would like to withdraw..."  Nevertheless, it seemed like the right thing to do.  I'm still not completely convinced but it was time to make a decision.

GSU, here I come. Anyone on a Mercer wait list?   ;)