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Author Topic: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University  (Read 1901 times)

Lawsome

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University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« on: April 17, 2009, 04:33:47 PM »
Maryland is ranked higher, but I prefer Washington DC over Baltimore... anyone have advice?!?

SamE397

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 04:54:59 PM »
People on here will tend to say Maryland because most of them are 0ls or only know about their law school so they tend to side with national rep. Though IMO differences between non-elite law schools are greatly exaggerated by rankings. So I would probably say go to school where you want to be and where you could see yourself working. Like everyone else on here though I'm just a random person on a message board you can make much better decisions about your life than I could.   

Good-luck

nealric

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 05:00:15 PM »
I disagree with SamE and it has nothing to do with USNews or national rep.

Despite being in Baltimore, Md still is within the DC area for the job market (it's all one big megalopolis anyways). The regional prestige will be better at Md. Assuming you are getting in-state tuition (and no Catholic scholarship), Md will likely be much cheaper.

Also, have you visited Catholic? It's in a pretty crummy part of town (IMHO).
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Youk

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 05:23:18 PM »
Yeah, CUA is in a soso part of town, but DC is so small and easy to get around that you don't have to live there.  It's not like if you went to school in Newark at Rutgers and you'd have to live near Newark somewhere in NJ, unless you'd commute from somewhere else. 

IF you are using that as a data point, then I'll offer up that UMD is in an even worse part of town in Baltimore.  Recommend putting aside where the school location is in this case, b/c it's pretty even.  Focus on as SamE says - where you want to be.  If you want to work in/around DC, UMD carries pretty well.

But again, this is assuming you do well.  Lot of people go into law school saying they are going be top 5% etc etc, but in reality that doens't happen more often than people realize.  Let's face it Baltimore has fewer options in terms of number of opps...but if you do well at UMD, it's the better option for sure. 

GULC is in soso part of town as well, but again, you'd put that aside b/c of the quality of the school. 

In the end, I think UMD is the better option on paper.  But it's what you do in school that matters more.  We aren't comparing Harvard to CUA.  UMD is barely a Tier I.

SamE397

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 07:23:12 PM »
I disagree with SamE and it has nothing to do with USNews or national rep.

Despite being in Baltimore, Md still is within the DC area for the job market (it's all one big megalopolis anyways). The regional prestige will be better at Md. Assuming you are getting in-state tuition (and no Catholic scholarship), Md will likely be much cheaper.

Also, have you visited Catholic? It's in a pretty crummy part of town (IMHO).
These are good points. I hope I didn't come across as too cynical. It's just too often I think these threads are hijacked by groupthink which does a disservice to the OPs because they don't get two sides. 

MD definitely has a better rep than Catholic but the problem I see as someone from outside the area is that even with a solid rep it's still somewhere between 6-8th in the market. If the OP is definitely set on DC I think there's something to be said for being able to network more effectively and possibly gain experience in DC.

nealric

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 07:39:59 PM »
Quote

GULC is in soso part of town as well, but again, you'd put that aside b/c of the quality of the school.   

This really hasn't been true for the last 10 years or so. Union Station / Chitown has been pretty thoroughly revitalized. Also, walk three blocks from GULC and you are on the National Mall. Walk three blocks from NY avenue... you are still a ways from anything resembling a nice part of town.
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Youk

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2009, 10:17:54 PM »
I too am in the area.  There is a reason why GULC has a shuttle service students leaving in the evening/night. Walk a few blocks and you are smackdab in no man's land in the evening...right nearby is the food kitchen that attracts a tough crowd.

But, maybe I painted a bleaker picture then deserved.  The issue isn't that around Union and chinatown has improved, it's the sketchy couple blocks between GULC and those areas.  But, CUA is also next to a metro stop, so walking between public trans and the school has minimal risk.

HOWEVER, like any city in America - at night, regardless of where you are, you have to be aware of your surroundings.

I would still say UMD.  But as SamE points out, UMD is still behind GW, GULC etc in the market.  However, think UMD would carry more outside of the area, a lot b/c UMD is a recongizable name, whereas CUA is not as much.

luvcats

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2009, 11:24:00 PM »
I disagree with SamE and it has nothing to do with USNews or national rep.

Despite being in Baltimore, Md still is within the DC area for the job market (it's all one big megalopolis anyways). The regional prestige will be better at Md. Assuming you are getting in-state tuition (and no Catholic scholarship), Md will likely be much cheaper.

Also, have you visited Catholic? It's in a pretty crummy part of town (IMHO).

Have you visited Maryland?  It's also in a crummy part of town (and that's putting it nicely).

soundsgood

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2009, 11:53:16 AM »
Being quite familiar with Baltimore, I don't see why people are saying that Maryland is in such a horrible part of town.  Granted, being in a relatively fine part of Baltimore doesn't say much, but it isn't as if you will be attending school in an episode of the Wire.

The problem with Baltimore is that it can go from nice to scary really quickly, and if you don't know where you are, things can get pretty dicey in a hurry.

That being said, the area between the law school and the inner harbor is pretty safe, and I wouldn't see a reason to head off in other directions.  If you live in Federal Hill or Canton, and stick to the inner harbor area and law school when downtown, you are staying in the nicer parts of the city.

But for the original question, I feel like Catholic my be a bigger gamble.  Maryland and Catholic may have similar options in DC, but Maryland certainly does better in the state of Maryland.  DC can be a hard market to crack, and I think it would be smart to attend a school that can provide some sort of backup plan.

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Re: University of Maryland vs. Catholic University
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2009, 04:26:09 PM »
I'm sorry, but paying sticker price at Catholic is simply not an attractive option. 

Are you a Maryland resident?  If so, and you can get in-state tuition, this should be an easy choice.

I have met 2nd and 3rd year law students from Catholic.  I was at the 18th Street Lounge talking to a girl from Catholic, Apparently, maybe the top 1 or 2 students have great options.  But beyond that, the law review and the moot court board are happy getting midlaw, and everybody else is just happy getting a job.

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