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Author Topic: undergrad school?  (Read 4651 times)

therachelband

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undergrad school?
« on: May 02, 2009, 07:05:13 PM »
Hi everyone,

Does it matter where I go to undergrad? I am paying for my own college and i obviously cant afford a private school, if i go to a large public college will i still have a chance at a t14 school?

bl825

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2009, 11:11:49 PM »
Hi everyone,

Does it matter where I go to undergrad? I am paying for my own college and i obviously cant afford a private school, if i go to a large public college will i still have a chance at a t14 school?

It doesn't matter all that much.  You can go to a large public college and still go to a top law school.  :)
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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 09:54:11 AM »
Yup, I agree with BL825.  Personally, I think most private schools are way overpriced and going to state school is a great deal, and you will still get a good education.  A lot of state schools have pretty solid reputations too and are better known than the small, obscure private schools.  When you apply to law school, it really comes down to your LSAT score and GPA, so work hard wherever you are from the get-go to keep your GPA high.

BikePilot

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 08:37:12 PM »
Yep, college doesn't matter. At a lower ranked college you'll need a higher gpa, but then getting a higher gpa will be easier so it all evens out in the end. I went to a big, cheap state school and had my pick of law schools. Just be sure you are 3.9+ on a 4.0 scale and you'll be golden (assuming a good lsat).

The real advantage of a school like yale or harvard for undergrad is the networking. Your college buddies (and their parents) and your alumni network tend to be really quite extraordinary. In terms of education, I had a fantastic time and got to spend a huge amount of time with some very talented faculty members. I think a motivated student at a less fancy college actually has it really good because there isn't much competition for faculty interaction and its easy to stand out and catch the attention of the faculty members. My classmates were fun to hangout with, but for the most part weren't particularly bright and few are in positions of tremendous authority/leadership. My classmates at hls from yale and harvard have quite different stories - faculty for them seemed to have been much less accessible, but their peers were much more motivated and serious about academics and are now doing much more interesting things with their lives.

As an anecdotal thing, I just walked home from getting ice cream in harvard square and a couple of college guys walked out of one of the Houses right in front of me. Guy one asked guy to, "so do you want the congress thing", guy two "it sounds like an amazing opportunity, what's the application process like" guy one "oh, you don't need to apply, I can get it for you"
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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 09:05:16 PM »
I agree with Bikepilot.  I went to the flagship public of my state, and experienced everything that he did, including roughly the same GPA.  My old friends are working in Chicago or Minneapolis, where they fill humdrum entry-level positions.  The real problem is that you're banking on a good LSAT, but, as long as you're smart and motivated, I don't think that's too risky. 

I do think that Mr. Pilot misses one big point:

You should consider that there are remarkable geographical disparities in how flagship state schools are viewed.  In the Northeast, where I worked for a year before law school, people who went to public schools were considered second-class candidates in the job process.  However, in my home state, everyone goes to the state school, so it's not an issue.  I think I would have an easier time getting a good job with "State School" on my resume than Harvard, simply because people would make the wrong assumptions about the candidate.  (I'm from a rural state.)

Liz Lemon

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2009, 01:09:51 PM »
i feel like where you go to undergrad hardly matters, especially if you are planning on grad school.


You should consider that there are remarkable geographical disparities in how flagship state schools are viewed.  In the Northeast, where I worked for a year before law school, people who went to public schools were considered second-class candidates in the job process.  However, in my home state, everyone goes to the state school, so it's not an issue.  I think I would have an easier time getting a good job with "State School" on my resume than Harvard, simply because people would make the wrong assumptions about the candidate.  (I'm from a rural state.)

i work in the northeast now at a pretty reputable company.  i have never experienced any disparity between people who went to public school and people who went to private school.  i went to an expensive private school, my coworkers went to cheap public schools.  we're all in the same boat and there has never been any perceived difference in the interviewing process when we're looking at entry level candidates.  at the same time, i worked for a congressman and everyone in the office went to local, cheap public schools.  no one who worked there went to a highly respected school private school, not even close.

go to public school, do well, and save yourself some serious cash.  i wish someone said that to me.

BearlyLegal

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 02:17:17 PM »
I actually agree with Wally, and in NYC there is def. an advantage to having an ivy league school on your resume when it comes to finding jobs. That said, if you have summa-range grades at a TTT, you'll do fine anyway, it'll just take a little more legwork.

It doesn't matter at all for law school, and it always amazes me that a significant number of my classmates are HYP grads with boatloads of debt, when I got out of TTT public school by working full time, and now we sit next to each other in classes, and I'm even outdoing some of them in LS GPA.

If you are 100% sure you are going to law school, save the money and go to a TTT UG.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 06:11:28 PM »
I think it's true to a large extent that undergrad. school doesn't matter.

However, I went to an unknown school and I think it affected my chances of admission at a few schools (NOT T14 schools, though, to be clear), based on lawschoolnumbers.com.  (However, to be fair, I took the LSAT twice, so perhaps that was a major factor.) 

Also, as BikePilot mentioned, there IS a benefit from going to a big-name school: the networking is better.  That can make a big difference when you're looking for a solid job. 

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2009, 06:19:13 PM »
The networking is good at a big public school, too, as long as you do the legwork.

UnbiasedObserver

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Re: undergrad school?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 07:48:33 PM »
The networking is good at a big public school, too, as long as you do the legwork.

Even if we assume this is true for the sake of discussion, that doesn't necessarily mean that going to a well-known school (I'm obviously then lumping the "Ivies" and the "big public schools" into one category) isn't a safer bet than going to an unknown school.