Thanks. While Loyola isn't really on the top of my list, I found out that I would be entitled to a benefactor's scholarshop left by my family.
What drawbacks are there concerning Loyola? Why are their admissions easier? Also, does it hurt me in the long run to get a J.D. from Loyola instead of Tulane or LSU?
Tough questions that many law school applicants face....
The drawbacks are simple:
- job prospects
It all depends on what you plan on doing with your education. If your goal is to try and get a job in a top tier law firm, your chances of doing so with a degree from Loyola are going to be much lower. If your goal is to hang your own shingle or work for/with a family member/friend with a smaller firm, it might not matter at all. If your goal is public defender or state's attorney work, it might matter (I'm not familiar with Louisiana's SA office hiring, so you'll have to figure that out on your own). Essentially, a top 10% student at Loyola-NO could be viewed by a firm the same way a bottom 1/3 student at LSU might be. It boils down to reputation and prestige of school. Many of the bigger firms weigh their own perception of the quality of education more so than class rank/gpa.
Generally speaking, a law degree from LSU or Tulane carries more recognition and prestige than Loyola-NO might. As a result, a student from LSU or Tulane have an advantage over a student from Loyola in the eyes of potential employers. If you intend on working for a smaller firm, family/friend, or on your own, it likely won't matter much (or at all). That's not to say that the degree is diminished, it's just a perception thing that might effect the way your application for employment is viewed.
Loyola likely admits students with a lower gpa/lsat because that's their market - folks who don't qualify for better schools. Don't feel bad about that. I'm not judging. John Marshall in Chicago, for example, was built to fill a need for legal education for women, minorities, etc. While their rep has improved over the years, they tend to cater primarily to students who can't get into a better law school in Chicago (Kent, DePaul, Northwestern, U of C, Loyola) but still want to attend and practice in Chicago.
Be aware that attending a school with a lower reputation *might* affect your job prospects in the future. That said, the aba data on loyola-NO shows that they meet or exceed bar passage rates for the state and that 95% of students are employed within 9 months of graduation, so it can't be all bad.
It boils down to what YOU want to do with your JD....