Law School Discussion

UDC vs Baltimore

UDC vs Baltimore
« on: November 25, 2009, 08:38:17 AM »
PT programs. Which would be better to attend. Looking to work in Public interest in Balt/Wash Region?

School climate and Bar passage would be helpful.

Re: UDC vs Baltimore
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2009, 11:35:45 AM »
you should be able to find stats on bar passage and job placement on LSAC's ABA Data search.

Personally, I'd say Baltimore. The DC market is saturated with 'better' schools like GW, Georgetown, American, George Mason, and Catholic. In Baltimore (and actually, in all of Maryland) its just UB and UMD. I know plenty of people who've graduated in the past few years from UB and had no problem finding a job. That is, a Baltimore/Maryland job.

If cost of living is a factor, living in Baltimore will be significantly cheaper than living in DC. There a few neighborhoods close to UB that are relatively cheap but still safe, like Mt. Vernon and parts of Bolton Hill.

I dont know as much about UDC's law school, so maybe someone else can chime in. Also, i just looked up tuition and UDC looks alot cheaper (14,000 out/7,000 instate) versus (32,000/22,000). Would you qualify for in state at one of the schools? That could make a big difference and offset and increase in living costs.


Re: UDC vs Baltimore
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 05:05:06 PM »
Baltimore has a much better rep, but that rep doesn't extend outside of MD unless you are at the very top of your class. UDC is essentially seen as an east coast version of Cooley. Basically, it's a bottom of the barrel school and everyone knows it.

Another thing, I wouldn't go to Balt unless you can pay your tuition up front and avoid taking out big loans. Also, without in-state tuition, I wouldn't bother. Balt is a fairly big school for its market and there just aren't enough jobs for all the grads coming out of that school each year.

Public interest jobs in the region are also more competitive to get than you can possibly imagine.

If you don't like either of these choices get your LSAT score up.


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Re: UDC vs Baltimore
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 12:08:05 AM »
Baltimore no question.

Re: UDC vs Baltimore
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 04:17:03 PM »
Thanks for all the responses everyone.

I appreciate the input. I should add some information, and this may help in your advice.

I'm an older student in my late 20's. I have some loans from my masters degrees a few years back, so money is a consideration. I was offered a nice scholarship at UDC and prob wont get money from Balt. Seems like they are super cheap on the PT scholarships. MY LSAT was above UDC 75% and UBalts 75% as well as my GPA. Retaking the LSAT would do noting. UDC, Balt, and UMD (waiting still) are the ONLY 3 schools on earth that can work to fit my personal and professional obligations. I'm currently in education where I have worked for several years. This degree would be for internal promotion/job change or with a branch/department in education in the Balt/Wash area.

Given this information

Would UDC/Balt prepare me to pass the bar that much differently?
Are Ubalt loans worth it when comparing it to UDC in 5 years?
Will the degree carry just as well in the Balt/Wash regions given my intentions?

Thanks so much for your time guys

PS: That Cooley comment was a bit off base all things considered. For someone with a solid LSAT score I take that comment to heart. Life narrows one's choices at times. Nothing is Cooley, nothing.

Re: UDC vs Baltimore
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 07:09:59 PM »

I walked out of UDC law a couple of years ago because it was a poor excuse for a law school. The bar pass rate is about 50% in Md.  The grads get crappy jobs and have a high rate of grads working at burger flipping jobs--any kind of job is counted by the school as employed. 
I worked (for $) at a highly regarded civil rights law firm and the UDC students who interned there couldn't get hired.  The teachers are poor, one HAS to be a liberal sheeple or endure contempt from students and faculty for political incorrectness.  The grading is not anonymous, bad grades punish wrong thought--not poorly done exams.

The clinics(14 credits worth, I kid yu not) and community service take up so much time and energy that is almost impossible to study and digest academic studies properly.  UDC also claims theyoffer all sorts of diffeent classes like ed law, health law that they don't ever offer.

Go to Baltimore, no contest--it is better regarded in DC--and it has some academic standards.  I will apply there if I decide to stay in Md.--it is a good value and a waaaaay better education than UDC.

ANd UDC is a really filthy school. The bathrooms smell and there ids litter all over the place.

Re: UDC vs Baltimore
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 07:46:15 PM »
Honestly, I would really hold off on law school at this point. You need to do more research on what kinds of internal promotions or job changes a law degree, and specifically a law degree from those schools will afford you. You need to get out there and talk to several people who are in the jobs you want to have when you finish the JD. Your plan simply might not be feasible or the JD may be entirely useless or unnecessary to accomplish your goals. If you have no contacts, you can start by cold-calling / emailing these people and ask if they'd agree to do a 20 minute information interview about the work they do. You can pick up some books at the library that explain how to do this.

For example, I knew a guy who was in his 50s and had worked for a state university as a tenured prof for a number of years. They promoted him to an administrative role within his department. His job was pretty demanding. He decided to go to law school at night(at a school that had a decent rep in the area, but no national rep) because he thought getting the law degree might make him a more competitive candidate for higher level administrative jobs at the top universities in his field. Turns out he was wrong. Those universities didn't care one iota about whether or not he had a law degree and were much more interested in his work experience. He eventually quit law school during his second year, I believe.

If it turns out law school really is the right decision for you after you've thorough research, you can go next year or the year after or whenever you feel like it. There shouldn't be any reason to rush into law school, especially if you are going PT.

Anyway, most schools do not offer generous scholarships to PT students. Where do you currently have residency, by the way? Why are those the only 3 schools that will work for you? GW, Gtown, GMU, and American also have part-time law school programs in the area. Not saying that any of those schools would change anything about what I said in the first paragraph, just curious as to why those 3 schools you mentioned are the only ones that you say will work for you.

As far as the bar goes, neither school will necessarily prepare you for the bar. Law school doesn't really prepare you for bar per se. That's why bar review courses like Bar/Bri and the like exist. You won't pass the bar without one. Some schools focus their curriculum on courses that will be tested on the bar and tailor exams to help students get in the basic mindset of how the bar works. That's why certain lower ranked schools have very high or very solid bar passage rates.

UDCs bar passage rates have historically been atrocious. They are getting better, but they are still below the state averages. My guess is that a lot of UDC students do not prep adequately for the bar, or the school still hasn't done enough to focus the curriculum on bar courses and bar focused exams.

See here:

Compare to UBalt, which is not amazing but very close to the state average:

Part of the reason UDC's reputation amongst the legal community is so weak probably has a lot to do with their historical bar passage rates. I believe at one point less than half of their graduating class was able to pass the bar. Not only that, but the region you're talking about is a very elitist place and UDC has a very poor rep as a university in general.  UBalt is not a heavy hitter by any means, but it's somewhat respectable, and has a solid rep in MD. Like I said, UDC is seen as bottom of the barrel throughout the area. Even if you pass the bar on the first try, you may find it impossible to find a lawyer job when your pass results come in because the rep of the school really is that bad.