Law School Discussion

T4 in a city I want to practice in (no $) or T2 in CA/Denver with $$$

I was accepted into South Texas in Houston, but wasn't offered any scholarships. However, I would love to end up in Houston practicing.

I was also accepted into the The University of Denver with a big scholarship and am still waiting to hear back from a few other T2 law schools in California. Though I don't mind working outside of Texas for a couple of years after law school, I still see myself returning there.

My question is should I choose the T4 in-state or the T2 out-of-state?

nealric

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Surprising that you got a scholarship to Denver and nothing from South Texas. Did you get in to U Houston? U Houston is probably cheaper than Denver with the scholarship.

Although I would normally strongly recommend going local, I just can't see the local issue justifying the extra cost. Have you considered negotiating for money with south texas?

bigs5068

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If Houston is where you want to end up then you should really go to school there. I was in a pretty similar situation last year and I am so HAPPY I did not go to the higher ranked school. Everything has worked out perfectly at the tier 4, because this is the city I want to live in. The reality is people in Texas are not going to be that impressed by University of Denver and in all likelihood you will end up in Colorado if Denver is where you go to school. The school in Texas will have connections in Texas and a school in Colorado will have connections in Colorado it is pretty much common sense, but U.S. News has really screwed with that.

In reality the rankings are pretty much complete B.S. if you look at how they are measured, which I didn't do until a few weeks ago and I am shocked at how seriously people including myself last year take them. 88% of what makes a schools ranking is subjective or easily manipulated data and the two truly objective things in the U.S. News formula bar passage rate and LSAT score make up only 12% of a school's ranking. The reality is most employers will not care whether you went to the the 95th or the 117th best school it is all about location when you go to a school in the T-2, T-3, or T-4 range. Also a school in Houston will be geared towards preparing you for the Texas Bar and a school in Colorado will be geared towards preparing you for the Colorado Bar. 

Obviously, if you were choosing between Stanford or Harvard and the tier 4 the answer would obviously be to go to the elite school, but when you are dealing with 95 and 117 or whatever the difference between Denver and South Texas is it does not make much of a difference. 

However, money is nice and if you could envision living in Colorado then maybe take that deal, but if your goal is to be end up being a lawyer in Houston then stay as close to that area as possible. Unless of course you get into an ELITE school.

I am only in my first year of law school so maybe my advice is incorrect, but I personally am SO thankful I did not choose a higher ranked school in a location I did not want to live in.  Particularly, after recently learning what complete B.S. the rankings are.