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Author Topic: Limited Opportunities at a T20 from a T10?  (Read 683 times)

jparsenal87

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Limited Opportunities at a T20 from a T10?
« on: June 28, 2010, 09:29:52 PM »
I'm really struggling with this, and I'm sure I won't come across as really eloquent, but I was hoping someone might help me with a question I have. Basically, I took the LSAT last year and got a score in the 170's (with a 3.9 gpa), did the usual thing, blanketed most of the Top 14. However, because of my financial situation, my close connection to DC, and just my plain desire to NOT go into debt, I also applied to the GW early decision/full ride program. So long story short, I got into the program, and am headed to GW in the fall.

So I have been reading alot of the "t14 or bust" language here and on other sites. The top school I got into was columbia (but realistically there was no way i could afford to pay full tuition and live in NYC), and i got good offers to go to schools like UVA/Mich/Penn with ~20k scolarships. My question is, how big a hole did I put myself in by committing to the GW program and not attending a T10 school?

I do not believe I want to do BigLaw (although, to be totally honest, I cannot say for certain that I want/do not want to do ANYTHING really), but I am very interested in litigation (although, again, I admit not knowing what exact specialty I'll wind up in).

Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I know that for BigLaw and academia, etc, it's a huge hit not coming from a T10, but what if I do well at GW (I won't play the % game, because I know there are just as many intelligent motivated students at GW as there are at Columbia), what would my job prospects look like coming back? Do you think I made a really poor decision, or its justifiable considering the finances and my comfort level with the city?

Thanks in advance!

SASS

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Re: Limited Opportunities at a T20 from a T10?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 10:23:27 PM »
Yeah, people say a lot of things on these boards.  I don't think you will have limited options from GW.  It is well respected in DC and their grads have options.  In this economy, you must do well.  I don't mean top 10% or bust, but I think you have to be top 40% or so.  I don't know, it is hard to gauge in this economy but you will be graduating in 3 years.  That is a tough call though, money at GW vs Columbia.  B/c I think it is so close, I don't think it ultimately matters. GW's degree is not limiting.  Columbia's degree is, well Columbia.

Note: If you don't want biglaw, I would choose GW. They send a bunch of people to the govt where you actually get an opportunity to litigate early in your career. Not having much debt will be nice if you opt for this route. But I will say this, I graduated this May and I am going to be doing something completely different than anything I could have imagined. You just never know.

Good luck to you.

the white rabbit

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Re: Limited Opportunities at a T20 from a T10?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 12:34:58 AM »
I'm really struggling with this, and I'm sure I won't come across as really eloquent, but I was hoping someone might help me with a question I have. Basically, I took the LSAT last year and got a score in the 170's (with a 3.9 gpa), did the usual thing, blanketed most of the Top 14. However, because of my financial situation, my close connection to DC, and just my plain desire to NOT go into debt, I also applied to the GW early decision/full ride program. So long story short, I got into the program, and am headed to GW in the fall.

So I have been reading alot of the "t14 or bust" language here and on other sites. The top school I got into was columbia (but realistically there was no way i could afford to pay full tuition and live in NYC), and i got good offers to go to schools like UVA/Mich/Penn with ~20k scolarships. My question is, how big a hole did I put myself in by committing to the GW program and not attending a T10 school?

I do not believe I want to do BigLaw (although, to be totally honest, I cannot say for certain that I want/do not want to do ANYTHING really), but I am very interested in litigation (although, again, I admit not knowing what exact specialty I'll wind up in).

Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I know that for BigLaw and academia, etc, it's a huge hit not coming from a T10, but what if I do well at GW (I won't play the % game, because I know there are just as many intelligent motivated students at GW as there are at Columbia), what would my job prospects look like coming back? Do you think I made a really poor decision, or its justifiable considering the finances and my comfort level with the city?

Thanks in advance!

Are there conditions on the scholarship?  If not, I don't think it's a bad decision.  I have friends who are $200k in the hole.  Even coming out of a very top school, that's an enormous amount of debt to shoulder.  I probably would have come out the other way, but that's just me.
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nealric

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Re: Limited Opportunities at a T20 from a T10?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 05:25:44 PM »
Getting out debt-free would be very attractive. I don't think it's a horrible deal.
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JG

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Re: Limited Opportunities at a T20 from a T10?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 07:30:39 PM »
I did essentially the same thing (chose WUSTL full ride over T14 with $20K), and I don't regret it for a second.  I love the fact that my debt is minimal (mostly just what I took out for living expenses during law school), and I can't imagine having more debt than I do.  It would make me feel trapped.  I also didn't feel like my options were particularly limited--I ended up in midlaw in a small city for family reasons, but I did a federal appellate clerkship first and   think I could easily have gone biglaw in NYC.  The only things I really felt were probably out of reach because of my school were (1) a Supreme Court clerkship, and (2) a law professorship, neither of which I wanted.

I did do very well at WUSTL, though; I might feel differently had I not.