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Author Topic: My last minute dilemma..For this Fall!  (Read 671 times)

smw1031

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My last minute dilemma..For this Fall!
« on: July 20, 2011, 03:34:47 PM »
I took the LSAT late (this June) with the idea that I would be taking a year off of school...Then I found out some schools are still accepting applications, so I decided to throw a few out there so I can get a jump start on my studies and then transfer to either Marquette, Madison,  Kent, Depaul, Loyola or Northwestern for my 2nd and 3rd years. I should have had no problem getting in all those school's full-time programs (except for Northwestern, I should've been able to get into their part-time program and I could have been possibly wait-listed at Madison) if I had taken the LSAT sooner...

This past week, I received a scholarship from Hamline that puts me at $20,000 per year (that includes my living expenses and budgeting in book costs), today I just received a scholarship for Ohio Northern that puts me at $5,000 for tuition per year(haven't looked into living costs there yet). I am still waiting to hear from Drake and Akron. Any suggestions of what to do or where to go? Which school is the most reputable? What school will be taken most seriously by Marquette especially for transfer because I would really like to end up back in WI, or close enough to it to commute...

Thanks a ton!!

bigs5068

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Re: My last minute dilemma..For this Fall!
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2011, 04:34:17 PM »
I was in an almost identical situation in 2008 and law school is not something to rush into. When you enroll in a law school odds are that is where you are staying especially if you are intending to transfer up. To transfer up you basically need to be in the top 20% of the class  and there is an 80% chance you won't be in the top 20%. Law students at any ABA school are smart and everyone on the first day thinks they will be in the top 20% and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how that work. Now Ohio Northern, Hamline etc are ok schools, but they are offering you money for your numbers so they can boost their rankings. As soon as they can report your score your numbers mean nothing and how well you perform in school will be how they judge you.

I am guessing Ohio Northern & Hamline put some kind of conditions on your scholarship such as keeping a 3.0 or being in some percentage of the class. A 3.0 sounds easy, but in law school is not generally only 35% of first year students can have a 3.0 so there is a 65% chance you will lose it for your second and third years. You will also not be able to transfer and you will be stuck paying full tuition at a school you never really wanted to go to.

Bottom line is DO NOT go to law school intending to transfer, because odds are it will not happen. Also choose a school you will be happy with and don't rush into anything. Law school is a 100,000+ 3 year commitment and this is a big deal. Do not rush into anything. I would wait to apply until next cycle and see what your real options are. As a sidenote you should attend an LSAC forum before applying and you will get numerous fee waviers so you can apply to a lot more schools and really see what you are worth.

Good luck to you.


smw1031

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Re: My last minute dilemma..For this Fall!
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 08:45:14 AM »
Thank you! My ONU scholarship of $30,000 a year is not contingent on anything. My Hamline Scholarship of $22,000 a year states I need to remain full-time and keep above a 2.0 GPA.

bigs5068

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Re: My last minute dilemma..For this Fall!
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 11:39:54 AM »
Those are really favorable conditions so it is not a bad deal, but I would still wait and see what your options are when you apply to all different schools . Apply early on the first day apps out generally September or October 1st and a lot of scholarship money will be available. You can also go to those schools and get out relatively debt free, which would be awesome.

One other thing if you want to live in Wisconsin I would highly recommend going to law school in Wisconsin. Generally you want to go to school where you want to live. Wisconsin is also different because they have the degree privilege or at least they did and if you attend Wisconsin or Marquette you automatically pass the bar in Wisconsin, which would alleviate a lot of stress.

FalconJimmy

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Re: My last minute dilemma..For this Fall!
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 02:52:14 PM »
Although people here will be a little too harsh about the prospects of a transfer, I'd advise this:

1.  If you do very, very well, you can probably transfer to a very good school.  I'd say that if you're the type who will be in the top 10% in your class, you can probably transfer into many 2T schools.  If you are in the top 5% to #1 in the class, you stand a shot at going to a T1 school.

2.  That is worlds away from saying you have a good shot to transfer into a SPECIFIC school.  It's entirely possible that regardless of how well you do, that you cannot transfer into a SPECIFIC school that you are targeting.  Better to have a more general goal of transferring into something in T2 or T1.  However, not particularly adviseable to, say, set a goal of transferring into Northwestern, specifically.

3.  The other distinct possibility is that you won't be in the top 10% of your 1L class.  I know that sounds harsh.  We're all highly intelligent people here.  However, pretty much everybody who enters 1L thinks they'll be in the top 10% of the class.  90% of us are wrong.  This isn't like undergrad.  All the doofuses who were content with a C, and overjoyed if they managed a B are gone.  They had enough of school and they're probably not coming back for any more.  Even the worst-regarded ABA law schools in the country have a student population of higher caliber than what you saw in undergrad.  Even the very worst have some seriously intelligent and motivated students in there. 

So, with that having been said, I agree with the folks who say do NOT attend a Law school that you would not be able to live with if you had to attend it for all 3 years.  The vast majority of people who enter 1L and graduate will do it all at one school.  Transferring is not impossible, but it's problematic.  Plus, strange things happen.  People get married, they get jobs, they have babies, whatever.  Unless you live like a monk, you're going to experience a lot of life, and sometimes life takes you where it wants to take you, not where you envisioned you would go.

Best of luck.  I considered ONU, but it was a little far for me.  Cost of living there should be really cheap.  It's basically in the middle of a bunch of cornfields.  Seems like a very nice school.