Continuation of above postSPECIALTY PROGRAMS:
Although there is technically not much difference in what you learn at any school some schools do specialize in certain areas. If you truly know what area of law you want to get into then the clinics, courses, professor experience might be something to consider. However, few law students and practicing attorneys really know what area of law they want to practice, but some people do.
If you really want to be litigator South Texas Law School has all kinds of opportunities for mock trial competitions. They have built their school around that and give students access to a great courtroom, fund numerous competitions, and really emphasize that. Some other schools have a Tax Clinic they run or something of that nature, and if you happen to know exactly what you want to do then this should be a factor in your decision.
If on the other hand you are like the majority of law students and lawyers that really doesnít specifically know what area you really want then it shouldnít be a big factor in your decision.
I personally know nothing about either school or what specialties they might have, but it is something you can look into if you know where your interests lie. E) Personal Feeling About School
Aside from location each school has itís own feel that you are either going to like or not like. When I was visiting schools there were a few places I couldnít stand and a few others I loved. There was nothing particularly great or awful any of these school did I just had a gut feeling of liking it or not. You should visit these schools individually and see how you feel when you enter it. This is probably one of the most important things to do, because if you canít stand it in your first encounter it will probably not improve over three years.
I highly recommend visiting yourself and getting a feel for the school. Talk to any actual students at the school and see how they feel, professors, and so on. Your are making a big investment of time and money so reach out to the school, and listen to your gut.
F) Scholarship Conditions:
This is the ugly business side of legal education. Many law schools offer full scholarships with conditions that could be considered deceptive. Many schools will say you can have the scholarship as long as you keep a 3.0 GPA. Any law student offered a scholarship at an ABA school likely got a 3.0 in undergrad without trying and assume the same will be true in law school. Unfortunately, it isnít.
Most law schools have very stringent curves and only allow 35% of the first year class to get a 3.0 GPA. This accomplishes two things for law schools first gets rid of scholarship offers and second keeps students from transferring up. You might think you will just study harder than everyone and the other 65% arenít as hard-working as you, but again you will be wrong. About 99% of law students are smart, hard-working, and have a knack for school that is why they signed up for the madness that is law school. Almost every student does pretty well on the exams, but there is a limited number of Aís & Bís that can be handed out. The difference between an A and a C can often be a few multiple choice questions or a missed issue on an essay. It is that tight of a curve.
This article actually does a far better job explaining it than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=allG) Jobs
I wonít sugarcoat it neither of these schools likely have a phenomenal OCI schedule, and most students are probably on their own to find jobs. Many people can and do get jobs from regional schools, but it will not be easy. The economy is also not great now, but then again I donít know if it ever is. (Just a sidenote) but I remember Bill Clintonís 1992 campaign ďitís the economy stupidĒ during the presidential campaign to address the recession that was going on. A lot has changed since then , but jobs are hard to come by and it seems like they always have been, and always will be.
I think your job hunt will be easier if you have 100k less in debt to worry about, but just my two cents. Also if you graduate, pass the bar, odds are you will find a legal job. It won't be easy and your first job likely won't be 6 figures arguing a 1st amendment case, but you are likely to find work at some point. Just be ready for the reality that lots of other people have J.D's and it is a competitive market and profession.
As I stated at the beginning I am nothing more than an anonymous internet poster and my advice should be scrutinized. I am sure someone out there thinks everything I posted is complete B.S. and maybe they are right. If you go into litigation you will be amazed at how two ďexpertsĒ completely contradict eachother.
I also donít know about these schools, but a visit to both of them is certainly in order. However, Boston sounds like a better place to spend three years and if you can save 100k in tuition that accrues interest that is another factor in itís favor.
Good luck to you on this big decision and congratulations on being accepted into law school.