Law School Discussion

Campbell Law vs. Charlotte Law

Campbell Law vs. Charlotte Law
« on: March 19, 2012, 09:31:44 AM »
I would like to get an honest opinion on two of my choices for attending law school in the fall.

Here is my current situation:
Charlotte School of Law: Charlotte, NC.  $25,000 scholarship (renewable contingent upon maintaining at 3.0 GPA).  Tuition: ~$36,000/year.
Campbell Law: Raleigh, NC.  No scholarship.  Tuition: ~$34,000/year.

I know that I want to stay in North Carolina, and I could really see myself at either Campbell or Charlotte, after visiting both schools.

My parents live in Charlotte & I went to high school there.  However, I would not live with them because that would be far too much stress for me to handle.  I could see myself living and working in Charlotte in the future.  Charlotte is a very young school & has recently been accredited in August 2011 (the minimum time for ABA accreditation).  I know someone who goes there who says that she loves it, and that they offer a great legal education.  I'm aware of the "Scholarship scam" that many law schools offer, because of the minimum GPA requirement, which is also something that worries me.

Campbell Law was the first law school that I visited, and I fell in love with the school and downtown Raleigh (where it is located).  It is definitely more well-respected than Charlotte in the state of North Carolina because it has been around longer, and I believe has had a higher bar passage rate than UNC and Wake Forest since the 1990's.  As I said, I think Raleigh is a great city and I could also see myself working there after law school.  I have heard that Campbell is more challenging, so I feel as though I would not be able to be at the top of the class, like I would have more of a chance to do at Charlotte.  I just do not know if I want to incur about 75% more debt going to Campbell, as opposed to Charlotte Law.

Thoughts & opinions are greatly appreciated.


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Re: Campbell Law vs. Charlotte Law
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 10:28:37 AM »
Well that is a difficult decision, but before I give my two cents realize I and anyone else is nothing more than an anonymous person on the internet who knows nothing about you or your situation.

It is good to know you are aware of the scholarship scam if you want to call it that, but what are the requirements at Charlotte? Is it a 3.0 GPA minimum and if so how many students can recieve a 3.0 in their first year. I would call Charlotte and ask how many students lose their scholarship or look at their student handbook to see what their curve is. If you can save 75,000 on tuition, which is what it would be over three years that is a lot of money, and something to really consider.

However, it seems like you really like Charleston and the city. Location, atmosphere of the school you are going to attend is a huge factor. You are going to be in that area for a minimum of three years, and 1L year time essentially stands still so it feels a lot longer. During those 3 years your going to make friends, get an apartment, a girlfriend/boyfriend (if you don't already have one, and your will get settled there. So the physical location of the school is a big decision in itself, because odds are that is where you will end up living for quite awhile if not the rest of your life.

School atmosphere is another thing to consider. It is great your friend loves Charlotte, but what one person loves another may hate. If you loved Charleston that is something to listen to. When I was choosing schoosl I visited a lot of places some I hated others I loved. What I hated about one place someone else may have loved. What you like or dislike about a school is a very subjective feeling and you are going to be spending a lot of time at whatever school you choose. If you love the environment your in you will likely do well in school and just generally be happier.

The money is something to consider, but over the long haul of your life and legal career you will pay the debt off. Although when starting out the numbers seem insurmountable it eventually becomes manageable. So just based on the limited facts you presented knowing nothing about you I would probably choose Charleston, because you feel in love with the school. If Charlotte doesn't do it for you then don't spend 3 years of your life and even the scholarship lasts all three yeras 33K + living expenses it adds up.

Also one thing to know about legal education is it basically the same at every ABA school. First year you will take torts, civil procedure, contracts, property, LRW, criminal law, con law or some variation on that. Whether at Harvard or Charlotte the substance of these courses are the same in torts you will read Palsgraf, Civ Pro Pennoyer v. neff, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale so and so on.

The only caveat to that is if you have a particular legal interest, which very few law students or lawyers actually have. Some people might say I want to do IP law, or Tax Law, or something like that, but if something else comes up they will gladly switch to it. However, if you truly have an interest in an area of law looking at the courses Charlotte or Charleston offer in that area should play a factor in your decision. For example if you want to be a trial lawyer and Charlotte offers sevearl litigation courses and fields multiple mock trial teams, and Charleston doesn't. That should play a facotr in your decision. Or if you want to do Tax Law and Charlotte offers Estate taxes, federal income taxation, I don't know anything about taxes, but if they have 8 or 9 tax classes and Charleston doesn't have any then that shoud also play a factor.

Those are just some things to think about and hopefully you will come to the decision. Another thing to realize is there no right answer to the question I turned down many scholarships, schools, and so and sometimes I wonder what if I had gone to X or Y school. The truth is I will never know and neither will you, but once you get started and your legal career begins it won't really matter anymore. Good luck to you.

Re: Campbell Law vs. Charlotte Law
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 12:13:04 PM »

I would recommend e-mailing the financial aid Office at Campbell Law and let them know you have been accepted elsewhere and given a schoalrship. See if there is anything they can offer you.

I had my scholarship offer from Campbell significantly increased doing this. Of course everyone's stats are different.

While I know money is an issue - Campbell has the highest bar passage rate in NC for the last several years. Their job placement is good for small to mid-size law firms and state government (i.e. Raleigh is the Capitol), as well as judicial. Starting salaries however, not so good - ~55K. I think this also reflects the current job market too.

Looks like i'm attending Campbell Law as of now - waitlisted at a few others.


Re: Campbell Law vs. Charlotte Law
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2012, 08:07:22 AM »
Charlotte may be the best option based on all of those factors.