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Author Topic: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)  (Read 1946 times)

prksv

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Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« on: July 03, 2012, 09:24:58 AM »
Greetings Everyone,

My first post here   ;D

I am faced with a dilemma. I am currently trying to nail down a decision which is to choose between a three year tuition scholarship from Saint Louis University (1843 Scholar 'name scholarship') versus 66% tuition scholarship from the University of Illinois at Urbana.

I guess the decision comes down partially to $$$ from T3 school vs. $$ from T1.

Any thoughts about what do you perceive to be the better option? Just to give a general idea, I am not sure I want to practice in Saint Louis or the Midwest for that matter after graduation.

Thank you.  :)

prksv

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 05:12:43 PM »
Noone can weigh in on this topic?

Cher1300

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 05:59:30 PM »
Find out first what you need to do to keep the scholarships.  Some schools require that you be in the top 40% vs. top 20% vs. top 60% or keep a cumulative gpa of a 2.8 - 3.0, etc.  I say this because most incoming 1Ls have no idea how hard it will be to keep their money. 
Second, since you don't know where you want to practice, do you know what type of law you want to do?  Biglaw?  then T1,  crimlaw?  Or if you already have contacts?  take all the money at the T3...just my two cents.  Not sure the difference between the schools other than their ranks.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 12:51:39 AM »
First of all, you're in a pretty nice situation. There are worse things than having to choose between law school scholarships! I don't live in the Midwest and I have no experience with the market, but I'll assume that Illinois has some reputational advantage over SLU. The question is: how much advantage, and is it worth the extra cost (if any)? My guess is that both schools have good reputations within their areas, and there may not be a huge difference between them.

Here are a few things to cconsider:

You mentioned that ILL is T1 while SLU is T3, and that you may want to practice outside of the midwest. In other parts of the country, I'm pretty sure ILL and SLU will be viewed as more or less interchangeable. Even though ILL is T1, it's not elite. Very few schools have the type of badass national rep that will get you a job anywhere in the nation based on pedigree alone. Even within the first tier, most schools are essentially regional. If you want to stay in the midwest, maybe ILL would be advantageous. But, if you moved to LA, for example, neither school would give you an advantage over the other. In that case you might as well save the money and go to SLU.

For that matter, if you really want to live in a particular part of the country after graduation, I'd advise going to law school in that  area. It's much easier to get internships and make contacts if you're living in the area in which you plan to work. Think also about what type of law you might want to practice. I imagine that ILL would give a better shot at biglaw in Chicago and some of the other bigger midwest cities, if that's what you want.

As Cher said, pay very close attention to the details of your scholarship offers. Law schools are not always entirely clear about what it takes to maintain those funds.

The fact is, SLU and ILL are both fine schools and you'll get a good legal education at either one. I would just try to figure out if there is any real advantage which will accrue to you by choosing one over the other, and without getting to caught up in what an unscientific ranking conducted by a magazine says.

Good Luck!

prksv

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 02:43:17 PM »

Thank you both for the informative response.

With respect to the scholarships, neither one has any stipulation aside from maintaining 'good standing' which is equivalent to 2.0 GPA, reasonable by any means.

U of I was ranked 21-23 the past couple of years until the admissions scandal rocketed them to # 35. SLU on the other hand is ranked 99-100 (US News).

The good thing about SLU is that the scholarship they gave me is a name scholarship and supposedly does bring some prestige, at least in the Saint Louis market. On the other hand, U of I does place better in Chicago.

I defiantly agree that both schools are regional, with U of I having a slight edge in reputation nationwide.

Right now, I have $32k debt from my undergraduate and graduate degrees. If I go to U of I, I am looking at barrowing the difference + COL which probably put me at approximately 50-80k in additional debt. All in all I will be looking at 100k in debt from my entire educational career combined.

In SLU...probably worst case scenario 10k a year, so 30k in additional debt. Of course, this case is reduced with 2L and 3L employment.


I wonder if graduating in the top 10%-25% will lend me a good opportunity in either school. I am definitely not in a good financial situation right now, so I wonder if the additional debt is worth it at all.

I do want to have good choices in the long run, and I wonder if I can get that from either of these two schools.

legend

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 05:43:14 PM »
In response your request first and foremost remember everything here is from anonymous internet posters. For all you know I could be the crazy guy on the street corner shouting Repent God is coming and then walk into a public library and post on here. There is no license, credential, etc requirement to post on law school discussion or any other board. Read any Yahoo News story or Youtube video and read the comments below.  The people posting ridiculous things there could very easily be positing on these law school boards. I could claim to have graduated from Harvard or Cooley on this board I could have 1,000's of clients and millions of dollars or be homeless you simply do not know. So I cannot emphasize enough the flaws of making any type of life altering decision based on what an anonymous internet poster thinks.

With that said I will offer some general advice to make you think, but please use your personal life circumstances in making this decision.

RANKINGS:
I say it all the time on here, but remember it is just a magazine. Their main purpose is to make a profit and sell magazines they are not doing in-depth research as to what is best for your own situation. I'm sure you have been many lists that claim something is "TOP" case in point.


Best Movies Of All Time From Rottentomatoes something I myself check out. I don't think any of their top 20 movies would be on time Toy Story 2? That is what they say doesn't mean I am renting Toy Story 2 anytime soon. Same applies law school if U.S. News says something is 28th doesn't mean it is the 28th best school for you.

We list the Top 100 movies ever based on their Tomatometer Score.
1.    Man on Wire (2008)
2.    Toy Story 2 (1999)
3.    Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
4.    Toy Story (1995)
5.    The Wizard of Oz (1939)
6.    A Hard Day's Night (1964)
7.    The Godfather (1972)
8.    Deliver Us From Evil (2006)
9.    This Is Not a Film (2011)
10.    Waste Land (2010)
11.    Rear Window (1954)
12.    Citizen Kane (1941)
13.    North by Northwest (1959)
14.    Afghan Star (2008)
15.    Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
16.    Aruitemo Aruitemo (Still Walking) (2008)
17.    Poetry (2010)
18.    The Third Man (1949)
19.    Le Gout Des Autres (The Taste of Others) (It Takes All Kinds) (2000)
20.    All About Eve (1950)

Furthermore, these rankings change so much year to year. When I enrolled my school was in the 70's I graduated years ago and my school went to tier 3, back up, down last year it was in a 11 way tie for 84th place. I can tell you I do not care what the rank of my school is anymore. Sure I check out of curiosity, but I don't win or lose a case based on school ranking. I would encourage you to walk into a courtroom (you have constitutional right to watch a trial) and observe how often a law school name is mentioned. When someone is facing jail time, possibly losing a million dollars, going through a divorce, etc the client cares about a result. If you get it for them their happy if you don't their not if someone goes to jail for 5 years, because you didn't object properly saying I went to the 56th best school isn't going to stop them from filing an Ineffective Assistance of Counsel claim against you.

So many students focus on these rankings and they really don't mean much. There are a few top schools Harvard, Yale, Stanford, that are impressive, but aside from the few schools that really impress you I can't possibly know what is ranked over what especially since it changes year to year. I had no idea Illinois was higher than SLU and it's a very real possibility by the time you graduate that SLU will be ranked higher than Illinois.

I won't say don't consider them all, but it should be a secondary consideration not a primary one. Location, cost, personal feelings, and so forth are going to make a far more drastic impact than what some magazine thinks.


SCHOLARSHIPS:
Money is real unlike the rankings creditors will come after if you owe 150,000 they want the money. If you don't have it a tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 school diploma won't help you. Money is very real and be considerate of it. Especially because this money is accruing interest if you spend 150,000 in tuition the interest is 8.5% on Grad-Plus I believe and that is 12,000 in interest alone annually. If you didn't spent a dime on yourself you would still lose 12,000. So minimize it the best you can.

As for the conditions ask questions. Maybe it is just a 2.0 GPA requirement, but ask. Law schools are businesses first and foremost and they don't like giving money away. It is not a sinister law school scheme just a fact they are businesses and they need to make money. If you don't ask what the conditions are they are not going tell you. So call and ask financial office what it means don't just assume everything is ok. There is 100,000 or more on the line and when that much is involved there are usually some strings attached. Maybe there isn't, but if you have 100,000 on the line you need to ask questions. Ask the source do not get info from here regarding the scholarship money I don't know what the scholarship policies of the schools are so ask the people who know not anonymous internet posters.

FINISHING IN TOP 10-25% QUESTION
First of there is a 75% chance you will not be in the top 25% and a 90% chance you won't be in the top 10%. People in law school are good students and everyone thinks they will be in the top of the class. However, even if you are in the top of the class it is no guarantee of a job. I did everything in law school top of the class, mock trial, professor relationships, journals, etc. However, I only did one internship and the only people I really interacted with were at school. I had other friends who got out there found internships etc and they had more success out of the gate than I did. Now all my awards and things look impressive combined with the experience so I am not saying one is better than the other, but it just the simply reality that there are no guarantees of a job from any school.

I am not sure if your just out of undergrad or not, but if you just finished undergrad I imagine employers are not knocking down your door to employ you. The same thing will happen when you graduate law school granted there are fewer J.D.'s than Poli-Sci majors, but nobody is going to come to you. Maybe at Harvard that happens I don't know I didn't go to Harvard, but almost every law school I'm familiar with grads are not inundated with job offers. I know the Tom Cruise movie the Firm makes it seem pretty glamorous, but that is a movie.

LOCATION:
I say this in every post, but Illinois and St. Louis are not in the same place. If you have friends, family, etc in one area then having a support system will be very helpful. First year is awful, stressful, and if your in a new city your unfamiliar with and have no support it could very badly. If and when you get through that you will be doing BarBri in a new city and if everything goes perfectly and you pass the bar first time around you will have studied for 2 months after graduation then wait 2-4 for results. So will be unlicensed for a minimum of 6 months and your not making money during this time. Having supportive people around will help and not mention you have the pressure of passing the bar while all that is going on.

It is very, very, very important you think about your own life and the importance of location. There is nothing magical about law school you will have time to be a human being during it.

PERSONAL FEELING:
I have said this numerous times on this board as well. See what you think about the school just because U.S. News says it is the 48th best school doesn't mean it is the 48th best school for you. Interact with students, professors, and so forth. Maybe the Contracts Professor went to your undergrad and you will get along with him at St. Louis. On the contrary the Contracts professor at UI might be an a-hole in your opinion believe it or not some of the professors I really liked others hated and the ones I hated others loved. Law school is not a one-size-fits all situation.

Visit the schools and see which one you enjoy.

REALITY OF LEGAL EDUCATION:
It is the same when I walk into a coffee shop and see law students I know if they are first year students based on the books they have. If they are reading Torts I know they are a first year student at X school. I don't know the school they are attending, but every ABA school I have ever encountered has Torts as a first year subject. You will learn duty, breach, causation, damages.  Battery, Assault, Trespass, conversion, blah blah and read the same cases at UI or Saint Louis.

CONCLUSION:
I don't know what is best for you and neither does anyone else anonymously posting on here. U.S. News doesn't know either.

This is a highly personal decision and you know the intricate details of your life far better than me or U.S. News does. So consider your life circumstances and apply to them your decision I really don't thin one school is any better than the other, but for all you know I am shooting up heroin while writing this post. So please take everything I or others say on this board or others with heavy scrutiny.

Good luck to you whatever you decide and congratulations on getting accepted into ABA schools. Many people in this world don't have an opportunity to get any form of education, many more are unable to graduate from college, then many cannot achieve a 3.0 or higher GPA, then half those people cannot score in the top 50% of the LSAT. You are in a very elite group of people and very lucky to be in this situation those who complain about law school don't realize how lucky they are. 

Cher1300

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 06:02:01 PM »
Legend is correct in getting you to ask about keeping your scholarships.  I have not heard of any school that allows you to keep your scholarship with just a 2.0 gpa.   If that were the case, everyone would be able to keep them.  My school that is just a T4 requires a 2.8 to keep a scholarship, but good academic standing to stay in school is a 2.0. Call them and find out for sure!     

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 06:56:06 PM »

Thank you both for the informative response.

With respect to the scholarships, neither one has any stipulation aside from maintaining 'good standing' which is equivalent to 2.0 GPA, reasonable by any means.

U of I was ranked 21-23 the past couple of years until the admissions scandal rocketed them to # 35. SLU on the other hand is ranked 99-100 (US News).

The good thing about SLU is that the scholarship they gave me is a name scholarship and supposedly does bring some prestige, at least in the Saint Louis market. On the other hand, U of I does place better in Chicago.

I defiantly agree that both schools are regional, with U of I having a slight edge in reputation nationwide.

Right now, I have $32k debt from my undergraduate and graduate degrees. If I go to U of I, I am looking at barrowing the difference + COL which probably put me at approximately 50-80k in additional debt. All in all I will be looking at 100k in debt from my entire educational career combined.

In SLU...probably worst case scenario 10k a year, so 30k in additional debt. Of course, this case is reduced with 2L and 3L employment.


I wonder if graduating in the top 10%-25% will lend me a good opportunity in either school. I am definitely not in a good financial situation right now, so I wonder if the additional debt is worth it at all.

I do want to have good choices in the long run, and I wonder if I can get that from either of these two schools.


The fact that IL went from #21 to #35 in a few years should tell you all you need to know about USNWR's ranking scheme. I guarantee that IL is the same school, in the same building, with the same professors teaching the exact same classes that it was when it was ranked #21. BTW, I've never heard of any admissions scandal at Illinois and if I were a prospective employer outside of the midwest I still wouldn't have heard of it.

I assume that you live in the midwest, so you probably understand the individual markets better than I do. If Illinois has a stronger reputational advantage in Chicago, and you want to work in Chicago, well...
On the other hand, if St. Louis is your planned destination a full scholarship at SLU might be an amazing opportunity.

As Legend said, these are very personal decisions and only you know the details of your situation. However, there are general principles that apply to just about everyone. One of them (I believe) is this: go to law school in the area in which you want to live. It will be so much easier to obtain internships and make connections, and you'll really come to appreciate that around graduation. Second, rankings matter, but be realistic about how much they matter. If your choices were between SLU and Harvard, well, that's a no brainer. But between SLU and ILL, I think it becomes murkier. Even if ILL has a bigger rep, does that help if you graduate in the middle of the pack? I don't know, maybe, maybe not.

By and large, I think people are almost always better off with less debt. This is especially true if you're attending a non-elite school. The flexibility that lack of debt will give you is a huge advantage.   

prksv

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 06:57:07 PM »
The requirement in U of I is 2.0. Same goes with SLU. In fact, even the hefty scholarship I got in Kent Law was a 2.0 GPA req. In fact, Last year I deposited in Kent and deffered (good decision), and back then the req. was 3.25 GPA. But this cycle, no requirement to keep it.

prksv

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Re: Advice? SLU Law (1843 Scholar) vs. U of I (66% $$$)
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 07:06:42 PM »


LOCATION:
I am not sure if your just out of undergrad or not, but if you just finished undergrad I imagine employers are not knocking down your door to employ you. The same thing will happen when you graduate law school granted there are fewer J.D.'s than Poli-Sci majors, but nobody is going to come to you. Maybe at Harvard that happens I don't know I didn't go to Harvard, but almost every law school I'm familiar with grads are not inundated with job offers. I know the Tom Cruise movie the Firm makes it seem pretty glamorous, but that is a movie.
LOCATION:

I have BA in Economics and MA in Accounting. I am was working for the past 4 years in finance. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to save a lot due to family situation.