Law School Discussion

Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male

Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« on: October 13, 2012, 11:08:35 AM »
Trying to get together a list

I'm a CS Major at Stanford. Really bad GPA from fresh/soph year. Had a lot going on at the time, but not really anything I think adcomms will care for. Took a year off to get my *&^% together, and have been doing well since.

 I imagine it is hard to predict because I'm a URM splitter. Please give me some: reaches, safties, and targets. Thanks.

Re: Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 10:20:50 PM »
Try the Law School Predictor site ( It's not 100% accurate but it can give you some ideas.

Also, I think you'll get more responses if you can narrow down where you want to live or what you're wanting to do with your JD.

Re: Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 12:34:06 AM »
You've got a shot anywhere. If I were you, I'd definitely apply HYS. I'd also apply Chicago, and then I'd apply heavy in whatever region I wanted to live in; if it were the South, I'd apply to Virginia, Duke, Vanderbilt, and a couple of the big publics. If it were the west, I'd apply to Texas, USC, UCLA, Cal, and maybe a few of the publics (Colorado, Arizona/ASU).

If you really and truly do not care where you live, I'd just pepper the top 14 + Vandy, USC, UCLA, and Texas and see what falls.

Re: Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 03:51:35 PM »
I'm thinking intellectual property. Probably want to live in California, New York, Massachusetts or Texas.

Re: Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 06:07:05 AM »
If you want to go big law, I'd apply to the top 14 schools. They have the best placements with big law firms in New York and along the East coast.

Other great schools in Cali and Texas -
California - Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, UC Davis
Texas - UT Austin, Baylor, SMU

Re: Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 09:12:05 AM »
I imagine it is hard to predict because I'm a URM splitter. Please give me some: reaches, safties, and targets. Thanks.

The fact is, almost every law school in the nation is a safety for you. It's easier to list the few schools where you might have an uphill battle because of your GPA: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and maybe Chicago and Berkeley. You'll probably get in everywhere else (and you might get into some of the schools I just mentioned).

I think the biggest issue you're going to have to face is deciding between paying $150-200k to go an Ivy/T14, or if a full scholarship at a lower ranked (but still highly respected) school makes more sense. Most people will tell you to simply accept the offer from the highest ranked school you get into. In my opinion, that's bad advice. Thinl about what you want to do with a law degree and where you want to live.

For example, you mentioned that you might want to live in CA or TX: a full ride at UCLA or Austin might make way more sense than a $200k debt from Penn. I live in LA and I can tell you that top UCLA grads have opportunities that are easily equivalent (or better) than any school other than HYS. Something to think about. Congrats on an awesome score, and good luck!

Re: Where should I apply? 178/3.11 AA male
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 06:09:29 PM »
With those numbers and URM status you are likely to get into any law school in America. is a website that is helpful in seeing what people typically need to get into certain schools and scholarship money.

If your a computer science major and want to do IP then the Bay Area is where you probably want to be. Silicon Valley as you know from living in Palo Alto is where all startups, tech firms, etc are located. Just as if you wanted to do entertainment law you should go to school in L.A. or New York that is where entertainment firms are located and where celebrities live.

Here is a list of things I think any potential law student should consider, but remember when making this life altering decision that all info you read on this board or others comes from anonymous internet posters such as myself that know nothing about you or your situation so take it with a grain of salt.

1) Location
In my opinion this is the most important factor when choosing a law school. If you want to live in San Francisco after graduation go to law school in San Francisco, if your from Idaho and want to be close to your family after graduation go to law school in Idaho. The vast majority of schools only have connections in their immediate area and on top of that you will get internships etc in the area your attending school. For example if your going to law school in L.A. you cannot do an internship in New York during the school year and since there are no shortage of law schools in New York or New Jersey there would be no reason to reach out to L.A.

Also law school doesn't exist in a vaccum and the day to day life will play a factor. For example if your ultra liberal, gay, etc going to law school in Arkansas is probably not going to go well and if your ultra conservative going to law school in San Francisco won't go well. If your a person that loves night life etc going to law school in East Lansing Michigan or Tulsa Oklahoma will be hard to handle. If your someone that likes a quiet atmosphere then don't attend New York Law School in the heart of New York's Financial District. These are all factors that are unique to each individual and really consider location.

Almost every law school except for a few schools that offer in-state tuition like Florida International, South Dakota, North Dakota, and few others tuition is going to run you approximtely 100k and if your in a location like N.Y. or San Francisco the living expenses for 3 years will probably add on another 50-100k. All of which is accruing interest often at 6 or 8%. This means you can have 8,000 or so in interest alone a year so it is important to really consider cost.

Many schools offer merit scholarships that should be considered even if other schools are "higher ranked" for example if you can get a full scholarship at Gonzaga University compared to paying full tuition at Seattle University then it might be wise to take it since I would imagine most people do not consider either much school must better than the other.

3) Reality of Legal Education
Each ABA law school quite literally teaches you the same thing your first year will be contracts, torts, civil procedure, legal writing, property, criminal law, criminal procedure, and constitutional law or some slight variation, but all those courses will be taken. In Torts you will read the Palsgraff case, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale etc and all you do at any ABA school is read Supreme Court Decisions and the Supreme Court doesn't take time to write different opinions for different schools. Whether you read the Palsgraff case at Harvard or in West Virginia the firecrackers get dropped and proximate cause is established.

4) Personal Feeling about the School

I personally was accepted to several law schools and I visited a lot as well as participated in some mock trial competitions and I saw a lot of different law schools. There were some that I really liked and some that I really didn't like. My reasons were completely personal to me and what I liked you may have hated and vice versa. You can talk to professors, students, admins, etc and really see first hand what the school is like. I highly recommend doing that prior to making a 3 year 100,000+ commitment just make sure the school fits your personality.

5). Specialty Programs
This ties in more with location rather than the school, but you can still use it as a factor. For example if you really want to do entertainment law then you should go to law school in New York or L.A. that is where movies, t.v shows, etc are made. Therefore, schools in those locations will have a lot of alumni in the area, adjuncts that work in the field will teach in the school, you can get internships at those places during law school and so on. If you want to do entrainment law then going to Idaho law school will not be an ideal spot.

Then there are a few schools that do mock trial competitions which are good and you can kind of see how seriously a school takes that by how many teams they have and how well they do. For example South Texas law school is amazing at Trial Advocacy competitions I have seen there courtroom and they almost won every competition I was ever win they are just good at it. If there is some area of law you are interested in you can look at to what programs they offer.

However, if you are not particularly interested in any area of law don't consider it and don't worry about it. Plenty of law students and even lawyers don't really know what they want to do.

6) Rankings

This is a factor, but remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit magazine offering an opinion. They rank more than law schools and Albuquerque New Mexico is the best place to live now according to them and South & North Dakota will be the best places to live in 2032. One of the main factors for South Dakota being selected as a hot spot in 2032 is because they estimate dental visits will be easy to access. I am not making this up either straight from their website and

I highly doubt you are going to make life altering choice and move to Albuquerque because a magazine says you should or start saving to move to South Dakota in 2032. Use the same logic when choosing your law school don't let some magazine be your main guide. No harm in considering it, but don't make a life altering choice based on a magazine.

Those are just some factors to consider and hopefully some of that info is helpful. Also remember I am nothing more than an anonymous internet poster and you should get info directly from people you can interact with face to face to assess their credibility. Good luck .