Deciding Where to Go > Where should I go next fall?

Where should I go?

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Groundhog:
I think it really depends on your goals. If you want BIGLAW or something at all costs, the prestige of your school is going to matter. If your goal is to be an attorney, assuming your law school doesn't have an unreasonably low grading curve that flunks people out, it might be worth it to go to a lower-ranked school with a full ride, assuming the scholarship is guaranteed.

Be careful of the conditions of your scholarship—some schools, particularly lower-ranked ones, have conditions on the scholarship like that you maintain a certain GPA average, and if they also happen to have an unreasonably low grading curve, they may be virtually planning on some people losing their scholarship.

shoreman2:
Thanks for the advice, it means a lot. Like I said before, Big Law was never an intention of mine. If it was something I wanted, I would have taken the LSAT again and shot for a more prestigious school. Location has become a major factor in my decision. Like you guys said, where I ended up going to school will most likely be where I end up living/working for a duration of my life. Living in PA is not a HUGE priority to me. It's just a mere coincidence that both my full tuition schollys are from Duquesne and Widener PA. New England is the most appealing to me, followed by MD, then PA. I went to undergrad in MD and since I've lived in PA, it will remain an area that I wouldn't mind returning to. I just heard today that UBaltimore is giving me some $, not full, but any saving helps. But their condition is keeping a 3.15 GPA, which sounds ridiculously high (my UG condition for my scholly was keeping a 3.0) Widener's condition is keeping a 3.0 and I can't find anywhere in the letter or online what Duquesne's requirements are. Like you guys have said, the requirements are something to consider as well. If I were to attend Widener based on the scholarship, and then for whatever reason lose the scholarship, would I be happy to still go there? I think that will be my biggest factor.
Thanks for the advice, and if you have any more, I'd be thankful to hear it. Nobody in my family is from the legal field and it's nice to get some sound advice.

Groundhog:
3.15 is at or above the medians at many schools outside the top 20. See if you can obtain the grading policies from the schools from which you've received scholarship offers. If the median at a school is at or below the scholarship requirement, that means there's at least a 50% chance you could lose it.

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_school_GPA_curves the Widener GPA curve is a 2.3 to 2.75, which does not bode well for maintaining a 3.0. Similarly, UBaltmore is a 2.86, which also does not make maintaining a 3.15 easy.

Remember, unlike undergrad, your Professors are virtually required to give Cs, and, depending on the severity of the curve, Ds and even Fs.

livinglegend:
Well what you should do is go to each school's handbook here is the link for Widener's http://law.widener.edu/CampusLife/AdvisingandCounseling/OfficeofStudentAffairsHarrisburg/StudentHandbook.aspx on page 85 of this you can see their curve and their mean grades range from 2.3 to 2.7 furthermore it is required that 10% of the class get a D+ in each class which seems pretty harsh to me. Widerner requires a 3.0 based on that it seems like you probably need to rank in the top 30% or so.

I tried to look for Duquesen's handbook, but couldn't find it in a 10 second google search I am sure it's there, but I don't feel like digging. You should go to every school you are interested look at the handbook then ask the admissions officers how many people keep their scholarship. They will tell you if you ask, but they are not going to go out of their way to explain things that will help them. Remember law school is a business and your a customer it is a semi-adversarial relationship in this negotation stage and get numbers don't be afraid to ask it is a 3 year 100,000 investment. If you were a buying house you would ask a lot of questions and do the same here.

Good luck to you!

shoreman2:
Sorry to kickstart this thread again, but just wanted to give an update. I've narrowed my choices down from the original list. Good news is...I got accepted to every school. Bad news is...I got accepted to every school. Syracuse offered me 30k a year which made them a huge contender and Drexel offered me 20k a year. My top 3 are Syracuse, Drexel, and Widener. Duquesne and Baltimore made the shortlist but my enrollment there is a very slight possibility. I've withdrawn from Suffolk, Maine, and New Hampshire.
I visited Syracuse and I loved the school. I just don't like where the school is located however. I wouldn't want to live in upstate New York; my family is in PA and I'm more comfortable in that general area. But, I have read that Syracuse grads enjoy a bit of mobility in the mid-atlantic region so I've kept that in mind.
I haven't visited Drexel yet but I like where it is located. I love Philly and I've got family nearby. I've spent my summers on the Jersey Shore and it just seems like a place where I'd like to go to school and possibly live. I'm visiting the school in March and hopefully my visit will clear some things up.
Widener PA is my hometown school. I could commute there and it's where I grew up. I visited the school in January and I got a positive vibe from it. But, it is Widener and I know it doesn't allow me much flexibility in employment prospects.
What are your thoughts? Would it be unreasonable for me to attend Syracuse even though I don't like it's location?

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