Law School Discussion


Which school?

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« on: April 10, 2013, 09:09:41 AM »

LSAT: 150 (Retaking in June for better scholarships)
GPA: 3.56


KU: Total cost of attending $107,367 (Living expenses, books, medical, transportation, loan fees and personal expenses... I currently live in Kansas and qualify for grants but am not yet sure how much)
Washburn: $97,342 (Same)
UMKC: $107,163 (Same minus possible grants)

Ok... So I got unlucky with the LSAT's and took them during a school semester. It was my fault for waiting so long to take them. The test fell on the same week I had a 50 page paper of which I had to turn in and defend my topic. Stress took over and reflected on my score. Thus, I chose to, instead of taking it again in February in which I had a few other "fun" classes to be a part of, take it again in the summer and try my luck in at least applying to a few schools. These are my top choices mostly do to COA. I believe I can do much better on the LSAT and all of these schools said they would re-evaluate scholarships based on my new scores. However, I don't want to base my decision on possibilities which is why I put up the current cost with my current scores. With all of this said, I want to emphasis in either real-estate law or litigation of which all three schools have. Originally I wanted to do international law but am choosing against do to being confined to the Midwest. I don't want to wait another year and have excepted my position. IF I make it through my 1L in the top of my class then I guess I will consider transferring schools.

Based on all of this, which school is my best option. Any advice is appreciated.

Re: Advice
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 12:27:59 AM »
Hi. I believe that you're thinking about this all wrong. Law school is very unlike college. There are many bloggers that will probably disagree with what I am about to write, and that's okay, but it will be the truth. There is no such thing as being confined to the midwest when it comes to the practice of law. Also, by the end of law school, you're going to follow your dreams because you'll be broke and single, everyone will want a piece of you because you're a new lawyer, and you'll have nothing really to loose. If it is international law you want, then it is international law you'll find. A lawyer is kind of like a preacher and law school a seminary. A preacher can go preach anywhere and the preacher will usually go where he or she can preach to the most people. The same is true with law albeit that you must get barred in the state you practice. If you want to emphasize litigation or real-estate, then you'll be doing that no matter where you went to law school. The truth is, and this is the cheesy part, law professors cannot teach you to be a good litigator or a real estate attorney, because if that's what you want to do, then it will come naturally. Yes, you're still going to have to learn the black letter law. Thus, it really doesn't matter where you go to law school. There are probably those typing away right now saying, "Yes it does because you eventually get a job in the region or state or city that you went to law school!" That's not true. You can go to any state and if you are passionate and competent then it really won't matter where you went to law school. My advice to you is relax and take a few deep breathes. Then carefully study each of your choices web sites looking for what you interests you. By the end of law school, you'll find that key to not abrogating from your destiny is to be happy with where life takes you. 

Re: Advice
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 10:39:29 PM »
I don't know if the world is exactly your oyster when you are a recent grad and realistically you will be confined to the region you attend law school most likely. Even if you had opportunities arise elsewhere you would have to take another state bar and over 3 years of law school you develop many connections in the area you attend law school making it hard to leave. Are there exceptions of course, but I would bet substantial sums of money that if you attend law school in Kansas you will end up living in Kansas

With that said there are numerous things to consider when choosing a law school and please, please, do not use U.S. News Rankings as the primary reason for choosing a law school remember this is nothing more than a for-profit, unregulated magazine, and whatever difference there is between any of these schools does not matter and I have no idea and don't care, which of these schools are better. I know Kansas blew my NCAA tournament pool and I know nothing about the other two schools.

I would recommend you consider the following things when choosing your law school.

1) Location: I realize these are all in the Midwest, but I imagine Lawrence, Kansas is obsessed with College Sports while Topeka, Kansas might be more low Key and UMKC might be a bit more of a bigger city. I no nothing about you, but whatever town you live in will be your home for three years so make sure it is a good fit.

2) Personal Feelings About School: It is also important to realize each school has a vibe to it when I was a 0L some schools I liked others I didn't just my own personal opinions and you might like what I hated and vice versa. I would encourage you to visit the schools, talk to professors, the dean, admins, students, and just see if it is a fit. If any of these schools give you a bad feeling cross them off if you feel good about it listen to your gut.

3) Reality of Legal Education:
Realistically whatever school you attend you learn the same thing your first year is Torts, Contracts, Property, etc and you read Supreme Court Cases and they do not write separate opinions for different law schools.

There is no "right" school and certainly no anonymous interent poster can tell you what is best. It appears you are considering the costs, but really think about what school and city suits you best it will be a life altering decision. Good luck.

Re: Advice
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 07:43:56 PM »
As a recent law graduate, I'll pass on the best advice I received entering law school.An attorney colleague told to try different types of law during school as once you're out you'll likely end up practicing in one specific area. I was fortunate be at a school that offered a wide curricula including some excellent clinical courses. I tried a couple different clinical courses and they reshaped my idea of what I wanted to do when I started practicing. These clinical courses were not something I thought about when choosing a school. I suggest that you take a look at each school's class schedules to see what they regularly offer and see if there's something that piques your interest.