Law School Discussion

SLU vs Mizzou

SLU vs Mizzou
« on: February 16, 2015, 11:36:15 AM »
Tell me all. Money is not an issue (have a full ride to both).

Currently reside in STL. Many of my friends are/have moved away and CoMo is close enough anyways. Family lives in STL.

Visited both and liked both. Hoping to practice in STL (I know SLU does well here).

Re: SLU vs Mizzou
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 10:03:47 PM »
Well first off realize that anything on this board or others comes from anonymous internet posters and it should be taken with a grain of salt, my post included.

With that intro congrats on your acceptances! As to the question of, which school to choose there is no "right" answer, but I always tell 0L's to consider the following factors in this order. (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the school; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; and (5) Last and least U.S. News rankings.  I will analyze each factor to your situation below.

Location:
It sounds like your not to off base on location. I see a lot of people ask whether they should attend Iowa or UCLA, which are drastically different SLU v. Mizzou makes sense. However, if your family lives in Saint Louis it will probably cut on costs particularly if you can live at home, but living with parents can also be a pain.  Also consider the neighborhoods of both. I have never been to Missouri, but my understanding is that Mizzou is more of a college town, while St. Louis is more of a city. Nothing wrong with either one, but if you prefer college football small town living etc than Mizzou might be a better experience for three years.  If your more of an urbanite St. Louis might be more enjoyable. So really consider the surrounding neighborhoods.

Costs:
Congrats on the full rides, but be very careful with the CONDITIONS! most law schools will require you to keep a 3.0 or do something to maintain your scholarship. Almost every incoming law student particularly one with a scholarship offer assumes getting a 3.0 will be easy or finishing in the top 35% is a given. However, everyone in law school is smart, hard-working, motivated, and 100% truly think they will be in the top 10% of the class, but 90% will be disappointed. The 3.0 requirement is a common one and it sounds easy, but law school has a strict curve and typically only 35% of  students can get a 3.0 and in those situations there is a 65% chance you will not maintain the scholarship. This NY times article explains the situation far better than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I strongly encourage you to negotiate the best conditions possible so there are no surprises after 1L.

3) Personal Feelings about school:
It sounds like you visited both schools, but I encourage you to go back talk to professors, admins, students, walk around the campus etc. It is a 3 year $100,000 decision so get as much info as you can.

4) Reality of Legal Education:
At any ABA law school you will learn the same thing. Your first year will consist of Torts, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Legal Writing/Research. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write seperate opinions for different law schools. In Torts you will read Palsgraf to learn about proximate cause, Pennoyver v. Neff in Civ pro to learn about notice, and Hadley  v. Baxendale in contracts to learn about contract remedies.

At the end of three years you will then sign up for BarBri or Kaplan in a room with students from all law schools. After three months of intense studying you will be in a room with 1,000's of other bar takers and if you pass your a lawyer if not you restart. If you pass the bar and become a lawyer what you do with your license has a lot more to do with you than the school you attended.

5) U.S. News
This is a for profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion, but if all else fails you can use it for  a tiebreaker, but you shouldn't use it as a basis for a life altering decision.

Conclusion:
If I was you I would find out what school offers the best scholarship conditions. Also, if you can live at home during law school you can save $10,000-$30,000 on rent over three years, which could be awesome. No matter what you decide you will always wonder what if you choose the other one, but that is normal. Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.