Law School Discussion

SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2015, 10:14:58 AM »
Understanding that reality is precisely why I haven't been able to make a decision, hahaha

SLU has my initial deposit (it was due on the 1st). But I really hope SCU comes through (or better yet Hastings).

And yes, I have been juggling the possibility of not returning here for a long ass time (or ever). But then again I visited Canada a while back and would have gladly stayed there too, hahaha XD

But at some point, figuring heavy cost and what school I believe will make me a better kind of lawyer I want to be comes into the equation.

loki13

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Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2015, 10:26:58 AM »
"But at some point, figuring heavy cost and what school I believe will make me a better kind of lawyer I want to be comes into the equation."

On this, I hate to say it, but it is the student that makes the school, not the other way around. Look- I went to RandomStateU. But I treated school like a job. I did all of my assigned reading before the lectures so I could follow along. I made sure I paid attention to what the professors said (some professors want you to know the black letter, others to argue against it; some professors assume you will use supplements, others hate it and will have questions designed to weed out students who rely on supplements instead of course materials, and so on). I made sure I was involved (I was the President of a noted student group, which allowed me to network, I did pro bono and community service, which allowed me to gain experience, I clerked my first summer, I got on law review (and got involved in that... not just one of those people who showed up for bagels)... make sure you try out for LR, moot court, trial team, or other journals. I got to know my professors during office hours, and I'm still friends with many of them. I read law blogs and Supreme Court cases for fun. I worked as a research assistant to a professor. And so on.

By the time I worked for a BigLaw(tm) firm, I was the equal of any Harvard grad that I worked with. The school you go to does not make you. You make the most of your experience. No matter what school you choose.

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2015, 10:36:45 AM »
I suppose I worded that poorly. SLU just offers me more resources and opportunities with regards to Health Law. They have an established alumni network, and they work alongside a lot of medical centers around there (so I'd have decent networking options). SCU I recently learned HAS health law courses, but I can't say they have nearly as many resources and opportunities to absorb and tune that education to one's benefit as one could at SLU.

So yes, I agree with you; I just figured SLU has more options and ways for one to "control the flow" of healthcare law from that "fire hydrant", as my friend mentioned previously.

That being said, COA for SCU is about 73k this upcoming year. For SLU it's about 60k or so.

At SCU, I have 10k (so far, we'll see if they can raise it) to offset that cost, at a higher stip. At SLU, I have twice that so offset a lower total cost, with a smaller stip (2.1? That's simple unless I'm missing something about law school)

This is really where cost/location are at odds. I kinda wanna roll into a ball and forget this is ever happening >___< heh

loki13

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Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2015, 11:58:28 AM »
"So yes, I agree with you; I just figured SLU has more options and ways for one to "control the flow" of healthcare law from that "fire hydrant", as my friend mentioned previously."

I don't want to disagree with your friend too strenuously, but 95% of what they teach you in law school in interchangeable. You learn the basics- how to read cases. The lingo. How to "think like a lawyer." A lot of the "specialized" stuff doesn't matter. Yes, it is really helpful, if you are going to be a prosecutor or PD, to take criminal procedure. But here's the thing- almost every thing is going to be different in practice than in theory. Does taking "employment law" or "labor law" help make the first few days of boning up on a Title VII case easier- sure. But what really makes it easier are- doing well in law school (so you know the basics) and working with people who know what they're doing. And you pick up the rest.

To be honest, I don't think you have a great idea of what health law *is*. Does advising institutions on how to comply with HIPAA sound like fun? Maybe. What about compliance with the Stark Law (you can wikipedia that for a quick primer). A lot of it is, well, very specialized admin. law. Unless you want to help people (in which case it's more of a plaintiff's attorney practice) or go after insurance companies (which is more PA/insurance practice). Again, though, it might be just up your alley. IOW, I would think of it as a (very) minor plus, not as a reason for going. If it works out- great! But if you find out that what you really want to do is real estate transactions, or trusts and estates, that might happen too.

The costs (and scholarship conditions) on the other hand, is a very real issue.

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2015, 12:24:46 PM »
Fair point Loki. To be fair, I'm aware of what health law is to the extent that I've shadowed those lawyers, and had to learn about what they do/think to a MINOR extent when dealing with legal issues for my family. That being said, you point is still very fair.

In this case, can I get your guys' help on sorting through the cost issues?

Given the current cost scenario, would going to SCU and working here in the long term be better for me than going away and having less debt?

I will have roughly 200k debt coming out of SCU. I will have.....well....hm.

Now that I think about it, if my last 4th year at SLU isn't covered by scholarship, and I end up taking another 40-60k in loans, that's still 200k as well. Only difference would be having a Masters (JD/MHA) vs just a JD. Dunno how that may affect my prosperity as a lawyer here vs over there.

Your thoughts on this are, as always, very appreciated.

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Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2015, 01:10:05 PM »
Okay. Assume this is an investment. Let's use the numbers from the most recent grads on file (2013), and ignore the four year option and scholarships (numbers from lawschooltransparency)-

SCU-
42.2% employment score (this is the number of people who successfully start a career in the law by working at a job that requires a JD, but does exclude contract jobs, school-funded jobs, and solo practitioners (which are very few in number nowadays).
22.7% are unemployed (defined as unemployed in any job, even after bar results).
Tuition is $47,040 per year, increasing at an average of approximately 4.56% a year over the last five years.

SLU-
50.5% employment score.
15.9% are unemployed.
Tuition is $38,435 per year, increasing at 2.2% over the last five years.

So, assuming you are completely average, and ignoring inflation and debt servicing, then one way you could calculate an expected return is as follows:
SCU: 47040*3 =  141120 / .422 = 334407.58
SLU: 38435*3 = 115305 /  .505 = 228326.73

(This would be the cost of tuition per annum, times the number of years. Then divide it by the expected likelihood of finding a job. This gives you a raw score; lower is better.... in other words, a schools with a total cost of 100k and a 50% chance of ending up with a job has a true cost, or score, of $200k by this method).


Now, you can tweak the numbers by adding in cost of living. By putting in scholarships. If you feel adventurous, you can add in expected tuition increases, and also add in the added cost of the debt load based on current stafford, etc. rates. But this should give you a decent place to start to compare. It's cost + job opportunities. Also, before anyone says that yada yada the job score penalizes SCU unfairly, note that it also tracks the unemployment rates of the schools, and, in addition, SCU has non-reporters (not a good sign, so I'd add that 2.2% to the unemployment).





Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2015, 01:33:02 PM »
Based on those calculations, wouldn't that mean that even though I want to practice in California and may have more connections here, there's nothing besides that which counts as a benefit for me?

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2015, 01:38:34 PM »
Also the employment statistics for SCU seem to be far different on their site (ABA approved?) than the source you used (LST?)

http://law.scu.edu/careers/employment-statistics/

Sooo.....what do? hahahaha

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2015, 02:03:56 PM »
In this case, can I get your guys' help on sorting through the cost issues?

Given the current cost scenario, would going to SCU and working here in the long term be better for me than going away and having less debt?

I will have roughly 200k debt coming out of SCU. I will have.....well....hm.

Let's keep this simple and not get lost in the weeds. IMO, this is a VERY simple issue:

If I were contemplating attending a non-elite law school with mediocre employment stats, I would go for

A) The cheapest degree,

B) In an area where I actually wanted to live and practice.

For me personally, a $200k debt from either SCU or SLU would be a non-starter. That kind of debt can adversely affect your future FAR more than where you went to law school. For the record, I'm not a rankings snob. I went to a law school in So Cal with a good local reputation, and that's about it. I went there because they offered me a very large scholarship. Three years after graduation I have a job that I love, and I am not convinced that I would be any better off with a more prestigious degree and bigger loan payments.

Two potential options that haven't really been discussed:

1) USF with a $63k scholarship. If you could live with family in Walnut Creek and commute to USF, you could graduate with far less debt. The employment outlook may not be as good as SCU, but the lack of debt might make up for it.

2) Wait a year, retake the LSAT, and re-apply. Maybe add a few new schools to the list too, like Golden Gate and McGeorge.

These are the options I would be looking at, but they may or may not be right for you.
 

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2015, 02:08:05 PM »
To go back a few there are several other Bay Area Schools to consider University of San Francisco, Golden Gate and in all honesty Davis and McGeorge are close enough that you could get internships in the Bay Area particularly North Bay i.e. Napa or Solano County.