Law School Discussion

$$$ or Prestige

soco

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2006, 07:00:08 AM »
BC.  That money at Valpo doesn't make up for the gap between these schools. 

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2006, 08:01:23 AM »
The decision could depend on what your personal/career goals are. Without knowing that, I would say, definitely take Boston College. For MOST people, this would be the clear, easy decision between Valpo (full + stipend) vs BC.


"BC has a median salary upon graduation of $125,000."

This post is so inaccurate.  First, and most important, this is private sector median salary.  Firms do not just randomly select law grads, they tend to take the best ones.  Second, this data is almost definitely self-reported, indicating strong chance of sample bias.

 

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2006, 09:56:37 AM »
I so much depends on your goals, like said before. What do you want to after LS? and where do you want to be?

Evolve

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Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2006, 12:22:04 PM »
No one can really answer this question unless you give us some insight into who you are and what you want out of a legal education. Are you single or a family man? What type of law do you want to practice? Where do you want to practice? How much college debt have you acquired to date? These are important questions in determining where you want to go. BC is much more prestigious and it'll be easier to make more money as a graduate from its program. But that all depends on where you practice and what kind of law you work in. Another key question I think isn't getting addressed is what the prestige value of going to Val and being in the top 10% of your class is versus going to Boston and having much tougher competition for the higher positions.

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2006, 12:59:55 PM »
  I am not sure what Valpo's median starting salary is compared to BC's reported 125k, but you might want to consider the idea that you might have a competitive advantage as a student at Valpo.  I am in very similar situation.  I have a 3.78 and scored a 168 on the LSAT.  I am very interested in attending Pepperdine which offered me a full tuition scholarship.  Several LSNers have messaged me wondering why I didn't apply to "better" schools like USC and UCLA.  I guess have a different perspective than most other on this, but here some of what I've been thinking out throughout this cycle.
   I think many prospective students might be making an error in assuming that if they attend a highly ranked school they will in turn receive a high starting salary.  They also put themselves in a possibly uncomfortable situation of having to go big law rather than do something they would be more talented at or simply enjoy more.  I think about it as a it to a big fish/small fish situation.  I'm not really sure which is better, but to me it seems that a highly successful student at a lower ranked school could possibly be in a better situation than an average student at a more prestigious school.  From what I've read the top percentage of students at any school have an advantage when it comes to job placement whether its in the summer or post-graduate work.  They will receive more attention from recruiters with ties to the school and more help with placement in the admissions office who might place more emphasis on their top students to be a successful as possible for pr purposes.
  Since students, schools, and employers place so much emphasis on numbers such as GPA and LSAT score one might assume that those students with a higher index coming in are more likely to succeed in law school.  A higher ranking school should in turn be more competitive.  Assuming a student graduates in a similar standing as when they begin, you might want to compare the salaries of Valpo's top 10-15% compared to a realistic starting salary of an average BC student.  Also you should consider the idea that starting out at 125k a year doesn't mean you will continue at that pay scale forever.  Most lawyers don't make partner at big law and don't stay at one firm forever.  Eventually your monetary success will be based on you skill as a lawyer.  Graduating from Prestigious School X won't be near as important 10 years down the road when you have a known record of success or failure.  When you factor in the debt issues I think it becomes a tough decision. I would think you could go either way and find a similar amount of success.  In the end you should base your decision on the factors which are more important to you and don't worry too much about prestige or an anticipated pay scale.  Good Luck.

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2006, 01:35:16 PM »
I'd take the money.

$150,000-$180,000 in debt just seems overwhelming.

But that's just me.

Goodfella Aaron

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2006, 02:53:59 PM »
The decision could depend on what your personal/career goals are. Without knowing that, I would say, definitely take Boston College. For MOST people, this would be the clear, easy decision between Valpo (full + stipend) vs BC.


"BC has a median salary upon graduation of $125,000."

This post is so inaccurate.  First, and most important, this is private sector median salary.  Firms do not just randomly select law grads, they tend to take the best ones.  Second, this data is almost definitely self-reported, indicating strong chance of sample bias.

 

http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/median.php/1/desc/MSPrivate

ILRG is pretty reliable.

As for the "big fish little pond" thing, you're taking a major gamble if you assume you'll be one of the top students. Going to a better school provides a bigger safety net. Though the LSAT is a predictor of 1L performance it is by no means a perfect predictor and if you have, say, subpar writing skills or problems researching complicated matters then you'll be screwed with a degree that won't travel much further than the Illinois border.

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Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2006, 02:59:44 PM »
Goodfella makes an excllent point.

I hear it being thrown around a lot that those with high LSATs will be sorely disappointed when thrown into a class with people with low LSATs if the go to a lower ranked school.

My LSAT sucks and I just got a B in a 3L class from a top 30 school and I am doing very where in the 2L class I'm in now.  Clearly, the LSAT is not indicative of level of intelligence or (always) performance or ability in ls (though I think it goes without saying).  I know it's not always the case, but don't be so easy to write a group off because they don't sit as well for exams as others do, etc.

Sorry for the slightly off-topic rant, I just think it was worth mentioning in light of the discussion.

Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2006, 03:42:36 PM »
Wait...What? How are you taking law school classes when your sig has a link to your LSN page? I'm sure there's a good explanation... I'm just thoroughly confused

Goodfella makes an excllent point.

I hear it being thrown around a lot that those with high LSATs will be sorely disappointed when thrown into a class with people with low LSATs if the go to a lower ranked school.

My LSAT sucks and I just got a B in a 3L class from a top 30 school and I am doing very where in the 2L class I'm in now.  Clearly, the LSAT is not indicative of level of intelligence or (always) performance or ability in ls (though I think it goes without saying).  I know it's not always the case, but don't be so easy to write a group off because they don't sit as well for exams as others do, etc.

Sorry for the slightly off-topic rant, I just think it was worth mentioning in light of the discussion.


AH

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Re: $$$ or Prestige
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2006, 04:39:05 PM »
I'm a grad student.  We're allowed to take classes at the law school and they can take classes (grad or undegrad with increased workload) at the college.