Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

Where should I go?

University of Pittsburgh ($6,000)
 9 (64.3%)
Chicago-Kent
 3 (21.4%)
Penn State ($18,000 a year)
 2 (14.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State  (Read 813 times)

ZinnMaster

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Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« on: March 31, 2006, 09:02:06 PM »
Sorry, I know these threads are despised, but I'm looking for all the advice I can get.

I want to eventually end up in DC and practice human rights law. My ideal organizations include, USAID and the UN. I know these organizations are extremely difficult to get into, thus it is my eventual career goal. Anyway, if anyone is attending these schools or has some good information I would love to hear it. Thanks

By the way:

UPITT: $6,000 scholarship
Chi-Kent: None thus far.
Penn St.: $18,000 a year.
Whole Lotta Love: Pittsburgh ($), Syracuse ($$), Case Western, Depaul, New York Law ($$), Penn State ($$), Chicago-Kent   
Bring It On Home: Northeastern(WL), Chicago-Loyola(WL),  Brooklyn
Heartbreaker: Georgetown, George Washington, American

ZinnMaster

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2006, 04:26:32 PM »
Has anybody visted Kent or Penn state? I have only been able to visit Pittsburgh and I would love to hear or see pictures regarding Kent and Penn State. Since the schools are fairly new and changing often, I am looking for people who may have taken a look at the schools this year. Thanks
Whole Lotta Love: Pittsburgh ($), Syracuse ($$), Case Western, Depaul, New York Law ($$), Penn State ($$), Chicago-Kent   
Bring It On Home: Northeastern(WL), Chicago-Loyola(WL),  Brooklyn
Heartbreaker: Georgetown, George Washington, American

rajkp

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2006, 05:09:32 PM »
I would go with Penn State.Chicago-Kent has very poor employment prospects for a school of its ranking (~92-93% at 9 months according to latest USNEWS), especially within Chicago.

I visited C-K in March. The law school building looks very sleak and modern. The exterior of the building is all glass; it looks more like an office building than a school campus. The interior continues this motiff, probably b/c C-K shares space with the business school.  To keep up the modern look, almost everything is in darker, muted tones: black, gray, and maroon. The few exceptions are the wood paneling and the green glass that accentuate the interior styling.

The classrooms look fairly typical on the inside. The seats are new but uncomfortable. One of the prides of C-K is the moot courtroom, though I couldn't figure out why. The room is small and cramped, and it's modern accessories amount to a television and projector built into the room.

The library is fairly large at 500K books but this number also includes the business library. Board games litter the place. The top floor is visually stunning: the study area opens up to the Chicago downtown and natural light dominates the room until sunset.

The student area on the 2nd (3rd?) floor is small and cramped. It's just a regular cafeteria. The student organizations are relegated to the bottom floor, far away from the action. (In contrast, at Case Western, Loyola, and DePaul, the cafeteria/student commons neighboor the SO offices).

Random Thoughts:
- The place looked and felt like a business school. However, for dual-degree JD/MBA students, it's probably heaven.
- The camraderie and coziness of other law schools was noticeably absent. Most students were clumped together in groups of 2 or 3 in out of the way corners since there wasn't a single place for them to congregate.
- The lighting bugged the hell out of me. It is noticeably dimmer and harsher than the lighting at the other schools I visited.
- My tour was given by a recent graduate who had not yet found work and who was not close to finding a job (by his own admission) despite several months of looking. In contrast, the tour at other schools was either given by a 1L or a someone on the Admissions staff.

latinlord

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2006, 05:25:42 PM »
No way I would choose Pitt. They have the highest % of employment of 96%. Plus Bar passage rate is second highest in the state well I guess first highest b/c U Penn students take the NY exam!! (ivy league b*stards!) lol. Anyway even though Pitt went down a bit, they are still a top notch school. I would stick with them, plus from what I hear the school is really nice inside with new facilities. Only negative is the cold ass weather!!
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Was a 3rd year Visiting Student at Villanova University School of Law.
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ZinnMaster

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2006, 05:29:25 PM »
Thanks for the opinions. To be honest, I am leaning toward the University of Pittsburgh. I really am not concerned with the ratings drop, if you want to call it that. I was almost all set to send in my deposit when I was offered the Penn State scholarship. Now, I am forced to reconsider. I want to end up working in DC for a public interest based organization, and it appears Pittsburgh gives me the best opportunity to do so. In addition they offer a great joint degree program in International Development. It is going to be very very hard to turn down the Penn State money, but I am simply a little turned off by the schools 2-campus thing. To be honest, they seem a bit scattered.
Whole Lotta Love: Pittsburgh ($), Syracuse ($$), Case Western, Depaul, New York Law ($$), Penn State ($$), Chicago-Kent   
Bring It On Home: Northeastern(WL), Chicago-Loyola(WL),  Brooklyn
Heartbreaker: Georgetown, George Washington, American

latinlord

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2006, 05:36:45 PM »
No way I would choose Pitt. They have the highest % of employment of 96%. Plus Bar passage rate is second highest in the state well I guess first highest b/c U Penn students take the NY exam!! (ivy league b*stards!) lol. Anyway even though Pitt went down a bit, they are still a top notch school. I would stick with them, plus from what I hear the school is really nice inside with new facilities. Only negative is the cold ass weather!!

opps have to correct my statment a bit Temple actually has the highest bar passage rate in the state, wow they really have been shooting up recently. Pitt is still a great choice
Graduated from Indiana Law - Indianapolis!!
Was a 3rd year Visiting Student at Villanova University School of Law.
Graduated from Temple University Beasley School of Law - LL.M in Trial Advocacy Candidate 2010
 Published by Chicano/Latino Law Review of UCLA LAW. & I'm a Licensed Esq. NOW!

rajkp

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2006, 06:48:09 PM »
Sorry, I actually meant Penn State v Chicago-Kent. I don't know too much about the Pennyslvania schools, but from my experience with C-K, either one of them is a better choice.

pantone292

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 09:26:13 PM »
ianp I have a question -- if you had gotten in to American, do you think you would have picked it over Pitt?  I have fairly similar career interests as you, am down to those two schools, and am not sure if American is worth giving up in-state tuition to Pitt (I am really worried about debt and avoiding being tied to a job I hate just because I owe so much).  Just curious what you would do.
I vote Pitt for you -- I was really impressed with the international law faculty at the open house last week.  My impression was that their program is really strong and continuing to grow, but right now it is still small enough that you have the opportunity to really get to know your professors (something I worry about at American).  The 2nd year abroad seems to be endorsed by faculty more at Pitt than at any other school I've researched, and Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) offers about 5 full-tuition scholarships a year to 2Ls and 3Ls.  Prof. Mark Walter spoke about the Int'l and Comparative Law Certificate Program at the Open House and said that if you're truly serious about an international career, it's something you should really start planning this summer.  He recommended getting in touch with himself (walter@law.pitt.edu) or with the program administrator, Gina Clark, sometime this summer to discuss study abroad, potential future summer jobs, etc.
Chicago-Kent is a good school and I'm sure you'd be happy there.  I do highly recommend taking Pitt over Penn State, even though the offer is tempting.  I just think your career prospects are a lot stronger coming out of Pitt than PSU, especially for what you want to do.    You should be able to be in-state at Pitt as a 2L, so hopefully that would lighten your financial burden enough to be able to make your decision based on programs rather than money.

ZinnMaster

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2006, 09:59:06 PM »
That is really a very difficult decision. I think that I would lean toward American, had I been accepted. To be honest though, I haven't done the research that I would have done had I been accepted, so this isn't a completely "informed" opinion. I feel that American gears its self more toward public interest then the University of Pittsburgh does. However, from a pure comfort standpoint, I imagine the quality of life is much better at PITT. Students seem  kind and helpful at the University of Pittsburgh. On the other hand, I have heard that students at American are not at all this way. Also, I think there is a constant feeling of "we are the third school in DC."

Nonetheless, I'm a big believer that as long as you have the foundation, the rest is up to you. I think that PITT provides its students with an excellent foundation. I really am excited about attending (which I am 99.9% sure I will be).

The number one thing I have heard from people who I asked for advice was "be careful of your debt. Not getting in too deep will allow you to chose the right job for you."

I'm sure that you will be in good shape regardless of what school you choose. I suggest you visit them both, talk with the prof's and see what happens. Oh, one more thing, I think you make a good point about the small classes of Pitt. Small classes = relationships with profs = connections for work, particularly public interest work.
Whole Lotta Love: Pittsburgh ($), Syracuse ($$), Case Western, Depaul, New York Law ($$), Penn State ($$), Chicago-Kent   
Bring It On Home: Northeastern(WL), Chicago-Loyola(WL),  Brooklyn
Heartbreaker: Georgetown, George Washington, American

pantone292

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Re: Chicago Kent vs Pittsburgh vs Penn State
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2006, 03:10:05 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts.  I am sad to pass up all the opportunities at American, but I feel like being $150K in debt would really limit my ability to take the kind of jobs I want anyway.  I'm with you that Pitt seems like a much more pleasant place to go to school, and I suppose that ultimately comfort is a big factor in how well you do.  Having visited both, the biggest difference I saw was that Pitt students seemed geniunely happy to be there.  I'm not sure I could stomach three years of inferiority complexes at AU.
Have you definitely decided on Pitt?