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Author Topic: Free j.d vs. higher rankings  (Read 899 times)

eatdrinkbemerry

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Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« on: April 02, 2006, 09:39:56 PM »
I have been accepted to a fair amount of schools and have recieved full rides to 2 schools. i am trying to decide if I should take the free j.d, or go to the higher ranked school. Please shed some light on the situation.


Full Ride
: Suffolk and John Marshall Chicago.
In: Northeastern,W&L,Depaul,Loyola,American,Catholic,Richmond,Wake,SMU,Tulane
Still Waiting: Vandy,Fordham,Emory,Villanova,Pepperdine,Santa Clara,Case,Wisconsin,Denver
Rejects:NW,Cornell,UVA,Michigan,Wash U.

What schools would you pass up full rides for?Is it a no brainer that if I get in Vandy....go there? Finally, would anyone just jump on the Suffolk or JM deals right away?

Jontor

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 10:19:02 AM »
I'm interested in hearing what people will say here. I got 3/4 ride to Suffolk but I'm leaning towards Northeastern

yiplong

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 10:37:12 AM »
In this case, take the full ride.

loki13

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As Einstein would say, it's all relative
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2006, 10:45:25 AM »
When does a free JD trump rankings?

Well, it depends.

Does a free JD from Cooley trump an admit to Yale?
No.

Does a free JD from, say Penn St. trump an admit to Lewis & Clark?
Probably.

It's all what you're looking for.

In general, T14 schools, in terms of job prospects, are ALWAYS worth what you pay for it, if you're willing to work for BigLaw or have dreams of becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Other schools (BU, BC, some other high-ranked NYC-area schools leap to mind) have such great job prospects that they would be worth going into debt for.

Other than that, it's really up to you. My *own* advice- try to stay out of too much debt, while remembering that tmost schools outside of the T20 are regional schools and you'll probably be practicing near where you went to school. A full scholarship is hard to pass up. Some caveats:

-Be VERY wary of the terms of the scholarship. Be especially wary if the scholarship is GPA dependent, and not class-rank dependent. Many schools will offer tempting scholarships that have a seemingly easy GPA (such as 3.0). What they don't tell you is the curve is 2.5. WATCH OUT. If the scholarship is GPA-based, find out what the schools curve is. Be careful.

-Also be wary of scholarships that require you to be in the top 25%. Top 50% isn't too bad. Top 25%... well, every student thinks that they'll end up in the top 10%, but not every student does. If you struggle your first year, guess what? You're on the hook for TWO years at full price at a school you won't be able to transfer out of (because of your bad GPA) and you're only attending because of the scholarship. Hope for the best, but plan on the worst....

-T4 schools do not have great job prospects. Suffolk, if you plan on practicing in Boston, is an exception to the T4 rule. They have good placement in Boston (although not at the top firms). There are other exceptions (Pace with environmental law, for example) but they prove the rule.

-Don't go to Cooley.

Every decision must be made on a case-by-case basis. In general (outside of the T14/20), I'd go to schools that offer a scholarship. Graduating debt-free gives you options. But only if you'd be happy at that school anyway. Don't go to a school you'd be miserable at, or in a region you don't want to practice in, just because they give you the most $$$.

For these two particular cases-
I'd choose Suffolk over Northeastern, after asking Northeastern for more $$$.
You have many schools on your list you're still waiting on (Fordham, VANDY, EMORY, Wisconsin) that tare much more attractive than Suffolk with a full ride. I'd be tempted by Wake- if you want to practice in the SE. I'd take the Suffolk $$$ only if I wanted to practice in Boston AND I could afford to live there.

HippieLawChick

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2006, 10:48:33 AM »
great response loki!

Barney

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2006, 11:27:00 AM »
Look at the supplemental data that US News puts with their rankings (if you haven't shelled out the $14.95, you ought to--there's far better information than the list itself hidden in there).  Pay particular attention salary range and median salary that each school lists for the private sector,(also to the percentage employed in non-legal positions).

Assume you'll be a poor to mediocre student (it's safer to think that way--even if you believe yourself to be somehow superior). If the full ride means you're going to have to accept a significantly lower salary, then it's not worth it, because the higher salary will allow you to pay off your loans AND it will improve your overall job prospects.
 
Of the schools you've already been accepted to, only Washington and Lee appears to justify turning down the money: their salary range of 60k/110k with an 83k median is better than the 52/90 w/ a 65 median that you'd get at John Marshall (and better than the 42/100 w/60 you'd get at Suffolk).  

Vandy is slightly better than W&L in most areas, so if you get in, I'd say go for it (but only if you're paying full fare for both).  


OneAppAtATime

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2006, 01:16:36 PM »
Look at the supplemental data that US News puts with their rankings (if you haven't shelled out the $14.95, you ought to--there's far better information than the list itself hidden in there).  Pay particular attention salary range and median salary that each school lists for the private sector,(also to the percentage employed in non-legal positions).

Assume you'll be a poor to mediocre student (it's safer to think that way--even if you believe yourself to be somehow superior). If the full ride means you're going to have to accept a significantly lower salary, then it's not worth it, because the higher salary will allow you to pay off your loans AND it will improve your overall job prospects.
 
Of the schools you've already been accepted to, only Washington and Lee appears to justify turning down the money: their salary range of 60k/110k with an 83k median is better than the 52/90 w/ a 65 median that you'd get at John Marshall (and better than the 42/100 w/60 you'd get at Suffolk).  

Vandy is slightly better than W&L in most areas, so if you get in, I'd say go for it (but only if you're paying full fare for both).  



Would you say the same about SIU full ride vs. Toledo (waiting for my parents to mail the letter)?
Decision: Toledo (Full Scholarship)

Robespierre

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2006, 02:15:21 PM »
Loki said it all.
Penn Law Class of '09

Skeptic

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2006, 03:15:28 PM »
With in mind that i wont get into the 10 schools left pending, i see myself contemplating the same thing.  whittier with money vs cal western.....im just not really sure =/

eatdrinkbemerry

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Re: Free j.d vs. higher rankings
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2006, 03:39:31 PM »
Thank you very much. The replies were very helpful.Bets of luck to all of you jd's to be.