Law School Discussion

Same old, same old... opinions anyone?

Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« on: April 11, 2006, 08:30:46 PM »
So, I'm down to these two... and it looks like I'm going with Pepperdine. 

If anyone feels strongly one way or the other, I'd love to hear your comments  :-*

Chapman with 80% scholarship (tier 4)
Pepperdine with DEBT up the wazoo - no scholarship (tier 2)

Unless convinced otherwise (or miracle of miracles I get into UCLA) I'm going to Pepperdine.

Opinions?  Or are we all sick of these polls??? ::)

going batty once,  :o twice,  :o, and now... clinically insane... :o :o :o


Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 08:37:46 PM »
I'd presonally go with the tier 2 over tier 4, but I don't have much to back that up

Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 08:40:08 PM »
helpful none-the-less... thanks pete  :-*


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Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 09:01:46 PM »
Umm... don't rememer if you've posted this in other threads before, but let me ask you:

1. What do you want to do when you graduate?  Is a huge debt load going to negatively impact your career choices?  Is a less prestigious name on your diploma going to hurt your chances?

2. Where do these two schools tend to place best?  Are you dead set on being in the OC (isn't that where Chapman is?) or LA, or do you not care as much?

3. Have you visited either or both schools?  What were your feelings about the schools themselves?

Answer me these questions three, and I'll give you my opinion.  Without knowing your other circumstances, I won't have much to offer.

Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2006, 09:29:13 PM »
first of all, congrats on your LSAT  :o  Awesome score  ;)

1)  I thought for sure I wanted to go into public interest law (animal or education law) but now I know, there's no way to know for sure...  I could end up doing medical malpractice, or who knows what...  I have some connections, but who knows if I'll end up using them.  I find lots of areas of law super interesting.

2)  Not set on being anywhere other than staying in California.

3)  I've visited and toured both schools.  I'm much more attracted to Pepperdine - aesthetically and academically.  I think it's just the debt that gets me worried.  At first it didn't bother me, then everyone got me scared.  Both schools do offer help with debt repayments if you go into public interest law.  (well, Pep does - and I'm pretty sure Chap does too)

p.s. I did post something similar - but it was a couple months ago when I was deciding between full scholarship at Whittier (last of the 4th tier) and Pepperdine.  :-\


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Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2006, 09:47:25 PM »
Thanks for the compliment on the LSAT score, I appreciate it!

I'm going to tell you why I now think Pepperdine is your best choice.  I'm going to use a numbered list, because I like those :D

1. It sounds like, while you're not SET on public-interest, it still interests you a lot. If both schools offer debt repayment assistence for public-interest workers, great.  I have also heard that Pepperdine's repayment program is extremely generous, but that's just heresay.  The debt shouldn't matter on this point, so I think it's a wash.

2. Not set on any specific place?  This one is a wash too.

3. You liked Pepperdine better when you visited, so this one is scored for the Blue Wave.

4. If you DONT decide to do Public Interest, I imagine (but you'll want to double-check) that Pepperdine has a better alumni network and is a more impressive name to have on your resume when you're competing for jobs. 

This is basically my view: all things being (mostly) equal, go with the higher-ranked school.  In my own situation, I'm taking a lower-ranked school because all other factors are NOT equal.  But if they were, I would almost certainly be taking the most prestigious option.

Plus, didn't Pepperdine jump from T3 to T2 this year?  That might just be a statistical anomaly, but it might mean that it's moving in the right direction.  That is something else to consider.


Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2006, 10:25:32 PM »
I'd go to Pepperdine if I were you. It's law school in paradise!! (however, the conservatism, Dean Starr, and strict religious code would bother me a bit). In any event, go to Pepperdine and don't look back!

Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2006, 10:32:37 PM »
Gosh - you're right Towlie...  I guess I just needed one last pep talk before I turn in my "thanks, but no thanks" to the others.  Debt here I come  :'(

As for Starr and Religion...  as an agnostic bleeding heart liberal democrat, I guess Pepperdine needs me as much as I need them  ;) 

(not looking back)


Congrats on your acceptance to UCLA!

Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 10:37:29 PM »
Oh - and thanks to you too, Bobcat!  Just saw your post.  Pepperdine went down 10 notches in the 2nd tier this time around - but I still think it's doing quite well with Starr on board now.  (not an endorsement of his politics by any means)

Pep it is  ;D

Too bad I don't surf.  Always lived by the beach, but too scared the board will pop up and hit me on the head.  Darn.  :P


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Re: Same old, same old... opinions anyone?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2006, 10:58:31 PM »
You have to assess the marginal benefit for trading up from Chapman to Pepperdine (Private placement/salary and LRAPs). What's the money difference? If all they're covering is 80% of tuition, that's like $27,000 a year you have to cough up, or $13,000 if you live with a parent/relative according to their numbers. So assuming you're on your own, you'll end up owing a total of $81,000 of loans, just counting principal.

Pepperdine is $54,000. $162,000 total cost.

So Pepperdine is $81,000 more in principal loans.

I've come to the conclusion that all school's salary numbers lie, at least through underreporting that skews numbers higher. Pepperdine's private practice median (61% of an unknown % of respondents) is a respectable $90,000, but 'business', 20% of the respondents, is $54,000.

I tried to get info for Chapman, but the link for alumni successes: says it all.

So, for private practice: You want to compare the differential between your hypothetical starting salary at Pepperdine, versus your hypothetical starting salary at Chapman. Search on here for LSDROI.xls for a good automated process. I can't vouch for his methodology, but it seems legit. I think i'd go with Chapman, just because I knew i would be screwed unless I did extremely well at either school, so at least i'm reducing the consequences of screwing up if I go to Chapman.

For the nonprofit:
1) I can't find any mention of an LRAP at Chapman. Make sure there is one before you go here counting on one.
2) Pepperdine had 1.8% people doing public interest, is like 5 and a guy's torso given their class size. shows they have an LRAP program, and some information is available here:
So i'm unclear if the reason so few people are doing PI there is because A) They can make more money and be better off in private practice or B) It is really hard to get one of the two PI forgiveness problems, so while many more people would want to do PI if they could, they can't afford to.