Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

All things being equal, which law school would you choose to attend?

Boston University
 28 (34.6%)
University of Southern California
 43 (53.1%)
University of Minnesota
 10 (12.3%)

Total Members Voted: 81

Author Topic: BU vs. USC vs. UMN  (Read 7759 times)

indomitable

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2007, 06:07:11 PM »
I found the relevant information pertaining to the changes in BUSL policy concerning class ranking. The link is pasted below:

http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/academic/documents/Academic_and_Disciplinary_Regulations_for_all_students.pdf

Thanks again, moocow, for bringing this to the attention of all of us considering joining the class of 2010 at BU!

Hurricane Lazlo

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2007, 06:59:42 PM »
I found the relevant information pertaining to the changes in BUSL policy concerning class ranking. The link is pasted below:

http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/academic/documents/Academic_and_Disciplinary_Regulations_for_all_students.pdf

Thanks again, moocow, for bringing this to the attention of all of us considering joining the class of 2010 at BU!


Thats cool.  They don't give the top 25% or top 33% cutoffs, so now the bottom half doesn't lose prestige.  I guess they don't rank individuals either except the top 10% and top 5 1Ls 15 2L/3Ls.
Strangely though, the top 33% of the class is still identified upon graduation, though because they get cum laude.  I am an ignorant 0L so I ask this question sincerely, is the difference at BU from most schools that they don't rank every student and identify that they are 13th %ile, 62nd %ile, etc? 

ALSO, any sports/entertainment info at BU would be useful, though my app is only pending I want to be prepared to decide by the time I hear.  In that regard if you know anything about the JD/MS in mass communications I would be curious because I intend to pursue that if accepted.  Thanks.
Fortunate Fool: Miami, ASU, GMU.   (in)
Staple It Together:  GW, Fordham   (wl)
Inaudible Melodies: Penn, UCLA.    (pending)
The Horizon Has Been Defeated: GULC, BU, Michigan.   (dinged)

Hurricane Lazlo

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2007, 07:03:15 PM »

My admissions cycle is complete (with the exception of Penn; but considering my numbers [169, 3.4] and that they're taking forever to reach a decision, I don't feel particularly optimistic that I'll be accepted there) and I am trying to decide between Boston University, SoCal, and Minnesota.

I have not received financial aid/scholarship information from UMN yet, but I am receiving comparable scholarship grants from BU and USC. I anticipate that the annual cost after scholarship grant aid will be essentially the same for all 3 schools.

Furthermore, I have no particular preference of location between the 3, since I only want to attend the best law school that I get into and also have no particular preference of location for practice after law school.

Thanks in advance for the responses!

The transportation issue at USC seems tough.
Other than that I think going to USC would be a pretty easy decision because of sports/entertainment, pleasant weather.  USC alumni seem to be a more fervent group than most who really look out for eachother.  Plus you'd also be alumni with big sports and film stars too.

my .02
Fortunate Fool: Miami, ASU, GMU.   (in)
Staple It Together:  GW, Fordham   (wl)
Inaudible Melodies: Penn, UCLA.    (pending)
The Horizon Has Been Defeated: GULC, BU, Michigan.   (dinged)

The Other Ken

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2007, 08:54:55 PM »
Fair enough. Is it true that twin cities girls are total hotties?

From my experience in the Twin Cities (resident of Brooklyn Park from 1991-2001), I will say yes.

indomitable

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2007, 10:23:12 AM »
ALSO, any sports/entertainment info at BU would be useful, though my app is only pending I want to be prepared to decide by the time I hear.  In that regard if you know anything about the JD/MS in mass communications I would be curious because I intend to pursue that if accepted.  Thanks.

I second the request for information on sports and entertainment law at BU...where are you, Suzieq or moocow (or any other current BU law students)?

moo cow

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2007, 02:28:38 PM »
i don't know too much about sports and entertainment law at BU. we have at least one class on it. david e. kelley has his JD from here (producer of ally mcbeal, boston legal, the firm, etc.), and so does general counsel for the patriots...  we also have the "communication, entertainment and sports law association," which is a student-run club.   

that being said, my two cents for you:  unless you're dead-set on entertainment law, i would caution you about deciding on a law school for of a particular program.  nobody gets to law school really "knowing" what they want to do (unless they've left a career to go to law school and they plan to go back to their old line of work; e.g. bankers, MBAs, etc.). 

a lot of people take one class on tax law, or trusts & estates and something immediately clicks in their brains, and they decide that's what they want to do.  you must be thinking, "tax law? that sounds horrible..."

i mean, it's not my cup of tea, but i have friends here who would argue for hours that it's the most interesting line of law and they can't wait for a tax practice.  in contrast, alot of people come in wanting to do international law, until they find out its all transactional work...  lots of people don't decide until they get job offers.  the founding partner of my firm left law school wanting to do estate planning, but he was assigned to the litigation department at his first firm.  he loved litigation so much that 30 years ago or so he started his own trial firm.  most people don't go on to start their own firm, but they do choos what they like doing based on their first job, which ends up being pretty random...   

the law school job process is a lot like the law school application process: most people try to go to the most prestigious firm they get an offer at, and then they decide what kind of law they want to do once they start working.

i think the most important point is this:  law school teaches you a way to think, but you learn the actual law "on the job."  so if you're interested in entertainment law, you should go wherever you go and apply to firms that do entertainment law when the time comes.  you can feel confident that your entertainment law class(es) in law school will be a distant memory on the job...   

all that being said, BU may be great for enterainment law, but i have no idea about the program.

keelee

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2007, 03:44:38 PM »
BU is not known for it's entertainment law program, but Boston, believe it or not, is a big city for sports agents, perhaps behind only Los Angeles and Miami.

While it is very true that you should never go to a school based only on a program, when you are looking at three schools that are somewhat close in rank, it is perfectly fine to zoom in on something you think you will like, like entertainment law, and take the school that is strongest in it. If we were talking, UMiami (a great entertainmnet law school) versus BU (not a great EL school), then even if you want entertinment law, by all means go to BU. And if you go to USC and your interest wanes in EL, so what? It really isn't a big deal, it's a top law school, you can switch to any other type of law focus. Same thing if you want, say, international law. It is perfectly fine, among such similarly ranked schools, to choose the school that is best in this area - say it's BU (no idea if this is the case). And if you are at BU, and the international thing doesn't work out, so what? You still are at a top law school, and can do whatever you choose.

I, personally, would consider geography over speciaility. USC is somewhat national, as is BU. UMinn is pretty regional.
Going to as of now...USC or Fordham.

Hurricane Lazlo

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2007, 07:00:00 AM »

Thanks Keelee and MooCow, lots of good info and advice.
I think I'm going to pick Miami over Fordham if faced with the choice, but BU or GW are what I'm hoping for.
I don't want to be in NYC where I have too many hard-partying friends, the cost of living kills me, and the overall stress of life doesn't seem conducive to concentrating on my studies and doing my best.  Whereas in Miami I'm pretty sure I'll end up on law review and so forth, be able to get a job down there, work in sports eventually.  Plus I really love the water and have so much family down there I want to spend time around.
Miami ranks 18th in the country for producing "top 500" attorneys even if not an academic heavyweight.

But, I asume everyone strongly agrees if I get in at GW part time or BU that I can't pass those schools up. Right?  I'm pretty sure I don't want to be at Fordham for personal reasons.
Fortunate Fool: Miami, ASU, GMU.   (in)
Staple It Together:  GW, Fordham   (wl)
Inaudible Melodies: Penn, UCLA.    (pending)
The Horizon Has Been Defeated: GULC, BU, Michigan.   (dinged)

keelee

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2007, 10:51:38 AM »

Thanks Keelee and MooCow, lots of good info and advice.
I think I'm going to pick Miami over Fordham if faced with the choice, but BU or GW are what I'm hoping for.
I don't want to be in NYC where I have too many hard-partying friends, the cost of living kills me, and the overall stress of life doesn't seem conducive to concentrating on my studies and doing my best.  Whereas in Miami I'm pretty sure I'll end up on law review and so forth, be able to get a job down there, work in sports eventually.  Plus I really love the water and have so much family down there I want to spend time around.
Miami ranks 18th in the country for producing "top 500" attorneys even if not an academic heavyweight.

But, I asume everyone strongly agrees if I get in at GW part time or BU that I can't pass those schools up. Right?  I'm pretty sure I don't want to be at Fordham for personal reasons.


If you don't want to live in NYC, by all means you should go to Miami. It's a great school and a regional powerhouse. Never, never assume you will make law review. UMiami is known for being extremely difficult, and grades on a strict 3.17 curve. Just because it is ranked lower does not make it easier. In fact, UM will likely be more difficult. There is often an inverse correlation between how high a school is ranked and how difficult it is. The T20 schools are the ones where it is easiest to do well, thanks to grade inflation.
Going to as of now...USC or Fordham.

Hurricane Lazlo

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Re: BU vs. USC vs. UMN
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2007, 02:34:13 AM »

If you don't want to live in NYC, by all means you should go to Miami. It's a great school and a regional powerhouse. Never, never assume you will make law review. UMiami is known for being extremely difficult, and grades on a strict 3.17 curve. Just because it is ranked lower does not make it easier. In fact, UM will likely be more difficult. There is often an inverse correlation between how high a school is ranked and how difficult it is. The T20 schools are the ones where it is easiest to do well, thanks to grade inflation.


Strong point. I've seen people allude to this but in less detail. 
In what ways is Miami known for being difficult?  I've heard they have an elements class people don't like but its just one credit. Anything else? 

What matters more, GPA or rank?  I feel like it would be hard for me to drop out of the top ten percent at Miami, but just as possible to drop out of the top half at GW or BU.  Being 8 LSAT points above the 75th %ile at UM should be somewhat predictive of success, no?  Being smarter than most everyone in the class has always seemed to help earn good grades and leadership in every instance I know of.  I know law exams are kind of random, but doesn't that favor the handfull of students the prof is impressed with? (easier to identify the best than to discern preferences amongst the middle of the pack, hence more confident in dominating at a low Tier2 than being considered as above average at a low T25)

Maybe at BU its more moot.  What about GW?  Do they rank everyone?  At that point what does the curve matter?  Hypothetically, what would be a stronger credential:  top 5% at UM or top 55% at GW?  What is the GW curve?  I've heard people say its not a cut-throat school but I find it hard to believe.  Nearly every student there wanted to go top 14, is in the middle of a huge legal market, and wants to get a top job to pay off big loans.  And they are all quite smart.  That seems so much tougher to me than competing at UM.  I'm putting this all out there so you can school me a bit if I'm wrong but to consider some points I think are valid too. 

In addition to the objective case I think there is a personal tendency for me to be much more motivated when I feel like I can be one of the best of my peers (potentially the case at UM), than when I feel in the middle and intimidated by the talent of the top handful of students... then I slide into the jovial role of contented in the middle of the pack - perhaps the phenomena that makes top25 schools less comptitive as you say.  At Miami, mediocrity would not be an acceptable option for me.  Is that the case for many students there, thus making it competitive as you say?  The impression I get from the facebook for UM '10 and posts I've read about UM's ASW was that there were lots of people wanting to work in Miami (do-able with mediocre grades) and a noticable contingent of "kids of lawyers looking to treat LS like extension of UG".  ASW impressions included thinking the UGs represented were unimpressive.  Plus the numbers are what they are... I've never attended a class regularly and handed papers in by due date then not gotten an A.  It seems at top25 I'll be rolling the dice but at UM I wouldn't even have to come off as a gunner, just do the work, to get mostly A's.  With a 3.17 curve how many A's are there in a group of 100?  This may illuminate things to me and change my mind.
Fortunate Fool: Miami, ASU, GMU.   (in)
Staple It Together:  GW, Fordham   (wl)
Inaudible Melodies: Penn, UCLA.    (pending)
The Horizon Has Been Defeated: GULC, BU, Michigan.   (dinged)