Law School Discussion

Help! Colorado or Catholic?!

Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« on: April 25, 2007, 07:18:39 AM »
Hi Everyone!

I need some help.  I am looking for any and all thoughts on my decision.

I have narrowed it down to University of CO at Boulder (rank 36) or Catholic (rank 96).  I understand they are worlds apart insofar as atmosphere. I am very into hiking, skiing, biking, etc. but the other half of me is very much a city girl.  I am from Boston and have lived in the city for the past 6 years.  I love both equally in that sense.  Money wise both schools will turn out to be about the same when I consider loans, grants, scholarships, transfering from out-of to in-state at CO, etc.  I have also considered moving costs to CO vs. DC in that estimate.

I do not know where I want to live long term, nor am I 100% set on what area of law specifically I wish to practice.  Therefore, since I won't know the answer to either of these in the next few weeks (decision time) then I am not going to put a lot of weight on those factors since I'd be happy with either school in that regard.

I have family in DC area which I'd really like to be close to, but I also have family in CA so I'd be closer to them in CO. 

I am utterly torn 50/50 between the schools. I don't want to decide based on rank because I have been told by all atty's I work for, advisors, other law students etc. that that fact really should not be at the forefront.

ANY help or advice anyone would like to offer would be so much appreciated. I'm honestly at the point of flipping a coin! Scary.

Thank you all, I hope your decision processes are going well!!


Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2007, 07:38:33 AM »
CU Boulder is a beautiful school that will meet all your recreation needs.  It is near Denver, which is a big city, but different from Boston in many cultural aspecets, such as dining and entertainment.  Although it is as large, it is more western and sprawled.  Thankfully, Denver also has an abundance of affordable housing.  Boulder has less affordable options, but is only a stone's throw from some Denver burbs like lakewood and evergreen.

In response to your want to be near CA, Denver is nowhere near CA.  Think of it as the very edge of the great plains.  The Rockies are wide, tall, and difficult to cross.  You are shut off from the western half of the US by this formitable barrier.  Luckily Denver has a major airport, which is a hub for United Airlines and Frontier.  Tickets to anywhere in the US and Mexico are cheap.  If you shop around, you should be able to go anywhere for under $200.  The airport is about 45 minutes from CU.

Just my $.02

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2007, 08:01:53 AM »
The tolls on E470 cost less than the gas wating in traffic with the other schlubs.  You should check it out.

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2007, 08:44:58 AM »
I'd say definitely CU. 

I went there for undergrad, and I lived in (downtown-ish) Denver the whole time.  It's a 45 minute express bus ride away.  Denver doesn't really compare to Boston; it's smaller, more insular, and there are still some cultural anachronisms, but most people love it.  I left 2 years ago and I think moving back every time I visit. The housing and COL will be cheaper than in DC, and the weather and your QOL will be better.

As far as traveling to CA, I dated someone in LA for two years while living there, and I was able to fly out for a visit every month on a student budget.

CU also has the advantage of being the best school in its market, while Catholic is below Virginia, Georgetown, George Washington, George Mason, American and arguably Howard for DC.  If I remember correctly, CU was building a new law building when I left, too.

Ultimately it depends on where you want to work, because most CU grads end up in Denver, and most people outside the Mid-Atlantic (or at least west of the Mississippi) don't know much about Catholic (whereas they at least know where CU is).  Can you visit Denver/Boulder before you decide?

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 08:53:01 AM »
Colorado all the way!  Boulder is really beautiful and just an awesome city in beautiful.  The school really has a stronghold on the 4 corners legal market too.  It was one of my top choices too but then Boston U came a knocking at my door with some money!

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 09:22:24 AM »
I suppose I will throw in a few words. 

I'm attending Catholic in the fall.  I'm currently on waitlists for Maryland, American, and Richmond, but I dont plan to attend any.  I went to the ASW at Catholic as well as several receptions that they have invited me to. 

So far, I've been very impressed by Catholic.  The students (current and admitted), faculty, and staff have all been very friendly.  The panelists at the ASW all have great jobs.  One was clerking, one was at a V50 firm, and one was working for the govt.  The law school building itself is fairly new too.  Have you visited both schools? If not, I recommend doing so as soon as you can.

I dont know enough about Colorado to make a recommendation either way. 

In terms of outdoor activities (hiking, biking, skiing), you can do ALL of that here in the DC area.  The Appalacians are here of course.  Plus there is Chesapeake Bay.  I'm out and about all the time, usually fishing.  Basically you can enjoy the city and the outdoors here in MD/DC/VA. 

Thats the end of my rambling since it is time for class shorlty.  If you have any questions, feel free to just message me. 

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 11:30:00 AM »
I am not sure that CU has a "stronghold" on the legal market (especially in denver) because of DU. DU places extrememly well and some might say better than CU in Denver. But who am I to say? Well, actually, a CU Alumna and daughter of a CU law professor. But that is beside the point, CU and boulder is lovely and amazing. I loved undergrad and living there.  And it is a great school and you will do great after you graduate.

Visite the schools. They are are almost night and day. I visited Catholic and the school, city/town, culture are completely different.


Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 11:47:07 AM »
Absolutely go to CU! 

I'm here in Boulder for undergrad now, finishing up in two weeks.  I love Boulder and am going to miss it tremendously.  I know you want a little more urban living, but don't go without considering Boulder as your city to live.  It's very dynamic, and though not a major metropolis, it has unbelievable restaurants, great bars (and not all are loaded with drunk 18 year olds), and great housing.  If I were at CU for law school, I would live downtown Boulder, within walking distance to Pearl Street, the mecca for nightlife.

Good luck with your choice, but Boulder is amazing and I could write pages and pages just about everything it offers!

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2007, 11:53:57 AM »
Wow, this is great you guys.  Thank you all for your help so far.  To answer a few questions, I have already visited both schools.  And fell in love with both schools.  Figures.  I ruled out UCONN and American because they just didn't feel right.  Even though CU and Catholic both have very different feels, both felt right to me.

I'm leaning towards CU right now, but I just can't get the scared feeling I have at the thought of leaving a big city out of my mind.  Also my family would be so close if I went to Catholic. 

I hope this doen'st come off as sounding snobby, but how much weight should I put on the fact that Catholic isn't as highly ranked as the other schools around it?  Whereas CU has such a much better reputation in all the surrounding states!  Hmm...

Re: Help! Colorado or Catholic?!
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2007, 12:57:10 PM »
I'm just a 0L, but the strength of my school relative to the competition in its major market was be a big factor in my decision.  I suspect that CU gets most of its competition from DU Law and t14 students with connections to the area.  DC is a huge legal market, but there's competition from 7 schools in the city (and more nearby) plus the rest of the t14 and below.

I was only able to find the following stats through soome quick googling
Since neither provides much useful information, I'd try to get better placement stats from both schools for a comparison.

Keep in mind that opportunities for students outside the top 10% (or higher) from both schools will be largely regional, though I think they would be better coming out of CU. 

I don't put much stock in the rankings, but Catholic was in the third tier last year while CU was lower tier one. That's a substantial gap, and it's not going to change anytime soon.