Law School Discussion

What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?

What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« on: July 10, 2007, 08:47:20 PM »
I haven't seen that much talk on these schools.  Basically with my 174 and 3.43 GPA I've got a good shot at a T10 school and almost a lock at some T14 schools but I'm considering dropping applying to a few in the 20-30 range trying to get a large scholarship.

If I would do this and a school like UIUC, BC, or Notre Dame offers a full ride or close to it would I be stupid to take it?

I'd prefer to go BigLaw but I will be paying for law school pretty much 100% through scholarships and loans and already am going to graduate undergrad with 20-25K in debt (all of undergrad will be paid through scholarhsips/loans)

and another question, will a 174/3.43 be good enough to get a full ride at a T30 school?

flyaway

  • ****
  • 2343
    • View Profile
Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 08:55:04 PM »
You might want to look at my LSN profile.  I have a 177/3.41.  The largest scholarships I got anywhere (not that I applied to all top 30 schools, obviously) were $20,000 a year.  Of course, that's not to say you don't have a shot at talking them up a bit if you demonstrate real interest.

I kinda think someone like you or me, whose GPAs are still below the medians of top 30 schools has less of a chance at a full ride than someone with a 166 and a stronger GPA.

Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 10:37:54 PM »
WUSTL will probably dump a truckload of money on your doorstep.

I'd probably go T14 as well, but if you want scholarship money from T30 schools it will be a good idea to show a lot of interest in the school. Judging from LSN, it seems like ND YPs a lot for high #s people. Showing a realistic interest in the school might prevent that. Note that this also goes for T14 schools, some more than others.

Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 02:19:16 PM »
3.4/169
Washington and Lee =2/3 (I think)
Wake Forest = full

sladkaya

  • ****
  • 432
  • Not born in Texas, but got here as soon as I could
    • View Profile
Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 08:24:02 PM »
Research schools very well on LSN to make sure they give out a lot of full rides.  WUSTL, for example, only has 1-3 full rides total, and you have to apply for them separately.  They do have many half and 2/3 tuition scholarships though.

GW gave out free rides like candy this year, plus 1 year of housing on top of that.  I'd def. apply there if I were you. UIUC as well. I was very interested in the subject last cycle, hope it works out well for you!

One piece of advice - don't accept initial scholarship as the school's best offer.  If you are really interested in the school, tell them how much you like them and how a bigger scholarship will seal the deal for you.  If you're a highly competitive candidate who's genuine, polite, and persistent, it will work out for you.  I had to go through 3 rounds of scholarship re-negotiations with UT, but it was well worth it in the end. 

Vapid Unicorn

  • ****
  • 381
  • Who, me?
    • View Profile
Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 08:51:13 PM »
This may be unconventional advice, but I say stick with the T14.  With your numbers, you've got a shot at some money at the bottom of the T14, but probably not a full-ride at schools like GW, BC, and Notre Dame.  With an interest in BigLaw, I think the difference in elite firm placement is worth the $30,000 extra you spend.  I'd hate to see you end up with 100K in debt (UG + LS) and a median GPA at a school like Emory (not knocking Emory, it just came to mind).   

Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 09:39:42 PM »
while the full ride seems like a lot of money/a good deal, it's really not. you have to compare the money saved in tuition (let's say $100K) vs. the present value of the increase in lifetime earning capacity that you get from going to a top law school. the chances of getting a 'biglaw' gig going to a top 30 school are not that great; you probably need to be in the top 1/4 to top 1/3. however, if you go to a top 5 or 10 school, you will almost certainly get a job at a large law firm. so, right off the bat you'll be making at least 60K more coming from a top 5-10 school than you would coming from a top 30 school, provided you're one of the 70% or so of people at the lesser school who don't get biglaw offers. throw in the freedom to take your jd anywhere you want, and it's pretty much a no-brainer.

Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 08:27:53 AM »
while the full ride seems like a lot of money/a good deal, it's really not. you have to compare the money saved in tuition (let's say $100K) vs. the present value of the increase in lifetime earning capacity that you get from going to a top law school. the chances of getting a 'biglaw' gig going to a top 30 school are not that great; you probably need to be in the top 1/4 to top 1/3. however, if you go to a top 5 or 10 school, you will almost certainly get a job at a large law firm. so, right off the bat you'll be making at least 60K more coming from a top 5-10 school than you would coming from a top 30 school, provided you're one of the 70% or so of people at the lesser school who don't get biglaw offers. throw in the freedom to take your jd anywhere you want, and it's pretty much a no-brainer.


You're also talking about the opportunity cost of 3 years not working or advancing in another career. 

I'd only take the full-ride at a lower-ranked program if you're willing to stay in that area and don't care how much you make.

at the risk of being pedantic, the opportunity cost you mention obviously should not be taken into account in deciding among different schools, provided you have already made the decision to go to law school.

Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2007, 10:17:03 AM »
I suspect the better schools will more than pay for themselves. From  my general (and completely unscientific) research it looks to me like there's a pretty steep upward curve in terms of job prospects up until you get to schools like UVA, Columbia, etc. Outside of academia I couldn't find a huge difference in (starting) pay between 10th and the T3, but you'll get a lot more cash from say UVA than you will HLS. Academic jobs are another matter, school rank seems to be huge there and the differences in where people from UVA go vs HYS is significant. I ended up with $$ from UVA and none from HLS, but I'm really interested in academia and after a bit of thought I'm headed to HLS this fall. If my intentions were to work at firms in the DC area UVA would have been my likely choice.


yykm

Re: What about non T14 but still T30 law schools?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2007, 03:42:42 PM »
I'm not sure if the OP wanted to know the schools that provide similar advantagess that the T14 schools have, but BikePilot is correct in that opportunities start to drop off considerably and start to become equal as the further down you go in rankings.  As for schools in the top 30 that may provide opportunities like the t14, it depends on whether youre interested in biglaw or clerkships and possibly teaching.  The current 15-18 are hte best fit for both.  Im tempted to include GW into the just mentioned grouping, but I think the class size somewhat hurts it for clerking and academia + it's in a rather competitive market already that GULC pumps an abundance grads.  UMN, BC, ND, and perhaps even Iowa come to mind for teaching.  For clerking, I think W&L, BC, and ND are goood options.  For biglaw; BU, BC, GW, Fordham, and Illi seem like the strongest players.



Note: I havent researched many of these schools extensively, but have turned down 2 top 30 schools for another one that I most likely will attend as a transfer this fall.