Law School Discussion

Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?

Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« on: July 17, 2007, 03:26:22 PM »
i'm from the philly suburbs and hope to practice in the philadelphia area as a criminal defense attorney and maybe as a prosecutor for a few years as well. my question is should i still go to penn even tho i want to stay in the philly area and not go into Biglaw or should i go to temple since i would rack up less debt and go through one of the best trial advocacy programs in the country? is the Penn degree worth it in this case??? thx 

Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 03:30:47 PM »
btw i'm applying this cycle so i haven't gotten into either of these places yet this is just a hypothetical..numbers r 169/3.9

Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2007, 04:22:36 PM »
my question is should i still go to penn even tho i want to stay in the philly area and not go into Biglaw or should i go to temple since i would rack up less debt and go through one of the best trial advocacy programs in the country? is the Penn degree worth it in this case??? thx 

You should go to Temple if you have no desire for Biglaw.

The Penn degree will give you an excellent chance of getting you into a large firm, but you'll have debt to match.  Paying back $150k in loans might be painful if you're only making 43k/year working for the Public Defender.

If you want to be a DA or PD for a few years before opening your practice, Temple is the way to go.  With your #'s, I'd say you could probably get a large scholarship from Temple.  Exit with a minimum amount of debt, and you'll have the freedom to do whatever you want as a lawyer.

If you want Biglaw, go to Penn.  If you don't care about Biglaw, go to Temple.

bamf

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Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 08:13:37 PM »
if you want to go into criminal defense you might want to reconsider your aversion towards big firms.  I don't know much about the Philly legal market but I will assume that like most markets the best cases (I guess there could be multiple definitions for this) will go to the more elite firms ... these may be smaller defense boutique firms but often you will find big firms dominate.

rtqw

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Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2007, 10:25:16 PM »
It's not necessarily a given that going to Penn would mean tons more debt. I don't know about Temple, but a lot of schools outside the top 20 have stringent requirements on keeping your scholarship for all three years (top half, top third of class). On the other hand, for me, Penn did come through with a decent need-based aid package, which would cover all three years regardless of grades.

Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 12:17:15 AM »
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Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 06:30:57 AM »
if you want to go into criminal defense you might want to reconsider your aversion towards big firms.  I don't know much about the Philly legal market but I will assume that like most markets the best cases (I guess there could be multiple definitions for this) will go to the more elite firms ... these may be smaller defense boutique firms but often you will find big firms dominate.


interesting to know...would a Penn graduate have a good chance of getting a high paying job at a private criminal defense firm rather than having to be a public defender? i have always just thought i would have to start as a defender making *&^% salary but if i could land a good paying job in criminal defense right off the bat that would b ideal

Alamo

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Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2007, 06:35:18 AM »
Although I know little about the schools, I do know two things:

1) A guy from Penn (Robinson) wrote my Crim Law textbook.  A fine textbook it was.

2) Some schools' LRAP programs cover prosecutors as well as public interest works--you might want to check with Penn on that.

And if you ever want to be a professor, judge, or anything business-related, you'd be better off with the Penn degree.

Good luck.

Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2007, 06:39:55 AM »
Although I know little about the schools, I do know two things:

1) A guy from Penn (Robinson) wrote my Crim Law textbook.  A fine textbook it was.

2) Some schools' LRAP programs cover prosecutors as well as public interest works--you might want to check with Penn on that.

And if you ever want to be a professor, judge, or anything business-related, you'd be better off with the Penn degree.

Good luck.

yea that is my concern that i will change my interest in the middle of law school b/c i may think i kno wut i want to do now but i haven't even gotten to law school yet so things could change...i would kick myself if i did change my interest to say something business related and found myself at temple instead of penn..penn seems the safer choice..any other thoughts on this??

Re: Temple v.s. Penn for criminal law?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2007, 06:44:41 AM »
FWIW, Leiter's faculty rankings lists Penn as tied with Columbia for the best Criminal Law & Procedure faculty.

http://www.leiterrankings.com/faculty/2003faculty_criminal.shtml

that also is very intriguing thank you cady...i guess my main concern is the salary i can expect to make my first year out of school...what opportunities would I have to make a high salary in criminal law coming out of penn...if i could get into a private firm that pays well that would be great rather than public defender