Law School Discussion


« on: December 26, 2007, 03:20:41 PM »
Hey everybody I'm new at this board and am in great need of advice. With the decisions coming in I've been accepted to Villanova, Suffolk (15k/year scholly), Miami (23k/year), and Roger Williams (full scholarship). Dinged at Columbia & BC and I expect the same at BU. I am still waiting to hear from UConn, St. John's, and Northeastern....Assuming I get into these last three schools, where should I go? I'm from/want to practice in Rhode Island, however, I've heard very bad things about Roger Williams. Therefore I'm a bit confused. I'd appreciate any feedback...thanks.

« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 08:25:06 PM »
jetman, if you don't mind my asking what are your #'s?  Do you have an LSN perhaps?  Just curious as we have applied to many of the same schools.  That being said, what is it you want to do with your jd?  Northeastern is like Mecca for Public interest.  Suffolk has a pretty solid rep in Boston (so I've heard). 

« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2007, 09:07:26 PM »
160 Lsat 3.55 Gpa out of Providence College... my lsn name is apetro08 ....I don't want to do anything with personal interest and I don't want to do big law.... I want to work at and eventually open my own small to medium sized firm in Rhode Island... Not ambulance chasing but being a lawyer for good hard working people and small businesses.

« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2007, 09:29:26 PM »
Unless you can afford to pay your tuition in cash and not take out student loans , you need to minimize your debt. Most of the schools on your list are NOT good for that b/c any scholarship they offer is going to have strings attached and there is no guarantee you'll keep it beyond the first year.

Look into state schools with generous residency policies and read them very, very carefully.

« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2007, 06:35:33 AM »
I would say UConn. They have 3 different tuition prices, in-state, new england and out of state. If you fall into either of the former 2 that's where I would go. I would imagine there are more RI opportunities for UConn graduates than Roger Williams or most other schools in the Northeast (upper T1 aside). The Miami scholarship would be very tempting, but mobility in Fla schools doesn't seem to be the greatest and since you seem pretty set on practicing in RI I would go to a school in the Northeast.

« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2007, 03:50:50 PM »
I graduated from Roger Williams in 2006. I graduated in the top 5% of my class, was a member of the Honors Program and was on the school's Law Review. I received a fantastic legal education. In fact, although RWU is perceived by many as one of the worst law schools in the country, the quality of the education that you would recieve at RWU would rival or surpass the qualtiy of the education that you would get at the other schools you listed.

With that said, if I were in your position, without any hesitation, I would choose Nova. GO TO THE HIGHEST RANKED SCHOOL THAT ACCEPTS YOU.  Even if you prove to be a terrible law student, struggle to pass the bar exam and become a mediocre lawyer, there will be opportunities for you.  I was in a similar position and had similar questions when I was applying to law schools in 2003. I accepted a scholarship to RWU. It was a (big) mistake. If you intend to go into private practice after graduation, the full ride to RWU, which is worth about 90k, is not worth the lost opportunity. In all likelihood, if you get a job, you will not earn as much money after graduation with the RWU degree. I currently have an appellate clerkship in a state court. There are clerks here from "Tier 1," "Tier 3" and "Tier 4" schools. ALL of the clerks from Tier 1 schools who elected to go into private practice, many of whom were not ranked in the top 50% of their law school class, got jobs paying 100k or greater with larger firms. The majority of the tier 3 and 4 clerks, who were, for the most part, ranked in the top 10% of their graduating classes, were shunned by the larger firms and are looking at salaries of 60-70k at smaller firms (which often expect that you will work big firm hours). Opportunity will be no different as a Suffolk graduate unless you finish at the very top of the class. 

When I was a 2L, I applied for summer associate positions with the larger Providence firms. One student from my class got a position and the vast majority of 1Ls and 2Ls ultimately did unpaid internships or non-legal work during the summer. At highly regarded schools, you have a realistic chance at obtaining a summer clerk position where you would earn about 30-40k during each summer break. Why is this the case? It's because many attorneys will assume that you are less intelligent because you went to RWU, a law school that many attorneys have never heard of. Midsize firms are just as elitist. Even if you need to take out loans to go to a Tier 1, if you live frugally, this summer income could offset a large portion of your tuition debt.

You should ask RWU for the free ride PLUS 100K.

How exactly do you intend to open your own "medium size" firm?